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What is the OpenGate Detection System?

Good Evening, MCSS Family.

The Madison County School System makes the safety and well-being of our students and staff members a top priority, which is why we always look to improve the security of our campuses and events throughout the district.

Over the last year, our district security team has been researching ways to detect weapons at our doors and admission gates. And like many districts nationwide, the OpenGate Detection System has proven itself to us. In the coming days, MCSS will install these detection systems on every campus. This enhancement is fully funded by a Safe Schools Grant issued by the Alabama State Department of Education. As we roll it out, we want to share with you the perks of the OpenGate system and how it will work.  

If you have attended a concert or sporting event in recent years, you have likely already been scanned with this system. Two freestanding pillars quickly screen people with bags, backpacks, and purses. Its design detects metal objects that match pre-programmed characteristics. 

The OpenGate systems are mobile and can move around campus as needed. During the morning drop-off, the system will check students as they enter the building and then be transported for use at additional entrances on campus.  

So, how will it work? As someone enters a school building, they will enter a lane to walk through the detection system. A campus administrator will supervise each point of entry. A visual and audible alert will sound if the OpenGate system detects something abnormal. The person entering will then be asked to place any bags, backpacks, or boxes on a nearby table and return to the scanner. Personnel will check the item left on the table if the person successfully passes through the system. 

If, for some reason, the person being scanned fails to go through successfully a second time, a campus administrator, at their discretion, can check them with a portable scanning unit. This will be done in a location that is discreet and out of view of other students.  

In addition to scanning for prohibited items entering a school building, these systems can be used at campus events where the general public will attend. Administrators can use them for sporting events, parent nights, and other extra-curricular activities. MCSS employees who supervise the OpenGate Systems are being trained in their operation. 

These detection systems represent an additional layer of protection for the students and staff of MCSS. We want to assure you that we are doing everything within our means to safeguard those entrusted to us. We acknowledge that there may be initial challenges with introducing this system, but we remain committed to our safety mission. We sincerely appreciate your patience and understanding in advance.

Warm regards,

Mr. Ken Kubik

Superintendent, Madison County School System 

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