Parents concerned over District 51 communication

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) -- Frustration is fueling among some local parents over communication issues with District 51. Several parents reached out to KKCO 11 News saying they were never notified about a brief lockdown at Central High School and Grand Mesa Middle School Wednesday, prompted by reports of a man with a gun in a near by store.

“There needs to be some kind of a mass text or email to let us know,” said parent Rhonda Sorensen.

Tim Leon, District 51 Director of Safety, Security and Transportation, said the district is hoping to implement a text alert system by next year. Officials are currently reviewing systems to decide the best option.

In the meantime, the district will post critical updates, such as a lock down, to the school’s website. Leon encourages parents to be patient, as difficult as it may be.

“We have to confirm what’s going on out there in a particular building before we put out information,” he said. “We need to make sure we get good, accurate information.”

Leon said lock downs are implemented for a number of reasons and most often are not a result of an intruder in the building. An internal person at the school can call for a lock down, but an external situation happening outside the school or in the surrounding area can also prompt a lock down. Leon said some sort of lockdown at any of the district’s schools typically happens monthly.

Until the district introduces a text-alert system, parents are encouraged to utilize text alerts from the City of Grand Junction and Mesa County. Leon suggests setting alerts for the addresses of each child’s school. By doing so, parents will get information about any activity happening around that address. Click the link below to sign up for alerts from the city.

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