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Security upgrades in Keokuk & Macomb schools

Will Buss

There is now just one entryway at Keokuk High School. In Macomb, several security upgrades have been made and work continues on more.

As a new school year gets underway, districts are taking steps to create a secure environment for students, teachers, and staff members.

Secure entry and exit at Keokuk High School

Students returning to Keokuk High School this fall will have one way in and out of the building.

Principal Adam Magliari said the secure entry/exit is located next to the new band and choir building that is under construction at the corner of Middle Road and Washington Street.

“When we did the remodel, we wanted to create a safe and secure entryway so that all guests, all students and anyone coming in the building all goes through one venue, one entryway, into our building,” Magliari said.

It's very timely and something much needed, and my hope is to see it across our district as we go.”

Magliari said the school had used doorways on the north and south sides of the building. Now, the southside doorway will be used only by those leaving.

“Our two main entry doors are now exit only, so if anybody, any guests come into that area, it's going to be exit only,” he said.

Magliari said the school district is also looking at a new security system that can scan IDs as students, faculty, staff and guests enter and leave the high school building.

The first day of school is Aug. 23. Magliari said faculty and staff will welcome students on the first day at the new entrance with opportunities to take and post photos on social media.

“They're going to do selfies coming back to school, so we're going to look for that on Instagram as well,” he said.

Several upgrades in the Macomb School District

Superintendent Patrick Twomey said the administration surveyed teachers about their safety concerns last spring after the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas.

Their findings resulted in new locks being installed on every classroom door.

“Certainly we want our teachers to know that they’re doing what they can to protect students. So they’ll have new locks and there will be locks that they’ll very easily be able to see are actually locked,” Twomey said.

The district also installed bulletproof glass in all entryways, and many doors and windows will be covered with a bullet-resistant film.

“We’ve actually done a tremendous amount of work over the summer, and by November we’ll have our buildings the way we want them,” Twomey said.

He said the district set aside $400,000 in the current budget to pay for the upgrades, though it might not cost that much.

The district also reached an agreement with the city to add a second school resource officer for this school year.

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