New policy for visitation in Sylacauga City Schools

New visitation policy for Sylacauga City Schools
Published: Feb. 28, 2023 at 7:11 PM CST
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SYLACAUGA, Ala. (WBRC) - All visitors who plan to visit any of the schools in Sylacauga City School district will notice some changes as they implement their new visitation policy. Superintendent Dr. Michelle Eller says they noticed that after so many adjustments during the pandemic, they needed to create a protocol for all schools to follow when it comes to visitors on campus.

Some of these include all visitors are now required to have a reason for the visit or get approval from an administrator 24 hours before they arrive on campus. Each school will also be required to use one door for entering and exiting the building.

Dr. Eller says these changes are a way to monitor who is in each building and why they are there. She wants to provide a safe learning environment for students and staff.

In a press release, the district says they conducted a thorough review by school personnel and the school resource officer to ensure the procedures are the same at every building. The new policy is by guidelines from the National School Safety and Security Services. These changes went into effect last week and Dr. Eller says these are just one layer of safety protocols they plan to follow.

“Now there are alarms on there so if that door stays open over a certain amount of time there’s an alarm that goes off. We’ve added additional cameras,” says Dr. Eller. “We’ve got a buzzer system. We’re looking at now doing construction in all of our buildings and putting in security safe vestibules so that when you walk in you have an extra layer before you can get in the building.”

These changes are not just for parents or guardians, people who are working at one of these schools will be required to follow the policy as well.

“Pest control or to look at HVAC systems I require them to be escorted by a staff member. So, either the custodian or an assistant principal. Somebody so that we just don’t have individuals wandering the campus,” says Dr. Eller.

Dr. Eller says parents are still welcomed and encouraged to visit students but the policy is the ensure students have a safe school environment.

Here’s the full list of requirements for visitors during school hours:

  • All visitors must present photo identification and give the reason for visiting before being granted access to the building.
  • All visitors must sign in once they are granted access to the building.
  • All visitors will receive a visitor’s badge once they have presented their photo identification and sign-in.
  • For the safety of our scholars and staff, we will consider visitors who do not sign in and cannot show a visitor’s pass to be trespassing. Administration and/or the school resource officer reserve the right to deny entrance and/or may escort off the premises those who do not present proper identification.s
  • Visitors must wear or display their visitor’s badge at all times while on campus.
  • Scholars and staff may not open the doors for any person at any time.
  • Teacher conferences and other designated visits to our schools during school hours must be confirmed 24 hours in advance by the teacher(s)and, finally approved by the Principal before visiting the schools.
  • Visitors attending school functions that are open to the public, such as Open Houses, Parent Nights, or public gatherings, are not required to show photo identification.
  • Parents or other visitors who insist on inappropriate behavior, such as visiting classrooms, harassing staff, shouting, or using inappropriate language, may be banned from Sylacauga City School property (owned, shared, or leased) for one calendar year.

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