Some Wichita schools see security upgrades

Local

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) -Kids and their parents are preparing to go back to school, but it may look different for some. All schools have buzzed entryways, but a double set of doors to the front office is being added to several Wichita schools this year.

Cleaveland Traditional Magnet School in Wichita is one of the six USD 259 schools seeing new controlled entrances. 

“He needs to focus on school, not the things that can happen at school,” said Amanda Wright, whose son attends Cleaveland Traditional Magnet School. “I will always support further advancements and security, especially areas for comings and goings, and they’re already a super school for security-wise. Anything that they do to improve it, I 100% support because anything to keep children more safe.”

It’s an upgrade that USD 259 Safety Services Director Terri Moses said the district has focused on for nearly 10 years. 

“I think you saw the real push to improve the entryways to schools when Sandy Hook happened, and that was in 2012,” said Moses. “We asked what we needed to do to improve how we allow people to access the students within our buildings, so really that’s been our focus.”

Moses said it would require visitors to visit the front office and need a valid reason to enter through the second set of locked doors. 

“Now, you’ll be screened by an individual face to face, and then if appropriate, you’ll be allowed to enter a second set of the doors which will be opened electronically,” said Moses. 

While some of these only took a few days to put up, the planning took a while. The architect has to design each one uniquely for each school, custom-made entryways, and wait for it all to arrive. 

Some schools even require a bigger project of knocking down walls, making it more expensive to build. Moses said that’s why it can take some time to get these up. 

There are about a dozen more the district plans to make adjustments to. After that, they will consistently look at ways to improve security. 

“We may then find ones that we thought really didn’t need to be upgraded, and there may be new technology, new ideas that are out there, and we will go back and look at how we can improve security even at those sites,” said Moses.

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