Starting after the winter break, KO’s campus has been undergoing additional safety procedures. These extended acts of safety include more fire drills at various times of the day, as well as lockdown drills.
Most students do not know what to do if there is a lockdown or fire drill during gym or lunch because in the past these drills only have happened during advisee period. If the drills are at different times of the day, this will help students know what to do in any situation.
Prior to the increased safety precautions, the campus has also experienced smaller steps designed to keep everyone safe. For starters, some of the doors into the buildings are locked all the time.
In addition, all the doors are locked after a certain time in the day. “We also changed the locking time of the doors to 4 p.m.,” Head of Buildings and Grounds Larry Marciano said. A security guard also makes his rounds around the campus starting after classes end.
Most students do not like that some of the doors into the building are locked, because it restricts how they get to a class. “I think that the locked doors are pointless,” eighth-grader Ethan Shames said. “If someone really wanted to come into the school and do bad things, they could just go through the unlocked doors.” However, Shames added that he does think it is important for students to feel safe at school.
Students are most inconvenienced by the side doors to Roberts being locked. These doors are how most students arrive to their music class, which takes place in Roberts. “I don’t like that the side doors of Roberts are locked because it is usually how I get to band,” eighth-grader Arav Kumar said.
The school also hired a professional security inspector to make further suggestions of what needs to be changed, to keep the school safe. This was requested by KO’s new Head of School Tom Dillow. One of the aspects of KO that Mr. Dillow cares the most about is that the students feel safe.
The new security changes take some getting used to for teachers and students. “At first it was confusing, but then we all understood which doors we could use,” Middle School English teacher Mrs. Lynne Levine said.
“We are looking into more and more ways to make the school safer. Those ways are having a buzz type entry for parents and visitors at the doors,” Mr. Marciano said. As the year progresses, KO will continue to investigate more changes to keep students safe.