District provides school safety, visitor
The Canajoharie Central School District has put
enhanced safety measures and visitor procedures in place at the East
Elementary School and additional steps are underway at both East
Hill and the middle school.
During a meeting at East Hill Monday, Jan. 30,
nearly 100 parents and community members turned out to hear updates
and provide suggestions for increased security in the district. At
the meeting Superintendent Deborah Grimshaw, East Hill Principal
Stacy Ward and Canajoharie Police Department Chief Bryan MacFadden
provided information and answered questions about concerns that were
raised last week in regards to the visitor’s practice at East Hill.
The district has already modified the morning
drop off procedures at the elementary school. During morning drop
off, parents and guardians are allowed into the front vestibule
only—through the first set of glass doors. An adult staff member now
greets students in the vestibule, and only students are allowed
through the second set of glass doors, which are locked. A staff
member also monitors the door at the middle school each morning.
East Hill no longer allows family or other visitors to join students
for breakfast or lunch.
In addition, the district will implement the
• A safety monitor for East Hill will be hired to
check visitors and students entering and leaving the building
• A teller style window will be installed at the East Hill entrance
to enhance security
• New lanyards for existing ID badges will be distributed to allow
staff and teachers to more prominently display identification
• New safety curriculum has been ordered to provide students with
strategies they can use in unsafe or uncomfortable situations
• The district will update its communication protocol to provide
more timely notification to parents in the event of an emergency or
unusual event via the mass notification calling, email and text
system, the website and traditional letters home.
“The district also recognizes the need to improve
security at the middle school entrance, upgrade security cameras and
establish a background check procedure for volunteers in our
buildings,” Grimshaw said. “While the district was able to implement
some changes right away to enhance security other changes will take
time and we will keep parents informed as we move forward.”
Monday’s meeting was called to address concerns
raised by East Hill Elementary students in regards to a visitor at
school last week.
During breakfast, a family visitor present in the East Hill
cafeteria interacted with students in a manner that made some of
them feel uncomfortable. Students reported the situation to staff
members, who in turn brought the matter to the attention of building
and district administrators. The administrative team immediately
began an investigation, contacted police and addressed the concern.