Security Upgrades Underway at Grafton Schools
Superintendent Jay Cummings notes that a Security Planning Committee has been helping the district update procedures and protocols at all schools.
The following is a newsletter written by Superintendent of Schools James Cummings.
In this newsletter, I want to provide a brief update on our progress in the area of school safety and security. There is nothing more important than the safety of our students. Creating systems and behaviors that maximize that safety is a tremendous challenge that requires a multi-faceted approach. While we have been able to implement meaningful changes over the past month, continuing and maintaining our efforts in the future is paramount. System-wide change is going to require planning, financial investment, time, practice, feedback, and a desire to continually improve. I have no doubt that we are up to this challenge and that as a community we will continue to work together to provide even safer environments for our children.
We have been systematically assessing our strengths and needs in the area of safety and security. Through work with the police chief, a trained school safety officer has performed comprehensive threat assessments at each of our schools. These assessments are helping us greatly in terms of recognizing our strengths and needs. Together with the Grafton Police Department, we have formed a Security Planning Committee that has begun addressing our identified needs in terms of updating procedures and protocols at all of our schools. This committee includes teachers, support staff, administrators, police, custodians, maintenance, and myself. As the work of the committee expands, we will be including town administration, town representatives, fire, and local emergency management leadership in our work. The Grafton School Committee has been proactive in supporting our collaborative efforts to maximize safety and security for all students and staff.
As we work to build upon our existing school and district plans for a wide-range of potential emergency scenarios, we are also working to upgrade security systems and hardware at each of our schools. Building upgrades that we are focusing on incorporating into all of our schools include the capability to lock all classroom doors from the inside, video monitoring that can be accessed remotely, and swipe card access for staff. Currently we have a range of security equipment across the district and the goal is to have these three key security components in place within all schools by the start of the next school year.
Representatives from the security committee have attended safety-training seminars over the past month and have been researching best practices nationally, with the thinking that we want to incorporate as many best-practices as possible in the new plans that are developed. These efforts have been supported extremely well by the Grafton Police. Their collaboration and guidance has already proven to be invaluable.
We will be working throughout the coming months to ensure that the procedures, protocols, and planning are as effective and consistent as possible.