Anonymous tipline available in school district

The state’s anonymous tipline, called the Safe2Say initiative, was successfully launched and is “in full swing,” Dr. Timothy S. Bowers announced at the districts board meeting Tuesday. Bowers noted that staff received an inservice Monday on how to implement the program and students in the district will be trained within the next week.

“It’s off and running and so far it’s pretty positive,” he said.

Bowers said that several area superintendents had met with officials from the state who had been instrumental in drafting the initiative to discuss the successes and concerns. He said the intent across the state was to make sure that people felt comfortable providing tips to that service.

He said that one concern addressed was that people aren’t always comfortable calling with a tip, whereas by doing it anonymously people would be more likely to. One official also shared that there have already been success stories about tips being received resulting in interventions.

“It will make a difference for the students and possibly even save some lives,” Bowers said. “It’s a good thing if that’s the outcome.”

The district has established a team of district officials who are on call to take tip calls 24-hours a day, seven days a week, Bowers said.

“They are responsible to take that tip and do what is needed,” he said.

The tipline deals with tips relating to students who might be considering harming themselves or others. A friend could then call the tipline to anonymously seek someone to help.

Bowers said the students will be trained how to use the app, but will still be urged to seek out a school official personally to talk about the issue.

“Come to a school official if you can. We can act on it right away,” he said. He added that if a student doesn’t have that availability or doesn’t feel comfortable doing that, the tipline gives them another way to do that.

In other business, the board approved the following teacher resignations due to retirements and their effective dates: Michelle I. Boyles, Jan. 3; Michael A. Cioffi, Sandra L. Fisher, Ann L. Potter, Tim M Tyson, and Mary Margaret Winton, all at the end of the current school year; Lisa C. Swoyer, Sept. 11 and Lisa W. Zagozewski, Aug. 12.

The board also approved a three-year fire alarm testing and inspection agreement, beginning Jan. 1 with Johnson Controls for the high school at a cost of $11,358 and for the middle school at a cost of $6,624; a three-year agreement beginning Feb. 1 for Cochran, Hepburn-Lycoming and Stevens Primary schools and Lycoming Valley Intermediate School at a cost of $1,600 per year and a three-year agreement beginning Jan. 16 for Curtin Intermediate School at a cost of $400 per year.

Board members present were: Lori Baer, Dr. Jane Penman, Brette Confair, Patrick Dixon, Jennifer Lake, Barbara Reeves, Marc Schefsky, Dr. Nancy Story Somer and Adam Welteroth.