The following message is from Teaneck Public Schools Superintendent Barbara Pinsak:
Dear Teaneck Parents and Guardians:
Throughout the weekend, I have spoken to a number of parents about the tragedy in Newtown Connecticut and the topic of safety in our schools. The intent of this letter is to discuss the safety and also to provide you with information concerning supports for our students who might exhibit anxiety as a result of both the incident and the ensuing media coverage.
First, the topic of safety. All school districts in New Jersey are mandated to review and update their safety plans annually. Three years ago in Teaneck, we received a Response to Emergency Management (REM) grant, which enabled us to receive additional training, assess our plans and various possible emergency situations, upgrade cameras and add other safety equipment to our schools. Our school plans are carefully examined and revised each year and we perform practice drills and activities for a variety of incidents. We have partnered with the Teaneck Police Departments and Fire Department to obtain their input and otherwise benefit from their expertise. Our school buildings are locked while students are present during the school day and visitors must be “buzzed” into the buildings. Please know that we take the responsibility for student safety seriously every day.
As to our students and their concerns--On Monday, administrators, teachers and school support staff will be ready to assist our students in any way possible. Principals have asked their staff members to maintain a sense of normalcy for the students but to be responsive to distress or questions. If you have any specific concerns about your child, please feel comfortable to contact your building principal or me.