Friday, August 22, 2014

System launches new building entry system

Charles County Public Schools is launching a new entry system at all schools, centers and buildings this school year that changes how visitors, students and staff enter the facility. The system is intercom and video-based and is being programmed to match the bell schedules at each individual school. Most schools will begin use of the system when schools open on Monday, Aug. 25.

Based on the school bell schedule, doors will be locked automatically when the first period bell rings. Outside visitors will then be required to use the intercom system to speak to the main office staff. An intercom button and camera are located at the main entrance of all schools, and office staff will use the touchscreen video equipment to respond to requests for entry during the school day. Visitors will need to use the intercom box to notify main office staff of their arrival to the school before staff will unlock the doors for entry. The system does not lock or unlock any interior doors in schools, including classroom doors, but controls specified access areas to the main building.

Staff members will receive access badges to use during the school day when the system is active. Additionally, schools will also have access badges to use as student hall passes for restroom purposes, for travel to and from the school building to trailer classroom areas and for use at any time during the bell schedule when the system is active.

The system is an enhanced security feature for all schools, centers and buildings and was piloted at three elementary schools – Berry, Dr. Thomas L. Higdon and Mary H. Matula – last school year. Electrical Automation Services, Inc. is finalizing the installation this week. Cost of the security upgrade is $1.178 million, of which more than half of the cost, $659,000, was funded by the state.
Contact your child’s school with any specific questions about the new entry system change.

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