By Scott Wild
GLENWOOD CITY – In light of the national attention since the February 14th, Florida shootings, Nicole Brite reviewed the district’s Crisis Plan to the School Board in its April 9th meeting.
This covered all types of crisis, from suicide, deaths, fires, to active shooter training.
[emember_protected] “We can never all fully be ready for every crisis,” said Nicole. This is a very important full school effort. “All of the staff were there,” said Nicole. Simple basics like mandatory Visitor Passes, the monthly Fire Drills, and non-emergency lockdowns for events like missing students were covered. “In a non-emergency, the doors are closed and locked, and class continues as normal,” said Nicole.
For a big crisis, like a school shooter in the building, a plan call “A.L.I.C.E” is in place. A.L.I.C.E stands for Alert. Lockdown & Barricade. Inform. Counter. Evacuate. “Seconds mean the difference for saving lots of lives,” commented Superintendent Tim Johnson. He continued “Starting a more overt conversation about active shooter training is training itself.”
Alert: Make an “all call” to everyone in the building with location, and detailed description of the shooter.
Lockdown & Barricade: This prevents staff and students from being sitting ducks. The “Just in Case” and the “Z-lock” which locks down doors opening either way were discussed.
Inform: During crisis, continuous updates of what is unfolding can be critical.
Counter: A last resort of literally fighting back, which could include throwing objects, yelling, and physical confrontation. (At this point in the discussion, Superintendent Tim Johnson kept the spirit light by joking, “Like if I get to the coffee machine before Nicole.”)
Evacuation: Getting out of the building and running to a rally point. Patrick Gretzlock commented, “Make two different plans to get out of the building. Know what they are. Which can you choose in a crisis?”
The number one priority is student and staff safety. Difficult questions can arise, like in a lockdown, is it okay to let someone in? The answer is that in an emergency, it is recommended NOT to let anyone in.
To parents who wish to know every detail of the Crisis Plan, Tryn Gross advised, “There is a plan in place, but we aren’t going to fully tell the whole public what it is. That defeats the purpose.”
In other school district news, the School Board passed the staff salary budget increases, basically matching the Consumer Price Increase (CPI), and offering competitive pay against other nearby school districts. Salaried employees receive a 2.14% raise initial teachers (in 3 steps) making $40,600 – $41,600, developing teachers (in 3 steps) making $44,100 – $45,100, and professional teachers (in 6 steps as they get their master’s degrees) making $47,600 – $52,100. Hourly staff get a $1.50 per hour raise and an insurance adjustment to district contribution. And Bus Drivers get a 4.42% increase, for a base pay of $1484.66 for 9 months, plus $3.65 per mile.
Betsy Haltinner, the Elementary School Principal, presented the Technology Update. “The brand new middle school computer lab is complete! And the elementary students are using the older computers.” There was discussion about the cost and investments of updating the interactive white boards. And news that the 3D printer for the elementary school is now hooked up, with a contest for three lucky winners from the 5th grade class able to print their designs very soon.
In other business during the open session:
• The 5th Grade Class Trip to Beaver Creek is scheduled for Monday, May 7th to Tuesday May 8th, with a final approval vote possible in the next school board meeting scheduled for Monday, April 23, 2018.
• The Budget Hearing is scheduled before Labor Day this year, on Monday August 20, 2018.
• Creating more meaningful parent teacher conferences was discussed.
• Patrick Gretzlock gave an update on the hiring status for each open teacher positions in the Language Arts, Spanish and Information and Technology. Recommendations will be presented at the April 23rd meeting.
• Newly elected Lisa Logghe will officially replace Judy Achterhof at the next meeting.
• Consent Agenda included approval of Kerry Kittel as a Substitute Teacher.
Also, coming up in the next meeting is a presentation by High School Principal, Patrick Gretzlock. He attended the WITC meeting in New Richmond about university and community college school ties ins, and emerging tech careers for students and other new ideas to truly prepare students for life after their Glenwood City graduation. He said, “I went into the meeting a pessimist. I left an optimist!” [/emember_protected]