New school year, new security measures at RPS - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

New school year, new security measures at RPS

Posted:

ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- Columbine, Red Lake, Virginia Tech and Sandy Hook -- all names that haunt parents and students across the country.

In the wake of these school shootings, districts across the country have beefed up security, including right here in Rochester.

A new system was installed in every elementary and middle school over the summer.

The new security system was approved by the Rochester School Board back in February.

Wednesday Superintendent Michael Muñoz gave us the first look at how it will work.

A buzzer, multiple cameras, and another locked door are about to become the new normal at Rochester Public Schools.

"The majority of the people that come to our school are regulars and we know who they are," said Muñoz.

But systems like this aren't put in place to protect against "regulars."

For parents, volunteers and visitors, the system is pretty simple, once the school day starts, they'll have to come to the door, ring the buzzer and a person in the office will let them in.

"There's a camera that allows the person in the office to get a visual of the person pushing the buzzer," Muñoz said.

Visitors will be able to talk into a camera on the box, and may notice another camera overhead.

"We added the additional camera here at all the entrances which gets a wide angle view," Muñoz said.

On the inside, employees will be able to see both cameras to help make sure no one is trying to slip in unnoticed, and they will check both views before letting you in.

"The little window [on the phone] is the camera that the box picks up, which would get a view of the person pushing the buzzer; whereas, the larger camera is going to show up on [the computer] screen, which gives us a bigger view of the entire entrance way," Muñoz said.

Now that there are less than two weeks before school starts, two employees at each office will undergo training on how to work the system, what kind of questions to ask and what to do if they think the person at the door might be a threat.

"If they're not sure, they're not going to be the ones making that decision," Muñoz said. "We're going to ask them to reach out to one of their administrators, and the administrator will get involved and help make that decision."

But it's not a perfect system, both Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown and Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy outside of Atlanta had buzzer systems and shooters got in anyway.

Even so, Muñoz says the increase in safety and security is worth it.

"It does provide another layer of safety we believe," he said. "I think it's reassuring to the individuals in the building to know that we have that in place, and I think it sends a message to our community that we really value the safety of everyone in the building."

The district has sent communication to families with students in the Middle and Elementary Schools about the new systems and how they work, but Munoz says he does anticipate a learning period as every one gets used to them.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Three years after move, Kutzky House is proposed for demolition

    Three years after move, Kutzky House is proposed for demolition

    The fate of a house with rich ties to the Kutzky community was up for discussion at Tuesday evening's Heritage Preservation Commission Meeting. The Kutzky House has a long history, even physically moving about three years ago. It might soon be destroyed, altogether. However, it's fate was saved for at least a little longer at Tuesday's meeting; the proposal to demolish the over century-old house in the Kutzky Park Neighborhood was not approved. The next step: a public hearing at t...

    More >>

    The fate of a house with rich ties to the Kutzky community was up for discussion at Tuesday evening's Heritage Preservation Commission Meeting. The Kutzky House has a long history, even physically moving about three years ago. It might soon be destroyed, altogether. However, it's fate was saved for at least a little longer at Tuesday's meeting; the proposal to demolish the over century-old house in the Kutzky Park Neighborhood was not approved. The next step: a public hearing at t...

    More >>
  • UPDATE: Medical emergency leads to crash on Hwy 52

    UPDATE: Medical emergency leads to crash on Hwy 52

    State Patrol says a person died behind the wheel before getting into an accident on the southbound lane of Highway 52 Monday. It caused traffic to back up on Highway 52. 

    More >>

    State Patrol says a person died behind the wheel before getting into an accident on the southbound lane of Highway 52 Monday. It caused traffic to back up on Highway 52. 

    More >>
  • UPDATE: Driver killed by debris on I-94 identified

    UPDATE: Driver killed by debris on I-94 identified

    The driver who died when debris from a semi went through his windshield has been identified.

    More >>

    The driver who died when debris from a semi went through his windshield has been identified.

    More >>
  • Recent rains cause Mississippi River to rise, Winona under flood warning

    Recent rains cause Mississippi River to rise, Winona under flood warning

    Minor flooding at Prairie Island Park in WinonaMinor flooding at Prairie Island Park in Winona

    With the incredibly wet weather we've had to deal with for the past week and a half, the Mississippi River is on the rise.  In Winona, the river reached flood stage Tuesday morning and was observed at 13.3 feet as of Tuesday afternoon. The river is forecast to crest at 13.8 feet by Wednesday, its highest since July, 2014 when the river hit 15.5 feet.  Minor flooding is noticeable at Levee Park and Prairie Island Park.

    More >>

    With the incredibly wet weather we've had to deal with for the past week and a half, the Mississippi River is on the rise.  In Winona, the river reached flood stage Tuesday morning and was observed at 13.3 feet as of Tuesday afternoon. The river is forecast to crest at 13.8 feet by Wednesday, its highest since July, 2014 when the river hit 15.5 feet.  Minor flooding is noticeable at Levee Park and Prairie Island Park.

    More >>
  • Rosie Belle building torn down after 139 years

    Rosie Belle building torn down after 139 years

    The historic Rosie Belle building will soon be no more after demolition began Monday. Originally built in the late 1800s, a local resident bought the downtown building in 2008 with hopes of turning it into a visual and performing arts center. It was already in bad shape back then, and attempts to remodel came up short. 

    More >>

    The historic Rosie Belle building will soon be no more after demolition began Monday. Originally built in the late 1800s, a local resident bought the downtown building in 2008 with hopes of turning it into a visual and performing arts center. It was already in bad shape back then, and attempts to remodel came up short. 

    More >>
  • Plummer Building carillonneur performs tribute to Manchester

    Plummer Building carillonneur performs tribute to Manchester

    The Manchester attack has affected so many, including many here in Rochester.  As a tribute to those affected, the bells downtown had a special tune Tuesday. When tragedy strikes, first responders take care of the wounded and law enforcement keeps the peace.  For the man atop the Plummer building, you play music. 

    More >>

    The Manchester attack has affected so many, including many here in Rochester.  As a tribute to those affected, the bells downtown had a special tune Tuesday. When tragedy strikes, first responders take care of the wounded and law enforcement keeps the peace.  For the man atop the Plummer building, you play music. 

    More >>
  • Man allegedly tries to hit man with car in Stewartville

    Man allegedly tries to hit man with car in Stewartville

    A Rochester man is facing assault and controlled substance charges after a deputy allegedly saw him try to hit a man with his car in Stewartville. The sheriff's office says the deputy recognized 35-year-old Jerry Milliken from previous drug and stolen property investigations. 

    More >>

    A Rochester man is facing assault and controlled substance charges after a deputy allegedly saw him try to hit a man with his car in Stewartville. The sheriff's office says the deputy recognized 35-year-old Jerry Milliken from previous drug and stolen property investigations. 

    More >>
  • Highway 14 collision injures mother and son

    Highway 14 collision injures mother and son

    A head-on collision near Chester left a Mother and Son injured Saturday.

    According to Minnesota State Patrol, 31-year-old Syrasith Phutseevong was westbound on Highway 14 when he attempted to pass another westbound vehicle just after 6:00 p.m.

    More >>

    A head-on collision near Chester left a Mother and Son injured Saturday.

    According to Minnesota State Patrol, 31-year-old Syrasith Phutseevong was westbound on Highway 14 when he attempted to pass another westbound vehicle just after 6:00 p.m.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly