Jul 31, 2014 10:20 PM by Maddie Garrett
Safety and security are at the top of the list for area schools as they get ready for kids to head back into the classroom. Several districts told News 5 it's all about being prepared well ahead of time and having plans and procedures in place before the first day of school.
Most public schools in Southern Colorado have resource officers and Districts have security teams to handle safety at schools. These teams are now meeting and unger-going training, some even changing up policies, to get ready for the school year.
"We're just very excited to have students come back to our building," said Falcon High School Principal, Cheryl Degeorge. "We have a precious commodity coming to Falcon High School tomorrow."
On the day before the first students head back to school, District 49 employees are back at the schools for final preparations. At Falcon High School, Freshman start back on Thursday, with the rest of the high school students returning to class on Friday.
"We want to make sure that we have everything in place to keep them as safe as possible," said Degeorge.
That's why you might have seen several Colorado Springs Police cars and El Paso County Sheriff's Office cars parked in front of Falcon High School on Wednesday.
"We unify together to make sure that we can do everything that we can do to maintain a safe learning environment," said David Watson, the Director of Safety and Security.
The police officers and sheriff's deputies that met Wednesday are all School Resource Officers in District 49.
"We work very closely together, conduct drills, do safety audits, and everything like that," explained Watson.
Before the first day, they're doing their own training and going over safety procedures.
"That can be a preparation from anything from a fire drill to all the way to the unfortunate incident of possibly a school shooter where we would go to into a lock down situation," said Watson.
The Resource Officers and security teams also work with teachers and administrators ahead of the school year. Each classroom in D-49 has an emergency procedures list, either with the teacher or posted on the wall. It outlines what students and teachers should in just about any crisis situation that could occur.
"That takes a lot of the fear out of everything, because they are prepared, they're ready," said Degeorge.
And this year, Falcon High School is taking safety one step further.
"We've got some new security procedures in place, as far as students entering the building and having their ID ready to go to show security officers and those kinds of things," said Degeorge.
Colorado Springs District 11 said it isn't making any significant changes to its safety procedures, but its resources officers are meeting and going through some training before students go back to school.
Pueblo D-60 said its 11 School Resources Officers start meeting once a week as soon as classes resume, and they also go over training with school administrators. D-60 told News 5 it isn't changing any safety procedures this year either.