Safety and Security

East Allen County Schools is committed to the safety of our students and staff.  Schools are some of the safest places for our children because of the drills that we practice, such as evacuation drills for fires, protective measures for tornadoes, earth equates, and active intruders . One initiative that East Allen County Schools is undertaking is to further strengthen the safety of our buildings by making the front entrances to school buildings more secure.  East Allen County Schools utilizes A.L.I.C.E. so staff and students to know how to respond in the very unlikely event of an armed intruder. 

Provided below are responses to questions asked at the Community Meetings:

Can secure entrances be done without adding more footage and what does the secure entrance look like?
The architects will present design options to secure the entrances to school buildings. Greeters are only located in high schools and greeters are not trained. 

Why does Southwick Elementary not have a greeter?
Greeters are trained by EACS Safety Manager, Jeff Studebaker.  Greeters are in secondary buildings, which include: high schools, junior highs and middle schools.  At Southwick Elementary, the proximity of the front entrance to the office door does not create the same problem as other buildings for at Southwick, a visitor is buzzed in directly to the office door and in site of office staff.

Will the security entrance construction affect personnel?  Will more/fewer people have to be hired?
New entrances will eliminate the need for greeters.

Will the security entrance for Paul Harding Junior High and East Allen University be one entrance for both buildings?

Why not secure entrances with the earlier remodels?
The plan is to address secure entrances as we move forward.  The last two projects (Heritage Elementary and Woodlan Elementary) did include secure entrances.

The crosswalk at State Road 930 and Green Road  in New Haven is a safety concern.
The tunnel under State Road 930 already exists and provides safe passage for students.

Will tunnel issue remain?  The tunnel is not safe.
Not sure what is meant by the tunnel issue.  The tunnel is clean and safe and has been patrolled by a tunnel guard since the 2013-2014 school year.  Please contact our Administrative Office at 260.446.0100 for a personal tour of the tunnel.

With the construction projects proposed, will there be a change in transportation criteria.  Would more/less busing be provided?
There has not been any discussions on changing the district’s transportation criteria based on the proposed construction projects.

Do all schools have resource officers?
Beginning January 1st, 2016, each attendance area will have a school resource officer assigned.

Will larger buildings with more students lead to safety issues?
All buildings regardless of size have safety issues that need to be addressed.  Proper safeguards can be implemented in buildings of all sizes. 

What does “secured” entrance mean?  Can EACS expand Security Resource Officer (SRO) program to include presence in elementary schools?
Secured entrance means buzzing visitors during the school day into the office or a holding area before they are granted access to the rest of the building.  SRO’s in elementary schools would pose a manpower issue for the police force and would be a funding issue for both law enforcement and the school corporation.  

The Leo Elementary School has serious safety & traffic issue in the afternoon.  Why would safety issue like that be tied to a referendum?
The proposed construction projects will attempt to address this concern.  EACS does not have sufficient funding via the Capital Projects Fund to address all of the concerns raised.  We believe the best approach is to see how the building design will impact traffic flow before corrective action is taken.  

Why aren’t there officers at every school?
SRO’s in every school would pose a manpower issue for the police force and would be a funding issue for both law enforcement and the school corporation.

If the referendum does not pass, how will the district address security?
If it fails, we will continue to keep our staff and students safe with whatever funding sources we can secure.  

What is or what will the cost of a referendum addressing the needs of security only? Can’t security of buildings be done for a few thousand dollars?  Can we use similar plans?
That information is not available and would vary from building to building.  We will rely on architects to design these entrances and provide cost estimates.  The cost estimates will be included in the final plan.  Similar concepts can be utilized, but designs will vary due to the unique configurations at each building.  

Have grant opportunities been explored for secure entrances?  Are grants being proposed for making the security upgrades?
We have utilized our available grant dollars to provide law enforcement personnel and those grants do not even cover the entire cost.  There is nothing left to upgrade entrances.   We have not found grants to be an option.

How many incidences have we had of safety?
We have incidences every year.  It only takes one horrible incident to impact a community and change lives forever.  We can all think of examples, even recent examples, of this occurring.  The number of past incidences is not an indication of the possibility of a horrific incident occurring in our schools.    

What is the protocol for entering each subsequent secure area?
The person needs to identify themselves, state their business, and then be approved by school personnel to proceed into a secured area of the school.  

What research has been done to show the secure entrance works?
There is a whole school of thought on the value of limiting access to school buildings and thereby reducing vulnerability to intruders.  The school of thought is known as Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED).  You can type CPTED into your search engine and find more information on the value of secure entrances.    

Secure entrances – clarify what the 2nd entrance will look like into the building?  Will it be secure too?  To buzz 3 times, who has time to do that?
We have not seen final designs for our buildings and the design will vary from building to building.  As far as having time to keep our students and staff safe, we need to take the time necessary.  School safety is not about conveniences like saving time.  

Will the new plan for security truly help to keep our students safe?  Are there statistics to show that these types of secure entrances are truly going to stop a shooter?  Would metal detectors be more beneficial?  The metal detector will also stop students from bringing things in. 
Most school shootings have been student on student so metal detectors would be better. There are no guarantees to ensure student safety.  There is a whole school of thought on the value of limiting access to school buildings and thereby reducing vulnerability to intruders.  The school of thought is known as Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED).  You could type CPTED into your search engine and find more information on the value of secure entrances.  You could also find research on using metal detectors.  Metal detectors are not currently a part of this vision.  I am not sure of the ratio of student on student shootings, but I am aware of incidents where the shootings have not been students.  A few that come to mind are Bailey CO, Sandy Hook CT, and Nickel Mines PA.  We need to prepare for both types of incidents.  

Why don’t the school staff meet the individual at the door instead of asking the guests to report to the office? Our greeters do meet the visitor at the door.  That is part of their training.  

How is having one secure entrance going to secure every door in the building?
It is the responsibility of the administration to have procedures in place to keep all other doors secure.  

Can the school resource officers be used instead of a greeter?
The school resource officer will need to be in other parts of the building or out of the building as part of their responsibilities.  The school resource officer can be stationed at the front door when they are not performing other duties of their job.  

Are secure entrances that are already in place secure enough? We're the people letting others in trained? How many buzzes to get into the buildings?
Entrances into many of our buildings need improvement to increase security.  Greeters and office staff are trained in safety.  Number of buzzes vary depending on the design, but it could vary.  

Miss walking the halls at Leo due to doors being locked down after school hours; some sort of sign in program for senior citizens who would like to walk hallways.
Principals have the option to make this available to the community.    
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