Safety and security task force to discuss four key areas

Mental health/threat assessment, facilities, training and personnel are four areas the Fayetteville-Manlius School District Community Safety and Security Task Force identified as proposed topics of discussion at its next meeting.

The 27-member group, made up of representatives from all six school buildings, including parents and F-M High School students, met for the first time Oct. 2. The task force is scheduled to meet eight times total from October to February with a preliminary report on its progress and findings to be presented at the Dec. 10 board of education meeting. A final report will follow in early spring.

Task force members were given copies of the Onondaga County School Safety Task Force report to review, which will be used as a foundation for their discussions. Dr. Jaclyn Schildkraut, a SUNY Oswego professor who is an expert on school shootings and was a member of the county task force, is facilitating the F-M task force.

Part of the group’s agenda is to review the findings of two security firms that recently conducted full audits of the district: True Security Design of Suffolk County and CLPS of Westchester County. Both focused their studies on access to school district buildings and grounds, surveillance, communications and emergency management plans.

The security firms’ final reports are expected to be presented at the Oct. 15 F-M Board of Education meeting, which begins at 6:30 p.m. and will be held in the Eagle Hill Middle School auditorium.

After reviewing the security firms’ final reports, the task force will prioritize recommendations to the board prior to final 2019-2020 budget development. The group, which includes parents as well as F-M High School students, will give input based upon professional expertise and involvement with the district.

The group discussed ultimately making recommendations to the board that could be prioritized as immediate, intermediate and long-term. The board will ultimately determine which recommendations to implement.