Peninsula -- Teachers in the Woodridge Local schools have been instructed to keep their doors locked during class time, the head of the school district said during a Board of Education meeting Jan. 8.

"We've informed our staff as early as today to not only lock theirs doors in the buildings but to close them during instructional time," reported Superintendent Walter Davis, adding the measure was recommended by local police. "We've always had our classroom doors locked so our teachers could pull them shut when needed. Now we're going to have them shut all the time while instruction is taking place."

If anyone knocks on the door, students are not allowed to answer it.

"The teacher would have to go to the door and let them in," he said.

Schools across the country have been increasing security since the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

Davis said he has met with members of local city police and fire departments, and staff meetings are planned where safety forces personnel will talk with staff members about new security measures. District-wide in-service training on Feb. 15 will be devoted to safety and security, he added.

Architects as well as police and fire personnel are reviewing plans to change the entrances to the high school and middle school, Davis said. These entry ways are too open, he said.

The primary and intermediate schools' entrance ways are more restricted, the superintendent said, noting that at both buildings, visitors must first enter the front office before they are allowed into the school building itself.

"That's the design we like, and that's the design we hope to implement elsewhere," Davis said, "with some added technology to make that entrance more difficult for folks and give us the opportunity to screen who comes in and goes out."

As soon as permanent changes to the high school and middle school entrances are approved, Davis said, work will begin immediately to have the projects completed "as soon as possible."

"Know that we are taking this very seriously," Davis told the School Board and everyone in the audience. "I think you will be pleased at what you are going to see."

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