When students return to class on Wednesday, Aug. 17, following two months of vacation, Three Rivers Union School will be implementing a new safety program.
At the regular monthly board of trustees meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 3, Isaac Warner, sixth-grade teacher, introduced a safety plan to the TRUS board that will help teachers and students be prepared in a number of scenarios including fire, flooding, air quality alerts, and animal intrusions.
Rather than reacting to something that’s already happened, TRUS has chosen to take the initiative and make a difference.
“A lot of schools don’t have a solution,” Warner explained to the board. “We are being proactive and making sure our students know what to do in a crisis. They will know where to go to protect themselves and their classmates.”
Warner’s role in implementing the safety plan is part of the administrative duties that some of the teachers will be assuming to help relieve Sue Sherwood, the district’s superintendent, school principal, and eighth-grade teacher.
Unique among the plan’s contingencies is addressing wildlife, specifically bears and rattlesnakes.
“We need to have bear spray, which is more effective than pepper spray,” Warner said. “The key is to keep it away from the kids and for teachers to be able to have ready access it when needed.”
Warner also said completion of the roof project will delayed because when the old roof was stripped down, the roofers uncovered more water damage than was expected. The remainder of the TRUS modernization funding is reliant on the state education facilities bond issue on the November ballot.
“We need that state bond to pass because that will mean we have the funding to complete the rest of these much needed improvements,” Warner said after the meeting.
The fall semester will also mark the first year of “full implementation” of one-to-one computing. Students will use new software including Google Classroom, BrainPOP, TumbleReader, and Accelerated Reader with lots more to come. Gone are the days of “See Jane run.”
Superintendent Sherwood reported there will be no staff changes for 2016-2017. A custodial assistant is expected to be hired this week to address cleanliness issues that were raised last year.
Michael Seib contributed to this article.