Park City School District aims to increase security with new fences, visitor protocol
August 15, 2018
Classes might have been out of session this summer, but there was still plenty of activity going on inside the schools of the Park City School District.
This summer, the district updated the schools to increase safety and security and repair worn surfaces. One of the biggest changes is that, now, all visitors to the elementary schools must enter through one enclosed entryway and be approved by secretaries to access the rest of the building. Visitors will be required to show their driver's licenses or another form of state ID.
Hansen said that the district worked closely with a safety consultant to find a visitor management system that was safe and simple to implement.
Hansen said that the district hopes to eventually have similar systems in place at all of the schools, but the high cost of construction might cause delays. He said that restructuring the front entries in the secondary schools is his top priority moving forward. Plus, he hopes to install shatterproof glass sheets on the main windows at all of the schools in the future.
This summer, the doors at the elementary schools were rewired to lock as soon as the opening bell rings. An alert will be sent to the front office if any door is opened or left open. The district hopes to implement the feature at the secondary schools as well, Hansen said.
The district also installed fences at the elementary schools over the break. They are expected to be finished before school starts next week. An 8-foot fence spans the majority of the grounds at Trailside Elementary School, for instance, to keep elk out, Hansen said. Along the north side where the grounds abut homes, a wooden fence was placed at the request of homeowners.
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Homeowners also negotiated with the district to lower the fence's height around Parley's Park Elementary School from 6 feet to 5 feet. The fence was also moved about 40 feet back from the property line, Hansen said.
He said that there are several access points along the fences at each of the schools.
To accompany the security changes, the secretaries at the schools are being trained on the new protocols. They will have to check visitors' IDs and unlock the door for visitors to access the school. Hansen said the training is expected to continue for the first couple weeks of school. The schools also plan to talk about the new security measures with the students so they do not open doors for people trying to enter.
"It's going to be a training process," he said. "Schools are made for access, and we are trying to do the opposite."
The district completed maintenance projects this summer as well. Dozier Field at Park City High School received new turf, the floors and roof were redone in two of the gyms at the high school and carpet was installed at Jeremy Ranch Elementary School, McPolin Elementary School and Treasure Mountain Junior High.