Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Safety and Security at RMS

Keeping students and staff safe at the Richmond Middle School is our first and most important annual goal. To that end we are constantly considering safety and security measures, training, and improvements. In addition, we rely on your feedback and suggestions to support our efforts.

Over the summer we made several security improvements which have been noted at Dresden School Board meetings. We hope that these improvements combined with increased vigilance, training, and a developing partnership with Hanover Police and Fire will result in a more secure environment for all.

Improvements to the Physical Plant this Summer:

-Front Entrance: We now will leave all but two of the front entrance doors locked during the day. The remaining doors now have electronic locks which allow us to remotely secure the building.

-Several of the ground level windows are now coated with a protective film which will slow an attempted entry.

-Main entrances are now monitored by a video system. This system is only accessible by a small group of administrative staff and the intended use is security.

Improvements in Process and Procedure:

-The outside of the building is now regularly monitored and exterior doors are checked to ensure they are secure during the school day.

-Hanover Police and Fire are actively invited to visit the school during the day. This helps them to be more familiar with the physical layout and also helps in building positive relationships with staff and students.

-We have conducted drills in coordination with the Ray School and SAU 70 staff.

-Members of our school emergency team have attended trainings and workshops. Their work and study continues to inform our efforts as a school and district.

-Hanover Police are leading an effort to update and improve the town-wide school emergency response plan. We look forward to continued efforts here and will likely do a large-scale drill at some point in the future.

I hope that these examples provide a view and sense of how we are attempting to address security and safety at the Richmond Middle School. They are only a sample of the regular work that we undertake as we actively seek to make the school a safe place for all. This regular work includes our active emergency/safety committee which meets monthly to review policy and procedures, analyze drills and practice, discuss incident reports and to plan all-school safety initiatives and activities.

In that spirit, a friendly reminder:

"Welcome parents, visitors, and guests.  Thank you for taking the time to visit our school. We do ask for the safety of our students and staff that you do sign in at the office and wear a visitor badge.  Thank you for your cooperation and support."

I welcome your suggestions, feedback, and conversation. Please write, comment or stop by the school and share!