Leaders at Killeen ISD say new security measures in the upcoming school year might make their campuses some of the safest you’ll find.
Voters approved a $426 million dollar bond, in part, to address things like security, and the $4.25 million Killeen school leaders spent, make for some very visible changes.
"We consider the safety of our own schools our campuses and the district, our top priority," explained Superintendent Dr. John Craft.
Students attending Killeen schools will notice increased safety measures when they return to classes next week.
Much of it comes in upgraded new vestibules, glass security rooms where visitors will wait until staff can verify their identity and purpose for showing up.
”We’ve coordinated the buzzer system, so that in essence, visitors, once they come into the second vestibule, they go through the background check before they’re allowed or buzzed into the school," said Craft.
The district, also added three new school police officers, beefing up staffing by 17 percent.
Killeen Police Chief Ralph Disher wants his officers to be seen and mixing with the school community.
”Going to the campuses each day, making sure they have a positive interaction with not just the staff but also with the students and the parents”.
Killeen schools also upgraded locks on portable classrooms and will soon add 10 miles of new fences among schools in the district.
All to make the 45,000 students and 7,000 workers here, safer… after a year which saw several deadly school shootings in the United States.
”Well, the most recent incidents are all on our mind. To say that we’re not taking those situations very seriously, is a far cry from the truth,” said Craft.
The Killeen School district also hired 440 new teachers this year, and has upgrades planned to each school’s communication system… all to help increase safety, contain problems and keep the focus on learning.
Students will find new ID badge scanners, and of course, the superintendent stressed the importance of parents keeping an eye out and reporting anything out of the ordinary.
Copyright 2018 KXXV. All rights reserved.