Safety & Security

Madison SD Installs Electronic Door Locks, Internet-Based Phones to Enhance Safety

Madison Metropolitan School District installed electronic locks and internet-based phones with increased functionality as part of an upgraded district-wide security plan.

The $6.5 million security plan was partially funded by a grant program the Wisconsin state government established last year in a response to a mass shooting at a Florida High school. Madison was awarded $1 million in the first round of funding and $1.5 million in the second round. The rest of the plan was covered by local funds.

More than 4,600 locks have been swapped out across the district. The electronic locks — which are controlled by staff ID badges — automatically locks people from coming in a room once the door is closed, unless they have a badge.

About 4,100 new phones have been put in all schools but the software that increases the phone’s capabilities will be installed throughout the fall semester. Once added, the phones will be able to page an individual classroom through the PA system and send out emergency notifications to families.

“This new phone system gives us a ton of flexibility and functionality because it is run over the internet,” director of building services, Chad Wiese told a local newspaper.

In addition, the school district is adding more than 400 cameras and window-hardening film to main entrances of schools, designed to slow down active shooters.

In order to receive the grant funding from the state, teachers needed to complete associated safety training. The district also trained staff and teachers on new standardized emergency response procedures.

About the Author

Yvonne Marquez is senior editor of Spaces4Learning K-12. She can be reached at ymarquez@1105media.com.