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Palmyra R-I students can feel a little more secure following action by the R-I Board of Education to purchase a new district-wide camera system.
The board approved the purchase from USA Wireless, Quincy, Ill., during their regular meeting last Tuesday evening, at which they also approved an agreement to allow the golf teams to use Jackson Park Golf Course, approved a Belcher Scholarship candidate, reviewed the facility use policy and approved the Return to School plan.
Superintendent Jason Harper and Jeremy Worcester, district technology director, presented and reviewed the five bids for the new camera system with the board approving the bid of $255,161.48 from USA Wireless. The item was included in the budget.
The bid includes the installation of 157 new cameras throughout the district.
In addition, the camera system will have command centers in each of the building offices and cloud access as well.
Improved coverage will be provided at all three campuses and athletic facilities, Harper noted, and the cloud coverage will allow local law enforcement and other emergency personnel to have access to the system if there would be an emergency.
“It will allow the school district to be more efficient and accurate in monitoring all three campuses of the school system,” said Harper. “It could be a huge safety tool in emergency situations, and no school district can take that lightly at this point in time.
“The system will also help with school discipline. It will be much more efficient for our principals, and will save them time and effort when addressing situations in which a camera could be helpful.”
In other business, the board approved the agreement between the school district and the Jackson Park Golf Course for use of the golf course by the Palmyra R-I boys and girls golf teams.
The boys’ team, who play in the spring, will pay $1,250 per year for use of the course, and the girls’ team, who play in the fall, will pay $750.
The team members will be able to play throughout the entirety of their season.
As part of the agreement, the teams will be expected to help participate in the course clean up days on March 25 and Oct. 28 in 2023.
Jeorgia O’Brien has been chosen by the board to be the school’s candidate for the John T. Belcher Scholarship.
The Missouri School Board Association offers 17 regional $1,000 scholarships to honor John T. Belcher who developed multiple financing programs to help the educational opportunities for students around the state.
O’Brien’s name was selected out of three anonymous applications. Only one scholarship will be awarded in the Northeast Region, Harper said.
While agreeing it’s important to have the facilities available for community use, the board and Harper discussed whether or not there needed to be any changes to the rental and use policy.
Harper will meet with the principals and secretaries to see how the process can be streamlined, and to determine if the pricing structure is fair.
The board approved the Safe Return to School Plan with no changes as the plan must be approved every six months for the school to remain eligible for ESSER funds.
Harper said he had reached out to the Palmyra R-I school nurses and the Marion County Health Department for guidance on the plan.
The board also did a first reading on 14 policy revisions from the Missouri School Board Association.
They will approve the policy changes at the January board meeting, and the policies will then be added to the board policy manual.
In addition, the board approved updates to the district section 504 manual, which provides “proper guidance and forms” for district staff and families when a student goes through the 504 process.
“Section 504 requires recipient school districts to refer a student for an evaluation for possible special education or related aids and services or modification to regular education if the student, because of disability, needs or is believed to need such services,” Harper explained.
After reviewing the board retreat notes from their Dec. 3 retreat, it was a consensus to have each board member prioritize the needs for district facilities to review at the January board meeting
They also discussed personnel and instructional needs of the district, which included establishing goals based off the Comprehensive School Improvement Plan (CSIP) to make decisions regarding facilities, personnel and instruction.
The board accepted the resignation of Steven Jones from middle school football, and hired Mark Hoerr as middle school boys track coach.
They also approved six additions to the substitute list.
The report on esports was moved to January because Tanner Adams was not able to attend.