(EDITOR’S NOTE: Due to a reporting error, Dr. Tom Edington offered this clarification for the article: “(Board) Attorney David Cates filled in the board about possibilities for moving forward with the school resource officer pilot program at Milford School this fall,” explained Edington. “He is planning to work out further details with Milford town attorney Jay Rigdon and Milford Police Chief Rich Miotto. We’ll bring a proposal for the board to vote on sometime prior to the beginning of the school year. The school board didn’t vote on that item Tuesday, although it was under action items. There weren’t any real issues with the proposal, just some details that need to be worked out.”)
Responding to concerns expressed by the Milford community and requests from Milford Town Council and Milford Police Department, members of the Wawasee Community School Corporation board agreed during a special meeting Tuesday to move forward with an idea to partially fund a school safety officer for Milford elementary/middle school from August through December.
Milford Police Department already maintains a presence near the school before and after school hours, WCSC Superintendent Tom Edington said. This fall, an officer will also likely be inside the school five hours a day. The officer’s exact schedule will be determined between Milford School officials and the police department and will likely not be made public.
Funding for the assignment will be split between the school corporation and the town. Edington told the board he expects Wawasee’s portion of the bill to come to between $7,000 and $10,000. After the trial period the board will take a look at the feasibility of continuing the position.
Federal grant money is available to further fund such initiatives at the primary school level. However, to receive that funding a state school safety commission must be in place. Indiana is in the process of forming such as commission.
Edington also apologized Tuesday for not referencing a “laydown,” or last-minute addition or change to the meeting’s agenda, the previous week about former Wawasee High School principal Don Harman leaving his administrative post.
“We had a reassignment of our school principal, and we had some notification issues. Sometimes during our meetings we don’t go into detail about the laydowns. I’m sorry. We did not mean for that to happen,” he said. Edington asked board attorney David Cates to help the board “get our act together and do things properly” and said they will follow his recommendations to avoid such confusion in the future.
“You know, sometimes we’ve talked about something, we’ve read about it, we’ve had other discussions with people about it and we don’t realize that everyone else doesn’t necessarily know,” added board member Mike Wilson. “But like Dr. Edington said, we’re working on it. We’re always willing to work on it.”
In other business, the board:
- Approved several personnel changes. Wawasee High School Athletic Director Steve Wiktorowski was approved as the high school’s new head basketball coach after some discussion. (See story)
- Noted the location of several new automated external defibrillator devices at the high school and middle school.
- Set dates for several upcoming events. The 2013-14 budget will be discussed at 5:30 p.m. July 30; new teacher orientation takes place on Aug. 8; a new teacher breakfast will be served at 7:30 a.m. Monday, Aug. 12, and the first day of school for students is Tuesday, Aug. 13.
For a more in-depth account of last night’s meeting, see today’s issue of The Mail-Journal.