The staff at Pittsfield Elementary School, like many school personnel across the country, is reviewing and strengthening safety procedures in the aftermath of the events in Newtown, Connecticut last month.
At PES, parents and staff members have expressed concerns about security at our front entryway. While our electronic buzzer camera- intercom system works well to limit access during the day, during high traffic times, like the half hour before school begins, students and adults often politely hold open doors for visitors. Of course, we want to show good manners, but we need to ensure that all visitors have a legitimate purpose for their visits and know where to go.
To address this problem, we now have a staff member serve as front-door greeter every day between 7:30 and 8:00. The greeter will monitor the main doors, welcoming all, helping familiar parents get to their destinations, and checking in with strangers about their purpose.
We will also work with staff and students to train them to be both welcoming and safe. Currently kids and some adults do the polite thing by holding the door open and letting visitors in. We will provide guidance to students and staff on how to encourage each visitor to use the intercom- camera for gaining entry.
Parents, we need your help. We urge you to avoid “piggybacking” other adults into the building. Please say, “Sorry, to ensure safety, all visitors are supposed to use the intercom to communicate directly with the office.”
We continue to review all our safety protocols. Last week we conducted a safety alert drill with PES children and staff, and we plan to do another later this month. In early February Pittsfield school administrators and staff involved with safety are scheduled to meet with a representative from the NH Department of Safety to review our safety plans district wide.
The principals in both buildings are working together to coordinate safety efforts. PES parents, please contact Doug Kilmister with your concerns and ideas for improving safety at PES. He can be reached at 435- 8432 or firstname.lastname@example.org.