Recent events in Uvalde, Texas, have yet again spurred a heightened awareness and discussion of school safety issues. In Hancock, providing a safe and nurturing educational environment for all students, employees, and community members is our top priority! To ensure maximum security for all stakeholders, the following precautionary measures are in place:
- Community Policing: The Hancock Police Department and the Delaware County Sheriff’s Department are highly visible and actively engaged partners with the HCSD;
- Intercom Door Release System (IDRS): Limits points of access to both the elementary and middle/high school buildings. This system essentially allows HCS to identify and track visitors and their purposes for entry into the buildings;
- Security Cameras: More than 20 security cameras are located strategically throughout the physical plant of the school district;
- Dignity for All Training: The district is vigorously implementing anti-bullying training for all staff members;
- Teacher/Administrator Visibility: School district administrators and teachers work diligently to maintain high visibility throughout the course of the day; especially at student drop off, change of period, student dismissal, and after school events;
- Lock Out/Down Drills: As a matter of best practice for school safety, the district regularly schedules and practices lock out/down drills;
- Incident Command Team: This highly trained team of school district staff members meets no less than six times per year and are charged with coordinating proactive responses to major accident events or threats of violence.
In addition to the above-mentioned practices, the district vigilantly maintains proactive relationships with village and county law enforcement agencies, mental health organizations, as well as the New York State Police.
Most important, the Board of Education and administrative team will continue to hold the strict posture that all threats to the health, safety and welfare of our stakeholders – regardless of how frivolous or meaningless they may appear on the surface – will be swiftly and thoroughly investigated.
Finally, please do not hesitate to contact HCS (or alert your student’s teacher) if you or your child have been adversely affected by the tragic events in Uvalde. Our professional counseling staff is ready and available to all who are in need of support during this most difficult time.
As always, thank you for your ongoing support of the Hancock Central School District. It is my sincere pleasure to serve all members of our school district community.
Terrance P. Dougherty, Ph.D.
Superintendent of Schools