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Plum, Riverview School Officials Focus on Safety

Local school districts continue to explore and implement additional safety measures at school buildings.

Plum and Riverview school district officials are continuing discussions about making school buildings as safe as possible.

Riverview officials are considering changing procedures for visitors, as well as upgrading school building windows and doors. Plum School District has implemented Raptor, a web-based software application that helps track visitors with drivers licenses.

Officials have been discussing these changes for at least a year, but the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Connecticut two months ago, refreshed the importance of school safety throughout the country.

During a school board meeting on Monday, Riverview officials continued discussions about safety upgrades at school buildings. District architect Dick Jaynes is in the design process to upgrade Verner Elementary's classroom doors and main entrance. The project also could expand to portions of Tenth Street Elementary and Riverview High School in an attempt to be consistent throughout the district.

Once the design is complete, officials will solicit bids for the project.

Superintendent Peggy DiNinno said officials also are considering stricter guidelines pertaining to visitors—requiring visitors to show their drivers licenses to a security camera before entering the building, making them buzz in twice (once outside and once in the inside vestibule), or having them leave their drivers licenses or car keys with the office secretary.

Similarly, Plum School District has implemented Raptor, which scans a visitor's drivers license before allowing them to enter the building. The software conducts a background check for registered sex offenders, domestic violence abuse and other arrest records. If a potential threat is identified, administration and the Plum Police Department are notified.

If they pass the background check, the system prints a sticker ID with a photo of the visitor that they must wear during their visit.

The Raptor system first was used at Plum High School and Oblock Junior High in September 2012. On Jan. 22 of this year, all school buildings began using the program.

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