The board also approved the termination of custodian Kyle Wittmer and the hiring of Justin Seal as first-shift custodian and Jeff Divine for second shift. In addition, they accepted the resignation of food service manager Michelle Davis and the hiring of Janet Swartzentruber to replace her.
In his report to the board, Madison said he received a number of phone calls from concerned parents following the shootings at Sandy Hook school in Newtown, Conn. He said some security upgrades already were under discussion or in process at the time, and he sent a letter to parents.
The superintendent said every entrance will be monitored by a sensor and camera so someone in the office can see on a monitor who’s there, and a buzzer system will be implemented at the front doors.
“Another thing we’re looking into is putting electronic locks on our doors,” Madison said, explaining a card would be used for entrance rather than a key. A backup battery system would be in place for those times when power is out for brief periods; for longer power outages, there would be select people with keys.
Doors often propped open will be equipped with sensors to alert the office that the door has been left open, and there’s been some discussion of a “panic button” in the office. Madison said all classroom doors already automatically lock when closed for the ease of teachers when there’s a lockdown, and some staff members attend a safety seminar annually.
Madison also said he conferred with Sheriff Jerry Harbstreit and deputies familiar with Barr-Reeve schools and community to see what they believe the schools could do better in the way of security.
When new protocols are put into place, he said, he will notify parents.
Before adjourning the meeting, Madison also updated board members on the referendum process.