Voting for the 2013 Millage Increase and Bond Issue will be on Tuesday, September 17.
SAFETY FIRST - THE CONCERN
In recent years, our nation has endured an increase in intruder situations in public schools which threaten the safety and security of students. In response to this, the Alma School District has taken a proactive approach to safety by evaluating the current security in our four main campuses. Our full-time School Resource Officer is assigned to the entire district, and because of this, only has limited time at each of our school buildings. All visitors to the school building are directed to main offices with signs; however, each of the schools has open hallways that could allow an intruder entry into the school without passing through the office first. In addition, we have 76 “open” classrooms. These classrooms do not have doors, and can be easily entered at anytime by someone in the building.
SAFETY FIRST - THE PROPOSAL
The Alma School District has developed a plan that will allow all of the current security issues to be addressed. The Board of Education has committed to completing the following plan if the millage increase and bond issue is passed:
• Three School Resource Officers will be added. This will provide for a full-time SRO at each campus.
• Front entrances and offices will be remodeled, so that visitors will be directly routed to the office when entering the building. Visitors will no longer be able to enter the school without first going through the office.
• Video Surveillance will be installed at each exterior door and inside all schools at key areas. This will allow the staff to monitor everyone who enters the building from every entrance.
• Open classrooms will be enclosed with lockable doors. This will provide another barrier between students and a possible intruder.
SAFETY FIRST - THE COST
The projected cost for all of the safety and security enhancements is approximately 1.4 million dollars. The district is proposing a 1.2 millage increase to fund the total cost of this project. This millage increase will be split into two parts.
The first 0.8 mills will provide for the ongoing operational expense of adding 3 additional School Resource Officers. This money will be used for salaries, benefits, and training for SROs. The other 0.4 mills will be used to fund a bond issue that will cover the costs for all of the security renovations, including the video surveillance systems and remodeling of offices and open classrooms. This bond will be paid back over a 35-year period.