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Sentinel High School getting new safety measures in wake of lockdown

Posted: 6:52 AM, Jan 29, 2019
Updated: 2019-01-29 08:52:33-05

MISSOULA – The investigation into a Sentinel High School threat is ongoing, as school leaders have no new information as to why a handgun magazine was found in a hallway on campus.

But in the wake of this incident, school officials felt a need to triple down on security and safety infrastructure.

Parents of students received an email from Principal Ted Fuller on Monday evening with a timeline of construction projects, along with information on the school’s security plan.

Sentinel Security Measures

One of the major updates will be 13-to-15 new lockdown buttons which will be installed throughout the school and if pressed, would initiate a full perimeter door lock, play an emergency announcement over the PA system and alert law enforcement.

School officials have also moved up the installation of a campus-wide camera system with 52 cameras set to be installed by the beginning of March.

A new card reader system for all exterior doors and fully functional PA system should also be in place in the coming months.

Sentinel High School will be showing a PSA this Thursday to reinforce the seriousness and importance of following protocols in the event of threat or drill to help educate students on the emergency response procedures.


The following is the full notice sent to parents from Sentinel High School:

A message from SENTINEL HIGH SCHOOL

Greetings Spartan Community,

As we prepare to begin the new semester, I want to follow-up on the parent forum held on 1/17/19, provide an update, and answer some of the key questions that came up in our dialogue. Please review the points below for an update on several issues related to construction, safety, security, and emergency response procedures. As always, please let me know directly if you have any questions or concerns.

1/14/19 incident: 

The investigation into the incident on 1/14/19 is ongoing. At this point we have no new information that has brought us any closer to learning why the magazine was brought on campus or identifying a suspect. 

January 31st professional schedule (early out) and next lockdown drill: 

Our professional schedule as a staff on this day will be dedicated to information about safety, security, and emergency response procedures. We have moved our next lockdown drill from 1/30/19 to 2/1/19 in order to complete our work as a staff on 1/31/19 and show a Public Service Announcement (PSA) about emergency procedures to students in homeroom on 1/31/19. We will perform the lockdown drill on 2/1/19 using our PA system, emergency messaging app, and emergency whistle alert system. 

This Thursday in Homeroom, teachers will be showing a PSA created in collaboration with our Spartan TV program in which I will explain to students our emergency response procedures and reinforce for them the seriousness and importance of following protocols during ALL responses to an emergency, whether a real or drill scenario. This video will be placed on our school website Friday, February 1st for you to review. Please talk with your student about our procedures and their experience when we drill them. 

PA/Bell system: 

We are on track to have a fully operational PA/Bell system by the week of 2/4/19 in currently occupied areas. New construction areas will lag, and I believe the gymnasiums and building 400 and 500 may lag into February.

Camera system: 

We have moved up the installation of our campus-wide camera system and are on track to have the full system (52 cameras) installed and operational by 3/1/19.

Exterior doors

We have moved up the installation of our new locking/card reader system on all our exterior doors and are on track to have this complete by 3/1/19. More information to follow on exactly how this new system will function.

Lockdown (panic) buttons: 

The lockdown button at Beth Riley’s workstation facing our secure entrance vestibule in the main lobby is complete and partially functional in that it only secures the vestibule. By the end of our construction project there will be between 13-15 lockdown buttons installed throughout the school and each one will initiate a full perimeter door lock, play an emergency announcement over the PA, and alert law enforcement.

Thank you for being a part of the Spartan Family. We appreciate you!

Ted Fuller, Ed.D.
Principal – Sentinel High School
mobile – 406.546.8464
office – 406.728.2400 x 7032
outlook –  tefuller@mcps.k12.mt.us
google –  tefuller@mcpsmt.org
twitter –  https://twitter.com/MT_Fuller
web –  http://mcpsmt.org/sentinel