This afternoon, at approximately 12:15pm, an emergency alarm went off at the Hampton Bays Middle School that originated in the girls’ locker room.  This was not a planned drill, so the building was safely and quickly evacuated as the Hampton Bays Fire Department arrived to identify the source of the problem.  Middle School students were moved across the campus to the gymnasiums in the Elementary School until it was determined that a mechanical unit on the roof overheated.  That unit ventilator has been shut down and the rest of the mechanical system has been checked and is safely operational.  The entire event took approximately 30 minutes and I want to sincerely thank the professionalism of district staff and the Elementary and Middle School Emergency Response Teams for their rapid response and communication in keeping students and staff safe.

This event coincides with the tragedy that unfolds today in Connecticut, where a school shooting has left numerous children and adults wounded, some fatally.  A phone message has been sent to all families to inform them that these incidents are separate and unrelated, in case students arrive home today misinformed or frightened, and try to draw connections between the two events.  A school shooting is the worst thing imaginable and, in different ways for different people, hits home powerfully.  If we can be of assistance to you and your families during this time, please do not hesitate to reach out to your child’s school. 

The Hampton Bays Public Schools prioritizes the safety of all students and adults as paramount to the work that we do everyday.  Instances like this – here in Hampton Bays and in Connecticut – remind us to always adhere to consistent safety protocols that are in place.  We will continue to drill and practice emergency responses and debrief after all incidents to continuously improve the strength of our safety program.

Thank you for your cooperation in making sure that students, from the moment they get on a bus or arrive on our campus to the moment they get home each day, are safe, protected, and nurtured in the Hampton Bays Public Schools.

Respectfully,

Lars Clemensen
Superintendent of Schools