Albemarle Co. School Board to Consider Additional Safety Measures
ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - Students in Albemarle County are back to school in two weeks but right now, school leaders are making sure all their safety plans are in place.
It comes as a priority to grow security is set to go before the school board on Thursday night. The school board will consider new safety measures at that meeting. While those changes may not happen right away, new drills and training are already underway.
"In any scenario, we have to look at what we want to do and what we have the funding to do,” said Nick King, student services officer.
The Albemarle County School Board is set to consider a recommendation for electronic door locks, camera buzz-in systems, electronic access, and badge reader systems, as well as other safety measures at every school building. At a price tag of more than $2 million, schools are working to make sure they don't come up short.
“If the school had unlimited funds then they would make all safety measures this year, but unfortunately it will have to be a piecemeal process. They've applied for a state grant,” said King.
The proposal would get upgrades in place by 2023 but right now, teachers are already getting new training.
“This year the legislature did pass a new law and the government did sign it requiring that all school divisions provide training for all staff annually relative to school safety procedures,” said King.
Students will also take part in four state-required lockdown drills.
“We want to do enough of those drills to make sure that we can competently and effectively address the need that may arise, but certainly not more than we need to do because we don't want to expose our kids to the anxieties that may accrue from doing those drills regularly,” said King.
King says schools also have tornado, earthquake and those fire drills that would look familiar to us because they haven't changed much from when we were kids.