Cy-Fair ISD taking extra precautions to ensure safety of students

CYPRESS, Texas – The Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District is taking extra precautions to ensure safety at all of its campuses.

The measure comes from a 2014 bond program that put aside about $55 million to increase security at all of the district’s schools.

At Woodard Elementary School, the enhanced security starts when you get to the front door.

Visitors must push a button on a videophone and then wait for the receptionist to let them inside a bulletproof glass vestibule.

Once inside the vestibule, visitors must wait for the receptionist to buzz them inside to the front office, where they have to sign in.

Only people with a key card can get inside the building without going through the front office.

“It is unfortunate that times have changed, but we need to do what is right for our students and our staff to make sure we can provide this safe environment for them,” said Roy Sprague, Cy-Fair ISD associate superintendent.

All schools will also eventually have a panic button for emergencies. Woodard Elementary currently has four panic buttons located in various parts of the building.

Students and staff can press down on the button and a specific tone will sound across the public address system, alerting everyone there is an emergency situation inside the school.

“I think it helps ease parents’ minds about coming to school and knowing that their kids are safe,” said Stefanie Johnson, who has three children in the school.

More security cameras will also help the district increase security. Woodard Elementary School now has more than 60 security cameras, both in and outside the school.

One other feature is wall gates, which faculty members can open or close.

For instance, the entrance to the cafeteria at Woodard Elementary School can be closed with a metal wall that comes down with the turn of a key.

“Part of the goal of the security enhancements is to slow things down, so if we did have an intruder come into the building, the initiative is to slow him down and try to get him isolated,” Sprague said.