ELNORA — In the aftermath of the mass killings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, North Daviess Community Schools Superintendent Bob Bell has asked staff members to review the school safety plans.
In addition, the staff discussed being more watchful for potentially troubled youths whom they might be able to mentor before those youths can progress to a stage where they might become violent. Bell said he also met with Sheriff Jerry Harbstreit, Chief Deputy Gary Allison and Prosecutor Dan Murrie to discuss safety measures and how they might be improved.
“We all want to keep our kids safe, whether it’s a manmade or natural disaster,” he said. “We’re taking it seriously. We’ll be more vigilant.”
Board member Darin Holder said a parent stopped him after the Connecticut shooting spree and said he’d always thought having to be buzzed in at North Daviess was “a pain,” but in light of the shootings he’d changed his mind.
“Now he thinks it’s a good idea,” Holder said.
Continuing his report, Bell said the corporation received $264,000 from the state kindergarten grant this year, guaranteeing $2,400 per kindergarten student. While it’s more than was received last year, he said it still falls short of fully funding a full-day kindergarten program. Bell said the grant will save the General Fund $80,000.
“We have submitted the Excellence in Performance Awards for Teachers Grant,” Bell continued. “This grant is to reward effective and highly effective teachers as identified in the teacher RISE evaluation. There is $9 million set aside for this competitive grant, and we’re requesting $160,000.”
He said winners will be announced by Jan. 11.
“I think we stand a good chance of getting some money,” Bell said.
In her report, ND Elementary Principal Jodi Berry told the board it’s been busy at the grade school. She said the kindergarten classes went to Odon - aka the North Pole - to visit Santa, who gave each a silver bell. They also saw a baby reindeer and learned about several different animals from Santa’s helper, Jingle John, while on the trip, which was part of an academic unit that included the book “Polar Express.”