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Student and Staff Safety a Priority at ACV Schools

Photo 1: Emlenton Police Officer Dan Siegle, right, instructs faculty and staff at the ACV Elementary School during the ALICE training program at the inservice day last Monday, February 17, 2020.

Photo 2: An inside view of the safety glass at the entrance at the A-C Valley H.S. Office.

Photo 3: The Barracuda Door Jam system makes it impossible for an unwanted intruder to enter a room.

Photo 4: Connected to all 50 states’ sex offender registries, the Raptor system lets staff know that a person wanting entrance into the school is not a threat to them or the students.


Student and Staff Safety a Priority at ACV Schools

For the past several years the ACV School District, under the leadership of Mr. David McDeavitt, has been improving student safety at the schools. Grants from PA Department of Education for school police officers and the PA Commission on Crime and Delinquency, have allowed the school, for the past several years, to hire two full-time police officers and create its own police department.

The school now has its own police department, in uniform, with badges, and armed. The school hires experienced police officers  which  then receive additional training through the National Association of School Resource Officers.  (NASRO Training) The police officers patrol both the elementary and high school during the day and during after school events.

Along with the police department, new safety entrances have been installed in both buildings, secure with bullet proof glass and a safety locking system. Both entrances have the Raptor visitor management system that will screen and track everyone coming into the schools. This scanning system is able to screen for sex offenders, alerts for custody violations for the safety of the students and staff. Once a visitor is cleared a visitor badge is printed out and the visitor is allowed to enter the school. While being screened the visitor waits in the safety entrance at both schools preventing unauthorized entrance into the schools. The office staff says they feel very secure in the schools.  Everyone is now aware of possible threats and they are watching out for them constantly.  It’s also peace of mind for the staff.  The bullet resistant class that now separates staff from anyone wanting entrance to the school is a plus. It is so very thick. The entering visitor or parent, passes their drivers-license through the small window, it is scanned on the Raptor machine and the outcome lets everyone know this person is not a threat.

During the school year safety drills are conducted twice a year. These drills help faculty, staff and students with the procedures to follow in the event of an intruder. “It’s a good time to remind faculty and staff how to use the ‘Barracuda Intruder Defense Systems’ installed throughout the school.” McDeavitt stated during the in-service training-day at the school last Monday. “The system is intended to allow someone in a lockdown situation to barricade a door from the inside without opening the door and exposing himself or the students to an intruder/shooter. With the Barracuda system, it’s impossible for anyone to enter the locked down room, even doors with windows, due to where the jam is located.” McDeavitt continued.

McDeavitt also serves as the schools “Safety and Security Officer”. The police officers at the school are Mark Graf and Dave Sitler. According to staff at the school they say that their resource police officers, Mark and Dave, are professional and wonderful. They use their training and skills to effectively work with the students and staff here at A-CV.

Monday’s in-service day safety training was conducted by Emlenton Police Officer, Dan Siegle and Chief Justin O’Neal, with Siegle leading the ALICE training. ALICE is a training program that prepares students and staff with the most effective responses to an Active Shooter situation, helping to minimize the loss of life. Knowing that no single response fits all situations, this training gives each individual their options for response so that they can react decisively for the safety of all. School officials and staff are very thankful for the training provided by the Emlenton Police Department. They say that safety for all is a top priority here at A-C Valley School in Foxburg, PA.

McDeavitt also mentioned that we, the school, are very fortunate to have the expertise and support of Dan Siegle and Justin O’Neil of the Emlenton Police Department.

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