Security Changes at Mary Welsh Elementary and Williamsburg Jr./Sr. High School

Security Changes at Mary Welsh Elementary and Williamsburg Jr./Sr. High School
Posted on 08/21/2017
Door access system

Hello, Williamsburg Raider Families and Caregivers:

I wanted to send you an update today on a change that you’ll experience at Mary Welsh Elementary School and Williamsburg Jr./Sr. High School when school starts again on Wednesday.  A door access system has been added to the main entrance at each building as part of our responsibility to keep students, visitors, and staff safe and secure as they learn and work in our schools.  

What does the system look like?  As you approach the main entrance of each building, you’ll see a silver pad mounted on the wall near the door.  On this pad, you’ll see a silver button.  If you’re arriving at our building after the start of the school day, all doors will be locked, and you’ll need to press the silver button on the pad to alert the main office that you need to enter the building.  Once the office staff is alerted that you need to enter the building, they’ll be able to see who is standing at the door, and they may very well ask you politely "who you’re at school to see" or if "we can help you."  That’s our way of asking why you need to come into the building.  You’ll be able to respond to their question, and they’ll unlock the door for you to enter.  Once you enter the building, please come to the main office immediately to sign in as a guest or visit with our secretary as you need to.  

We hope this doesn’t make you feel less welcome in our building.  But we do believe that it adds another layer of control regarding who comes into our schools.  Might this result in some level of inconvenience?  Yes.  We know that it may take a bit longer for you to enter the building, but we certainly don’t mean to make you wait.  We think we’re giving up a bit of convenience--both for you and for our office staff--in the name of adding a good deal more security.  We’ll respond to your request to enter as soon as we’re able.  We do appreciate your patience very much.

What is the goal of this change in access?  My goal is this: that we are aware of everyone who enters the building, and that we’re able to at least delay the entry of someone who will cause a disruption to the day or do harm to students, staff, and other visitors.

This change in our practice, coupled with vigilant adults, will help to better equip our school building to prevent entry to someone who wishes to disrupt our students’ day or do harm to someone inside.  We need your help to keep our building secure, and you can do this by being patient if your entry is delayed, and kindly supporting the work of our front office staff to keep the entrance secure.  Please be kind to them as they learn the new responsibilities associated with using this system.  

If you have questions regarding this system, or would like to comment on your experience with the door access system, please follow this link to a form that will allow you to share your questions or concerns.  I will check the responses periodically and respond to you as quickly as possible.  Thanks, again, for your support as we continue to provide an environment where staff, students, and visitors feel secure and can focus on teaching and learning.   Again, if you have any questions, use the form linked above, send me an e-mail ( or give me a call (319-668-1059 at the office or 319-461-7484 on my cell).  As alway, Go Raiders!

Chad Garber