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BCISD adds campus safety measures

Burnet High School softball players honored

Several Burnet High School softball players were recognized at a recent school board meeting for state honors. Pictured are head softball coach Hailey Wooten (left) and players Savannah Gomez, Katie Barnett, and Yareli Vega. Not pictured are Rylea Whitus and Camrynn Guthrie. BCISD photo

As Burnet Consolidated Independent School District administrators prepare for the first day of class on Aug. 17, they are also scrutinizing campus and classroom security.

During the BCISD Board of Trustees meeting on Monday, July 25, School Safety and Security Coordinator Kurt Jones updated trustees and others in attendance on the district’s safety initiatives. 

Over the past several years, the district has increased security and safety measures on campuses, including routine safety drills, security cameras, school resource officers, emergency operation plans, phones in every classroom, threat-assessment teams, and an anonymous reporting system. 

Officials are taking even more steps before classes resume. Jones said the district will complete a targeted safety audit of each campus as well as an audit of all exterior doors to ensure each one is operating correctly.

The exterior door checks won’t stop when school starts. Under the BCISD plan, school resource officers will check doors and gates each day and complete exterior door sweeps each week. 

Trustees on Monday also approved interlocal agreements with the cities of Burnet and Bertram to place a school resource officer (SRO) at each traditional campus. Due to training and recruiting, the fourth SRO won’t join the program until October, so until then, R.J. Richey and Shady Grove elementary schools will share an officer. 

The district and cities have partnered for several years to provide SROs on campuses.

The district also will host school and safety training for staff on each campus prior to Aug. 17. 

Other protective measures include:

  • ensuring each campus has a controlled primary entry point and all exterior doors are locked;
  • ensuring each campus has a button that locks all exterior doors;
  • and adding 3-millimeter, bulletproof film on all exterior doors. 

During the school day, classroom doors are closed and locked. Burnet High School added a speed screen to each classroom that quickly covers the door’s window in case of a security breach. According to research, an intruder is more likely to pass by a classroom if they can’t see into it.

Jones told the board the district plans to add speed screens to every campus classroom this fall.

The district is also upgrading the high school’s security camera system this coming academic year. The upgrade will include 120 higher-resolution cameras and an expanded storage system.

For more information on security measures, visit BCISD’s School Safety and Security webpage

IN OTHER BUSINESS

The board recognized five Burnet High School softball players for state honors:

  • Savannah Gomez — 2022 Texas Girls Coaches Association All-State Softball Team and Academic All-State Softball Team
  • Yareli Vega, Katie Barnett, and Rylea Whitus — 2022 TGCA Academic All-State Softball Team
  • Camrynn Guthrie — 2022 Texas Sports Writers Association 4A All-State Softball Team honorable mention

BACK TO SCHOOL

As the first day of the 2022-23 school year nears, administrators and staff are gearing up for it.

“We are continuing to work to make preparations for the upcoming school year,” Superintendent Keith McBurnett stated in an email. “The countdown is on, and we will definitely be hitting the ground running on Monday, August 8, when all staff return to work at their campuses or departments.”

For back-to-school updates, visit the district’s website.

daniel@thepicayune.com