Two of the Hannibal public school district’s elementary schools received a passing grade during a recent security test.
During Wednesday night’s Board of Education meeting, Rich Stilley, school district business manager, reported that the staff at both Eugene Field and Oakwood “performed and reacted very well” when presented with a building integrity test by the Police Department.
“While the results are much improved from last school year, there is still room for improvement,” wrote Stilley in a memo to the Board.
While each situation presented at schools varies, the bottom line is the same, according to Stilley.
“In essence a plain clothes police officer tries to gain entry to the building using any method they can. Our goal is to prevent them from getting in,” he said.
Eugene Field and Oakwood were just the first district buildings to undergo an integrity test this school year.
“Our hope is once a quarter each of the learning centers - each of the elementary, early childhood, high school, middle school and career center - will be tested,” said Stilley, adding that the middle school was “visited” last week, but the test results were not immediately available.
Stilley told the Board that the secretarial staffs at each school building are the “first line of defense” as they are responsible for granting access to visitors.
“Administrators have been reminded that access to their buildings still remains primarily in the control of the secretarial staff and we cannot become complacent or lose sight of that responsibility,” wrote the district’s business manager.
In cooperation with HPD, integrity tests were started last school year.
“I think we’ve taken it to another level with continued communication and support. It’s a two-way street and HPD has been great,” said Stilley.
Security remains a top priority for the school district, according to Stilley.
“I think more than anything the message we want to convey is that the safety and security of students, staff and faculty is of utmost importance to what we do every day,” he said.