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Muscle Shoals City Schools Making Improvements Over the Summer

In the News

This article originally appeared on WAFF 48. To view the original article, click here.

MUSCLE SHOALS, Ala. (WAFF) – Muscle Shoals City School officials are already creating plans for the next school year.

Superintendent Chad Holden said there will be enrichment camps for literacy, mathematics, physical activity and more planned for students over the summer for whoever wants to join.

On top of that, Holden said the district is working on increased safety and security in the classroom.

Last year, they really upgraded their security after receiving a safety grant. The money was used to buy new cameras and system to keep track of visitors on school property. Now, Holden said they are taking their Raptor identification technology and expanding it.

“It’s almost like having a panic button in the room,” Holden said.

He said every teacher and administrator will have access to an app that will allow them to notify anyone in the school system of any occurring problems. It will become a full emergency management platform.

The school has had several threats and a gun has been found on campus as well in the last school year. Holden said thankfully they were able to handle those situations very fast and with the help of police. He said it is better to be more safe than sorry.

“If a teacher wants to initiate a lockdown or if they need to call for an administrator to come assist,” Holden explained while showing off the app. “Then when they press this button, another window will prompt them to tell us a little more about what’s going on.”

He added that the Raptor app is better than the handheld radios that they use currently.

“You know, when you do that, you run into people talking over each other, or maybe missing an important message that may come through,” Holden said. “They will be able to communicate in real time with the administrators and some of those messages may go out to the entire school if it is something that everyone needs to know or it may just go directly to the administrator.”

Holden said this upgrade will help consolidate all the messages they need into one space and alert more than one person. He said the buttons will also be color coded to what the school knows as their code already.

He said in an emergency incident, several people need to know what is going on so no mistakes are made.

“We saw that when we had an emergency situation a couple of years ago,” Holden explained. “We saw that kind of as a weakness in our response. Because as the principal was working to investigate or diffuse a situation she was receiving text messages that she didn’t get, that she needed to receive.”

Holden said they are also welcoming another school resource officer. He said this will fill holes they sorely needed. They are now at six resource officers and only one school needs to share an officer but they are side by side.