MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Instead of waiting for something to happen, a Minnesota school district is being proactive by taking security to the next level.

Eastern Carver County added secure entrances to each school, and more surveillance cameras this school year.

Shana Anderson often volunteers at her son’s school, Bluff Creek Elementary. This year, there’s a new step before she can get to the office.

“You have to make sure you have your ID,” Anderson said.

Parents now must use what’s called the Visitor Management System.

“You just have to slide your ID and then the gals in the office come on and ask you why you are in school,” Anderson said. “And then they print you out a badge, and then you go into the office.”

The system is new to Eastern Carver County schools this year.

“We heard from our community that they wanted more secure schools for our children and cameras and safety,” said DeeDee Kahring, the district’s director of finance and operations.

Voters approved a $2.45 million referendum last year to add secure entrances to all schools and additional security cameras. Principal Joan MacDonald embraces any advancement in security.

“The safety and security of the children is our most important piece of this whole project, and so it lets us know who’s in the building, should they be in the building, and should anything happen in the building — where are they,” MacDonald said.

If someone slides their driver’s license and they are not supposed to be in the school, an alert is immediately sent to the school secretaries. Anderson’s third-grader son, Jack, knows what it’s all about.

“[It’s] so no one gets hurt,” Jack Anderson said.

His mother was skeptical of the system at first, but now admits she’s glad the district is on the cutting edge.

“With everything that’s going on in the world today, it’s nice to know that when you’re children are away from you that they are safe,” she said.

There are other school districts in the state that use similar technology. Anoka-Hennepin, Eden Prairie, Robbinsdale and Mounds View school districts all added the system last year.

Jennifer Mayerle

Comments (3)