Alvord ISD students will head back to class next month with a little more security, thanks to the installation of safety vestibules at the high school and elementary campuses.
The vestibules, which are fabricated off-site, hauled to the school and installed, will channel visitors to the campus past the office, where they can undergo security checks before entering the campuses. The new vestibules, which were to be installed on Friday, will be similar to the one already in place at the middle school campus.
“The next step to consider is security cameras,” Superintendent Bill Branum said. “We can take care of the middle school pretty well ourselves, but at the elementary we’ll need to use a vendor – at least for the external cameras. We ought to have a professional installer at least to punch the holes.”
Finishing that phase could cost as much as $45,000, although Branum said if the district does much of the work with its own personnel, they may be able to cut that cost in half.
Board President Kevin Wood asked what it would cost to fully address all of the district’s security needs.
“Probably $100,000 in round numbers,” Branum said. He said he was researching card-reader entry systems and has found one that will not require changing out a large amount of door hardware.
“We would still need to replace 10 or 12 exterior doors over time,” he said.
Wood said campus security is one of his biggest concerns.
“I just have a horror of getting a phone call and hearing we’ve had a child misplaced,” he said.
Meeting in regular session with only five of the seven trustees present, the board took less than an hour to hear the superintendent’s report and approve a list of insurance bids and policy updates.
They renewed the current auto, liability and property insurance policy for $47,513 through the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB). The premium was “relatively flat” compared to last year, with the district getting a $5,300 credit because claims were low. They also locked in a new three-year rate on worker’s compensation insurance with Claims Administrative Services Inc.
Branum said the premium, which is based on payroll, is down $600 to $800 from last year because the district’s payroll went down.
Also approved were bids for fuel, propane, instructional, athletic, custodial and maintenance products – most of it involving simply adding new vendors to the list of approved vendors, with the purchases to be made from catalogs based on need. The fuel price is based on Fuelman’s rack price, and the propane price is 15 cents more than Wise Service Co.’s cost.
The board repealed all of its previously adopted policies and adopted a new package of local policies prepared by the TASB Policy Service. They inserted a local policy regarding communication, naming Branum as the district’s spokesman with regard to matters that impact the district as a whole. That includes personnel, press releases, the calendar and other matters but does not prevent coaches or sponsors from providing game and event results to the media.
“It is intended to apply to district items and decisions made at the board level, as well as provide a standardized message to the public,” the policy says.
Two new teachers were hired for Alvord High School, filling out the faculty for the coming year. Stephen Simpson will teach math at AHS, and Danny Thomas will teach social studies and coach – both on one-year probationary contracts.
Simpson has been a graduate assistant at the University of North Texas and is close to completing his master’s degree. Thomas, who taught at Nocona, did not teach this past year so he could take care of family matters.
Student and faculty handbooks and the Code of Conduct were all approved, with the exception of lunch prices, which will be set at the August meeting after cafeteria bids come in.