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Archive for Wednesday, August 24, 2005

School security is in the cards

Three-year plan calls for IDs to have many uses

August 24, 2005

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Once the security overhaul is complete, Lawrence public schools employees will use one high-tech scan card to enter school buildings, clock in for work and buy lunch.

Some may even use the card to make long distance phone calls, change the thermostat or log onto the Internet.

And the district will be able to keep track of everything they do.

In a push to improve security and efficiency in the district of more than 10,000 students, officials are embarking on a three-year plan to overhaul security.

"We're bringing it all back to this one card," said Tom Bracciano, the district's operations and facility planning director.

All of the cards' future uses haven't been decided, and some staff will have different access rights than others, Bracciano said. But the goal is to give the district the ability to do many things with the new system.

"We wanted to be able to have those options built in as we put the system together," he said.

The initiative begins this fall as the district replaces doors in several buildings, and adds proximity card access and security cameras. Proximity cards, used in place of keys, can be swiped near an electronic box that reads the card and unlocks a door.

It will cost the district $348,000 to replace old doors, that would have needed updating anyway, and add proximity card entry, Bracciano said. That is for upgrades at all junior high and high schools and at five elementary schools and learning centers.


Lawrence High School athletic director Ron Commons, left, talks with school resource officer Jon Barta on Tuesday afternoon in the school cafeteria. As an added security measure for Lawrence junior high and high schools, staff members will soon be issued digital identification cards, which will be used to access doors and computers.

Lawrence High School athletic director Ron Commons, left, talks with school resource officer Jon Barta on Tuesday afternoon in the school cafeteria. As an added security measure for Lawrence junior high and high schools, staff members will soon be issued digital identification cards, which will be used to access doors and computers.

The district hopes to begin issuing new identification cards at the schools before winter break, Bracciano said.

Trish Bransky, principal of Southwest Junior High, said she welcomed any efforts to ensure safety and security of students.

"Safety and security is our number one priority," she said.

Parts of the plan will be paid for by the technology bond issue approved by voters in May.

The initiative will enable the district to track building access, and such things as long distance phone calls and Internet use. Some authorized employees will swipe their cards to check the temperatures in buildings, water pressure and smoke alarms. Access will depend on the employee's duties.

And students also will use swipe cards for lunch.

Eventually, keyed entry will be phased out and replaced with proximity card access.

"To have it all on the badge would be convenient," said Kim Bodensteiner, Cordley School's principal.

New security cameras will monitor schools. The cameras will focus on people as they enter or try to enter the schools. Cameras will cost at least $30,000 per school, Bracciano said.

The upgrades will make it easier for the district to track the goings on in schools.

"Security in school buildings is very important," Bracciano said. "We need to know what's happening."

Comments

italianprincess 9 years ago

They need cameras in the parking lots at the high schools.

My son got his windshield shot with a BBGun last school year. Security was somewhere else and didn't see anything. Damage cost for him was 200.00+ to get a new windshield.

School certainly has changed since I was in high school. We didn't have cameras or security anywhere. Kinda makes a parent leary about sending their child to school these days.

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Skeem82 9 years ago

I Think that they should have done this awhile ago. When I was in high school at Lawrence High kids that were kicked out of school for whatever reason whould just walk right into the school and not get in trouble, that is how alot of fights and stuff broke out. The card's would also help in tracking your childern like if they leave the building without the parent permisson. I also agree with that fact that they need camera's in the school parking lots. They think just because there in the parking lots nothing can happen to them and that's not true, it doesn't matter how many teachers are out there. At least with camera's you can go back and look at whatever happend (fights ext.)

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