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As school officials begin the 2019-2010 academic year, they are also looking to the future.

School superintendent Rick Neal, spoke to teachers and staff Wednesday, Aug. 7, at the annual teacher fair.

First day of School

Tuesday, Aug. 13

"There are four intangibles that make a statement about great schools," Neal said.

First, school safety and security -- "We have an obligation to create that safe environment so our kids can feel safe and learn."

Secondly, counseling and communication are essential. "We're now in a world that our counseling and communication has to be in sync with the needs of our kids. We have brought on a director of counseling and an assistant superintendent of special services. We're really working on meeting that need for our students."

Thirdly, technology has to "be at a supreme level for our kids to learn and meet the needs of the 21st Century."

And, finally, "strong instructional support -- right now more than ever, we've got to support and give unbelievable strategies to our teachers so they can perform."

And, while preparing for this academic year, Neal is also looking to the future with the construction of the new high school, which is a good example of putting security and safety at the forefront, designing security into the building from the beginning. The district has spent $4 million over the past several years on school safety installing holding tanks, camera systems, tempered glass in each and every building on campus.

"When we first started this work five years ago, none of our buildings had security in place," he explained. There were limited camera systems at the high school and middle school, but none at the Intermediate or Primary school buildings.

"The one thing we've done in this building that we've done differently," he said of the new high school, "is that every person on our administrative team has been involved in the design, in the needs for the building. We've really broken it up to what we need technology wise to make instruction better in this building."

While being fiscally responsible, he said they have not scrimped on school safety and security.

"We're excited about it and we're moving forward," Neal said. "C.R. Crawford Construction has done a fantastic job fighting the weather issues we've had over the last seven months. We're getting the foundation completed."

He said there was a problem with the concrete which was removed is being repoured and once that is complete, steel should be erected.

"This pushes us back about a month but we should start moving forward pretty quickly," he said.

General News on 08/07/2019

Print Headline: Security is paramount

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