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District Security Team Provides Guidance For Tewksbury Public Schools Safety

Feb 16, 2017 05:05PM ● Published by Theresa Gilman

ALICE drills prepare staff and students for emergency situations (stock photo)

(Editor's Note: the following information was submitted by The Tewksbury Public Schools.)

The Tewksbury Public Schools District Security Team provides guidance, direction and input pertaining to the safety needs for the students and staff of the District.

The District Security Team: District Business Manager, Transportation Coordinator, Communications Coordinator, both School Resource (Police) Officers, a Fire Department representative, Lead Nurse for the district, two elementary school principals, and assistant principals from Ryan, Lynn and TMHS schools.

“The District Security Team is an integral part of the Tewksbury Public Schools. Their efforts make the educational process safer for both staff and the children. The team approach working with the town’s departments is a benefit to all," said Superintendent of Schools Chris Malone.

Working together with the Tewksbury Police, Fire, School District, TPS School Committee members and the School Superintendent and other local and state agencies, the Security Team implements safety drills, workshops, training, and other school safety initiatives. Some of the initiatives developed and implemented are ALICE (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate) training and drills, building evacuations, bomb threats, bus evacuations, lockdowns, lockouts, building security including video monitoring upgrades. Over the last 3 years, the District has conducted 111 drills of all types.

Tewksbury Police Detective Andre Gonzales, who led the ALICE training for the Tewksbury Public Schools, stated, “The cooperation between the school department, the District Security Team, the Tewksbury School Committee and the Tewksbury Police Department was outstanding. We started the process at a School Committee meeting where we received 100% support. I am very proud of the community and the people in charge of our community. For example, without Chief Tim Sheehan’s initial support, the ALICE initiative would never have begun in Tewksbury. Tewksbury is a model for other districts to follow."

Developed and improved over time, the “Green Book” is issued to all staff. It includes scenarios of critical incidents such as natural disasters, missing children, and bomb threats.

The District Security Team meets monthly to review and establish drills, create tabletop scenarios for better crisis decision-making and to address immediate needs of the District. 

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