By Tony Farkas
GROVETON — The bulk of discussion at the June 27 meeting of the Groveton ISD Board of Trustees centered around increasing security.
Superintendent Jim Dillard said that every school in the state of Texas is receiving new guidance from TEA and the Texas School Safety Center, which are working with the Governor’s Office, and they have created new directives for public schools to follow.
Dillard said the Groveton district was ahead of the curve, having already been in the process of doing that.
“A term being thrown about is hardening, because our schools are seen as a soft target, and I believe that the GO and TEA wants that to happen,” Dillard said. “That means exterior doors and perimeter fences need improvement, and that officials need to be more vigilant and actively monitor events inside and outside the buildings.”
He said that while schools are security-minded on a daily basis, but believes that schools in Texas have been complacent, and most of the efforts have been on COVID — keeping people safe from germs —forgetting about everyday threats of active shooters.
“We are replacing doors at the elementary school, we are replacing interior locks among other efforts,” Dillard said. “Our main job as educators is to keep kids safe.”
In other business, the board:
•approved the Gifted & Talented Program and ESL Program evaluations, run by Susan Kitchens. Dillard said the programs are in excellent shape;
•renewed contract with Axley and Rode for audit services;
•approved an agreement with ESC District 10;
•added Board Vice President Steve Ecord as a signatory for checks; and
•discussed construction projects.