School Safety & SecurityThe Taconic Hills Central School District is dedicated to maintaining a safe and secure learning environment for our students, and a safe and welcoming environment for our staff and community members.
District-Wide Safety Plan
Click here for the Safety Plan.
Schools Against Violence in Education (SAVE) Act
SAVE legislation was passed by the New York State Legislature in 2000 to address issues of school safety and violence prevention. The laws require school districts to develop district-wide and building-level school safety plans. The district has in place a comprehensive district safety plan and individual school building safety plans with procedures in place to maintain a secure learning environment.
Single Point of Entry
In an effort to increase security and provide a the highest level of safety for Taconic Hills students and staff the District will utilize a Single Point of Entry (SPoE) system for both the elementary and high school. All students, staff, and visitors will be required to enter and exit the building at either the high school main entrance or elementary main entrance with the following exceptions:
- The before and after school program will continue to utilize the entrance by the PAC for pick up and drop off.
- Parents of students being picked up at the elementary library after school will continue to enter at the side entrance in the PAC courtyard area.
- The pool will still operate as normal with parking in the rear of the building and entry at the main pool entrance. The doors leading to the main building from the pool area will be secured during pool operating hours.
We hold the safety of our building occupants in the highest regard and appreciate your patience while we work through the challenges of implementing the SPoE system at the Taconic Hills campus.To maximize building safety and security, all district school buildings operate with a single point of entry. We ask that all parents and visitors sign in at the main office, and wear visitor passes throughout their visits.Additional safety and security measures:
- All faculty and staff should wear their identification badges at all times.
- Do not prop exterior doors open.
- Faculty, staff and guests are asked to be vigilant and observant of visitors in the building.
- All faculty, staff, students and community members visiting our schools should report suspicious individuals or packages to building administration immediately.
Dignity for all Students Act (DASA)
The Dignity for all Students Act was signed into law in September 2010. The law is designed to ensure that students throughout New York State attend school in a safe and supportive environment, free from discrimination, intimidation, taunting, harassment and bullying on school property, on school buses or at school functions. The District is committed to providing all students an educational environment free of harassment and bullying. As required by the legislation, each district school building has a Dignity Act Coordinator. The district also has adopted a Code of Conduct that complies with the legal requirements of the Dignity Act. Check the DASA section of our website for more information.Emergency Drills
Each school year, every school in the district engages in a comprehensive set of drills to ensure that students, faculty and staff are prepared should an emergency occur. In addition, each Fall, every school in the district dismisses students 15 minutes early to test its Emergency Management Plan. The Early Dismissal Drill tests the effectiveness of the transportation and communications systems in the event of an emergency.Staff Development & Training
Throughout the year, administrators and staff participate in drills and activities to support safety in the school including active shooter drills, bomb identification, standard response protocol and standard reunification method training. We also train the Faculty, Staff, and students on Standard Response Protocol in the event of an emergency, as well as Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events Training (CRASE) training to the community. Staff also learned about new concepts of protecting the school through Run, Hide, Fight & Avoid, Deny, Defend concepts.
National School Safety and Security Services
New York State Center for School Safety
New York State Center for School Safety DASA Fact Sheet
SAVE Legislation Summary
The safety of our students and staff is always a top priority at the Taconic Hills Central School District. The district and our schools emphasize student safety through a variety of measures that include a comprehensive Code of Conduct, the use of School Resource Deputy in partnership with the Columbia County Sheriff's Department, and a partnership with our local emergency service responders.
Nicholas J. Smith
Director of Facilities / Safety Officer