School Board Postpones Fencing at Andersen Elementary

The red lines indicate the originally proposed fencing around Andersen Elementary in Newport Beach. (Image courtesy N-MUSD)
The red lines indicate the originally proposed fencing around Andersen Elementary in Newport Beach. (Image courtesy N-MUSD)
The Newport-Mesa Unified School District's Board of Education decided at its meeting last week that more research needs to be done before it could move forward with installing fencing at Andersen Elementary in Newport Beach.

At its meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 12 the school board discussed whether fencing should be installed at Andersen and Costa Mesa's Adams and Victoria elementary schools, in order to make the open campuses safer and more secure. After hearing from parents and community members at the meeting and through an online survey, the school board decided to wait on making any changes to Andersen, but approved installing fencing at Adams and Victoria.

"The Andersen community was not in support of a proposed fence, 71 percent were against," Laura Boss, district spokeswoman, said in regards to the survey. "The district will be consulting with the Newport Beach Police Department and seek their expertise for a recommendation."
Boss said the district will also work with the staff and administrators at Andersen Elementary School, as well as parents, to analyze what would work best for the campus. 

According to a N-MUSD report, staff presented several recommendations to the school board on Nov. 12 which included fencing at the three elementary schools to protect against uncontrolled access, maintaining access to playground and playfield space for after-hours use by the community wherever possible and gates with panic bars for emergency evacuation at numerous locations.

At Newport's Andersen Elementary, staff recommended wrought iron fencing/gates in front of school, along kindergarten side of property, and across the back of the buildings to enclose the building footprint, relocatables and kindergarten playground.

The fencing plans at Adams and Victoria Elementary Schools are moving forward with plenty of community support, Boss said.

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