What facility upgrades has Barrington 220 made to increase safety and security at each school?
Over the past 10 years we have worked hard to enhance the safety and security at our schools in several ways. For instance, all of our schools have electronic door systems and vestibules that require an identification card to enter. Each school also has emergency devices, as well as surveillance cameras to monitor suspicious activity. Entryway doors and windows are covered by a protective film that makes it more difficult to shatter the glass. In the fall of 2018 the district named Jim Hawrysko the "District Safety and Security Coordinator", a new position which oversees safety and security measures at all schools across the district.
In addition, in the summer of 2018 we installed a universal key system that allows teachers to lock the door from inside their classrooms, rather than having to go out in the hallway where they could potentially put themselves at risk in a crisis situation.
For the 2018-19 school year, every vehicle used to transport students was upgraded with cameras and parents and staff can now track the location of school buses, using an app connected to a GPS device on the bus. Information tablets were also installed in all buses in the summer of 2018 that include routing and student information.
In the summer of 2019, the district purchased a new radio communication system, which will improve radio coverage at each school, allow administrators at different schools to communicate with one another via radio during an emergency, and it will give the district the ability to use an emergency call button that will be connected to local dispatch centers.
At the start of the 2019-20 school year, all visitors to Barrington High School will have to enter the building through a new secure vestibule entrance on the lower level of the building, to the left of the main entrance. Students and visitors will no longer be able to use the main entrance to the high school.
What does Barrington 220 do on an annual basis to prepare students and staff for an emergency situation?
Barrington 220 abides by the Illinois School Safety Act, which requires students to participate in four types of drills on an annual basis. They include school evacuation, bus evacuation, severe weather and law enforcement during crisis situations. During the crisis situation drill, the school district partners with law enforcement to teach students and staff how to lock-down the classroom and the “Run, Hide, Fight” model, which is based on recommendations from the Department of Homeland Security and the Barrington Police Department. Our staff also periodically works with local law enforcement to conduct drills, during institute days when students are not in school.
What types of measures does Barrington 220 have in place to make sure students are getting the social and emotional help they may need?
In addition to working with school counselors and conducting behavioral threat assessments, over the years we have developed several prevention and intervention methods. Barrington High School has the Green Dot Program, which is a national program that trains students and staff how to prevent power-based personal violence. The district frequently collaborates with BStrong Together, an organization that enhances the health and well-being of Barrington area children.
We have also created this “Safety 220" section on our website, where our stakeholders can go to report bullying, report a threat to school safety, or text-a-tip to report a person who is struggling with drug or alcohol abuse, depression, or other challenges.
Besides working with law enforcement during the annual drills, in what other ways do you partner to create a safe school environment?
Barrington 220 has a safety and security committee that meets regularly to discuss the best safety practices for our schools. The committee is made up of district administrators, school board members, members of local law enforcement and other first responders. The district also has a full-time school resource officer from the Barrington Police Department, who is stationed at Barrington High School. In addition, the district has a reciprocal information agreement with the Village of Barrington - Police Department. This means Barrington 220 can release student records to police when they request information pertaining to a case. The police department can also provide the district with access to its records for children under age 18.
On Tuesday, September 24, 2019 at 7pm, Barrington 220 is partnering with the Barrington Police Department to host an online community safety meeting via Facebook live. Head to www.facebook.com/barrington220 at the designated time to ask questions and get answers in real time about safety in our schools.
Last Modified: Spring 2019