A student went missing from the Hall-Woodward Elementary School playground in Winston-Salem last week.

The child was found, but the incident has prompted facility upgrades and inspections at other schools. 

During a Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Board of Education meeting on Oct. 11, Chief Operations Officer Lauren Richards explained that district staff conducted an assessment of the elementary school. 

They found that there was no barrier between the tree line and the back of the campus. 

To secure the area, the board unanimously approved using $42,300 from the fund balance to purchase and install fencing around the site perimeter and playground. 

Richards says district staff is also looking into whether security problems exist at other schools.

“Our safety and security team along with operations property managers have been going out to visit our elementary sites to take a look at our existing playgrounds, fence lines, and the perimeters around our schools,” she said. 

Once district staff puts together an assessment of those properties, they will share information with the superintendent and the board. 

A press release from Oct. 7 states that the district is also looking into safety and supervision procedures and protocols for school staff. 

“Hall-Woodward administration will be working with staff to retrain them on all safety plans and on active supervision protocols, especially as it relates to students with special needs,” the release states.


Amy Diaz covers education for WFDD in partnership with Report For America. You can follow her on Twitter at @amydiaze.

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