A message from Superintendent O’Shea regarding School Safety Protocol

Dear Cohoes Families,

Our top priority in the Cohoes City School District is the safety of our students and staff. With the school year in full swing, I want to take the opportunity to review school safety protocols as well as the district’s Emergency Response Systems.

First and foremost, communication is key to safety, and you and your child can play an important role in alerting us to potential situations. Please remind your children how important it is to tell a trusted adult about any observations that just seem “off.” It could be something they notice on social media, a conversation they overhear or something that is told directly to them. Alerting a trusted adult is a critical step in addressing potential issues promptly.

We have a District Wide Safety Team in place, composed of Board of Education members, administrators, teachers, support staff, parents, and safety personnel, as well as Mayor Bill Keeler, Police Chief Todd Waldin and Fire Chief Joseph Fahd. This group  meets throughout the year to review and revise the District Wide Safety Plan as needed. Each building also has a confidential building level plan with specific procedures.

The following list of terms explain steps that the district may take as part of its Emergency Response System:

Shelter-In-Place is used to shelter students and staff inside the building.

Hold-In-Place is used to limit movement of students and staff while dealing with short-term emergencies.

Evacuation is used to evacuate students and staff from the building when leaving the building is the safest alternative.

Lockout is used to secure school buildings and grounds during incidents that pose an imminent concern outside of school. Students who are outdoors are brought inside. All exterior doors are locked, and windows are closed and locked. In a lockout, classroom instruction continues as normal. Anyone wishing to enter or leave the building must first be cleared by a building administrator and/or police.

Lockdown is used to secure school buildings and grounds during incidents that pose an immediate threat of violence in or around the school.

For more information about school lockdowns, please read our Frequently Asked Questions located on the district website. 

If you have any questions about the emergency response protocols in your child’s building, please reach out to your child’s principal. 

Thank you for your continued partnership. As always, please feel free to contact me at any time. Together, we can keep our schools a safe and welcoming place to learn. 


Peggy O’Shea

Preparing our students for success in tomorrow’s world.

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