Superintendent Claire Dryden told board members she had been gathering quotes for panic buttons, self-locking doors and intercom systems for the doors.
The panic buttons would be mounted at the secretary’s desk in every school and there would also be mobile units that could be activated anywhere in the building, Dryden said.
“If there was an issue, it can be programmed to send out a message to the radios they have on campus and also a message straight to the Police Department or the Sheriff’s Department,” Dryden said.
The system may get some money through a bill in the legislature that would provide funding for safety and security for schools, she said. Dryden estimated the system could get around $40,000 if the bill passes. It could help fund some of the improvements, she said.
“That won’t get you very many doors, but it’s better than none,” Dryden said. “It’s about eight sets.”
Dryden said she had also approached the local police and fire organizations to help with the schools’ safety plans.
She said they have agreed to assign officers, deputies and firefighters to walk through each school to offer their suggestions to improve the safety in the schools, she said. In addition, she’s trying to sched-ule drills at the schools for the teachers and the local emergency organizations to practice what to do in an emergency, Dryden said.
The training would be part of the teachers’ professional development, she added.
Dryden also mentioned the access to and the office layout of several elementary schools including Ranburne, Fruithurst and Pleasant Grove is not good.
“I don’t know if there’s a fix,” Dryden said.
But she suggested the system consult with a profession to see what changes could be made to make the schools safer and add it into the system’s Capital Improvement Plan.
In other business the board members:
[bullet] Heard from Dryden that the system would be getting a credit card from Regions Bank to pur-chase things like food. The card would pay the system back 1 percent for the purchases it makes with the card, Dryden said. That would allow the system to save some money, Dryden said.
[bullet] Heard from Dryden that she had interviewed 10 candidates for Cleburne County Middle School principal. She has two interviews scheduled for the Cleburne County High School principal and is waiting for a third to be confirmed, Dryden said.
Staff writer Laura Camper 256-235-3545. On Twitter @LCamper_Star.