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Village, school officials review safety measures in Canastota

Posted 6/4/22

The Canastota Central School District and village of Canastota have offered their condolences to the people of Uvalde, Texas after the horrific shootings at Robb Elementary School ...

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Village, school officials review safety measures in Canastota

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CANASTOTA — The Canastota Central School District and village of Canastota have offered their condolences to the people of Uvalde, Texas after the horrific shootings at Robb Elementary School last week.

In response to the heartbreaking events of May 24, these school district, village and police officials also met to review safety and security policies in and around school buildings.

Sgt. Sean Barton, officer-in-charge of the police department, explained that a school resource officer is assigned to the district during regular school hours.

The SRO’s duties include spot-checking buildings, monitoring security cameras, and providing a visual presence throughout the school day.

In addition, all other on-duty village officers are required to patrol school buildings and grounds during their regular shifts.

“The Village of Canastota offers our sincere condolences to the victims and families of those who were lost in last week’s tragic events.

The village will continue to work in conjunction with the Canastota School District to ensure the safety of our students by making sure that we have well trained officers in the schools to protect our students and faculty,” said Mayor Rosanne Warner.

Superintendent Shawn Bissetta articulated steps the district has taken to bolster safety for students and employees alike.

All faculty and staff took part in active shooter training at the start of the school year, which included small, interactive sessions, training tailored to job function, and an assessment of the school’s security capabilities.

Bissetta also reiterated that the ongoing capital improvement project will add security features such as secure points of entry for each building and a color-coded emergency lighting system to warn those on campus of any potential emergency situations.

Bissetta said the district has focused time and effort on providing mental health services to those in the community who want or need it.

This includes adding a social worker for the Jr./Sr. High School and a guidance counselor for Roberts Street Elementary School within the past year.

Also, a school psychologist position, which had been cut several years earlier, was restored within the past few years.

In addition, resources are available via the Connected Community Schools program.

These services are intended to identify individuals with mental health struggles and get them the help they need while maintaining respect for privacy and sensitivity.

“There are many factors that contribute to the overall safety and security of a school. Canastota Central Schools is committed to aggressively addressing all of the factors that we have the ability to influence,” said Bissetta.

“This includes a continued focus on both training and drilling for a variety of emergency situations, hardening our facilities through our capital improvement project and focusing on the identification and treatment of individuals in need of mental health intervention,” the Canastota superintendent added.

“There is no one simple solution to this complex problem that confronts schools across the county,” Bissetta said.

“It will take a comprehensive plan that addresses all of these areas that will provide the best result,” he said.

“We are extremely appreciative of the ongoing support and assistance that Village of Canastota and the Canastota Police Department extends to our students and staff, and will continue to work together to provide the safest environment possible for our entire school community,” the superintendent added.

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