BRADFORD — The Bradford Board of Education went over safety improvements happening at the school as students prepare to head back to class during the board’s meeting on Monday evening.
“We’ve done a number of safety improvements to the building this summer, and we hope to do a few more,” Superintendent Joe Hurst said. “I don’t know if there’s ever a time to not talk about safety in a building, especially a school building.”
On the first day of teachers returning to the school building, they all will be trained in ALICE (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate) active shooter training, Hurst said. Hurst will approach Covington schools to see if their school resource officer would be able to conduct the training and then the Darke County Sheriff’s Office if Covington schools’ resource officer is unable to do it. Bradford staff and faculty also will receive CPR training.
Window film also has been put on every entrance and the adjacent windows, Hurst said.
The school district also is getting the panic buttons available to office employees in the building operational.
“Each of the secretaries has a button underneath their desk for a panic button. Those have never been hooked up since the building was built in 2002,” Hurst said.
He said that they will be working on getting those panic buttons working sometime next week. He added that not only will those buttons call 9-1-1, but they also will shut all of the building’s fire doors.
The district also installed additional speakers to to let students and staff who might be outside know if there is an emergency or a lockdown situation.
“We put an outdoor speaker in the front of the building, one in the back of the building … and two in the south side of the building,” Hurst said.
He said that way, if kids or staff are out at the playground or outside for some reason, they will be able to hear announcements.
The building also now has a monitor station where staff can watch all of the camera views in the school.
Hurst also demonstrated an application on his cell phone that allows him to make announcements over the building’s PA system, and it also forwards calls to office phone to his cell phone. He and a couple other administrators have this application, as it costs approximately $178 per phone.
Football program discussed
Hurst gave the board an update on the high school’s football program. This update was given prior to the board accepting the resignation of high school varsity head football coach Chris Hawk and approving John Cruse as the new head varsity football coach.
“The first scrimmage, we had 15 (players) dress, which was Tuesday last week,” Hurst said. “Second scrimmage, which was Friday last week, we had 13 dress, and that was after a coaching change obviously,” Hurst said. “Talking with the new coach, seeing practices, talking with some of the other coaches and some kids, I’m very optimistic that there will be some more kids join, but at this point … there’s 14 on the team, 13 are allowed to dress.”
Hurst said one member of the team still needs to be cleared by his doctor before he can play.
“They’re tough kids. They’re vested in the football program, and I think they’re going to be with us until they can’t be with us. I think they’re just resilient kids that will stick with it,” Hurst said.
A board member asked at what point the Cross County Conference can step in.
Board member Mike Miller was confident that as long as Bradford had enough players, the conference could not dictate to the district what to do.
“As long as we got 11 players, it’s up to us what we want to do,” Miller said.
Hurst went on to say later that CCC officials had requested a meeting with the district after there was a report saying that Bradford only had 13 players on the field. Hurst was confident that the meeting is an informational, fact-finding meeting with CCC officials.
During public comment, a resident asked if other sports would be affected, bringing up a rumor that Bradford could be kicked out of all sports — a rumor that Hurst quickly shut down.
“I expect to go to the meeting and give them information on what’s going on as opposed to really anything else,” Hurst said.
He added that he did not know how Bradford getting removed from all sports would be possible. Board members echoed similar comments.
Hurst said the CCC had previously gone over its constitution with all schools in the conference and said if a school does not have a full varsity schedule, it could be removed from the CCC for the next three years and face a financial penalty.
“Nowhere did anybody say anything about any other sports,” Hurst said.
District implementing new programs
Treasurer Carla Surber discussed with the board the possibility of the district participating in the Ohio Treasurer’s Office’s program Ohio Checkbook. The Ohio Treasurer’s Office describes OhioCheckbook.com as a “government transparency website that shows taxpayers exactly how their tax money is being spent.”
“I would like to do that project here,” said Surber, who added that she has experience participating in the program. “There’s no cost to the board.”
Surber said it is a good analysis tool that would allow the district to be transparent with its spending. People could look up items such as instructional costs and infrastructure improvement costs on the Ohio Checkbook website. The board gave its support for the project.
The district also is moving forward with its paperless solutions, and Surber said it had a successful requisition form submitted through its online program that day. Surber said that, within approximately 45 minutes of starting the requisition form, it had contacted a vendor.
The board ended its meeting by going into executive session to discuss personnel, after which it took no action.