Hudson Valley Parent

HVP July 2019

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Page 16 of 35 n Hudson Valley Parent 17 Experience the Dutchess Day Difference Preschool through eighth grade Traditional learning in an innovative environment Our busing districts include: Arlington, Dover, Hopewell Junction, Hyde Park, Millbrook, Pine Plains, Rhinebeck, and Webutuck. For more information, please contact: Christine Whiting, Director of Admissions: 415 Route 343 . Millbrook, NY 12594 Phone: 845.677.5014 Dutchess Day School evacuation and emergency procedures for each school building are not made public. This ensures that anyone making threats against a school will not have access to lock down procedures and evacuation routes. However, parents can speak to the principal of their child's school regarding details of the building's specific safety plans. Jennifer Cerillo, a Saugerties parent, feels satisfied with her child's elementary school security and that her daughter is safe. But also suggests there is more to be done in the higher education buildings. "Secondary schools may need more serious bag checks like entering Disney. I know it will require more security personnel and time, but I think it's worth the trouble. Once that's out of the way hopefully there will be better focus and less distractions in the classroom," she says. Keep communication open Many parents remember participating in fire drills and natural disaster drills as kids, but school aged children today must prepare for potential school shootings. It can be very nerve wracking hearing your child discuss these drills but having open conversations with your child will help them understand the value of cooperating with school personnel during these drills. In an actual emergency there is no time to ask questions, so practicing protocols will help your child know what to do if they ever need it. Karina P. of Rhinebeck feels her daughter is safe in her small school district where most teachers know every student by name. She says they have regular conversations about safety drills. "I discuss everything in greater detail at home, so she understands why they have to do them," says Karina. Some children may not want to discuss these drills as easily, but you can still prepare them by teaching them to be aware of their surroundings and to trust their gut. If they feel like something is off, it's okay to report it. Help them identify a safety network of teachers and administrators they can trust with their concerns. Let them know sometimes being a good friend means reaching out on someone else's behalf. Safety plans are updated annually at public school board meetings. Parents are encouraged to attend those open meetings to learn about safety updates and express concerns about security. The news is filled with threats of violence against schools every day, and the most effective way to feel prepared is to act. Learn more about what is being done in your child's school building and in their school district. Educating yourself first will help you educate your child, which will help you both feel more prepared. Roxanne Ferber is a twin mom, blogger and freelance writer living in Saugerties.

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