Updated security at Isom enhances safety

Updated security at Isom enhances safety for all students
Posted on 11/27/2018

It may not have received the same fanfare as the new builds at Fisher Elementary and Lynden Middle School, but staff at Isom Elementary have been busy planning and implementing upgrades to enhance student safety.

“Those (two new) buildings included significant improvements to security and we felt like our school needed to be upgraded to ensure that all students in the district were as safe as possible,” says Patrick McClure, Isom principal.

New for the school, 16 video cameras across campus offer live and recorded feeds of the parking lots, playground, gym and hallways. The front entryway now features a camera and key-card entry so visitors must be buzzed into the office in order to enter the building.

The school also received updates to the alarm panels and smoke and heat detectors around the campus.

“It definitely impacts students in that school can be that much safer, since we can better monitor who is coming in and what is happening on campus,” McClure says. “Cameras help us better determine what is happening at recess when there are conflicts. Also, the alarms that we’ve used to practice evacuation drills are a little quieter and include a pre-recorded lady’s voice giving directions to evacuate. Kids and staff have shared that this creates a calmer environment while evacuating the building.”

McClure says the changes at the start of the year offer a renewed focus on emergency drills and teaching about student expectations. “Mostly it has been a good teaching tool for parents and the community who comes in,” he says. “It has helped to get them to check into the main office after getting buzzed in.”

The parents have largely been appreciative of the upgrades, McClure says, knowing it was all done with a focus on student safety.