Questions Submitted in Advance for New Rochelle Town Hall Meeting on Security 2/25

Written By: Robert Cox

Debbie Young

  • Why was Altaris hired when we already paid Guidepost and Brice to assess safety and security at our schools and we have the recommendations from both? Was Altaris hired to do something different? If so, what? If not, then why were they hired?
  • What has Altaris done at other schools with similar ethnic diversity, size and behaviors as ours? What changes did they recommend/implement and how successful have they been?
  • When will Altaris present their findings to the board and discuss recommendations and next steps with the boe
  • When will the community hear/see the recommendations (that aren’t redacted for security purposes?)
  • What is the procedure after hearing the recommendations to actually implementing them?
  • What is the relationship between the school and police and fire department? How and when do they work together?
  • Can the board explain what student behavior/actions would require the school to alert parents of an incident?

Lisa Mandras

  • Will someone from Altaris stay on after the assessment as a liaison? If so, what is the role of that person as well as their qualifications?
  • Will all recommendations be implemented? If not, who will decide which ones?
  • When will the assessment be completed and released to the public? (Those which can be without compromising security)
  • I’m sure this is being asked by many but in case it is not, would you also add how using Altaris is different from Guidepost?

Colleen DeRenzis

  • Will there be more safety and protocol training during professional development for all staff in the district?
  • Will there be money in the budget for a Westchester county police, or New Rochelle Police Department officer to be stationed at every school for the entire day?
  • During lockdown drills, will you have police presence so that local authorities have a lay out of the buildings, and the students and staff know exactly what to do and not to move until released by police authority?

Kim Benedict

  • My question is what kind of training do security guards (and monitors in the elementary schools) receive in terms of handling conflict within the student body? What has been implemented or will be implemented to improve security guards’ training?

Bob Cox

  • Over the past five years we have hired firms for three security assessments (Vigilant Resource, Guidepost Solutions, Alteris) plus the Brice Task Force, the SAVE Team and the Culture & Climate Committee. Can you name any specific, actionable recommendations made by any of them that have been implemented?
  • Over the past year, the District has hired three different security firms (Guidepost, T&M, and Alteris) none of which was a budgeted expense. What is the actual or projected cost for each and what line item in the budget is being used to pay for each of them?
  • The Brice Task Force recommended School Resource Officers at NRHS, them Guidepost Solutions recommended SROs. What happened to these reports and recommendations? Is Alteris considering SROs? Is the Culture & Climate Committee? What is the status on making a decision?
  • It has been more than a year, with all the consultants and assessments and committees and task forces has anyone connected to the district investigated the circumstances surrounding the stabbings on January 10 and January 18, if so, what were the findings, where is the report?
  • At a press conference on January 11, 2018, former Schools Superintendent Dr. Brian Osborne and former New Rochelle High School Principal Reggie Richardson made repeated statements that Board Policy 5520 (closed campus at New Rochelle High School) was not being enforced for years, prior to the start date of Mr. Richardson. Does the Board stand by these claims or would the Board care to correct the record? Is this something Alteris might “assess”

Myriam Decime

  • Why all the trepidation about this meeting? On, off and on again, as people are away only to come back to the meeting being on again, as they return?
  • “For obvious security and privacy reasons, questions about individual school buildings or District personnel will not be allowed.” This is exactly one of the issues with security companies recommending how a school district, govt, business operate, “In the name of safety and security, individual, and group rights eroded, privacy invasion, as real transparency and information is stifled.
  • The security and privacy reasons are not obvious. What are they? Why can’t we ask questions about buildings? District positions? For example, why do we need yet another assessment, by yet another $87K security consultant company, when we haven’t decided how to apply the recommendations from the previous assessments?
  • I can tell, the board and all have developed the mantra of justifying this new third security consultant hiring, by saying, “Oh this is a different scope, and Altaris won’t repeat the assessment conducted before”, but Alteris is unable to answer questions as they are assessing our schools??? Police and Fire personnel will be on hand to sure up the push for a security driven school district. We need an education driven district, in order to provide the
  • real sustainable security needed and desired.
  • Once again, when the board wanted to hire a security Executive Director, the community said no, we already have a Director of Security, Assistant Director of Security, An entire .New Rochelle School District Facilities Dept, with 3 positions that should be handling many of these items. At a SAAVE meeting,many on the committee raised why the duplication of what they are suppose to be doing
  • Why was this presentation to the public not done before Alteris was hired, so that the public could have some semblance of input and participation? How does this key decision live up to transparency efforts,
  • But the Boe kills us with, fire alarms, swatzikas and other make believe transparency communication?
  • The contract of Alteris should be terminated immediately and decision to hire put on hold until the public is given information on what will be accomplished for the money and time to have input. Can that be done?

UPDATE: The following email was sent today to the event organizer.

———- Forwarded message ———-

From: Robert Cox <>

Date: Mar 13, 2019, 6:46 PM -0400

To: Julia Muggia Ochs <>

Subject: Status on QA on from security town hall


I obtained under FOIL the questions submitted in advance.

Questions Submitted in Advance for New Rochelle Town Hall Meeting on Security 2/25

You said that night you would produce a QA doc based on the questions from that night which I understood to mean the questions submitted in advance plus questions put forward the night of the event.

I see there is now a section of the home page on for the town hall security QA. I see 3 questions with answers. I do not recall how many questions were asked but certainly more than 3 as evidenced by the list of questions obtained under FOIL.

Have you completed that QA?

If so how may I obtain a copy?

I do not see any of the questions I asked among those on the web site.

I would note that Dr. Parvey gave a reply to my second question. It was was largely incomplete and what she did say about the District not paying for the T&M investigation was untrue (knowingly, in my view). Mr. Hastie also replied. He added some information, some of it incorrect, but still did not fully address my question (despite cutting me off by insisting he had answered my questions which he clearly had not). How do you propose to address the misinformation provided by Dr. Parvey which was not corrected at the meeting (or ever) and how do you propose to deal with the video which contains her false, uncorrected claim about the T&M invoice. Also, Mr. Hastie made a statement about the T&M cost which was off by about 50% (he gave a figure of about $77,000 when I have invoices totalling about $130,000 – and there may be more). How will that and other misinformation in the video be addressed?

Thank you.

Robert Cox

Publisher and Managing Editor

Talk of the Sound

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