The 2021-2022 school year found us with one foot in the COVID door and one out. At times it felt like we were doing a two-step to Merengue music. With any luck this music is finished playing and the jukebox is unplugged. For those of you too young to know what a jukebox is, Google it.
It’s been a busy summer full of activity in preparation for the next school year. The MSHS gym floor has been repainted. It looks extremely clean! We’ll do the elementary gym next year. The elementary parking lot, central office parking lot, and the space behind the kitchen are having some work done as well as a little work in the bus barn area. Audio Enhancement is at work installing a new audio, video, and bell system in classrooms throughout the schools. Aside from all the instructional benefits this system will provide, it also has a few powerful school safety components.
We will be rolling out a couple features of Securly next year. Securly is primarily a cybersecurity system used to monitor student activity that we use, which also has a background check component. EVERY visitor who enters the building during regular school hours from 7:30-3:30 will be required to sign in and have their driver's license or photo state ID scanned. This system does a simple background check and prints a picture ID visitor badge. It takes a couple minutes. After the person is cleared they will be buzzed into the school. This does a couple things for us: it screens, and it helps us monitor who is or has been in the building. We still have some minor construction renovations to complete before this will be implemented to its full potential. It will take a little getting used to but every step we can take to keep students and staff safe is a step in the right direction. Securly Aware will be implemented this school year. When a student logs into their Chromebook in the morning it will essentially ask them how they are feeling about things. Any concerning responses will alert staff to check in with the student. It’s an additional way to check on every student everyday.
We’re in the process of installing an access control system (electric door locks). Currently, we have a door lock system composed of various electronic components and old fashioned key locks. This will help us ensure that the right people have access to our students. We are replacing windows in the MSHS classrooms. Much of the hardware is broken and the parts are obsolete. The audio system, the door lock system, and the windows are approved components of the ESSER grant in response to COVID. Strike up the Merengue music and dance because these are huge undertakings that would have been difficult and drawn out to fund on our own.
An after school program coordinator has been hired. The details of the program are being worked out and will be shared as we get closer to the start of school. It is anticipated that it will run from after school to 5:30 when the Extended Learning Time and activities bus leaves on days that school is in session. There will be a minimal cost involved in line with other similar programs across the state to assist with materials and snacks. The rest of the program will be grant funded.
See you all soon.