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Local elementary schools update security

MISHAWAKA, Ind. -- Elementary schools across the nation were affected by the Sandy Hook tragedy last year - and some schools in the Penn Harris Madison school district are making a change to prevent anything similar from happening here.

For years, Penn Harris Madison school officials have loved the "open concept" learning enviornment; with open areas and a lot of space for students to interact.

Now they have one big concern about it: safety.

"As a result of feeling safe and entering school and feeling good about school, test scores go up," says Mike Sager, Director of Safety and Student Services.  "You get a greater academic acheivement when kids feel saf in school, and that is our priority."

All fifteen PHM schools will get cameras, walls, doors, and tighter security.

"Our plan is the three phase approach, the three-layer approach: entrance security, corridor security, and classroom security," says Sager.

The priority is security, but teachers say this will also lead to better learning.

"Our schools have always been more of an open concept, which is great at times, but there are many times we need a quiter space and more privacy with testing and all the different things that are important to the students success," says Leslie Metcalf, a teacher at PHM.  "I think this will be positive for the schools."

Things may seem a little chaotic at the moment, but schools should be well ready, and with top notch security, by the beginning of the school year. 

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