Letter from the Superintendent

2019 - 2020 School Year:  

To come...

2018 - 2019 School Year:  

Dear Parents/Guardians,

The purpose of this letter is to inform you of the current school security and safety provisions in our schools.  Our staff works very hard every day to keep your children safe while they are in our care.  At each building we have an Emergency Response Team that meets periodically to review and update Emergency Response Plans, conducting evacuation, lockdown and lockout drills in collaboration with the Clarkstown Police Department and the Rockland BOCES Office of Safety and Risk Management.  Both entities are on-site during our emergency response drills to provide critical feedback for improvement.  

The following is a summary of school security measures in place that we feel ensure the safety of your children: 

Emergency Response Plans and Teams:  With the assistance of the Clarkstown Police Department, the Rockland BOCES Office of Safety and Risk Management and local emergency officials, the District has a school emergency plan in place for each school as well as a district-wide safety plan.

These plans, reviewed annually, contain procedures for responding to a wide range of emergencies that include: 

  • Evacuation: In the event an evacuation takes place and students are transferred to a nearby site, parents are notified via the K-12 Alert Notification System. Students follow fire drill procedures and leave the building along assigned routes.
    • Activation examples: fire, chemical release, extended power or heating system failure.
  • Lockdown: This procedure is used to secure areas within the building to hide. In addition to hiding and staying out of site, escape and counterattack may be safer responses.
    • Activation examples: intruder, active shooter, hostage incident.
  • Lockout: This procedure involves securing school building and grounds during incidents that pose an imminent concern outside of the school. All doors are locked.  Outdoor activity ceases. 
    • Activation examples: incidents that pose an imminent concern OUTSIDE the school building such as criminal activity in the area.
  • Shelter-In-Place: This procedure is used to shelter students and staff inside the building.
    • Activation examples: bomb threat, threat outside, environmental incident.
  • Hold-In-Place: This procedure is used to limit movement of students and staff within the building while dealing with short term emergencies
    • Activation example: medical emergency.

If an emergency response procedure is underway in another school district, the Rockland BOCES Office of Safety and Risk Management notifies the Superintendent’s Office immediately so that Nanuet can implement safety precautions as necessary to keep students safe.

Single Point of Entry: During school hours, all buildings operate using a single point of entry and all perimeter doors are locked at all times and only opened when supervision is provided.  In addition to the replacement of all exterior and interior doors throughout the District which took place several years ago, we also have locks that enable staff and teachers to secure their doors from the inside in the event of an emergency.  Perimeter doors at Miller and Highview are locked and checked regularly.  At Barr Middle School and Nanuet High School, all perimeter doors are locked and alarmed.   

Student IDs: Nanuet High School students are issued color-coded identification cards, which allow staff and security personnel to recognize and confirm membership of the student body and their respective privileges. 

Security Cameras:  Security cameras are located at strategic locations both within (excludes bathrooms and locker rooms) and select areas outside each building.

School Personnel: In addition to Clarkstown Police Officer Negri, the District’s full-time School Resource Officer who is stationed at the High School, private security personnel are stationed inside the entranceway of each building and at strategic places outside. We require that all visitors sign-in and wear visitors’ tags in all buildings.

Emotional Support: Nanuet Schools recognize the critical need to support students who may be at risk for depression, anxiety, or may just have a need to talk.  The District added a full-time social worker several years ago and more recently increased the number of psychologists to address these important social and emotional needs.

Nanuet School District K-12 Alert Notification System:  Through our K-12 Alert notification program, the District is able to notify parents via email, text and voice mail messages of emergency situations, including activation of a lockdown, early dismissals and emergency relocation of children (e.g., temporary breakdown of electricity or heat).

Please note: It is important to notify your child’s school of any change to the Emergency Authorization Form. This includes numbers at home as well as back-up phone numbers at work. When notification of an emergency is necessary, the system will not leave a message on answering machines. Therefore, numbers you provide on the Emergency Authorization Form must be numbers where a “live answer” will occur.

Protecting the safety of our students and staff continues to be our first priority. 

Mark S. McNeill

Superintendent

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November 27, 2018

Dear Residents:

We received a copy of the timeline provided by Pastor French at last night’s meeting regarding the sale of Grace Baptist Church.  The link below fills in gaps in Pastor French’s timeline. It reflects a serious, concerted effort on the part of the Board of Education to purchase the property in partnership with the Town of Clarkstown in order to provide Nanuet with senior housing or for community purposes.   

Annotated Timeline - Grace Baptist Church

Thank you,

Mark S. McNeill

Superintendent

_____________________________________________________________________

October 19, 2018

Dear Residents,

Due to the potential residential development associated with the Town of Clarkstown’s Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Zoning Plan, last July the Nanuet School District contracted with the Western Suffolk BOCES Office of School Planning and Research to conduct a Comprehensive Long Range Planning Study that would provide the Board of Education with objective data and analysis covering the following areas:

  • Demographic Analysis (population, births, housing, non-public enrollment)
  • Enrollment Analysis (includes enrollment projections associated with the Transit-Oriented Development Zoning Plan)
  • Facilities Analysis (includes operating capacity and space allocation)

Note: A draft of this Comprehensive Long Range Planning Study report is found on the following link:   

 Nanuet UFSD Comprehensive Long Range Planning Study 2018 - Draft

Within the past 20 years, the Western Suffolk BOCES Office of School Planning and Research conducted two other comprehensive studies that provided the Board of Education with objective data that led us to  re-open the Highview Elementary School and undertake building expansion and renovation work across the District. 

At the Board Meeting next Tuesday (10/23), I will provide a brief summary of this report as it relates to the Town’s TOD Zoning Plan.

Thank you,

Mark S. McNeill

_____________________________________________________________________

Dear Parents and Guardians:

Given the tragedy in Paramus, I wanted to share with you the requirements that New York State, the Education Department and the District have in regard to School Bus Drivers. 

The District primarily uses Peter Brega, Inc. as its transportation contractors.  The District maintains its own fleet of three large buses and one small bus for use in field trips and sports.  All of our buses have seat belts installed for student use. 

All of the buses and their drivers operate using the same, stringent guidelines.

Our bus drivers (and Brega’s) need to be 19A certified under the New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law.  To become certified, drivers have to have a commercial driver’s license with a student endorsement.  The driver abstract is pulled before the certification is given.  After they are certified, the following safety measures apply: 

  1. Biennial written tests
  2. Biennial skills test (road test)
  3. Every year the driver’s abstract is pulled
  4. SED requires two refresher classes a year.
  5. Physicals every year
  6. Random drug and alcohol tests
  7. Each year, three bus drills are conducted
  8. Fingerprinting is done for criminal background checks
  9. The District randomly (and when it receives a report) monitors whether bus drivers are exceeding the speed limit
  10. Cameras are on each bus to review safety as needed

Below there is a link to the New York State DMV’s requirements:

https://dmv.ny.gov/motor-carriers/information-and-forms-article-19

The District takes student safety very seriously, including on its buses.  If residents see a bus operating in an unsafe manner, it should be reported and it will be investigated.

Dr. Mark McNeill