Spencerport upgrades security measures for new school year

Posted at: 09/03/2013 3:56 PM
Updated at: 09/03/2013 5:14 PM
By: Brett Davidsen

For most children in our area, vacation ends today and a new school year begins Wednesday. Some districts were busy upgrading security measures at their schools over the summer to keep your children safer as they head back. One of those districts is Spencerport.

No more popping into a child's classroom unannounced. In Spencerport, like many other districts, the entrances will now be secured and cameras will be watching you.

Jill Faucher stopped into Cosgrove Middle School in Spencerport Tuesday with her two children, as they get ready for a new school year. Starting Wednesday, when she and other parents visit, they'll notice some new security measures in place. The district has added additional surveillance cameras, more security officers will patrol the campus and before a visitor is allowed into any of the schools during the school day, they'll first have to be buzzed in at the front door.

Jill Faucher, parent, said, "I, for one, visit the school a lot and whenever I go in, I see a lot of parents all at once sometimes coming in and out and I imagine it would be confusing for anybody trying to run the desk there and keep track of things. So I think this will be helpful in that respect."

Nelson Drake is Director of Facilities for Spencerport Schools.

Drake said, “We're just being proactive. We haven't had any problems here at Spencerport safety-wise, in that vain, but it never hurts to be safe.”

But the security enhancements go beyond just the changes to the building, Spencerport has also made changes to its policy for parking and driving in the parking lot, designed to keep children safe. No more pulling up in front of the school to quickly drop off a child's forgotten homework or lunch. The district says it will immediately tow any cars that are in the bus loops, fire lanes or blocking exits.

Drake said, "There are security reasons and safety issues. If a bus was here, discharging students, they're also going to have their red lights flashing, which means they're discharging or picking up students. Cars shouldn't be going past there anyway."

Drake says many of the new measures have been in the works for awhile. But since the massacre of 20 school children and 6 adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut late last year, many districts have been re-evaluating their safety and security protocols.

Faucher said,"You never know what can happen and you should be prepared for it and I'm all in favor of any measures that they can take to do anything extra with the security."

Parents in Spencerport have been notified of the changes through e-news notifications and a posting on the district's website. They anticipate it will take a couple of visits before everyone gets accustomed to the new protocol.