We are all deeply saddened by the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newton, Connecticut. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all the families there. Our staff and students will maintain a moment of silence today in support of the teachers, children, and families at Sandy Hook Elementary. Students were encouraged to process their feelings with their families and our staff if they need to. As always, myself and the entire Hillside staff are here to assist you in any way that we can.
This type of tragedy probably raises questions about the security in our school. I would like to outline some of the procedures and steps that have been taken at Hillside Middle School:
- Security cameras have been installed inside and outside our building. Hillside has a security team including the Principal, Assistant Principal, office staff, two custodians and a hall monitor who are in place each day. Our counselors and parent volunteers at lunch support our students as well.
- After the opening bell each day all doors are locked and visitors have to push a button at our main entrance which includes a video camera to be admitted after 8:45. Our office has windows so that we can monitor anyone entering. All visitors must sign in and out of Hillside. PASSS Volunteers arrive each day between 10:30 and 10:45 and sign in with our hall monitor. All visitors have a visitors badge.
You will notice in each classroom a flip chart and red and green signs by each door that outlines procedures for various emergency situations. This set of procedures was developed in cooperation with security experts and law enforcement.
Each year we hold 10 drills so that students and staff become familiar with routines for fire, severe weather, and other emergency situations. Police and fire departments have participated in some of these drills. As an example, and because of these drills, the staff can evacuate and account for all 800+ students in a fire in less than 2 minutes.
We have an excellent working relationship with the City of Northville fire and police departments. Their response time is under two minutes.
We have a team of social workers and counselors to work with any students or families. We also have a building wide crisis team to assist in crisis situations. If you notice that your student has reactions to the news, please feel free to call us for help.
We have established, this school year, a computerized phone system to notify parents of any unusual circumstances.
The office, the principal, assistant principal, custodian, and hall monitor are equipped with walkie-talkies for instant communication. Each classroom has a phone.
Should you have any questions please feel free to contact Hillside at 238-344-8493.