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January 17, 2013

Letter sent to CCS parents regarding threat at elementary school


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The following letter was sent to parents in the Cooperstown Central School district today: 

Dear Parent/Guardian:
On Wednesday, January 16,  at approximately 10:00 a.m. we received information regarding a second-hand, non-specific threat involving our elementary school.  Both buildings immediately responded by implementing lock-out procedures and contacting local law enforcement.  After collaborating with the Cooperstown Chief of Police, Mike Covert, the decision was made to maintain a police presence at both buildings until the potential threat was investigated.  It is important to note that during the investigation, all students in our care were safe and additional security measures were instituted as a precautionary measure.  Fortunately, due to the level of professionalism exhibited by our faculty and staff, instruction was able to continue throughout the day.  
To ensure that parents were kept informed regarding the situation, an automated message was sent outlining the current situation via Power Announcement (formerly Global Connect).  Unfortunately, the first call was mistakenly transmitted from the Power Announcement with a blank message.  Company officials quickly recognized their error, however, and re-initiated the call.  After The Cooperstown Police Department had the opportunity to investigate the individual who supposedly made the threats and subsequently determined that the allegations were unfounded, a follow-up message was transmitted from Power Announcement.
From the calls that we have received, it is clear that some parents do not have updated numbers in our student information system.  If you did not receive both calls on Wednesday, please call Mark LaValley at 547-1056 to update your information.  We plan to send a test message on Monday, January 28, at approximately 6:00 PM to test the effectiveness of the changes made to the system.  If you plan to make changes to your profile information, please be sure to do so prior to January 28.
In closing, I would like to assure you that all district employees have the best interest of your children at heart.  After an incident such as Wednesday's threat situation, we utilize all available data to update and modify our emergency procedures.  While no security measure is 100% foolproof, we continue to strive for greater levels of safety for students in all venues.  To that end, the board of education accepted community donations in excess of five thousand dollars at last night's meeting for the purpose of updating entry-way security at both buildings.  We are currently in the process of purchasing security hardware for the doors at both locations.  Installation will be completed over the February vacation period.  Thank you for your ongoing support of our district efforts.
C.J. Hebert