South Washington County Schools

Video: Progress on the district's safety and security updates

In November 2013, district residents passed a referendum to provide funding to enhance security at all district schools. The security improvements began in the summer of 2014 and should be completed by the end of 2015, which would be a year ahead of schedule.

Security updates and improvements include:


Updated camera systems:

The district is switching its previous analog CCTV system over to a digital network video recorder. The analog system had reached its end of life expectancy and was having increased reliability and quality issues. The schools currently using the new system have remarked on the high quality of video images and the ease of use of the system. The system has already proven valuable in efficiently and effectively resolving issues in the schools. Approximately half of all schools are operating on the new system. All district school buses have also been outfitted with a digital camera and audio recording system. 

Interior classroom door lock installation:

All district classrooms can now be locked from the inside. This allows a staff member to remain inside the classroom with students during an emergency and not require them to go outside the classroom and potentially into harm’s way to lock the door.

Laminated safety glass installation: 

All interior vestibule glass throughout the district has been replaced with laminated safety glass. Laminated safety glass takes considerable time and effort to break and provides time for students and staff to act in an emergency. Small windows with laminated safety glass were also added to district classroom doors that previously did not have them. This allows for natural observation into the classroom throughout the day.

Secure entryways:

Six district elementary schools currently do not have the desired security entrance configuration. The new secure entryways will require all visitors to enter the main office of the school and check in with a staff member before they are granted access to the school. This project will begin this summer at Bailey, Grey Cloud and Middleton elementary schools with a targeted completion date at the start of the 2015-16 school year. Upgrades to HVAC systems at these schools will follow next summer. Construction is tentatively scheduled to begin at Cottage Grove, Liberty Ridge and Red Rock elementary schools at the conclusion of the 2015-16 school year with a target completion date at the beginning of the 2016-17 school year. Upgrades to HVAC systems at these schools will also be completed in the summer of 2017. An additional component of the secure entryways, is adding intercom systems to the main entrance vestibules and receiving docks of all schools. The intercoms go to the school greeter and the school’s office coordinator. Schools receive this system at the same time the new camera system is installed.

Card access:

In an effort to expedite police response, all police departments within the district will have card access capabilities to enter district buildings by the start of the 2015-16 school year.  Once inside the building they will also have access to keys and maps to the building.

Video: Security Improvements