WILLIAMSTON, Mich. — Williamston Community Schools had a busy summer with upgrades across the district.
Superintendent Dr. Adam Spina said their main goal was improving safety.
"I think as of last December, we had implemented between 80 and 90 different significant safety upgrades over the last three to four years across the district," Spina said.
The changes range from a variety of different areas across the district.
“Those included adding additional security, film and graphics. We're building some additional egress windows and select locations, and then, we added a number of security cameras throughout the district as well as a new recording system for those security systems that is much easier to use,” Spina said.
The new security cameras are connected to an app on staff devices and can easily be shared to first responders in case of an emergency. The new technology allows staff to see all of the schools cameras at once on a map or individually.
Another security measure was added to doors.
“We still have an electronic system that sends out email and text notifications, if a door is propped during the school day," Spina said. "Now in select locations, there's also a very loud, I said make it as loud as possible, audible door alarm in certain areas.”
If a door is propped open for a certain amount of time, an alarm will sound. Other doors sound off automatically.
“It sends an alert off so people can hear ‘hey there’s a door open,’ and then once the doors secure the alarm goes off,” said Director of Facilities and Operations Brandon Weingartz.
The district also installed an alert system with over 140 access points across the schools, that can alert first responders in case of an emergency.
“It sends out an automatic alert to all the staff in that building, key leadership that are off-site and then it goes to both the 911 dispatch, but also then the radios of the police, telling them there’s not only an emergency, but where in the building that emergency is at,” Spina said.
Other improvements include signs outside each classroom so they can be found easier in emergencies, vape detectors in the higher level school grades and, of course, beautification projects like blacktop resurfacing.
Spina said security and safety will always be improving, but they aim to keep the learning environment the same.
"We're never done, and we can never be too safe and secure, but we also need to balance that with ensuring that you know this is still a school," Spina said. "They need to be welcoming and warm learning environments. So trying to find that balance between enhancing safety, but also making sure it's a welcoming application for children that come every day, is another priority that we consider."
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