Weatherford Democrat

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March 10, 2013

WISD board pleased with district’s safety, security directions

— Safety and security is a sensitive topic that continues to be at the forefront of discussion, and Weatherford ISD board members were pleased to hear the district has several processes in place to address these types of issues.

Grant Priess, WISD executive director of Safety, Security and Operations, presented a report at Tuesday’s school board meeting that included conducting additional safety drills, a stronger communication between the district and area law enforcement/first responders, and an increased awareness by staff members.

“Following the tragedy in Connecticut last December, the focus of safety has come forward again,” Priess said. “We asked our principals to revisit their emergency plans and to look for anything that the District could do in order to make our schools safer.”

Priess said one element that is included in the May 11 bond package is to include secure entries (vestibules) at the main entrances of each of the district’s 11 campuses.

“The secured entries would force visitor traffic directly through the office area before entering the main portion of the building,” Priess said. “This would be a much safer method than what some of our campuses currently have in place.”

Priess also said both he and the fire marshal are visiting each campus to help determine where the safest locations would be for students and staff to go in the case of a tornado, for example.

“There may be areas that are safer than we had once determined, so it never hurts to readdress these locations,” Priess added.

Additionally, Weatherford ISD and the Weatherford Police Department have teamed up to have uniformed officers make campus appearances during the day.

“They may be there five minutes, 10 minutes, or longer … but it’s the awareness piece that will make our students and staff members continue to feel safe,” Priess said.

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