MFL MarMac continues plans to improve school safety

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By Audrey Posten, Times-Register

 

MFL MarMac School District is continuing plans to improve school safety and incident protocols. Superintendent Dale Crozier and principals Larry Meyer, Denise Mueller and Kathy Koether all spoke on the topic at the school board’s Sept. 12 regular meeting.

 

Crozier said he recently met with the fire and police departments from both Monona and McGregor, as well as county and emergency management personnel, and there are plans to continue discussions. 

 

“We talked about school safety, vulnerability studies and the crisis operation and district plan we have,” he told the board. 

 

At the McGregor Center, Mueller said she asked Clayton County Sheriff’s Deputy Jed Jones to speak to staff about plans and protocols in the event of an emergency.

 

“Just to make everyone feel more comfortable with procedures,” she explained.

 

All schools have already completed fire drills, and an evacuation drill is upcoming. 

 

“We’re also working on getting the room numbers on the windows outside the building and getting that to the police and fire department,” noted Meyer, the high school principal.

 

In October, MFL MarMac will have a vulnerability study completed. According to Crozier, the last was done in 2018 and yielded a variety of things to implement. This study is offered by the state and would net the district up to $50,000 per building, per an investment announced by Gov. Kim Reynolds in June.

 

“They’ll be here all day and just walk around, and they’ll make recommendations for school safety and look at our drills and surveillance and door locks,” Crozier said. “The study is a good thing to keep pressing forward. It’s a good way to continue the conversation on school safety.”

 

Update on staffing

The board approved several contracts at last week’s meeting, including Lynn Jones as a full-time 7-12 substitute teacher, Brent Pape as middle school wrestling coach and Jessica Goltz as mental health support.

 

With Goltz’s addition, Crozier is confident in the district’s social and emotional staff coverage. At the high school, Jaydeane Berns is half-time guidance and Abbey Cottrell is half-time guidance and drop-out prevention, while Jackie McGeough serves as student advocate. Counselor Lindsey Sorensen splits her time at the middle and elementary schools, as will Goltz. Social worker Matt Steven will spend a couple days each week at the middle school and social worker Sara Schiller will aid the elementary level. Additionally, Carrie Grove offers support at the elementary.

 

“I was worried it was going to be piecemeal, and it’s more like a tapestry,” said Crozier. “It’s working better than I thought it would work.”

 

One school position that currently needs to be filled, though, is district nurse. According to Crozier, applications are still being accepted to replace Sara Kelly.

 

“Our first order of business is to hire a registered nurse. A couple other options are to contract nurse services or have a less than full-time nurse and then having a second nurse assistant in McGregor. We’ll see,” he said.

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