Garfield School District Re-2 improves security with new AiPhone system
District will implement new safety procedure next week to ensure health and safety of students and staff
Community members, parents, students and staff in the Re-2 school district will notice a change to security at schools next week.
On Monday, all 10 Re-2 schools and the district office will begin using the AiPhone security systems at the main entrance.
The AiPhone has a video camera, a speaker and a door lock release system. The main entrances for all schools will be locked, and the front office staff will be able to welcome guests and partners. The new system helps to protect schools from unwanted visitors.
“One of the points that our schools board wanted as part of our facilities master planning document was an emphasis on safety,” Director of Communications/GrantsTheresa Hamilton said.
“This one of the items that was identified in the plan as a recommendation to be accomplished.”
According to a release any person coming to Re-2 schools after the tardy bell must use the AiPhone security system for entry. The front door will be locked from the tardy bell to the end of the school day – including lunch.
Hamilton said the system will be controlled by the school secretary. Visitors needing to enter the school will push a button. They will be on video camera so front office personnel can see them, talk to them, and determine the nature of their visit before releasing the door locking mechanism so they enter.
The district applied for a Colorado Department of Homeland Security grant in April, and was awarded $141,000 for three different security projects across the district.
Approximately $60,000 of the grant paid for the cost of the AiPhone System.
Other upgrades included in the grant were the replacement of 1950s-era classroom doors at Rifle Middle School, and also some barrier doors at Highland Elementary.
“We were fortunate to apply and receive a grant for this and a couple of other projects,” Hamilton said.
The new AiPhone system was installed through the month of October.
“We are just trying to make sure we are doing the best job we can communicating with our parents, staff, delivery people and all the folks that help support a school district, that things are going to be handled a little bit differently,” Hamilton said.
With the district office located at Whiteriver Avenue and Eighth Street having two entrances, the district is converting the east entrance (Whiteriver Avenue) to primarily delivery and handicap entrance only, and general public will enter on the west side (East Avenue).
“We want our community, our parents, and our stakeholders to come into our schools and feel welcome, we also want to provide all of our students and staff with as much security as we can,” Hamilton said. “It’s a fine balance of being able to create a warm and welcoming environment that is as safe as you can make it.”
The Re-2 school district currently has approximately 4,700 students in Rifle, Silt and New Castle.
“We are trying really hard to make sure that everybody is well aware of this transition in advance, and there will be a learning curve for community, parents and our staff, and we just ask for patience and know we all have the safety and security of your kids at heart,” Hamilton said.
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