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Lock, buzzer system added at Pewaukee Lake Elementary

Jan. 21, 2013

Village of Pewaukee - The Pewaukee School District is attempting to make its students safer through the implementation of school safety measures.

For example, a locking mechanism with a buzzer system was recently added to the front door at Pewaukee Lake Elementary School.

Superintendent JoAnn Sternke said the process to add the security measure was expedited after parents expressed concerns. Sternke said about 100 parents have contacted the district with suggestions for safety improvements.

"Parents are very, very happy that we put this in," she said at the meeting. "It adds a level of safety that they were asking for."

Sternke said she has also asked the school district's safety committee, composed of school personnel, police, fire and emergency officials, and members of the district's insurance company, to look at other parents' suggestions for new measures.

Several other school districts in Waukesha County have been reviewing their security measures after the Dec. 14 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. The Mukwonago Area School District recently added a new buzzer system and cameras to Section, Prairie View and Eagleville schools, and Curt Weibelhaus, district supervisor of buildings and grounds, said that similar measures are being taken at several other schools.

Pewaukee School Board member Ron Frea said his district could still "step it up a bit" when it comes to safety.

Frea asked several questions about the district's safety plan during the meeting and expressed interest in having more board oversight of the committee.

"Maybe we need a board member presence to do an 'audit' of our process for safety," Frea suggested.

The board has requested a report from the safety committee outlining the school's current safety procedures. Sternke said the board will determine at a future date if it wants to have a board member sit on the committee.

Currently, all school and administration building doors are locked during the day, except the main entrances. Pewaukee Lake Elementary is the only school that requires a person be buzzed in to allow entry. Sternke said the school board will be looking to change that soon.

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