A NE Missouri school district is making changes to help keep students safer

New doors installed in the safety vestibule at the Mark Twain Junior High.

Ralls County R-2 School District is gearing up for the new school year with new safety measures.

Students at Mark Twain Junior High and High School in Center, Missouri used to be able to choose between two sets of doors during school hours.

That will change this school year.

Students at both schools will only be able to use the main doors at the junior high building between 8:15 a.m. and 3:15 p.m.

That's not the only security change planned.

The district will now have a new school resource officer. The addition comes following a two year discussion with the Ralls County Sheriff's office.

"We are hoping it is a person that our students can look up to," said Ralls County R-II Superintendent Tara Lewis." "They can communicate with and ask questions with and can get to know."

Lewis says the deputy also will help provide helpful guidance and support to students and staff.

"As they come upon different situations," said Lewis. "They might have questions about things students have told them that have happened at their home."

Visitors will now have a designated area at the junior high entrance.

"We have also added a second set of doorways within, to create a vestibule to be able to support people coming in," said Lewis.

New signage is now in place to provide guidance.

"People coming in visiting they can take care of their business in the office, check in a student, pick up a student, drop off an item," said Lewis. "Whatever they are needing to do and then they'll be able to just exit the building and if a student is checking in then we'll be able to just check them in the building."

New parking spaces also will be in place for pick up and drop off areas.

Lewis says drop-off locations before school will remain the same.

These new safety measures go into effect when the bell rings August 22, at 8:15 a.m.

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