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Security Measures to Increase at School Entrances

Current focus is on ways to keep the school doors locked longer, superintendent said.

The district is continuing to look into measures of increasing safety at the schools, and the current focus is on tightening up the procedures concerning the entering and exiting of students before and after school.

"We are looking at how to tighten it up without having to eliminate clubs or hire additional people," Superintendent of Schools Michael Schilder said at Thursday's reorganization meeting. "What can we do immediately to have those doors locked sooner, and not have open doors?"

Schilder said that with the before-care programs, the doors to the schools are unlocked a while before the buses actually arrive for the start of the school day.

"We are trying to get them unlocked closer to when the buses actually pull in, then lock them again when the buses pull away," he said. "How can we do that better?"

Schilder said some buildings have already made changes, but they are not consistent throughout the district, and he would like to make them so.

For example, Schilder said, there is the possibility to have someone waiting at the front door to let in students as they come for the before-care programs so the doors don't have to be unlocked, but that could be a problem based on how many students there are.

"In some, the number of students in before-care is five, in others it's 12," he said. "To wait for five is no big deal, but if you have to wait for 12, it's a lot."

"And those [with the before-care programs] who aren't our employees don't have swipe cards," he added.

Schilder said he is also setting up a meeting with the police chiefs for both Bridgewater and Raritan to look at possible options for increased safety and what the immediate steps could be.

Right now, Schilder said, it's about prioritization as he continues to gather information from administrators, staff and parents.

"It is what can we do immediately, what should we do and what should we get advice on," he said. "That is all taking place right now."

"I have gathered information from other principals of what we can and can't do," he added. "We are hoping to make some decisions early next week and get those doors locked."

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