It’s the first day of school across the area today. For nearly everyone — especially those with children — summer has come to a close.

Students in Stafford County are going back to school today, and the school division wants parents to know their child is a bit safer thanks to precautions put in place at the front door of the school. 

Here’s more in a press release:

In an effort to increase the security of its schools and facilities, Stafford County Public Schools is installing a video intercom entry system at each of its 30 schools and 4 operating sites.

The system, called AIPHONE, will be installed at the main school entrance and allow the main entrance doors to be locked during the school day and still permit visitors to enter (all exterior school doors are locked during the school day).  Visitors will push a button on an intercom located on the wall by the main front door of the school.  A security camera at the door will allow a school staff member to view the visitor on a screen inside the building.  The visitor will be asked for identification and the reason of the visit.

Once the visitor is approved by the staff member, an electronic door lock will be released so that the visitor may enter the building.  As is current practice, upon entry into the school, visitors will sign-in at the office and obtain a visitor’s badge. A photo identification card (driver’s license, state ID card or military ID) is required to sign-in.  In the event school staff believes the person requesting entry is a danger to the students or staff, entry into the building will not be allowed.

Installation of this system is taking place this summer for the majority of schools and facilities.  Several schools will have the system installed in 2015 and 2016 as part of ongoing or planned construction projects.  

SCPS asks for the cooperation of all parents and school visitors as this security enhancement is implemented.  We encouraged parents to visit their child’s school prior to the school year to become familiar with this new security feature.