Alexander Park Elementary School has implemented some new security measures in the wake of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.
An email was sent out to all the parents of the students on Dec. 18, outlining some of the changes, which were effective immediately.
“I think that staff and parents were deeply affected by what happened,” said Vicci Nelson, principal of APES. “They had a lot of questions about if there was anything we could be doing differently.”
Nelson got a very quick response from the Ministry of Education, and was able to make some minor changes to increase the security at the school.
There are five entrances to the school, and in the past all of the doors had been left unlocked. From now on, only the front door entrance by the office will be left open during school hours, the exception to this being during non-instructional times (before school, recess, and lunch) when students are out on the playground. During those times the doors by the gym and the music room will be open so that students have access to the inside of the school. After the students are back in class, the doors will be locked.
“Of the five entrances to the school, the one by the office is the only place where we can see everyone who comes into the school,” said Nelson.
Student pick-up has also been changed, as students are no longer permitted to meet their parents out in the school yard. Parents must now check in at the office and, depending on the child’s class, will either meet them outside the classroom, or at the office. Once the child has been picked up families are welcome to stay on school grounds, and play on one of the metal coloured playgrounds, as the bus students will be playing on the wooden playground, and it is easier for teachers to supervise.
“It’s been an adjustment, but so far the feedback has been very favourable,” said Nelson. The biggest change has been for the parents and staff, and Nelson says that many of the students are mostly unaware of the change.
“I’m really pleased by the way the parents and the staff have been adapting to this.”
If there are any questions or concerns, parents are able to contact the school.