School Safety Given Top Priority in Montclair School District Through Grant Award

MONTCLAIR, NJ - The Montclair Public School District announced Tuesday that funding received through a grant from the state of New Jersey will be applied to ongoing security upgrades of each of its 11 schools.

Secured through the joint efforts of Superintendent Penny MacCormack, Chief Operating Officer Brian Fleischer and support by the Board of Education, funds will now provide each school with state-of-the-art video technology, card control door access and the installation of modern duress devices to better communicate potential safety and medical situations.  

Tuesday's announcement demonstrates the district’s ongoing commitment to modernize safety equipment and fully train all personnel to ensure students are safe. In December 2012, shortly after the tragedy in Newtown, Conn., a full review of all school safety procedures, security resources and district wide emergency protocols was conducted under the leadership of the superintendent involving school principals and the district security consultant. Since the review, security upgrades have been ongoing and unified security processes established throughout the district. As outlined in the climate survey, released by the district last month, the new systems now in place have yielded significant results, with 95 percent of elementary students and 91 percent of middle school students stating that they know what to do in the event of a school emergency.

Sign Up for E-News

“The protocols and systems the district had in place needed to be modernized,” said MacCormack. “Our world is changing every day and we must make sure the environment and climate of our schools and classrooms are safe.  When we realized the work that needed to be done to make this a reality, the district office, our principals and staff rolled up their sleeves and got to work. These are budget-tight times, so we looked at the issue creatively and fought hard to bring Trenton dollars back to the district.”

“The safety and security of our students must remain our highest priority,” said School Board President David Deutsch. “Like any school district, we must modernize with the times. The work of the Dr. MacCormack, Mr. Fleischer and each of our school principals has been outstanding. What is most telling from the changes we have made already is that our students feel safe. That is most important.”

“For too long our schools have had outdated security systems in place,” stated Montclair High School Principal James Earle. “While card control doors and modern duress devices in case of an emergency are mainstays in most schools in New Jersey, we have lacked them in Montclair for some time. Dr. MacCormack and the District listened to our concerns, made improving our security a priority and fought for the funding. Together, we have improved our infrastructure while also unifying emergency protocols across the district.”

Tuesday's announcement comes in conjunction with a series of initiatives that have been implemented in the last year under the district’s strategic plan, which was voted unanimously by the Board of Education, 7-0, in 2013. Under the direction of the Strategic Plan’s Goal #3 – “Highly Effective Central Services Support to Schools,” and Goal #5 “Effective and Accountable Leadership,” the District initiated discussion and review of all current security protocols.  In hopes of creating the greatest financial efficiencies and enticing the most competitive and cost-effective contractor(s) to implement the improvements, the District plans to solicit the work using multiple bids, publicize them this winter and implement in the summer of 2015. 

For a complete review of the climate survey, web users can access the results on the school district website.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


In Photos: Local Parks Flood During Monday Morning Rainstorms

April 17, 2018

NUTLEY, NJ - This morning's downpours sent torrents of water into the Third River causing it to over flow its banks.

Passaic Avenue at Brookside was closed by the Nutley Police Department shortly after TAPinto Nutley arrived to capture these images of the flooding. 

Runoff inundated Memorial Park, caused the Third River to spill over its banks in Yanticaw Park, ...

After Comparing Democrats to Nazis, Leaders Call for Resignation of Montville Committeewoman

April 12, 2018

MONTVILLE, NJ – The Montville Township Committee voted to censure Committee Member June Witty for a personal Facebook post she made on April 8 which compared Democrats to Nazis. All four members of the five-person committee asked for her resignation.

The post, a chart which states that Nazis believed in “media mind control,” “no guns,” abortion, and ...

Upcoming Events

Tue, April 24, 6:00 PM

The Venetian , Garfield

Prepared. For Life Dinner with Captain Mark Kelly


Wed, April 25, 12:00 PM

Acme Supermarkets , Montclair

Montclair Community Spay Day


Letter to the Editor: Don't Complain. Vote!

April 14, 2018

Don’t Complain; Vote!

It’s no secret that people have strong feelings about what’s happening in our country. It’s also true that much of politics is local. In November, 11th District residents will have the opportunity to choose a new congressional representative who will not only serve as a critical check on the federal level, but also determine how our distract fares ...

'The Sting' shimmers and shakes at Paper Mill

‘The Sting ‘slithers and shakes at Paper Mill Playhouse


MILLBURN, NJ – In a premiere production of “The Sting,” Harry Connick Jr. commands the Paper Mill Playhouse stage in Millburn.

Based on the sensational Paul Newman/Robert Redford film in 1973, the 1930s plot centers on a con game and gambling, sometimes on a train between New York and ...

Beautification Effort Draws Hundreds to Montclair's First Ward

April 24, 2018

MONTCLAIR, NJ - Record numbers arrived for the sixth annual First Ward Beautification Day, officials announce.

According to Township officials, well over one hundred residents joined forces on Saturday to pick up garbage and branches, rake leaves, paint and repair park benches and spread mulch. Volunteers worked a number of locations throughout the First Ward including Carlisle Woods, the ...