Edgartown School has an eye for security

School installs new security system for main entrance.

Paulee Davies, who works in the Edgartown School front office, tapes the new security policy sign onto the front door of the school. — Gabrielle Mannino

The Edgartown School installed a new security system for its front doors.

The system cost $10,500, and was approved by town voters after an article was placed on the town warrant. Once voters said yes to the new system, the school swiftly installed it, and it went into effect Monday.

John Stevens, the principal of the Edgartown School, sent a letter out to parents, in English and Portuguese, detailing the implementation of the new system and how to use it.

The new system provides audio and video capability outside the main door entrance, and will give office staff the capability to lock and unlock the front door electronically. To enter the school between 8:25 am and 2:30 pm, visitors must press the call button at the front door, then state their name and reason for entering the school. Visitors will still have to register in the office and wear a visitor’s tag while on the campus.

“I would say a need to make school more secure during school hours, while kids and staff are in session, in light of a lot of school violence across the country,” Stevens said of the reason for the new security measure.

Staff at the school have been pleased with the additional security, according to Stevens. The reaction from people he has spoken to about it has been “very positive,” he said.

The main entrance security installation is part of a larger project on improving the security around the school. Although he did not want to reveal too much for fear of exposing weaknesses in the system, Stevens did say cameras would be installed on all outside doors in the summer, while other security features would follow.

“Security in school is a balance. You want kids and staff safe and secure, but you want that welcome atmosphere,” Stevens said. “It’s a careful balance you have to strike. You have to really put safety and security as a No. 1 priority in your schools these days.”