The San Dieguito Union High School District (SDUHSD) is taking steps to secure its two most open campuses as the board approved two firms to design new perimeter fencing for San Dieguito High School Academy and Torrey Pines High School at its April 19 meeting.
In addition to fencing, the board also approved a contract to purchase surveillance hardware and software for the Torrey Pines campus.
“We have been doing a lot, fast and furious, in terms of safety,” said Tina Douglas, assistant superintendent of business services.
Roesling Nakamura Terada Architects and SVA Architects have been hired to design the security enhancements that include fencing, gating and new single points of entry at Torrey Pines and SDA. Mello-Roos funding will be used for the projects, not to exceed $90,000 at Torrey Pines and not to exceed $42,000 at SDA.
The board also approved a contract with Vector Resources Inc for the new camera surveillance system at Torrey Pines.Torrey Pines will serve as the pilot program for surveillance systems and then it will expand to other district campuses. Douglas said they were given a full estimate for Torrey Pines’ surveillance system not to exceed $89,000 but Douglas said that estimate will change as it included cameras within the building while the district’s focus is more on the perimeter system.
Over the next two months, the district will be updating the Comprehensive Safe School Plans and District Emergency Operations plans, as well as developing signage and building designations to assist first responders. In May, Douglas said she will be bringing forward new safety board policies, including one regarding surveillance.
The district will also explore adding the Raptor visitor management system to all of its campuses. Raptor, which is used locally by the Del Mar Union School District, checks in every visitor to campus and instantly screens them against national and custom databases. An identification badge with the visitor’s photo is instantly printed and records are kept for every visitor that enters a district school. Douglas said the hope is for Raptor to be in all district schools by the start of the next school year.
A big piece of the district’s work on safety will be communication and making everyone aware of new practices and policies, she said.
“It will be something different,” said Douglas. “We would be requiring visitors to check in at one point of entry so we will know at any given time who is coming onto our campuses.”
Mark Miller, assistant superintendent of administrative services, said a key component of student safety also includes a strong social and emotional component. District leadership met with the Sandy Hook Promise about incorporating some of its suicide and bullying prevention programs as well as staff training on how to identify and respond to threats.
The district is considering implementing the Sandy Hook Promise “Say Something” program that teaches high school students how to recognize the signs of an individual who may be a threat to themselves or others and how to reach out to a trusted adult for help. At the middle school level, Sandy Hook Promise offers the “Say Hello” program, which encourages students to be more socially inclusive and connected to each other.
Miller said Sandy Hook Promise also offers a platform for students to report anonymous tips, routed to counselors who coordinate with emergency personnel, school officials or law enforcement officials to confidentially investigate threats.
Parent Rita McDonald interrupted the board’s discussion, shouting out: “What about meeting with parents and students?” McDonald said the board has not done enough to gather parent and student input on the topic of safety, calling the report “garbage.”
“You should be ashamed of yourselves!” she shouted, leaving the board room.
Douglas said there will be a safety item on the board’s agenda every month until the district completes all of the changes it is making.