Stow high school has been making many changes to the school so students feel more secure. These changes are supposed to help the student body as a whole in case of an emergency situation.
One of the additions to the school was an extra set of doors added by the athletic office. These are the doors students use when they are getting on and off the buses.
The main doors at the school are now a security entrance. Which makes it harder for visitors to get into the school if they are not students or faculty. Students have to buzz in and state a specific reason for entering the building.
Julie Archer’s desk was moved to be right by the front entrance of the school. Archer is a secretary who checks in parents who have items for students and signs kids out when they go to their cars. She now sits right by the doors to make sure people are checking in with her first.
Officer Barry Smith also has a new office this year after being moved to the former mailroom. He is now right next to the main entrance of the school.
Students and parents in Stow want to feel safer with the sudden increase in school shootings across the United States over the past year.
The updates that have been made to the school are security cameras and the IT system as well. Teachers also felt the need to be updated on safety measures and messages needed to be easily sent to them.
“We go through a number of exercised with teachers and plan to continue those drills this year. In some cases it’s what’s called a tabletop exercise where we think through different scenarios, other times we conduct drills to practice what we think through during the tabletop exercise,” Jeffrey Hartmann, the high school principal, said.
The school PA’s system became an even larger necessity with all the relevance it has in communicating quickly with the whole school in dire situations.
“PA system announcements to make it easier for staff to make emergency broadcasts, improvements in classroom door security,” Hartmann said.
Tom Bratten, the superintendent of Stow, also worked hard over the summer to make the school feel like a safer place.
“We have increased security camera coverage and all of our cameras are accessible to the police. We will continue to add more cameras this and next year, change out some security doors, and meet quarterly with the safety committee to discuss other improvements,” Bratten said.
Bratten and his team made it possible for us to have a larger police presence in the schools. The hope is that everyone feels protected at all times in Stow and that the schools stay out of harm’s way.