The Edmond community overwhelmingly passed two bond proposals on Feb. 12, 2019 totaling $93M. Passage of the bond proposals marks the 59th consecutive time (since the 1950s) that community members have gone to the polls and supported Edmond schools. Funds from the passage of the proposals will be used to increase school security, upgrade and improve school buildings and fund the construction of classroom additions and new schools.
Funds from the passage of the bond issue are being used to purchase land for two new elementary schools. 2019 Bond Brochure
The district has purchased land at Douglas and Coffee Creek for an elementary school. Additionally, the district purchased land west of 150th street and south of Pennsylvania Ave for another elementary school. Absent from the bond proposal was a request for funds to build a fourth high school.
“The student population of our secondary schools has not grown at the same rate as it has in our elementary schools. We believe the district’s focus should be on alleviating the congestion in our larger elementary schools, several of which now have between 900-1000 students.”
Other noteworthy updates and improvements in the 2019 bond proposal include $3.7M for enhanced safety features at schools. Last spring, the district formed a committee comprised of staff, students, parents, community members, law enforcement, and federal officials to review the district’s current security procedures and practices.
“Among the immediate improvements the committee recommended is implementing the use of student/staff photo ID cards at all secondary schools which would be used for card-swipe access to buildings, installing more video/audio buzz-in systems for patrons and visitors, and installing more video cameras on the exterior entries of schools to display images of individuals who approach school buildings,” said Towne.
Enhancing Student/Staff Safety
Bond funds from passage of the February 2019 bond issue are being used to enhance student and staff safety.
Over the summer of 2019, access control entries were installed, requiring students and staff to gain entry to buildings through several high traffic entrances and exits, using individual ID badges issued to them by the district. All secondary students grades 6th-12th and all staff are required to visibly display the new school-issued ID badge while school is in session. This is necessary for several reasons. First, the badges will allow administrators to quickly identify students and distinguish visitors in school buildings. Second, the badges will allow students and staff to enter through designated doors at sites that have access control.
These safety upgrades are being made in two phases. Phase one of the project will begin this summer and will include all three high schools, Boulevard Academy, Sequoyah, and Summit middle schools and a handful of elementary schools. Phase two will be implemented in the summer of 2020 and include additional schools, which we will share more information about at a later date. The upgrades are being paid for with bond funds from passage of the February 2019 bond issue.
Frequently Asked Questions:
When will I get my access control badge?
Students and staff will be given an access control badge with their latest yearbook photo printed on the card, a school-provided lanyard and a plastic sleeve. Students will receive their badges at schedule pickup in August; staff will receive their badges during the professional development days held at the beginning of the school year. Students new to the district will receive their badges at their time of enrollment.
Will I need my badge every day?
Yes, secondary students and staff are expected to wear their lanyard and badge each day school is in session.
Can I have multiple badges?
No, each student and staff member will only be issued one badge at a time to decrease the likelihood of a badge being used with malicious intent.
What is the cost for my access control badge?
Edmond Public schools will provide the first badge, lanyard, and sleeve at no cost each school year. Any badge that is lost during the academic year will need to be reported to school administration immediately and a new badge purchased.
Will I get to keep my badge at the end of the school year?
No, badges will be required to be turned back into the school so they may be repurposed for the following school year.
My school is getting access control during Phase 2. When will I get my badge?
We will have four secondary sites that will not be receiving access control until Phase 2 of the project; however, they will still be provided with a badge with an expectation that the badge is to be worn beginning with the 2019/2020 school year.
Are all the site doors getting access control?
Each of the sites was assessed and high traffic entrance/exits were identified. The majority of the current entrance and exits being used are classified as high traffic areas and will continue to be used. The access control system is being installed on specific doors throughout each school to decrease points of entry while also limiting negative impact on pedestrian flow in and out of the building.
Why decrease the number of entrances to a school?
By decreasing the number of entrances into a school, we are able to focus manpower and resources towards high traffic areas and limit or eliminate exterior access to low traffic entrances which will increase overall safety and security for the building.
Why was one school chosen over another for phase 1?
As a district, we had to look at site layout, student population, safety, and security trends both locally and nationally to determine which schools should receive priority in phase 1. We focused on high schools and sites that had secondary buildings such as detached gyms, detached early childhood centers, and portable classrooms.
Will doors lock students and staff inside the building?
No door will ever lock a student or staff member inside the building. Fail-safes are implemented into each access control door that will allow safe egress out of the building.
What happens if a school loses power?
If power is lost, the battery backup will temporarily power the system. In the case of extended power loss, doors will be accessible from the exterior with a key override and as always staff and students will be able to exit regardless of the power status at the door.
We look forward to continuing to share additional information with you about these upgrades.