VAN BUREN, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The Van Buren School District is in the final stages of installing automatic locks on its doors.

According to the school district, the locks are being installed on interior doors at all of its campuses. The exterior handle will remain in a solid position and requires a key for entry.

The school district’s maintenance director Danny Spears says the purpose of the locks is to help “eliminate the guesswork for teachers and simplify the process of securing classrooms.” The release says teachers will not have to spend time searching for keys to lock their classroom doors.

According to the district, the new locks system will help protect students and staff and put the district in compliance with the 2022 Arkansas School Safety Commission Report which states that all classroom doors should remain closed and locked during school hours.

“Safety of our students and staff is our District’s top priority,” said Superintendent Dr. Harold Jeffcoat. “We believe that investing in this simple, yet innovative lock system is one more way we can help keep our schools safe and bring our families and staff peace of mind.”

The school district says in addition to its new locks, it also has electrical strike systems on all entrances. When visitors arrive, they must be buzzed-in by the office personnel in order to enter.

The locks and entry systems are an added layer of security for the schools, according to the district.

The district says other important safety measures include having a full-time School Resource Officer at every campus, as well as surveillance cameras, visitor check-in systems, parent pick-up tags, and other important procedures.