Ferry plans for school safety

MARTINS FERRY School safety was one of the leading issues discussed during Monday’s meeting of the Martins Ferry Board of Education.

Elementary School Principal Jim Fogle reported on his recent attendance of a two-day training seminar teaching the Alert, Lockdown, Inform Counter and/or Evacuation (ALICE) method of responding to gunmen or other threats to student safety.

Fogle said the training included examinations of well-known incidents of school shootings. Fogle noted that a simple lockdown may be insufficient and teachers, staff and students should have more options available in responding, depending on the situation.

He noted tactics such as barricading a room or attempting to escape, depending on the location of the assailant in the school.

“It was the best training I’ve ever been to,” he said.

Superintendent Dirk Fitch said staff training will likely take place on Martin Luther King Jr. Day and during other occasions.

Also, Fitch thanked the city officials and police department for the presence of police cruisers in the mornings to monitor traffic. Parents are reminded to stay out of bus lanes.

In other matters, congratulations went to the National Honor Society for their successful blood drive.

Open enrollment has seen a gain of 12 with 20 more forms still out, with a total possible addition of 32. Last year saw an increase of 19.

Also, Fitch pointed out that buses no longer are required to stop and activate their flashers on the railroad crossing on Ohio 7.

In matters of personnel, board accepted the resignation of Robert Dalton as yearbook advisor and senior class advisor, effective immediately.

Regarding employment, board accepted Erica Harvey, Elizabeth Medlyn, Jessica Scott, Hydee Clouston, and Melvin Polinski as substitute teachers. The board also accepted Robert Dalton as high school yearbook adviser, splitting the position with Stacey Bliss. Dalton will also serve as senior class advisor, splitting the position with Dan Bolock.

Board approved Rhonda Yoder’s attendance at a food service training meeting Sept. 10 at Columbus, and at a CRE review workshop Sept. 23 at St. Clairsville.

In other matters, the board approved a new personal educational aide job description. Board members also approved a personal service agreement with Donna Joseph, math coach, not to exceed $12,000 should the district need her services for more than 90 days.

Board approved a personal service agreement with Kristen Honecker for after school tutoring paid through St. Mary’s Title I allocation.

Board also approved an amended employee contract for an at-will employee in the central office.

Board approved payment of $120 for board members for one monthly meeting paid semi-annually in June and December.

Board approved the 2014 annual appropriation resolution.

Board approved a resolution to use “then and now” certificates up to $3,000 without individual board approval.

Board approved a resolution to use blanket purchase orders not to exceed $25,000 for general expenditures and $50,000 for food services, fuel and maintenance supplies.

DeFrank can be reached at rdefrank@timesleaderonline.com