Charlotte Central School Principal Barbara-Anne Komons-Montroll and her staff are rethinking safety drills for students and faculty.
Komons-Montroll told Charlotte Central School school board members during the Oct. 18 meeting that an upcoming school-wide safety drill will emphasize walking skills. The principal noted that students will walk to the Charlotte Congregational Church on Church Hill Road from the school.
“During our meetings with emergency personnel, we determined that it took too long for buses to take the children (to the church), drop them off, and then come back,” the principal said. “We know how to walk, and we’ll get the kids walking.”
Because of safety concerns, Komons-Montroll declined to say when the drill is occurring.
Komons-Montroll said the school rarely has all six of its buses at the school at the same time. There is usually one bus with a driver at the site during the school day, Komons-Montroll said. The school’s youngest students will be allowed to ride the bus from school to the church as the drill gets underway.
When asked by Central School Board member Jeff Martin if students will have time as the drill begins to take their coats and hats, Komons-Montroll told him the students would get the opportunity to grab their cooler-weather clothing before heading out the door.
“We’ll teach the kids in those three seconds to walk by their cubbies and grab their gear.”
Komons-Montroll said that a letter to families also outlines extra items the children should bring to school to be prepared if they must leave the building suddenly. The list includes extra socks, snacks, blanket and extra shoes.
In other news, Komons-Montroll updated the board on the school’s Parent Teacher Organization efforts. She noted continuing efforts to bring families and community members into the school. School personnel like to connect with volunteers to get to know them, but Komons-Montroll noted that all school volunteers must be fingerprinted as part of a background check investigation.
Komons-Montroll said the cost for finger-printing is $45, but she noted that some people are uncomfortable with the process. She added that the PTO is providing financial assistance for an array of school projects and that funds are available for finger-printing.