WESTFIELD, NJ – With the start of the new school year in Westfield comes with new safety and security measures, according to Westfield School Superintendent Margaret Dolan.
Dolan released a statement telling parents that the Westfield District’s top priority is the safety, security and well-being of all students and staff.
“This summer, district administrators and I worked together to review our present protocols and have made changes to increase security in all ten of our schools,” Dolan said.
Here is the rest of her statement:
“As you will see, these changes are more stringent, but necessary, for the safety of our school community.
All visitors to our schools, including parents, will need to have an appointment to enter the building.
It is strongly encouraged that appointments are scheduled at least 24 hours in advance, except in cases of emergency.
Prior to entry, visitors will be asked a series of questions and should be prepared to show a government issued photo identification.
Once given permission to enter the building, the visitor must report to the school office, sign the visitor log and wear an identification badge. The visitor must return to the office at the conclusion of the visit, sign out on the visitor log and return the identification badge to the office staff.
Entry will not be granted for items to be dropped off for students, e.g. lunch, homework and instruments. There will be an outdoor drop-off box at each school for these items.
The exterior doors of all buildings will remain locked during school hours. The principals and I have been reviewing security protocols with our aftercare providers and other organizations that use our facilities and grounds after school hours. We appreciate the cooperation of these groups that will allow us to maintain security after school hours. For large-scale events (for example, back-to-school meet-and-greets, concerts, and graduations), we will continue to work to strike a balance between welcoming our parents and other members of the school community and providing a secure environment.
These changes are being implemented for the safety and security of our students and staff members. We will evaluate and refine these changes throughout the year.
We greatly appreciate our cooperative relationship with the Westfield Police Department which provides a daily presence in each of our schools. Together, as a community, we are committed to keeping Westfield schools safe.
Thank you for your cooperation and support.