Keeping students safe at Willoughy-Eastlake Schools

We School Nov
Ongoing training and practice help students and staff in schools be prepared for anything, including an active shooter.

By Mimi Vanderhaven

Providing the safest possible environment for its 6,000+ students, the leadership and administration of Willoughby-Eastlake Schools have put into place a cadre of state-of-the-art safety measures.

“As a district, there is nothing more important than maintaining safe schools and this fact is at the forefront of all decisions,” says Interim Superintendent Charles A. Murphy Jr.

Prevention, planning, procedures and interfacing with the Lake County authorities are pillars of the multi-layered approach.

New security measures begin at the front doors of every building, which are locked. They can only be unlocked by someone in the building or with a key. The person who is allowed in the first door remains in a bullpen entrance checkpoint until their identification is approved by a Raptor visitor management system, which updates every 30 minutes and ensures the guest does not have a history of criminal behavior.

The school system also installed cameras throughout all buildings and blue alert strobe lights on the exterior of the buildings.

Investing in special 3M safety and security window film for glass surfaces inside and outside the buildings is another security measure that delays the entrance of any potential intruders.

Connecting to authorities through the Motorola MARCS public safety two-way radio system is another key to safety. By pressing an orange button, someone within a school can communicate with all law enforcement agencies in the county.

Ongoing training and practice help students and staff in schools be prepared for anything, including an active shooter.

In a crisis situation, law enforcement can see in to the buildings by accessing school cameras and using them as monitors. They can access maps of the schools’ interiors, similar to what you would see on Google Earth.

“The Willoughby-Eastlake district is proud of the work we have done to create a safe environment for our students, staff and visitors to our campuses,” adds Superintendent Murphy. “In addition to the safety measures already in place, our Operations Department has recently applied for and received safety grants to expand current safety equipment and protocols.”

Look for these monthly stories to cover topics from grades K-12 in the Willoughby-Eastlake City Schools System. Find out more at WESchools.org.