Dear Upham Community,
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. I am pleased to announce that the installation of our school’s security package is nearly complete and our system is expected to go live on Wednesday, December 20.
What this means for us at Upham 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) 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.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
The Pledge of Allegiance
It has come to my attention there have been some questions regarding the pledge of allegiance (pledge) for Upham. During our Thanksgiving Assembly, parents noted that we did not recite the pledge. There were some questions and concerns as to why we did not recite the pledge. Given the “political climate” some thought we might not be reciting the pledge any longer. As many of you know, we perform the announcements at 8:40 AM each day. We recite the pledge at that time. No student is required to recite or salute the flag during the pledge. In order for us to provide an opportunity to perform the pledge of allegiance (pledge), we do that during our daily announcements. In other words, we have decided to perform the pledge once (during the morning announcements). So, we did perform the pledge, but it was completed before the Thanksgiving program. We will continue to perform the pledge each morning during our announcements.
I have provided a link to the Massachusetts law centered on the pledge of allegiance. https://malegislature.gov/Laws/GeneralLaws/PartI/TitleXII/Chapter71/Section6
I wanted to share with you the schedule for the 2018 MCAS testing. The New MCAS testing window will run through the months of April and May. Our 4th and 5th-grade students will be taking the electronic version and the 3rd graders will take the pencil/paper version.
As you will notice on the schedule, the March dates have “infrastructure trials” listed. The 4th and 5th graders will take a mock test in order to make sure our servers can handle the information. We also use the trials to make adjustments before taking the “real-time” test. Again, if you have any questions or concerns please contact Robin.
3/12- 3/23- Infrastructure Trials
4th and 5th Grades
3rd and 4th Grades
Please join us on Friday, December 15 at 8:45 AM for our annual Winter Concert.
This is a wonderful opportunity to observe the outstanding talent showcased during this event.
Mark Your Calendar
Wednesday, December 6
The Brain Show
Friday, December 15
December 25-Jan 1
Tuesday, January 2
Monday, January 15
MLK Day – no school
Thank you so much for your continued support.
Dare to Dream,