The first day of school will bring a new policy regarding community access to the Greencastle-Antrim school campus.

Two popular locations, Tayamentasachta, the school district’s environmental center, and the track at the stadium, will be closed to the public from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. when school is in session.

Access to the school campus is limited to people dropping off or picking up students or visiting a building after reporting to the office.

Dr. Kendra Trail, the district’s new superintendent, cited safety concerns and read a letter to the community during last week’s school board meeting.

“We are vulnerable for different types of threats which include active shooters, abductions, sexual predators, etc. I believe it is a moral mandate to protect the safety of our students which brings me to the issue of change. Making a change to past practice or procedures, which have been set in stone for a very long time is not always met with appreciation or agreement. However, after consulting with the Pennsylvania State Police and our local police on the ‘open campus” issue,’ I believe that changes need to occur to strengthen the safety and security of our students and staff,” Trail wrote.

James Winslow, board president, said the move is in keeping with other security precautions, such as cameras on buses.

“We’re making a smart decision to keep the kids safe,” Winslow said. “You can’t just walk in the buildings … it’s the same logic.”

Trail explained that most school districts have closed campuses and she hopes the community will understand the decision.

“This community embraces the school district … we don’t want to be seen as anti-community,” Trail said.

Letter from the superintendent

Dear Parents/Guardians/Community Members,

As I have settled in to my new position as superintendent, I have come to learn several important details about the district. First, I have learned this community embraces and supports the Greencastle-Antrim School District! We are extremely blessed to have your support! We are also very fortunate to have the “jewel” of the Tayamentasachta Environmental Center and the opportunities that it not only provides our students, but also to community members.

As with any new superintendent, one of my first tasks included discussion with some school staff members regarding the district’s safety plan. I soon learned that for many years, the Greencastle-Antrim School District has had an “open campus” for the stadium complex (track area) and the Tayamentasachta grounds allowing anyone access to those areas while school is in session. This issue has created concern for me as superintendent of the school district. We are vulnerable for different types of threats which include active shooters, abductions, sexual predators, etc. I believe it is a moral mandate to protect the safety of our students which brings me to the issue of change. Making a change to past practice or procedures, which have been set in stone for a very long time is not always met with appreciation or agreement. However, after consulting with the Pennsylvania State Police and our local police on the “open campus” issue, I believe that changes need to occur to strengthen the safety and security of our students and staff. Therefore, effective August 21, 2017, the following change will be in effect:

The stadium complex including the track and the grounds of Tayamentasachta are closed on days school is in session from 7:00 AM until 3:30 PM.

In essence, district grounds are closed to the public between the hours of 7:00 AM – 3:30 PM with the exception of students being dropped off or individuals reporting as visitors to respective school offices.

This change is not one that may be popular; however, I hope that community members will understand that in today’s day and age, district administration must take every precaution necessary for the safety of all students and staff.

Thank you very much for your understanding in this matter.

With Most Sincerity,

Kendra K. Trail, Ed.D.

Superintendent