Inside Education: Safety and building security

The safety of the Ridgefield Public Schools students and staff is a top priority for the Board of Education. A 2017 incident in California in which a gunman was prevented from doing greater harm by the actions of school personnel and his inability to break into an elementary school underscores the importance of outfitting our schools with security features, and training our staff and students on emergency protocols.

Safety and security are governed by state laws and local BOE policy. The operational processes and protocols are overseen by the superintendent and her staff. RPS maintains an All-Hazards Safety and Security Committee. This group of leaders, teachers, and school resource officers (police) meets multiple times a year and reviews our local plan, procedures, practices, and training needs.

The BOE supports the work of the superintendent and the committee through policy and budget. RPS security improvement is ongoing and each year the board supports security initiatives that continue to progress building access restrictions, communication, technology infrastructure, multi-agency coordination, and staff training. Some of the initiatives are clear to those who enter our schools, but most, by design, are not. The board is committed to supporting preventative strategies for the physical security of our buildings and those within them.

The FY 2020-21 Superintendent’s Proposed Operating Budget includes a request for a Director of Security. The BOE FY2021 Capital Request includes school security and surveillance projects such as cameras, security vestibules and intrusion barriers.