Andover Public Schools should hire a district-wide security director, bolster training on existing security systems, and increase the after-hours presence, among other measures to improve school safety, according to a report that was a year in the making.

Guidepost LLC presented its report of the assessment, which included a review of the buildings, operational needs, and technology that could be used to improve school security, to the Andover School Committee Thursday.

“One item that also came up was APS presence after hours was a concern that was raised, specifically at the high school where there’s lots of after school activity ongoing but minimal APS supervision of that outside of normal operating hours,” Nick Heywood of Guidepost said.

Faculty and staff also told Guidepost while they appreciated the investments the district has made in security technology, they want more training on those systems. Staff also wanted school resource officers in each building, although Guidepost’s report acknowledged that may not be possible with budget constraints. There were also “some concerns” on emergecny communications and protocols for relaying information to the school communities.

Among Guidepost’s other recommendations:

  • ID badges for all staff to easily identify unauthorized visitors on school grounds.
  • Controlled entry points at all schools.
  • Signs making it clear when the community can use school grounds and when the grounds should only be used by students, faculty, and staff.
  • Outside public address systems for schools.
  • Exterior lighting improvements.
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