Winthrop has been approved by the state to make school upgrades that will increase the safety of students and faculty using state-of-the-art protection.
“There was a $251,000 earmark in regards to school safety. The police chief has been handling that for us,” said Superintendent John Macero. “One of the requirements of the new law is that we have two way communications with the police and fire [departments]. We’re excited about that.”
Within the next two weeks, all school buses will be equipped with radios that will allow them to converse with the police and fire departments. Radio systems will also be installed in all of the schools so principals and leadership teams can communicate with each other.
All teachers will also be using the FOB system to allow entry into school buildings. The high school teachers have already begun employing this procedure. The FOB system uses small wireless devises (that look similar to a car clicker) with built-in authentication used to control and secure access.
“The good thing is we will really be able to maximize the security,” Macero said.
Winthrop High and the Gorman Fort Banks Elementary Schools have updated cameras mounted in and around the perimeters; and the town will continue installing cameras – including ones with night vision – at the Cummings School.
In the future, parents will also be required to show an official ID when entering a school building.
“We’re really appreciative of this grant and the Speaker [Robert DeLeo] for making sure that this happens,” said Macero