Troy schools take look at safety measures
By Marianne Eisenbrandt Correspondent December 24, 2012 1:08PM
Updated: January 27, 2013 6:19AM
The recent shootings in Newtown, Conn., prompted the Troy School Board to take a closer look at safety in the district’s seven schools.
Troy’s Administrative Team conducted a comprehensive review of the district’s safety procedures and ideas for improvements.
The board recently reviewed the discussion notes of the Administrative Team and added its own ideas for improving safety.
Superintendent Don White said the goal of the review is to allow for appropriate access to district facilities while maintaining a secure environment for students and employees at all times. White said some of the topics need to be researched further to determine if the administration will recommend implementation.
“I plan to organize a list of all of the great ideas that have been developed and then begin the implementation process,” White said.
The district already is moving forward with the installation of additional security measures such as the installation of proximity readers to better control access into the main halls and classrooms when a visitor gets into the office area.
“I will also be exploring the services of security consulting firms that can conduct comprehensive security audits of all of our district facilities,” White said.
He noted the recommendations that come from these audits will assist with future planning.
“This work will include an analysis of the type of glass we have on the outside perimeter of our schools to make sure that we have taken all reasonable steps to provide protection for our students and employees,” he said.
In addition, research will be done to learn more about hiring the services of a security firm that can provide safety officers for the district’s public events such as athletic contests and concerts.
Also discussed were ways to improve communication within the district. Currently there are a limited number of radios in the district so there is a need to add radios so that schools can communicate with each other and the district office.
The administration is researching the cost of purchasing additional radios so that all building administrators, at least one school secretary and other personnel that frequently take their classes outside for instruction, such as physical education, have access to a radio.
Building principals also will review school safety plans with staff and will continue emergency drills (fire, active shooter, etc.). Staff also will be reminded that they have the capacity to directly dial 911 should they see a need.
White said the administration is working with the local police departments, Joliet and the village of Shorewood to make sure that they have access to the schools at all times.
“Both police chiefs are amazing to work with. They are all concerned about protecting our kids,” White said.
The administration also discussed the employment of armed security guards for each school.
“While this solution may provide the timeliest response, it needs to be carefully considered on many levels and will need to be discussed by the board before moving forward,” White said in his written report to the board.