Committee Recommends Safety Improvements in Homer School District
The Homer School District is looking at some additional steps and potential renovations to improve safety for students and staff.
The Homer Schools Safety Committee has been looking at school facilities extensively within the last month following the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary school. Based on those reviews the committee has presented the school board with a list of recommendations.
Among the proposals is connecting the districts seven digital video recorders to a central server that can be accessed and monitored remotely by authorized personnel, a central server will also increase data recording and storage capacity.
Another suggestion to improve student safety is connecting the south entrance at the high school building to the music building eliminating the need for students to move outdoors between buildings for music and band instruction.
Other facility improvements include electronic locking doors and an upgraded PA system capable of making a building wide announcement from any in house telephone.
The committee has proposed that the district purchase a new computer program that can scan a visitor’s driver license or other ID and instantly find out if they are a registered sex offender; if they have a restraining orders; or there are child custody issues. If a threat is detected the system sends alerts to designated school officials via email or text message.
The software would also print a badge featuring the visitor's name, photo, date and time, and destination. The program has been ordered and should be put in place by next month.
The committee also recommends expanding the schools resource officer program, last August the district and the Village of Homer reached a cost sharing agreement that placed a Village Police Officer in the school. The safety committee recommends an officer should be placed in each building to enhance safety. Currently the lone officer travels between buildings.
School Superintendent Nancy Ruscio says the district would have to find outside funding to support that recommendation.
The school facility committee is expected to forth a new capital project in June that will include many of the recommendations in the safety report.