As we close in on the start of the 2018-19 school year, we are excited to announce some very important safety and security upgrades happening in the District:
First, we have installed brand new video surveillance entry systems at our schools that require visitors to interact with a staff member prior to gaining access to the building. All visitors are required to have a legitimate reason to be in the building — that hasn’t changed. This new system is simply an extra step that allows us to assess any visitor’s reason for entry prior to getting in the building.
Once school starts, the main entry door is locked. At that point, all visitors must request entry by pushing the call button and standing on the footprints to be visible (by camera) to a member of the office staff. Once the call is answered in the office, the prospective visitor will be asked for their name and the purpose of their visit. Once the visitor is deemed safe for entry, the door will be unlocked.
This system is very simple, but will take some time to get accustomed to — both for visitors and staff members. Please be patient as we strive to ensure our schools are as safe as possible for students and staff. (Please see above video for more information).
It is important to understand that safety in school requires a holistic approach alongside new norms for security. Doors should never be propped open, nor should any visitor be let into any other entrance by a student or staff member. It is critical that every visitor comes through one single entrance so that we know who is in our buildings at all times. Signage will be placed on exterior doors throughout the District directing all visitors to the main entrance.
In addition, we have contracted with an emergency preparedness company that will ensure our local first responders have access to critical information in the event of an emergency. We are working closely with local police and fire departments to ensure this technology is available to everyone who requires it and no one who doesn’t.
Finally, we are proud to announce the hiring of several new staff members to monitor our hallways as well as a third School Resource Officer (SRO) who will be housed at the Rolland-Warner Campus. We are incredibly proud to be one of a very small number of school districts in the state with three SROs.
We are very grateful to our entire school community for taking part in a very constructive dialogue on the topic of school safety and security. We will continue to engage our community on this very serious topic and welcome any feedback on what we have done thus far.