Pearland ISD bond package addresses safety/security, technology

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Pearland Independent School District seeks to strengthen security and replace outdated technology district-wide as part of the Nov. 8 school bond election.

Upon voter approval, all 23 district campuses will see safety/security and technology upgrades — which comprise 17 percent of the $220 million bond package — within the next few years.

Tasked with identifying the district’s top-priority needs, the Long-Range Planning Community Advisory Committee, along with engineers and district staff, identified multiple measures to increase campus security and provide more 21st-century interactive, adaptive learning opportunities for students.

Safety + Security Projects
Proposed bond safety/security upgrades include additional fencing at elementary/middle schools, additional/upgraded security cameras, security door controls and new security entrances.

In addition to current surveillance systems, School Resource Officers and security officers at all campuses, Pearland ISD seeks to increase student safety through secured perimeters and school access.

Additional fencing at elementary/middle schools will not only deter trespassers and limit access to non-primary entrances but also encourage entry to highly visible, well-monitored areas. This will make people seeking to enter non-primary entrances more noticeable.

Furthermore, secured campus entrances and secondary entrances district-wide will prevent or delay unauthorized entry.

Another bond project will be installation of vestibule/double entry systems at all schools, allowing the campus to screen guests first before permitting them to enter through a second set of locked doors.

Creating a main entry point and well-secured secondary entrances allows for more effective monitoring.

Through these projects, Pearland ISD will lessen chances of criminal activity by increasing surveillance and limiting school access through clear boundaries that separate students and staff from outsiders.

Technology Upgrades
In addition to safety/security measures, all campuses are slated to receive technology upgrades in the bond package.

Proposed projects include replacing obsolete equipment and old projectors, refreshing computers every five years, supplying teachers with tablets and providing one classroom set of laptops per grade level at each campus.

In addition, the bond seeks to increase laptop/tablet access for students and strengthen network/Wi-Fi infrastructure at every campus.

According to Assistant Director of Educational Technology Laura Reeves, the requested technology will promote more interactivity and collaboration district-wide, allowing students to move beyond classroom walls to redefine learning and innovation.

“Learning at its core is a social activity. Our students must be able to communicate and collaborate responsibly in our diverse society. Using technology in our classrooms affords for this type of educational flexibility,” Reeves said.

While Pearland ISD has leveraged its older computers through a virtual desktop infrastructure, updating the virtual environment as well as moving to more efficient, faster computers will help teachers and students be more productive in the classroom.

“The interconnection among technology, learning and creativity produces students who create a higher level of work in various mediums. Our goal is to provide the technology to equip teachers to meet the needs of our 21st-century learners,” Reeves said.

To learn more about the Pearland ISD bond election and all proposed projects, visit www.pearlandisd.org/bond2016.

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