Officials to Grade School Security

San Diego Unified School District will check safety on its campuses

Before children head back to school this fall, San Diego Unified School District is checking school security to ensure student’s safety.

This year, schools will receive grades for how well they measure up in six critical areas of school security.

Officials will also make sure that they know what to do in the case of an emergency or fire and are trying to go beyond the basics when it comes to safety.

Security officials will also look into control of public access for those who go in and out of schools, and will examine keys and locks inside classrooms.

Communication will also be observed through the public address system and surveillance inside schools, in addition to an emergency outside messaging system.

Right now a task force is using those standards to assess how 16 pilot schools in the district measure up, and other schools will soon follow.

“So our goal will be for example to take all the schools we would describe as deficient which might be a C level -- bring them up to a b before we take schools that are Bs and take them to As in each one of the six categories,” said SDUSD Deputy Superintendent Phil Stover.

The district is assessing 16 schools now through the end of September and then it will work on the other 170 schools through the course of next year.

The district will not wait until all the assessments are done before it makes the improvements, some will be made along the way, as necessary,  with $10 million set aside for security improvements. Then based on the assessments, major security improvements will be addressed during the 2014-2015 school year.

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