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Student and staff safety a top priority


As we reflect on the horrific tragedy that occurred this week at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, our hearts break for all affected by such a senseless act of violence.

Please be assured that school safety is a top priority for the Watervliet City School District and a responsibility that district leaders and school staff continually work on. Over the years, the school district has put various measures and programs in place with safety and security in mind. While complete details of the district’s safety plans can not be shared, the following information is a reminder about some of the measures that help keep our schools as safe and secure as possible.

  All staff members are required to wear an identification badge at all times.

  All entrances to Watervliet school buildings are locked during the day.

  School buildings have a single, secure point of access during school hours.

  Visitors to the schools enter (are ‘buzzed’ in) through a secure vestibule where they must present identification and sign a visitor’s log. They also must wear visitor identification badges while in the school building.

  All schools are equipped with surveillance cameras and a video monitoring system.

  District-wide School Emergency Response Plan and Building-level Emergency Response Plans are provided to staff members.

  Watervliet faculty, staff and students participate in regular safety drills to practice emergency procedures throughout the year, as mandated by the state.

  All new employees, including teachers, are fingerprinted before hired with background checks performed by the State Education Department.

It remains important for teachers, staff, parents, students and community members to work toward a common goal of maintaining safety in our schools. If you have any questions or concerns about the information above, please reach out to your child's building principal or the superintendent's office.

Resources for parents

As media coverage of this story continues, students may have questions or concerns about what they see or hear on the news. Parents, guardians and others may also be interested in the following articles from our Parent Today e-newsletter to help children cope with the distressing news of this week's tragedy.