School board passes budget, discusses safety

Staff writer

Peabody-Burns school board unanimously passed the 2013-14 budget, expecting late enrollment to make up a $120,000 difference.

“We have many students who have not yet enrolled,” Superintendent Ron Traxson said. “We expect that to equal out the budget numbers.”

If the enrollment does not make up the full amount, then cuts would be made, Traxson said. The money can be found in the budget, but Traxson wants cuts to ensure USD 398 has enough carry overfunds.

Carryover funds ensure payments continue for special education and other programs at the end of the budget year.

Elementary principal Ken Parry said he has several students who have not yet enrolled, but enrollment for preschool is up.

“We have 38 students, and we were expecting around 20,” he said.

In order to make space in full classrooms, some 3-year-old students will attend classes two days a week instead of four.

“We have more students interested in the program this year than when we started the program,” Parry said. “Though we’re full, I could not tell a student they could not come to school.”

Traxson discussed adding cameras to the playground and main school entrances to protect students and ward off bullying.

Cameras were one of several options discussed by Traxson Monday. Options included a video buzz-in system and key fob entry doors for the weight room and auto shop entrances.

“We need to step up security to protect our students,” he said. “The world is not innocent anymore.”

Two cameras would cost USD 398, $11,000 according to Traxson.

The board asked Traxson to research possible grants for the purchase of the cameras and list exact locations where cameras would be placed.

“Most of these security measures are pro active steps,” Traxson said. “I’m not saying someone will want to cause danger to our students, but by enacting these pieces of equipment we hope to make anyone who would want to do harm think twice.”

Also for safety, all teachers and school staff are required to wear name badges.

“This way students and staff can quicker recognize someone who does not belong in the building,” he said.

In other news:

  • Board discussed plans to fix cracks in the track.
  • Board ruled a $300 gift for the music department would be used toward the purchase of a instrument by the department.
  • A $20 charging limit was set for students charging for lunch.

 

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