T/E Schools expect to have all door entry systems in place by Friday.
New main entrance door cameras and buzzers are now installed in seven of the eight Tredyffrin Easttown School buildings. The eight, at Conestoga High School is expected to be in place by the end of the week.
The camera and lock buzz-in systems are being installed in the face new school security concerns in T/E and around the nation after the school shooting rampage last month in Newtown Connecticut.
The update was presented at Monday's T/E School Board meeting and is also available on line at the district's website.
According to the district "all parents and visitors will be required to push an intercom button, state their name and the purpose of their visit in order to gain entry into the school. School staff will make a visual and verbal determination prior to granting the visitor access to the school. In addition, all visitors will be asked to show photo identification, sign in and wear a visitor badge while in the school."
The district expects the new systems to be put into use next week and parents will be notified by phone calls, emails, and an announcement is expected to be posted on the district's website.
The District has posted some of the most Frequently Asked Questions about the new security procedure on its site:
Q: What time will school doors be locked in the morning?
A: Elementary school doors will be locked at 8:50 am, middle school doors will be locked at 7:50 am and the high school doors will be locked at 7:25 am.
Q: What if my student is late to school? Will he or she need to be buzzed in?
A: The student will need to go to the main entrance of the school in order to enter. Lobby monitors may buzz the student in if they are immediately recognizable as a child who attends the school. However, the student may need to use the intercom button to speak to the lobby monitor and request access.
Q: Who will operate the buzz-in station if the lobby monitor steps away from the front desk?
A: All schools have back-up plans in place in the event that the lobby monitor needs to leave the front desk. Staff in the school’s main office also have access to the buzz-in station and can monitor the main entrance.
Q: Will the main entrance be open before and after school hours?
A: Similar to past practice, the elementary school building will be locked after school and parts of the middle schools and high school will be accessible to students participating in extracurricular activities.
Q: Will parents who are volunteers at the school need to follow the same buzz-in procedures?
A: Yes. All parents and visitors will need to follow the buzz-in procedures in order to enter the school. However, lobby monitors may buzz-in students, frequent volunteers and immediately recognizable visitors expected by the school without requesting access through the station.
Q: Will the buzz-in system be in use when there are large numbers of parents and visitors at the building for special events during school hours?
A: The building principal will determine whether the buzz-in system will be used during specific events that are held during school hours.
Q: How will visitors who are unfamiliar with the new buzz-in procedures know where to enter the building?
A: Signs will be posted outside all exterior doors directing visitors to the front entrance. In addition, information on how to access the intercom will be posted at all main entrances.
Q: How will the lobby monitor determine whether or not to grant a visitor access to the school?
A: School staff will use a list of clarifying questions to determine whether the visitor has a legitimate reason to enter the school. Staff members have been trained on how to handle various situations that could arise during the buzz-in process.
Q: How is information about the buzz-in system being shared with students?
A: Building principals are working with teachers to explain the new buzz-in system as a way to keep students and staff members safe during the school day.