Florence County School District Five in Johnsonville, South Caroline, according to District Superintendent Randy Smiley says that, this year, the district will be prioritizing increasing safety measures in its schools, looking into security measures like swipe card entry systems and the like.
The district, back in regular operations by October, applied for grants through the region’s Abbeville process to get funding that the district will use to get security upgrades for the schools in the district, Smiley says. He elaborates, saying that the district saw an opportunity to get some work and upgrades done that they had wanted to tackle, but couldn’t in the past.
The Abbeville Capital Improvement Fund granted $915,000 to the Florence County School District Five, which Smiley says is what allowed the district to focus on improving security in their schools, fortifying entrances and other doors.
Smiley elaborates, saying that front entrances will now feature cameras, as well as necessitating ringing in for entry. This will allow secretaries inside the premises to see visitors with the cameras, have a remote conversation with them, and then allow them inside should they wish to.
Other common entrances that tend to be frequently used by teachers and/or students, will now get swipe card entry systems for security. According to Smiley, not only with entry points stay locked unless whoever is trying to enter has the right identification for access, but that principals can also control when the doors are open. He says that this measure is to for safety, of the school and of anyone entering, as they don’t want people entering the building alone, unsecured, and if they’re late. A school, he elaborates, have a lot of things happening at any given time, and they just want all the people in it safe, adults and children alike.
Johnsonville Elementary School Principal Dayne Coker says that the key-cards, which will double as IDs, will allow for an easier system, as they’re less prone to getting lost than normal keys.
The district’s camera system will also be upgraded, with new, clearer cameras, some allowing for a 360-degree view. They’ll allow for better viewing with their increased quality and numbers, Smiley says, letting people monitor places unseen before. Principals and law enforcement can also log on to the cameras’ system whenever and wherever, should the need arise.
Other planned upgrades include upgrades in the district include new flooring, HVAC upgrades and improving the lighting. Also, renovations are to be conducted at the district office.