Mars schools might get security upgrade
Eagle Staff Writer
Written by:
June 18, 2014

ADAMS TWP — A cutting-edge security system proposed for all five schools in the Mars School District will increase safety.

That’s the word from Superintendent Jim Budzilek, who will recommend that school board members on July 15 approve a visitor management system for the entrance to each building.

Budzilek said that adult visitors who enter the building must scan their driver’s license and have their picture taken. A label is then printed out with the picture and the person’s name.

The visitor must wear the label on their clothing while they are in the school.

The labels are made to turn a certain color when they expire after a few hours so that staff in the building can tell the visitor’s time is up and he or she should not be in the building.

The license scanner and photographs also would ensure that the person who signed in is the actual person who entered the building.

“Anyone can look at the picture on the label and make sure it matches with (the visitor’s) identification,” Budzilek said.

He said the systems cost about $5,000 for each building.

“We’re trying our best to get them into all our schools this fall,” Budzilek said.

He said the district would keep the security guards who are contracted to work at the high school, and no school entrances would be renovated to accommodate the systems.

“This is just another layer of security,” Budzilek said.

He said parents who frequent their child’s school could scan their license and have one picture taken that could be stored for subsequent use.

School board President Dayle Ferguson said it is a common practice at Mars for security protocols to be evaluated and enhanced.

“In an unpredictable world, we continuously strive to improve — through tighter procedures, training and practice, and infrastructure upgrades — a safe learning environment for our students and staff,” Ferguson said.

Budzilek agreed: “Any upgrade to security is important, for continual watch over the safety of our students and staff.”