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Board serious about student safety

January 23, 2013
In the wake of several high-profile school shootings, the most recent in Newtown, Conn., the Crawford County Community School Corp. Board of Trustees is re-evaluating its safety plans systemwide.

The board, which met on Jan. 15 at English, discussed the matter, and Superintendent Dr. Mark Eastridge is planning to utilize the knowledge of new members Dennis Talley and Kelly Hammond, as well as that of continuing member Shawn Scott.

All three bring law enforcement knowledge to the table: Talley as an Indiana Conservation Officer, Hammond as an Indiana State Trooper and Scott as chief deputy for the Crawford County Sheriff's Department.

In an interview following the meeting, Eastridge said the corporation is working with the sheriff's department to do an analysis on the lock-down procedures of the corporation's seven schools.

"We've actually been having lock-down drills where there is an active shooter scenario," Eastridge said. "We had one at the high school recently."

Eastridge said the goal of these exercises is to gauge response time for the sheriff's department as well as to familiarize the teachers and students with all possible routes to safety.

"We're also looking at how safe our exterior doors are. We have people coming in to check them out and let us know if there need to be any upgrades," he said.

Eastridge said the corporation has a quote from Miller Electric to upgrade the security systems in the five elementary schools and is also looking to upgrade the internal video systems within the schools.

"Law enforcement agencies desperately need to be able to see inside the building in the event of an emergency," Eastridge said. "A new system would allow them to know what's around the next corner and what kind of situation they are walking into."

Eastridge has received permission from the board to go to the Crawford County Council and ask for approval to use the school corporation's share of gaming revenue it receives from the county for the security project.

Also at the meeting, Hammond made a motion to elect veteran board member Lucas Stroud as president, Talley as vice president and Scott as secretary. The motion was seconded by Traci Kerns and passed 7-0.

Randy Clark from Helix Technologies gave a quote presentation for the contract for Internet and a new fiber optic cable that would be installed at Leavenworth Elementary and linked to Marengo Elementary via point-to-point connection.

The link will allow the school to share the existing Internet connection as well as other digital services. The approximate cost of the contract is $1,854 monthly for 36 months. Clark's quote was approved 7-0.

"Leavenworth is our only school without a fiber link," Eastridge said. "This will actually get them up to speed and beyond."

In other matters, the board approved:

•The appointment of school corporation treasurer Martha R. Stroud and assistant treasurer Pamela Nemeth.

•An annual salary of $2,000 and per diem stipend of $65 for additional meetings for board members.

•The appointment of Shawn Scott to the Crawford County Youth Services Board.

•Clarion News and The Corydon Democrat as the publications for official notices.

•The naming of the Crawford County cross country course in honor of Mike Esarey.

•An HVAC service agreement with Harshaw Trane.

•The resignations of Larry Brown as Indiana University Southeast route bus driver and Millie Woolems as Paoli route bus monitor, and to replace them with Roxann Riddle and Julie Reyling, respectively.

•The transfer of Alyssa Speece, Title I instructional assistant, from Leavenworth Elementary to Milltown Elementary and Brian Jones as Title I instructional assistant to replace Speece

•The appointment of Mike Haverstock as bus driver of the West Washington Special Education route and inter-county special education transportation.

•Amanda Gardiner for the position of bus monitor of the West Washington Special Education route and inter-county special education transportation. Trustees Myrna Sanders and Danny Mitchell voted against the motion, made by Kerns and seconded by Talley.

•A monthly payment of $50 out of the high school athletic fund for the athletic director cell phone. Kerns voted against the motion, which was made by Mitchell and seconded by Hammond.

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