In the wake of the December , Glen Ellyn School District 41 has accelerated its plans to improve its school security systems.
In the past few weeks, all schools and the Central Services Office have had security upgrades installed, including a video-phone/buzzer entry system, security cameras and wireless duress buttons, District 41 spokesman Julie Worthen said Tuesday. The upgrades will improve security around entryways and allow office personnel to see and talk to visitors before letting them in the building, she said.
"The updates were on our capital improvements plan for the future; after Newtown, we accelerated the project and got the components installed as fast as we possibly could," Worthen said.
In a March 8 letter to families, Lincoln Elementary School Principal Linda Schweikhofer wrote the district was able to speed up the installation of the buzzer/camera security systems in the schools and that the system would be in use starting Monday, March 11.
She listed the following procedures for Lincoln visitors during regular business hours:
- Visitors will be admitted to Lincoln during regular business hours of 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. through the main office doors only.
- In order to be admitted, visitors will ring the doorbell on the new security system that has been installed on the right side of the main doors.
- Office staff will be able to see and speak to the visitor on the videophone. Visitors will be asked to identify themselves and state purpose of their visit before being buzzed into the vestibule.
- Once inside the vestibule, visitors will then be buzzed into the office where they will sign in and receive a visitor's badge.
"We are very happy that we will now have the ability to better monitor and control access to our building. Thank you for your patience as we transition to this new system, and for all you do every day to help keep our school community safe," Schweikhofer wrote.
Security procedures vary depending on the school and its design, Worthen told Patch in December.
She said that at Hadley Junior High, Abraham Lincoln, Forest Glen and Ben Franklin elementary schools, a visitor may enter the vestibule but cannot get into the building without going through the office, where they sign in and receive a badge. At Churchill Elementary School, the school office is across the hall from the vestibule; the doors are locked and office staff can see visitors before buzzing them in, she said.
Schweikhofer also listed procedures for after school activities, the Y-Program, evening activities and large-scale events at Lincoln. Read about them here.