Manalapan Englishtown Regional School District
Dear Parents and Guardians:
The past year has been a very busy time for security updates and improvements in our schools. I wanted to take a few minutes to share some of the things we are doing to make our schools as safe as they can be.
We are updating and adding many additional cameras to the schools. These new cameras will be High Definition, state of the art units that will give me, the administrators, Superintendent Marciante and the police an unprecedented view of the buildings. With the ability to see so much more area; live and in real time, it greatly enhances our security.
Many incidents of violence or vandalism are preceded by "trial runs" or surveillance on the part of perpetrators. The new system will help us identify these behaviors in time to take action. The ability to video record, in greater detail, will also help the police in their follow up to incidents of damage to district property.
Live Drill's and Preparation
We will be enhancing the type and scope of drills we engage in during the year in cooperation with the Manalapan Police Department. Running live drills is smart for many reasons; it prepares the staff and students to act properly in an emergency and helps us all interact with the police as partners in our safety. You will be receiving more information on these drills shortly.
Emergency Notification System
We are adding a High-Tech; cloud based emergency notification system for almost all of the staff in all of the schools and the Manalapan Police Department. This system in not stored on our computer hard drives, therefore it is not vulnerable to power failure or computer malfunctions. The Manalapan Police Department is part of the emergency notification activations, which are immediate and allow them to respond the very instant there is a problem in any of the schools.
This is a concept in security circles that involves making our buildings more secure and harder for an intruder to penetrate. Many of the things we have instituted I cannot discuss out in the open; this is a recognized security reality, but I can tell you this process has begun in earnest and by opening day in September 2014 our buildings will be much more secure than ever before. And there is more to come.
I can tell you that we have added quick lockdown equipment in the gyms, cafeterias and media centers in the schools. This type of equipment is essential in any plan to make our kids and staff safer. All students and staff will be trained in the use of this equipment as soon as school starts.
By now everyone knows about our use of the Passage Point Visitor Management System. While it was a slow start up, we have overcome the problems and the system is now running successfully in all of our schools. I want to thank all of you for your patience and cooperation as this program rolled out. We understand that it can require additional effort on your part, but using the system allows our school staff to know in advance who is coming to the buildings, making it much easier for them to identify potential intruders and prevent violent incidents.
The administrators in all of the schools have received additional training on various safety and security topics; this will continue and be enhanced this coming school year.
We have updated and improved the training we provide to the substitute teachers in the district so they can immediately respond to emergencies and protect our children.
Physical Plant Updates
Modern school buildings are designed with the new safety concerns we all have. The MERS Board of Education has taken the proper steps to retro fit and update the design of our schools to ensure they provide the optimum security for students and staff.
This process is already underway and will be evident in the coming months. The changes we have planned will further harden our buildings, without making them look like fortresses. These updates will allow for ease of use and enhanced security.
And finally, I have heard from many of you via phone calls, emails and in person at the different district wide functions. It has been my pleasure to get to know you and your children. This is a great district with wonderful people, all working together to safeguard our most precious things; the children of the Manalapan Englishtown Regional School District.
In the future I will provide additional updates. Feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns you may have.
Joseph Pangaro, CPM
Director of School Safety and Security