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Idaho

Moscow School District installs new security system

Thu., Sept. 14, 2017, 8:41 a.m.

Visitors – and potential intruders – to schools in the Moscow School District will notice that gaining access to the buildings will not be quite as easy it as it has been in the past.

The school district is installing a new security system in all of the schools and at its district office that requires visitors to be buzzed in or have an electronic key fob to gain entrance.

“We’re not in the golden days when anyone could just walk in,” MSD Superintendent Gregory Bailey said. “We need to take precautions.”

The new security system is being funded through a bond levy that was passed two years ago, Bailey said. The first stage of installation involved installing cameras throughout hallways and outside of the buildings, Bailey said. The second stage of installation – which involves replacing all of the doors with keyless entry doors – is underway.

Bailey said when a key was lost in the past, all of the doors it had access to had to be re-keyed, and that required time and money. With the new system card fobs will be used to enter the building. The cards will allow the district to limit a person’s access down to a specific date and time. If a fob is ever lost of stolen, school administrators can just cancel that specific fob’s access through a computer program, Bailey said. At night the cameras will also take video of anyone that uses a fob to enter the building, he said.

In the case of an emergency, Bailey said that he or a principal can lock down all of the doors from an office computer.

“Hopefully, we never have to use them,” Bailey said.

The community will still be allowed access to the schools and district buildings outside of school hours, he said. Community members must now go to the MSD’s website and request a time and date to use a facility, and if approved they can pick up a fob at the district office. Bailey said a small fee will be charged.

During times of high door traffic, such as the beginning and end of the school day, Bailey said doors will be kept open to provide unhindered access in and out of the building, while school administrators and teachers are keeping a vigilant eye on who is coming and going.

Like any new system, Bailey said, there are still quirks to be worked out, but the district hopes to move all of the schools over to the new security system by the end of October.

“Our kids are valuable to us and our community,” Bailey said.