COLUMBIA, Mo. - As a new school year kicks off, safety and security remain top priorities for the Columbia Public School District.
"We evaluate safety and security in our schools every single year so we can make modifications or adjustments or additions as we see needs around the district," said Michelle Baumstark with Columbia Public Schools.
Baumstark said they've made a few changes to prepare for the upcoming school year, which starts next week.
"We make modifications every year," she said. "We may add additional security cameras, we may add additional lighting, those types of things and those things have happened over the summer months."
But the biggest change visitors will see is at Rock Bridge and Hickman high schools and the Career Center. The district installed the "buzz-in" system.
"It's the buzz where you have the video monitoring, so to get in the building, you'll have to buzz the system and then somebody in the front office will determine whether or not they can allow you into the building," Baumstark said.
There will be certain doors where students will have to buzz in and out of the buildings during school hours.
Baumstark said this increases security as far as who goes in and out of the buildings, but said it may take some getting used to.
"It does affect times of day people can freely come in and out of our school buildings, including off-campus lunch," she said.
The system is already in place at all other buildings in the district. Baumstark said it took longer to install the system in these last three buildings because they're much bigger than the other buildings in the district.