The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

January 10, 2013

Catlin school hears about security measures

BY APRIL EVANS
Commercial-News

CATLIN — Catlin School Board members heard Thursday about extra security measures that are being investigated in the district in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy.

Catlin High School Principal Kevin Thomas said there are already nine cameras spread throughout the two-building campus and that visitors are restricted to entering through just one door and must check in.

Since returning from break, school officials have also limited the number of entrances students use during the day. Students float between two buildings throughout their school day. Administrators want to have more control over those entrances, too.

Thomas has met with a security firm who suggested putting magnetized locks on a handful of doors that are used most during the day. All students and staff would then receive a magnetic FOB card allowing only them to enter. Student FOB cards would be activated during school hours only, and if anyone lost his or her card, it would be deprogrammed and a new one would be issued.

Thomas said they are continuing to look at the plan, which is projected to cost a substantial amount of money to initiate. He said security of the kids is their top objective.

At Catlin Elementary School, they too, are looking at increasing security measures. While the grade school already has a locked down front door and camera in place, they are looking at installing more cameras throughout that campus.

Also, Catlin police officers have had more of a presence in and around both schools since school started back in session.

In other business, board members heard that five candidates have filed to run for the four open school board seats this spring.

Current board members Perry Dable and Shane Meade are not running for re-election, while incumbents Jim Chandler and Tricia Keith are. Newcomers seeking election are Travis Pearman, Andrea Vanleer and Dave Dutton.

What’s next

The Catlin School Board meets at 7 p.m. February 14 at the unit office.