School board discusses security

In its first gathering since the elementary school shootings in Newtown, Conn., the Central School Board spent some time discussing security measures on Monday evening, Dec. 17.

Superintendent Brian Corlett informed the board that letters had been sent home to the families of students with advice on how to discuss the shootings. He also said the work to remodel the offices at the high school and middle school were an important security improvement, and mentioned that all doors to the schools will now be locked except the front high school and middle school entrances off of Morse Street.

By locking all other doors, including those at the district office entrance, all visitors will be routed past the high school and middle school offices where they can be seen by staff. At the elementary, the district is looking into installing a camera at the entrance that will have a live feed to the office. If a proposal to expand the elementary school is put to a vote and approved next fall, design plans call for routing all visitors through the office before they enter the rest of the school.

In addition, Corlett said that he and the school principals plan on reviewing the district’s crisis plan with the Carver County Sheriff’s Office. The crisis plan was last updated four years ago with input from Sheriff’s Office investigators, mental health specialists and outside consultants. Sheriff’s Office representatives were also scheduled to attend the district’s workshop day on Dec. 21.

“As much as anyone can be in this situation, I think we’re ahead of the game because we’ve got a very good crisis plan, we’ve got a very good working relationship with local law enforcement, and above all we have a very good staff working here that we know are going to do the right things,” Corlett said.

In related discussion, board members talked about the lockdown process and questioned whether any improvements could be made to that procedure. The school held its most recent lockdown drill the day prior to the Connecticut shooting. High school Principal Tom Erickson said the drill went smoothly and all rooms were locked in a timely manner.