The importance of improving school safety
Woodburn School District bond would include safety measures such as redesigned entrances and new classroom door locks
By now, many of you know that the Woodburn School District has a bond on the May 20 Primary Election ballot to continue funding for repairs and maintenance, improve school safety and renovate existing buildings for additional space.
This bond will replace one that expires at the end of the year, and, if approved by voters, it would reduce the estimated property tax rate from $2.47 to $2.40 per $1,000 for schools.
This means the owner of a $100,000 home would pay approximately $240 per year ($20 per month) for our local schools.
With those details explained, I wanted to focus on school safety as one of the bond priorities.
I receive a lot of questions from parents and community members about safety in our public schools. These questions have risen in number over the years, particularly since the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., where a gunman killed 20 children, eight adults and injured two others.
Since the beginning of the year, 32 schools in the United States have been impacted by shootings on or around their campuses.
We are fortunate that none have occurred in Woodburn, but there have been bank and business robberies and suspicious persons on and around our campuses that have required police involvement and locking down some school buildings.
The fact is that we do a good job protecting our students, and our schools are the safest place for children to be.
We have emergency procedures in place that work and a police presence on our campuses.
But, we can do better.
Sandy Hook has taught many public schools how to improve security to prevent such tragedies, and the bond on your May election ballot makes funding for these safety improvements a priority.
For example, school entrances will be redesigned to give the front offices line of sight to any person entering the building. Individuals will be admitted only after it is determined that they have reason to be there.
With bond funding, wireless communication will be installed throughout every school building. This will not only improve learning, but also provide a seamless reporting system in case of an emergency.
Classrooms will be fitted with new door locks, and a keyless entry system will be installed for each building so that people who arent supposed to be on campus wont be able to access buildings.
A safe learning environment is important to student achievement and provides peace of mind for our students, faculty and community.
Thank you for your consideration and support for our public schools.