ADAMS TOWNSHIP — Anticipated security upgrades for Clinton-Massie schools — at least those that can be made public — include a new key-card entry system, installing metal grates on classroom door windows to stop intruders, and more cameras.
Supt. Matt Baker gave an update at Monday’s school board meeting, where board President Jeremy Lamb noted that armed staff is an option that may also be coming.
Hardening of school buildings and classrooms and enhanced protection of students and staff are a high priority for the board of education, the community and the country, said Lamb.
“We see way too many of these things happen and we have to start responding with the tools we have at our disposal,” the board president said.
If staff is permitted to bring guns on campus, that will be made public, added Lamb.
Baker said one of his biggest concerns is windows. With the Uvalde, Texas mass shooting last spring, the door glass was broken and the intruder was able to reach in to work the handle to open the door and enter the classroom.
The superintendent showed board members a mock-up of a metal grate for classroom door windows. The metal grill would cover the window from the inside so if somebody were to break the glass, they would be met with the metal that they wouldn’t be able to get past, not even using the butt of a gun, said Baker.
School district officials plan to have a prototype made, install it on one of the doors and test it.
The slots in the metal grate are being designed and measured so that a person cannot stick a rifle barrel between the bars, Baker said.
The superintendent touched on other planned security measures, including having room numbers inside the room for rattled callers to identify where they’re located, and having more windows with security film covering in order to block out sightlines.
To help pay for the upgrades, the district hopes to obtain funds through the state of Ohio.
In high school Principal Aaron Seewer’s update to the board, he noted the school has two foreign exchange students this year, both from Spain. They reside with host families while attending Clinton-Massie High School.
He said he wanted to brag about the school’s Hope Squad group of students. Hope Squad, he said, has a peer-to-peer suicide prevention and peer mediation model.
The CMHS Hope Squad underwent QPR (Question Persuade Refer) training with the school district’s mental health therapist Kelsey Fox, completing the training Aug. 26.
“Without getting too in-depth with details, I can tell you we’ve been in some very scary situations already this year, with students who have been in tough spots. And by them reaching out to each other, and those people reaching out to adults, we’ve avoided some very bad situations,” remarked Seewer.
One project the Hope Squad has taken on is to attend to the new Cornfield Café in the auditeria. Sewer described it as a $1 slushie distribution center, a cookie center, a snack bar, a place for bracelet purchasing, “a little catch-all but more than anything it’s a place to have a conversation.”
Hope Squad members have taken the lead on the new coffee shop three days a week, with a group of seniors working there the other two weekdays.
“I am very, very proud of what they [Hope Squad members] have become over the last few years,” the principal said.
Homecoming festivities are scheduled for Thursday through Saturday, Oct. 6-8. Already scheduled, by the way, is prom on April 29, 2023 at the Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati in a specially reserved room that overlooks the field.
“It should be a beautiful environment, and should be a great meal,” Seewer said.
Baker is excited about the upcoming round of Innovation Grants. Clinton-Massie has these grants listed as a budgeted item where it puts funds aside to use as matching dollars for the grants that aim specifically at educational innovation.
Treasurer Carrie Bir announced there is a full-time bus substitute position that’s available.
Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.