The grant money, awarded in April, will bolster the district’s existing efforts to enhance safety at MISD schools, according to a MISD news release.
“Our first priority is always the safety of our students and staff members. Everything else comes after that,” said Cody Cunningham, chief communications and support services officer, in the release. “While we have great confidence in the safety and security program that we have in place, we always look for opportunities to enhance what we already do and routinely evaluate our practices to ensure that we have created the safest possible learning environment.”
MISD officials said the district plans to get started on safety upgrades using the grant funds, with a heavy emphasis on completing as much work as possible over the summer.
Using the TEA grant funds, the district will add about 140 security cameras across the district. There are already about 1,600 security cameras in place, according to the news release.
The district will also update its Aiphone entry system, which provides an initial security screen at every campus that allows employees to verbally and visually identify visitors before granting them access to the building, according to the news release.
Adding more lockdown buttons at each school is another feature for which the TEA grant funds will provide, the release said. Along with the buttons, the district will install additional alarm-activated, emergency strobe and sound devices at each campus. The security enhancements will include an upgraded, districtwide 24-hour intrusion alarm system that will send an alert if a door is left open.
The grant funds will also be used to upgrade MISD’s security camera server to help store and retrieve video files, the release said.
The district plans to finish these upgrades by this time next year, officials said.