The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, October 13, 2006


School administrators and safety personnel plan the lockdown drill held Wednesday, October 11. From left to right are: Fire Chief and School Building Supervisor David Flannery, School Superintendent Marie Doyle, STARS member Bob McCarthy, Middle School Principal Paul Graseck and Officer Kristeen Dineen. (Photo by Rik Pierce)

Keeping the Carlisle Public School safe

At the October 4 Carlisle School Committee Meeting, member Christy Barbee asked School Superintendent Marie Doyle to speak regarding security at the school in light of the recent school shootings in the country. The administration is updating the Carlisle Public School Crisis Management Plan, and Elementary School Principal Patrice Hurley said they have worked over the past month with Carlisle Police Chief John Sullivan to insure the school is safe. A variety of both traditional and new school safety precautions were listed:

Fire drill

The first fire drill was held in September. During the drill, students are required to leave the building through the nearest exit, leaving personal items behind, meeting at designated spots. Students cannot enter the building until an "all clear" has been issued.

Bus evacuation drill

During the week of October 2 the school held a bus evacuation drill. Students are taught how to exit the bus safely and quickly, leaving their personal items behind.

Police Chief John Sullivan and Carlisle School Superintendent Marie Doyle check that classrooms are secure during the lockdown drill on Wednesday. (Photo by Rik Pierce)

School lockdown

A "lockdown" drill was scheduled for October 11. In a letter posted October 5, Principals Hurley and Graseck explained, "During a lockdown, students are directed to enter the nearest classroom or office and follow the adult's directions. The purpose of a lockdown is to have everyone stay in a building and enter a secure space. Over the course of a few minutes, we will guide students and school personnel through the proper procedures over the loudspeaker, assisted by the Carlisle Police and the STARS Team [School Threat Assessment and Response System] , part of NEMLEC [Northeastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council.]"

Other security measures

Hurley said all visitors to the school are required to sign in at the office and wear visitor badges. The administration will be encouraging the school staff to stop visitors who do not have badges and escort them to the main office. "Ninety-nine percent of the time the person has a perfect right to be here," said Barbee, but it's the one percent that she worries about. Committee member Wendell Sykes noted the current badges are simply stick-on labels. Committee members also discussed possibly locking all doors but one in each school building.

In the past a full evacuation drill of the school has been performed. In a full evacuation students exit the school, and walk a distance to specific sites away from the school. Hurley said they are reviewing the need for a full evacuation drill, citing safety issues with children walking along busy streets.

2006 The Carlisle Mosquito