Weekly Safety and Security Update

June 15, 2023

PDF: HCSD Weekly Safety and Security Update 6-15-23

Dear Hudson City School District community,

Our initiatives to enhance safety and security in the Hudson City School District continue to address a broad range of strategies, starting from the earliest grades.

We are implementing RULER, an evidence-based social-emotional learning program from Yale University that teaches emotional intelligence. The name refers to its five principles – Recognizing emotions in oneself and others, Understanding their causes and consequences, Labeling them with a nuanced vocabulary, Expressing them appropriately and Regulating them. 

We plan to pilot the program in some classes in the M.C. Smith Elementary School in the fall, and implement it school-wide in January 2024.

The important work of our Safety and Advisory Committee continues. Yesterday, the committee continued addressing the Code of Conduct to move toward a revision that is simplified, with clearer language to avoid inconsistent interpretations. Committee members talked about ensuring that the code is easily available to students, teachers and staff and that all are educated about what is in the code and where to find it.

They also discussed the importance of teachers getting to know their students, taking an interest in their lives and creating welcoming classrooms, and of teaching a curriculum that reflects the students’ interests.

Next week, some district personnel will participate in the next Columbia County Safe Schools Meeting. The agenda includes a tabletop active- shooter drill exercise and a look at AT&T’s FirstNet, a prioritized communications network for first responders. The meeting will even address the importance of ensuring that school entrances and interior doors are clearly numbered so that the specific location of an emergency can be communicated and first responders rushing to a school can easily understand where to go.

Finally, I would like to share this document that the New York State Education Department issued, providing advice on creating a safe, supportive and affirming school environment for transgender and gender-expansive students. This is always the goal in this district – providing all students with welcoming schools where they can learn, explore and grow.

These ongoing conversations and strategies give me complete confidence that when I depart our school district on June 30, and Interim Superintendent Cheryl Rabinowitz assumes leadership, initiatives and devotion to creating safe, secure and nurturing schools will continue to power forward.

As always, I urge you to share any suggestions, concerns and comments at safety@hudsoncsd.org.

Thank you for your partnership and continued support of our students’ futures.

Dr. Lisamarie Spindler

Superintendent of School

Hudson City School District