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Safety in our schools

Each day, Ilion and Mohawk parents send more than 2,300 students to our schools. Parents have a right to expect that Central Valley CSD is doing its very best to make certain those students are safe.

The board of education and school staff take that responsibility seriously. Learning can only happen in an environment where students feel safe from physical and psychological danger. So, the first priority for each of our schools is to keep our students safe.

Central Valley’s Safety Committee is responsible for routinely reviewing the district’s policies and procedures to ensure the safest school environment. To learn more about the Safety Committee, read the questions and answers below:

Who serves on the Safety Committee?

The committee is comprised a cross section of administrators, school employees, law enforcement, fire protection and community members. Broad representation ensures that people with different expertise and perspectives work together to find the best solutions to any safety concern. The committee currently includes:

    • Chair—Director of Athletics and Facilities
    • Superintendent of Schools
    • Assistant Superintendent of Schools
    • Director of Student Services
    • Director of Transportation
    • All Building Principal and Assistant Principals
    • Director of Buildings and Grounds
    • Business Manager
    • Director of Food Services
    • Central Valley Teachers Union representative
    • Central Valley Employees Union representative
    • Mohawk police representative
    • Ilion police representative
    • Mohawk fire representative
    • Ilion fire representative
    • Community representative
    • District Communications

What does the committee do to keep the district safe?

The committee has oversight of anything related to safety—from the physical condition of school facilities to the district’s response to an emergency. This would include:

    • Emergency plans
    • Drills—fire, lockdown, go home
    • Evacuation plans
    • Dignity for All Students Act (DASA)/student behavior patterns
    • Transportation
    • Buildings and grounds
    • Cafeteria
    • Athletics

What are emergency plans?

Each school building has a detailed plan designed to cover any foreseeable emergency situation—some unthinkable just a decade ago. The specifics of the plan are routinely updated to reflect the latest concerns and the best advice responding to those concerns. The plans are not shared with the public to better protect students in the event of a crisis.

Why does the district conduct drills?

New York State requires school districts to conduct a minimum number of fire, lockdown and go-home drills each year. Drills allow students and staff a chance to practice an organized response to a specific situation. This practice allows everyone to become familiar with safety procedures. It also gives school leader the opportunity to review and modify procedures.

What are evacuation plans?

In the event of a building emergency such as a gas leak or flooding, it may be necessary to remove all students and staff from a building and move them to safety. Evacuation plans cover everything from where everyone will go and how they will get there. Again the plans’ details are not shared with the public to better protect students in the event of a crisis.

If details aren’t shared with parents, how will parents know what they should do in a crisis?

Central Valley uses a wide variety of tools to notify parents.

    • School Messenger—This emergency system calls, texts and emails the emergency contacts that parents and guardians provide on their emergency contact forms. (Without up-to-date information, the district cannot quickly reach families. For this reason, it is important that parents notify the school anytime they change phones numbers, email addresses or other contact information.)
    • District website—The district posts the latest information on the district website www.cvalleycsd.org.
    • Facebook—The district posts the latest information on it’s Facebook page. Be sure to like the district by clicking on the Facebook icon on the district website and clicking “like.”
    • Local media—District officials share critical information with local television, radio and newspapers. (Each media outlet has its own policies and methods for publicizing this information.)

What does the committee do about “non-emergencies?”

The committee reviews everything from cracked sidewalks and traffic patterns to student behavior and cafeteria practices. The goal is to make certain that school is as safe as it can practically be. Each committee representative presents his or her safety concerns and the works to address those concerns.

What if I have a specific safety concern?

Please report any safety issues directly to a school or district office (click here to find contact numbers). You may be directed to another person or department. Be certain to give your name to assure the appropriate person contacts you for more information or to share the steps the district is taking to address the concern.