Jun 262013

By Julie Wiessner
In a continuing effort to create a safer school environment for all students on their campuses, Holbrook School District officials have accelerated their plans for securing the schools. After the December 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings in Newton, Conn., school officials all across the nation have been pushed to expedite plans to secure their schools.
During the June 11 school board meeting, Dr. Robbie Koerperich, superintendent of the Holbrook district, presented information about improved security at the schools. “We have a great written plan and I believe we have a very responsive practice plan,” said Koerperich.
The school district is securing the perimeter around each school and most schools already have gated entrances. Officials are analyzing how to keep the perimeter of the schools secure without presenting major barriers for students, staff and parents/guardians.
Most of the elementary schools have one public entrance where, after identification is verified by school personnel, visitors are being “buzzed” in through the locked door. Koerperich explained, “This is ideal to ensure we don’t have uninvited visitors on our campuses, and will allow for better and more heightened security of who are on our campuses.”
The single entrance locked door will also help maintain accountably in case of a fire or lock-down drill.
“We would know who is on our campus and have better reporting measures to ensure everyone is accounted for and safe,” noted Koerperich.
The district is not trying to decrease visitors on the campuses, “We just want to ensure students and staff are able to focus on the education process, and to ensure accountability for everyone on the campuses,” said Koerperich.
Though planning for more secure schools is a work in progress, the district is at the point of implementing its plans. Summer work includes securing perimeters, which should be in place before school begins in August.