Superintendent

Superintendent's Corner
 February 23, 2018
 Dear School Community Member:

I think we were all reeling in disbelief as we learned about the horrible school shooting that took place recently in Parkland, Florida.  It just shocks our collective conscience to hear about yet another school shooting, of such unimaginable magnitude, in our great country.

As we deal with this terrible news, some may wonder if our own kids are safe?  We might further wonder about what our school district is doing to prepare for something like this? Under the current backdrop of school violence on a national level, these are normal questions to wonder about.

While we all know that there are no absolute guarantees in life, I want to assure you, as Superintendent of Schools, that we are taking all necessary precautions to ensure the safety of all of our students and staff. The 1400 students in our district are surrounded by staff members and police officers (one School Resource Officer in each building). Beyond supervision, we have a number of initiatives in place all in the name of safety. 

In December we held a community-wide presentation on disaster preparedness that featured what to do in case of an active shooter.  The staff members and community members that were present for this presentation had nothing but positive reviews about the quality of the presentation and its importance in today's national climate.

One of the resources used in that presentation was a video called 480 Seconds.  It is about how to survive an active shooter situation should you find yourself in one.  The video was created by Homeland Security and Emergency Services and is available via this link:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CVgXH7smBCk.  I recommend that all parents take the time to watch this video because while scary, it answers many questions you may have about an active shooter event.  If you do not have access to a computer, please contact me and I will arrange an opportunity for you to view the video in my office.

Additionally, we continue our anti-bullying efforts because we know that bullying exists everywhere and we want to take as many steps as we can to address this as a continued district-wide priority. On February 8th and 9th, we held anti-bullying presentations (Sweethearts and Heroes) for district students and we also had a special evening presentation for parents and all school community members.  The reviews I have received from the students and community members who were present indicate that it was one of the best presentations that we have ever held at the school.  While I am very happy to get those kinds of reviews, what is more important to me, as superintendent of schools, is how we follow-up with the good lessons we saw and learned.  And follow-up we will.

Our ongoing school anti-bullying program (Olweus) will integrate the lessons learned at those presentations to bolster our current initiatives. Our staff is excited about our ongoing commitments regarding anti-bullying efforts because they know that these problems exist and it is our job to support a safe environment for our students.

In terms of additional building security, our current building project has made school safety a top priority. At the junior-senior high school and the elementary school there will be security upgrades which will include the addition of new entrance vestibules. Anyone entering a school building will have to pass through security checks within the new vestibule before being permitted to enter the school building.  These vestibules will add brand new layers of safety relative to building access. In addition to these vestibules, other safety upgrades will be made during this project to protect students and staff from intruders. Work on these security upgrades will take place over the next two summers.

I can't tell you that we have all of the answers when it comes to the terrible events that are plaguing school districts around the country.  I wish I did.  What I can tell you is the steps that we are taking as a school district to be prepared for the unknown.  From our school safety teams to our school resource officers, from anti-bullying programs to our alert staff and supportive parents, we have a strong foothold on school safety. 

If you have any questions about any of our programs or if you would just like to chat with me or your child's principal, please do not hesitate to contact us.  We are more than happy to answer your questions and to let you know what we are doing in the name of student safety.

Sincerely,

Ivan J. Katz, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools

Contact Information
Dr. Ivan Katz, Superintendent
845-434-6800 ext. 1215
 
Ms.  Sarah Ungerleider
Superintendent's Secretary & District Clerk
845-434-6800 ext. 1215
Fax:  845-434-8346
 
Files Available for Download
Fallsburg Central School District
115 Brickman Road
Fallsburg, NY 12733
Phone: 845-434-6800
Fax: 845-434-8346
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Junior Senior High School
115 Brickman Road
PO Box 124
Fallsburg, NY 12733
Main Office: 845-434-6800
Fax: 845-434-0168
Benjamin Cosor Elementary School
15 Old Falls Road
PO Box 123
Fallsburg, NY 12733
Main Office: 845-434-6800
Fax: 845-434-0871
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