ATLANTIC CITY — The local school district will install security kiosks and require visitor badges in all schools for the 2014-15 school year, Superintendent Donna Haye told parents at a Parent Summit Thursday evening at the high school.
She said district officials are also looking at hiring more retired class 3 resource officers, but some measures may be phased in to manage costs. The district will also set up a crisis team that includes a psychologist and social worker to help families get immediate help if needed.
Haye asked parents to review with their children the procedure for going to and from school, especially since children in grades K-8 attend neighborhood schools, where most walk to school. She cited an incident last week where a 9-year-old did not make it home from school, and the district put out a district-wide call to parents late that night as school officials and police searched. The child did return home by morning.
“We worry about them,” Haye said. “Make sure you know their plans, where they are supposed to be.”
Security Director Dewane Parker said they hope to have the new security kiosks in place by September. He said there are 25 security officers at the high school who monitor access and the parking lot area.
Parents submitted written questions and several were about programs and security at the high school.
A few questions addressed the ethnic and cultural diversity in the district, and the large number of non-English speaking families. Haye reviewed programs offered for them, but said students should be involved in all programs and sports, and not limit themselves.
More than 200 families attended the event, which included dinner and door prizes. Parents were asked to complete a short survey about their child’s school that included questions on how to improve communication, and challenges hat keep them from being involved in their child’s education.
Parent Mohammed Muquit, who has a child at Brighton Avenue School, said he came to the meeting to learn more about how to be involved. He said there is a growing Bangladeshi population in the city and it would help if the district had someone who speaks the language to talk to parents.
“Language is a big factor in getting parents involved,” he said.
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