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Board hears update on school safety

Madison Board of Education heard a third-party professional’s review on safety measures in Madison City Schools.

At the board’s Nov. 8 meeting, findings from Terry E. Odum, a certified protection professional (CPP) and parent at James Clemens High School, commended collaboration among school resource officers (SRO) and administrators. “I can’t imagine there is a stronger administrator/SRO partnership in the state of Alabama,” Odum stated in his report.

In addition, Text to Protect has succeeded in relaying threats to Madison Police Department for alerting school administrators, Dennis James said. James is coordinator of safety, security, communications, and student services.

“Administrators and SROs agree today’s student social media experience has a growing impact on school safety and may be their number one problem,” Odum’s report stated.

Odum determined that the alternative school, now housed at James Clemens, is conducive to learning in a safe environment. “Programs like Challenge Day and ‘Mad Dog’ Messmer’s visit have long-lasting impact,” James said. The district is planning a system-wide drill of full emergency capabilities.

From the Student Advisory Committee, Mugdha Mokashi and Priya Ganatra from Bob Jones High School said students transferring to James Clemens had a “smooth transition.” However, upperclassmen couldn’t access all advanced placement classes but “either enrolled online or at Bob Jones,” Ganatra said.

The advisory committee hopes to nurture in-city camaraderie with cross-school picnics and possibly “joining up for prom” because of Von Braun Center scheduling conflicts.

The “Patriot Pages” staff and advisor Brandy Panagos unveiled their multimedia design. “We have to keep in touch with the community and keep it localized,” Bob Jones student editor Adam Dodson said. The website is averaging 3,000 ‘hits’ per week, student editor Jasmine Duncan said.

Math teams and coaches Julie Goldston, Sean Bardell and Kimberly Cox were recognized for outstanding results in the 2012 National Math Fall Startup.

Robert Lipinski, coordinator of auxiliary services, said digital access to textbooks and teacher resources lacks consistency. In the future, a directory will allow simplified access to digital/online textbooks and resources. Lipinski also explained that the Alabama State Assessment in Plan 2020 will require end-of-course testing incrementally in upcoming years.

In other business, the board approved its proposed code of conduct and the September 2012 financial and bank reconciliation statements.

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