Searcy School District Improves Facilities and Implements New Safety Measures
While teaching and learning happen mostly during the months of August through May, many other activities are happening during the months of June and July in the Searcy School District. We have a responsibility to our students, staff members, and community to provide a safe and comfortable school environment. Thus, the summer months are an opportune time to improve the facilities and processes throughout the district.
Regarding facility improvements, Searcy School District is proud to say that the transportation department has a new office, and bus drivers can enjoy a conference and break room before or after their morning and afternoon routes. The district has also ordered seven brand new buses to be used for trips and routes, and one that is specifically designed for special needs students. For those who enjoy watching basketball, the Ahlf Junior High School gymnasium received a face-lift over the summer. New bleachers replaced the original ones and wall padding was added for ballgames, physical education classes, and school-wide assemblies. Finally, our maintenance department has a new storage facility that houses all the equipment our maintenance and grounds department uses to keep our buildings and grounds manicured and safe.
Speaking of safety, two of our elementary school playgrounds had borders installed surrounding the play equipment. This one foot border holds more padded material under the equipment in order to help prevent student injury. We at Searcy Public Schools consider the safety of our students of the highest priority. The district has adopted a new system called the Rave Panic Button System that all employees can access in case of an emergency. Employees will download an app that will provide them with instantaneous notification of intruders, fire, or emergency medical situations, and 911 is directly called. Dr. Randy Byrd, assistant superintendent, remarks “it should reduce our response time to any emergency situation, thus enhancing the safety of our students and staff.”
Additionally, all employees participated in the ALICE (alert, lockdown, inform, counter, evacuate) professional development training refresher course that was implemented last year. Finally, the district has added a third school resource officer (SRO) to be housed at Southwest Middle School. Corporal Todd Myers joined the SRO team along with police officers Don Davis and Michael Mosher.
Obviously, it was a busy summer preparing for the 2015-2016 school year. We are grateful to be able to offer these needed facility improvements and safety services to our students, staff members, and school patrons.