1. Dear Sprague Community,
You may or may not have heard of PBL …it stands for Project Based Learning. As part of the district’s vision of providing 21st Century Learning opportunities, we have a pilot project at some schools in which selected classroom teachers were able to participate Project Based Learning professional development. In an effort to share the outcomes of the pilot projects, each participating class is presenting an exhibition. At Sprague, students in 4MH are participating and have invited students and parents to their exhibition tomorrow, Dec. 19th at 8:45 a.m. in the school library. They have tackled the problem of emergency shelter after a strong northeast hurricane and will share their models and projects with interested audience. Please feel free to stop by.
2. Dear Sprague Community,
I am writing with an update about the district security project. As you know, the work has been underway for most of the fall. Some additions to the initial project include 3 additional cameras near the basketball hoops and the Oak St. side of the school for increased coverage of this area, and a door buzzer entry system to be used after school for the WCCC program. These 2 additions are valuable to us and will enhance the project’s effectiveness significantly. We were scheduled to be ‘online’ in December, but it appears that the work won’t be complete until some time later in January. We will keep you informed about the completion dates. Below, you will find a summary of the project and its goals.
As you may be aware, 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. The installation is nearly complete and our system is expected to go live sometime in late January 2018.
What this means for us at Sprague is that our security infrastructure (once operational) will now includes the following components:
- Enhanced communications:
- New P.A./intercom system
- 2 new portable 2-way radios with direct communication to the WPD
- “Panic” (duress) button in the main office
- Fortified access controls:
- Access control system (including exterior doors) – staff will need a proximity card to gain entrance
- Classroom (interior) security locks/doors now have a flip lever and do not require a key to lock
- “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
It is important to note that (once operational) we will not be monitoring the cameras during the school day. If there is an issue that requires us to look back at the video, we will do so.
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) earlier 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. We also continue to ask parents and visitors to be sure to stop in the office to sign in and get a visitor’s badge ANY TIME they are in the building during school hours. Please do not be offended if a staff member asks you if they can help you. They are doing their job to ask this question of anyone without a visitor badge or of anyone they do not know.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.