North Carolina District to Install Access Control at Middle Schools

North Carolina District to Install Access Control at Middle Schools

The entrances to middle school campuses will require visitors to ring in on an intercom system and be buzzed in by someone in the front office.

The Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools school board approved Tuesday the purchase and installation of new security devices in an effort to increase campus safety. The security upgrades, which focus on access control, will be installed at every middle school in the district.

The entrances to middle school campuses will require visitors to ring in on an intercom system and be buzzed in by someone in the front office. The district’s elementary schools follow a similar procedure, but the system at the middle schools will be connected to the campuses’ video surveillance system.

Other entrances on middle school campuses, such as the entrances between buildings and to modular units, will have a card scanner and keypad for faculty and student use. The system will have set guidelines for the earliest and latest times in the day the buildings can be accessed by students and make sure a student’s access credentials are limited only to the campus they attend, according to district security director Jonathan Wilson.

The security upgrades were estimated to cost about $250,000, but the final costs came out to nearly $94,500. Wilson said that assuming there is no backlog on the access control devices, the goal is to have them installed by the time students return from break in January.

Ronda Mays, president of the Forsyth County Association of Educators, said the security upgrades are a good move, but it’s still important to work with students on preventative measures.

“When people get the help they need, that’s where real safety takes place,” Mays said. “So please, as you’re looking at keeping our school safe, we don’t just stick to these hard-wired measures, but we also include the human element and make certain that we have our student services ratios the way they need to be in our schools and (there) are student services individuals available to our students in our district.”

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Jessica Davis is the Associate Content Editor for 1105 Media.

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