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St. Joseph-Ogden Superintendent Jim Acklin said he feels the school district acted appropriately regarding alleged threats made against the school by a St. Joseph resident.
Acklin updated the board of education regarding the issue on Jan. 28.
Acklin said that while the threat was made on Jan. 12, the district was not informed until Jan. 14 around 10 a.m.
“There was a lengthy discussion regarding closing campus for lunch on Jan. 14,” Acklin said.
Acklin said the Champaign County Sheriff’s Office told the district there was no immediate threat to students so they decided to have open lunch.
“I think we would have closed campus if we had to do it again,” he said. “I don’t think our students were in danger—my own son was out there amongst all the other students—but I think due to the perception I think we would have closed campus that day.”
Acklin told the board that while he feels the school acted appropriately that if the issue happens again he believes the district will react differently next time.
On Jan. 15, the administration held an all school assembly and announced the change in lunch protocol.
Students now enter through the east doors instead of the north doors after lunch.
“I think that is a good change,” Acklin said.
Principal Brian Brooks also discussed the active shooter training he attended in January.
Brooks said he had registered for the class in December and found it useful.
“It was really good information but it was sad any of us were sitting there,” he said. “One of the things we learned that some of the stuff we did with the situation prior to this, such as documenting, was a really, really positive thing.”
Brooks said the class covered what to do if a someone does get into the building. Brooks said he feels positive about the safety plan the district has in place and he is looking at doing a program with the staff in the future.
Board member Jim Rein said he thought the district handled it the best way they could.
Board president Les Hoveln agreed.
“I’ve heard nothing but positive comments from the community,” he said. “I think people all realized that you can’t guarantee anyone’s child a risk free situation here or anywhere else but I think people feel good about their kids being here in this school and that is gratifying.”
Also at the meeting, the board also approved a proposal from Jim Gleason from GHR Engineers for his firm to create a planning document to help guide future facility upgrading and maintenance decisions.
The document will cover the four vintages of structures in a disciplined manner and identify costs, needs and prioritize them.
The document can be used by future boards and administrations and can be updated in the future.
SJO will pay GHR Engineers $9,564 for the document.
Also at the meeting, the board voted to approve Nic Haab as head boys’ track coach, Mitch Pruemer as assistant baseball coach, Luke Hadden as assistant baseball coach and Kody Hass as assistant baseball coach. Patrick Ford resigned as boys’ head track coach.
The board voted to reimburse Amanda Moss for administrative course work to be taken in the spring of 2013.
The board also voted to give John Park two days of unpaid leave in April for a trip.
It was also announced at the meeting that the rules governing principal evaluations have been moved to March 1 instead of Feb. 1.