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Warren Township Schools Safety and Security Update

Mia Bivaletz

Tuesday, August 19, 2014 • 4:22pm

WARREN, NJ - Now two years into its multi-year Strategic Plan, the Warren Township School District has made many efforts to “shine brighter every day” in the school community, and community at large. Various committees, born from the strategic planning process, were comprised of staff, parents, Board of Education members as well as volunteers from the town. Progress is evident in all of the following focus areas: Communication, Technology, 21st Century Learning, Assets and School Environment.
 
Only by having constructed a safe and positive school environment, can maximum learning take place for all students. To ensure this, the district has been working hard to assess its current safety and security practices. 
 
During the 2013-2014 school year, the Board of Education appointed an ad hoc Safety and Security Committee to review security expert Michael Dorn’s three day audit. His reputable firm completed a comprehensive assessment of buildings, procedures, and equipment. Administrators immediately began working to improve certain areas based upon noted suggestions, and plan to enhance all five schools.  
 
“Our first priority has always been, and continues to be, the safety of our students,” reiterated Dr. Tami Crader, Superintendent of Schools. “As I have witnessed, each building has buttoned up arrival and dismissal procedures as well as procedures for allowing visitors to enter the buildings.” During the school year, drills are practiced monthly, both announced and unannounced, to analyze effectiveness. There had been an increase of police presence on school property, patrolling the grounds, and the Administration will continue to work methodically with the Warren Township police moving forward.
 
In addition to partnering with law enforcement, regular meetings are held with Dr. Crader, numerous Administrators, and members of the Board of Education. One of their goals is to develop solid emergency plans, to aid the district, should possible scenarios occur involving severe weather, intrusions, or a pandemic outbreak. 
 
The Board of Education intends to hire a security consultant to upgrade existing emergency management plans in preparedness, response, and recovery. The district will be working with the consultant to improve internal safety practices and procedures, thus empowering staff to handle situations.
 
“I plan to work closely with our valued local resources, both police and the Office of Emergency Management, to ensure our goals align. The district will also consider a number of facility upgrades over the next several years,” said Crader. “Most importantly, we will make informed decisions in the best interest of the children of Warren Township, being cognizant of the past and looking towards the future.” 
 
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