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>>

  • radar alert

    Severe weather could cause headaches across viewing area

    Severe weather could cause headaches across viewing area

    As the saying goes "the heat is on" and it looks like this summer-like spell in our weather is going to hang around all the way through the holiday weekend.

    More >>

    As the saying goes "the heat is on" and it looks like this summer-like spell in our weather is going to hang around all the way through the holiday weekend.

    More >>
  • Family: Shot Indiana student in critical, stable condition

    Family: Shot Indiana student in critical, stable condition

    Saturday, May 26 2018 11:06 AM EDT2018-05-26 15:06:03 GMT
    (Robert Scheer/The Indianapolis Star via AP). Law enforcement officers walk outside Noblesville West Middle School in Noblesville, Ind., after a shooting on Friday, May 25, 2018. A male student opened fire at the suburban Indianapolis school wounding a...(Robert Scheer/The Indianapolis Star via AP). Law enforcement officers walk outside Noblesville West Middle School in Noblesville, Ind., after a shooting on Friday, May 25, 2018. A male student opened fire at the suburban Indianapolis school wounding a...
    Authorities say a female student wounded in an Indianapolis-area middle school shooting is in critical condition and a teacher who was also shot is in good condition.More >>
    Authorities say a female student wounded in an Indianapolis-area middle school shooting is in critical condition and a teacher who was also shot is in good condition.More >>
  • John Marshall baseball player makes remarkable recovery after suffering stroke during game

    John Marshall baseball player makes remarkable recovery after suffering stroke during game

    Baseball is a way of life for John Marshall's Austin Brown. In what feels like the swing of a bat, it's already Senior Night. "It's going to be really tough after the game, just thinking I'm not going to play on this field anymore," says Brown. The soon-to-be graduate is the right fielder for the John Marshall High School Rockets this year. But just one year ago, Austin's senior season seemed out of reach.

    More >>

    Baseball is a way of life for John Marshall's Austin Brown. In what feels like the swing of a bat, it's already Senior Night. "It's going to be really tough after the game, just thinking I'm not going to play on this field anymore," says Brown. The soon-to-be graduate is the right fielder for the John Marshall High School Rockets this year. But just one year ago, Austin's senior season seemed out of reach.

    More >>
  • Rochester band director gets surprise going away concert

    Rochester band director gets surprise going away concert

    John Marshall band director Christopher Jarvis is retiring after 17 years, prompting students and alumni to honor him with a farewell concert.

    More >>

    John Marshall band director Christopher Jarvis is retiring after 17 years, prompting students and alumni to honor him with a farewell concert.

    More >>
  • Minneapolis raises age for buying tobacco to 21

    Minneapolis raises age for buying tobacco to 21

    Supporters of the new law say a majority of adult smokers started the habit before they turned 21, and that the ordinance will discourage young people from smoking.

    More >>

    Supporters of the new law say a majority of adult smokers started the habit before they turned 21, and that the ordinance will discourage young people from smoking.

    More >>
  • Family: Virginia police shooting video raises more questions

    Family: Virginia police shooting video raises more questions

    Saturday, May 26 2018 11:05 AM EDT2018-05-26 15:05:51 GMT
    (Richmond Police via AP). This still image taken from the Richmond, Va., Police body camera shows a police officer pointing his gun at Marcus-David Peters on May 14, 2018, in Richmond, Va. Police Chief Alfred Durham on Friday, May 25, released the vide...(Richmond Police via AP). This still image taken from the Richmond, Va., Police body camera shows a police officer pointing his gun at Marcus-David Peters on May 14, 2018, in Richmond, Va. Police Chief Alfred Durham on Friday, May 25, released the vide...
    The family of a young, black Virginia man who was fatally shot by police while naked and unarmed says the release of body-camera footage has brought more questions than answers.More >>
    The family of a young, black Virginia man who was fatally shot by police while naked and unarmed says the release of body-camera footage has brought more questions than answers.More >>
  • Father, son plead guilty to fraud involving secretive sect

    Father, son plead guilty to fraud involving secretive sect

    Saturday, May 26 2018 11:05 AM EDT2018-05-26 15:05:38 GMT
    (Jennifer Emert/WLOS via AP). Jerry Gross arrives at the federal courthouse in Asheville, NC., Friday, May 25, 2018. He and his son, who belong to a secretive evangelical church in North Carolina called Word of Faith Fellowship Church, pleaded guilty t...(Jennifer Emert/WLOS via AP). Jerry Gross arrives at the federal courthouse in Asheville, NC., Friday, May 25, 2018. He and his son, who belong to a secretive evangelical church in North Carolina called Word of Faith Fellowship Church, pleaded guilty t...
    A father and son have pleaded guilty to wire fraud related to an unemployment benefits scheme that former congregants in a secretive sect say was part of a plan to keep money flowing into the church.More >>
    A father and son have pleaded guilty to wire fraud related to an unemployment benefits scheme that former congregants in a secretive sect say was part of a plan to keep money flowing into the church.More >>
  • Rochester nonprofit looking for help following flood

    Rochester nonprofit looking for help following flood

    A local nonprofit organization that helps homeless families had to discard many donated items as they were damaged in the floods. Family Promise Rochester Day Center's basement was flooded twice in two weeks. The water damage was extensive; dozens of Items were destroyed. 

    More >>

    A local nonprofit organization that helps homeless families had to discard many donated items as they were damaged in the floods. Family Promise Rochester Day Center's basement was flooded twice in two weeks. The water damage was extensive; dozens of Items were destroyed. 

    More >>
Powered by Frankly