New security protocol at Penn Hills School District prohibits visiting except for school business | TribLIVE.com
Penn Hills

New security protocol at Penn Hills School District prohibits visiting except for school business

Michael DiVittorio
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People without a purpose – such as picking up or dropping off students, or have a scheduled visit – should stay off of Penn Hills School District property during school hours, according to a recent security change.

Superintendent Nancy Hines said similar security measures were implemented at the Bill Fralic Athletic Center last year, and it was time to make that policy districtwide. The center went from being open to the public during the day to allowing only students supervised by staff.

“While board and administration didn’t want to interfere with residents’ exercise routines, the decision to deny access was made to ensure student safety,” Hines said. “At the time, more specific concerns surfaced about potential liability should someone be injured, potential damage or theft of equipment being stored on-site, and how the district could be sure those who had access were only there to walk and would promptly exit the facility when they were finished exercising.”

District officials have discussed the new safety protocol the past several months, and obtained input from other school districts via the Allegheny Intermediate Unit.

Hines said of the 21 local school districts who responded to a poll, 11 confirmed they maintained a closed campus during the school day.

People have used Penn Hills’ school grounds for walking during the day, and officials want to make sure they know who’s on district property while school’s in session.

School hours were listed at 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the high school, 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the middle school and 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the elementary school.

Walkers are permitted after those hours.

“The times have been selected to restrict non-student access to the grounds when school is in session, and also to include a window of time for students to exit and board buses safely,” Hines said. “The district thanks the entire community for their anticipated support and cooperation.”

Signage will be posted at the schools alerting people of the new protocol, and security will ask those unexpected visitors to leave.

More information about the safety adjustments was posted on district’s website, phsd.k12.pa.us.

It does not affect business operations at the tax collection office located at Linton Middle School, 250 Aster St.

Michael DiVittorio is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Michael at 412-871-2367, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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