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Wichita school district gets close to $1 million for safety, security improvements

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) - Improvements to safety and security for the largest school district in Kansas are being put in motion.

This comes after the Kansas State Department of Education received $5 million in grant funding last month.  

The biggest chunk of that funding, which is just over $922,000, is going to USD 259.

Melissa Seiwert has taught at Wichita South High School for six years.

"The door only locks from the outside, I have a key that you can manipulate the door," said Seiwert.

It is that creaky classroom door that is one of thousands that are set to be upgraded with new locks this coming school year.

"I think it will allow an ease of access, that'll be really nice it'll also take away one less thing that I have to worry about," said Seiwert.

Terri Moses, the Director of Safety Services for USD 259, says they plan to outfit classroom doors across the district with new locks.

"It cannot lock from the inside, as a result of the incidents that are happening nationwide, one of the pushes is to improve the locking systems and making it so the doors can be locked from the inside," said Moses.

She says plan to add more AED defibrillators to their 90 attendance centers in the district. Only half currently have them.

Moses says upgrades to technology for school camera systems and the purchase of eight new metal detecting devices will be done with the grant funding.

She says this adds to the safety and security measures already in place.

"I think we are on-par with any district certainly in the state or the country," said Moses.

It's something that puts those who work inside the schools in the district at ease.

"When people come to this building, whether a student, staff, or a community member, I want them to feel safe," said Principal Cara Ledy, Wichita South High School. 

"I think it is a great use of money to help secure students and faculty, we'd all like to go home at the end of the day safely," added Seiwert.

Moses says all of these changes and upgrades will be in place by the end of the upcoming school year.


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