WCPSS District 7 BAC meeting (pdf of presentation)

March 8, 2018

  • Morrisville Mayor TJ Cawley and Morrisville City Council Member Steve Rao were introduced and welcomed to the BAC meeting.

  • Kathy Hartenstine led Table Discussions, asking 3 questions of the meeting attendees:

    • If you had the opportunity to interview the WCPSS Superintendent candidates, what 3 questions would you ask?

    • What topics for our meetings would you like on the BAC agenda in the future?

    • What time would you like the May 3 BAC meeting to be held?

  • Updates from Ms Hartenstine:

    • In the 2019-20 school year, Early Release Days will be eliminated and replaced with full teacher workdays.

    • The K-3 Class Size Mandate was placed on a 4-year timeline by the state legislation. The Board will be discussing plans about how to accommodate this mandate at the Board meeting next week.

    • 23 WCPSS schools recently received national recognition for their magnet programs.

    • There is concern that more behavior specialists and social workers are needed in many schools. Ms Hartenstine encourages us to speak to the County Commissioners to ask for resources to be allocated to facilitate these needs.

    • March 14, 2018, is a planned National School Walkout Day in support of the need for gun control. Students have the right to peaceful protest, and the Board supports this walkout. There are plans in place to ensure security of the students.

    • Two weeks ago, the Carolina Hurricanes had a celebration of their reading Initiative, encouraging elementary students to read 2020 books and to read 20 minutes per day. Several schools in the WCPSS were invited to a Hurricanes game to celebrate the conclusion of Readvolution.

    • The next “Kathy Chats,” which are informal question and answer sessions with Ms Hartenstine, are as follows:

      • Common Grounds Coffee in Morrisville: 3/15, 4/27, 5/31; all 10am-11am

      • Maude’s Garden in N. Raleigh: 4/19, 5/17; all 10am-11am

  • Russ Smith, WCPSS Senior Director for Security, presented “Safety and Security in Our Schools.”

    • rsmith1@wcpss.net

    • Mr Smith’s office works closely and directly with the Superintendent. They are liaisons between law enforcement and the schools.

    • Components of security systems in all schools need to be consistent:

      • Cameras

      • Security staff: there are 7 administrators who work under Mr Smith. Each has a law enforcement background. They are assigned 25 schools each.

      • School Resource Officers (SRO): all high schools have full-time SROs, middle schools often have full-time SROs. WCPSS does not employ the SROs--they are Sheriff and Police Department employees.

      • Student Supervision Plans: essentially positioning of teachers within the school to appropriately anticipate and attend to any issues that may arise.

      • Emergency Operation Plans: these are reviewed/revised yearly.

      • Daily Procedures: to include consistent enforcement of Code of Student Conduct

      • School Counselors

      • Strong relationships with student

    • Legislation updates in the past 3-5 years

      • School Risk Management Plan

      • School safety exercises

      • Anonymous Hotline: this is a 24-hour hotline. The number is posted in schools. All calls are taken seriously. 919-856-1911

      • Schematic diagrams of each school are kept in a secure database in order to provide easier access to the schools by emergency responders.

      • Every school has a panic alarm system that connects it with the closest law enforcement.

    • Infrastructure updates

      • Increased number of cameras in schools

      • Access control by card key; this is managed by central office so is constantly updated with staff movement.

      • Buzz-in system: completed in the elementary schools, in the process of installing in all middle and high schools. Every parent should be treated the same and should be greeted by AiPhone before entering the building.

      • Visitor management system: ultimately this will be networked and will identify sex offenders, etc.

    • Safe Schools Task Force: this was a task force comprised of 30 members, including FBI, police, teachers, nurses, counselors. They made 16 formal recommendations. One recommendation was was that no firearms should be allowed on campus at any time, unless used by a law enforcement officer. The Board will continue to support this decision.

    • Communications to parents during lockdowns will ideally be made by the principal of the school. The first priority is safety of the students. Outside communication will be facilitated as soon as possible.