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For dozens of district schools, the summer will usher in important security improvements, with 37 schools receiving new security cameras and nine scheduled to have front doors outfitted with laminated security glass.
The district has utilized bond money, borrowed after voters approved ballot measure 5B in November, to begin construction in all schools that are not up-to-date on school safety measures.
“Every school is getting these really critical updates,” said project manager Troy Antill.
The district chose to use the new glass, which consists of two pieces of glass connected by an inner layer, after testing how the glass handled different types of force, he said.
“Typically, you’re going to have tempered glass in schools, which breaks into tiny pieces,” he said. “If you try to break through laminated glass, you can’t get through.”
New cameras will also promote school safety. While the current number of cameras varies from school to school, some elementary schools have just one camera on site.
After the projects, elementary schools will have at least eight cameras, middle schools will have at least 16 and high schools will have at least 32, Antill said. Located inside and outside the buildings, many of the cameras capture footage in multiple directions.
That footage will be monitored by school staff members, with cameras recording whenever they detect motion in the area.
“When staff return, they will get to train on this,” Antill said. In an hour-long training session, staff members including principals and office staff will learn how to observe security footage during the day, adjust the image on their monitors and send recorded footage to officials, such as police officers.
Once construction personnel have the materials, the projects take roughly three days to complete, depending on the size of the school, he said.
The projects are in response to a number of factors, said bond construction communications specialist Maureen Wolsborn.
The new improvements reflect school and community input, while also aligning with the district’s longtime focus on safety, she said. “Safety and security has always been a priority for us.”
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