SPS Reports Updated Security Measures Working Well

Cameras and buzzers plan to be installed throughout the district in March.

Sudbury Public Schools Superintendent Anne Wilson reported during the Feb. 6 committee meeting that measures taken to update security measures in the wake of the Newtown tragedy are "working well."

"There are attendants welcoming visitors at the front doors of all SPS schools," she said according to the meeting minutes. 

She also said the installation of cameras and buzzers should be complete throughout the district by the end of March.

Wilson also informed the Committee of a new Massachusetts law requiring expanded background checks for all those working and volunteering in SPS. Implementation will begin this summer.

Below are other notes from the Feb. 6 meeting:

Wilson recognized two students in Ms. Durkin's 5th grade class at Nixon, Jacob Leverone and John Oblak, who will have their review of Heat by Mike Lupica published in the April/May issue of Storyworks magazine.

Energy Services Company Overview
Sudbury Facilities Director Jim Kelly is investigating the possibility of entering into an energy services contract to install energy improvements in school and town buildings.  

Sewer Project/Use of ECMS
Town Planner Jody Kablack and Sewer Citizens Advisory Committee Chair Craig Blake updated the Committee on the status of the Route 20 sewer project and discussed the possible use of the Curtis field as a leaching area to discharge treated waste water.   

FY13 Budget to Actual
Director of Business and Finance Mary Will informed the Committee that the FY13 Budget is projected to have sufficient funds for the year.  Although the District has incurred expenses for the additional front door security at each of the schools, Ms. Will anticipates being able to cover those expenses with savings in utilities and facility use fees.

FY14 Budget Update
Dr. Wilson and Ms. Will presented a Level Staff Plus Budget to the Committee, which reflects four additions to the FY14 Budget needed to continue to improve on excellence:

  • An additional 1.0 FTE math coach for the elementary schools to allow for a full time math coach at both Loring and Noyes and a half-time math coach at Haynes and Nixon.  The District hopes to add one additional math coach in FY15.
  • An additional 1.0 FTE psychologist to address the District's increasing obligations in this regard.
  • An additional 3.15 FTE in front office staff (which equates to 3.8 hours/day at each school) to help with front door security.  Each school receives approximately 100 visitors each day and needs additional front office staff to greet these visitors under the enhanced security protocols.
  • An additional 1.0 FTE middle school literacy teacher to help all 6th graders transition to the middle school and provide additional literacy support to 6th graders where needed.

These additions are necessary to continue the progress the District has made, to respond to the needs of all students, and to address the enhanced security.  The cost associated with these needs is $213,352, and while the District is not seeking an override to cover the cost, it is imperative that Sudbury Public Schools receives its typical allocation of revenue in order to fund these necessities.

FY14 Calendar
The Committee approved the final FY14 Calendar.  A copy of the calendar can be found at: SPS 2013-14 Calendar.

School Committee Policy Amendment - Gender Identity
The Committee amended the policy manual to prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity as required by Massachusetts law.

Members' Forum
Assistant Superintendent Dr. Todd Curtis discussed the two most recent ILAP days, which focused on implementing the Common Core curriculum.  Among other things, staff worked on the implementation of the new middle school math standards, the creation of differentiated non-fiction and literature units and reading in the content areas, and the establishment of common assessments.

Thom Kenney February 21, 2013 at 01:17 PM
Security measures implemented but not tested have the potential to hide obvious vulnerabilities in those measures. I would hope that Dr. Wilson would include a testing plan in conjunction with the Sudbury Police to ensure the staff are not just trained, but tested on those security measures. I have personal experience in the excellent oversight by the Curtis staff to unknown visitors. That experience highlights the importance of testing to ensure the security measures are adequate, appropriate and consistent across staff and schools.
pmotw February 21, 2013 at 03:53 PM
I have had questioned over the years the necessity of so many Early Release Days and the timing of one/two Professional day. There are 19 Early Releases. To me, this is excessive. One Early Release a month used to be sufficient. That would be a total of 10 Early Releases. There are 4 Early Releases in Nov. as opposed to an average of 2 for other months. Why is this necessary? Due to Early Release, Vacation and Holidays, the 42 week school schedule only has13 full weeks. This could be increased to 20 full weeks if just 7 Early Releases were discontinued. Then there is the traditional Professional Day in Oct. the Friday of Columbus Day weekend. I want to believe the employees use this full day to improve our children's education. Many have questioned the timing of this day and have said it’s intended to extend an already long weekend of time off. Hopefully this is not true. Also, this school year there was a Professional day scheduled the Monday following Thanksgiving weekend. Was it necessary? I’m all for the teachers and staff to have their professional development time. However, over the years we have seen the school year extended to the point where it has to start before Labor Day to accommodate for all Early Release and Professional Days. I’m concerned this is disrupting class time for our children. The SPS should consider changing the schedule to include more full weeks and to reduce the school year as to allow for an after Labor Day start.
Rob February 21, 2013 at 04:54 PM
They cant keep out raw chicken but they can keep out an armed intruder?
sudburycitizentoo February 21, 2013 at 05:29 PM
With so many reasonable opinions, have you ever considered running for the SPS? One thing is to be a critic--the other is to be an agent of change. You will have to use your real name though.
SueChap April 04, 2013 at 02:16 AM
Rob - they are profiting from the visitors introducing the raw chicken and not the potential intruder! Visitor awareness is definitely improved. I would; however, like to see security measures include tracking of when visitors depart and not just when they enter.


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