Thursday, September 1, 2016

Changes in Security Access Control

Frequency Operated Button Reader for
remote door entry. Located at all main
by Robert "Bob" Lewandowski

Our school district in response to continued senseless school shootings and security breeches across our country has implemented some additional crisis prevention measures for the safety of our children and staff. This year alone there have been nine (9) school shootings in the United States with four months left in the year. In 2015 there were twenty (20) shootings in schools according to Wikipedia's "List of Shootings in the United States." In response to such horrific acts, we know that not all tragedies can be prevented, but we need to do everything possible to keep our children and staff out of harm's way.

School safety is our number one priority at Colstrip. In response, the district is tightening up safety protocols that are already in place as well as implementing new preventative measures that may inconvenience the public and traffic flow throughout our schools. While there are only a few changes, we ask everyone to be patient and cooperate with the District in providing a safe environment for all.

Because our buildings were designed before tragedies like Columbine (1999) and that of Sandy Hook (2012), we have multiple entries into our buildings that will have to be redirected. These changes will come at some inconvenience to the students, staff and public, but are necessary. We want to do everything possible to prevent and prepare for possible emergencies in our community. Restricting unmonitored access to students and staff is the first step. 

Public Access Changes:

  1. All doors except for the main entries will be locked.
  2. All access into any of the buildings by visitors must flow through the main entries.
  3. All visitors must check in at the front office of the respective school visited and receive appropriate visitor tags to be worn while they are in the building. This includes parents, past students and community members.
In addition to restricting and redirecting public access, the district has implemented a new security access control system. All employees will use a FOB (frequency operated button) to enter into any facility across the district. Keys will no longer be used for entry through our external doors. Old keys will no longer work. The security access system will recognize the FOB held up by its owner and momentarily unlock the door for entry. The system will record the time of day each FOB and its owner enters the building.

Once again, during school hours all doors will be locked. Parents and community members that wish to enter the school during the school day, must enter the main entrance at the far right door and then push the view panel button located in the breezeway of each school entry (this is clearly marked).When the button is pushed the staff will be able to see the guest and then allow entry into the office area. If a guest does not report directly to the office, the school will go into lockdown with a sounding alarm. Once again, student safety will not be compromised.

Another necessary inconvenience will be the scheduling of our building. All school activities will be scheduled into the security access system in order to allow doors to remain open during events. Activities that are not schedule through each building office will not be recognized or allowed entry. We are asking those of you that wish to use the building to request your event to be scheduled 72 hours prior to your event. Please see Board Policy 4330, Facility Use Agreement for additional details. 

Providing for the safety and security of our school district's students and employees is critical. The inconveniences and extra work are necessary. Colstrip Public Schools is doing everything possible to embrace the challenges of change as well as the opportunities they present. We hope that you will be able to support these changes in order to better serve our community.



"Get out in front and stay there!"