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PURCHASE LINE: Construction project enhances entry safety

by By SIERRA BERRINGER and HOPE HOPKINS on October 11, 2013 10:50 AM

A new entrance to Purchase Line Junior-Senior High School is under construction to satisfy crucial safety measures. Between the safety, construction and tech teams at Purchase Line Junior-Senior High School, new improvements regarding the safety of the students, teachers and staff is making quick progress.

Whenever Principal James Price requested a risk vulnerability check, troopers from the Pennsylvania State Police Risk Vulnerability Division in Harrisburg and from the Indiana barracks both concluded the same focal point of safety for the school. Price reported, “We needed a more secure point of entrance.” 

As the safety team reviewed the information from the risk study, everyone agreed that the point of entrance needed immediate attention. When the project is completed, any visitor who wishes to enter the school will have to first enter into a locked-in room where he or she will not be able to get through until a safety procedure is complete. The visitor will then have his or her driver’s license scanned.

During this procedure, technology coordinator Marc Caldwell explained, “The Federal Child Abuse Criminal National Data Base will be searched. If you’re cleared, a visitor tag will be printed. If they are not cleared, they will not be permitted into the building under any circumstance.”

According to the website of School Gate Guardian (the school visitor management system being used), the system searches “a national database of more than 704,000 registered sex offenders.”

After the system search, if the visitor is cleared, a button will be pressed to speak with the secretaries. As the button is pressed, a photo of the visitors face will be taken. After this, the visitor will be allowed to enter the “second security vestibule,” said Caldwell. Here, the visitor may either sign their child out or be allowed through a second door where they may enter the school.

Carl Jones, maintenance supervisor and clerk overseer of the entire operation, said that “students should know they’re safer because strangers can no longer just walk into the building.” 

Price added, “Parents should also feel more secure.” 

Along with the new entrance, Purchase Line is making numerous other changes regarding the safety of the students. New, more shatter-resistant glass is being placed in the windows where the students enter the school, along with other windows throughout the building.

The locks to the school are being changed to electronic card keys. Only teachers and staff will be permitted into the building through these keys. All other visitors will go through the safety procedure before entering the building.

For students and parents interested in learning more about the system being used, they can visit www.school gateguardian.com.

Mobile dentist checks students

Smile Program ... the mobile dentists is offering dental care to Purchase Line students every six months.

“The mobile dentist program provides access to great dental care and screening that a lot of students wouldn’t have other-wise,” said school nurse Sharon Huffman, RN. The program provides everything from exams, fluoride treatments, sealants and fluoride varnishes to cleanings and X-rays.

At the beginning of the year Huffman sent home applications with students to apply for the Smile Program. Smile Program ... the mobile dentist will accept everyone with insurance and students that may not have insurance will receive a grant, so they will not turn anyone away.

“Parents and schools are not charged or billed for dental services ever,” according to the Smile Program website.

A student’s identity is kept private and the information is confidential between the dentist and the school nurse.

On Sept. 26, Dr. Douglas Fox, through the Smile Program, did 14 fillings, two extractions, 65 sealants and took 56 X-rays all on the first day here. On the next day they did 17 fillings, 60 sealants and 76 X-rays. Overall, the Smile Program treated 30 students in two days.

For more information about the Smile Program ... the mobile dentists, go to www.mobiledentist.com or contact Huffman.

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