Andy Bronson / The Herald                                After pushing a button, postal carrier Sheri Boober announces herself in front of video camera Friday at Hawthorne Elementary in Everett. Now anyone wanting to enter the school has to be buzzed in after using the intercom system.

Andy Bronson / The Herald After pushing a button, postal carrier Sheri Boober announces herself in front of video camera Friday at Hawthorne Elementary in Everett. Now anyone wanting to enter the school has to be buzzed in after using the intercom system.

District takes steps to secure school campuses

Safety measures have been enhanced at Hawthorne and Silver Firs elementary schools in Everett.

EVERETT — Two elementary schools in the Everett School District have added security measures to their front doors.

Except for pick-up and drop-off times, visitors have to use a video intercom to check in with the office. From there, they can be buzzed in.

The change went live at Hawthorne Elementary on Oct. 16 and Silver Firs Elementary on Nov. 6. In the coming months, both schools also will use newly installed electronic access systems. Staff will carry cards that unlock certain doors digitally. Similar technology protects many office and apartment buildings.

Eventually, the intercoms and card readers will be rolled out to all 26 campuses in the district, said Darcy Walker, the director of facilities and planning. The work is funded by the 2016 capital levy.

Schools see the same unwelcome visitors as do businesses and other property owners, said Everett police Sgt. Tim Reeves, who oversees the school resource officers. Those visitors can cause disturbances and prompt 911 calls.

“Our first concern is the safety of the kids,” he said. “We want to make sure the people on the school grounds belong on the school grounds.”

Hawthorne is in the city’s north end, in the Delta neighborhood. It was built in 1952 and remodeled in 1992. The floor plan made it possible for visitors to walk in the front door without being seen by office staff, said Mary Waggoner, a district spokeswoman. A doorbell system was added later: Staff had to answer the door in person.

Many schools have security challenges, especially those built before the millennium.

Silver Firs opened in 1988 in unincorporated Everett near Cathcart Way. It has a courtyard with two main entrances: the office and the gymnasium-cafeteria. A gate has been added around the courtyard.

The upgrades at Hawthorne and Silver Firs cost about $147,400 altogether. Expanding the program district-wide is expected to take a few years.

Rikki King: 425-339-3449;; Twitter: @rikkiking.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Mt. Baker visible from the summit of Mt. Dickerman on a late summer day in 2017. (Caleb Hutton / The Herald)
Hornets pester hikers on popular Mountain Loop trails

“You cannot out run the stings,” one hiker wrote in a trip report. The Forest Service has posted alerts at two trailheads.

A view of a 6 parcel, 4.4 acre piece of land in Edmonds, south of Edmonds-Woodway High School on Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2023 in Edmonds, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Housing authority seeks more property in Edmonds

The Housing Authority of Snohomish County doesn’t have specific plans for land near 80th Avenue West, if its offer is accepted.

Nursing Administration Supervisor Susan Williams points at a list of current COVID patients at Providence Regional Medical Center on Friday, Sept. 22, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Dozens of Providence patients in medical limbo for months, even years

About 100 people are stuck in Everett hospital beds without an urgent medical reason. New laws aim for a solution.

Emergency responders surround an ultralight airplane that crashed Friday, Sept. 22, 2023, at the Arlington Municipal Airport in Arlington, Washington, resulting in the pilot's death. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Pilot dead in ultralight plane crash at Arlington Municipal Airport

There were no other injuries or fatalities reported, a city spokesperson said.

Cash is used for a purchase at Molly Moon's Ice Cream in Edmonds, Washington on Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2023. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
County Council delays vote on requiring businesses to take cash

Concerns over information and enforcement postponed the council’s scheduled vote on the ordinance Wednesday in Snohomish County.

A girl walks her dog along a path lined with dandelions at Willis D. Tucker Community Park on Monday, Sept. 11, 2023, in Snohomish, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Spraying in Willis Tucker Park resurfaces debate over herbicides

Park staff treated about 11,000 square feet with glyphosate and 2,4-D. When applied correctly, staff said they aren’t harmful.

One of Snohomish County PUD’s new smart readers is installed at a single family home Thursday, Sept. 21, 2023, in Mill Creek, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
PUD program seeks to make energy grid smarter for 380K customers

The public utility’s ConnectUp program will update 380,000 electric meters and 23,000 water meters in the next few years.

An example of the Malicious Women Co. products (left) vs. the Malicious Mermaid's products (right). (U.S. District Court in Florida)
Judge: Cheeky candle copycat must pay Snohomish company over $800K

The owner of the Malicious Women Co. doesn’t expect to receive any money from the Malicious Mermaid, a Florida-based copycat.

A grave marker for Blaze the horse. (Photo provided)
After Darrington woman’s horse died, she didn’t know what to do

Sidney Montooth boarded her horse Blaze. When he died, she was “a wreck” — and at a loss as to what to do with his remains.

Most Read