School district addresses safety concerns after Reno shooting |

School district addresses safety concerns after Reno shooting

Christine Kuklica
Recent events involving school safety has prompted the Churchill County School District to beef up security measures at schools. AtNuma Elementary School, for example, a taller fence separates the stuents from the" outside."

The Churchill County School District Safety and Security Committee met Wednesday morning to discuss concerns that were brought up the night of the Community Forum back in November.

The representation from the CCSD was overwhelming during the meeting. The principals from each school were present as well as Superintendent Dr. Sandra Sheldon, CCSD trustees, a representative from PoolPact and Apex SCF, as well as other community key players.

The safety concern arose new discussion back in November after the Sparks middle school shooting. Concerned parents from the community forum addressed the possibility of concealed weapons on campus and exit strategies for students if they are outside, walking into school or on the playground if something happens, referring to the shooting in Sparks.

Brian Byrd, director of maintenance, presented information to the participants about what CCSD has completed so far in improving the safetyof the schools. Byrd said that last summer the school district made huge progress in upgrading safety measures within the schools. He said single point entries have been completed at some schools, increase perimeter fence at several sites and the amount of cameras within the district, security mirrors are being used in some facilities and site lighting has been increased.

“Our plans for the future are to put a single point entry at Numa Elementary, more comprehensive video surveillance and looking into how to increase perimeter fencing,” Byrd said.

Steve Russell, chairman of the Security and Safety committee addressed the proactive response that is being encouraged at the schools and within the community with the See Something Say Something program. Russell said the program ask students, teachers and community members to report any suspicious activities or changes they notice. He said people can email, call or text to inform specific individuals involved with the program about what is going on so it can be looked into. Information about the program can be found on the CCSD website.

Ann Wiswell, a risk management representative from PoolPact, discussed some of the security and risk management services her company could offer. Wiswell said her company would be contracting with The National School Safety Advocacy Council.

“They have done site assessments, table top exercises, and post incident consulting for many school districts within the country,” Wiswell said.

She said her company could send out site assessors to each school within the district to be looked over, present their findings and assist on how to improve it.

CEO of Apex SCF, Jeff May, spoke with the attendees about the training program his company offers.

May said the program his company provides is a very unique program. He said their motto is “If you knew tomorrow you had to fight for your life, would you train today?”

Furthermore, May said his company offers a variety of training that would be specific to CCSD needs. He said they would train for scenarios that could happen in a school situation, how to defuse the situation, how to protect yourself and others near you and just the general of handling certain situations in order to protect yourself and others.

May recommended the training should be maintained and not just practiced once.

The conclusion of the meeting had all attendees in compliance with looking into the services that both PoolPact and Apex SCF offer to see how CCSD could utilize and benefit from them to make Churchill County schools a safer place.