Russellville school board discusses security measures

RUSSELLVILLE, Mo. — The Cole County R-1 School Board has been discussing how to improve security on school grounds.

Following the shooting in Connecticut, school officials have been reviewing safety policies and procedures. Active shooter training was held for the staff in mid-February. Then, the Cole County Sheriff’s Department conducted live, active shooter training in the school building Friday.

Additional training for the staff is planned in the future, the Board of Education learned this week.

Door handles and locks in the elementary wing have been replaced with more teacher-friendly and secure fixtures with support from the PTO. Several classroom doors also have been replaced.

The board is also considering a policy that would prohibit parents from walking their children into the classroom.

In other action at a recent meeting, the board:

• Learned high school end of course exams will be given April 24-May 2 and May 7-9. And finals will be May 13-15.

Seniors will take finals May 7-9. Graduation practice will be at 10 a.m. May 11 in advance of the ceremony May 18. And a senior barbecue will be held at 11 a.m. May 9.

The high school academic awards assembly will be May 15.

The winter athletic banquet will be at 6 p.m. March 14.

• Was told bleachers for the new track are due to be installed by mid-March.

• Learned a new banner to honor students who have scored a 30 or more on the ACT has been installed in the gym.

• Was asked by the Community Teachers Association to consider ways of improving the base salary to improve competitiveness with area schools.

Following a closed session, the board accepted retirement letters, effective June 30, from Marla Amos and Laurie Bonchonsky. And it hired Justin Forsythe as assistant baseball coach and Jeane Miller as assistant middle school volleyball coach.

The board also renewed contracts for elementary principal Karen Ponder, high school principal Heath Waters and special education director Susan Buckingham.

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