School security officers remain in discussion stage in Franklin

As the upcoming school year approaches, Franklin Area School Board members continued to discuss at their Monday meeting the logistics of placing school security officers throughout the district.

The conversation took place in an executive session, as it also did at last week’s work session meeting, as the board prepares for a tentative vote in September.

The vote would decide how to allocate the $114,000 set aside in the budget for school security. Previously, board members discussed hiring a school resource officer or security guards for the junior/senior high school and three elementary schools.

The board has been working with the Venango County sheriff’s department in regard to a possible contract with the school district.

New security measures that have been put in place over the summer include cameras at the elementary schools and an online visitor-identification process.

The online visitor-management system allows every school to instantly screen visitors by using their photo ID.

The process can screen against the national registered sex-offender database and can print visitor name tags, Superintendent Pamela Dye said.

Previously, visitors had to only provide their ID to main office staff and sign in on a guest booklet, Dye said.

The superintendent said she heard of the visitor-management system from Venango Technology Center in Oil City, where the vocational school has been utilizing the system since last year.

In other business

– Board members voted 7-1 in favor of allowing administration to move forward with purchasing furniture for the new administrative offices in an amount not to exceed $45,000.

Capital funds will be utilized to purchase the furniture, board President Brian Spaid said.

Business manager Jackie Dutchcot said she has been working to find the best prices and highest quality for the furniture to ensure they last long term.

– Alicia Weiss was hired as a seventh-grade English teacher.

– Justin Bandi, the district’s technology facilitator, resigned from his position last week.

– Dye was appointed as the school safety and security coordinator.

– A Reading is Fundamental grant was accepted in the amount of $11,375.

The next meeting of the Franklin Area School Board is scheduled at 7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 17, at the junior/senior high school library.