Security Expert to Evaluate Madison Schools
In-depth analysis of all Madison schools will be conducted this month, the superintendent said.
An expert with the Department of Homeland Security met this week with Madison school district, police and fire officials about school safety, and is planning to conduct an in-depth analysis of security at all Madison schools, the superintendent said.
The findings are expected to be presented at a community forum.
The Homeland Security official, Alfonse Imperiale, met with Superintendent Dr. Michael Rossi, Business Adminsitrator Gary Lane, School Resource Officer Lisa Esposito and fire Capt. Edward Nunn on Tuesday, Rossi said.
Later this month, Imperiale will analyze "all of our buildings and provide us with a detailed summary and review of where he thinks we could improve in terms of our infrastructure and some of our practices," Rossi said.
He said the district will share as much information about the findings as possible at the community forum.
There has been a renewed focus on school security after the school shooting last month in Newtown, Conn. Rossi said district officials met Imperiale at the Morris County Public Safety Training Academy.
"Campus security obviously has been a major concern of everybody," Rossi said at the Board of Education's reorganization meeting Tuesday.
Among the security issues that will be considered is the ability to lock the doors to classrooms in the event of an emergency. Imperiale recommends keeping classroom doors locked, but usually that is not practical because students frequently go in and out of classrooms.
In the event of an emergency, some doors in Madison schools need to be locked from outside the classroom. While outfitting the doors with new locks could cost more than $100,000, Imperiale has mentioned the possibility of less expensive option—magnetic strips that prevent doors from locking, even though they are left in the locked position. When the magnet is pulled off and the door is shut, the door locks.