District officials continuing school safety efforts
The Aiken County School District continues to look at school security following the tragic shooting at a Connecticut elementary school, said Deputy Superintendent David Caver at a Board of Education meeting Tuesday.
The shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School had resulted in the deaths of 20 children and six adults.
“The first thing we did afterwards was having our principals look at buildings in terms of security,” Caver said.
The district has contacted the Aiken County Sheriff’s Department and the Aiken Department of Public Safety to set up a meeting next week.
“We’re looking at plans, such as drills, and will ask for their experience,” Caver said.
“North Augusta (Public Safety) has already done a walkthrough through the schools there. We’ll get some feedback about any improvements we can get from them.”
District officials earlier had placed an emphasis for the current school year on putting cameras in those schools that don’t have them.
Now they’re changing focus about doing cameras and buzz-ins. Kevin Chipman, the director of facilities construction, is working on that effort.
Tad Barber, a new School Board member, suggested that law enforcement officers could drive through school parking lots periodically. That would provide increased security, he said.
In calls from schools about possible problems on campus, patrols have responded when needed, Caver said. Officers at times would volunteer to come by.
“The tragedy in Connecticut has caused us to have tightened awareness and look at our schools more closely,” Caver said.
In a brief presentation, district technology staffers Terry Hallman and Mark Cota explained the value of iTunes U – a component of iTunes that is far removed from playing music purchased by consumers.
The name iTunes U indicates the scores of universities that have sites available with a variety of podcasts and other information.
The program also offers many school districts on the site, now including the Aiken County School District.
Teachers can find information designated for teachers about common curriculum lesson plans and technology to help them in the classroom, Hallman said.
“Teachers can make their own books that follow our curriculum,” she said.
“What we hope one day is to upload their books.”