TUSCAN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
Office of the Principal
25 Harvard Avenue ¨ Maplewood ¨ New Jersey 07040
December 5, 2013
Dear Tuscan Family~
I wish to extend my thanks to the Tuscan community of students, teachers, support staff and parents for a highly successful 59 days of school. This school year began with such enthusiasm, energy and our resolve to make the best learning experiences possible for each and every student. We look forward to continuing our positive interactions with parents throughout this school year.
Please know that the safety of our students and staff is our highest priority. Today a reporter for NBC visited a number of different schools in Essex County, including Tuscan School, as part of a story they are producing on school safety. Rather than following the standard protocol of reporting to the office upon arrival to sign in, the reporter proceeded immediately and without hesitation in the direction opposite the main office. Office staff quickly began a search when the visitor did not report to the office, and intercepted him already returning to the office. Upon signing in, he identified himself as a reporter, and requested a meeting with the principal regarding a news story about schools. He also provided a driver’s license and contact information to the office staff, upon request, prior to exiting the building.
Throughout the school year safety and security practices are thoroughly reviewed, evaluated and updated on a routine basis. The school administration was deeply concerned by this irregularity and immediately took action to investigate the incident. Our subsequent investigation revealed that the investigative reporter was in fact seeking information for a story that is scheduled for broadcast next week. Information about the intended broadcast will be shared as it becomes available.
The safety of our students and staff is our highest priority. Moving forward, as we continue to reinforce our established safety practices, we ask for your partnership and cooperation in contributing to the overall security of Tuscan School. Please help us in the following ways:
Ø Know that our school must remain locked at all times.
Ø Unauthorized visitors are prohibited, and cameras monitor all who enter our building.
Ø Visitors at any time during the day are to only enter the school through the main entrance on Harvard Avenue. While this may be an inconvenience for some visitors, it is an essential step to secure the building.
Ø When at the front door buzzing in, please announce your name and purpose for visiting to the front office staff. Be patient if clarifying questions are asked.
Ø Please do not hold open the door for other visitors. Each visitor must announce themselves and state their purpose.
Ø All visitors at any time during the day MUST report directly to the front office. Once there, you are to sign in, announce your intention, and wait for direction. This procedure does not change afterschool.
Should you have questions about this incident or our security procedures, please reach out to me or Mr. Mason directly via email, phone or in person. Please know that Tuscan School administration is committed to ensuring the health, safety and well-being of Tuscan’s children in every possible way.