Safety audit finds issues
By Chris Edwards
WOODVILLE – The Woodville ISD Board of Trustees met in its regular monthly meeting on Monday evening, May 15. At the forefront of the slate of discussion items on the board’s agenda was a presentation by Stevan Sturrock, the district’s head of security.
Sturrock presented the findings of the state-conducted district-wide safety audit. The audit consisted of four parts: intruder detection; exterior doors; classroom doors and door sweeps. Sturrock said there were “some issues” with the intruder detection part; that a mock intruder was able to gain entry into the school.
Also, four doors were not locked on the interior, Sturrock said.
Sturrock said adjustments have been made to hopefully prevent any intruder susceptibility, and any other issues pertaining to the audit findings will have to be discussed by the safety committee in closed session, due to security-sensitive information.
Sturrock said a district-wide Crime Stoppers service is being set up through the East Texas Crime Stoppers network for the next school year.
He said the reporting system will be available for students to download to their phones or personal electronic devices, and the way it would work is that when someone makes a report to Crime Stoppers, the organization will send the complaint to school resource officers, who will bring the report to administration.
The service comes at no cost to the district, and Sturrock said he has talked to other districts that are using Crime Stoppers and have had success, mostly with reports and confiscation of vaping products.
New elementary campus updates
During Monday’s meeting, the WISD board also had some discussion, and received an update, about the new Pre-K–fifth grade building.
WISD Superintendent Lisa Meysembourg first entertained a discussion about possible names for the campus. At present, the campuses of Wheat Elementary and Woodville Intermediate service the Pre-K through fifth grade WISD students. Meysembourg said she was leaning toward Woodville Elementary, as the other campuses within the district are named Woodville Middle School and Woodville High School.
Board President Jimmy Tucker spoke about a resolution passed by the board preventing the naming of any WISD buildings or facilities after people. Wheat Elementary, he noted, is named after Josiah Wheat, but grandfathered in.
Meysembourg encouraged the trustees to be thinking about the campus name, and action will be taken at the next month’s board meeting.
Brayden Griffin, of Gallagher Construction Services, spoke to the board about the architectural renderings for the new campus. He said that drawings will be completed on May 31, and there will be a four- or five-week period to get updates, and get the drawings out to bidders.
Gallagher will then go through the bids, score them, and present them to the WISD board, likely in July.
‘Yondr Program’ adopted
One of the action items on Monday’s agenda that was approved by the board was to adopt a district-wide phone-free plan for students.
Meysembourg said that, at present, there have been no issues with the elementary and intermediate campuses, regarding cell phone usage, but in the middle and high school populations, issues have been prevalent.
The policy is that students can use their cell phones before school, after school or during lunch. Meysembourg said many districts are adopting a no phone policy, in which students have no access to the devices during the day.
The protocol discussed, and approved by the board, includes the use of a Yondr pouch, which magnetically seals the device in a pouch for the student to prevent use.
At the end of the school day, Meysembourg said a device at the campus’s point of exit would allow the bag to open.
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