By Kristin Bednarski
Batavia Local School District is continuing to make safety changes at the elementary, middle and high schools.
Batavia Middle School Assistant Principal T.J. Glassmeyer, who has taken the lead on safety projects at the district, updated board members at their March 18 meeting on what has been done most recently.
Glassmeyer said he met with the village of Batavia Police Department to discuss safety measures for the district.
Glassmeyer said Police Chief Mike Gardner discussed response times to each of the schools and additional patrols that have been put in place at the schools. Glassmeyer also said the village now has two officers on duty.
“Officers will have an increased presence,” Glassmeyer said.
He said they also discussed plans for shutting down roads and communicating with parents if an incident were to occur.
Glassmeyer said neither the village police department nor the Clermont County Sheriff’s Office were in favor of the Alice Training, which is a form of training that teaches students and teacher to respond to an incident in the school.
He said the departments are concerned about some of the components in the Alice Training where teachers and students to distract an threatening individual.
Glassmeyer said he will be attending several trainings in the coming months that will cover different safety models.
In addition, Glassmeyer said they conducted a lock-down drill at the middle school. He said the elementary school and high school will also have drills coming up.
“One thing we notice was that teachers had to go outside to lock their doors,” Glassmeyer said about the drills.
Glassmeyer said not being able to lock the classroom doors from inside was a risk for teachers and students.
He said replacing the locks in the building would cost $6,000-$7,000, however, they did find a solution to the problem using magnetic strips.
“We can use the magnetic strip to cover the lock,” Glassmeyer said. “And it can be removed.”
Glassmeyer said the doors can be locked and the magnetic strips cover the locks to prevent them from locking all the time. He said in an emergency, a teacher can remove the strip quickly to close and lock the door.
“Custodians go around in the morning and put a strip on the door and make sure it is locked,” Glassmeyer said.
Glassmeyer said they are still working on re-working the entryway at the middle school to make it safer. He said they are also looking at what can be done at the high school.
District Treasurer Michael Ashmore said once they get an architect on board for the new school building project, they will look at what it would take to design a safer entrance at the high school.
For more information about the district, or safety updates, visit www.bataviaschools.org.