New procedures greet Berkeley students as new school year starts

BERKELEY COUNTY, S.C. (WCIV) - When the bell rings first thing Tuesday morning, it won't just be about new teachers and new classrooms, but also about new processes. The Berkeley County School District added bus routes and changed the way visitors enter schools.

"Many schools have already received the storefront entrances, which is a secondary entrance to the main entrance of the schools," said Tim Knight, safety and security officer for Berkeley County. "So when our visitors come into our schools, they're going to see that storefront entrance so they won't be able to access the school."

Knight says an electronic system will run the visitors state-issued ID or driver's license against all sex offender registries in all 50 states.

The district also changed the way they train their employees.

"We've added in a visitor management system in all of our schools. And that's going to help greatly with monitoring who comes into our schools," said Knight. "We're also adding in new access control for our schools which will eventually eliminate the use or the need for any kind of key."

Knight says the district beefed up its training for teachers, administrators and school resource officers.

"Safety is our No. 1 priority, and it's really good to have the security aspect but the training is also important as well," Knight said.

District officials also added bus routes within a mile and a half of Sangaree Elementary and Intermediate schools. They hope more buses will help alleviate traffic in front of the schools.

"What we are hoping is that our parents will take advantage of those bus stops, putting those students on the school bus to have them actually bused across the street into the school, rather than have them walk across the street which is a whole lot safer," said Knight.