ADAMS TOWNSHIP — Security upgrades planned for the Clinton-Massie schools — at least those that can be made public — include a new key card entry system, the installation of metal grilles on classroom door windows class to stop intruders and more cameras.
Supt. Matt Baker made the point at Monday’s school board meeting, where board chairman Jeremy Lamb noted that armed staff is an option that may also arise.
Strengthening school buildings and classrooms and strengthening the protection of students and staff is a high priority for the school board, the community and the country, Lamb said.
“We see way too many of these things happening and we need to start responding with the tools we have,” the board chairman said.
If staff are allowed to bring weapons onto campus, that will be made public, Lamb added.
Baker said one of his biggest concerns was with the windows. With the mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas, last spring, the door glass was shattered and the intruder was able to reach out to open the door and enter the classroom.
The superintendent showed council members a mock-up of a metal grille for the classroom door windows. The metal grill would cover the window from the inside, so if someone broke the glass, they would run into the metal they couldn’t get through, without even using the butt of a gun, Baker said.
School district officials plan to have a prototype made, install it on one of the doors, and test it.
The slots in the metal grate are designed and measured so that a person cannot stick a gun barrel between the bars, Baker said.
The superintendent spoke of other planned safety measures, including having room numbers inside the room so shaken callers can identify where they are, and having more windows with a security film to block sight lines.
To help pay for the improvements, the district hopes to secure funds through the state of Ohio.
In high school principal Aaron Seewer’s update to the board, he noted that the school had two foreign students this year, both from Spain. They reside with host families while attending Clinton-Massie High School.
He said he wanted to brag about the school’s group of Hope Squad students. Hope Squad, he said, has a peer-to-peer suicide prevention and mediation model.
CMHS Hope Squad completed QPR (Question Persuade Refer) training with school district mental health therapist Kelsey Fox, completing training Aug. 26.
“Without going into details, I can tell you that we have already experienced very scary situations this year, with students who have had a difficult time. And by reaching out to each other, and those people reaching out to adults, we avoided some really bad situations,” Seewer remarked.
One of the projects the Hope Squad has taken on is tending to the new Cornfield Café in the auditorium. Sewer described it as a $1 slushie distribution center, a cookie center, a snack bar, a place to buy bracelets, “a bit of a catch-all but more than anything, it’s a place to have a conversation.”
Members of Hope Squad took over the new cafe three days a week, with a group of older people working there the other two days of the week.
“I’m very, very proud of what they [Hope Squad members] have become over the past few years,” the principal said.
Homecoming festivities are scheduled for Thursday through Saturday, October 6-8. Already scheduled, by the way, the prom will take place on April 29, 2023 at the Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati in a specially reserved room that overlooks the field.
“It should be a nice environment and should be a good meal,” Seewer said.
Baker is excited about the next round of innovation grants. Clinton-Massie has these grants listed as a line item where she sets aside funds to use as matching dollars for grants that specifically target educational innovation.
Treasurer Carrie Bir announced that a full-time substitute position is available.
Contact Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.
Clinton-Massie High School Principal Aaron Seewer is very, very proud of the members of Hope Squad.
Supt. Matt Baker shows an enlarged model of a metal grille for classroom door windows.