PIEDMONT -- The Piedmont school district is taking a hard look at all its safety and security procedures in light of the recent Newtown tragedy.
That could include keeping a tighter rein on visitors on campus, restricting drop-off and pickup sites and perhaps even closing campuses during school hours, a concept Superintendent Connie Hubbard said is being met with some resistance.
Hubbard discussed all aspects of safety procedures with the board at its Jan. 9 meeting. Emergency contacts are being beefed up with checks to see that all intercoms are in working order, that parents get email or instant messaging on their smartphones and that every school has handheld radios to communicate in addition to cell phones. All visitors or workers are expected should check in at the school office and be issued badges, in addition to teachers and aides.
"Parents and volunteers often access classrooms and yards without any formal check-in," Hubbard said in her report.
Efforts to close campuses, all of which have multiple points of entry, are resisted by some "who view the schools as a community asset," Hubbard said.
Risk managers are assessing all security aspects at the schools, including the installation of internal locks in classrooms. Building keys get lost by groups that use the school facilities; staff will be reminded about locking doors and windows and setting the alarms.
Hubbard said good support systems are in place for students
"We have more work to do," she said.
Repairs at Wildwood: In other business, heavy December rains caused roof leaks at Wildwood Elementary School, and potential leaks at Beach Elementary School. The district had planned to defer roof repairs until summer, but stepped up the work to winter break.
Pete Palmer, of Vila Construction, told the board water was running into the electric junction boxes at Wildwood. Remedial work was done to check for any mold, which was not detected. The rubberized paper under roof tiles is deteriorated at Wildwood and at Beach. Palmer will quickly solicit bids for a contractor to do repairs at both schools, approved by the board.
District finances: Auditor Jill Stenton, of Vavrinek, Trine & Day, reviewed its findings of the district's financial practices, giving a "clean opinion." The audit covered the period July 1, 2011, through June 30, 2012.
"All is in order, which is amazing," Stenton said, adding "this is the direct result of management and care. Management is cooperative and a pleasure to work with."
Stenton noted some minor findings that need attention, which Assistant Superintendent Michael Brady said would be addressed.