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Wednesday, Sep. 2, 2015

Parent education key to safe schools

Friday, January 5, 2007

The Putnam County School Safety Specialist Sub-Committee has several items on its agenda it has targeted as main concerns.

On Thursday, the eight member sub-committee met at the Miller Education Center to discuss ways to improve consistency among the six county schools.

The group, along with other county safety specialists, have discussed the possibility of parent education nights.

On Thursday, the sub-committee agreed to have Old National Trail representative Tom Standers look into the possibility of putting together a community educational fair.

At its December meetings, Standers informed the committee of such a fair that took place in Vigo County.

He said agencies provided food for the children and parents in attendance. In addition, face painting with clowns took place and there were games for children. Standers also said several emergency agencies had vehicles at the event for children to see.

"It's just to bring the community together," Standers said Thursday.

He said the event brought in nearly 6,000 people two years and close to 3,000 last year.

"It is a way to promote the idea of police being good instead of bad," Standers said. "The focus on bringing the kids out is what brought out the parents."

The committee had mulled over the suggestion for one month and on Thursday, the sub-committee agreed to delve further into the issue, with the possibility of bringing such an event to Putnam County.

It was suggested Thursday to have the event early in the year, possibly before the school year begins. South Putnam High School Assistant Principal Dan Bain said that might work better for parents and children.

"It's kind of like a kickoff for the year," Bain said. "We could do it every year, if we could put it together."

Creating a parent education night was one of seven items Greencastle Middle School Principal and sub-committee chairperson Shawn Gobert had suggested Thursday. The remaining six included:

-- Better communication, especially with ONT employees,

-- School safety drills and exercises,

-- Including Area 30 and ONT in planning and activities,

-- Student information (including medical information, phone numbers, contact information, etc.) on computer memory sticks,

-- Continued National Incident Management System (NIMS) training, and

-- Further review of school crisis plans.

On Thursday, Putnam County Public Health Emergency Preparedness Coordinator Steve Walters suggested the sub-committee put together 5-7 person teams to conduct surveys with the six schools.

He suggested two phases in the plan, including reviewing school crisis plans, and conducting on site surveys following a mock disaster drill.

Walters said the officials would come to the school to watch a drill and then make a review on site.

North Putnam Community School Corp. Assistant Supt. Kevin Emsweller recommended that his corporation be the "guinea pig," for a possibly March on site survey, if Walters could put together a team that quickly.

The sub-committee agreed to attempt to put together the team by February and possibly conduct a on site review in March.

The committee meets regularly on the first Thursday of each month. Its next meeting is scheduled for 9:30 a.m., Feb. 1.



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