March 18, 2013 Facilities/Security Sub Meeting


Quincy School Committee
School Facilities and Security Subcommittee
Mr. David McCarthy, Chairperson
2nd Floor Conference Room
NAGE Building
Monday, March 18, 2013
5:00 p.m.

  1. Welcome Chairman McCarthy

  2. Update of Interior/Exterior Safety and Security Issues

  3. Update of School Improvement Plan/Lighting Audit Issues

  4. Adjournment/Thank You!


Facilities and Security Subcommittee Meeting

Monday, March 18, 2013

A meeting of the Facilities and Security Subcommittee was held on Monday, March 18, 2013 at 5:00 pm in the 2 nd Floor Conference Room at the NAGE Building. Present were Mr. Paul Bregoli, Mrs. Kathryn Hubley, Ms. Barbara Isola, and Mr. David McCarthy, Chair. Also attending were Superintendent Richard DeCristofaro, Assistant Superintendent Colleen Roberts, Mr. Michael Draicchio, Mr. Keith Segalla, Mr. Kevin Murphy, Mr. Kevin Segalla; Ms. Allison Cox, President, Quincy Education Association; and Ms. Laura Owens, Clerk.

Mr. McCarthy called the meeting called to order at 5:00 pm.

The first item on the agenda was a joint presentation by Mr. Michael Draicchio and Mr. Kevin Segalla, giving an overview of ongoing monitoring of Safety and Security issues and an update of school building interior and exterior security issues and proposals. Dr. DeCristofaro reviewed recent meetings with Mayor Koch, who has asked the City Council to appropriate funding to cover the school safety and security updates. Mr. Draicchio began with the overview of Safety and Security issues monitored by Principals and school staffs through the School Improvement Plans, including alarms, emergency drills, visitor protocols, evacuation and contingency plans, emergency medical response plans, communication through Instant Alerts, procedures for safe dropoff and pickup at individual school sites, and home to school safe walking routes. In terms of Safety and Security at the district level, activities include monitoring and updating emergency procedures and conducting safety drills, overseeing video surveillance and camera installation, monthly meetings with the Safety and Security Roundtable Team of community members/ outside agency resources, Quincy Police Department safety training/drills at school facilities, and improved signage inside and outside of school buildings. Mr. McCarthy and Mr. Bregoli asked about additional training for Quincy Public Schools staff; Mr. Draicchio noted that he has been asked to be a part of the Norfolk County District Attorney’s School Task Force and that will be an opportunity to hear about options that other communities are utilizing that could be implemented in the Quincy Public Schools. For the Transportation program, there are evacuation drills for students and staff, collaboration with the Quincy Police Department Traffic Supervisors, professional safety training with the Registry of Motor Vehicles, and enhanced driver communication to respond to emergency situations.

For the Custodial and Maintenance Services, the custodial staff opens each school building daily and perform routine door checks throughout the day. Communication has been enhanced with email capabilities and new two-way radios; the Custodial staff coordinates with Maintenance staff to request work orders. Mr. Kevin Segalla noted that between November and March, Custodial staff perform weekend building checks to ensure that heating systems are operational and look for signs of vandalism or break-ins. Mr. Bregoli asked about whether the door checks are performed on a schedule and Mr. Kevin Segalla responded that each building performs the door checks multiple times per day but that times vary from building to building.

Mr. Draicchio reviewed the many outside agencies that partner with the Quincy Public Schools, including the Quincy Police and Fire Departments, Quincy Probation, Quincy District Court, the Norfolk County District Attorney’s Office, the Norfolk County Sheriff’s Office, the Transit Police, Fallon Ambulance, the Department of Children and Families, and the Department of Youth Services. These agencies are involved in multiple ways, including participating in the Safety and Security Roundtable and the sharing of resources and ideas. On-site support includes high school security officers, school attendance officers, and the Quincy Police Department School Resource officers and Traffic Supervisors deployed at 40 locations throughout the city.

