How will having all parts of campus under one roof make schools safer?
Having multiple buildings means having multiple unlocked doors so students can move from one building to the next. It also means there are multiple ways for a person who shouldn’t be in the school to get inside without having to go past the school office. Having one main entrance and a security vestibule that forces people to check in with the office before entering the rest of the school is the safer layout.
If we want to improve school safety, why not arm teachers or add SROs?
For insurance purposes, D51 schools have no plans to arm teachers or volunteers. Arming people who are not in uniform may also pose a problem for law enforcement responding to a school incident, as they could not easily tell if an armed teacher is the original shooter or someone trying to bring down a shooter.
Local law enforcement agencies hire and pay for school resource officers, and we are thrilled that many have added more SRO positions in the last year. It is not easy to recruit just the right person with the right skills, temperament, training, and background to become a school resource officer, so it may be difficult to hire an officer for every D51 school, even if funding were available.
Why not add modulars instead of classrooms to give Fruita Monument more room?
It would take several modulars to provide the amount of space needed to bring ninth-graders back to FMHS. More importantly, modulars create more exterior doors for the school, which defeats the purpose of securing all FMHS buildings under one roof.
The bond questions mentions fire sprinklers. Don’t all schools have sprinklers?
Not entirely. While some newer buildings at each high school have sprinklers, the older parts do not. In fact, sprinklers played a part in the decision not to connect newer additions to the main high school buildings in years past because connecting them to the main building would have required a school to put sprinklers throughout the entire building. Fruita Monument High School is getting sprinklers installed in its main building for the first time in the summer of 2019 thanks to funding from the 2017 Bond Measure.
What is D51 doing to make schools safe now?
The existing D51 budget supplies 9 school security officers and a security director, and local law enforcement agencies fund 12 School Resource Officers. The last bond measure helped the district complete its work installing key-less entry lock systems in all schools, and nearly all D51 elementary and middle schools now have security vestibules. The vestibule holds a person inside the front lobby so they cannot enter the rest of the school unless the office staff let them through a locked door. Vestibules are only truly effective if the public has just one entrance to a building.
A new grant this year will add more security cameras, a security office at PHS, 75 radios, and vestibules at East and West middle schools. Due to our practices, D51 has been recognized by the National Institute of Justice as one of the top 24-safest districts among 2,000 surveyed in the U.S. While it's impossible for any district or law enforcement agency to make sure all students make good choices every day, we are confident that we have the right people on the job, doing their best to defuse, prevent, and resolve situations quickly and professionally.