Story by Shelley R. Clapper
The Florida School Board held a work session and a special meeting on Thurs., Apr. 5 at the S.S. Seward Memorial Building. During the work session, Florida School Superintendent Jan Jehring provided an update on school safety, reporting that the District has held meetings in the past month to address issues of school security, and presentations were given by different vendors to provide security systems for schools in the District.
Superintendent Jehring opened the special meeting saying, “At the present we have police coming into the school randomly. Moving forward, we will be working with the Warwick police to have an increased presence.”
School Board member Howard Cohen said, “Safety is of the utmost importance in this District.” He commented that the District may have to defer buying a 20-passenger bus due to the costs of increased security.
Jehring said that that most of the security enhancements could be incorporated into the upcoming budget with the exception of the security vestibule.
Jehring said that one of the priorities before the beginning of the next school year would be to add more cameras to key areas inside and outside the schools. Other security enhancements would include a swipe system for people checking into the school and a security vestibule at the entrance to the building.
Intralogic Security System
Jehring handed out brochures from a security company called Intralogic. She pointed out that what she liked about the Intralogic security system is that its computer system would overlay the security features that the District already has. There would be security sensors installed on every door and cameras could even be put on the soccer field.
“Our security cameras will be part of our system. Our burglar alarms will be more cohesive…tying our systems together,” said Jehring.
The next step for the District is to do a thorough assessment of security needs. She said that the biggest areas externally have been identified and more security surveillance will be installed. She also said that there will be a more secure check-in system in each the buildings. The PTA will meet on Thurs., Apr. 19 to go over the budget and to discuss security enhancements.
Jehring spoke about a program called Anonymous Alert that is available to anyone in the community. Concerned citizens can file an application describing their concerns and the information will go directly to the building principal. It can be purchased through BOCES and the District will get a 70 to 80 percent return on the cost.
School Business Administrator Lorine Lamerand made a brief budget presentation. She said that the budget for 2018-19 would be approximately $21,000,000, which would include the purchase of one bus. The maximum tax levy would be 2.67 percent if additional state aid is received.
Lamerand said that costs for the Employees Retirement System (ERS) and Teachers Retirement System (TRS) went down ten percent. She also said that the health care consortium costs have decreased. Transportation state aid has increased. Lamerand closed her presentation by stating that her biggest challenge is the BOCES budget, which is looking at an $88,000 reduction.
New Technology Education Teacher
Board member Cohen announced the probationary appointment of Erik Brillon as a technology education teacher effective. His position will terminate on or before Sat., Jun. 30. Brillon holds an Educational Technology Specialist Internship Certificate and has a strong coding and computer background.
Budget Public Hearing & Vote
A public hearing will be held on the budget on Thurs., May 3 at 7 p.m. in the S.S. Seward Memorial Building, located at 51 N. Main St. in Florida.
The budget vote and election of School Board members will take place on Tues., May 15 from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the S.S. Seward Institute, located at 53 N. Main St. in Florida.
Superintendent Jehring said that she would like to make a proposal to change the make-up days in the school calendar for the 2018-19 school year. She proposes that the calendar include eight snow days as opposed to the current seven.
The next regular Board meeting will be held on Thurs., Apr. 19 at 7.30 p.m. at the S.S. Seward Memorial Building, located at 51 N. Main St. in Florida.