Dear Hunnewell,

Thank you for all responding so quickly to the afternoon cancellations. I appreciate you working with us to make sure all the children had a safe dismissal plan.

On another security note, I want to update you that our security cameras our now live at Hunnewell. As you may remember, the town approved funding last Spring for a critical district-wide initiative centered around school security with the primary objectives being:  first and foremost, providing for the safety and security of our students, staff and community; and secondly, safeguarding the town’s physical assets.  I am pleased to announce that the installation of our school’s security package is nearly complete and our cameras are now live.

What this means for us at Hunnewell is that our security infrastructure now includes the following components:

  • Enhanced communications:

  • New P.A./intercom system

  • Portable 2-way radios with direct communication to the WPD

  • Relocation/addition of “panic” (duress) buttons

  • Fortified access controls:

  • Access control system (including exterior doors) – staff will need a proximity card to gain entrance

  • Classroom (interior) security locks/doors

  • “3M Scotchshield” safety and security film for main entrance glass

  • Improved ability to monitor and/or assess:

  • Surveillance system – with cameras mounted near all entryways and outside (but not in any teaching spaces, offices, bathrooms or locker rooms)

  • Motion detector lighting

Just as important as the professional installation of all this equipment has been our ongoing training around safety protocols.  This has included training on the A.L.I.C.E. model (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate) with our staff participating in an active shooter simulation facilitated by the Wellesley Police Department (WPD)  this fall. We are also in the process of developing new evacuation drills for students, in collaboration with the WPD and Wellesley Fire Department, that we plan to practice later this year.

While our facilities improvements and training represent important aspects of our district security strategy, what has not changed is our diligence in knowing our students well,  encouraging students to look after each other, and ensuring that strong lines of communication remain open between school and home, which proved to be true today!

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.  

SIncerely,

​​​​​​​Ellen