Administrators and staff from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School as well as local law enforcement personnel will attend an intensive training session titled "Multi-Hazard Emergency Planning for Schools" in April.
Held in the National Emergency Training Center in Emmittsville, Md., and sponsored by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the four-day course focuses on the maintenance and implementation of an optimal all-hazard school emergency plan.
Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School Superintendent Peter Righi emphasized that such training is key in preventing tragedies like the shooting in Connecticut. He noted that the school has been highly successful at maintaining an environment of trust and an open dialogue among staff, students and parents.
"In most cases there are precursors to tragedies," he noted. "The best way to prevent a tragedy is by building trust so we are alerted to potential problem situations."
Among those attending will be Righi, R-FH Principal Tracy Handerhan, Vice Principal Chris Lanzalotto, Fair Haven Police Chief Darryl Breckenridge and Rumson Police Chief Scott Paterson.
Members of the Rumson Emergency Management response team will also be attending. School administrators applied for a grant to attend the session in November 2012 and received approval on Dec. 6.
Righi noted that attendance at the four-day course is further evidence of how seriously the matter of student safety is treated at R-FH. He pointed out that the school administration regularly reviews and updates its security plan and, in the wake of the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, recently made changes to further ensure a rock-solid protocol.
Among the initiatives is the scheduling of unannounced evacuation and lockdown drills in addition to announced drills. As in the past, there will be law enforcement personnel present during the drill itself as well as in the feedback session. All types of scenarios will be practiced and changes continually made to enhance student safety.
Additional security measures have been put into place at R-FH and Rumson and Fair Haven elementary and middle schools, but will not be made public.