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Tolland Schools Request Surveillance System Upgrades

The school board also heard a report on the success of a special education program aimed at helping autistic children at Birch Grove Primary School.

The school district presented a request for school surveillance system upgrades during the board of education's Wednesday evening meeting. 

District Technology Specialist Chris White and Tolland Resident Trooper Sgt. Scott Smith examined the district's current surveillance system and determined that updated camera licensing and increased storage capacity would be beneficial to the district, according to the meeting agenda.

The district's current storage system is limiting the amount of archive footage that can be maintained, White explained.

THS Assistant Principal Margot Martello commented that she looks at the camera footage at least once a week and that it often reveals "significant outcomes" for various school issues. She added that she would likely use the system more often if the number of cameras were increased.

The requested upgrades would cost $27,582, according to the agenda. If the school board approves the request at a future meeting, the town council would then need to approve the allocation of capital funds before the equipment could be purchased.

Applied Behavioral Analysis Program at Birch Grove

The school board also heard a report on the Applied Behavioral Analysis program at Birch Grove Primary School, which serves children on the autism spectrum.

Starting during the 2010/2011 school year, certain staff members at the school have been trained in this program through the Capital Region Education Council, according to the agenda. They have worked with 13 of the younger students on the spectrum at Birch Grove.

While the cost of the program currently comes to $497,344, the agenda states that ABA has already saved the school district $818,390, since seven of the 13 participants would have been placed in out-of-district programs without ABA. 

The approximate cost of educating the seven students in ABA comes to $267,800, the agenda said, while the cost of tuition, transportation and more for alternative programs for those same students could have come to $1,086,190.

There are currently 50 students on the autistic spectrum being taught in the Tolland district, with another 10 in alternative programs, according to the agenda.

Honeywell Audit

The school board also decided to move forward with the Honeywell investment grade audit of municipal buildings to create energy savings. It also approved a contract with Celtic Energy to oversee Honeywell's work.

More information on the energy services company proposal to the town can be seen here.

The board's next meeting is scheduled for Jan. 9 at 7:30 p.m. at town hall.

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