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Fillmore Central School Board discusses student safety

Fri, Dec 21st, 2012
Posted in Harmony Education

The Fillmore Central School Board discussed concerns people had brought to them about the safety of the school in light of the recent school shooting in Connecticut. Superintendent Richard Keith said he had received a few phone calls about the subject.

“We don’t want to turn the school into a fortress, but we want to be secure,” said Keith.

Keith said the entrances for SAC and daycare need to be looked at. The one for daycare is locked right now all the time, with a camera and a buzzer system. He said they are looking at options for replacing locks on classroom doors. Right now, they must be locked from the outside. It would be nicer to have a door that can be key locked from the inside, but still able to be opened from the inside.

Dean Chris Mensink said they now have numbers for all of the entryways to make things easier for emergency responders. They have to have five lock-down drills a year, as well as fire and tornado drills.

Mensink also mentioned that the fire department needs to do a walk-through in the building to be sure everyone knows the safest exits. Right now, the closest exit for the daycare is a stairway, and it would be difficult for the staff to take all of the infants down the stairs in an emergency.

High School Principal Heath Olstad said he has been very impressed with the staff and their responses, especially when there was an actual fire at the high school a couple of years ago. He said they take the drills very seriously.

All of the doors at the high school are locked during the day, except for the two main doors, which are opened during the lunch hour.

“I’m happy with where we’re at, but that doesn’t mean it couldn’t be better,” said Olstad.

Each teacher has an Emergency Preparedness booklet with instructions on how to handle every emergency situation.

Levy Approved

The board approved the 2012 payable 2013 tax levy at their regular meeting on December 18. Superintendent Richard Keith presented the board with information about the budget and the levy. There were no citizens present for the Truth in Taxation hearing.

Keith mentioned that the district had put a lot more money into technology this year, and also had to hire a third kindergarten teacher, and there is a slight increase (around two percent) in the general fund budget.

The levy was approved at $1,464,993.13, which is a 9.64 percent decrease over last year.


A contract extension was approved for Connie Berg, Early Childhood Special Education teacher. She was increased from .8 FTE to full time due to student needs.

An overload was approved for Brady Grewe for Phys. Ed. during the second semester.

A mental health service contract was approved for the Root River Program. The mental health professional will be used as needed.

Other Business

John Torgrimson thanked everyone, as it was his last meeting as a board member. He said it has been a privilege serving on the board. He added that he has a lot of confidence in the current board, and thanked the teachers for all of their hard work. The board thanked Torgrimson for his years of service.

Seven bids were approved for work on the HVAC system at the high school this spring.

The next school board meeting will be held January 22, 2013, at 5:30 in Harmony. They will hold the organizational meeting at the same time as the regular meeting.

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