Newton Falls – Two School Resource Officers and clear backpacks for students are among the ways Newton Falls school officials are increasing security in their buildings for the next school year.
Superintendent Justin Christopher told the Board of Education Monday that he is recommending a two-school resource officer contract in conjunction with grants and cost-saving measures within the district. You will be housed full-time in each of the two district buildings during the school year.
Christopher said cost savings of about $100,000 were realized by not replacing the elementary principal and consolidating that position with other administrative positions.
Christopher said the school officials are negotiating with the Trumbull County Sheriff’s Office and the Village of Newton Falls to have the schools have a sheriff’s department officer and a village police officer. He said an officer would cost the sheriff’s department $60,000, with costs to the village being discussed.
“We are working on ways to ensure the safety of our students and staff,” he said.
He also informed the board of a deal with PlayOn! Broadcast sports games to the school district at a cost of $3,000. Christopher said it replaced a similar previous contract that cost about $50,000 – resulting in a $47,000 savings.
Board PlayOn! Agreement with Sports Approved.
Treasurer Terry Armstrong said the district will see significant savings by switching to online education providers and other providers. He said such savings, plus the use of grant money, would pay for two school resource officers.
Christopher said the district has also issued new bookbag guidelines to increase security.
For 2022-23 only clear book bags with a clear view through all dimensions including the bottom are allowed. Colored, transparent book bags are not allowed.
Information provided to students indicates that as a further security measure, all gym bags must be checked into the high school and junior high offices prior to entering the building and may be collected at the end of the day. Boxes of musical instruments should also be checked in the offices before entering the building and carried into the band/music room daily. Students can retrieve their gear from their tape locker during class. The device case remains in the office until the end of the day.
Students are allowed to carry personal hygiene items in a small pouch in a clear bag or small purse.
In other business, the board has:
• Signed an agreement with Advance Tree Service for US$7,500 for the emergency removal of a large branch from an oak tree that was broken during a recent storm and was lying on top of other trees. Christopher said the area where the tree borders a residential property;
• Approved the purchase of a 72-passenger bus from Myers by the Ohio School Council, which received bids and funds for $104,466 less trade-ins of two vehicles valued at $2,000 and $1,500. Officials said $55,443 for the bus would be funded by the grant.
• All earned unused vacation days granted from year 2021-22 through year 2022-23 and used up to July 31, 2023 for classified employees and non-union employees;
• Zachary Swett was licensed as a Track Athletic Facility Manager for the 10th competitive season for $5,000.
Today’s breaking news and more delivered to your inbox