Weekly Safety and Security Update

May 25, 2023

Dear Hudson City School District community,

HCSD Weekly Safety and Security Update 5_25_23.docx

Though the school year is drawing to a close, we continue to proactively explore additional comprehensive layers of safety and security in the Hudson City School District.

For example, the school district, as part of an annual review process, is considering proposals from vendors to provide services that support students, faculty and staff. These include health and safety training and technology, fire alarm inspections, security assessments, chemical management and water testing. Approved vendors typically participate in school building and district-level safety discussions and provide recommendations regarding the district Safety Plan submitted every year to the New York State Education Department. These vendors are valued because they provide detailed expertise in their fields, and strategies they suggest enhance overall safety, support systems and action plans.

Meanwhile, as part of our focus on advancing social and emotional learning, our Safety and Advisory Committee is brainstorming strategies to update our Code of Conduct to enhance students’ educational experience. Some new techniques already are in place. At Montgomery C. Smith Elementary School, students have positively responded to mood meters that enhance engagement. Students point to a square that best describes their mood without having to explain. This technique gives a teacher insight into how a student is feeling, and the teacher can proceed accordingly. At our junior high school and high school, we are weighing options to support and increase student attendance. Techniques under consideration include block schedules that allow more time for in-depth academic discussions; adding engaging class electives; and using real-world scenarios whenever possible in discussions and assignments, instead of generic situations.

In addition, our school district continues to seek innovative strategies to support teachers and enhance communications across, and within, all levels of our school district community.

Elsewhere, our school district also has engaged with outside experts who help evaluate social-media behaviors that pose concerns about safety and security, including on an individual level. “Worrisome Online Behavior Reports” provide response strategies and intervention options, with an emphasis on taking appropriate action if and when needed.

Also, a reminder that social media remains a powerful, influential tool. We ask parents, guardians and caregivers to join the Hudson City School District in guiding students toward good choices and understanding potentially negative consequences of social media. Please speak with children about the importance of carefully considering social media posts and the importance of avoiding threats, insults and other unacceptable content. The safety and security of students, faculty and staff will always be our school district’s top priority, and a community partnership is essential. Please also remind your child, “if you see something, say something.”

As always, thank you for your investment in our students’ well-being and futures. I welcome suggestions, concerns and comments at safety@hudsoncsd.org. Best wishes for a safe, healthy and relaxing holiday weekend. On Memorial Day, please join us in remembering the courageous heroes whose sacrifice ensured our freedoms and influenced countless lives around the world.

Dr. Lisamarie Spindler

Superintendent of School

Hudson City School District