August 17, 2022 — As the new year begins, Midland ISD is working diligently to make sure district safety systems are up to date, and students and staff are trained to react in the event of an emergency.
The district recently conducted an audit of access control at every campus within MISD. This included checking all exterior doors and locking systems, keys and card readers, and intercoms and cameras. Every elementary classroom door is also equipped with electronic door locks.
"The tragedy in Uvalde reinforced the importance of controlling access to the building where our students are," said MISD Emergency Management Coordinator Tim Allen. "The audit of our doors showed that we have made a lot of progress when it comes to safety procedures, but we are always looking for ways to improve."
Campus staff are trained to report any potential issues immediately, and MISD police are conducting weekly safety checks to make sure everything is in working order. All campuses are also equipped with 24/7 alarm systems, should someone enter a building after hours.
MISD has also implemented a background check system that's used for all visitors to campuses. Secretaries are trained in running the check that uses a government-issued photo ID through a sex offender registry. Volunteers who work with children must pass a more extensive background check.
One simple, yet critical, aspect of general campus safety is practicing drills. This includes fire drills, lockdown drills, and evacuation drills. Midland ISD is conducting fire drills at every campus during the first two weeks of school. Campus staff are trained on what to do during a fire drill, but don't know when it will happen, or even the day.
"We never know when a real emergency could happen," Allen said. "Our teachers and staff need to be ready to respond at any time to any sort of emergency."