Phase 1 of school security & safety plan is approved for $95,000
The Morgan County School Board approved $95,000 for the first phase of a safety and security plan for all schools and facilities. The action was taken at the March 5 school board meeting that was held at Warm Springs Middle School.
Phase one of the plan includes upgraded and additional security cameras, enhanced LobbyGuard visitor registration system databases, increased visitor monitoring, sign-in kiosk repositioning within mantraps and additional door buzzers, security cameras and magnetic locks. The features would further restrict access and delay potentially harmful visitors.
School Superintendent David Banks and Technology Director Tom Shade discussed the plan at their February 19 meeting at Greenwood Elementary. Banks also showed a video of security measures adopted by a school system in Illinois to show possible safety and security enhancements that were being considered.
Phase two would involve moving mantraps and building a second set of locked doors at schools that still needed them. Bulletproof glass for entrances and other security measures were also under consideration for phase three.
An approximate $215,990 annually for school security and safety improvements was a new line item in the special levy order renewal that is on the ballot for a May 11 special election. The amount of special levy funds for this purpose would total $1,079,950 over the five-year course of the special levy. Banks also hoped some federal monies would be available.
Prevention officer contract
The annual memorandum of understanding for the grant contract agreement for Prevention Resource Officer Deputy Kevin Barney’s position was drawn up between the Morgan County Commission, the Morgan County Sheriff’s Department and the school board.
The position is partially funded through a $20,000 West Virginia Division of Justice and Community Services Title II Juvenile Justice and Prevention grant. The Morgan County Commission is the fiscal agent for the grant.
The total expense of salary and benefits such as retirement, social security, insurance and worker’s compensation was estimated at $53,969.99. The balance of $33,969.99 remaining after the $20,000 grant payment is payable by the school board on a monthly payment basis.
The Sheriff’s Department is responsible for all non-salary expenses, which include travel, training, equipment, vehicle and vehicle maintenance, gasoline, uniforms, office space, telephone, Last year’s estimated cost for these expenses was $5,000.
The agreement was approved at the February 19 School Board meeting and will be effective from July 1 through June 30, 2014.
Barney’s role in the school system is education, prevention, safety and mentoring. He is based at Berkeley Springs High School, but covers other schools. He also serves as law enforcement.
Barney conducts classes and workshops on topics such as drug and alcohol abuse, decision-making, self-defense, domestic violence, healthy relationships, sexual assault, crime prevention, Facebook, cell phone and texting, Internet safety, stress and respect.
Some 40 Paw Paw High School science students in teacher Carol Coryea’s classes were approved for a field trip to Goddard Space Flight Center on March 28.
Five Paw Paw High School students were also okayed to travel with Coryea and a parent to do a presentation at the National Science Teacher Association meeting in San Antonio, Texas from April 10 through April 14.
Paw Paw Schools fourth, fifth and sixth grade students were approved for a trip to the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. on May 29.
Pleasant View Elementary third, fourth and fifth graders were okayed for a trip to the National Zoo on May 8.
Superintendent David Banks noted at a recent meeting that every school in Morgan County has a full accreditation rating.