[Nameplate] Fair ~ 61°F  
High: 73°F ~ Low: 48°F
Sunday, May 1, 2016

Bloomfield School District reviews safety procedures.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Bloomfield School District Superintendent Dan Sichting gave the school board a school safety presentation at the regular board meeting Thursday.

"After what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary, (school board president) Mr. (Steve) Dowden asked me to give a safety update. After what happened last week, it's timely," Sichting said.

Sichting said the school is very well secured and when a juvenile approached the campus he was not allowed inside the building.

Although, there have been measures taken to discuss a safety concern on the school campus. There are two doors unsecured, and he said it may cost the school money to fix the issue.

"I've met with an architect to come up with a plan to deal with those two doors, but I'm not sure we can afford it," Sichting said. "One door would need additional structure to keep people from standing outside in inclement weather. You can secure that door, but it could upset some people. But, this could be something we have to do anyway."

Sichting assured the school board precautionary safety measures had started well before any recent tragedies, beginning with the installation of door locks inside the classroom last July.

"Before, the class could not be locked from the inside, and the teacher had to walk out to the hall to lock the door," Sichting said, noting this was a risk for both teachers and students. "We think this is a big deal, in case there is an armed intruder."

Another concern expressed by the community, Sichting said, is the location of the junior-senior high school office being on the second floor.

He said prior to his arrival there had been an assessment completed to see if it was financially feasible to move the office to the first floor, but the study estimated it would cost approximately $750,000.

"That was eight years ago, so I would say it's even more now," Sichting said.

Sichting stressed the school holds an advantage because of the close proximity of the Bloomfield Police Department and the Greene County Sheriff's Department.

Law enforcement agencies will be on the school campus the next two weeks holding armed intruder drills, and will be doing so in all the county schools.

Also, Sichting added, that administrators from all five county schools gathered at the beginning of January to discuss safety procedures, along with representatives from all the local law enforcement agencies.

In other business, the board voted to approve the purchase of a 15 passenger handicapped accessible mini-bus from Kerlin Bus Sales and Leasing in the amount of $50,729.

Sichting said the 2002 model mini-bus the school owns is experiencing mechanical problems, but because the bus was not 12 years old the replacement could not be included in the budget order.

Due to the school not having to purchase a full-size bus, the Department of Government and Local Finance and the State Board of Accounts approved the bus purchase through the Bus Replacement appropriation.

Sichting informed the board the school district will be receiving approximately $20,000 more from the special education grant than expected.

Sichting said state officials tell him the loss of the school's funding, which is estimated to be $943,212 since 2009, is due to the loss of students.

"Since 2009, we have lost 3 percent of our enrollment, but 13 percent of our funding," he stressed.

The school board approved the 2013-14 school calendar, with the major changes being a two week Christmas break and the addition of a snow make-up day on Good Friday.

There will also be two Saturdays included for snow make-up days, Saturday, March 15 and April 12.

The board approved class sizes that were outside the range of the board policy put into place.

Junior-senior high school principal David Dean said the change in class sizes from the first semester is due to some students passing their End of Course Assessments and being able to drop the lab classes for an elective.

The Bloomfield School District cafeteria had a surprise visit from the Greene County Health Department on Dec. 20 and there were no violations.

Sichting explained to the school board the school has until 2014 to be in compliance with the state and federal health insurance regulations.

Although, Sichting noted there is a conflict in the state House Bill 1260 regulation and the federal Affordable Care Act.

House Bill 1260 says the district cannot contribute more than 112 percent of toward employee health premiums.

The issue arises with the Affordable Care Act, which states employees must not pay more than 9.5 percent of their total W-2 wages to the health plan.

Sichting said these regulations may change because the Affordable Care Act has not been finalized.

"We will have to figure this out during the summer when we renew our insurance," Sichting said. "It may benefit us to go to the state plan or a health insurance trust. We will have to decide this with the health insurance committee.

Note: The nature of the Internet makes it impractical for our staff to review every comment. If you feel that a comment is offensive, please Login or Create an account first, and then you will be able to flag a comment as objectionable. Please also note that those who post comments on gcdailyworld.com may do so using a screen name, which may or may not reflect a website user's actual name. Readers should be careful not to assign comments to real people who may have names similar to screen names. Refrain from obscenity in your comments, and to keep discussions civil, don't say anything in a way your grandmother would be ashamed to read.

In regards to the quote Law enforcement agencies will be on the school campus the next two weeks holding armed intruder drills, and will be doing so in all the county schools." As a parent, I am curious what this will involve? They are not planning on shooting off any starter pistols in the hallways, like was done in a Chicago school earlier this week are they?

-- Posted by WRVGrad92 on Fri, Feb 1, 2013, at 3:48 PM

Well let's see our options are people would have to stand outside and wait to get in the school or take a chance of our kids getting shot. Hum, it is cold outside!

An 750k to move an office, I'm in the wrong business!

-- Posted by rwalls on Sat, Feb 2, 2013, at 10:09 AM

I think we should be concerned about the locking of the Elementary doors. If the High School side is secured, why isn't the elementary? I have seen people come in and bypass the office to go do their business. $750K is a lot of money to move the office. Is everybody moving? Why so costly? Is anyone asking questions?

-- Posted by Scottie on Sat, Feb 2, 2013, at 8:17 PM

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: