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Classroom Challenges: An inside look at security and safety across Coastal Bend school districts

Sinton, Ingleside, and Robstown ISD gave 3NEWS a close look at how technology and communication will be key in protecting students and staff this school year.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Staffing, salaries, resources and safety are just some of the things that Coastal Bend area schools are focusing on as we enter this new school year.

Empty hallways will soon be filled with students taking on the new school year, but there is one thing at the forefront of every district leader’s mind: safety. Ingleside ISD has preparing non-stop to ensure their campuses are secure.

“It’s about preparing and training them, making sure they are ready for students and anything that could happen," said Ingleside ISD Superintendent Troy Mirkovich. 

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In June, the district approved to have a safety marshal on campus, a clear backpack policy and are considering the guardian program. The safety measures don’t stop there.

“We do have metal detectors at all of our secondary campuses this year and all of our students and staff will be entering through the metal detectors at the start of each school day,” said Safety and Security Coordinator Scott Kilgore.

The district has also secured their doors.

“In order to actually access these doors, they have to be open from the inside or you have to have a badge or master key to actually enter these doors,” said Kilgore.

The district going one step further and adding bulletproof glass.

“This glass is bullet filmed and we have that all of our campuses and we’re looking at making additional glass areas in our schools bulletproof,” said Kilgore.

Along with those additions, there’s another tool they’ve added that can be used from your smartphone.

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"It’s called Raptor Emergency Management and it links to our Raptor visitor management system we’ve used in the past to track who is in our schools,” said Kilgore.

“So, if we had some type of emergency in our building, let's say we had to go into a lockdown, all a teacher has to do- instead of actually getting to a phone and calling- they can get their phone out, which everybody carries their phone, they can click on that lockdown button and swipe it.”

They’re not the only district using Raptor technologies. The Robstown ISD started using this system two years ago.  

“That was our initiative two years ago,” said Robstown ISD Superintendent Dr. Jose Moreno.

Their local law enforcement is also on board.

“If there’s something that happens, they will be notified as well within a few seconds and then we’re all communicating automatically,” said Dr. Moreno.

Sinton ISD is another district utilizing this tool.

“Each of our campuses utilizes the Raptor system for check in if there’s visitors on campus,” said Sinton ISD Superintendent Dr. Andy Reddock.

Thanks to a bond, the district was able to do even more.

“We were able to supply secure vestibules for entry, so people have to be buzzed into the campuses instead of open access. We also utilize camera systems,” said Dr. Reddock.

Dr. Reddock said they too work with their local law enforcement. He said DPS and the local police department walk through the district’s campuses offering recommendations and making sure they are all communicating effectively.

Tune in to First Edition Tuesday, August 9 for a look at the safety initiatives other schools have.

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