Mt. View security near completion
BY TOM FONTANA
The installation of a new security system is nearly complete in the Mountain View School District.
District maintenance director Robert Taylor told the board at its meeting Monday night, Oct. 14, that work at the elementary school is finished, and the high school system should be done by the end of the month.
“This is a nice system,” Taylor stated. “I really like this.”
Triguard Security of Avoca worked on completely revamping the security systems in both schools throughout the summer.
Features include interior and exterior video surveillance cameras, emergency alarms with a voice warning announcement, and fingerprint detector door locks.
Taylor said the alarm system includes an electronic voice that broadcasts safety and escape procedures to occupants of the building affected during a crisis.
“It’s a female voice,” Taylor explained. “When we first tested it, it was too loud and some of the instructions didn’t apply to our needs. So the company replaced it, and now it works great.”
He also said administrators and faculty have been fingerprinted, and to enter buildings they are required to scan their finger on a device that confirms their identity before a door can be unlocked to allow entry.
When asked if personnel, such as coaching staff, can have their fingerprints removed from the system when their sports season is over, Taylor again praised the security apparatus.
“Their prints can be inactivated,” he said, “without eliminating them, and can be activated again without going through the process of taking another fingerprint.”
He added that the system is programed so that only select persons, such as administrators, can have access to buildings on Sundays through the fingerprint system.
Director Roy Twining asked how often the system is inspected. Taylor said there is a self-diagnostic test three times a day.
“And if there is a problem,” he stated, “the system not only informs us of the problem, but tells us exactly what part of the system is affected. And it doesn’t care what time of day it is, so I’ve already gotten a few calls in the middle of the night.”
Another innovation this school year is a new “parent portal” that gives parents internet access to information about their student’s academic progress and school.
High School principal Robert Presley stressed the importance for parents to connect to the Sapphire Parent Portal to register for the service.
“Parents have been sent letters with instructions on how to log into the system,” Presley said. “Once this step is completed, they should print out the confirmation and send it to the school. Then they will receive a notification letter with their personal identification number.”
The Sapphire site address is: sapphire.mvsd.net/Community Web Portal.
Superintendent Francine Shea praised Presley and curriculum director Karen Voigt for their assistance in the absence of an elementary school principal and a Director of Special Needs. Voigt has assumed some duties as principal, and Presley has assisted with meetings and issues dealing with special education students.
Pride In Mountain View recognition was presented to district retirees for years of service. Honored were: Elizabeth Bennett (37 years), Robert Fisher (29 years), Ronald Gardoski (32 years), Mary Harrison (31 years), Laurie Rood (35 years), Constance Schulte (13 years), Cynthia Singer (24 years), and Sue Ann Wildrick (25 years).