Days before students head back to class, Montgomery County, Maryland, unveiled new ways to keep students safe.
School leaders spent the summer planning several safety measures, Dana Edwards, chief of Districtwide Services and Supports, said.
“This summer has really been about putting structures in place, training our staff and being nimble in this particular area,” she told board members at the school district’s monthly meeting Tuesday.
One of those measures included partnering with Montgomery County police to provide key fobs for school police officers — known as community engagement officers or CEOs — and easy access to classrooms.
It is a lesson the department learned from Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas, where 19 students and two teachers died in a school massacre in May. Reports later revealed that police officers waited for a key to enter two classrooms, where an 18-year-old opened fire on the students and teachers.
“That was something that came up on the heels of Uvalde,” Edwards said. “We see that as a key component.”
During the summer months, CEOs also trained with the Montgomery County Police Department’s SWAT teams, and the school district hired more security staff.
Ken Nelson heads up the security team at Magruder High School in Rockville. He told board members about some of the improvements at the school, where a student was hurt in a shooting last January.
“We now have a front foyer monitor,” Nelson said. “And someone that monitors the cameras throughout the entire school day. We’ve added additional camera units in areas not previously recorded.”
Edwards hinted at more measures on the way during the school year.
“Throughout the year, we will continue to gain information from our security and principals to see what the needs are, as well as monitor the data,” she said.