FORSYTH COUNTY, N.C. -- There are several new safety tools making their way into Winston-Salem/Forsyth County schools to help protect students and staff. Cameras were installed in all elementary schools to capture what's going on in and outside the building.
There are eight cameras at Caleb's Creek Elementary School in Kernersville. Principal Judy Jones said she hopes the camera system will eventually expand to include sixteen cameras total, but that all depends on funding. The cameras are motion-sensored and record when there's movement. This also makes it easier to go back and look through the video.
School administrators can view the video on their computers and police officers can monitor it from their phones, according to Jones. The school camera system cost $600,000 and was paid for by the 2006 bond.
"Unfortunately, the more layers of safety and security we can build the better and I say unfortunately because you know we're just in that day and time where we just have to make sure that our kids are safe. It's our top priority," Jones said.
The school system also upgraded the GPS tracking system on all of its buses. The system had one before, but thanks to updates, principles can watch buses live. It cost taxpayers nearly $13,500 a month and comes out of the school system's operating fund. Principal Judy Jones said it helps schools know where students are at all times.
"So, if a school bus is late or if we haven't heard from the garage yet, many times if a bus breaks down, they are now able to go on, pull up that bus, to actually see where that bus is," Jones said.
Jones said the security upgrades increases administrators overall awareness of what's going on inside and outside on the roads. She said she hasn't had to use the recorded footage from the cameras yet, but just knowing they're there makes everyone feel safer.