SPS secure entries not finished for students' first day back to class

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3/KSPR) - Springfield parents will finally get a break Tuesday as kids head back to class, but not all students will start their day walking through their school's front doors. Some may be asked to use alternate entryways while work wraps up on 19 secure entrances across the district.

The Executive Director of Operations for Springfield Public Schools (SPS) said even though none of the new secure entryways are done in time for the first day, there are a handful that are close and just need finishing touches put on. Travis Shaw explained crews experienced a few hiccups over the summer months, including problems such as electrical wiring and plumbing in walls that crews didn't expect. Shaw said it's not hard imagine these types of problems arising since some of the schools are more than 100-years-old.

Shaw reassured everyone student safety will not be jeopardized while construction wraps up. "All of the doors will continue to be locked as normal," began Shaw. "We move our access control system that is currently here to a different door, they still get buzzed in, they still have to be granted access into the building."

Shaw said they have seen their new "Hall Pass" check-in system keep students safe first-hand this past summer. "There was a community event that was going on at one of the schools, ran it (an ID) through, and it flagged it immediately," explained Shaw of someone who was trying to enter a community event who was a registered sex offender. "School police received a text message that someone was there on site, they dealt with the individual, and they were asked to leave because they couldn't legally be there."

Shaw said with the new system all visitors will need to enter through a school's secure entryway to check in with some form of identification. School officials will run a background check with "Hall Pass" to see if a person is a registered sex offender. If someone does ping in the system, school police are immediately notified via text message. If a visitor is approved for entry, a visitor badge will be printed with a photo.

If a school's secure entrance is still under construction, parents/guardians should have received an email/letter from SPS with instructions on where students should enter for the first day back to school. If parents/guardians did not receive any notice of changes, schools will also have signs posted on their doors with instructions to avoid any confusion.

Read the original version of this article at www.ky3.com.