The U.S. Secret Service, along with local police and fire departments, were at Algonquin Regional High School last months. The school also had a recent lockdown.
Both were part of the high school's commitment to updating and improving security systems and measures at Algonquin.
The school had always maintained safety and security, but as with most schools around the country since the Sandy Hook tragedy, re-examined it effectiveness and evaluated where it needed improvement.
Mead, Facilities Manager Mike Gorman, along with Christine Johnson, assistant superintendent for the Northborough-Southborough public schools, coordinate with other local officials, conduct drills and target improvement points.
Since January, the school has made upgrades to the main entrances, which includes a microphone feed to the secretary stations in the main office area (the rotunda).
"Doors at the lower school for the past two years have been locked," said Mead, "and they will continute to be locked. We do have an optional plan to use a similar camera system."
Recently, the school held a lockdown drill, after which feedback from teachers and staff was gathered by Gorman. The feedback revealed that of the 67 doors on the building, most were in good working order, but some needed repair.
"We're addressing that," said Mead.
Also revealed during the lockdown were some fuzzy areas in the school's PA system.
"Our PA works fairly well," said Mead, "but there are a few places where they need upgrades and installations to provide better coverage for the school."
New passes were also issued to students and staff earlier this year.
One of the most important elements, however, that Mead says students and staff can concentrate on is "the human element in terms of security." Students and staff are being encouraged to be more observant and proactive should a person be inside the school that is seemingly unknown to anyone.
"Students and staff are an integral part of this," said Mead. "Their info is invaluable to us, and alerting us to people they don't know is the most important thing."
Johnson added that meetings with the U.S. Secret Service, and Northborough police and fire departments, resulted in a 49-question survey that the school is going to review with safety officials.
"It summarizes safety and security within our buildings," said Johnson. "It will present a roadmap of the critical points we want to address. I want to commend the staff for being so proactive on such a serious issue."