With danger increasing in other school districts, members of the Craig County School Board have chosen to think ahead and prepare for a safer environment for their students.
Though Craig County is known as a school with little violence, measures are still being taken in advance to make Craig Schools a more difficult place to endanger the students.
“We are continuing to work towards Crisis control in making sure that our schools are safe,” Jeanette Warwick shared at the April School Board meeting. “We have purchased school safety locks and school safety film.”
A sample of the film and a picture of the new lock system was given to each member. Warwick made sure to explain how the door locks would work. The classroom door is expected to remain unlocked to allow substitutes to enter and exit during class time if needed.
However, if there is a lockdown, the teacher will be able to quickly flip a switch, and within seconds the door is locked. “There is no fumbling for keys to try to lock your door,” Warwick said. “It is instant and inexpensive.”
Warwick also addressed the fact that the school has some windows, especially in the high school, that do not have the protection. “Permanent coverings are not allowed via the Fire Marshall,” she noted. “Therefore, a film has been purchased which will adhere to the windows, thus solving this issue.”
The film works twofold. When the lights are on, you can see through the film; however, when it goes dark such as on lockdown, it becomes like a mirror.
“We have bought and cut these for all the windows in the school, and Denny Williams will be installing them soon,” she added. Nods from the head of the Board, teachers and attending citizens seemed to speak multitudes of approval.
Samuel Foster, Director of Instruction and Educational Technology, informed the Board every school calendar day. He shared that the school calendar has 180 days. Craig has missed 17 thus far this year but has made up four days.
“State law requires us to have 990 hours or 180 school days, and we are currently 12.8 hours above 990 hours,” he explained. “However, last year in April and May, we missed a day, dismissed early on another day and were two hours late on a day due to flooding.”
Therefore, the decision was made to reserve those hours in case of an unknown emergency. Foster added, “We do have the two days at the end of school that are early dismissal days of 1:30, so if we get too close to the 990, we can always add time on those days as well.”
Foster also updated the Board on the Perkins application for $11,000 which is funds for career and technical education.
“The Grant is divided up into equipment, tuition for students going to BTEC (Botetourt Technical Education Center) and software for students who have career planning,” he explained. “It is divided between the Ag class, Business classes and Computer programming classes.” He added that it is free money, but an application has to be completed for reimbursement.
Warwick requested that the generator which was purchased a few years ago, be deemed as surplus. “The County wrote a grant, but it was $7,000 shy of what was needed to build a concrete platform and shelter for it,” she said. “We did not at the time have an extra $7,000 to do this; therefore, the County made the decision to return the grant, and we can now sell it and create some revenue, but the Board has to declare it as a surplus.” The Board approved the request.
Board members present at the April School Board meeting include Jeanette Warwick – Superintendent, Pat Myers – Chairman and Representative for Craig City District, Susan Crenshaw – Co-chair representing Craig Creek., Gina Smith – Simmonsville, George Foster – New Castle and Diana Bayne – Deputy Clerk of the School Board. Aaron Calfee, representing Potts Mountain, was unable to attend.
The May School Board meeting will be held on the second Tuesday, May 8, at The Media Center at 6:30 p.m. All Craig County parents and citizens are encouraged to attend.