Dear Chenango Forks Families,

It is with great sadness that in the wake of recent tragedies in Buffalo NY, and Uvalde Texas Elementary School, that we again are mourning the loss of children and other innocent lives. As an educational community, we unfortunately, must also analyze these events to audit and improve the safety systems in place at our own district.

 Currently, the district has in place the following:

  • Two school resource officers.
  • Hardened doors and windows (e.g., increased durability and resistance) and metal detection wands for use as needed.
  • A Visitor management system.
  • Dedicated staff for monitoring arrivals and visitors to each building.
  • Building and district level safety teams with specific responsibilities and protocols for various situations including active shooter and unwanted intruders.
  • Dedicated resources in each classroom and building for addressing a major emergency event (e.g., Trauma bags, door locks, etc.).
  • Routine staff training on lockdowns, intruder responses, etc. Including use of “Emergency Lockdown Buttons”
  • Interior and exterior cameras systems.
  • Continued messaging to students and staff regarding “See Something, Say Something,” and reporting of wedged doors, open windows, etc.
  • Excellent relationships with local law enforcement who have been incredibly responsive and helpful when and if needed.

Since these events, district safety personnel and administrators have met to discuss our current safety plans and have formulated plans to raise awareness with our staff and continue to emphasize student and building safety. These plans include:

  • Reminding staff of safety protocols
  • Additional supervision during drop-off and pick up of students and outdoor activities
  • Reminders to staff to report any concerning behavior or concerning situations -“If you see something, say something.”

Our school community realizes that our primary responsibility is to provide a safe learning environment for children.  Additionally, it is always our goal to work with our community partners to ensure that students feel comfortable and safe in our schools. The topic of school shootings is not a comfortable conversation for anyone. We encourage families to have these conversations at home and to remind your child(ren) to “say something if they see something.”

To help with possible conversations at home, here are a few resources we hope you find useful. In addition, our counselors and staff are available to assist families who feel they may need support.


 Tom Burkhardt, Superintendent