|January 17, 2013
Polson Schools increased security following Sandy Hook tragedy
By Superintendent Dr. Linda E Reksten
A month prior to the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary, Polson administrators, Polson police officers and the County Sheriff’s department decided to look at the safety procedures at all schools. It was determined that we would standardize these procedures so that we could work effectively together in emergency situations to protect the safety of children and adults. As a result of this meeting, a District Safety Team was created to look at not only school procedures but the safety of each individual building in the District.
At the time of the Sandy Hook event December 15, 2012, administrators immediately addressed building security by making sure all doors were locked other than the front door during the school day. All schools revisited their visitor procedures, making sure that all visitors registered at the main office and obtained a visitor’s badge. The Polson police and Sheriff’s department also worked with our schools to maintain an active presence to prevent any “copycat” event that might have occurred. Although there were many rumors that a shooting event might occur, I am pleased to report that these rumors were unfounded and that our students were safe and secure prior to the Christmas holiday break.
As we begin January 2013, each school is examining their procedures such as arrivals and dismissals, recesses and revisiting classroom security and procedures for emergencies. We will be reviewing these security issues as a District Safety Team and we will be improving our procedures throughout the year.
This week, we authorized the purchase of security cameras at each front door with monitors in the attendance offices at Cherry Valley, Linderman and Polson Middle School. We will also be installing a doorbell system at the front door of these schools for visitors that will be monitored by the school office. We are also looking into identification badges for every staff member and substitutes.
At Polson High School, we are planning to improve security in the parking lot, front door and other doors. A system will be installed in the office to secure all doors in the event of a lockdown. It was also determined with the upcoming Bond to repair the roof, soffits and heating system that we would wait on any other security installations until after these repairs. However, Polson High School will continue to improve their procedures to maintain the safety of students and staff.
Again, our goal is maintain a safe environment for students and staff. Parents and community members may expect to see ongoing improvements throughout the year. If anyone has knowledge of a credible threat with specific information, please contact the school administration or Polson Police Department. Together, let’s keep our community a safe place.