The Fremont Public Schools Board of Education approved a $74,150 purchase to update the system that manages the locks on 71 doors at 13 sites.
On Monday evening, the board voted to award the Access Control Upgrade contract to the low bidder, Prime Communications.
The hardware and software that manages the locks will replace the current system which is 20 years old and has been experiencing some issues, Cliff Huss, FPS director of information services, told the Fremont Tribune.
“Our current system is working,” Huss said. “We’re just noticing some deficiencies that need to be addressed.”
He cited an example.
“If we scheduled the board room door to unlock for the board meeting, sometimes it just wouldn’t unlock,” he said.
The new system addresses those deficiencies.
Huss said the 13 sites affected are all school and district buildings.
The software to be used is called Genetec. One of the key reasons Genetec was chosen is because the City of Fremont uses it.
“In an emergency situation, if we both have Genetec, we can give Fremont Police or Fremont Fire the ability to use the access control system as we choose,” he said. “In the future, we would also be able to give them access to video surveillance.”
Huss said Mercury hardware will replace current hardware.
“Mercury is an industry standard hardware. A lot of vendors build their software to the Mercury hardware,” Huss said.
Huss notes the benefit of the new system.
“It allows us to manage the doors to schedule them locked or unlocked or to give users access when they need access,” he said.
Certain doors can be unlocked at a school for a musical performance.
During the regular school day, doors around a building can be unlocked so students can enter — but automatically locked at 8 a.m. so all other entry that day must go through the main office of that building.
“And we know who’s coming in and accessing the building,” he said.
This software and hardware will allow for future expansion and growth. More doors could be added.
A monitor could be put on a door, indicating if it has been propped open for longer than 30 seconds or a designated time. If a door was propped open, the system would detect that and send a message to building and district administration.
In other business, Kate Heineman, executive director of teaching and learning for FPS, said teachers for grades kindergarten through 12th spent more than 7,000 hours this summer revising curriculum and improving instruction.
Areas included a full revision of the science curriculum to match new state standards, Heineman told the Tribune.
In science, the shift of the new standards is more focused on real-life problem solving as opposed to rote knowledge (memorization).
“The curriculum is very heavily focused on experiencing and experimenting,” Heineman said. “In science, it will be less reading a textbook and more experimenting to learn.”
So when studying “forces in motion,” for instance, students may be building simple machines.
The counseling program has been realigned. This involves working on behaviors to help students be successful in society.
As students progress through the grades, career and college planning is involved.
The regular FPS Board of Education meetings start at 6:30 p.m., the second Monday of each month in the board room of the Main Street building at 130 E. Ninth St.
People interested in addressing the board about items not on the agenda will be recognized at the beginning of the meeting.