In the wake of the recent tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School, secutiry and precautionary measures have increased at schools in the Tri-Town area. These changes were outlined at the Mattapoisett School Committee’s regular meeting on Monday, January 14 at the Center School.
Superintendent Doug White said that the weekend after the shooting happened, Facilities Director Eugene Jones was at all of the schools checking the doors and security cameras on each of the campuses. New sign in and check in policies at each school were implemented. White commended all staff members for their cooperation with the safety changes.
“It really was a team effort,” said White.
In addition to the changes that have already been made, each of the schools in the district will see more frequent lockdowns. White said police departments will be more thorough and have a higher presence during the lockdowns. Also, the schools will be practicing full evacuations so they know how to be ready in the event of an emergency.
Chairman James Higgins proposed having a police officer staffed in the schools everyday. The cop would be carrying a firearm and would be ready to step in in the event of an emergency.
“It’s just my personal opinion,” he said. “It’s something to look at locally.”
Jones proposed buying Carbon Monoxide detectors for both the Old Hammondtown and Center Schools. The sensors would help detect CO levels and would alert the school if the levels were getting too high. The sensors, according to Jones, are inexpensive and low maintenance. Each of the sensors would cost $100, and Jones is proposing putting 12 in OHS and 16 in Center School.
“It’s just added safety,” said Jones. “I think it’s a good idea to have them in the schools. They are low cost and easy to maintain.”
Sarah Collier of the Project Grow Parents Group proposed two fundraising ideas to help raise money for the group without having to dip into the school’s funds.
“With the economy being the way it is, the fundraising efforts we’ve used in the part aren’t generating as much,” said Collier. “We’ve had to get a little creative.
The first fundraising idea is a coupon book called “Kids Stuff N’ More,” which would offer families dozens of coupons on a variety of events, museums, restaurants, stores and more. Each of the books would cost $25 and $12.50 of each book sold would go directly to Project Grow.
“This book is a catalyst for many opportunities,” said Dr. Elise Frangos, Director of Curriculum.
The second of the fundraising ideas is a family night out at Bay State Gymnastics in Dartmouth. All children and families in attendance would be able to use the equipment in the gym at a discounted cost. All money raised from ticket sales would go directly to Project Grow.
The Committee approved both of the fundraising events. Collier will now propose the ideas to the Rochester and Marion School Committees for their approval.
On Wednesday, February 6, an orientation for incoming kindergarten parents will be held at the Center School. Registration for new kindergarteners will be held on Wednesday, February 13 and Thursday, February 14.
The Mattapoisett School Committee will meet again on Monday, February 11 at 7:00 pm in the Center School cafeteria.
By Katy Fitzpatrick