Secretary Sara Blankstrom responds to the entry request on the monitor. She can also communicate with the visitor through the system.
As the entire nation mourns the loss of the 20 students and six staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., each community can’t help but wonder about security measures at their own local schools and what the schools’ plans are in case something happens.
Schools in Muskegon County have shared with the community their crisis plans by letters sent home to families of students, and on the district website.
Montague Area Public Schools Superintendent Nate Robrahn wrote a letter to the MAPS community reassuring families that their children are safe while at school, and MAPS has a detailed emergency plan.
Each of the MAPS buildings requires any visitors to enter through the main doors and sign in at the office. According to the letter, in the case of a questionable adult were to surpass the office, MAPS has an advanced security system that instantly locks down main doors to prohibit access to internal classrooms.
Reeths-Puffer Schools uses detailed emergency plans, lockdown procedures and evacuation plans to keep its students safe. Steve Edwards, R-P superintendent, sent out a letter to students’ families this week explaining the procedures R-P uses in case of an emergency.
Any person entering an R-P school must sign in at the office, which is also where they enter through. If there is an emergency, R-P uses the Instant Alert System.
Whitehall District Schools Superintendent Jerry McDowell also wrote a letter to the school community that the district is concerned for student safety, and works with other agencies to continue to update the safety and security measures in the schools.
That cooperative effort included a meeting this last Wednesday between school administrators, law enforcement and school board members to review district policies and protocols. That meeting included school principals, Whitehall police, and heads of the transportation, school lunch and maintenance departments.
McDowell, in the letter, wrote “We will take a close look at all of our systems and make changes we deem necessary.”
The superintendent said Whitehall follows state law P.A. 337 of 2006 which requires six fire drills, two tornado drills and “lockdown” drills each school year.
The school district and City of Whitehall, McDowell said, work closely in school safety. The city has a liaison officer in the schools. Officer Travis Bolles, McDowell said, spends much of his time in the high school, but could be in any building within minutes.
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