South Williamsport schools making security improvements

At Monday night’s South Williamsport Area School Board meeting, Superintendent Dr. Mark Stamm talked about recent updates to the district’s emergency plan.

“We started reviewing it before the incident in Connecticut,” Stamm said. “We’ve taken time to go back through it and make sure we have a framework in place.”

Administrators now have a document on hand that contains the address and contact information of every student in the district, Stamm said. New lockdown security drills will be put in place.

“We’re required by law to do 10 fire drills a year. We’re really good at them and we want these drills to disrupt our days just as little,” Stamm said. “We want to do these lockdown drills, where the rooms are all locked and students are moved to a safe corner of the room, just as much.”

American Legion Post 617 has contributed $5,000 to help alleviate the costs of having borough police work with the school district on security measures.

“We’re looking for more grants from organizations that have excess cash they are trying to put into the community, to help us work together with borough police,” Stamm said.

In other business, Stamm said the district still is working through the governor’s budget proposal.

“We should be getting about $85,000 in basic education subsidies and we always get about two-thirds of retirement money back,” Stamm said. “It will be a tight year again, but we’ll make it.”

Stamm told the board that adding an assistant principal is one position it should consider in upcoming months.

“We’ve cut 13 1/2 full-time positions in the past three years,” he said. “We need an additional administrator position to cover when a principal is out.”