Questions for Rogers PTO Meeting on School Safety
11.8.18 Revised. 11.20.18 Answers summarized
Q: Has ALICE training been considered? Or are we only a 'take-shelter' school? Would the school benefit from ALICE training? Ans: The teachers and staff have taken training that is similar to ALICE (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate) training. It educates staff on the options available during a threat to the school: Run-Hide-Fight.
Q: What actions are being implemented based on the Safety Assessment of last spring? Unbeknownst to the PTO, the recommendations stemming for the Security Assessment have not been formally presented to Superintendent and Board despite being ready as of last June. Thus, they could not share any specifics. John Perrotta (Head of Safety for SPS) stated that he was in the agenda for the 11/13 meeting but could be bumped. The PTO is actively monitoring the status of this and has a representative that attends each Board of Education meeting, though this topic is almost always discussed in closed session (Not open public).
Q: Has Rogers considered doing any of the Sandy Hook Promise programs such as:
Start with hello, Know the signs, Say Something
Ans: Not addressed.
Q: Adding cameras around the outside of school seems to be an easy and low cost option. How come we haven’t done that?
Ans: Adding additional cameras may be one of the recommendations that are approved and paid for the city. So depending on the speed by which the recommendations are made public and a time-line is set for specific improvements, the PTO may have to step in and fund this project in order to see it done in a timely manner.
Q: Why does Rogers still not have a monitor/guard at the front entrance when other schools do? Ans: John Perrotta indicated that it is unlikely that the city will fund a guard at Rogers this academic year. It was suggested that Rogers could not hire a guard itself due to labor union law and other agreements. It was also discussed that placement of anyone requesting ID of visitors should be done prior to them entering the main school. The front vestibule area is a potential location for this.
Q: With Westover School closed due to mold, how confident are you that Rogers doesn’t have a mold problem? What tests have been done? Ans: Brian White (Asst Superintendent) stated that they have asked custodians and teachers/staff to report any signs of mold and up until now, none have been reported. The audience chided him for being too reactive and not proactive and asked why scientific testing hasn’t been done. No clear answer was given. But since then, we have discovered online https://www.stamfordct.gov/mold-task-force that Rogers was evaluated by environmental engineering firm Tighe and Bond and only one area of minor concern was found in the Stage Storage Area.
Q: Outside Lighting: There are many with lighting limited. There are after school activities & meetings that go into the night. Would Motion lights be an option? Or is there another solution? Ans: Cathy Cummings indicated that outdoor lighting has been identified as an area of concern and will be addressed.
Q: How many windows Rogers has: Is film (dark or mirror effect to the outside looking in) on the glass something that has been considered? Ans: The film that provides significant defense against shattering from a gunshot is extremely expensive and is unlikely to practical for a school with as many windows as Rogers. However, targeted use of it is possible as well as use a less costly film that can prevent someone on the outside from seeing clearly into the building. This is another area that we are waiting to see if the Safety recommendations will identify as something that will be paid for by the city.
Q: Meeting place: Any options other than running up hill towards Blachley Rd that have been considered? Ans: Sergeant Kennedy reiterated that making specific meeting places known to the public in advance would jeopardize the students’ safety. In the case of an emergency, parents will be notified by phone of the meeting place.
Q: Crosswalk & speed limit signage: We need a crosswalk & signage from visitors parking lot across to school. With three lanes of traffic parents and children have to run across it. The crosswalk right outside of school entrance & the one on Blachley near McDonalds has to be repainted. Ans: Jill Luciani and Thais Almeida met with City of Stamford traffic engineer last Spring about this area and the area by the small teachers parking lot. According to Federal guidelines for placement of new crosswalks, we cannot have a cross walk unless it connects 2 areas that both have sidewalks or a “landing pad”. These areas do not. Given that people HAVE TO CROSS the street to get from the visitor parking to the school, it seems stupid that a crosswalk can’t be put in to somewhat improve safety. We will revisit this and also take up the issues of the other problem intersections with the City.
Q: No turn on red (during school hours & school days): Above traffic light on the corners of Cove Rd and Willowbrook. Kids trying to cross on bike and foot barely have enough time to make it across. This street corner is access to two (2) schools, Rogers and KT Murphy. Or another crossing guard? Ans: Will take up with City of Stamford Traffic Engineer.
Q: Speed: We need more signage throughout school to remind drivers there is a speed limit. Ans: Will follow-up with Cathy Cummings.
Q: There are rules & chains to prevent drop off in the teachers’ parking lot, yet it still continues. Now parents are dropping off in front of bus lane exit or wherever is convenient for them. How do we expect our children to follow rules or the IB conduct when we are teaching them differently? A video camera should be put in place for security and in case staff’s car gets scratched or dented. Ans: The audience expressed their general agreement and sense of frustration for this issue. Cathy said that they have staff out in those areas as much as they can to prevent this. A suggestion was made to take down license plate numbers and report to the school.
Q: Why aren’t we being asked to show ID during early pickup from office? Friends have picked up children and weren’t asked for ID either. I think this is potentially dangerous. Ans: Cathy stated that asking for ID will be reinforced with staff and implemented.