Security issues discussed at Valley school board meeting




Security issues discussed at Valley school board meeting

Brian Smith
Contributing Writer


            Melissa Fettkether presented information regarding building security issues to the Valley school board at its meeting on Monday night, June 17.

            Fettkether, who has been working with issues regarding the school’s facility and grounds, informed the board of security issues with the current doors of classrooms, entrance doors to the building, and security cameras.

            Doorknobs to many current classroom doors will need to be changed so that they can be locked from the inside. Currently they can only be locked with a key from the outside. The knobs must also allow someone on the inside to easily unlock the door by just turning the handle.

            Fettkether also reported to the board about the number of entrance doors in the building, and the need to account for which doors are open and when in a more efficient manner.

            “We have 55 doors in our building that can be accessed from the outside, which is about twice as many as other typical buildings our size,” explained the school’s business manager.

            Whenever teachers are taking students outdoors and have a need for students to be able to enter and exit the building at a given time, it can become a challenge to monitor those situations. One possible solution is the use of a fob that could be “swiped” in order to unlock the door, with the door locking again behind whoever enters or exits as it closes. This type of technology is being considered by the board.

            As for security cameras, Valley currently has eight in various parts of the building. Fettkether’s report suggested adding seven more cameras in order to improve security around the building.

            She noted, “Since beginning to look at our situation in order to compile this information, I have become aware of how much our security practices and equipment are in need of some improvement.”

            Fettkether supplied the board with cost estimates of replacing current doorknobs with new ones, as well as the cost of the technology mentioned above. When asked how a project like this might be funded, Fettkehter replied that either PPEL (Physical Plant and Equipment Levy) or local option sales tax funds could be used. She suggested that it would be best to proceed with a project like this in stages.

            After listening to the information presented, the board requested that Fettkether and incoming North Fayette Valley Superintendent Duane Willhite prepare a recommendation for the July 15 school board meeting and that the issue be put on the agenda for that meeting.

            Current Valley superintendent Cathy Molumby presented her report to the board, as well, on Monday night. She informed the board that work on the FEMA Safe Room is behind schedule due to the rainy weather, but it is beginning to catch up as things have dried out recently. Molumby also stated that there were still some “loose ends” from the 2012-13 school year that need to be tied up, including some staff issues and some policy work. The outgoing superintendent also provided the board with an update on open enrollment for the district, and supplied a review of job functions for instructional principal/shared curriculum director; interim management and operational principal; shared transportation director; supplemental facility and grounds director/supervisor, and middle school FFA advisor.

            In other business items, the board approved the resignations of Shirleen Reinhardt as middle school student council sponsor, Stacy Williams as elementary teacher, and DeAnn Lenth as secondary teacher.

The board also approved the hiring of Matt Krambeer as assistant varsity football coach, and approved two Memorandams of Understanding with the VCEA; One MOU was a supplemental contract for a middle school FFA advisor for 2013-14 for Monica Enyart, and the other was a leave of absence for Sharon Rich, the Interim Management Principal for 2013-14.

Board secretary Carole Nading reminded the board and those present of the upcoming fall board election and that there would be two positions open on the Valley school board. These positions are currently held by Mark Howard and Tim Orr and are four-year terms. Interested candidates may secure the necessary materials at the County Auditor’s office or at the Secretary of State’s website. Candidates may begin filing on Monday, July 8, with the deadline for filing set for Thursday, August 1.

            Finally, the board went into an exempt session for negotiations. Upon returning, the board approved motions including contracts for an instructional principal/shared curriculum director (Betsy Nefzger at $70,520), an interim management and operational principal (Sharon Rich at $68,918), an interim supplemental facility and grounds director (Melissa Fettkether at a 2.9 per cent increase), an administrative assistant board secretary (Carole Nading at a 2.9 per cent increase), a shared interim transportation director with North Fayette (Carole Nading at $10,000), and an amendment to the tech support and supervisor position.

            This was the final school board meeting for retiring Superintendent Cathy Molumby. School board president Mark Howard closed the proceedings for the night by thanking her for her years of service. The next scheduled Valley school board meeting is set for Monday, July 15.

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