Schools in the Urbana school district are more strictly enforcing their security procedures, which means parents who drop off their students inside school buildings are being asked to sign in at the school's office.
District spokeswoman JoAnne Geigner said it has always been the school district's policy that visitors and parents alike need to sign in and sign out when they leave.
The stricter enforcement mostly affects parents of elementary students, Geigner said, as any visitor to an entrance at the middle school or high school is asked to sign in by a monitor sitting at the door.
"This is not something new, per se. This is us tightening up our procedures," she said, and making sure what schools requires of visitors matches the district's policies.
Geigner said a security committee regularly looks over the district's security procedures and did so again recently. That prompted a letter to parents, reminding them that they need to sign in if entering the building, and that those picking up students should be ready to show a photo ID at any time.
The school district is also asking parents not to open doors for other parents or visitors, even if it's someone they know.
"Students too have been taught to follow this procedure," said a letter recently sent to Leal Elementary School parents.
Geigner said the security committee's review wasn't necessarily a response to the school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., in December, but the shooting was "a reminder to make sure we're doing what we should be doing" as far as security.
"From our point of view, we need to have a record of who's coming and going at our schools, and at any given time who's in the school," Geigner said.
Leal Elementary Principal Spencer Landsman said most parents have been understanding of the more strictly enforced policy to have all visitors sign in.
"They've been preparing their kids for dropping them at the doors" of the school, he said.
Champaign schools spokeswoman Stephanie Stuart said all parents and visitors are asked to sign in when entering a school building, and that policy is being enforced when parents drop off students.
"If they come in the building, they're expected to sign in," she said.