WESTBOROUGH, Mass. — The day before the Sandy Hook tragedy, Westborough school officials and police met to discuss new training methods to increase safety, and the discussion has continued in its aftermath.
"It's such a responsibility, and we want our students to be safe at all times," Superintendent Marianne O'Connor said at Wednesday's School Committee meeting.
The new system, called Alice Training, will provide opportunities for "dynamic responses" from teachers in response to emergencies, contrary to the standard, static protocol, School Liaison Officer Chip Dapolite said.
The new training may be supplemented by an expansion of the key card system for entering all school buildings, similar to what is already at the high school, Director of Building and Grounds Brian Schlegel said. More security cameras may be added, and new protocols set for picking up and dropping off students, Schlegel said.
"The card access system is great because you can leave the facility locked," he said. "If somebody lost a card or had an issue, they could lock the person out. ... It's really a bonus on the security end."
Dapolite said he has been thrilled with the relationship between the Westborough Police Department and the school system, especially after speaking with representatives from other towns. They frequently tell him about the difficulties they have encountered in working together, he said.
"I always respond, 'I haven't run into any roadblocks, I have no issues,'" Dapolite said. "Westborough is way ahead of the curve on school safety."