Clover Park spends to make schools safer

The Clover Park School District has spent more than $1 million on security upgrades for the new school year. KOMO News photo

LAKEWOOD, Wash. -- Thousands of South Sound students will return to safer schools this year, thanks to an investment of more than $1 million in security improvements.

The Clover Park School District has a new advanced 911 system, which integrates the technology between new and old school buildings.

For instance, warnings like, "Harrision Prep is in a lockdown drill," is what your child will experience over the school’s public address system in an emergency. A feature now in all of the district’s 22 schools.

The district says the changes were an effort to improve response times by emergency personal and get schools in safety mode sooner.

Newly built Harrison Prep School in Lakewood features the tech upgrade.

This summer, about 1,100 new messaging phones were installed that can create automated messages, both in English and Spanish.

Digital reader boards that display the alert were also incorporated in all new buildings.

The district says regardless of the building's age, all students, teachers, central office staff, including the bus depot will be aware of what's going on.

"Their children's safety is our premier task and No. 1 priority, and we wanted to make sure we could put the best system out there that we could," Brian Laubach, deputy superintendent at Clover Park, said.

School administrators will also receive mass notifications via text messages. The district plans to phase in cellphone notifications to parents this coming fall.

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