Colorado District to Bolster Entrance Security with Almost $335K in Grants

Colorado District to Bolster Entrance Security with Almost $335K in Grants

The Woodland Park School District plans to use $334,910 in grant funding to implement school security improvements this summer.

The Woodland Park School District plans to use grant funding this summer on renovations to increase security and safety on its campuses. The district received a total of $334,910 from the Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management to fund the upgrades.

The district will use the funding to strengthen entrance security at all five of its schools. Visitors to campuses will enter via a vestibule where school staff will be positioned behind bulletproof glass. Visitors will be required to present ID, which will be scanned to check for criminal history and any flags that indicate a threat to school safety.

Visitors who pass the background check will receive a pass that includes their name and their destination within the school building. The pass helps ensure that visitors only access parts of the campus they’re authorized to enter, according to public relations specialist Stacy Schubloom.

“I don’t want our parents to think that there’s been one incident that has caused these (security improvements),” Schubloom said. “It’s just how our world is right now. We want to do everything that we possibly can to keep our staff and our students as safe as possible. This is proactive, not reactive.”

Student entry to schools will remain the same. When asked, Safety and Security Coordinator Sean Goings said there is currently no need to add metal detectors.

“If we had a higher incidence of people bringing guns or knives to school, then we might consider that,” Goings told the Courier. “We live in a great community. We have great kids. And we don’t need to screen our kids … We are very fortunate that we live in a community that is very caring and nurturing.”

In addition to boosting entrance security, a school resource officer from the Teller County Sheriff’s Office will be placed at the Summit Elementary School. School windows will have laminated glass added in order to make them shatter-resistant.

Goings said that the Parkland, Fla., shooting in 2018 spurred the district to increase its security, but the district didn’t want to overdo it.

“This is an opportunity for us to be more secure,” Superintendent Steve Woolf said. “We have no desire to be Shawshank. We want to be welcoming.”

According to Woolf, the district aims to provide a safe learning environment where students can still experience a normal education.

“High schools at some point run the danger of looking like a jail,” Woolf said. “We want to make sure that it’s a welcoming and exciting environment for our kids.”