The Pulaski County School Board has just completed a series of meetings designed to assess and revise school policies and procedures as they pertain to student safety and school security. The School Board first met with school administrators during a work session on August 2, 2022 and followed that with a policy discussion at their regular meeting on Tuesday, August 9, 2022. Provided below is a list of topics that have been addressed:
· Board members reviewed school security audits, that were conducted by the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office and Virginia State Police in 2018, to determine which of the remaining large ticket items might be addressed with available school capital funding.
· Board members reviewed with building principals their individual school’s discipline data to include specific incidents that were reported to law enforcement. Discussions were held about the types of consequences that were handed down for major disciplinary infractions and whether or not additional resources might be helpful.
· Each principal presented School Board Members with copies of their school’s safety plan, which had been developed last month with input from local law enforcement, fire departments, and other first responders. The School Board approved all of these plans in open session during the meeting on August 2, 2022.
· Central office administrators reviewed School Board policies pertaining to the student code of conduct, discipline for special education students, relations with local law enforcement, and guidelines for suspension & expulsion from school.
PCPS superintendent, Dr. Kevin Siers, stated “The safety of our students and staff is always our top priority going into each school year. We are fortunate to be in a community that shares this priority which allowed us to be one of the first school divisions in the state to put a resource officer at each school. Thanks to a great working relationship with local law enforcement, our faculty and staff members are some of the best trained educators around and we will continue to work to make sure that our schools are as safe as possible.”
“Pulaski County Public schools had state and local law enforcement complete a security audit of all county schools in the spring of 2018 and began making safety and security improvements immediately thereafter,” stated PCPS School Board Chairwoman, Dr. Paige Cash. “Working with the sheriff’s department, we were also able to place a school resource officer in every school in the county. With the cooperation of stakeholders in the community, we will continue to make our county schools as safe as they can possibly be.”
PCPS will begin addressing some of the safety related school capital projects as they prepare for the 2023-2024 budget year.