The school safety initiative plan includes a two-story secured front entrance, a new bus driveway, a new door system allowing a school to be secured through an app and equipment in classrooms that teachers can use to barricade their classroom doors.
Since Jan. 10, 10 robberies have taken place within 500 feet of the university’s campus, including one Feb. 23 after a town hall meeting about the robberies.
With the new program, visitors to the Smith Elementary School campus stand in front of a security camera, press a button and wait for an office attendant to respond.
The changes to security include a new door lock schedule. All exterior doors on both the north and south campuses of the high school will be locked until 7 a.m. on school days. After 7 a.m., six entrances to the campuses will be open for students to enter, and doors will be locked again when classes start at 8:20 a.m.
RUSD will begin installing signs at each of its high school buildings this week, alerting entrants that they could be subject to security scans. Officials then plan to communicate with students and families about the use of metal detectors and the district’s policy before they go into use.
“Mainly with the number of school shootings that have happened, we’re just trying to be extra vigilant," District superintendent David McCurry said. “And in the event that something does happen, we’re prepared.”
The Lockport City School District is exploring additions to its security policy that includes facial recognition software.
In its final report, the panel recommended funding for school resource officers at every school in the state, or at least at every middle and high school campus, with multiple elementary schools sharing one officer.
An alert was sent out campus-wide just after 8:45 a.m. on Wednesday, telling students, faculty and staff to shelter in place. The text identified the exercise as a drill that the school had planned and previously announced.
Saratoga Parents for Safer Schools is comprised of parents advocating for more school resource officers, more mental health services and for reworking the grounds monitor position to what the group calls a school security officer.