Presque Isle High School staff receives photo ID badges

17 years ago

    PRESQUE ISLE, Maine – More than 130 employees at Presque Isle High School are wearing photo identification badges, and now Tim McCue, SAD 1’s safety coordinator, will turn his attention to getting the ID badges ready for Presque Isle Middle School personnel.
      High school employees received their ID tags Jan. 2, and McCue said the badges have been well received.
“Everyone from the cooks in the kitchen to the teachers to people in the Adult Education office all have their badges,” said McCue. “The badges have been received very well, and people have understood that it’s for a sense of safety and security.
“We’re here for the kids and when the students feel safe in their school environment,” he said, “then their school day is much enhanced. It’s becoming second nature to the staff, and I’ve even seen examples when people don’t have their badge with them or it flipped over while they’re walking, someone will say to them, ‘Hey, your ID is not showing.’ It’s becoming the norm.”
The picture ID, which can be worn either on a lanyard or as a badge, features a color headshot of the individual at the right center of the card, their last name and first initial, and the name of the school they work at along the top of the card.
“If they’re a district-wide employee,” said McCue, “the card will say ‘MSAD 1’ at the top.”
McCue estimates that PIMS employees will receive their badges by the end of the month.
“Then we’re moving onto the elementary schools,” he said. “When this project is finished, every SAD 1 employee will have a photo ID badge.”
The safety coordinator said he hopes the elementary school staff will receive their badges by the start of February vacation.
Photos are being taken with a digital camera and then downloaded into the software.
“I type in the necessary information, and can turn around a badge in less than five minutes,” said McCue. “Once you have the photos it’s a relatively quick process. The time-consuming aspect is getting everyone’s picture.”
Should an employee lose their badge, McCue has the photos archived on his computer and will be able to make a new one very quickly.
To further improve school safety, SAD 1 recently installed additional security cameras at the high school.
“We have 32 cameras at the high school,” said McCue, “and they serve both as a deterrent, but another sense of safety. Kids walk down the halls and they know that things are being recorded, and in the event of a crisis, people are going to see what’s going on. It’s another blanket we can wrap around our kids and make them feel safer.”
As the district’s safety coordinator, McCue will be updating the emergency crisis response plans, as well as serve as a liaison between the district and the Presque Isle Police Department.
“That way when it comes to crisis response,” he said, “we’ll be working on the same page.
“I’ll also be traveling to seminars to learn about new technology that’s out there,” said McCue, “and new ways to handle these situations.”
McCue is also busy working on implementing an “entrance monitor” program at both the middle and high schools.
“What we’re looking to do is take volunteers from the area and have them monitor the doors,” he said. “There are several doors here at the high school, for example, that are unlocked that people need to get in and out of, and there’s a lot of foot traffic here.
“We’d have someone sitting at a desk – similar to what’s done at the hospital – where they greet people at the door and ask, ‘Can I help you?’ These are big buildings and if you get in here and get turned around, you can get lost,” said McCue. “The volunteers would help visitors sign in and give them a visitor’s pass and steer them where they would need to go.”
The entrance monitors would be on hand throughout the school day.
“We might break the day up into halves,” said McCue, “but we’re looking for volunteers who would like to come in and assist the community as they come into the doors.”
In addition to his safety duties, McCue said he still goes into the classrooms providing a substance abuse prevention program.
“I’m keeping busy,” he said, “but it’s good to be involved and proactive. My goal is to give the kids as much as I possibly can, and keep them safe.”