Visitor Notification Systems will go into effect at Seaholm in the very near future.
This change in the Safe School Plan was announced at the February 26 Board of Education meeting.
The visitor notification is already in place at Pierce Elementary school. Based on the trial here, the Board of Education concluded that this would be the best policy for the current security situation.
The system involves a set of security cameras that are placed at the building’s main entrance. Through this mechanism, a designated staff member is able to view everyone who approaches the front door.
The doors will be locked and the staff member who is monitoring the security cameras will be responsible for buzzing visitor to the schools in.
The project is estimated to cost $150,000 for the entire district.
According to principal Dee Lancaster, the security system should be in place by May 1 here at Seaholm.
According to superintendant Dr. Nerad, the board is dedicated to a constant focus and commitment to improving the district’s security measures.
“This is a journey and it doesn’t end tonight,” Nerad said, “These are the next most reasonable steps we should take.”
The safe schools presentation includes that the security staff that is currently in place will remain only until the Visitor Notification Systems are in place.
Until that time comes, Birmingham Education Association President, Scott Warrow believes that the current security guards are being paid too much.
“We’re still struggling with understanding the hiring of the security guards,” Warrow said, “Specifically because they are being paid 17 dollars per hour.”
Warrow said that a good temporary solution to this problem would be using paraprofessional staff to man the doors because they only get paid nine dollars per hour and the community members would be more comfortable with them.
Seaholm Parent Dan Teahan said at the February 26 meeting that he believes taking human error out of the system is the best direction for the security of the district.
“There will always be human error,” Teahan said. “That is why I’d rather see technical solutions.”
Teahan said that he feels some sort of ID should be required for everyone entering the school or attending school events.
“People that don’t want to have their whereabouts known don’t have to come,” Tehan said.