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Monday, November 12, 2012

Updates on School Safety, Registration

By ANNE HOLLIDAY
WESB/WBRR News Director

The Bradford Area School Board on Monday got updates on school safety procedures and the new high school registration guide. And they got a visit from some former presidents of the United States, too.

City of Bradford Police officer Heil “Butch” Bartlett, who is also the school resource officer, explained that before Columbine schools really didn’t have lockdown procedures. After that, he said, schools across the country had to “jump into action” and started adopting lockdown procedures that the prison system used.

In the years following Columbine, he said, they learned that normal lockdown procedures from the prison system doesn’t prevent a shooter, or active threat, from getting into the room, so police and schools started changing things.

“I’m very proud to say that we’re probably a lot more proactive that any school in the entire area, probably even in the region,” Bartlett said.

He said he and school technology director John Petruzzi have been working together on the procedures, and they adopted the three levels of lockdown development by the Department of Homeland Security.

Bartlett explained that the first level would be used if, for example, a dangerous person was in the community; level two would be used if there was a threat to a confined area of the building; level three would be if there was an active threat moving through the building.

He said, for the level three lockdown, they have adopted the ALICE procedures: Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, and Evacuate.

You can hear Bartlett’s complete report here.

School District Superintendent Katy Pude said they are practicing lockdown drills just as they practice fire drills, but “hoping we never, ever have to use it for real.”

Bradford Area High School Principal David Ray gave a presentation on the new Registration Guide, which will be available online at BradfordAreaSchools.org/

Among the highlights is the addition of a course on “Physics in the Workplace,” which Ray said will benefit the career and technical students. He specifically mentioned students interested in carpentry.

The school is also replacing “Chemistry of Life” with Chemistry 102 at the suggestion of college advisers who said nursing and other medical-related majors could benefit more from a different course.

Also, after feedback from Advanced Placement students who wanted more options, the district added “Human Geography.”

School board member Carla Manion said she is glad to see they are listening to suggestions from colleges and students to see where the gaps in the curriculum were.

Ray also noted that high school senior Ashley Stone designed the layout for the Registration Guide as her graduation project, adding that he's sure she put in more than the required number of hours.

During her report, Pude thanked all of the Floyd C. Fretz Middle School sixth-graders who portrayed presidents of the United States, and made themselves available to school board members before the meeting. She also thanked teacher Jan Russell, who worked closed with the students in creating and memorizing their roles.

Several of the students gave presentations during the meeting. You can see pictures of three of the “presidents” in the previous blog post.

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