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On Wednesday, March 21 Cazenovia CSD and Project Cafe sponsored a community presentation and open forum on school safety.  After brief presentations by Superintendent Matt Reilly and Director of Facilities, Matt Erwin, who is also the School’s Safety Coordinator, nearly 100 participants broke out into round tables to do a S.W.O.T analysis on perceptions of Cazenovia’s school safety.  In S.W.O.T., S stands for “strengths”, W for “weaknesses”, O for “opportunities”, and T for “threats”.

People attend a meeting and look at messages on post up paper sheets.

                                           Photo courtesy of Jason Emerson, Cazenovia Republican

The summative results of those round table discussions are posted below.  The numbers in parenthesis to the right of each comment represents comments that were listed by multiple tables.

S.W.O.T Analysis

STRENGTHS

• Small Community/School District (11)
-Close proximity to local law enforcement and fire department (3)
-Strong relationships with these agencies (3)
-Allows student involvement
• Small Facilities with limited access points (7)
• Approachable and engaged Faculty and Staff who show their presence and want to help (7)
Support systems are in place through the Guidance/Counseling Office
• Communication: Effective & Strong (7)
-Via: School Messenger
• School is proactive and taking matters seriously (5)
-Strong response from Administration
-Effective Safety Drills in place with up to date training
• School has surveillance (4)
• Parents are engaged, aware and involved (4)
• All District Employees wear ID badges as well as visitors (3)
• Community Forums (2)
-Opportunities for group collaboration, direct communication between Superintendent and staff about recent threats
-Open Administration who want to hear ideas to improve the safety and security
• Rachel’s Challenge (2)
• Students feel safe-not intimated (2)
• Drills in place for lock downs and consistent monitoring of plans and execution (1)
• SWAT Training occurs in our facilities (1)
• Strong Student Voice (1)
• Locked classroom doors (1)

WEAKNESSES

• Lack of Communication (6)
-Between staff/students/parents/community
-Specifically between students and teachers (1)
-School Messenger did not alert all parents of recent threat (1)
• CCSD does not have a Security Resource Officer (4)
• Building Security
-Lack of security for after school activities
High School/Middle School
-Unable to exit 2nd & 3rd floor (1)
-Small parking lot with difficult traffic pattern (1)
-Lack of safety at bus circle (1)
Burton Street
-Doors unlocked/Assemblies open to all who wish to attend (2)
-Increase screening procedure prior to visitor entry: asking for ID (2)
• No metal detectors/safety wire (2)
• Classroom/Gym/Cafeteria doors cannot be lock easily (2)
• Lack of security/supervision at Sports Complex (2)
• Funding (2)
-Not enough social workers (1)
-No Resource Officer (1)
• Visitor Access (3)
-Visitors are not escorted
• A small community can be complacent, insulated and too trusting (3)
• Lack of varied scenarios: What do kids do who are not in a classroom at the time (3)
• Those who need help, don’t reach out as they feel they are labeled (2)
• Lack of extracurricular activities for those who do not participate in sports (1)
-Lack of transportation/late buses (1)

OPPORTUNITIES

• Security Resource Officer (8)
• Facility/Technology Upgrades (7 )
-Ability to scan licenses
-Metal Detectors
-Bullet Proof Doors & Glass
-Utilize the capabilities of School Messenger
• Create a CCSD App to communicate
-Door Stops (2)
-Magnet Strip for doors (2)
-Ability to lock classroom doors from inside (2)
-Accessible lock down button/alarm (1)
• Mental Health Screening (4)
-Require all students to meet with a social worker of psychologist (1)
• Increase local Law Enforcement involvement and presence in our schools (4)
-Lock down drills with local Law Enforcement present (1)
• Education of Students
-“See something, say something.” (2)
-Inform students of the dangers of the internet and social media (2)
-“Teen Bonding” Program (1)
-Open forum for students with Guidance Dept./Social Workers (1)
-Teach students about “coping strategies” (1)
• Educate Faculty/Staff
-How to setup your classroom to best be prepared (1)
-Monitoring students on social media (1)
• Strengthen guidance programs and relationships with students (1)
• Create Community planning groups (2)
• Give 1st Responders access to the buildings (1)
• Increase Awareness and Involvement
-Parents (1)
-Administration/Teachers/Staff/Bus Drivers (1)
• Protocol for Visitors
-Ask questions (1)
-Ask for ID (1)
• Explore opportunities for security funding (1)
• Limit building access for after school activities (1)

THREATS

• Funding (12)
• Social Media (7)
-Rumors (1)
• Political Correctness (3)
-A social divide on security and gun laws
-Opposing views
-Fortress vs. needing to prevent and respond to threats
-Complacency
• Student Exposure to violence in movies/TV/video games (3)
• Lack of Mental Health Support (2)
• Communication Consistency (2)
• Willingness to change (2)
-Mindset, “It won’t happen here.”
• Fencing around the MS playground (1)
• Keeping students safe while maintaining school spirit (1)
• Oversharing of security measures (1)
• Parent’s need to monitor their children: What they do and what they say (1)
• Students not feeling comfortable to say something (1)
• Split families: Custody confusion (1)

The editor of the Cazenovia Republican, Mr. Jason Emerson, who is also a parent in our district, participated in the S.W.O.T analysis and posted an informative article in the Cazenovia Republican March 26th.  A link to his article & photographs is posted here: https://www.eaglenewsonline.com/news/new/schools/2018/03/26/district-forum-generates-ideas-issues-about-school-safety/

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