BOE approves Security Resource Officers

Published 1:34 pm Wednesday, May 16, 2018

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

Chilton County Schools will have Security Resource Officers starting in the 2018-2019 school year.

The Chilton County Board of Education unanimously approved $287,000 for funding these officers during the meeting on May 15.

“We chose to use security instead of school because we want them to be a little more focused on security and safety than a traditional SRO,” Board President Lori Patterson said after the meeting.

The officers will be members of local police departments and be paid by them or the local municipality.

The funds will provide seven officers to serve Isabella High School, Verbena High School, Verbena Annex, Maplesville High School, Thorsby High School and two to cover Jemison schools.

“Best thing we’ve done,” board member Curtis Smith said.

Clanton schools already have School Resource Officer coverage paid for by the Clanton City Council. Patterson confirmed this partnership will continue.

Local Police Departments already had a presence in schools this year school, but a long-term plan had not been put in place.

This is one element of the school system’s efforts to increase security measures at each of the campuses. Many schools now require a visitor to press a security button in order to be let into the building.

Secure secondary entrances are also planned for each school.

CCS has received $300,000 in state Advancement and Technology Funds that will be used for this project. The board approved hiring McKee and Associates to do the installation of the entrances.

Online school registration will be implemented as a part of the Safe Schools plan to decrease visits to the school for registration.

It also helps ensure student safety by getting emergency contact information from the parent or guardian directly into the system, rather than having to be input manually by a school employee, according to School Superintendent Tommy Glasscock.

The software will cost $33,600 initially and then $20,525 on an annual basis. Using the funds for the secondary entrances and purchasing the software was approved 6 to 1 in the same motion. Patterson, Smith and board members Linda Hand, Keith Moore, Joe Mims and Jim Shannon voted in favor. Board member Pam Price voted against.

Price expressed concern about parents who may not have Internet access to complete the school registration. Patterson said registering in person would still be available.

Price asked what the benefits of having the electronic registration were versus simply having the necessary forms available to print online, which had not cost the school system extra.

“It catches all out of county (registrations) when someone goes to enroll their child,” Glasscock said. “If they are going to be out of county, it will red flag it.”

These students will have to be entered manually and can be kept track of better than with previous methods.

“We are literally anticipating being able to pay for this program with out-of-county tuition, which in the past we have really had no way to monitor,” Glasscock said.

According to the 2017-2018 Chilton County Schools Student-Parent Guide, the out-of-county tuition in $500 per semester.

During the meeting, the Board also approved:

— Funding a 2.5 percent increase for all employees through local funds for two months until the state funding was given to the school system for the state-approved salary increase. The local funds used will be reimbursed when the state funding comes through.

— Fixing flood damage at Clanton Intermediate School.

— Hiring teachers for the upcoming school year, including a teacher for Thorsby High School, five teachers for Clanton Elementary School, a band director for Jemison Middle School, two teachers for Jemison Elementary School, a special education teacher for Jemison Elementary School, one teacher for Isabella High School and a teacher for Clanton Intermediate School. Six of the positions were approved pending certification verification.

— The summer schedule for education offices and schools to be closed on Fridays throughout the summer.