One of the Glen Cove Board of Education’s focuses over the past two years has been taking further actions to enhancing the safety of the district’s students and faculty. The board’s hard work is now coming to fruition, as the school district is moving toward the completion of a massive security boost.
A decision was made to have new vestibules constructed at the main entrance of each of the schools to increase security. According to Glen Cove Superintendent of Schools Dr. Maria Rianna, construction on three of the schools’ vestibules was finished by the end of the holiday break. The remainder of the schools will have their vestibules fully built by the end of the February break. Rianna requested that the Herald Gazette not reveal the construction timelines of specific schools due to safety concerns.
Rianna explained that the school board has been working toward building the vestibules since the 2017-18 school year. Architect Michael Mark of Mark Design Studios was hired last January to work on the design of the vestibules.
Dr. Michael Israel, assistant superintendent for curriculum, instruction and technology, said that the district “…budgeted for the vestibules this past year in order to address safety issues.”
Rianna noted that the state of the country and the near-constant security threats faced by schools served as the primary reasons for upping security by such a large degree. “Unfortunately, in this society we have had to secure our buildings much [more] than anyone ever thought necessary in a school district,” she explained.
She later added, “This has been an area that needs to be the focus of our attention for the safety of our staff as well as our students.”
Nicole Callahan, co-president of the PTA Council, said that reactions to the security vestibules has been positive. “I think parents are happy that the school district is looking to increase security measures for our students,” she said.
Callahan added that as a parent of Glen Cove students, she has been pleased with the school district officials’ actions. “I have two kids in the district,” she said. “With all of the recent school shootings, I’m very happy that they are being proactive.”
Rianna also explained that the board is working to upgrade the fire alarm system at the high school, as the alarms have been out of commission since late September. Instead, the district has been relying on workers trained by the Nassau County Fire Marshal’s office who patrol the halls of the school at all times to ensure that no fires ignite.
“There are times where you have to go further than just normal maintenance,” said Rianna, “and I think that after many, many years, we are at that point right now.
“We are making this recommendation,” she continued, “to ensure the security and safety upgrades of the buildings so that students and staff are working in a safe learning environment.”