The following was written by Superintendent Fred Baruzzi in an e-mail to parents Friday:
I am writing to provide information regarding a continued change to our typical practice of doing a fire drill each month at school. As a result of Public Act No. 09-131, Connecticut school districts are required to replace three fire drills with three Crisis Response drills, in consultation with police and fire officials. These drills are intended to provide staff with an opportunity to practice communication, organization and accounting skills while allowing students to practice the skills of listening and following directions similar to those used in our current fire drills.
After consulting with police and fire officials, we have scheduled drills to be conducted at all schools during the months of September and October, January and May.
The September - October drill will have each schools practice for a tornado which will involve students moving from their classroom to the hallways for safety. The January drill will have each school practice for an intruder which will involve students staying in their classroom away from the door and windows. The May drill will have each school practice for a gas leak which will involve an evacuation from the building similar to a fire drill.
All scheduled drills will be conducted by school staff and observed by fire and police officials who will provide support and feedback regarding future drills.
Our hope is to reinforce with students the importance of quietly listening for and following directions from staff.
Please feel free to contact me and/or your building principal if you would like further information regarding this matter.
Sincerely, Fred Baruzzi, Superintendent of Schools