Our focus as a school district continues to center on safety, student and staff well-being, and racial equity.
A comprehensive approach to school safety means that we must double down on the foundational trauma-responsive practices we know keep our schools safe, like trusting relationships with students, mental health supports, strong check-in and screening processes, and rigorous and engaging curriculum. The physical security of buildings is just one layer of safety, and we need many layers of safety working in tandem to optimize our safety efforts.
The District has chosen Evolv Weapons Detection Systems as an additional layer of safety for our schools. Evolv is very similar to a metal detector; its advantage over a traditional metal detector is that it is able identify weapons that would not necessarily be detected by a metal detector. This system also increases the number of people who can pass through a detector at the same time.
The systems we have installed from Evolv are solely a weapons detection system (similar to metal detectors). We will not be installing or using any facial recognition technology at any of our sites.
We understand that some of you will welcome the news of a weapons detection system, and others will see this as a setback for racial equity and school climate. We want to assure you that we will be closely monitoring our entire screening process to evaluate its effectiveness and its impact on those entering our buildings.
Student & Visitor Screening
- All students, staff, and visitors entering a 287 facility will be required to go through one of two entry points where an Evolv Weapon Detection System (WDS) is located. All visitors will be required to go through one entry point and pass through the Evolv WDS. If the system alerts because it detects a potential weapon on someone’s person or in their belongings, a secondary search will be conducted of the area the system indicates as a potential location for a weapon.
- Any student that exits the building unchaperoned or temporarily leaves their staff member's view while outdoors must go through the screening process again to re-enter the building.
Visitor Check-In Process
We take a photo of each guest during their first visit along with scanning their photo ID so it can be saved into the system. (Future visits by the same guest will only require showing a photo-id to check them in and print out a badge.) We then print out a stick-on visitor name badge. Our staff will still welcome guests to our schools and provide any assistance with the new sign-in system. After checking in the guest then will begin the screening process, including weapons detection (aka. metal detectors) and/or searching of personal items.
Who needs to sign in?
All visitors should sign in during school hours, whether you’re attending a meeting or an event or just dropping by for a short visit. We ask that all visitors sign-in through the new system, including parents, community members, member district staff members, contractors who are assigned to/authorized to be in the building, staff who are not assigned to the building, and all other visitors.
Who doesn’t need to sign in? Enrolled students and staff assigned to that building. All work badges must be easily visible throughout the workday.
287 will be replacing our CCTV hardware (i.e, cameras) at our District facilities, starting with North Education Center this school year. The system will be fully implemented District-wide by the 2023-2024 school year.
The new CCTV system will allow for integrations with other safety and security technologies (i.e. Access control, weapon detection system, fire panels/public address systems, and Raptor VMS & EM), allowing for immediate notification of emergencies, incidents, or risks that may pop up throughout the day.
If you have any questions regarding safety, please reach out to your school's front office and they can put you in touch with your school's safety representative.