The Kewaskum School District’s capital project is running on schedule, and is being completed with student safety in mind. Board members discussed issues regarding student safety at the School Board meeting on Monday, March 12.
“The legislature and the governor are looking at providing a one-time amount of money to school districts for updating or putting some type of school safety things in the budget,” Superintendent James Smasal said. If the district does receive money, a big portion would be used for enhancing security on the front of the high school as the building project is completed, Smasal said.
Also related to safety, Smasal mentioned the national school walkout event planned for 10 a.m. on March 14 in response to the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, in February. A letter went to district families on March 9 that said that the district wanted to ensure all students felt safe and respected, regardless of what they chose to do.
If a walkout occurred, classes would continue according to the regular school day schedule, according to the letter signed by Smasal. Parents who decided to excuse their child from class to participate in a walkout were to contact the school’s attendance office prior to the event to excuse the absence.
Students who left class without parent permission would be considered unexcused for that time period. The letter stated that to ensure student safety, those who chose to walk out would be directed to a safe meeting place. School Board Member Tim Ramthun asked at Monday’s meeting if the district has a process in place if an emergency situation were to occur here. “If we had a credible threat, is there a process to evacuate students in a safe manner,” Smasal said. “Each situation is a little different.
You are not going to have a blanket response. Everything has to be evaluated on a caseby- case basis,” added School Board Member Mark Sette, who is also a detective with the Washington County Sheriff’s Office. “It is a very difficult topic to discuss,” Smasal said. “I think we are very fortunate in this district in that we have two different law enforcement agencies that work with us. “The village does a fantastic job and we appreciate the partnering we have.
I think we work very weill together and are very confident in each other’s capabilities,” Smasal said. In addition, the district benefits from the Washington County Sheriff’s Office. “I am not over exaggerating here. Every day a deputy stops at i4Learning and at Farmington Elementary. We have a presence in those two buildings every day, and that is unheard of. We are very appreciative of those efforts,” Smasal said.