UTICA, N.Y. - The Westfield Academy and Central School District is one of 121 school districts and Board of Cooperative Educational Services in New York State to receive the 2013 School Safety Excellence Award from the Utica National Insurance Group.
Utica National officials presented the award at its 33rd annual school safety seminar, one of seven held in New York State. Utica insures more than 300 school districts in upstate New York for property and liability insurance and is one of the leading companies in the field.
WACS received a certificate from the insurance company to commemorate the district's safety efforts and a $500 award for use in furthering their safety efforts.
"Safety and health concerns are a priority in our school districts," Regional Manager for the Risk Management Department Mark Aquino said. "Whether we are parents seeing our child off on the school bus, teachers, charged with the responsibility of educating or staff who maintain the facility, there is a common thread of attention to safety issues. It is with great pleasure that we recognize those school that not only take safety to heart, but go above and beyond to provide a safe, healthy and focused culture for learning."
Utica National's School Safety Excellence Award Program helps participating schools enhance overall safety through measurable assessment. The program evaluates schools with their own transportation on 10 categories, schools with contract transportation on 18 categories and BOCES on 14 categories, from bullying prevention program to playground safety, with specific, quantifiable data-gathering surveys.
"The payoff goes beyond recognition," Aquino said. "If our program is followed properly, it should enable schools to pinpoint specific threat to safety."
The award program has three levels - titanium, platinum and gold - in which schools can earn a meritorious distinction by meeting specific criteria.