By KATHRYNE RUBRIGHT
Regardless of whether voters approve Findlay City Schools’ safety and security levy next month, the district can count on some money for safety training.
Findlay has received a one-year state grant of about $31,000, which the district will use for ALICE (alert, lockdown, inform, counter, evacuate) training, and “hopefully” for training school resource officers, Superintendent Ed Kurt told the school board Monday.
If the five-year, 1.5-mill levy passes, the district would receive $1,226,000 annually to be spent on resource officers, safety and surveillance training, and equipment and mental health.
The grant was part of $12 million awarded by Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine’s office. All school districts received “the greater of $2,500 or $5.65 per student to spend toward school safety programs and training,” according to the attorney general’s office.
Other local districts received the following amounts: Ada, $4,774; Arcadia, $3,265; Arlington, $3,164; Bluffton, $6,305; Cory-Rawson, $3,079; Fostoria, $10,158; Liberty-Benton, $8,011; McComb, $3,858; North Baltimore, $3,446; Riverdale, $5,559; Van Buren, $6,034; and Vanlue, $2,500.
Separately, board member Susan Russel said the board’s insurance committee has met with the district’s new consulting company, AssuredPartners. Employees have been informed of the change and of the schedule for employee meetings with AssuredPartners “because we want all of our employees to be better consumers of insurance information, insurance in general,” Russel said.
This change is one way the district can save money, Russel said.
The district also eliminated its most costly insurance plan in the teachers’ contract approved in August. The contract also includes $500 payments to teachers who attend one of the insurance meetings.
Board member Jane Robertson said she hoped staff would attend so that they are educated about their insurance in advance of needing to use it.
“A lot of times people say, ‘Oh, I don’t use my benefits. Oh, I don’t use my benefits,’ and then something happens, and they don’t know,” she said.
Separately, Martin White, director of technology, reported that the Chromebook rollout is going “really well.”
The district purchased 1,380 Chromebooks for students in grades three, six and nine, and will continue passing out the devices to students in those grades each year until all students in grades three and above have a laptop.
An optical fiber loop, which has been running since about the start of last school year, provides enough capacity for all students and staff to access the internet simultaneously.