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Massena Central School District studies safety procedures

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MASSENA — The Massena Central School District’s Safety Committee recently held discussions at Jefferson Elementary and Massena High School to discuss how staff would react in case of an emergency at one of the district’s five schools.

According to William L. Seguin, the district’s director of operations and the new chairman of the committee, there’s a lot going on behind the scenes to ensure the safety of students and staff.

“We’ve upgraded all of our radios. We put a PA system out on the playground,” Mr. Seguin said, noting it could be used in case of emergencies when students and staff are outside.

The committee also is planning to put reflective numbers on the outside of individual windows, as well as entrances and exterior doors. Rescue personnel then can respond directly to that number instead of having to find a specific room number, he said.

In addition, interim Superintendent William W. Crist said, first responders have been given a copy of the floor plans for the schools.

Discussion sessions unite school and community personnel in one setting to devise ways to handle various scenarios.

Principals, dean of students, school psychologist, head nurse, guidance counselor and representatives from operations, technology, athletics and the student body all participate.

Outside agencies that are involved with the committee include the village Police Department, the Fire Department, the Rescue Squad, the Department of Public Works and state police.

Mr. Seguin said Duane L. Richards, Jefferson Elementary School principal and past chairman of the Safety Committee, is working on a schedule for evacuation, lockdown and lockout drills.

In addition to the overall work of the Safety Committee, a subcommittee is reviewing “flip books,” binders that are placed throughout the district with instructions on how to handle different emergencies. He said that based on what committee members have learned during their discussions, they can change the flip books as necessary.

Mr. Seguin said he is also coordinating with state police to hold an active-shooter drill in the district.

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