School resource officers are present now during the parent pickups at both primary and intermediate schools, Superintendent David Woolly told the Alma Board of Education during its April 12 monthly meeting.
During an update on safety and security, Woolly said Alma Police Chief Russell White and the city council have been very supportive by hiring two additional full-time SROs for the 2018-19 school year.
“We have been meeting with our architect and reviewing our renovation plans for the front entrances to each building and update the cost estimates,” Woolly said. “If a millage is necessary to provide funding for these improvements, the election could be held in January 2019.”
Other items to be addressed are additional security cameras, door securing mechanisms, door unlock schedules, certain door hardware, safety drill information and schedules.
Dr. Mike McSpadden, assistant superintendent, has contracted for an ALICE (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, and Evacuate) training program to be held July 10-11 at the Alma High School student union.
The training will be available for ASD administrators, local law enforcement, community members and churches.
McSpadden said the course is designed to teach skills and strategies that bridge the gap between the time that a violent event begins and law enforcement arrives. ALICE also will provide the district with a three-year online training program for all staff members.
“ALICE is a set of proactive, options-based strategies that increase your chances of survival during a violent intruder or active shooter event,” McSpadden said. “For 14 years, the ALICE Training Institute has provided violent intruder response training to individuals and organizations across the nation.”
The ALICE training program is designed to supplement current “lock-down” or “secure-in-place” procedures used frequently in public schools and institutions, he said.
Woolly also reported to the board on a draft of the final report provided by the AdvancED Review Team.
“The stakeholders of the Alma School District had extraordinary pride in their schools,” the draft states. “With an unquestionable focus on the students, a collaborative culture based on strong relationships was evident as the review team conducted 54 classroom observations and interacted with administrators, board members, teachers, support staff, students, parents and community leaders. The theme emerged that the support adults provided for students was special.”
Woolly said AdvancED is about continuous improvement and when the final report is released it will list strengths and recommendations. AdvancED will review the results of the Review Team to make a final determination, including the appropriate next steps for the institution in response to their findings.
The board accepted resignations from Cora Beth Brown, Janis Hughes and Austin Jay and authorized the employment of Kendra Williams, Carol Sikes, Mary Caroline Fimpel, Shea Marsh, Michael Bridges and Bethany Cady.