South Colonie has had a Safe Schools Plan in place since 2001. The lengthy report outlines in detail student behavior expectations and consequences for all grade levels. The plan is required of all school districts under Project SAVE (pdf) legislation signed by former Gov. George Pataki in 2000.
A South Colonie committee, which includes administrators, teachers, support staff, parents, students, citizens and local law enforcement, developed the plan over a 12-month period. The plan incorporates many of the district’s already existing policies regarding student behavior and expectations but brings it into alignment with precedent-setting legal cases and further rulings by the New York State Commissioner of Education. full story
The Dignity For All Schools Act (DASA)
The Dignity For All Schools Act took effect on July 1, 2012. This legislation amended State Education Law by creating a new Article 2 – Dignity for All Students. The Dignity Act also amended Section 801-a of New York State Education Law regarding instruction in civility, citizenship, and character education by expanding the concepts of tolerance, respect for others and dignity to include: an awareness and sensitivity in the relations of people, including but not limited to, different races, weights, national origins, ethnic groups, religions, religious practices, mental or physical abilities, sexual orientations, gender identity, and sexes. view complete DASA information
In an effort to make our schools safe we ask all parents and visitors to:
Enter school buildings through the designated front door
Sign in at the office or front desk
Obtain a visitor's pass
Sign out and hand in the pass when leaving
Park in lots and do not leave vehicles in the fire lane
Does Your Family Have an Emergency Plan in Place?
Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so it is important to plan in advance. How you will contact one another? How will you get back together? What you will do in different situations? The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) offers this information to help you plan.
South Colonie Schools have an active Character Education program in our schools. Character education teaches the habits of thought and deed that help people live and work together as families, friends, neighbors, communities and nations. It is a learning process that enables students and adults in a school community to understand, care about and act on core ethical values such as respect, justice, civic virtue and citizenship, and responsibility for self and others. Those traits are reinforced frequently during elementary school Morning Programs and community outreach projects. For more on South Colonie Character Education, click here.
Many of South Colonie's schools have initiated the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program. This nationally recognized program is based on the work of Dr. Dan Olweus, a researcher from Norway who first recognized the impact of bullying on student achievement. The Olweus Bullying Prevention Program (OBPP) is designed to prevent or reduce bullying in schools to ensure that students are in a safe environment where learning can occur. The OBPP is designed to address incidents of bullying at the school-wide, classroom, individual and community levels. The Bully Busters puppet show is also a frequent visitor to our elementary schools. This high-energy, fast paced puppet show teaches elementary school kids character building, anger management and crisis intervention. The district and its Safe Schools Committee also offers as a resource for parents the Anti-Bullying Booklet (pdf) - "What Bullying Is and What We Can Do About It." This booklet offers helpful information on recognizing the signs of bullying and tips on preventing it from happening. view complete DASA/anti bullying information
South Colonie Schools, working in partnership with the Colonie Police Department, has been an active participant in the D.A.R.E. program for many years. D.A.R.E. stands for Drug Abuse Resistance Education and much more! D.A.R.E. is a highly acclaimed program that gives middle school kids the skills they need to avoid involvement in drugs, gangs, and violence. D.A.R.E. was founded in 1983 in Los Angeles and has proven so successful that it is now being implemented in 75 percent of the nation's school districts and in more than 43 countries around the world. D.A.R.E. is a police officer-led series of classroom lessons that teaches children how to resist peer pressure and live productive drug and violence-free lives. Lessons focus on providing students with accurate information about alcohol and drugs, teaching students decision-making skills, showing students how to resist peer pressure and giving students ideas for alternatives to drug use and violence.
School Resource Officers (SROs), offered through the Colonie Police Department, have become a valuable part of the South Colonie school staff and an important link between students, the police and the community. They build a bond between young people and law enforcement that provides understanding from both sides. Students who feel safe become better learners and better citizens.
SROs are placed in schools for three reasons. First, the officer is there to provide a law enforcement presence. By being visible to prevent problems and to be available to handle police related functions, such as crime investigation, the officer provides a safe learning environment. The second part of the SRO's job is to be a teacher. By working with classroom teachers and other faculty members the SRO can present information and answer questions on a variety of topics including the law, drugs, safety, crime prevention, violence prevention and community awareness of these issues. The third part of the triangle is counseling. Police officers can offer advice, mediation and direction to students, parents and faculty in various matters. As part of this counseling they can also offer direction to other resources in the community. For more on SRO duties, click here
School Bus Safety
For a comprehensive list of bus safety articles, resources and links, please visit the South Colonie Transportation page.
One of the most important areas for safety is on the school playground. The South Colonie district concentrates on two important safety areas:
maintain the playground equipment so that it is safe
supervising the children's play so that equipment is enjoyed in a safe manner
MSDSonline provides access to the leading online library of
material safety data sheets, plus easy-to-use tools to ensure
compliance with OSHA requirements. To use the site you will need
the following information to login in. Under Customer Login -
Enter "Username" capitalregion
(type it as one word). Under Customer Login - Enter
Public schools districts are required to have Automated External Defibrillators in each instructional school building and at athletic events. For more information, click here.
Each November, South Colonie Schools sends its students home 15 minutes early to test its Emergency Management Plan. The date is listed each school year on the district calendar. The “Go Home Early Drill” is required once a year by the New York State Education Department. The drill date is published each year in the district calendar. The purpose of the early dismissal drill is to test the effectiveness of the transportation and communications systems in the event of an emergency. Copies of the Emergency Management Plan are located in the Principal’s Office of each school, and at the District Office, 102 Loralee Drive, Albany.