School Safety at PACS
The PACS Board of Education, Administrative Team, and District Health & Safety Committee continuously review safety plans and programming with our partners in law enforcement and EMS to develop and maintain a comprehensive framework for school safety at PACS. The District also actively participates in the Oswego County Community Safety Initiative and the Oswego County Sheriff’s Office Special Patrol Officer Program.
The District's comprehensive framework for school safety includes programming, security, identifying at-risk students, and parent and community engagement.
The District has implemented character development programming at all levels to promote a school culture in which respect and empathy are valued. In the elementary school, staff are working with the Second Step social-emotional learning curriculum. In the middle-high school, teachers, counselors, and administrators are implementing Sandy Hook Promise Know the Signs Programs. Staff are also trained in the Handle with Care Crisis Intervention and Behavior Management System and Stop the Bleed first responder program.
The District, in cooperation with police, fire department and emergency services, holds several drills each year as a part of our emergency preparedness efforts. These drills include fire drill evacuations, bus drills, campus evacuation drills, and lockdown drills.
Each school has secured entries with strict procedures for access using the Raptor Visitor Management System which flags unsafe visitors.
The District employs a robust radio communication system for internal communications as well as direct communication with EMS personnel during emergencies via the Oswego County Emergency Communications Department.
Each school has a Special Patrol Officer (SPO) who is a uniformed member of the Oswego County Sheriff's Department and is responsible for the safety and security of all students, staff, and visitors. SPOs do not handle student discipline, which is the responsibility of the assistant principal in each building. The Oswego County SPO Program is a partnership of participating schools in Oswego County and the Sheriff’s Office. Research indicates several benefits of this type of program. Prevention of school violence and an increased perception of safety are clear benefits. There is also evidence that the relationships developed between these officers and students reduce crime rates in schools and the community as well as increase the likelihood that at-risk students will receive the supports they need from social service and health care systems.
Identifying At-Risk Students
Our safety programming teaches students and staff to be mindful of what is happening with those around them so students at risk of being violent can be identified. School staff, law enforcement partners, and the County Threat Assessment Team work together to develop interventions for these students. Students and parents have access to a tip-line to report threats to student safety via the school website. We also utilize the Devereaux Student Strengths Assessment (DESSA) which is a screening tool to measure social-emotional competencies related to the Second Step Program in use in the District.
Encouraging parents and the community members to become active members of the school community plays a very important role in ensuring a safe school. The District works hard to engage the community through a strong communications plan.
Ensuring children's safety, health, and happiness is at the core of what we do; we will continue our work diligently.