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What are Arizona schools doing to make sure your kids are safe?

Posted at 7:13 PM, Feb 15, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-15 21:14:05-05

After Wednesday's deadly Florida school shooting, Valley educators are trying to reassure parents about security on their campuses.

Some districts, including Chandler Unified, Mesa Unified and Kyrene Schools, sent letters home to parents, detailing recent projects to prevent a campus attack. Kyrene's superintendent also gave parents advice on how to address their children's fears.

Phoenix Union High School District invited ABC15 to a campus to see how crews are replacing classroom door locks, so teachers can secure their doors without stepping into the hallway. Administrators say the cost to change out 3,000 locks is about $600,000.

"It's something that our teachers have asked about, and we're responding," said district spokesman Craig Pletenik. "We think it's the right thing to do."

Phoenix Union also reduces the entry points on campuses for security.  They require students and staff to wear badges, and they have armed police officers at the schools.

Other school districts also told ABC15 how they protect kids from threats on campus.

Mesa Unified School District:

  • Discussion today centered around our protocol for fire alarms during lockdowns. If the fire alarm is activated, remain in lock-down until directed by Law Enforcement, due to the fact it could have been activated by a hostile.
  • Using local taxpayer bond authorization, Mesa Public Schools has recently focused on securing our elementary campuses through exterior fencing, front office redesign and a visitor registration system. We also plan to add additional cameras, electric locks for front office doors and increased signage.

Deer Valley Unified School District:

  • This summer we plan to make improvements to perimeter fencing at select schools. 
  • Our previous improvements included among other things: installing bullet-resistance glass and limiting entrance onto school property with buzz doors in school front offices.

Queen Creek:
Rolled out a new lockdown procedure called ALICE   

Chandler Unified School District:

  • Security fencing and gates provide limited access to our schools. Additional fencing projects are in progress.
  • Added safety features to include keyless door locks.
  • Security cameras have been installed at all of our schools. It is important to note that the police have remote access to our cameras to observe and assess an emergency situation.
  • All CUSD phones are 911 enhanced which means emergency responders will know the exact location/classroom at the site of an emergency call.
  • High school and junior high school campuses have police and security officers on site. We have six security officers that work with our elementary schools.

Kyrene School District:

  • Kyrene just completed a proactive district-wide safety and security project at all 25 schools. 
  • Securing campuses with perimeter fencing
  • Securing access to schools through the front office
  • Keyless security badge cards at all points of entry
  • 360 degree security video virtual-fencing. 

Tempe Union High School District:

  • "Our security director comes in every day and is adjusting and making changes to our security planning. 
  • Stepping up situational awareness training and active shooter response
  • Educating parents and students about social media threats and the importance of reporting suspicious actions and/or messages by friends and classmates.