KND board reviews district security measures

BRETHREN — School districts everywhere are making adjustments in their security systems to make sure students are as safe as possible when attending classes.KND Schools

Kaleva Norman Dickson School District is not any different in that manner. On Monday evening the board of education reviewed steps the district has been implementing over the past several months.

“Because of the recent events nationally and locally we want to make the board aware of what is being done in the KND building,” said Cordes. “All doors, including my superintendent’s entrance door, is locked now.  We have added a few more procedures. Also if we see someone coming up with a hood or cap we ask them to take it off as we want to see who is coming in.”

Cordes said if anyone is carrying a bag they ask about what is in it.

“Given what is going on recently we ask everyone to sign in and wear a visitor’s pass if they want to come into the building now,” said Cordes. “We have good staff and student relations and that is a big key to student safety. So the kids know if something doesn’t look right, they know they can feel free to speak up.”

Safety measures that have taken place in the district are:

• All doors in the school are locked during the school day;

• New buzzer/camera system installed;

• Added procedures before entry is gained;

• Night locks installed;

• Visitors must sign in and wear a pass;

• Good staff/student relations;

• Discussed ‘See something — Say Something’ with students;

• Reminded students not to open locked doors for people even if they know them;

• Provided CRASE (Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events) training for staff; and

• Attending the Great Lakes Homeland Security Conference in May.

Cordes also gave the board an update on the budget amendments that were proposed by Manistee County School Management director of finance Kris Mauntler.

Mauntler was not at the meeting but when contacted by the News Advocate afterward, she said the KND budget is looking much better than the opening budget which projected a $172,868 deficit but has been updated to $97,868.

“We are moving in the right direction and there was an increase in revenue mainly due to the increase of 12 students over the opening budget,” said Mauntler. “The local revenue in the budget increased for E-Rate because the district was able to make a purchase for Wi-Fi equipment and we were able to get something like an 80 percent rebate on it. KND and the other schools in the county all did that through Manistee Intermediate School District tech director Roy Anciso.”

Mauntler pointed out that there were small cost increases in supplies, and bus maintenance and fuel. Despite those increases the budget did have some financial cushion built in to it. Mauntler generally adds extra funds to the opening budget in certain areas in the event of unexpected expenses like a boiler going out or another major unexpected expense. When those funds are not needed it makes the final budget look much better.

“The projected cushion was for $75,000, so overall we are looking at a recalculated budget of $97,868,” said Mauntler. “I am hoping that comes in a little better yet with the audit and final budget, but it is is moving in the right direction.”

Board also approved the purchase of a new bus.

“We have seven buses in our line haul now and four more that we have as spares. The oldest we would be taking out would be 2001 and 2003 models because we don’t need both of them,” said Cordes. “What we would be doing is purchasing just one new bus.”

Board members also got an update on the legislature from Cordes, who met with school legislative lobbyists on Monday.

“The governor was looking at funding the cyber schools at 75 percent; the legislature is restoring it to 100 percent,” said Cordes. “That would mean taking more of the school money the governor proposed and moving it back to the cyber schools.”

He said that will probably change the brick and mortar schools proposed funding from the governor from  $240 per pupil for lower funded schools and $120 for higher funded ones to what the legislature has recommended to be $200 per pupil and $100.

The board will next meet at 7 p.m. on April 9 at the Brethren School media center.

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Posted by Ken Grabowski

Ken is News Advocate’s education reporter. He coordinates coverage for all Manistee County schools and West Shore Community College. He can be reached by phone at (231) 398-3125 or by email at kgrabowski@pioneergroup.com.

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