Pittsylvania County Public Schools students return for first day of classes

Published: Aug. 9, 2022 at 7:30 AM EDT
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PITTSYLVANIA COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ) - Pittsylvania County students are heading back to the classroom for the first day of school Tuesday.

In an emergency, every second counts.

That’s why Pittsylvania County Public Schools along with the sheriff’s office are updating school maps by making them digital.

A new law went into effect this summer requiring all Virginia schools to update their floor plans, so those first responders will have access to them in an emergency situation.

Right now, the maps are just paper.

“The deputy may have to find the principal or whoever has these documents to actually know the layout of the building. Well, digitized maps will allow him to come onto school grounds. He has a laptop in his vehicle, he pulls that map up of the school and he knows the layout of the school,” said Mark Jones, Pittsylvania County Public Schools Superintendent.

Deputies will also have access to cameras in the schools.

“He has the map, and then he has access to the cameras in the building and outside the building that he can toggle through, and again that’s just only in cases of emergency,” said Jones.

Jones said the district is fully staffed this year.

“We’ve had some individuals who’ve retired who have come back to help us this year to fill these positions. We’re very fortunate to be where we are,” said Jones.

And said he’s excited for students to return to the classroom.

“Just getting back to normal is what we’re all looking forward to and again you can just feel the excitement in the air,” said Jones.

Jones said the maps are being worked on right now and the district expects to have them in September or October.

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