COVINGTON, Ga. - Two measures to make children and staff more secure in the schools were passed by the Newton County Board of Education in its meeting Tuesday.
“We are always looking for ways to enhance our safety measures and procedures at our schools,” said Sherri Davis, Newton County School System director of Public Relations. “Our number one priority is to first and foremost provide a safe learning and working environment for our students and employees.”
Flint Hill Elementary had been chosen to see the effectiveness of security system where visitors must acknowledge themselves to the front office via a camera and intercom system before being allowed in the school.
The next stage was to have the program go to two additional schools to see the effectiveness of the system. But after the program showed success, the board approved that all the schools have the system installed by the start of the 2018-19 school year at a cost of $113,717.
In order to get inside the front door, visitors will press a call button where front office personnel will both see and be able to communicate with the visitor before entrance is granted.
“We conduct monthly district safety meetings and our schools routinely participate in safety drills throughout the school year so students and staff know what to do in the event an emergency happens,” Davis said.
The other security measures will be placed Flint Hill, Fairview, Heard-Mixon, Live Oak, Livingston, Porterdale and South Salem elementary schools. Security partitions will be installed giving schools the ability to cutting off the building from unauthorized visitors by guiding all visitors directly to the front office.
“We are always looking for ways to improve and strengthen security in our schools and the security vestibules and video phone access systems will aid in that endeavor,” Davis said.
The board approved to submit the facilities plan, which includes the replacement of a new Eastside High School and the relocation of the Theme School to the current site of Eastside, to the State Board of Education. Other priorities included in the plan include improvements to Clements and Cousins middle schools and East Newton and Middle Ridge elementary schools.
Other measures voted on and approved include the purchase of computers and learning systems.