Seaford School District begins adding new security measures to schools

By Scott Bleile

Dr. Kevin Carson, Seaford School Districts director of Building and Grounds, reported to the Seaford School board during the December meeting about the upcoming security changes coming to schools within the district. We are starting with the high school because we have monies left from the construction of the new additions from 2011, he told the board. There is about $150,000 left which will help with what we have planned to update security at Seaford High School.

Carson explained that each school will be getting some sort of security update as we progress through the year. It will be a process. We are starting with the high school and then will study the needs at each school in the district to get them the best possible way to secure the school, Carson said. At the high school this is a two-fold project. We are changing the way you will enter the high school and in doing so we needed to move the store that was located at the entrance. We are in the process of moving the store to a hallway around the corner, which gets more foot traffic and we hope the increase in traffic will increase sales at the store. The students move through this area each day and people attending school events will be able to access the store easier. We are hoping to add more Seaford gear to the store.

Carson continued describing the procedures which will be put in place when the project is complete.

For example, if you are coming to the high school to pick up a student, you will enter through the front doors into a vestibule, where you will push a button and explain why you are there. A secretary sitting at the new security desk will buzz you into the security area where you will check-in. You will need a photo ID, which will be retained by the secretary, to be able to sign-in and you will receive an ID badge that only allows you to go to the area intended.

When you leave with your child or have completed your business, you will get back your ID. We have installed 79 cameras with a state-of-the-art system. This system will not only cover the inside of the school, but also the parking lots and the exterior of the school. The camera system can read tags of cars in the parking lots as well as in the streets around the school. The monitoring of the system is done off site and we can access the recordings at any time. If the need arises, we can ask for a specific camera to determine what has happened to hopefully solve the problem.

The high schools SRO has also been moved to the new area.

The high schools SRO has his office in the new area and can monitor all the cameras from his office or meet with parents in a more private setting. We will have monitors in the main office, the security area and the SRO office. We want people to know they are on camera.

Carson also explained that each school in the district will soon be assessed for their security needs. Right now, in many of the schools anyone can walk in and have access to the school. We will look at each one to determine what their security needs are. We hope to have all of this completed as soon as possible. We are upgrading our security not to inconvenience people entering our schools, but we are doing this for the safety of our students and staff. Unfortunately, in todays world we need to think about school security. Safety of the schools is our first priority. I know it will be perceived that the changes will be a hassle, but its a matter of safety and if it takes a little longer to enter our schools so be it. We hope people will understand this is being done to protect their children.

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