The Chowchilla Elementary School District has bolstered security procedures in the past few years in an attempt to make sure students are safe.
“With the national consciousness of school safety we decided to take a proactive approach,” said Chuck Martin, the district’s superintendent.
Before school started last month, parents at Merle L. Fuller Elementary School were sent notification that the kindergarten through second-grade facility has instituted a closed campus. Gates were erected restricting access to certain area as parents drop off and pick up children. Parents also must sign in at the front office and receive a visitor’s pass before entering the school.
Principal Sandra Frisby said that in years past parents would walk on campus and go directly to their child’s classroom.
“We have a big school and we streamlined the gates. We’re still kind of working out the bugs,” Frisby said. “There have been no complaints. I think parents are always concerned about safety.”
Martin said Stephens Elementary School, a kindergarten facility, changed to a closed campus last year.
Martin said new locks have been installed in classrooms districtwide to make it easier for teachers during emergencies.
THE LOCKS WERE BASICALLY UPDATED. INSTEAD OF LOCKING THE DOORS FROM THE OUTSIDE DURING LOCKDOWN DRILLS THE TEACHERS CAN LOCK THE DOORS FROM THE INSIDE.
Chuck Martin, Chowchilla Elementary School District superintendent
About $14,000 is being spent on a surveillance camera system at Fairmead Elementary School. Martin said he wants to make it difficult for people with bad intentions to get on school campuses.
Melissa Esquivel, principal of Ronald Reagan Elementary, said her staff has new radio equipment, allowing staff to report what’s happening anywhere on campus. She said the campus of third- and fourth-graders used to use chains to close their gates, but have since had locks installed.
Esquivel said her campus is also upgrading its emergency backpacks, which include water, Band-Aids and other items that may be needed in an emergency.
Esquivel said there are plans to survey parents to see what other precautions they would like the school to take.
|Chowchilla News Day
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