The district has made several changes in security measures over the past month, including reinforcing displays of ID badges, updating crisis management manuals and more, according to a note from Superintendent of Schools Michael Schilder.
Schilder posted a note on the district website Thursday chronicling the safety procedures the district already has in place, as well as those they are currently planning.
"Many of the changes we've made and those we are considering were under discussion prior to the tragedy in Connecticut, but were delayed due to questions of cost or effectiveness," he said in the message. "Clearly, this event has jarred us into moving from debate into action."
As for security measures already in place, this is what the district has been doing:
- Crisis Management teams in schools
- 10 security drills for students and staff, with them conducted on a monthly basis
- Buzzer/car reader entry systems in middle, intermediate and primary schools
- Locking outside entry doors for the middle, intermediate and primary schools during the school day
- Having one uniformed and armed School Resource Officer who reports to the Bridgewater Police Department
- Having one parking lot/security guard at the high school
- Annually updating Crisis Management manuals, with one in every school office.
In the past month, Schilder said, these changes have been made:
- The Crisis Management team is receiving and reviewing security ideas and suggestions from the community
- Buzzer entry protocols have been changed to require visitors to be identified and give a statement of purpose
- The parameters of locking outside entry doors have been extended
- Internal security meetings have been held with administration and staff
- A meeting has been held with administration, board members, architects and fire officials
- Meetings have been held with administration, board members and police
- Crisis Management manuals have been updated
- The superintendent and business administrator attended a state-wide conference on security
- District has reinforced requirements for staff to visibly display staff IDs
- High school students are now required to visibly display their student ID badges.
Schilder said in the note that the district is continuing to put together new security measures with a focus on the doors and windows.
"There continues to be a dialogue between the school district and police and fire officials on other security enhancements," he said in the note. "Windows and doors are a primary focus along with increasing means of communication during an emergency. The board of education is currently considering proposals for inclusion in the 2013-2014 budget that would increase security personnel at the high school and enhance door hardware district-wide."