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December 20, 2012

Oneonta board meeting focuses on school safety

The recent school shooting in Connecticut had an impact on several aspects of Wednesday’s regular meeting of the Oneonta City School District Board of Education.

The meeting began with board President Grace Larkin asking for a moment of silence for the shooting victims.

School safety committee Chairman Thomas Brindley discussed what he had been involved with during the week on this issue. This included talking with several area police agencies to review what the school is doing to keep students safe. “We are fortunate to have so many agencies so close,” he said.

Brindley said the agencies were positive about what the school is doing, including practicing lockdowns. He said he was hopeful that Jan. 8 voters would approve a building project that will help to address some of the safety issues. It would allow all district buildings to have a single, secure entry point that could be properly monitored, he said.

In response to questions from parents, Interim Superintendent David Rowley said if there is a need for a response, police can be at any of the school’s buildings within minutes. The safety committee will be meeting in January to continue to look at how the school responds to any potential problems in the buildings and make any necessary improvements.

In other business, the board approved the necessary resolutions to spend $17,110 to remove some 40-year-old floor tiles that contain asbestos in the Valleyview Elementary School physical education office. The tiles were damaged because of a drainage problem at the school, and no students were affected, Rowley said.

The work will be done during Christmas break.

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