The Pierre School District school board, during its June 10 scheduled meeting, heard, “Crisis planning is ongoing, never ending, to make our schools safer,” from Superintendent Kelly Glodt.
Bryan Linn, technology director then gave an overview of what the other four school buildings have so far seen in the way of security, especially in access points and how they are handled. Linn then addressed possible plans to modernize the T.F. Riggs High School building with a single main access. He said that Integrated Technology Systems could be the way to go for all five school locations in the district. The current security software is outdated, on the verge of failing, beyond what the original company can support any more. Parts can be ordered, but that is about it. The ancient system cannot integrate with other systems.
There are 51 doors in the five buildings. All could, should, have alarms on the doors, cameras, keycard access, and real-time monitoring capability by administration. Linn promoted the adaptable Gallagher system. The cost will be discussed today at the annual budget workshop.
Board president Randy Hartman said, “This will be a whole mindset change; limiting where kids can come and go, through one main door. It will be a learning curve, not only for the students but also for the staff. The students, used to such things in other schools they visit during sports and other things, will adjust in a short period of time.” Hartman looks forward to further discussion on making the main entryways able to handle student flow, sporting events, early morning practices, and other concerns.
“No question it will be a big change,” agreed Glodt, “The students, as they have been already, are going to be the ones helping make the high school secure. The students will embrace it. They’ve grown up with it in other schools. The expandable aspects of the new system sound good.” Whatever is decided, the work can be done before school begins next school year.
The new year will be different. Glodt said that this last year saw a slightly larger retirement and resignation turnover, around 25 teachers. The middle school will have a new wood gym floor, and there is a major roofing project going on.
Renewal of property, auto and liability coverage insurance will cost $103,257 for the fiscal year. Refuse and recycling will cost $121 per school year day, and $110 during summer days. The middle school handbook has four changes; with the biggest one that the start of school is 8:15 a.m. and the day’s classes end at 3:16. This should help diminish tardies and missed first classes. The high school handbook will reflect a different way of recording dual credits, with five face-to-face student/teacher classes required for full-time students. “We sure want to support dual credit, but there is something with actually being in our classrooms,” Glodt said.