Eastwood schools improving security
Written by MARIE THOMAS BAIRD Sentinel Education Editor
Thursday, 24 January 2013 09:45
In the wake of the Newtown, Conn., school shooting that killed 26, Eastwood School District is updating its security in its five buildings.
|Luckey Elementary parent and volunteer Chris Sibbersen at the security desk located in the schools hallway. (Photos: J.D. Pooley/Sentinel-Tribune)
At Tuesday's board of education meeting, the board approved a contract for $19,910 with Habitec Security for additional cameras and door security.
The board also approved four additional Habitec contracts to provide enhanced video monitoring on all alarms at the high school, middle school, Pemberville and Luckey elementaries, at a cost of $160 each month. Also included is a security monitoring system at Webster Elementary, which now has a tenant. The cost of that update will be $13 each month with a $99 installation fee.
A buzzer system in all the buildings, which should be installed by President's Day, will limit visitors, including parents, before and after school.
"This will be a culture shock for parents who are used to the convenience of walking into the schools without having to be buzzed in," Superintendent Brent Welker warned in his community e-mail earlier this month.
For now, a reception area has been added to all buildings. Some are staffed by volunteers and others will be manned by employees. This will assist until a buzzer system is installed.
Tom Lingenfelder, principal at Pemberville Elementary, pointed out at the meeting that the system works, as Welker was stopped on his way into the school.
"That's the way it's supposed to work," said board member Roger Bostdorff.
When visiting the building, parents at Luckey and Pemberville will have limited covering from the weather, while the middle school and high school parents will be admitted into the vestibules before being granted access into the building.
The district will be also be installing a limited number of interior and exterior cameras at both Luckey and Pemberville. There are not cameras in either of those buildings, and these will provide better overall security in case of burglary and other incidents.
The $160 monthly contract with Habitec will allow those cameras to be monitored in case of an alarm. Welker explained that if there was an issue in one of the buildings, Habitec will have access to the cameras and can coordinate real time information with law enforcement.
The cameras for Luckey and Pemberville will cost roughly $11,000 of the $19,910 contract.
To district will tap into funds from the County Safe Schools Grant to the tune of roughly $9,000 to help pay for the upgrades, and will use funds from its abatement agreement with Principle Business Enterprise.
There will be no cost to the general fund except for the monthly costs of the enhanced video monitoring program with Habitec.
The district also is discussing, but has not made a decision on, the installation of a laminated film overlay for all doors. Welker showed an example of the 3M Scotchshield to board members, and indicated the film will prevent glass from shattering in the event someone tries to shoot out a door.
"It's to delay entry. It's not bullet-proof glass," he stated.
The product also reduces the likelihood of flying glass shards and injuries.
Over holiday break, administrators met with staff to review the district's lock-down protocols and to pass out additional communication devices in the event of a lock-down. One of the protocols that has changed is the emphasis on evacuation if possible. Teachers will be empowered to make decisions to hide or get out of the building.
Also at Tuesday's meeting, the board:
• approved the resignations for retirement from high school physical education teacher Jerry Rutherford, effective Feb. 28; and high school science teacher Richard Morgan, effective May 31.
• approved a two-year contract with Chris Fahim as high school principal, effective Aug. 1, and with Jeff Hill as high school assistant principal and athletic director, also effective Aug. 1.
• commended Kelsey Long as the January Student of the Month at the high school; Melissa Bolton, Kellie Dennis and Matt White for participating in the Capital University High School Honors Band; Regina Reidling, Veronica Sholey and Lydia Tressel for participating in the BGSU High School Honors Band; Bolton again for participating in the Ohio State University High School Honors Band; Marisa Launstein and Hannah Sponaugle for participating in the BGSU Middle School Honors Band; Sponaugle and James Wasylyshyn for being selected for the OMEA District 1 Junior High Honors Band; and Kyra Contris for having her artwork selected for the 2013 Safety Kids calendar.
• accepted $200 from an anonymous donor for the high school baseball program; $500 from Key Bank for the high school track and field program; $5,000 from Mick and Nancy Foster for the high school softball program; $476 from Land O Lakes and $524 from Luckey Farmers for the FFA program.