PORTLAND -- Diane Zipper's kids mean the world to her. That is why her mind wanders when her son, Matthew, is away at Buckman Elementary.
We're an inner city school, said Zipper. There's a lot of interesting people coming through the neighborhood.
Zipper can now worry less about that concern. On Monday, district leaders announced they are enhancing security at all elementary, K-8 and middle schools.
It's sort of an added layer of security, said Zipper.
The $1.4 million project calls for a camera at the entrance of each school. Staff can monitor who is coming and going.
The activity will be recorded on a machine for up to 10 days.
We're excited to be doing this, said Superintendent Carole Smith. It's a really good addition and high priority in keeping our kids safe.
Another safety improvement is electronic card readers at doors that lead into hallways that do not have a set of eyes on them.
Buildings like the one standing behind me were built decades ago, said Tony Magliano. They did not have a lot of security-enhancing features.
The features are already in place at more than a dozen schools, including Buckman.
By the end of the school year all 68 elementary, K-8, and middle schools will be equipped with the added security. It gives parents peace as they send their kids into the classroom.
It's about the kids, said Zipper.
Madison is the only high school getting the security measures at this point.
Administrators said they need to figure out the best way to secure the other high schools because they are more complex buildings with more complicated student traffic patterns.