NEW HARTFORD, NY-- In the aftermath of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, schools across the country have made changes to bolster security, including locally.
"Over the last three years we've really gone to a program that has standardize our approaches to emergency management," said Howard Mettelman, district superintendent Oneida-Herkimer-Madison BOCES.
The school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut on December 14, 2012 left 26 people -including 20 kindergartners and first graders - dead. That day sparked a change locally for security measures, including using specific terms for every level of an emergency.
"The language we use is very important and the language that is used over security systems with police agencies is very important," Mettelman said. "So they know what to expect and the training that goes with that starts right at our front door staff members, because it they say 'We're in a lockdown,' is much different than if we're in a lockout."
Mettleman said many of those procedures where in place before the tragedy at Sandy Hook, but have been improved upon.
"We've gone further to enhance that to make sure that we have single point of entry, make sure that we can identify individuals who are coming into school buildings and really make sure that the training is done for the individuals responsible to allow people access into schools."
The district has also increased the number of lockdown drills performed throughout the year. The district even takes into account the amount and positioning of landscaping outside of each building, to prevent an intruder from hiding, and allow staff to see outside activity.
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