McDONOUGH — The Henry County Board of Education has approved the purchase of a campus response system to be installed at all schools.
The district began piloting the program at three schools at the start of the 2019-2020 school year. Bethlehem Elementary, Woodland Middle and Dutchtown High served as the test sites. Officials said they were provided with “enough feedback to feel comfortable moving forward with this participle system as the newest feature to support safety and security of our students and staff.”
Centegix will provide the new system at a cost of $1.4 million or $30,000 per school. Funding will come from the Governor’s 2019 Safety Grant.
In December, the Clayton County Board of Education approved the installation of the same alert system. It provides school faculty with alert badges that can call for help in real time in the event of an injured or sick student, class disruption or active shooter.
Alerts are communicated throughout the building using light beacons and an intercom system. In Clayton, the beacons will display a certain color to indicate the type of call. Additionally, faculty will be able to pinpoint the exact location.
“School safety and security are most important to our district,” said Board Chair Josh Hinton. “In critical moments, our schools need to be able to receive immediate support from many different professionals, and this system will ensure that happens. One of our core beliefs as a board speaks to supportive, safe and secure learning environments. The investment to secure this system aligns with this belief and commitment.”
Henry County Sheriff Keith McBrayer said he’s excited about the new system.
“The safety and security of all of our staff and students within our schools is paramount with the Henry County Sheriff’s Office. As we all know, in any crisis or emergency, seconds do matter. The Centegix System was designed to minimize the time needed to activate an emergency response to certain situations.”
Installation of the new system will begin at the end of the school year and is expected to be operational for the start of the 2020-2021 school year.
The Centegix system is one of several safety and security measures the school district has implemented over the last few years. With feedback from the community, the school system hired additional resource officers, renovated entrances to direct all visitors to the front office, implemented the use of a buzzer and key card system and requires all guests to check in using the Checkmate System.