CANTON TWP. -- Security and safety for students and staff in Canton Local Schools was the top priority for board members and administrators at the regular meeting on Monday night.
During the meeting, Tim Ewing, director of transportations, buildings and grounds, brought in representatives of ProTech Security to talk about new security systems being installed in the district. Art Morrison, operations manager, reported work was being done to install security systems at Faircrest Memorial Middle School and Walker Elementary. Six cameras, along with other equipment, will be installed in each school. In the case of an emergency, ProTech will be able to provide local law enforcement agencies with information such as inside view and video of the schools, maps and two-way audio. They would be able to remotely shut off gas and other utilities and would be able to lock and unlock doors.
Ewing explained that the high school already has a security system installed, and principal Todd Osborn has continued to look at ways to improve security. Ewing also explained that a crisis plan of action must be turned into Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine. This will be something school district will now be mandated to do every three years.
In other business, the board:
• APPROVED the tax budget for 2013-14 fiscal year;
• RENEWED the district's membership in the Ohio School Board Association;
• APPROVED a resolution to apply for an Ohio Diesel Emission Reduction Grant to help in purchasing new buses;
• DISCUSSED the possibility of the Red Ash Scholarship Fund moving to the Stark Community Foundation to help improve its investments, but will check with legal counsel first (this will not change the fund aiding Canton Local students);
• ACCEPTED the resignation for retirement of Sherry Laughlin as secretary at Faircrest, and Joseph (Skip) Laughlin, teacher at Faircrest, both effective near or at the end of the school year;
• APPROVED the first reading of board policies;
• APPROVED the employment of Samantha Murray, health counselor in the district; Rebecca Serafini, substitute aide/secretary; and Brittany Gardner, kindergarten teacher;
• ACCEPTED donations such as $300 from Laura Deforest for the Red Ash Scholarship Fund and $1,000 from Advanced Industrial Roofing and $400 from Waco Methodist Church, for Wildcats Helping Wildcats;
• APPROVED overnight student trip for Tim Blike and 15 of his culinary arts students at South Stark Career Academy to participate in the Ohio ProStart Invitational Culinary Competition in Columbus;
• WENT into an executive session to discuss the possible hiring of personnel.
The next regular meeting of the board of education will be on Feb. 11, 7 p.m., at the administrative center.