The Onteora Central School District has adopted a new policy on surveillance cameras in the district to ensure administrators have access to the footage.
“This policy was actually put into effect when we first got cameras in the Middle/High School. And then last year, we had cameras put in the elementary buildings using our Smart Schools bond money,” Superintendent Victoria McLaren said at the September 27 Board of Education meeting. “But we came to realize that this policy had not been revised to accommodate that. And so by policy, our elementary principals did not have access to the recordings. So we would like to simply modify the policy to include the elementary principals.”
The Smart Schools Bond Act provides state funding to improve educational technology and infrastructure.
“Upon the recommendation of the Superintendent of Schools and after having carefully considered and balanced the rights of privacy with the District’s duty to promote discipline, health, welfare and safety of staff and students, as well as that of the general public who has occasion to use school facilities, the Board supports the use of video surveillance cameras in its school buildings and surrounding school grounds,” the policy reads. “District video surveillance cameras will only be utilized in areas where there is no ‘reasonable expectation of privacy.’ Video surveillance does not include audio surveillance; we are not conducting audio surveillance.”
Per the policy, footage may be used in a student’s or employee’s disciplinary proceedings and parents or guardians can request to view it.
New athletic director appointed
Onteora found a new athletic director and she’s already getting to know the district.
The Board of Education appointed Beth Fletcher as director of Physical Education, Health and Athletics at a salary of $122,000 for a four-year probationary period beginning October 28.
Fletcher has been an educator for 16 years, most recently at Newburgh city schools, where she taught physical education. She is the latest in a series of athletic directors, both permanent and interim at Onteora over the past two years.
“We will be working with our interim director to establish a mentoring arrangement so that Miss Fletcher has all the support she needs as she joins our team,” McLaren said at the September 27 meeting. “During the interview process, she spent a couple of hours with (Interim Athletic Director Jennifer) Simmons getting to know the facility and the district and she also came up on homecoming on Saturday to join us.”
Simmons was hired as interim in August to replace Ryan Naccarato, who left after less than half a year on the job.
In other administration news, Amanda Allison will become assistant superintendent for Pupil Personnel Services and Carol Grima is the new director of special education. The board abolished the positions of Director of Pupil Personnel Services and Assistant Director of Pupil Personnel Services.
“This title change is really more of a reclassification, and it aligns with the job responsibilities that exist currently for each of those roles,” McLaren said.