School officials take another look at security

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WILDWOOD – The Wildwood Board of Education held a moment of silence at the start of its Dec. 19 meeting for the 20 children and six adults killed during a mass shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn.
Superintendent Dennis Anderson said the district of Wildwood and Wildwood Crest has always had the safety of its students and teachers in mind, but in the wake of the tragedy those measures are going to be refined.


“Our staff has always been vigilant when it comes to protecting their students. But there are a few things we can look at,” Anderson said. “A few things can be tweaked.”
Anderson said that in the past seven years the district has been active in implementing new security measures at the elementary school and high school. Video surveillance, he said, is used outside, particularly above entranceways, and inside the schools.  
In Glenwood Elementary School visitors enter into a lobby that has a window to the school office. They have to sign in, take a picture for identification before the doors to the school are unlocked by the staff.
At Wildwood High School, which also houses the middle school, visitors also have to sign in at the front desk before they can enter the building. Other entrances to the school are locked through the school day, Anderson said.
Students are also drilled on evacuation procedures. Anderson said they advocate extensive training and preparation for the school district. The high school, middle school, elementary school and preschool annex practice drills for fire and security once a month.
Anderson said the Wildwood and Wildwood Crest districts maintain a close relationship with fire and police departments. In the Wildwood district, he said, an officer is actually in the school.
Since 2005 the city has paid the city for an officer that was assigned to the school. During the 180 school year a school resource officer is either in the elementary school or in the high school, Anderson said.
“We’ve done a pretty good job of maintaining a high standard when it comes to safety. The board [of education], the staff, the administration and the parents have all helped us in keeping the students safe,” Anderson said. “We’ve done pretty good but we will be looking to see if there is anything else we can do.”


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