News From Terre Haute, Indiana

April 11, 2013

Clay Schools to consider security review at tonight's board meeting

Sue Loughlin
The Tribune-Star

---- — Clay Community School Corp., similar to districts across the nation, wants to strengthen security measures in response to the Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy late last year.

The school board, which meets at 7:30 tonight, will be asked to hire a consultant to do a districtwide safety and security assessment. In addition, Superintendent Kim Tucker will provide information related to a security camera upgrade.

“We felt it was an appropriate time to have an outside professional conduct a school facilities safety audit,” Tucker said.

She will ask board approval to hire Chuck Hibbert, a well-known consultant in school security, she said. He is president of Hibbert Safe School Consulting, based in Indianapolis, although he has worked with schools nationwide. Previously, he was director of safety and security for Wayne Township Schools for 21 years.

He is a frequent speaker at the Indiana School Safety Specialist Academy, Tucker said.

He would charge $6,500 for his work, which would include a safety assessment of 10 schools, a review of school emergency plans and recommendations.

Since the December tragedy in Connecticut, law enforcement has stepped up patrols of Clay Community schools, Tucker said.

As far as a security camera upgrade, “We’ll look at what it would cost to add cameras with upgraded features,” she said. “Our camera system is fairly antiquated.”  

She’ll present some estimates, which indicate the upgrades could cost as much as $400,000 to $500,000.

Tucker said she won’t ask for any board action tonight. If the board wants to proceed, funding for upgrades would likely be included in capital projects budgets for the next few years.

n In a separate matter, Tucker also will ask board approval to establish a Clay Community Schools health clinic.

Clay Schools would work with the Wabash Valley West Central Indiana Trust, a consortium of several school districts. The district is a member of the insurance trust.

If the district moves forward, the trust would help with upfront costs to remodel a facility and provide equipment. A trust committee, working with the school district, also would put out a request for proposals to find a health care provider to operate a clinic.

The goal would be to open a health clinic by August, if the board decides to move forward, Tucker said. Employees and family members who have health insurance through the school district would receive free medical visits, free lab work and free generic medications, Tucker said.

All Clay Community School employees — including those who don’t have insurance through the district — could participate in the health clinic’s wellness component, she added.

A health clinic would save employees on out-of-pocket costs, and longer term, it would save the school district in overall health care costs.

The Vigo County School Corp. also sponsors a health and wellness clinic.



Sue Loughlin can be reached at 812-231-4235 or sue.loughlin@tribstar.com.