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West Branch security measures explained

December 22, 2012
Morning Journal News

BELOIT- West Branch Local Schools Superintendent Dr. Scott Weingart reported to the school board Thursday night on the district's safety plans and protocols.

In light of last week's shooting at a Connecticut elementary school, Weingart assured the public that the district has a comprehensive safety plan for each school that is reviewed considerably and regularly by a standing safety committee consisting of local law enforcement and safety service personnel.

"It's all about training, it's all about personnel," Weingart said, noting that in addition to fire and natural disaster drills, students and staff regularly practice lockdown situations.

Weingart also explained that the district is fortunate to have buildings that were designed with safety in mind. All four of the district's buildings have security cameras and a buzzer system at the front door to allow visitors, he said. The district also has a school resource officer available for emergencies and support from the local ministerial association for counseling.

"At times like these, though, we always try to be as normal as possible...but continue to be on the look out at all times," he said.

In other news, the board hired for the 2012-13 school year Chris Earl as a casual employee in the technology department; Pam Miller as a ticket taker; and Heidi Wilhelm and John Rasile as certificated substitutes.

The board also accepted donations of $100 to SADD from the Damascus Methodist Women and $30 to the McVicker Memorial Scholarship from community donations; and approved the high school band to travel to Norfolk, Va., April 26 through 28.

The organizational meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Jan. 10 in the high school Library.

Kevin Howell can be reached at



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