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Jeffco Builds: Investment in Safe Schools

Jeffco Builds: Investment in Safe Schools
Posted on 12/15/2023
Ensuring the safety and security of our schools Jeffco’s Investment in Safe Schools

Ensuring the safety and security of our schools is of utmost importance for parents, teachers, and students alike in Jeffco. As part of Jeffco Builds, the 2018 Capital Improvement Program (CIP) funded important safety upgrades in schools across the district through voter-approved bonds. This initiative enhanced school building security features, including secure entries, cameras, and classroom door locks, ensuring a high standard across the district.

Jeff Pierson, Executive Director for Jeffco’s Department of School Safety, has overseen the implementation of crucial security changes to bridge gaps, train law enforcement and create partnerships. “The bond has been the biggest win I’ve witnessed for our schools in my 16 years of service to the district,” Pierson said.

Security Updates Rolled out Districtwide

Safety and security improvements are in place at all but seven schools in Jeffco, with plans to update the additional schools in the coming months. While challenges were presented during the COVID-19 pandemic due to lack of materials and labor, the district has been able to tackle most of this massive project, including:

  • Secure vestibules
    • Vestibules serve as a single access point to schools, meaning that individuals can check-in, and entrance is tracked through two sets of doors
    • This controls access and communication, meaning people can conduct business, such as delivering packages without entering the schools
    • To date, 127 secure vestibules have been installed
  • Door locks and alarms
    • Security cards control additional access to schools, and alarms sound when doors are propped or accessed without proper clearance
    • A master key is held by law enforcement in case of emergencies to allow quick access from any entry point
  • Interior door locks in classrooms
    • Teachers can stay in the safety of the classrooms and lock their doors from inside
  • Camera updates and additions
    • Some schools did not have many cameras, so more were added, while others needed upgrades. Our schools have ongoing needs for additional security camera updates and additions beyond what the 2018 bond could afford.
  • Notification systems for lockdowns
    • It is possible to secure buildings from the office or the security dispatch center
    • A notification system for phones and other devices is currently being developed as well
  • Laminated glass to exterior doors and windows for increased security;
    • This project will be completed districtwide by the start of next school year.
  • Additional staff for support including:
    • Increased Campus Security at many of our middle schools. Campus Security personnel are the front-line employees for our schools. They build positive relationships with students, staff and community members. Our campus security team provides a proactive presence, maintains situational awareness, and readily prepares for emergencies small and large.
    • Additional R1 patrol units will feature a 5-person team for after-school activities, covering school extracurricular activities. The Patrol team responds to all school and district properties and partners with our law enforcement agencies to ensure the safety of our district.
  • New security uniforms
  • Mandatory photo IDs for adults and working to implement IDs for students

Faculty and Staff Training

To make certain that everyone is well-informed on safety updates and procedures, all administrators, facility managers, and secretaries have been given safety training. Educators receive training from their principals or administrative staff. Pierson’s team is also working to provide opportunities for key individuals in other district positions to have additional training once or twice a month to broaden their insights and give them more tools to succeed.

D'Evelyn safety and security 

Community Effect

To support these efforts and improve school safety, it is crucial to be involved in the schools near you. Jeffco is working hard to update students, parents, and the community continually about school safety. Educational summits have been taking place to educate our communities. The next summit event will be held in March to share updates and encourage community participation.

What can you do? Even if you do not have children, it is essential to ask questions and understand how each of us works together to create safe and welcoming environments at our neighborhood schools. Ensuring our schools are safe makes our communities safe and provides everyone with peace of mind.


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