Funding for better locks for school buildings won approval Wednesday from the Teton County School District No. 1 board of trustees.
Radio frequency identification, or RFID, access control systems will be installed at all schools in the district except for Munger Mountain Elementary School, which already has such a system. The board approved a contract for equipment and labor to not exceed just under $320,000. The locks, which will need a staff ID card to open, will be installed over the summer when school is not in session.
Some schools already have RFID systems, but Assistant Superintendent of Operations Jeff Daugherty said these improvements will “unify and enhance” existing technology.
The contract also includes the purchase and installation of door positioning indicators that sound an alarm if a door is left ajar.
The lock upgrades are part of a broader effort to tighten security at schools. Improvements have rolled out over the last year or so. The district has focused on four areas: access management, visitor management, training, and software and communications. New entrance vestibules, like the one added to Colter Elementary School over spring break last year, fall under the access management category.
“Most of our buildings were built decades before safety and security became part of our daily operational routines,” Daugherty told the Jackson Hole News&Guide last spring. “We need a more rigorous system in place.”
Separate from this purchase order, Daugherty is working to buy radios for school buildings, the bus barn and the district office along with a booster that would allow emergency responders to use their radios within the buildings.