44 School Entrances?!

April 26, 2018


Recent school shooting tragedies have most high school students thinking, “How safe are we during the school day?” C.H.S. is rumoured to have forty-four different doors that someone can use to enter the building, which might cause students and parents to be concerned about safety. To find out how safe C.H.S. students really are, we got information from Mrs. Phaup at the attendance desk, C.H.S. Student Resource Officers (S.R.Os), and assistant principal Mr. Devlin, who are all important contributors to student safety and building security.


Is 44 the accurate number of doors that enter/exit the building?

Devlin, assistant principal: Including the Annex, C.H.S. has over 50 exterior doors

Phaup, attendance: I think there are more than that if you count double doors.

S.R.Os: 44 definitely includes the courtyards.

Are there more than 44 ways to enter the building (meaning entrances that aren’t doors)?

Devlin: 2 loading docks.One behind [the] Sigma [Lab] and one behind the P.A.C.  The roof has multiple access areas as well.

Attendance: I’m not sure if there are any more ways to enter. I know there is a loading dock.

S.R.Os: There is only one loading dock by the front doors.

How many of these doors remain locked?

Devlin: Annex doors and the front doors by the attendance desk are unlocked throughout the school day.

Attendance: The front doors are unlocked during the day, but we monitor them.  

S.R.Os: All doors are locked during the day. We walk around to make sure all doors are closed and locked.

What is being done/system(s) being implemented to ensure student safety with this many access points to the inside of the building?

Devlin: Regular attention to mechanical aspects of all doors and locks to ensure they are working properly.  

Attendance: The check-in system.

S.R.Os: Patrolling and checking inside and outside the building.

Is each entrance in view of security cameras?

Devlin: Minus the Annex, I can monitor movement in the vicinity of all exterior doors.

Attendance: I know there are cameras, but I’m not sure what they show.

S.R.Os: Every door is not assigned a specific a camera, but each hallway has cameras that cover the doors also.

How do the attendance desk/S.R.Os work to create a safe environment?

Devlin: The attendance personnel and the S.R.Os are part of the C.H.S. team that practice all safety drills mandated by the Virginia Department of Education.  In addition, the Charlottesville Police and Fire/Rescue [teams] conduct regular inspections of the building and our practices to ensure we are up to date in all aspects pertaining to safe schools.

Attendance: I’m not sure my job has anything to do with safety other than keep accurate  counts of people in the building. Were someone to try to enter the front doors, I have a walkie-talkie to speak with administrators and S.R.Os.

S.R.Os: Patrolling the hallways and keeping a secure environment help keeps students safe.