TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Tucson Unified School District, the largest school district in southern Arizona, isn't slowing down this summer. The district is taking the summer to install various security measures on school campuses.
One of the big-ticket items is the installation of keyless entry systems. The TUSD governing board approved keyless entry systems earlier in the spring. The keyless entry systems will be going into nearly 40 schools in TUSD.
"That's a big victory and a big testament to this board's dedication to keeping kids and employees safe," TUSD Superintendent Gabriel Trujillo says of the keyless entry systems.
Trujillo says the keyless entry systems should be installed by Aug. 1.
Along with that, Trujillo says that at the Tuesday, June 26, board meeting he presented a list of school safety and infrastructure improvements for roughly 20 schools. Those improvements include better fencing, installation of security cameras at schools where they have had vandalism problems, and other school safety measures. Changes and improvements of that nature will be paid for using PLANT funds (the funds the district earns from renting and leasing their facilities) according to Trujillo.
One other safety change Trujillo says he's hoping to see in the future is more lockdown drills. Currently TUSD is limited to two lockdown drills each year through their agreement with the Tucson Education Association. Considering what's happened with school shootings in recent years, Trujillo says he wants to increase students' practice with lockdown drills so if anything were to happen they would have the skills to stay safe.
"We want to be targeting lockdown drills during high-traffic periods of the students' day. Lunch, passing periods, release time, entry time; because we know what we've seen across the country tragically is assassins and murderers don't necessarily wait until everybody's in class," Trujillo says.
Trujillo says he's hoping to change the number of lockdown drills to three each year or once a quarter.