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SVVSD's safety upgrades continue
[January 10, 2013]

SVVSD's safety upgrades continue

LONGMONT, Jan 10, 2013 (Daily Times-Call - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- Visitors to several St. Vrain Valley School District schools faced new security measures after the winter break, but it wasn't because of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.

"It's all stuff we've been doing all along," chief operating officer Rick Ring said Wednesday.

While some schools have had cameras at their front doors, requiring someone in the office to identify and buzz in the visitor, more of those systems were installed while school was out. Other systems were upgraded, as they were reaching the end of their lifespan, Ring said.

Eventually, all the schools will have them, he said.

"We still want people to feel welcome, but we want them to feel safe," Ring said.

Blue Mountain Elementary School just received the new entry security system. After 9:05 a.m., the front door is locked, requiring visitors to ring the doorbell.

But office staff won't reflexively open the door when they hear that tone.

Principal Kristie Venrick said staff will look at one of two monitors -- one on the secretary's desk, the other on the attendance clerk's desk -- to identify the visitor.

If the staff member doesn't recognize the visitor, the visitor will have to show identification and explain why he is there. The staff member will verify the visitor's purpose before letting him in the school.

Even then, the visitor will have to sign in, get a visitor's pass and allow his ID to be copied, Venrick said.

"There's always somebody there to monitor the system," Venrick said.

While the school district has long worked on improving school safety -- the 2008 mill levy override included funds for additional campus supervisors, for example -- superintendent Don Haddad wants to hear suggestions from the public as well.

The district is hosting three public forums in February to update parents and community members about safety procedures and gather feedback. The meetings, which will start at 6 p.m., will be on Tuesday, Feb. 5, at Trail Ridge Middle School, 1000 Button Rock, Longmont; on Wednesday, Feb. 6, at Coal Ridge Middle School, 6201 Booth Drive, Firestone; and Thursday, Feb. 7, at Erie Middle School, 650 Main St., Erie.

Stacy Davis, the school district's security and emergency manager, was scheduled to update the Board of Education on Wednesday, but her presentation was postponed.

Victoria Camron can be reached at 303-684-5226 or

___ (c)2013 the Daily Times-Call (Longmont, Colo.) Visit the Daily Times-Call (Longmont, Colo.) at Distributed by MCT Information Services

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