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School Board to Discuss Elementary School Fencing

The red lines indicate the proposed fencing around Andersen Elementary in Newport Beach. (Image courtesy N-MUSD)
The red lines indicate the proposed fencing around Andersen Elementary in Newport Beach. (Image courtesy N-MUSD)
The Newport-Mesa Unified School District's Board of Education will decide at its Tuesday night meeting if fencing should be installed at the three of the district's elementary schools with open campus designs.

In a district staff report, officials said a totally open design campus creates "an exposure in terms of the safety of students during the instructional day." Staff recently sought community input to determine if fencing would help make Newport Beach's Andersen Elementary, and Adams and Victoria elementary schools in Costa Mesa safer and more secure. After receiving more than 650 community responses, staff compiled a list of recommendations for the school board to consider.

According to a N-MUSD report, staff will present several recommendations to the school board including 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.

More specifically at Newport's Andersen Elementary, staff recommends 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. According to the staff report, both the playground and the field would remain outside the enclosure and would remain unfenced to be responsive to shared use with the community.

The N-MUSD Board of Education meets tonight at 7 p.m., 2985-A Bear Street in Costa Mesa.

Do you think fencing should be installed at the three open N-MUSD elementary schools? Tell us in the comments.

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