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Mill Valley News

The student news site of Mill Valley High School

Mill Valley News

The student news site of Mill Valley High School

Mill Valley News

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District implements new CrisisAlert security system to improve emergency response time

With a new district-wide security system, safety continues to be one of the school’s top priorities
By Quin Peters

At the start of the school year, the district introduced a new CrisisAlert security system to improve safety and to make emergency response times quicker. The system was unanimously approved by the Board of Education in April and was implemented into district buildings over the summer.

With school shootings becoming more common across the country, the new security system will provide another layer of safety. District coordinator of safety and transportation Rob Moser explains how safety was the main motivation behind the security system.

“We live in a world that nobody likes what we’re seeing, these incidents of mass shootings and things like that,” Moser said. “It basically comes down to the fact that we need to be looking at every different product or every avenue we can to try and keep our students and staff more safe.”

The new system consists of beacons in each classroom and badges given to all staff members. The badges are used to quickly communicate with the beacons which sends an alert that notifies important people of issues and emergencies.

By Quin Peters

“You push [the badge] a certain number of times,” Moser said. “For a lower level, it’s called a staff alert and more times for complete building wide lockdown.”

The system’s radius covers the entire district, allowing staff to utilize the system from the grounds of any district building as long as they have their security badge.

“If you think of [the security system] not just as a school building, but you consider a campus, you come to campus each day,” Moser said. “That campus sits on the boundaries of what the district owns as far as property goes. This would cover any property owned by the district and any district boundary that it envelopes.”

PE teacher Christine Preston feels safer when taking her classes around the school with the new badges.

“I think it’s really beneficial because if we go outside or if we’re off campus and it’s an emergency or we need a nurse ASAP. We can use it to trigger a response to get administration and nurses out there,” Preston said.

School nurse Heather Van Dyke sees positives in the medical side of the badges.

“We know that some other districts have had it and it’s worked really well in some situations,” Van Dyke said. “The one I can think of is in Olathe. It was a dislocated knee so they could get access up there. I think because we have so many people in so many little areas of the school, I love that it will show you exactly where they’re at so I think it’s great. I mean, hopefully, we don’t need it, but I think it just gives everybody that extra layer of security.”

The new system has a lot of potential for increased safety, but there was initial hesitancy from teachers and staff, according to Preston.

By Quin Peters

“I think that at first we were a little hesitant because a couple of them accidentally went off and we were afraid of what would happen if that happened,” Preston said.

Many staff members expressed other concerns as well, according to Van Dyke.

“The only learning curve so far is some accidental pushes, but [administration] was able to shut that down pretty quickly,” Van Dyke said. “Another problem we had was with people just remembering to wear them.”

Another question staff initially asked was why the badges were chosen over other systems.

“What these [badges] have over a portable radio system is that it’s impractical to give a portable radio to every single district employee,” Moser said. “Over 1300 radios would just be too much maintenance: batteries, chargers, radios, everything that goes out on them. So while that would be nice to have, it’s not practical. These are much more practical in that we issued every single school district employee a crisis alert badge.”

The badges are also useful because they immediately alert everyone that a serious situation is occurring, as opposed to just reporting an issue using a cell phone.

“It alerts everybody versus us calling somebody and then having to call one person to the next person,” Preston said. “This will just give everybody a heads up that there is something very serious.”

The district agreed to the CrisisAlert system for a five-year span. So far, Moser believes that the security system has been a success.

“Overall, the implementation has been very successful,” Moser said. “The badge has been getting used on the staff level alert type of use. We’ve seen folks with elopements [running away from a safe caregiver] and other behavioral issues at the elementary schools. The staff has gotten comfortable using them to call for that help when they need it.”

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About the Contributors
Evan LeRoy
Evan LeRoy, JagWire reporter/photographer
This is sophomore Evan LeRoy’s first year on the JagWire staff. Evan is a reporter for both the newspaper staff and for the broadcast staff. Outside of school Evan likes to perform, take walks and spend time preparing for his next performance. Evan is excited to learn all the skills he will need to do both print and video journalism. Evan is excited to be a part of both groups and is excited to tell all the important stories the people of Mill Valley need to know.
Ian Chern
Ian Chern, JagWire copy editor
This is junior Ian Chern’s second year on the JagWire staff. This year he is taking up the role of copy editor along with writer and photographer. Outside of school, Ian enjoys watching sports, listening to music, playing basketball and soccer, volunteering at food banks and spending time with friends and family. He is also a member of NHS, Science Olympiad and likes to participate in Relay for Life.
Quin Peters
Quin Peters, JagWire reporter/photographer
This is sophomore Quin Peters’ first year on the JagWire staff. She will be exploring the roles of writer and designer for the newspaper this year. Outside of school, Quin crochets, reads, writes creatively and is involved in art. Quin is a member of several clubs at the school, including National Art Honor Society, Youth for Refugees, Women’s Empowerment, Scholars Bowl, Creative Writing Club and Model UN.

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