$39K grant aids school in security improvements
November 19. 2013 11:57AM
The Dell Rapids school system is beefing up security at its facilities after the Department of Homeland Security recently awarded a $39,000 grant to the district.
The DHS grant dollars will allow the school district to install 12 cameras throughout the 84,000-square-foot elementary school. Currently, the school’s one camera monitors the playground and bus loading area.
“Our current inability to monitor the parent pick up area and building interior does not meet our responsibility of providing a safe and secure school building,” stated the grant application filed to DHS by Superintendent Summer Schultz.
The new cameras will allow traffic in and out of the school to be better monitored. The grant will also pay for a central monitoring station that will record and store video data for at least 30 days, which may serve useful in cases of theft, accidents or violence.
The DHS funds will also allow the district to move forward with plans to equip classroom doors at the middle and high school with locks that can be accessed from the inside of the classroom.
Schultz said during a lock-down drill last school year, teachers’ inability to lock their doors from the inside of their classroom raised some alarm.
“The simplest way for teachers to protect students from an intruder is to secure their classroom without going into the hallway to do so,” she said in the grant application.
A master lock key fitting all new locks will be issued to staff members. Schultz said sometimes teachers use classrooms that aren’t their own; and if a lock down occurs, those teachers don’t have the ability to lock the classrooms they use temporarily.
“It is important for them to have the master lock key so they would be able to secure any room they find themselves in,” she said.