Lake Zurich D95 Outlines Safety Measures After Newtown Tragedy
Lake Zurich District 95 Superintendent Michael Egan sends second letter to parents in response to concerns over school security.
Dr. Michael Egan, superintendent of Lake Zurich Community Unit School District 95 sent a letter on Saturday consoling parents and assuring them that their children are safe at Lake Zurich schools.
Egan sent a second letter yesterday, with further clarification. The letter follows:
In the past few days I have received several emails from parents that have generally expressed thanks for our security improvements but also have asked for further clarification. Although we do not share our complete crisis plan for security reasons, I would like to take this opportunity to provide a little more information to all parents about some of the measures District 95 has undertaken in the area of school security.
Implementation of a district-wide, standard lanyard system. Any adult in our buildings should be wearing a breakaway lanyard that identifies them as a staff member, a contractor, or a visitor. Any adult in our buildings without a lanyard should be questioned.
The Raptor visitor management system is currently used at LZHS and is being installed in our other schools. Raptor screens visitors against registered sex offender databases in all 50 states before allowing entrance to the campus. A credential exchange (most often car keys) is required so that lanyards are returned before leaving.
Physical threat assessments of all eight of our schools were performed in 2011-12 by security consultant experts, district administration, a teacher representative, and a school board member/parent. These threat assessments identified strengths and weaknesses in our buildings in order for us to prioritize security-related building and process improvements.
Improvements to the entrances of several of our facilities are already underway. Some buildings will require more significant changes to alter the entryway and in some cases temporary measures have been identified and already scheduled.
o At LZHS a kiosk for the Door 1 entrance was recently ordered (prior to last week’s incident) in order to move security closer to the door. It is expected to arrive within weeks. In the interim, security will have a table at Door 1.
o At Spencer Loomis and Middle School North, a camera and buzzer system was already on the list of improvements for later this school year. We have moved this up on our priority list. This will allow office staff to restrict entry to the school, including the office area.
o At all of our other schools we are looking at options to reconfigure office entrances that funnel visitors through the office first. Some of these improvements will be fairly easy, others will be quite difficult and costly, but we are committed to making these security improvements.
Reconfigured front entrances were already slated as summer projects for Middle School South, Isaac Fox, and Seth Paine.
District 95 Administration Center - 400 South Old Rand Road - Lake Zurich IL 60047-2459 Phone: (847) 438-2831 FAX: (847) 438-6702 www.lz95.org
Reconfiguration of May Whitney and Sarah Adams entryways will require additional planning and adaptation. We will work with architects to evaluate our options and will identify any short term, temporary improvements as well.
Universally, other measures such as key card access, locking of more entrances, etc. are also already being evaluated. For example, the district is going out for bids in January for staff key card access for Sarah Adams and Seth Paine, with the intention of having the installation over spring break.
On the topic of readiness, several of our administrators attended an active shooter drill in 2012 to better understand how to plan for such an unthinkable situation. This drill was presented by the Mundelein Police Department and was conducted at Carmel High School.
Our entire district crisis plan is being updated and revised (this process began in the 2011-12 school year).
These are just some of our efforts in the arena of student, staff, and building safety. As I mentioned in my newsletter two days ago, student safety is at the top of our priority list. We will continue to make improvements over time and you will be apprised of some of those modifications.
I hope this helps to further reassure you that my administration is actively and continually working to make District 95 schools safer for your students and our staff.
Best wishes for a healthy, happy, and safe holiday season. Sincerely,
Dr. Michael J. Egan
Lake Zurich Community Unit School District 95