Just as Missoula School District One has specific policies regarding school security, the Hellgate Elementary School District does, as well.

Superintendent Doug Reisig credits his school board for being proactive regarding school security following the tragic school shootings at Sandy Hook.

“They got right on an analysis of our facility security operations, and what we needed to do to provide a greater atmosphere of security for our kids,” said Reisig. “We’re been very proactive over the last couple of years in modernizing our security in terms of locking doors, having fob entry into various buildings and having only one entrance where people can get into our buildings.”

Reisig said the trustees also addressed the issue of school lock downs.

“One of the big things that we have here in our school and our board undertook the expense is that we have our own school resource officer on our campus every day. We don’t share him with any other school. It’s an officer with the Missoula Police Department, and we pay that individual to be here on a daily basis.”

Reisig said there are policies in place in case of any altercations between students.

“If we had children involved in any altercations, we have a very robust anti-bullying prevention program here at the school,” he said. “We have risk assessment procedures in place if we have aggressive acts by one student against another, we have a risk assessment protocol that we undertake with our school psychologists, counselors and administrators to make sure our kids are as safe as they can be.”

Reisig said he is realistic about the risks that students face every day.

“I would like to tell you that I can guarantee to parents 100 percent at a time that when children come to Hellgate Elementary that they’re never at risk, and I just can’t guarantee that,” he said. “In this world we live in today there are risks everywhere, but it is my job as superintendent to do whatever I can possibly do to minimize that risk, and so that when a parent sends their child to our school, that they have a reasonable expectation that that child will come home safe every day."