Thank You Georgetown Voters!

I want to send a special THANK YOU out to all Georgetown residents who supported the school budget at the Annual Town Meeting this week. I know it was a big ask this year with a 4.45% budget increase but I assure you it will be used to  maintain the current level of programs and services for our students.

While it doesn’t address some of the challenges we face with the instability in our  revolving accounts, high fees and the inability to add additional support personnel to assist our students and staff , we are VERY grateful that no reductions will be need to be made to our budget for next year and we will be able to continue to make progress on the goals in our strategic plan, maintain our reasonable class sizes and ensure that we can keep all of our trained and talented staff in our schools and classrooms to work with our wonderful students!

We would also like to acknowledge and thank you for approving funding for the safety enhancements for the schools. This will allow us to:

1. Make structural changes to the lobby in the Middle High School that will change the access to the building and the classrooms after entering the school. Visitors will continue to report to the school office after being buzzed into the entrance but we are building a vestibule that will restrict all access into the main school without knowing who is in the building and authorizing their entrance via a buzzer system.

2. Purchase Lobby Guard which is an automated sign in system at all three schools. Visitors will be required to show their license, even if known to the staff , and it will automatically be run through the sexual offender registry. It produces a badge with a picture ID which all visitors will be required to wear and it maintains a on-going log of all visitors.

3. Purchase Night Lock to better protect teachers and students in the classrooms. In the case of the need to barricade in a classroom, these devices  will allow a teacher to easily lock down the door to ensure the safety of all inside of the room. We will be installing this device on all classroom doors in all three schools.

4. Alter the entrance process at the Perley School. Just like the Middle High School,we are restricting access to the school classrooms and the central office  from the kiosk.  We will be locking the doors to the hallways and all visitors must be buzzed in by the preschool secretary.  All visitors to Perley will enter through the kiosk. The central office staff has fobs so they will use the front door but because we can’t alter this front entrance due to the construction of the fire doors , we will use the kiosk for all visitors to the school. All doors to the hallways at Perley will be locked and fobs with be installed on both ends of the preschool.

5. Purchase a television for the Police Department so they can monitor all cameras at the three schools. Currently they can monitor two schools but we want full coverage so there is 24/7 surveillance of our schools.

Again we are so grateful for your help with this! Safety is Job One and these changes will help us make our school entrances and classrooms safer.

It remains to be seen what will happen with the second SRO that would be added to the Georgetown Police Department and assigned to the schools,  but I urge all of you , regardless of how you vote, to make your voices heard. The town is fortunate to have an open town meeting format where the public has the chance to be part of the democratic process and the workings of the town.

Thanks again!