Tighter Security May Be In The Works For Bath County Schools
Warm Springs, VA – Tighter security may be in the works for Bath County Schools. At Monday night’s school board meeting the board took its first look at the draft of the Capital Improvement Plan, or CIP, requests for 2011 to 2016. For next year, a new bus and camera surveillance at main school entrances is on the list. School Board Chairman Eddie Ryder spoke in favor of installing cameras, saying that security cameras and buses are the most important items on the CIP because they provide for the safety of students.
He says cameras should also be installed to monitor hallways. The board expressed concern about the cost because there are more than 40 entrances at all three schools. School Superintendent Sue Hirsh suggested considering installation in phases and creating a priority order on security devices. Other security devices that may be considered include two-way audio at front doors, door closure sensors and remote door locking mechanisms.
Other items on the CIP include the renovation of the high school locker room or the construction of a field house and a new activity bus for 2012. One new bus per year is included for the next five years and paving and installation of lights in the high school parking lot is included for 2013.
Director of Technology and Administrative Services, Paul Lancaster reported on Bath’s on time graduation rate. The rate is calculated by following students from ninth grade through graduation. Bath’s overall on time graduation rate is 84.1%. Lancaster said that in a school system as small as Bath’s, even one student not graduating has a big impact on the rate.
Also on Monday night, the board voted to accept funding that’s available from the Education jobs fund legislation. The money is offered to support teacher salaries and other related costs. Funds are available on a one time basis and Bath’s allocation is about $75,000.
The board heard a report on the Rachel’s Challenge program, which works to promote positive behavior and prevent bullying in schools. This year at the high school, the program is emphasizing the positive difference one student can make. The group will be doing projects with the community this year. Activities are also underway in both elementary schools that support the Rachel’s Challenge mission.
The board voted to hire Virginia Lipes to fill the position of school nurse at the high school. And the board issued a resolution of appreciation for Dr. Martin Diamond for his provision of dental services to students in need. Dr. Diamond promotes dental health in Bath County schools and contributed financial support to keep the school fluoride mouth rinse program going after the state cut funding for it.