School Safety & Security
After the school tragedy in Newtown, Conn., the natural reaction for most parents is, what are my children's schools doing to keep them safe. With our normal security plans in place, Livingston Public Schools are, and remain, a safe place for learning.
Livingston Public Schools is committed to providing a safe environment. We take our drills very seriously and, unfortunately, events like this remind us why we go to such lengths.
We have developed a comprehensive plan that covers a wide variety of emergencies that serves as a guide to help staff and our public safety partners respond swiftly should a crisis occur in our schools. Town and state officials evaluate our drills. All exterior doors are locked. Our schools are equipped with security cameras and buzz-in systems.
Police officers are in our buildings for daily walk-throughs for general safety checks, and are present during the monthly drills. We will continue to work with the Livingston Police and Fire Departments to make sure that our plans are as seamless and thorough as possible.
We encourage parents to update all their contact information. Should a school emergency occur, our Alert System would provide the most reliable information on any out-of-the ordinary school event.
All our schools have numerous safety measures in place to provide a safe learning environment for our students. These safety measures include:
STAFF TRAINING FOR EMERGENCIES
As a parent, you should feel confident to know that we provide crisis management training to school administrators. Each school has key staff members with assigned roles and responsibilities to perform during an emergency. The school system’s emergency response plan is modeled on the National Incident Management System as required by the State of New Jersey. Every school conducts monthly emergency drills throughout the school year so that students and staff are aware of the most effective and safe emergency responses.
LIVINGSTON PARTNERS WITH PUBLIC SAFETY AGENCIES
School staff works closely with the appropriate local public safety agencies, such as police, fire, emergency medical services, and public health to effectively deal with a wide range of crises.Specifically, we have partnered with the Livingston Police Department in planning and training activities to promote emergency preparedness throughout the schools and the community. When our schools practice emergency drills we cover a wide range of circumstances, bomb threats, active shooters, lock downs,shelter in place and many more.
EMERGENCY CONTACTS IN STARS
Parents and guardians are strongly encouraged to provide accurate emergency contact information to your child's school and notify the school if it changes.
Livingston Public Schools utilizes the STARS Portal. This is an electronic notification service that sends e-mail messages to your home/work computer to provide subscribers with up-to-date information about school closings and cancellations, early dismissals, and other unforeseen emergencies.
The Alert Now system is used most often for weather-related messages, however, when deemed necessary by the Superintendent of Schools, you will receive either a phone call, an email or both, with important information.
It is vital that you log into your STARS account @ https://stars.livingston.org and be sure that you have checked off the box for "Emergency Broadcast" for any phone numbers and email addresses at which you wish to be notified in these instances. Please be sure to verify this important information for each child attending the Livingston Public Schools.
COMMUNICATIONS DURING A SCHOOL EMERGENCY
During an emergency, it is critical that parents receive important information from school officials before going to the school or scene of an emergency. You can be confident that accurate and timely information will be released to parents, the public, and the media during any significant emergencies.
Should a significant school emergency occur, a parent can get important information and directions by doing one or all of the following:
Livingston Public Schools also sends out information over the social media sites Facebook@ Livingston Public Schools and Twitter @ LivSchools.
If the school building is evacuated or is locked down, how will I be able to locate my child?
Each school has a procedure for helping parents locate their child(ren). Parents will be directed to a specific location where they will be required to show proper identification. Remember, a student can only be released to an adult that is documented as an emergency contact. If you are a non-custodial parent, you must be listed with your child's emergency contact information as a guardian and show proper identification.
Communicate with your child at their age level about being prepared for emergencies. This includes taking drills, such as fire drills, seriously. It also includes reporting when unidentified visitors are on school property or reporting anything that is out of the ordinary or unusual in the school day to an adult at school.
EMOTIONAL SUPPORT FOR STUDENTS
Over the weekend, Livingston administrators worked to make the return to school for our students will be as calming and reassuring a time as it can be under the circumstances. Principals will review their safety protocols and counseling plans with staffs.
On Monday, Livingston High School and the middle schools will begin the day with a moment of silence, followed by normal instruction. Teachers do not plan to have any formal lessons about this event, but will respond to questions if the children raise them. The focus will be on reassuring the children that they are safe and allaying their fears.
The partnership between home and school is more important than ever at this time.We recognize that our students may experience a range of emotions or uncertainty because of this tragedy and will turn to the adults in their life for information, support and a sense of security.
To assist them, the school counselors in each of our schools will reassure all students that the adults in their lives are doing everything they can to make their school environment, home, and neighborhood safe for them. Our teachers and school counselors will monitor student's emotions and be available for any child who may have special needs throughout the week.
Livingston Public Schools will continue to enforce security measures, monitor and evaluate our plans.