Shrewsbury School Committee talks school security

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Shrewsbury employees will now be required to wear masks again in Town Hall following an Aug. 10 announcement by Town Manager Kevin Mizikar. (Photo/Dakota Antelman)
Shrewsbury School Committee recently discussed the results of a security audit. 
(Photo/Dakota Antelman)

SHREWSBURY – Last year, the School Committee earmarked money in the budget to fund a security audit. On Dec. 6, the School Committee met to discuss the results of that audit.

Shrewsbury hired the Virginia-based Olsen Group Ltd. to perform the audit. The audit started in September, and involved several interviews, on-site assessments, and document reviews. During the presentation to the School Committee, Olsen Group Project Manager Zachary Pope explained the importance of involving the community in the process.

“Our purpose and scope in the process was to engage the community throughout the process. We believe that it’s a shared process, and it’s a shared outcome… We’re giving you a football to run down the football field at the end of the day, so making sure [the community] shares in that process is important,” he said.

The audit analyzed “crime prevention through environmental design,” which looks at factors like natural surveillance, including the placement of lighting, landscaping, and windows.

The Olsen Group presented more specific security-related information to the committee, but in the interest of school security the committee did not make it publicly available. At the meeting, Pope mentioned several small items the committee should “fine tune,” but remained intentionally vague about the exact details.

“Overall, the message that we want folks to take away is that you’re in a really great place,” said Pope. “You’re at a pivotal moment where you need to capitalize on all the great things you’ve been doing… you’re going… for greatness in this arena.”

“Overall, it’s a good news story. We have a lot of strengths. We have some pretty clear areas [that] we can continue to build on to improve — but no glaring issues,” said Superintendent Joe Sawyer.

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