As we approach the homestretch of this school year, we want to update you on some ongoing safety and security procedures and resources that will be added (or are in development) before we break for the summer. These are challenging times in our nation as we continue to seek solutions to the senseless violence that has occurred far too frequently. Our immediate charge is to use our resources to ensure that the HPS is as safe as possible, and that we never stop working to improve and evolve. To support this belief, we offer the following updates:
"See Something – Say Something" portal: We have internally developed a “See Something/Say Something” reporting portal that can be accessed via the homepage of our district website. The direct link is: See/Say Portal. This portal can be used by anyone to report threatening behavior or social media posts they’ve seen that could cause harm to our students, our schools, or a student at risk of self-injury. The portal provides the opportunity to report these concerns anonymously, but we strongly encourage people to provide contact information to support the urgent work that follows the reporting of a potential threat. When a concern is reported, the school principal and the School Resource Officer are notified and will respond accordingly in partnership with the Hanover Police Department as needed. This portal is for reporting dangerous behavior and potential threats and will initiate a serious response. Other issues of unkind or inappropriate behavior should be reported to the building administration. This portal is simply another tool to help support our safety and security mission – it is not meant to replace 9-1-1 or reporting directly to HPS administration or the HPD in an emergency.
Increased Police Visibility: Under the direction of Chief Sweeney, day shift officers will be making more frequent visits to our schools that will include additional police cruiser presence at each campus along with informal walk through visits to increase familiarity between our officers, staff, and students. This increased presence adds an additional layer of protection at each building. For security purposes, this work will not be done on a regular schedule and not publicized beyond this message. We appreciate the exceptional partnership that we share with the HPD and their constant support for the HPS.
Enhanced Active Shooter Training: Over April vacation, nearly 40 Hanover High School students voluntarily took part in an enhanced safety training in partnership with the Hanover Public Schools and the Hanover Police Department that will help us improve our training practices going forward. Students participated in crisis simulations that focused on the A.L.I.C.E. response options that staff and students can use in the event of a violent intruder in our schools. The training required a one-hour classroom session, followed by one hour of intense drills that simulated an active shooter in the school. A special thank you to two HHS seniors, Marisa Shoulla and Sophia Broadley, for organizing the event. As part of their senior capstone project, these students are creating a video documentary of the event that will serve as a training tool in the future.
Upcoming TV Show on Technology/Social Media Issues: Next week, Hanover Public Schools and HCTV will partner to offer a roundtable discussion on the impact that technology has had on the safety and security of our schools and students. The panel will feature area experts in the fields of law, cyber safety, and emerging technologies. Our plan is to record this event with HCTV and share it with the community as appropriate. More to come…
Bleed Control Kits: The strong partnerships and commitment that we share to keep our schools safe is always exemplified by the Hanover Fire Department. Chief Blanchard has provided each of our schools with a kit that contains the supplies required to stop bleeding in the event of a serious injury. The HFD is also providing our staff with the information needed to use the kits if necessary. These kits will be mounted in proximity to the AED devices in each school and are meant to provide our staff and first responders another important resource in the event of an emergency. We are grateful for all that the HFD does to support our students and our school community.
Town Meeting Warrant Article for Security Cameras: At the Annual Town Meeting on May 7th, an Article for funding security cameras at Hanover Middle School and Cedar School will be put forward for consideration. Camera systems already exist at Hanover High and are included in the Center School Building project. The article is # 30 on the Town Meeting Warrant and the request is for $150,000 that would fund security camera systems in both schools for as early as next school year.
As always, thank you for taking the time to read this message and we will continue to keep you informed going forward. Please enjoy the weekend.
Superintendent of Schools