Visitors and volunteers wanting to approach Carson City’s public schools will find some changes after administrators examined its security protocols.
The district last year had instituted Raptor Technologies, an electronic access management system, to enhance its security monitoring at all its schools after a Department of Homeland Security assessment was released. District risk manager Ann Cyr gave a presentation on proposed changes to CCSD policy 904 addressing school visitors. Cyr said after the report came out, school administrators consulted with the Carson City Sheriff’s Office, the Partnership Alliance for Safer Schools (PASS) and the I Love You Foundation, connections made through conferences and school safety events, Cyr shared with the Appeal.
“The DHS Critical Infrastructure Survey was conducted in 2019; these security enhancements were underway a few years before Uvalde and are part of the ongoing effort to build out enterprise security,” she said.
“Uvalde” refers to a school shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas on May 24, when 19 students and two teachers were fatally shot, and 17 others were wounded.
The district conducts a variety of physical and security assessments, such as the PASS guidelines that are available at www.passk12.org, to plan for the safety of the school community. Cyr said the assessments and surveys are classified confidential under Nevada Revised Statute 388.259.
The Raptor Technologies system, which allows schools to screen and track visitors, report on drills and respond to emergencies, was initiated in 2021-22 to enable its visitor screening, tracking and drill management.
“We were not having visitors in our buildings because of COVID,” Cyr reported to the board on June 28. “Since Jan. 1, 2022, we have screened 300,177 visitors using this system. The feedback we have received from parents, our school resource officers and schools has been very positive. We are very excited to continue implementation. We welcome visitors into our schools. They are a vital part of our school community.”
Trustee Lupe Ramirez, representing District 1, asked about potential changes in language referring to background checks, worried it would create any fear from community members who might be reluctant about approaching the schools with having the system in place.
“This system is not conducting a criminal background check,” Cyr said. “It is checking one registry and seeing if one person has been trespassed.”
Trustee Mike Walker, representing District 5, pointed out although it will be a more helpful tool for student and staff security needs, “it’s not going to solve all the issues.”
On July 26, the board discussed proposed changes to CCSD regulation 912 regarding volunteer program management to incorporate the volunteer application and management workflow for the Web-based Raptor system. The portal helps to reduce processing time for community members interested in assisting at school sites, automatically approves volunteers without criminal or sex offender history and allows staff members to create and manage events or change details as needed.