January 7, 2013
I am pleased to communicate with you again and hope your week is off to a successful beginning.
My purpose in communicating with you is to provide an update regarding the district’s continued review of all safety and security protocols and to inform you of the steps planned for the immediate future.
On Monday, January 7th, Brandon Robertson, Town Manger, John Spang, Assistant Superintendent for Finance and Operations and I will be attending a state-wide Security Symposium sponsored by the many professional organizations representing school boards, superintendents, school business officials and other school based leaders.
The Symposium will feature national and state-level experts who will provide participants a deeper understanding of the steps that should be taken at the local level regarding school security including legal and policy implications associated with implementing school security practices, building design strategies and best practices for securing school facilities. The information obtained will be used to guide the continued collaborative work of leadership from our local law enforcement, emergency response departments and school district.
The ongoing review of district emergency plans and internal planning meetings will continue with a special meeting to be held this week of all town emergency department heads, our Town Manager and district leadership staff. The purpose of the meeting will be to review a series of additional recommendations to improve upon the comprehensive and effective emergency response plans in the context of the information obtained at the Security Symposium. Once additional recommendations have been properly assessed, reviewed and finalized, they will be announced if it is deemed appropriate to do so. I would appeal for your understanding that it may be inappropriate to make known some safety and security measures that have been and will be implemented in the future.
I wish to extend my sincere appreciation to all who have expressed thoughts, opinions and concerns regarding the safety and security of our schools and to those who contacted us with suggestions to assist with the emergency planning of individual schools and the district. All of your thoughts are being given our full attention in totality as we plan for additional security measures.
Additionally, I wish to once again reaffirm our commitment to preparedness and to maintaining proactive, comprehensive emergency plans. Our continued collaboration with other town departments will only serve to strengthen our ability to deter and prevent incidents both now and in the future. I ask for your continued patience and understanding as we work methodically to maintain safe and secure teaching and learning environments at all schools.
In closing, I wish to reiterate what I expressed at the conclusion of last week’s Weekly Message. I continue to be extremely thankful for our community, our elected officials, our police, fire and emergency response professionals and all who are charged with protecting and preserving both our personal and professional lives and those of our children and grandchildren. We are truly very fortunate.
Gary S. Mala, Superintendent of Schools