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Wednesday

April 2014

23

Hartland-Lakeside to beef up security at schools

The Hartland-Lakeside School Board voted on Monday, Feb. 18, to approve the purchase of a guest check-in system, with member Val Wisniewski dissenting.

The board again deferred on the purchase of a staff and student ID system for the district's schools.

Technology consultant Scott Temperly presented several options for an ID system, but board members were still hesitant to approve it.

The guest check-in system, provided by vendor School Check IN, will cost $4,220.

Board Clerk Tom Harter was concerned about investing in a system the district would have to replace again in a few years.

"Can we pull this together, somehow, so that we don't have to do this again, so in a year we don't come back to this question?" he asked.

Wisniewski, who voted against the check-in system, said she was unsure about the system's auxiliary benefits and expressed concerns about the cost.

The district has not budgeted for the added security costs, and previous expenditures have been paid for through the district's technology budget.

Board President Laura Johnson said that any security system the School Board approves would need to be married to school policy.

"We need to have a system," she said about the check-in system. "It is far from perfect, but we need to have something."

The board's Feb. 18 meeting was one of several to focus on security after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn. The board met Jan. 28 to discuss possible security measures, and voted Jan. 30 to purchase new buzzer systems and video cameras at the main entrances for each of the elementary schools and the middle school.

Temperly told the board that the student and staff ID system could have benefits besides increasing security.

Students could use their ID to pay for lunches or to check out books in the school library, and teachers could use it to gain access to the building during off-hours.

Both options would carry additional costs, however. The school would have to upgrade the swipe system allowing teachers access to the buildings, and student IDs would need magnetic strips.

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