CAMBRIDGE, Ohio -- School security was a topic of discussion at Tuesday night's Cambridge School Board meeting.
Superintendent Dennis Dettra reported that the district has received a grant to purchase a Multi Agency Radio Communication System (MARCS) radio for each school building. The radio would allow school officials to have direct, two way contact with law enforcement agencies that would respond in the time of an emergency.
In addition, Dettra says that the district is becoming involved in the ALICE technique for responding to a school intruder.
ALICE stands for Alert, Lockdown, Information, Counter and Evacuation, and was created by two Texas law enforcement officers after the Columbine High School shooting.
Dettra says the training is a "common sense" approach to how to react to an active shooter situation. He says "it makes sense to leave the building if the shooter is on the other side of the facility. Other aspects of the training include barricading rooms, communicating the danger and even confrontation only if absolutely necessary. But Dettra stressed the evacuation aspect of the training.
Dettra reports school officials have been working closely with the Cambridge Police Dept on the project, and training of the staff, then students will be within the next few months. The goal is to have the program in place by this spring.
Other districts in the area either have the ALICE program in place, or are considering it's implementation.
The calendar says November, but school officials are already looking into winter. Teachers are preparing their "blizzard bags" for use when the snow starts to fly. Blizzard bags, are classroom activities for students K-12 to use when classes are canceled. The state allows districts 5 excused days, and the Blizzard Bags are good for credit for 3 days of classroom work, giving the district, in essence, 8 "snow days" that would not need to be made up.
Thanks to a grant from the local Board of Developmental Disabilities, the district can offer computer technology experience to students with disabilities. The district obtained at no cost a $9,000 "Tap It" unit. The touch accessible platform interactive technology unit is like an i-Pad on wheels. The unit is touch sensitive for those that do not have full use of their hands, and is more accessible to those in wheelchairs. The unit is currently based at North Elementary, but could be used anywhere in the district.
Students in the Cambridge school district are in the midst of a canned food drive. Superintendent Dettra reports that students are nearing their goal of 10,000 cans, which will be donated to various area charities. If they meet or exceed their goal, the students will be awarded an hour early dismissal the day before Thanksgiving.
In other Board matters, approval was given to a lengthy list of volunteers, and substitutes, as well as certified and classified personnel items. The list includes: athletic personal service contracts for Andy Pointer (7th grade girls basketball coach) and Benjamin Van Dyne (8th grade boys basketball coach).
The Board also approved presenting a Cambridge High School diploma to Vernon R. Robertson. Mr Robertson would have been a part of the CHS class of 1945, but served in the armed forces at that time, and did not graduate with his class.