Heading into South Burlington's Tuttle Middle School means you'll be captured on camera and you'll need to sign in.
"We have a security guard, you have to check in, you have to indicate as to what you're here for," said school Principal Karsten Schlenter. This make-shift security station comes on the heals of the Sandy Hook Shooting and is a temporary setup as the school awaits a new buzzer system for its front door. "The schools were constructed -- obviously -- at a time where this wasn't a concern; safety was not under the radar of most people," she said
The Vermont Principals' Association Executive Director Ken Page said some schools have more work to do than others. "All Schools, when it comes to safety, are not equal -- I mean it is easier to get into some than others," he said
Page is sharing suggestions for improvements from his members. They include taking advantage of school safety audits from the Vermont School Board Insurance Trust and urging lawmakers to either make exceptions to Vermont's moratorium on school construction for safety improvements, or to find other ways to fund them. "What I've said is that it would be really good at least if they opened up some avenues for people to apply for some safety monies," Page said.
Also on the list is the need for strong communication between school divisions and community first responders, as well as appropriate notification about individuals who may pose potential threats because of mental health challenges. He's also urging schools to invest in two-way radios -- something Page estimates already exist in 90-percent of Vermont high schools. "A principal can get on and call for help and either a number of people can come running or they can call 911," he said.
Karsten Schlenter said ongoing training for teachers and security drills are also key. "We want to welcome parents and the community here yet, you know, we do have the task to make sure that it is done in a safe way," she said.
Thursday, March 6 2014 11:41 PM EST2014-03-07 04:41:04 GMT
The Randolph man who admitted to murdering his niece in 2008 will be sentenced this spring. In August Michael Jacques struck a deal with federal prosecutors. He gave up his right to an appeal and pleadedMore >>
The Randolph man who admitted to murdering his niece in 2008 will be sentenced this spring.More >>
Thursday, March 6 2014 11:40 PM EST2014-03-07 04:40:13 GMT
It's a real estate deal between UVM and the Queen City that could end up kicking some non-profits to the curb. The Burlington School District voted Thursday night on half of the multi-million dollar deal.More >>
It's a real estate deal between UVM and the Queen City that could end up kicking some non-profits to the curb.More >>
Thursday, March 6 2014 7:53 PM EST2014-03-07 00:53:09 GMT
'Tis the season-- as winter winds down frost heaves and potholes arrive. The ups and downs of the 2014 winter can be seen and felt. No route or road is spared. And just adding to the frustration-- theMore >>
The deep freeze is making for some rough roads across our region and it's also contributing to a fuel shortage. Shelby Cashman has more.More >>
Thursday, March 6 2014 7:56 PM EST2014-03-07 00:56:36 GMT
The pothole problem knows no boundaries. Our neighbors to the north are also dealing with rough roads. The Quebec Transportation Ministry budgeted $260 million for winter road maintenance. But crews haveMore >>
Our neighbors to the north are also dealing with rough roads.More >>
Thursday, March 6 2014 4:23 PM EST2014-03-06 21:23:33 GMT
Investigators now say a fire that damaged a student housing complex at St. Michael's College was not caused by the building's heating system. The fire last month damaged a row of townhouses. All of theMore >>
Investigators now say a fire that damaged a student housing complex at St. Michael's College was not caused by the building's heating system.More >>
Thursday, March 6 2014 4:50 PM EST2014-03-06 21:50:24 GMT
Vermont police say a New Hampshire woman was driving drunk with two kids in her car. The incident happened Wednesday at the Intersection of 1-91 and Route 302 in Newbury, Vt. Vermont state police sayMore >>
Vermont police say a New Hampshire woman was driving drunk with two kids in her car.More >>