Safety was the focus Tuesday at Greenport’s school board meeting, at which district officials pitched a draft of an updated districtwide safety plan and more than 20 Greenport Elementary School students in grades four through six were inducted into the AAA School Safety Patrol.
The students are responsible for directing their peers in heavy-traffic areas at the beginning and end of the school day. They are trained in safety, first aid and CPR, said elementary school principal Joseph Tsaveras. Greenport was the first North Fork school district to establish a safety patrol, in October 2018.
The patrollers are trained by Southold police officers Richard Buonaiuto and Gregory Simmons. Mr. Tsaveras said both officers are also involved in the school’s DARE program and monitor the campus daily.
The students, who donned bright yellow sashes, were inducted after reciting the Patrol Member Pledge, which was led by Mr. Buonaiuto.
“The fact that you’re wearing a sash that signifies that you’re playing — you’re not playing, you’re taking on a leadership role among your peers to help the adults to make sure that your peers are safe at all times,” Superintendent David Gamberg said. “You didn’t have to do this, but you volunteered to, and we’re very proud of you.”
Roseanne Gianmugnai, program founder and elementary school teacher, and Mr. Buonaiuto thanked the patrollers who served in the 2018-19 school year and presented them with participation certificates. Ms. Gianmugnai said they have helped her to develop the program throughout the year.
“These members brought ideas to the program, digging into levels beyond our original plan,” she said. “They presented … to the entire elementary school and visited classrooms to present the safety patrol poster contest. They thought of ways to improve their goal and presented them to their officers.”
Five students were chosen to lead the safety patrol as head officers. They were selected based on merits received by teachers, organizational skills and respect toward others, Ms. Gianmugnai said.
The safety patrol will be on duty in and around the Greenport school building when traffic is heaviest — 8:30 to 8:45 a.m. and 2:40 to 2:50 p.m. Two students will be present at the crosswalk each day, Mr. Tsaveras said.
Before the safety patrol presentation, Mr. Gamberg said a draft of the new districtwide safety plan, which meets State Education Department requirements, will be available online for public comment for 30 days.
The new plan outlines the ways the district responds to an emergency event. However, Mr. Gamberg said the version on the district website is just a general overview of the plan and that specifics related to an emergency evacuation will remain confidential.
He said district officials crafted the revised safety plan with the Southold Town Police Department. “Communities out west, in western Suffolk and Nassau County — it becomes much more difficult to have a good, close working relationship with your police department,” he said. “We are very fortunate.”