Upgrades for Ina Grade School

Tools

By Evie Allen
By Andy Shofstall

INA -- Ina Grade School will install a new security system and add a new communication system, thanks to a $5,000 grant.

In just a couple of weeks Ina classrooms will be full of kids. As teachers add the final touches to their decorated rooms, Superintendent Monte Jo Clark is keeping safety a top priority.

"We are located here between train tracks, a highway, and a major interstate. And that put us at a higher risk. Not to mention there's a prison right down the road," she explains.

Thanks to a grant from the Illinois Emergency Management Agency, the school is installing four new cameras and an upgraded surveillance system.

"We have four exterior entrances to the building that, for some reason, were not covered by the existing camera system when it was installed."

They currently have nine cameras. The new system will give them eyes around the entire building. The district is also buying two-way radios for better communication with first responders.

"We will be able to talk with them directly through our radio contact rather than having to make phone calls," adds Clark.

The two-way radios will also go in their two new buses. And the school will start using an automatic messaging system to keep staff and parents informed about emergencies or school closings.

"It is a system that will make contact by phone calls, text messages and emails. There is also an app for iPhones and iPads that parents can download."

Clark says it's important to be prepared for anything.

"We want our parents and our community to know that we are safe and we are secure."

The new cameras will be installed next week. Ina Grade School starts classes August 15.

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