District News - Update to Proctor High School Lockout (1/2/24)

January 2, 2024

To Our UCSD Community,

The purpose of the letter is to update you all on the details of this morning’s lockout at Proctor High School. This morning I received a phone call from our Security Coordinator, Hiram Rios, that a suspicious package had been found outside Proctor High School’s back entrance. Deputy Chief Ed Noonan was notified at 7:06 am to ensure the Utica Police Department was involved and to determine recommendations for next steps. Acting Principal Ken Szczesniak was contacted by me to ensure the building was cleared.

Buses were en route to the school so I directed Chief Operations Officer Mike Ferraro to send buses to a secure location. Under the direction of the Utica Police Department, students and staff who were already in the building and arriving were moved to the front of the building outside so we could sweep the building.

Once we completed the above logistics an emergency alert was sent to parents via Parent Square notifying them of the lockout at 7:18 am.

A second update was sent at 7:39 am which included a request to ask those parents who were dropping off students to remain in their vehicles until further notice. A third notification went out to elementary parents at 7:49 am notifying them that the buses may be late.

Out of an abundance of caution, UPD brought in police dogs to check the package and do a security sweep of the building. Our team, along with the police, reviewed our security camera footage as well as our swipe card system to see who had access to the building over the weekend.

It was determined that the package was delivered on Saturday, December 30, at 6:43 pm and was delivered to the wrong address. The package was investigated and determined to be safe by the UPD, and the lockout was lifted at 7:53 am. A final parent notification was sent out via Parent Square at that time.

We want to thank our staff for their quick thinking and efficient response to the security incident. We also want to thank our partners at the Utica Police Department for their expertise and management of the event.

Please be assured that student and staff safety is our priority. During any situation, my first goal is to address student and staff needs on site first, gather information regarding the situation and to collaborate with our security, administration on site, transportation and police department. Once I have all secured and the necessary information a communication is sent to parents via Parent Square.

We appreciate our UCSD community’s patience and understanding during the drop-off this morning. Today’s event is a reminder that during a lockout during drop-off, please keep your children in your vehicles until further direction is given. We will be using Parent Square during all emergency situations.

Thank you for your continued support and cooperation.

Dr. Kathleen Davis
Interim Superintendent of Schools
Utica City School District