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Bellevue Schools Court Southgate Students, Change Campus Key Systems

When school starts on August 12 in the Bellevue Independent school district, all the doors in the schools will no longer have keys.

"The problem with keys are that you really don't know who has one," said Dr. David Rust, Director of Academic Services at Bellevue at the school board meeting Wednesday. "Over time, it is really expensive to re­key doors. We are now going to use a web based system with cards that contain RFID chips. These cards will act as ID cards for all our employees that they will wear around their necks, as well as keys to the different doors of the buildings."

The two goals Dr. Rust has for changing the system are first, eliminating keys, and second, identifying who is coming and going at all times.

"Since the system is web based, I can be virtually anywhere in the world, and be able to activate or de­activate a card," explained Rust. "That means I can let someone into the school wherever I am. I can also tell what person accesses what door at what time. I have been working on this along with Mr. Jim Seward, District Technology Coordinator, to make this happen, and it should all be up and running by the start of school."

If an employee is terminated from the district, there will no longer be a question of if someone made a copy of any access key. Dr. Rust can easily de­activate the card, putting everyone's mind at ease that the premises are secure. Plus, every employee will have access to exactly what they need to have access to. Dr. Rust gave a list of roles and permissions to Mr. Seward so he could program in the times and buildings that each employee needs.

In other business, it was announced that approximately a dozen students from Southgate have been signed up for Bellevue High School. Because nearby Southgate Independent School District has a school that only includes grades Kindergarten through 8, Superintendent Robb Smith said that they wanted to be one of the options that students could take advantage of as far as high school goes, so they have partnered with Southgate to bring the students to Bellevue.

Another new program will be in place at the start of the new school year. Bellevue has partnered with Children, Inc, to have an after school program for children whose parents need to work. New elementary principal Jennifer Cox said the hours would be 3 to 6 p.m., and calls will go out this week to families who might want to take advantage of the program. Sign up for the program should take place next Monday and Tuesday.

Cox also announced that Head Start will have a program up and running in Grandview Elementary by the time school starts also.

Under the consent agenda, fees for the 2015-­2016 school year were set, and approval for fundraisers were approved by the board. They also approved the first reading of the board policy updates. Several items were approved as surplus items, and the position of a College and Career readiness coach was approved.

Written by Patricia A. Scheyer, RCN contributor

Photo: Dr. David Rust presents to board (RCN)