CHAPPAQUA, N.Y. – In response to last month's school shootings in Newtown, Conn., uniformed members of the New Castle Police Department will begin entering Chappaqua schools on a daily basis starting Monday, Jan. 28.
Currently, police have been present on school grounds but have not routinely entered the buildings. Superintendent Lyn McKay addressed the matter in a letter sent to all Chappaqua Central School District families.
“We continue to conduct comprehensive reviews of what we believe are our already strong school safety and security procedures,” McKay said in the letter. “We will continue to work closely with our local police department, as well as an outside security consultant.”
McKay and the Chappaqua Schools Board of Education addressed the recent meeting with the security consultant at a Thursday night meeting. Although changes are being made, many of the changes will not be announced to the public.
“We can’t give too many specifics, because that would be counter productive,” said McKay. “We do, however, believe in transparency.”
The following changes to the school district’s current safety precautions include:
• Installing panic buttons throughout all campuses.
• Locking doors at a uniform time throughout all campuses.
• Requiring all visitors to sign in.
• Inviting police officers in schools to build relationships with faculty and students.
McKay is confident all of these changes make a safe district even safer. The presence of uniform officers inside school buildings is a positive step, she said, and one that she welcomed.
“While inside the schools, police officers will further develop positive working relationships with students, teachers, and administrators,” McKay said in her letter. “They will become even more familiar with the layout and routines of our buildings. Please know that while these officers are in our schools, they will defer to building administrators, unless there is a true emergency.”