A Message from NPS School Safety Coordinator Joe Rios

A Message from NPS School Safety Coordinator Joe Rios
Posted on 02/19/2018
This is the image for the news article titled A Message from NPS School Safety Coordinator Joe Rios

Dear Norwalk Public Schools Families,

The tragic events Wednesday at Stoneman Douglas High School have us all mourning once again for the loss of innocent lives. Our condolences and prayers go out to the entire Parkland, Florida community. It is an unspeakable loss.

As our own students return to school this week, I wanted to address school safety and security here in Norwalk. Our emergency policies and procedures are reviewed regularly throughout the year, and safety drills are performed monthly at all schools. While we don’t communicate details about these, for obvious reasons, they have become part of the routine for students over the years. Particularly in the years since Sandy Hook, students in Norwalk have been practicing Lockout, Lockdown, Evacuate and Shelter-in-Place at all grade levels.

This year, several security upgrades were included in the funding we received from the City of Norwalk and Board of Education. I’m pleased to report the installation of digital cameras and new surveillance equipment throughout our schools. Staff has been trained in their use and monitors will soon be installed at the Norwalk Police Department as well. Cameras are placed in strategic areas, depending on the school. This new equipment is a significant upgrade to our monitoring capabilities.

Secondary students and parents also now have access to the Anonymous Alerts app that was introduced this fall. We encourage students to contact a school administrator or teacher if they are worried about a fellow student, or use the Anonymous Alerts app if they prefer. We ask that our families please reinforce this message at home as well, especially with our secondary students.

Last week, staff throughout the district were also trained in the use of the Raptor Visitor Management system. A web-based software application, Raptor will provide an effective, consistent system for tracking visitors in and out of our schools.   

Finally, please be aware that the District School Safety Committee, which is made up of representatives from every building, meets monthly to discuss safety needs and initiatives. As you might expect, we will be reviewing the facts from the Stoneman Douglas tragedy for any lessons we can learn from and apply here in Norwalk.  

As your students return tomorrow, they may notice a more visible presence from the Norwalk Police Department. Our School Resource Officers and the entire Norwalk Police Department are proactive partners in our efforts to keep school safe.

Please join us in sending our deepest sympathies to the families and friends of the high school students and staff in Florida who were impacted by this tragedy.  

Best regards,

Joe Rios
Norwalk Public Schools Safety Coordinator

Click here for more information on Mr. Rios.