CCS focuses on safety going into new school year

Published 9:31 am Friday, July 27, 2018

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

Chilton County School administrators are preparing for a new school year by focusing on school safety.

“We met yesterday with the law enforcement officials, the municipalities and all the principals at all the schools to discuss the roles and responsibilities with school safety,” CCS Superintendent Jason Griffin said.

The Chilton County Board of Education heard multiple updates from the superintendent about the upcoming school year during a work session on July 26.

Each school will have a security resource officer for the 2018-2019 school year. Clanton and Jemison schools will have a school resource officer provided by the respective police departments, according to Griffin.

The job description for a security resource officer and a school resource officer is slightly different, but all the officers will serve with the same goal of keeping students safe.

Griffin said the school system is meeting with each of the local police departments to work out how the officers would be paid.

Secondary entrances as a part of safety plans for each school are also being added.

“We want to move forward with those as soon as possible, we have some mock drawings … some of that is going to be fairly simple to do. Some of them are going to be more difficult,” Griffin said. “We are going to move forward with that, and it is going to be taken care of in a timely fashion.”

Principals and faculty will also be completing safety training with Chilton County EMA director Derrick Wright prior to the start of school.

Griffin said he also plans to visit the schools to be sure the safety plans are being followed and make note of any facility needs.

The AdvancED district accreditation is also moving forward. Griffin said he has met with administrators and AdvancED in preparation for a visit from the accreditation committee the first week in December.

Teacher in-service will be a little different this year. Teachers will meet at their schools and the teacher in-service will be live streamed from the Board of Education office.

Facility and liability concerns were a part of a discussion about letting New Life Community Church rent Clanton Middle School for services as it builds its new facility. Demolition of the former Clanton Medical Center has begun at the future location, and the church plans to meet at its current location in the Baugh Ford shopping center until February.

Board attorney John Hollis Jackson presented the conditions CMS Principal Carla Moss would like included in a contract, and what the church would like to see.

The majority of Moss’ concerns had to do with the facility being cleaned after each service.

One major point of consideration was the church wants to allow the security team to conceal carry during the services just as they do now at the current church facility.

Griffin asked Board of Education President Lori Patterson to get with the church’s pastor and see what they are not willing to compromise on in a contract. He said if there was something the pastor was adamant about having that the school system could not allow, then it was not worth moving forward.

Jackson said the school system has allowed churches to use facilities in the past.

Griffin said the school system was supportive of the church, but the liability concerns needed to be addressed.

The BOE will have a special-called meeting at 8 a.m. on Aug. 2 to hire for the remaining positions needed for the 2018-2019 school year. A few “minor changes” to the student handbook and dress code policy will also be considered during this meeting, according to Ashlie Harrison, department head for Teaching and Learning.