ROGERSVILLE, Mo. -- Monday, students at the middle and high schools in the Logan-Rogersville School District will see a new set of security standards. Security cameras bolted to lamps around campuses and tighter control of people inside the school.
"We had open access, as far as our main entrances in which we would secure our doors throughout the course of the day. We would ask people, politely of course, to check in at the office. Of course, people can bypass that," said Logan-Rogersville Superintendent Jeremy Tucker.
The district won a Community Orientated Policing Services (COPS) grant administered by the Department of Justice. The $100,000 grant paid about half of the cost to install and update security cameras as well as to put in access control systems at the middle and high schools.
The access control system is a way staff can control who gets in and out of the campus during school hours. Visitors will have to be buzzed in and screened, before being allowed in.
"This is a little more reassuring to staff, as well as for our parents in our community," said Tucker. "They are directed specifically to the office and we secure them, but then at the same time, allow for a permission only access into the building."
After the deadly Connecticut school shooting, the superintendent and school board voted to speed up the second phase of the security upgrades. The district is currently in contract negotiations to get similar upgrades across all campuses. Tucker hopes changes will be in effect by mid-spring.
"Our primarily goal is to provide an education for our students. But just as important or equally important is the need to ensure that it's done in a safe environment and secure environment," said Tucker. "We really need to be in a perpetual constant state of reviewing security safety measures. In terms of being aware of what's current to ensure our students safety."
For Jill Ashley, a mother of four boys and substitute teacher for the district, the upgrades are a welcome change.
"That's a typical thought for every parent. Is my child safe at school?" said Ashley."I think that we can't put a price or an amount of time on the safety of our children. I think it's great every measure that we do."
Some of her sons will experience the changes on Monday.
"It may be annoying, it may be a new system to learn, but if we're not constantly reevaluating, constantly upgrading, we get into a comfort zone and that's when tragedy strikes," said Ashley firmly. "I hope that everything runs smoothly, I hope that our children feel safe, that our teachers and administration feel like they are doing their best to keep our children safe."
Tucker said there will be even more updates to ensure safety.
"Our message to parents is that we will continually look at it and continue to work to put things in place," said Tucker. "We want to ensure student safety as well as staff safety."