September 25, 2006
The new school year kicked off in August for students in our area. So far, it's been a good start, when it comes to disciplinary action at Charlottesville High School.
The most significant difference at Charlottesville High School this year is the school's surveillance camera system. Only installed in July, its two months of work is already appreciated.
"This is the best opening that we've had in my tenure as an administrator. A lot [of that] can be attributed to the work that has been done by our school culture committee," said Principal Kenneth Leatherwood.
The surveillance cameras installed over the summer contributed to that great opening as well.
"Compared to last year, we had probably a few fire alarm/false alarm pulls early in the year last year, and this year of course, we haven't had any at this point," added Leatherwood.
There are about 100 teachers at Charlottesville High School. There are 1400 students, and 40 cameras in place act as an extra set of eyes.
"It's hard to be everywhere all the time, and this allows us to have eyes at times, and in places where we wouldn't have had an opportunity to do that in the past," added Leatherwood.
Very few student-involved incidents have happened this year requiring CHS to look at camera footage. Any staff member can see the video as it happens, or watch it taped right on their classroom computer. The cameras have motion sensors, and allow the person looking to go to a specific time frame when searching.
"Even though we have six sets of eyes in the administrative area. It allows us to have many more sets with the surveillance cameras, and it's a big plus," added Leatherwood.
Charlottesville is not the first school in the area to have cameras up and running. Several in the city and Albemarle County have them in place. Those school have seen a drop in the need for disciplinary action as well.
All the schools in our area still maintain their School Resource Officers, whether or not they have those surveillance cameras installed. Some of those S.R.O.'s are seeing a lighter workload to disciplining students as well.
Charlottesville High School was not the only city school outfitted with cameras over the summer. Buford Middle School also got theirs in place during the summer break.