CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Campuses in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools district will see changes for students and staff as part of the new CMS safety plan that was announced Wednesday. 

Among the enhancements will be a new crisis-alert system that gives all staff members a panic card with a tracking device to guide authorities to any potential emergency. CMS is also adding two Police K-9s trained in narcotic and firearm detection and will expand video surveillance on campuses. 

The crisis-alert system will work through a light installed in every classroom ceiling that blinks during an emergency or lockdown. A red flash will indicate complete lockdown, yellow will indicate modified lockdown, while green indicates an evacuation and blue is for a weather emergency. All staff members' panic card will be able to trigger the emergency beacons.

"We understand that parents who send their children to CMS expect our best efforts every day to keep their children safe," said Superintendent Earnest Winston. "We have deployed a variety of measures to help protect everyone and keep our focus where it should be — on teaching and learning."

CMS will continue its safety screenings that started at all high schools after the deadly shooting at Butler High School and expand those screenings to elementary and middle schools. 

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In addition to the crisis-alert system for staff, all CMS employees will undergo active survival training. CMS also announced plans to upgrade locks, strengthen doors and install digital access controls for the main entries at schools throughout the district. 

“The safety and security of our students and staff is dependent on all of us,” Winston said. “CMS cannot do this work alone. As we move forward together, we can make a difference in the lives of our children and make our communities safer.”

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