Security procedure goes on much smoother on second day of school
COAL TOWNSHIP - A rethinking of the security procedure made for a much smoother entry into Shamokin Area Middle/High School for students Wednesday morning, according to the school principal.
There were no long lines winding about the sidewalks. There was no 90-minute delay for classes to begin.
Students were in homeroom for 7:45 a.m. and on their way to first period at 8:02 a.m., as designed.
The tediously long wait students endured Tuesday for the start of school was caused by the district's first use of metal detectors. Two detectors are set up at opposite entrances, one for males and another for females, and every student had to pass through.
District officials felt the task too impossible to accomplish with current equipment and staffing. They switched up the process Wednesday, choosing a portion of the student body to undergo the security procedure rather than all students.
"There was no backup in the lines. No students were late for class due to the metal detectors. School started on time," Venna said.
Venna didn't want to tip his hand on the exact number the district used, but for example only: the district chose the number 10 and every 10th student to enter went through security.
Shamokin Area will continue with this system, switching up the number daily, Venna said.
He asked for the continued patience of both students and parents.
"We're doing as good a job as we can to maintain a level of safety in the school," Venna said.
The district school board approved the purchase of four upright metal detectors in January at a reported cost of $16,400. Three armed security guards were later hired to work at each district school building.
There are two metal detectors at the middle/high school and two more at the district elementary schools, but the latter are only for visitors. Elementary students are not required to pass through the metal detectors.