Superintendent's Message

Dear Binghamton Family,

It is important to tell the story of public education and to effectively communicate the positive impact the Binghamton City School District is having on our community at large. Strong school districts understand the importance of effective communication, and we are committed to the following:
• Keep parents and the public informed about the latest initiatives and activities.
• Recognize and promotes student and faculty success.
• Help foster collaboration among the school, city and county so that resources are maximized and opportunities for students are sustained and enhanced.
• Provide accurate and reliable information, especially in times of emergencies and crises.
• Be reciprocal and recognize the value of listening, and the importance of building positive relationships.
• Engage through social media messages, ensuring transparency and efficiently disseminate information.

Our public relations department, along with the input of administrators, teachers, students and parents, has improved the ease of accessing information on the district website through a complete re-design. Accompanying the website, we are pleased to announce the Binghamton City School District app, which contains quick access to schedules and events. And of course, we recognize the best way to communicate is to do so in person. I encourage you to reach out directly to individuals you wish to speak with and to participate in events held in our schools so that you are best aware of your student’s education.

We have also been piloting a school attendance initiative at Theodore Roosevelt Elementary and East Middle School. SafeArrival is a program that was announced in January to assist families to report anticipated student absences, as well as to assist our schools in alerting parents regarding student attendance issues. We are working on plans to expand the program across the district so that all families may benefit from this service.

The numerous devastating events that have brought uncertainty to the safety of schools across the nation have raised questions from community members regarding the safety measures in place in the Binghamton schools. The safety of our students will always be our first priority. Our schools are required to participate in annual drills. These include lockdown drills that help prepare staff and students in the event of imminent danger, which could include an intruder entering the building.

These drills, as well as the specific safety plans of each of our school buildings, are regularly reviewed by the building safety teams. The teams then report needs or changes to their plans to the district office. We also hold annual safety meetings with the District Safety Team. The most recent meeting took place on March 26, when members participated in tabletop activities that simulated unsafe situations so that members could practice plans.

Additionally, the district has both physical and personnel investments that help keep our students safe. Both middle schools and Binghamton High School have full-time school resource officers on duty, with an additional extra-hour duty officer at the high school. We are working with the Binghamton Police Department to out-post officers during the day at our elementary schools so that they gain greater familiarity with the buildings and the students. Binghamton High School also employees five safety officers, with plans to add an additional one next year. These officers are deployed throughout the school grounds. In fact, the school district has invested, over the past 6 years, an additional $2.4 million dollars in personnel costs to support the social and emotional well-being of students through collaborations with community partners, school social workers, psychologists and school-based clinics.

Our Capital Committee has implemented numerous improvements to the entrances of our buildings, and we have installed surveillance cameras throughout our campuses, with a significant improvement to the high school scheduled to be completed in the summer of 2019. We also recognize the need to better enforce the district’s visitor policy with clear expectations for entering each school building at the designated single point of entry, and the consistent use of protocols for allowing visitors to enter.

While we welcome our community into our schools, it is our duty to ensure this is done while keeping our students safe. The steps that will be enforced at each building are listed on our district webpage as a quicklink. If you have any questions specific to the safety of your student’s building, please do not hesitate to reach out directly to the building principal, Michael Holly, Assistant Superintendent for Personnel and Administration, or myself.

As always, thank you for your support and positive energy.

With Patriot Pride,
Tonia Signature

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