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164 Hawley Street Binghamton, NY 13901    |    P 607.762.8100
February 15, 2018

Dear Binghamton Families,
We are deeply saddened by the tragic news from Florida. As educators and as parents, it is difficult to comprehend such catastrophic events. We feel closely connected to the children, teachers and staff, families and community who were so devastated by this loss of innocent lives.

I want to reassure you that we take school safety and security very seriously across the Binghamton City School District. We are vigilant and proactive when it comes to our children's safety and have clear plans and procedures to deal with emergency situations. We will look to learn what we can from this latest school tragedy and use that information over the coming weeks to determine what, if any, improvements can be made in security and response procedures.

We have convened our school safety teams to review protocols that are practiced each year. We have discussed what to do and/or say if a student raises a concern or has questions about the tragedy. School support and administrative staff are committed to being available and accessible to respond to children's concerns and needs as necessary and appropriate. 

Although events like this are extremely rare, we recognize the impact they can have on each of us—our children, staff, families and friends. Individuals react to situations like this in various ways. We may feel sadness, grief, helplessness, anxiety and anger. I am sharing a link to a document entitled, “A National Tragedy: Helping Children Cope.” This document, prepared by the National Association of School Psychologists, provides parents and school personnel with ideas and age appropriate responses to Wednesday’s event. It has also been posted to the district web-site under Community Alerts.

Please do not hesitate to contact your child’s building principal if you have any questions or if we can provide any support. 

Wishing you all peace,
Tonia Thompson
Superintendent of Schools
This document, prepared by the National Association of School Psychologists, provides parents and school personnel with ideas and age appropriate responses to Wednesday's event.
Sound the Alarm: FREE Smoke Alarms and Installation
Every day, seven people die in home fires, most in homes that lack working smoke alarms. Sadly, children and the elderly disproportionately lose their lives. The American Red Cross wants to improve the odds and save lives, that’s why they launched their Home Fire Campaign in 2014. In partnership with local fire departments, community groups and corporate supporters, they are offering FREE smoke alarms to residents in need and providing fire preparedness education to hundreds of local families through their ongoing Home Fire Campaign. 
To schedule a free smoke alarm installations, please email smokealarms.st@redcross.org or call 607-785-7207.   
Important Information on Weather Delays and Closings for 2017-2018
Dear BCSD Families:
As the wonderful autumn weather we have been experiencing begins to change to the colder temperatures of winter,
I would like to update you on the factors that contribute to delaying and/or closing school in the event of inclement weather. The district is committed to a process that ensures decisions regarding the safety and well-being of our entire school community are made wisely and in a timely fashion.
The following are general guidelines followed when determining a delay or closure:
For snow, ice or other weather-related delays, we monitor the current conditions and the forecasted conditions for travel between the times of 5:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Given the weather conditions, we take into consideration the ability of our staff to plow parking lots and sidewalks, as well as, the ability of local municipalities to plow and make streets passable. The service that provides busing for our students, First Student, is contacted to ensure our buses are able to run safely. Additionally, the district contacts neighboring
districts, local and State officials, and meteorologists in order to make the most appropriate decision.
Start times for one and two hour delays will occur one or two hours following the schools normal start times.
In the event a 2 hour delay occurs, morning prekindergarten classes will be canceled.
NEW THIS YEAR - In addition to the 1-hour and 2-hour delay, the district is adding the option of using a 3-hour delay. If roads are passable and the weather permits within a three hour period of the start of school, then having school in session could assist in avoiding a change in scheduled vacation days. In the event a 3-hour delay occurs, school buildings will operate on the following schedule:
Elementary School– 10:50a.m. start
Middle School – 11:20 a.m. start
High School – lunch would be available at 11:00 a.m. with classes starting at 11:45 a.m.
Schools will also be closed if there is a forecasted sustained wind chill of -30 degrees Fahrenheit or colder or when the actual wind chill is a sustained -15 degrees Fahrenheit or colder between the travel times of 5:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. and/or 2:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. The District uses forecasts provided by the National Weather Service.
If school is delayed or closed, we make every attempt to provide notification by 6:00 am the day of the closing. In extreme weather conditions, we may make a determination the prior evening between 6:00 p.m. and 9:30p.m.
When school is closed due to inclement weather, all extracurricular programs and school meetings (except for Board meetings) are cancelled.
On page one of the Board of Education Attendance Policy #7110, families are allowed to keep their student(s) at home in the event of impassable roads due to inclement weather. We ask that you let your student(s) building(s) know and the tardy or absence will be noted as excused. Notifications of delays and closures are made through local media, automated calls and postings to the front page of the district web-page. As always, the safety and security of our students and staff remains a top priority of the Binghamton City School District. Let’s all hope for a mild winter this year!
Tonia Thompson, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools
Drug Abuse Prevention
Hand holding marker writing prevention

There is much talk locally of the opioid crisis affecting our community and nation. Many efforts are in place to help this situation, including prevention. In terms of substance abuse and adolescents, prevention means influencing and educating students before they start experimenting with drugs and alcohol in hopes of delaying their initial use, lowering the risk of addiction and other health issues in the future. 90% of addiction issues are thought to start in the adolescent years, making prevention during this time crucial.

Here are some online resources to get started with prevention efforts in your home:

Prevention Tool Kit for Parents

Top Ten Tips for Prevention

It's time to rethink Vaping
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