Area 30 students to get hands-on experience with virtual program

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Students at Area 30 Career Center participating in public safety programs will be able to sharpen their communication skills through a virtual reality.

Area 30 Executive Director Lora Busch informed the board this week the career center is the recipient of an Indiana Department of Education Rural Grant, which will provide more than $63,000 to purchase a Meggitt Virtual Training System for the Public Safety Pathway.

"The virtual training system basically trains law enforcement and EMT students on communication skills with a perpetrator, and the use of force -- or the lack thereof -- based on their ability to communicate with the individual acting as a perpetrator rather than acting as a law enforcement officer," Busch explained.

She added the program will help students with their ability to communicate in high-stress situations, as well as improve decision-making abilities.

The grant covers the cost of the equipment purchase, curriculum development, instructor training, work-based learning site development and grant management.

Busch said she anticipates the new piece of equipment to be in place by the first of the year.

In addition, Area 30 has received a $10,000 grant through the National School Lunch Program to purchase a new pass-through refrigerator.

Assistant director Chad Nunley updated the board on the Area 30 Robotics Club's recent participation in Bloomington Nov. 7.

While the students placed 12th out of 15 teams, he added this team included all new students to the program.

Area 30 will be hosting a robotics competition Saturday, Dec. 15, Nunley added.

The board voted to approve the Educational Service Centers Risk Funding Trust (ESCRFT), which covers Area 30's general liability and workman's compensation.

Board president Dawn Puckett, who is the Greencastle School Corporation superintendent, asked if the career center had looked into any other insurance programs.

Busch said no other quotes have been sought since joining the ESCRFT six years ago.

In other business, the board:

* Learned health careers students, including nursing and EMT programs, will host a blood drive Dec. 2 in the community room.

* Approved the hire of Kelsey Murtagh as a substitute, part-time custodian.

* Approved an out-of-town field trip for students to Vincennes University for a college campus visit.

Nunley noted students were chosen based on academic performance at both Area 30 and the home schools. Vincennes University will be providing a charter bus for transportation.

The next board meeting will be Tuesday, Dec. 8 at 9 a.m.

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