Lawrence school district’s facilities officials calling for school safety supervisor position, other security improvements

Lawrence Public Schools district offices, 110 McDonald Drive.

A new school safety supervisor position and increased communications with local first responders are both needed to keep Lawrence schools secure, district facilities and operations officials say.

Tony Barron, the district’s executive director of facilities and operations, and Ron May, the operations director, will recommend those improvements and more than a dozen others to the Lawrence school board on Monday. They compiled their report in the wake of Feb. 14’s mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.

Among the 16 recommendations in the report are:

• The hiring of a supervisor of school safety for the districtwide management of emergency operations planning.

• Meetings twice a year involving district facilities and operations administrators, high school principals, Lawrence Police Department staff and school resource officers. Current crisis plans would be discussed, as would plans for the future.

• Contracting a third-party service to provide perimeter security at Lawrence and Free State high schools through the remainder of the school year.

• Hiring evening receptionists so that secure entrances can be maintained at schools for after-school events.

• Scheduling four to six meetings a year of an emergency operations team. The meetings would involve district administrators, building principals, First Student Transportation representatives, the Lawrence Police Department, Lawrence-Douglas County Fire Medical and Douglas County Emergency Management.

• Installing additional security cameras and creating a plan to keep them operational.

• Purchasing a two-way radio system that connects district safety and communications staff to building administrators.

The report includes no cost estimate of how much it would cost the school district to hire the recommended staff or make the proposed safety upgrades to facilities.

The board also will have a 6 p.m. work session on the school district’s budget and enrollment. The regular meeting will start at 7 p.m. Monday at the district offices, 110 McDonald Drive.