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Secure entrances creating ‘buzz’ at BVSD elementaries

December 18. 2013 6:00AM
The Brandon Valley School District has made substantial investments in school security over the last six months and is finally ready to begin the use of the new secure entrance procedures at its four elementary schools. Beginning on Jan. 5, 2014 all visitors to any of the elementary schools will need to be “buzzed in” and then sign in at the office. We know that this may occasionally cause some inconvenience, but the district is willing to make that trade-off for increased safety.

These new entrances are highly visible improvements to the security of these buildings. However, there are also other improvements throughout the district that have been made behind the scenes. The district is not making those measures public since doing so would provide information to potential perpetrators, helping them plan for ways to circumvent the security. We know that no school can ever be 100 percent protected, but believe we can, and should, take reasonable steps. These latest improvements are all part of that effort.

The District’s Safety Committee is reviewing the entire Emergency Response Plan and will be making some changes and updating aspects of the plan. The Committee has the “model” safety plan provided by the State and is incorporating ideas from that plan into the District’s existing plan. School safety is a never-ending process.

The Facilities Review Committee recommended that the school board move forward with the provision of secure entrances at the middle school and high school. Both these buildings require multi-million dollar solutions so it will take longer to plan for, and fund, these major additions. Once the new intermediate school funding is known, it will be possible to more accurately schedule these building additions.

The District takes school safety seriously and is willing to wisely invest in measures that have proven to be helpful. That commitment will always be part of the District’s fulfillment of its Core Operating Principle: “Our business is the creation of learning environments that result in success.” One of the critical factors in effective learning environments is that they need to be safe. We have made some excellent progress this year, but know that there is always work to be done.

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