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School Board passes video surveillance policy

By Brad Coccimiglio
SooToday.com
Wednesday, November 09, 2011

The Algoma District School Board officially passed a video surveillance policy on Tuesday night.

A draft of the policy was presented by Superintendent of Business Joe Santa Maria at the ADSB’s committee of the whole meeting in October.

The policy approves their own video surveillance policy that allows “video surveillance and the resulting records are to be used for inquiries and proceedings related to maintaining the health, welfare, safety and security, for the protection of property and any criminal activity affecting students, staff and visitors while on school board premises.”

Santa Maria said Tuesday night that the equipment is currently installed at Superior Heights and is in the process of being commissioned at the school.

Superior Heights is currently the lone secondary school locally to have the surveillance technology in place.

“We’re still in discussions on how we’re going to implement the plan in the future,” said Santa Maria. “And if it will involve other secondary schools.”

He added that the board hopes to have some information on the system in the next month or so before making any decisions on future expansion into other schools.

Santa Marie said that the new policy isn’t related to any specific incidents.

The board also addressed the school accommodation review of Alexander Henry High School on Tuesday night.

The school will have its fourth, and final, public information meeting on Wednesday night at 5:30 p.m. at the school.

At that time, the accommodation review committee will present to the public in attendance their recommendations and a draft report.

Details of the draft report will then be presented to the ADSB trustees at the board’s next committee of the whole meeting, scheduled for November 22.

Full text of a news release issued by the Algoma District School Board follows.

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Video surveillance policy

On October 18, Superintendent of Business Joe Santa Maria presented a draft copy of the board’s proposed video surveillance policy. 

At the November 8 board meeting the policy was approved. 

The policy has been reviewed by trustees, administrative council, and appropriate board personnel.

In addition, the policy and procedure has been circulated to all unions for their input.

The policy will ensure that the board is in compliance with the new ministry requirements. 

Video surveillance policy statement

It is the policy of the Algoma District School Board that video surveillance equipment can be used to comply with its responsibilities and the duties of its employees as set out in the Education Act and regulations. 

Video surveillance and the resulting records are to be used for inquiries and proceedings related to maintaining the health, welfare, safety and security, for the protection of property and any criminal activity affecting students, staff, and visitors while on school board premises.

The board will have established procedures to govern the use of video surveillance and the use of video records that deal with the following:

- Notification of the installation of video surveillance equipment

- Locations of the equipment

- Secure transmission of information

- Use, disclosure, retention, security and disposal of surveillance records

- Access to personal information

- Covert surveillance

- Privacy breach response

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