HCISD heightens security in schools as part of strategic plan

News Center 23
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POSTED: Tuesday, February 25, 2014 - 4:47pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, February 26, 2014 - 8:58am

"in February, the Board of Trustees adopted a strategic plan, set forth by about 800 community members throughout the district," said HCISD superintendent Dr. Arturo Cavazos And one of the areas that was a focus was to create learning environments where it is conducive for enriched learning for all kids."

And the Harlingen CISD figured one of the best ways to do this is by assessing its security measures on all campuses, not just at secondary schools.

"Ever since the Sandy Hook incident, it brought heightened awareness to elementary schools, so a couple of years ago, we started assessing all our schools including our elementary schools to see where we can make improvements," said HCISD assistant superintendent of district operations Oscar Tapia.

To even enter the school after 8:05 a.m., you must buzz and be let in - a new addition that was installed at the beginning of this school year.

New digital, higher-resolution surveillance cameras were upgraded from analog to better identify people.

HCISD is hoping that within three years time, gates and fencing around all district schools will be installed.

Lockdown and fire alarm drills have also been better assessed. 

And even though it might seem like it, the widened security at HCISD is nothing new. In fact, it's all part of the district's new strategic plan. 

"This focus is not new," said Dr. Cavazos. "It has been heightened because as we work our strategic plan, it calls for making certain that we single out those areas that need to be addressed."

Despite the tighter measures, the district says its getting positive comments.

"There was a little bit, some parents at first, not knowing what's happening, why are the doors locked, but once it was explained to them, they were very happy that there were more security measures for their students, for their kids," said Tapia.

Reporting in Harlingen, Marty Watson, KVEO News Center 23. 

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