The student news site of Mountlake Terrace High School in Mountlake Terrace, Washington.

The Hawkeye

The student news site of Mountlake Terrace High School in Mountlake Terrace, Washington.

The Hawkeye

The student news site of Mountlake Terrace High School in Mountlake Terrace, Washington.

The Hawkeye

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Hall pass regulations tightened to prevent fire alarms

Staff and administration now require students to sign out on a sheet when using a hall pass during class time. They enacted this measure in response to the four fire alarms set off in January, none of which were attributed to an actual fire.

Fire alarms rang on Jan. 10, 11, 23 and 24. The latter two occurred during first semester finals testing.

The source of the first alarm remains unknown due to the fire department prematurely dismissing the alarm.

The second and third ones were triggered by the same boys’ bathroom sensor. At that point, administration could not determine if something set off that sensor or if it was faulty. However, Interim Principal Greg Schellenberg found a relation between these three most recent alarms after the fourth rang.

“The fourth one was the next day from a different boys’ bathroom, which then let us know that it’s not a sensor problem, but it is something that’s going on in the boys’ bathrooms that’s tripping the alarms,” Schellenberg said.

Despite the connection, the actual cause of these alarms remains uncertain.

In a discussion with faculty, it was collectively decided to attach a sign-out procedure with taking hall passes to keep a better record of students who are in the hallways during class. Schellenberg has also increased monitoring of activities and whereabouts near bathroom entrances.

Schellenberg said he has also talked to the Snohomish County Fire Department about the “overall system,” which includes bathroom sensors and heat sensors. He has met with safety and security workers from the school district. Additionally, administration has looked into camera installation for extra surveillance.

These measures aim to also prevent class time being taken away from students.

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“The bigger problem is the overall disruption to the classes, especially finals,” Schellenberg said. “It was frustrating and students, staff, were all frustrated. Particularly at that last one that was mid-final. People are mad. We want to solve the alarm problem without disrupting any more classes.”

On the whiteboard in his office, Schellenberg’s agenda calls for developing “tighter protocols” for building evacuations.

“[Evacuations have] gotten lax. It’s not tight like it should be in a safety evacuation,” he said.

About the Contributor
Annika Prom, Co-Editor-in-Chief
Annika Prom is the Co-Editor-in-Chief of the Hawkeye and a senior at MTHS. She joined the Hawkeye to explore her love for getting to know people and share their stories through writing. She hopes to inspire the Hawkeye staff to realize their full potential so every member can find their niche. This year, she aims to expand her journalistic ability by capturing diverse perspectives and presenting them through audio. In her free time, Annika enjoys taking care of plants and is the co-president of Eco Club.
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  • N

    Nathalie WilliamsFeb 25, 2018 at 7:56 am

    Mr. Schellenberg is outstanding strong building leader. Safety and security issues in his great MTH are always first priorities of his work. All of us including staff, kids, parent and community members feel secured, greatly supported, helped, and best of all surely safe while working in Terrace High. Greg Schellenberg always personally steadily monitor all parts of his facility by walking and running around school building to be sure all works good, and all operational issues are in compliance. Staff and students feel always very safe and greatly taken cared by this prominent and dedicated educational leader. Thanks Edmonds Schools District administration and leaders,as well as ESD Board of Directors for giving us opportunity to enjoy working with Greg Schellenberg.

    • N

      Nathalie WilliamsFeb 25, 2018 at 8:11 am

      I personally supported classroom fire prevention drill Mr. Schellenberg was doing by emergency conditions reported and happened in the far school’s end science classroom in January of 2018. I was impressed how organized and rapid were safety relevant issues actions Mr. Schellenberg immediately organized and realized by his personally brave involvement he took due to the specific situational concerns and elements of the above emergency happened.

      Mrs. Williams
      Guest Teacher at MTH