Spencer-Van Etten Central School District is one of at least 165 school districts and Board of Cooperative Education Services (BOCES) in New York State to receive the Utica National Insurance Group's School Safety Excellence Award for 2023 at the Titanium with Honors level.
The honor is presented annually and recognizes school districts' safety efforts as they work to help keep students, staff and visitors safe. Spencer-Van Etten Central School District received the award at Utica National's 41st school safety seminar, one of seven such seminars the company hosts in the state. For over 45 years, Utica National has kept students and school staff staff and currently insures more than 300 districts in upstate New York.
Spencer-Van Etten Central School District officials accepted a certificate from Utica National representatives to commemorate the district's safety efforts and a $500 award for use in furthering those efforts.
The award program has three levels - titanium, platinum and gold - in which schools can earn a meritorious distinction by meeting specific criteria to enhance overall safety. Through the program, schools with their own transportation, schools with contract transportation and BOCES are evaluated. Categories covered included bullying prevention programs, playground safety and other areas, and are measured using specific, quantifiable surveys.
"Safety and health concerns continue to be a priority in our school districts," explained Brian Saville, 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 Spencer-Van Etten Central School District among them."
Mr. 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."
Pictured (left to right): Sheila Gilroy from Haylor Freyer & Coon, Inc, Debra Eichholtz, S-VE Business Administrator, Don Johnson, S-VE Board of Education President, Barbara J. Case, S-VE Superintendent