School Safety - A Message From the Hastings-on-Hudson School District Superintendent

This email is being sent to the mailing list for informational purposes as it represents an issue of potentially broad interest to the community.
Dear Hastings Community:
It is with a heavy heart I reach out to you today in the wake of the tragic school violence that occurred in Parkland, Florida, yesterday. As we continue to learn more about yesterday’s events, our thoughts go out to the entire Parkland school community as they find the strength, healing, and resilience to process yesterday’s actions and begin to move forward.   
As a parent and educator, this school shooting, much like the dozens before it, hit very close to home. While there are many things we want to accomplish within our schools, the safety of our students, faculty and staff in Hastings will always be our number one priority.  To this end, we have comprehensive emergency plans, developed in consultation with security experts, to best meet the needs of our facilities. Our plans are consistently reviewed and updated to reflect the safest and most current practices in school safety. These plans are also practiced on a regular basis in the form of fire, lockdown and other drills in each of our schools throughout the year.  Additionally, our staff has received training on technology that we use in our district to ensure efficient, swift and dynamic communication in the event of an emergency. Our close partnership with the Hastings-on-Hudson Police Department and other school security professionals also support our emergency readiness.
It is also important to remind everyone in our school community that safety is a critical partnership.  If you see or hear something out of the ordinary, please say something.  We encourage you to bring any such concerns to the attention of school staff or our local law enforcement partners. We are all committed to a shared priority - our children and their safety.
The devastating events that occurred yesterday have impacted us all. To that end, please be aware that our school faculty and staff are prepared to assist any of our students who are in need of support.  If you have a question about how to best discuss matters such as this with your child, please click here to access a list of resources or contact a school administrator, guidance counselor or school psychologist, who can assist you.
While this continues to be a challenging time in our country, together we will support one another and find strength to rise above and move forward. Today, and everyday, let’s make an effort to be kinder than necessary and model for our children what we hope to see in the world.
Tony Sinanis
Superintendent of Schools