For new building construction, Quincy High School and the new Central Middle School both include many security systems and features designed to provide a safe, secure, and controlled educational environment, including access control, intrusion detection, closed circuit television monitoring, and amplifiers to ensure communication ability throughout the building.

All of these programs and initiatives support the overall goal of ensuring safety and security at all schools. In order for all schools have the same level of security as the newly constructed school buildings, information about recommended upgrades has been gathered. Suggested interior upgrades include new locksets and cylinders for all classroom and office doors citywide, classroom exit devices for secondary doors, non-duplicable master keys for each school, and new doors and hardware where necessary. For exterior upgrades, an exterior door card reader for building entry would be installed; each staff member will receive a photo ID card coded for their building. Mr. Draicchio noted that hours of access can be customized as necessary; most staff will have regular school day access, with exceptions for custodial staff, building administration, coaches, and security staff. Mr. Draicchio said that identification will be issued for all Quincy Public Schools staff, plus city staff who travel to school buildings such as Maintenance and City IT. Mr. Draicchio continued by explaining that each school would have an exterior intercom with camera entry system at the front door. Mr. Draicchio noted that additional lock boxes would be installed for Quincy Police Department access, at their request. Mr. Bregoli asked about the technology for scanning drivers’ licenses that was discussed at a previous subcommittee meeting. Mr. Draicchio said that on further exploration, the technology does not deliver the level of information originally anticipated and there is a very large expense associated it. Mr. Draicchio is exploring options and is in contact with other cities and towns. Mr. Bregoli also asked about the discussion of limiting access at the high schools and asked for an update; this is still a discussion in process, but all agree that changes to the procedure should and will be made. Dr. DeCristofaro said that at both high schools, the installation of the camera and intercom at each entrance will allow for a visual check before visitors are admitted to the building. At schools with open floor plans, there are explorations underway for building lockdown devices that would block off entrances to sections of the building.

Mr. McCarthy thanked Mr. Kevin Segalla and Mr. Draicchio for their work and research and noted that Mayor Koch is bringing an appropriation forward to the City Council to fully fund these upgrades. Mr. McCarthy asked if the work would begin immediately after the funds are made available. Dr. DeCristofaro said that QPS would work with Public Buildings to prioritize and that work could be done after school hours. Ms. Isola asked what might be done in the meantime to assist with security issues identified; Dr. DeCristofaro is looking into possible temporary solutions at a school building level. Mr. McCarthy asked if the QEA membership would make suggestions about situations/scenarios where they would like additional training. Mr. McCarthy asked about the Quincy Police Department Resource Officers and how concerns could be addressed. Dr. DeCristofaro noted that they are Quincy Police officers and we would need to share any concerns with Chief Keenan. Mr. McCarthy asked about the high school security officer schedules; Mr. Draicchio said their assignments are done by the high school principals. Mr. McCarthy asked about the A.L.I.C.E. program, which is an alternative approach to school security issues. Mr. Draicchio noted that he attended a training and while there are components that could be implemented, other facets are concerning.

Mr. Kevin Murphy reviewed the updated Maintenance SIP Requests and Lighting Audit status report. There are additional items that have been completed, many items in progress along with regular work orders received daily, and still others are scheduled for the summer. Major projects that require collaboration with the DPW will be reviewed and others that require funding, such as carpet, will be reviewed in budget discussions with the Mayor’s office. Ms. Isola asked about the number of requests that require the use of a bucket truck; Mr. Murphy said that the Maintenance department is requesting acquiring a new vehicle and possibly an additional electrician under the FY2014 budget.

Mr. Bregoli noted that Mr. Christopher Cassani has been appointed as the new Parks Director and Mrs. Kristin Powers has moved to Constituent Services.

Mr. Bregoli made a motion to adjourn the Facilities and Security Subcommittee Meeting at 6:15 pm. Mrs. Hubley seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.