GCISD adds intercom security system to doors at all schools

Posted Tuesday, Sep. 10, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Visitors to Grapevine-Colleyville schools will encounter a new process to get in the front door.

Grapevine-Colleyville Independent School District implemented new security measures for campus visitors on Sept. 3, including locking the front doors during school days.

“It’s a simple thing we can do that adds a lot of value to our security,” GCISD spokeswoman Megan Overman said.

The changes apply to all the district schools and facilities including the GCISD Swim Center.

Visitors will have to use an outdoor intercom to communicate with a school’s front office before being allowed in.

Once inside, visitors will use the district’s new check-in management system. Like the previous system, visitors will need to wear a sticker ID badge, but the new Raptor system includes background checks.

First-time visitors will need to run their ID through the system that runs a visitor’s info through a national sex offender database. Future visits to a school won’t warrant another background check.

Dove Elementary principal Becky Lamb said so far she has not heard any complaints from parents.

Overman said most visitors are parent volunteers, mentors and others with legitimate business at the schools.

Lamb said the staff is instructed to stop any visitors without a sticker ID or district staff badge who are walking around a school.

Overman said the changes allow the school to not only provide better safety for students and staff, but also visitors.

She said if a school needed to be evacuated, they would know who is on campus.

GCISD parent Robyn Cheek said she loves the new additions.

“Just the knowledge that my child is secure when she steps in that door,” Cheek said. “I can’t have her be too safe.”

The changes follow a security assessment conducted by an outside agency in the spring. Other recommendations from the assessment include improved signage on campus and further safety training for staff.

Overman said the district conducts internal security assessments annually, but felt an outside assessment would be better for this academic year, especially coming off national tragedies like the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary school in Newtown, Conn.

“The heightened awareness of school security in the spring was part of the decision, but really it is all about school safety,” she said. “We wanted to go ahead and bring in a third party to give us an additional recommendation or assessment on our buildings so we would know where to focus our efforts better.”

Dustin L. Dangli, 817-390-7770 Twitter: @dustindangli

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