Four new bond-funded safety measures being piloted in Northshore

Northshore School District’s Safety & Security Department is leading the charge in piloting four projects to improve safety in our schools. These include: cameras, fencing, visitor and volunteer management software and upgrading all main classroom entry locks. 

These safety measures were recommended by the District’s Safe School Advisory Committee. The Committee assessed, evaluated and identified challenges and opportunities related to safety at each of the District’s 33 schools. District staff took this information and determined which schools would participate in each of the pilot programs and the timeline of when schools would have new locks installed. Some of the things considered were: entry points, site supervision, current practices for visitor management, and the campus location perimeter. Based on a scaled rating of the evaluation, schools were selected.

Cameras

Interior and exterior cameras are being installed at Westhill Elementary and Sorenson Early Childhood Center during winter 2020. The locations were chosen because of the age of students attending. Surveillance cameras provide staff the ability to monitor students and visitors and may deter misbehavior and vandalism. Once installed, staff will assess and make any necessary adjustments, before going out for a districtwide bid. This is an $86,350 investment. Additionally, camera modernization at Inglemoor and Bothell high schools, which began with 2014 bond funds, is expected to be completed with 2018 bond funds this summer.

Fencing

In order to direct visitors to the main office at schools, fencing will be installed at Kenmore, Crystal Springs, Arrowhead and Moorlands elementary schools during spring 2020. Enhanced school perimeters and wayfinding will allow for a consistent approach districtwide to ensure visitors are directed to the main office and are only in areas where visitors are permitted. Once the pilot is complete, fencing at other schools will be considered.

Visitor & Volunteer Management

Visitors to the main office at Crystal Springs, East Ridge, Kokanee, Northshore Middle, Bothell High schools will notice a new sign-in process come winter 2020. Instead of signing in by hand, visitors will work with school staff to scan their driver’s license, take a photo and receive a name badge, to be worn at all times while in the school. Once the visitor is ready to leave campus, they will return to the main office and sign out so school staff know that the visitor is no longer in the building. Once this is piloted at these five schools, staff will evaluate efficiency and troubleshoot any challenges. This software is anticipated to be rolled out to all 33 schools district-wide over time. This approach will lead to consistency across all schools for all visitors and staff, and provide real-time monitoring of who is on campus, which is critical in the event of an emergency. Additionally, volunteer applications will be streamlined through the same software. This will allow a centralized database districtwide of all volunteers. This will reduce workload for school staff, student family members will only need to fill out one application but have the opportunity to volunteer at multiple schools and from a safety perspective there will be a consistent approach for approving volunteer applications. This also improves reporting and enables easier recruitment based on the needs of a school.

Lock Upgrades

In spring 2019, the pilot project for installation of upgraded locks began. The pilot project is scheduled to be completed by the end of February with upgrades at Northshore and Kenmore middle schools, as well as Arrowhead and Kenmore elementary schools. The new locks can be locked from inside the classroom without a key. The old locks required someone to lock the door from the outside with a key. The new locks also provide a visual indicator which will help in an emergency situation by displaying the status of the lock. The goal is for all main classroom entry locks to be upgraded across the District by the end of the 2020 calendar year.

 

 

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