Mathews may hire school officer

VIENNA — While the Mathews Local School District has a DARE officer in the schools a few hours each day, officials are discussing getting a full-time resource officer in place for the next school year.

School and township officials are exploring different options to increase school safety and may join many other area schools in having a resource officer at the district’s three buildings.

DARE officer Michael Sheehy is at the school two to three hours per day for drug awareness and other programs through a grant between the township and schools.

Superintendent Lew Lowery said the board met with police Chief Bob Ludt about possibly getting a resource officer. Vienna Trustee Phil Pegg said Sheehy is only a DARE officer made possible by a state grant.

Bristol, Southington, Girard and Joseph Badger schools have in recent months hired resource officers to provide more security for their schools.

Mathews officials said because the district buildings are older they do not have the same up-to-date security systems and safety designs as newer ones, such as glass security entrance atriums at the door.

“There has been concerns about the schools, which are older buildings. There are options being discussed for more safety,” Sheehy said at Wednesday’s Board of Education meeting.

An advisory committee on school safety has been formed that includes safety personnel from Vienna and Fowler. The district has emergency plans in place in case of a shooting or other event and staff have undergone ALICE training in case of an intruder. There are also bolo sticks that keep the doors from being opened.

In other business, the board:

• Heard from elementary principal Michael King updates and improvements will be made to the playgrounds at Baker and Currie schools in late July;

• Announced 59 seniors will graduate 7 p.m. today at Packard Music Hall;

• Approved Nancy Krygowski as a part-time assistant principal at Currie Elementary at $300 per day not to exceed 100 days.

• Recognized the high school band for performing at Busch Gardens’ annual parade;

• Announced the high school received the College Success Award from and is one of 814 public schools in nine states to receive the first-of-its-kind honor for enormous strides to ensure students are prepared for college;

• Approved open enrollment for all grades in the district at discretion of the superintendent;

• Approved Executive Landscaping Inc. to install a lateral sewer line and connections to the high school at $44,875;

• Approved a contract with Squaw Creek Country Club for high school prom April 26, 2019;

• Approved Grace Jerasa from part-time to full-time music teacher for the 2018-19 year;

• Voted to non-renew the contract of Baker teacher Melissa Cooper despite receiving a petition from fourth-grade students asking that she return next year;

• Approved Terry Gettemy on a one-year contract as school psychologist at $275 per day not to exceed 80 days.