More security coming for Cumberland County’s elementary schools

Darrell Cole
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Six to receive video intercom systems by September

Six schools in Cumberland County will receive upgraded security for their entrances before the opening of classes in September.

AMHERST – Six Cumberland County elementary schools will receive a new level of security in the coming months.

Spring Street Elementary in Amherst, Cumberland North Academy in Brookdale, Cyrus Eaton Elementary in Pugwash, Northport Elementary, Wentworth Elementary and Advocate District School will have new video intercom security systems installed prior to the 2013-14 school year.

“In the last number of years we have really seen an evolution in the level of security that parents, students, staff and community members expect, especially at the elementary school level,” Chignecto-Central Regional School Board spokeswoman Debbie Buott-Matheson said Wednesday. “This is answering that need and that level of security people desire for children when they are at school.”

Each school will have a buzzer with a camera and intercom at the front door that will be connected to a camera and intercom in the main office. Staff will be able to see who comes to the front door and grant or restrict access to the building.

Seventeen schools across the district are already using the system. Twenty-six other schools, including the six in Cumberland County, are getting the system, each of which cost between $3,000 and $4,000.

The total cost of the project is $150,000.

“We’re seeing the evolution of the trend across all sectors. When I was growing up we didn’t lock our house, now I lock my doors,” she said. “Even in small communities where everybody knows everybody there will be the extra level of security.

“The whole idea is for us to provide as much safety and security for our students and staff as we can.”

Cumberland North Academy vice-principal Tammy Bickerton is looking forward to the new system.

“It’s a great idea. We have a unique situation here in that we can’t see people as they come in the front door because there’s no window from the office into the entrance area,” she said. “Someone could come in the building and go down the right wing and we wouldn’t know they’re there.”

Bickerton said all other school doors are locked, but there are so many deliveries during the day that it would be difficult to lock the main entrance as well.

Twitter: @ADNdarrell


Organizations: Cumberland North Academy, Advocate District School, Central Regional School Board

Geographic location: Cumberland County, AMHERST, Brookdale Pugwash Chignecto

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Recent comments

  • WOW
    February 21, 2013 - 16:47

    That was a bonehead statement and question Sharon!

  • Daryl
    February 21, 2013 - 11:42

    Education suffers round after round of cuts, and yet somehow money is found for a superfluous security system. That money could have been spent on textbooks, professional development, equipment including computers and projectors, supplies including art and music supplies, and services including library services.That money could have been spent on educating students.

  • Irene Green
    February 21, 2013 - 08:22

    One second now, if you go to the CCRSB website (, you will read the first article on their website regarding the schools under review, one of which is Wentworth Elementary. Wentworth is also one of the schools where the high tech security is being installed. This does not make sense, wait until after the reviews are done. Do not waste the taxpayer's money installing this system in a school you are closing. Also while you are at it (by you, I am referring to CCRSB), put out the tender for the completion of River Hebert District High School. Get your act together !!!!

  • Earl
    February 21, 2013 - 05:22

    What about River Hebert when are they getting their school rebuild.

  • David Le Blanc
    February 20, 2013 - 17:45

    Great news. However I would think the people of River Hebert would be happy to hear the school board has finally tendered the school. November has come and gone and still no tenders.

  • Sharon
    February 20, 2013 - 17:19

    This is the same security system that failed to prevent the heartbreaking tragedy in Newtown. Should there not be a different approach to ensuring our schools are safe?