Safety & Security Procedures
Some of Center School’s Safety and Security Procedures
The Center School makes student, staff, and visitor safety & security a priority on a daily basis. In an effort to maintain a high level of safety proficiency we have implemented numerous procedures to keep our learning environment a safe and secure place where staff can focus on the needs of the students we serve.
Here are just a few of our many school safety and security implementations:
All of our building’s exterior doors are locked. These doors have Card Access only for Center School staff. Our front door entrance is locked throughout the day and entry is made possible through a Buzz-In system which is monitored (during school hours) by our office staff.
All visitors/volunteers/family members coming through our entrance must check in with the front desk– even our employees. Once checked in you will be given a visitor sticker that identifies you throughout the building and informs staff you have properly checked into the school. Individuals not having visible identification will be asked to return to the front office to check-in. Thank you in advance for following this important security procedure.
We also post staff members around the exterior of our building during student arrival in the morning and departure in the afternoon. Our staff members monitor the bus area, playground area, the drop off and pick up areas, as well as the crosswalk at our parking lot entrance.
Staff members with supervision duties utilize several modes of technology to have instant communications with each other, the main office, front desk, nurse, and the school safety & security coordinator at all times.
All school staff are trained in state mandated school safety and security procedures on a regular basis. We practice and conduct monthly safety drills including: active shooter drills, lockdown drills, lockout drills, shelter-in-place drills, bomb threat drills, and others to insure the most effective responses by our staff and students. Our school’s Crisis Response Team reviews the roles and responsibilities of all staff involved in school safety to include updated best practices procedures, state required knowledge and awareness of drill protocols, and efficient crisis response procedures.
The Center School is partnered with local, county, and state law enforcement and first responder agencies to ensure effective responses to any and all school related emergencies.
Emergency Contact Procedures
In the event of an emergency, The Center School will provide updated information on the event and notify you when and where students are to be picked up via an all call by phone and email message. (Please make sure we have your updated emergency contact information for this!)
How to Assist as a Parent or Guardian
***There are several things you can do to assist us in keeping our school safe and secure:
1. Make sure The Center School has the most updated and accurate emergency contact information on file.
2. Discuss with your child the importance of following directions of school staff during all drills and emergencies.
3. In the event of an emergency please do not call or come to the school to pick up your child until notified of when and where to respond. Although a natural response is to immediately come to the school upon hearing of an incident, doing so may interfere with the school’s ability, and first responders’ ability, to effectively and efficiently respond to the situation. High volumes of phone calls and/or traffic will create unnecessary resources to be diverted from emergency response activities and add confusion to an already intense situation. You can best assist by waiting for updated information. In the event of an evacuation students will be transported to an alternate relocation site which you will be notified of and directed to respond.
Plans and Procedures
As per N.J.A.C. 6A:16-5.1 School safety and security plans (SSSP), The Center School has developed and implemented comprehensive plans, procedures, and mechanisms that provide for safety and security in our school.
These plans provide for:
1. The protection of the health, safety, security and welfare of the school population;
2. The prevention of, intervention in, response to and recovery from emergency and crisis situations;
3. The establishment and maintenance of a climate of civility; and
4. Supportive services for staff, students and their families.
The SSSP must contain, among other things, protocols and procedures for quickly communicating to staff, students, parents, and emergency responders that a crisis situation exists; procedures for minimizing the risk of physical harm to students and staff in the event of exposure to a hazard(s); and protocols for responding to emergencies that require prompt and orderly actions, such as fires. Schools must also conduct regular fire and security drills, such as non-fire evacuations, bomb threats, lock-down, and active shooter situations.
NJ State Law 18A:41-1 states that every school shall have at least one fire drill and one school security drill each month. School Security Drill: An exercise, other than a fire drill, to practice procedures that respond to an emergency situation including, but not limited to, a non-fire evacuation, lock-down, or active shooter situation and that is similar in duration to a fire drill.
NJ State Law 18A:41-7.2 states a chief school administrator of a nonpublic school shall ensure that all full-time teaching staff members are provided with training on school safety and security that includes instruction on school security drills. Employee training on school safety and security plans 6A:16-5.1(d). The district board of education shall develop and provide an in-service training program for all district board of education employees to enable them to recognize and appropriately respond to safety and security concerns, including emergencies and crises, consistent with the district board of education’s plans, procedures and mechanisms for school safety and security and the provisions of this section.
Memorandum of Agreement
Uniform State Memorandum of Agreement Between Education and Law Enforcement - (MOA)N.J.A.C. 6A:16-6.2(b) 13i, ii.
This document, signed annually by schools and their law enforcement partners has been designed to ensure cooperation between law enforcement and education officials and ultimately to protect the educational environment.
The initial model MOA was drafted by the New Jersey Department of Education and the Department of Law and Public Safety in 1988. The intent was to foster cooperation between local law enforcement and school districts to combat the growing problem of student alcohol consumption and substance abuse. Today the MOA outlines procedures for schools and law enforcement to follow in response to any type of safety and security issue that may occur at school.
HIB- Harassment, Intimidation, and Bullying
Under the Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights, principals are required to appoint one of their staff members as the school’s anti-bullying specialist.The law specifies that the principal must appoint a currently employed individual to fill this role. Each school district is required to adopt a policy prohibiting HIB, and the policy must include a procedure for prompt investigation of reports of violations and complaints.
The law defines harassment, intimidation, or bullying as “any gesture, any written, verbal or physical act, or any electronic communication, whether it be a single incident or series of incidents, that is reasonably perceived as being motivated either by any actual or perceived characteristic…that takes place on school property, at any school sponsored function, on a school bus, or off school grounds… that substantially disrupts or interferes with the orderly operation of the school or the rights of other students, and that a reasonable person should know, under the circumstances, will have the effect of physically or emotionally harming a student or damaging a student’s property, or placing a student in reasonable fear of physical or emotional harm to his person or damage his property.”
To learn more about the Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights Act go to: http://www.njea.org/issues-and-political-action/anti-bullying