Byron-Bergen earns 2018 school safety award
The Byron-Bergen Central School District is one of 152 school districts and Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) in New York State to receive the Utica National lnsurance Group's School Safety Excellence Award for 2018.
District Superintendent Mickey Edwards, Jr./Sr. High School Principal Patrick McGee, and Elementary School Principal Brian Meister accepted the top “Titanium with Honors” level award and a $500 prize, to be used to further safety efforts, on March 22.
“Our district has continued to take action in making our school safe and secure,” Edwards said. “We were one of the first in our area to bring in a school resource officer. Over the past few years, he has become an integral part of our schools and our culture, forming personal connections and relationships at all grade levels.
"Our character education program and anti-bullying activities are making measurable impacts on a daily basis. We also continue to use and improve security measures like the New York State Sheriff’s Association (NYSSA) Rapid Responder® Program, an all-hazards site-based crisis management system; our security camera system that oversees buildings and grounds; and our comprehensive visitor management system.”
“Providing a safe and secure learning environment for our students, teachers, staff, and visitors is our first priority,” he said. “We are honored to receive this recognition.”
The School Safety Excellence Award Program has three levels —Titanium, Platinum and Gold — and annual awards are given based on quantifiable measurements of excellence in categories that include bullying prevention programs, playground safety, and other areas.
Utica National has kept children and school staff safe for more than 40 years, and currently insures more than 300 school districts in Upstate New York alone.
"Safety and health concerns continue to be a priority in our school districts," said Brian Saville, resident senior vice president in Utica National's Educational Institutions Unit. "Districts that go above and beyond to provide a safe, healthy and focused culture for learning are to be applauded, and we're pleased to count Byron-Bergen Central School District among them."
Saville noted that, beyond the recognition itself, an added benefit of following the safety program is the chance to pinpoint specific threats to safety.
“The time to address those threats is before a loss happens, which really helps contribute to the safety culture that districts are working toward,” Saville said.