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Pelham Reviewing Safety Procedures Following Newtown Incident

Departing superintendent says administrators to review current plans with safety consultant.

Pelham school superintendent Dr. Dennis Lauro, Jr. will depart his post on December 31. He closed his tenure with a somber responsibility: responding to parents' concern about school safety in the aftermath of last Friday's fatal shooting incident in Newtown, CT which took the lives of 20 students and 6 school personnel at Sandy Hook elementary school.

In a letter addressed to parents, Lauro indicated the Pelham Board of Education has this week approved an administrative request to review and possibly enhance existing Pelham school district security procedures.

Lauro reassured parents that current state-mandated procedures are stringent:

Our plans, which are comprehensive and the result of work with our local police departments, follow State guidelines. They deal with a long list of situations such as bomb threats and intruders and appropriate responses such as lock downs and lock outs. Schools schedule practices with students as well as review procedures with staff...School entry doors are locked and entrances are either secured by attendants or monitored with cameras and electronic entry systems.

Read Dr. Lauro's entire letter:

Dear Parents and Guardians:

In light of the recent incident in Sandy Hook elementary school, our school safety plans were discussed at a meeting with all principals and also with the Board of Education at it Dec. 17 meeting. Prior to these meetings, principals met with staff to assess their buildings, ensure no lapses in security, and recommendany needed corrections.

Our plans, which are comprehensive and the result of work with our local police departments, follow State guidelines. They deal with a long list of situations such as bomb threats and intruders and appropriate responses such as lock downs and lock outs. Schools schedule practices with students as well as review procedures with staff. We have always taken this matter seriously. School entry doors are locked and entrances are either secured by attendants or monitored with cameras and electronic entry systems.
While we believe we have comprehensive plans, the Board of Education approved our request to work with a security consultant to review and enhance our existing security. We will request an evaluation and recommendations regarding floor plans, access points, and current security systems.

The safety and security of our students and staff remain a primary concern for us.

On a final note, I am retiring at the end of this month. I would like to take this opportunity to extend mybest wishes to all the students and families of the Pelham Schools. I wish you a healthy and happy New Year and I wish our students success in all their endeavors.

Sincerely

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