Superintendent DeBarbieri prioritizing safety during the 2023-24 school year
The Baldwinsville Central School District has always prided itself on taking safety seriously.
“Safety and security are extremely important to our district and we have continued to be proactive with our safety protocols, infrastructure improvements, staff training and school resource officers/special patrol officers staffing,” said Dr. Joseph DeBarbieri, superintendent of schools.
Changes during the 2023-2024 school year will include the implementation of weapons detection systems, increase in the number of special patrol officers on main campus, new safety protocols at Pelcher-Arcaro stadium, new staff training with Armoured One and continued infrastructure improvements.
The Weapons Detection Systems is designed to be placed at the entrances of school buildings. All students, staff and visitors will be asked to remove their metal items before walking through the device. The district plans to purchase enough units to eventually have complete systems at each school building.
“The goal is to have the systems in use in our secondary school buildings first beginning with our high school,” Dr. DeBarbieri said.
The systems are scheduled to arrive in the next few weeks. Baker High School leadership is holding meetings with students to answer questions about the systems and help train students before the systems are installed. Baker Principal Kris Denton has communicated with families about the systems in the Virtual Times, which can be found in ParentSquare and on the website.
Dr. DeBarbieri said multiple discussions were held last year with district stakeholders, including at Board of Education and Joint PTA meetings, about the purchase and implementation of the detection systems. A community survey was released in February 2023 that revealed that 58 percent of respondents felt that weapon detection systems are a priority to increase safety and security.
The district plans to use funds from the New York State Smart School Investment plans, which means there will be no additional cost to Baldwinsville taxpayers. The district will also use this funding to purchase and install additional Armoured One Window Hardening and surveillance cameras.
The Smart Schools Bond Investment Plan public hearing was held before the Board of Education meeting on April 24, 2023. At the meeting, a demonstration of the weapons detection system was held.
During the 2022-2023 school year, the district hired five special patrol resource officers to serve in the elementary schools, which would allow for one officer at each building. This year, the district is seeking to hire one more special patrol officer to work on the main campus at Baker and Durgee.
Security and safety protocols at Pelcher-Arcaro Stadium have also been updated for the new school year. Beginning on Friday, September 22, 2023, the following safety protocols will be implemented:
- Metal Detector Screening: No one is allowed in the stadium without being scanned.
- No Bookbags: Any person carrying a backpack will be refused entry.
- Bag Search: Diaper bags, purses or medically necessary bags will be searched.
- Security Detail: Increased law enforcement and staff presence at all events.
- Chaperones: Middle School and Elementary School Students must be accompanied by a parent/guardian and seated with them during the game.
“We are listening to the concerns of our families, staff members and community members, and we are working to be as proactive as possible to keep everyone safe,” Dr. DeBarbieri said.