CHARLESTON — Use of social media, emergency drills and the building infrastructure could be part of the mix for upcoming security improvements in the Charleston school district.
Superintendent Jim Littleford told the Charleston school board at its meeting Wednesday that those were some of the suggestions he heard at a state workshop last month. He said he plans to bring them to a committee working on security recommendations for the district when it next meets on April 1.
Littleford said he attended an Illinois Association of School Administrators’ workshop of Feb. 26, during which school security was one of the topics. The speakers included Jon Monken, president of the Illinois Emergency Management Association, and Ron Ellis security training director for the Illinois State Board of Education.
Littleford said the approaches mentioned during the workshop included using social media for information to be provided anonymously and training drills for scenarios other than natural disasters, as well as looking at a school district’s facilities and infrastructure.
He said he’s not sure when the district committee will be able to make security improvement recommendations to the board, but said they’ll include specifics such as implementation costs. In addition to Littleford, the committee’s members are school board members Kelly Miller and Susan Daniels, Assistant Superintendent Todd Vilardo, district financial consultant David Kuetemeyer and district building and grounds Director Bill Richardson.
The board approved the committee last month following work by a larger group that developed target areas to consider based on school tours and survey results. Littleford ordered the effort in December after the elementary school shootings in Newtown, Conn.
Meanwhile, the board’s votes during Wednesday’s meeting included setting student fees for the 2013-14 school year.
The student parking fee at Charleston High School will be $60, an increase of $5. An earlier report in the newspaper said the increase would be $10 but different information was provided at that point.
Also, textbook and material fees will increase 50 cents for each grade level and student lunch prices will increase by 5 cents to $2.10.
The board also awarded contracts for mowing services for the coming summer and the following two years, splitting the service between two companies. Pro-Mow Inc. and J&J Lawn Care will each handle certain schools and locations.
Richardson said J&J Lawn Care didn’t submit a bid to cover all the mowing but its cost was lower for the areas on which it did bid. He said the district regularly bids the service by location instead of for the entire district.
The board also renewed the contract of Bill Monken, the district’s energy savings coordinator, for another year at the current salary of $13,102.
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