To ensure the campuses and facilities within Maypearl ISD are up to par in the correlation of safety is continuously ongoing. Maypearl ISD Superintendent Ritchie Bowling said some areas have been identified for improvement and once the next budget kicks in these areas will be taken care of. Bowling did not want to disclose these exact changes that will take place in the future.

Bowling did identify new safety features that have been implemented for the first time this year.

A new camera system was implemented districtwide that replaced the outdated system. The advanced camera system includes features to zoom in on the parking lot and capture license plate numbers of vehicles. The system has high resolution, incorporates a night vision feature and has a face recognition that allows the cameras to follow particular individuals if needed.

Also, the route buses, two expedition student vehicles and the panther-mobile are now equipped with a range of cameras as well.

“Usually a bus is equipped with two cameras — one at the front and one at the back,” Bowling explained. “We have six cameras in our buses so we can see internally, plus it sees outside, and there’s an external camera by the stop sign that will catch license plates for people who are passing.”

The buses are also equipped with the new technology, SMART Tag. This allows students to swipe a personalized SMART Tag when entering or exiting the school bus on the bus driver’s tablet, which tracks the number of students on board and dropped off, and can even designate a seating chart. If a student forgets or loses a card during the school day, the driver has the option to manually check him or her onto the bus.

Internally, the district has focused on door locks and the use of key cards utilized by all staff and students. “We are evolving into a keyless system,” Bowling assured.

Currently, the director of safety and security, Scott Shepherd is distinguishing a platform for students, parents and the community to offer anonymous tips. He is looking into campus crime stoppers.

“With the students, I need that involvement from them, that relationship and trust. They need to know they can trust me, they need to know that anonymity is a priority if they want to reach out,” Shepherd stated. “They also need to know that we have their best interest at heart whether it’s safety or a situation they are dealing with.”

- - - - - - 

Ashley Ford | @aford_news | 469-517-1450