Austin Local News
Austin Area schools talk security upgrades as classes kick off
School is either already underway or about to kick off (depending on the School district) for families in the Austin area and making sure students are safe and secure has become a bigger part of the job for all districts.
In Hays CISD, the district's Tim Savoy explained they've been making constant improvements to campus security with the help of their newly minted Director of Safety and Security, Jeri Skrocki who was involved with the security round table following the Santa Fe school shooting.
To keep an active eye on all campus exterior doors, Savoy said they’ve already upgraded their security cameras by putting live feed Surveillance TV panels in campus offices. Prior to this improvement, he said staffers had to go online to see what was happening. This year he added, they're going one step further, "we're going to have a wi-fi system where law enforcement officers can actually pull into a school on our wi-fi network and then link in to those camera feeds in real time, in their squad cars."
Savoy said they’ve been adding impact resistant film to school windows and should have it installed on all campuses by the fall semester.
Hays CISD campuses have all been upgraded to have secure entrances. Savoy said they had a few older middle school designs where a person could get access to the school through the cafeteria, they have since been remodeled to you'd be forced to go through the office before getting into the school proper.
In Round Rock ISD, Directer of Safety and Security Jeffrey Yarbrough said they've updated their campus security surrounding portable buildings. Yarbrough said to keep those unnatached building in step with the main campus buildings, "we've added surveillance camera's to all of our portables throughout the district." He continued, "and we're also in the process of completing our mass notification process, meaning that we are adding duress alarms to all our portables as well as all of our classrooms, throughout the district."
Like Hays CISD, Yarbrough said they've also finished installing secured entrances on all school buildings, but RRISD has also installed video intercom systems on exterior entrances, so they can see and speak to people outside, before they put a toe indoors.
But security improvements aren't just walls and cameras, Yarbrough explained they have also standardized the training for all district staff, " so that all of our campuses and staff know what exactly their response is, in the event of a critical incident."