Letter: Dr. Runner on events of the past week

May 17, 2021

Dear MACS Family and Community,

Between the tragic loss of one of our high school students, a precautionary emergency lockout and COVID-19 cases requiring contacted students to quarantine, last week was challenging for all of us.

These events will impact us all differently and for varying amounts of time. If you or a child are in need of support in any way, we have counselors available to talk and who can direct to other services as needed.

I also want to commend the tremendous response I saw from our teams at all levels to ensure and maintain a safe, compassionate, and understanding environment for our students. As I have said from the beginning, we will never compromise the safety of our scholars or staff.

I wanted to quickly summarize a few of our different emergency response plans to help should we need to utilize them in the future and to familiarize the community with some terminology. While we hope they are not needed, it is important to know the differences between the actions.

    • Shelter-In-Place: Used to shelter students and staff inside the building. Listen for instructions about the situation and actions. Students in hallways should return to assigned classroom, if possible. If instructed, move out of classroom to designated safe area and stay together at all times.

    • Hold-In-Place: Used to limit movement of students and staff while dealing with short-term incidents. Students return to assigned classrooms, if possible, and listen for updates.

    • Evacuate: Used to evacuate students and staff from the building. Listen for instructions about the situation and actions. Lead students to designated assembly area. Listen for updates.

    • Lockout: Used to secure school buildings and grounds during incidents that pose an imminent concern outside of the school. Lock all exterior windows. Classroom instruction continues as normal, and all outdoor activities are terminated.

    • Lockdown: Used to secure school buildings and grounds during incidents that pose an immediate threat inside the school. Lock all doors, barricade if necessary. Move students to a safe area, keep everyone quiet. Do not communicate through door or answer the phone, do not respond to P.A. announcements or fire alarm. Stay hidden until physically released by law enforcement personnel.

Please note, last Tuesday when there was an incident at Mexico Community Park, our schools were on lockout and continued their academic activities throughout the day before being dismissed.

Should you have any questions regarding our procedures and policies, please reach out to your child’s building principal or the district office.

As we are still in the midst of a pandemic, I encourage everyone to continue COVID-19 mitigation efforts per the CDC and NYS Department of Health to help slow the spread of the virus. We will be holding a vaccination clinic for students ages 12 and up this Friday afternoon in the high school gym, and registration information can be found on our website, MexicoCSD.org. Officials ask that you register by Wednesday.

We are very excited about the upcoming year-end events at our schools! Our teachers and administrative teams have been hard at work planning the logistics for various virtual and limited in-person, as possible, events.

Details about these will be coming out in short order, and we are very excited and hope the students will feel a sense of normalcy as they are recognized, honored and able to take part in some of the usual ceremonies and events unlike last year.

Lastly, I encourage everyone to take time tomorrow (Tuesday, May 18) to vote on the annual budget proposition, Board of Education openings and vehicle proposition at our district elementary schools. Voting will be open from noon to 9 p.m., and registered voters unsure of where their site is located can use our poll finder under ‘Resources’ tab on MexicoCSD.org.

Thank you for your time as this is a longer letter than usual, however, I felt it important to reflect and reach out given the events of the past week.

As always, please contact a principal or the district office with any questions, comments, or concerns.

Sincerely,
Dr. Donna Runner
Superintendent of Schools