LINWOOD — The Mainland Regional Board of Education hired a second police officer for the school at its Aug. 21 meeting.

Recently retired Somers Point Lt. Anthony DiSciascio will be the new Class III officer at the school. According to District Superintendent Mark Marrone, DiSciascio is paid by the school but hired through the Linwood Police Department.

Marrone said the school is in use for so many sports and organizations after school hours with anywhere from 300-600 people in the building after school hours.

“It is important to have security here when there are people in the building and on campus,” said Marrone. “The officers assigned are here for the safety of our students and our staff.”

The superintendent said Officer Rivera Belford begins at the school prior to students arriving. DiSciascio will begin around 1 p.m. and finish his day when afterschool activities are completed. The officers will overlap through dismissal of students.

DiSciascio will be paid $25 an hour and receive no benefits, sick days or vacation days.

Marrone added, “We are thrilled to have Officer DiSciascio to our team. He has a proven track record in Somers Point of building relationships and is familiar with the community and Mainland families.

Changes at Mainland for the new school year

The superintendent sent a letter home to all Mainland parents advising them of changes that will affect drop-off in the morning. The front loop on Oak Avenue to the school’s front door will be closed to traffic from 7:30-7:45 a.m. Monday through Friday to allow bused school students to be dropped off. The loop will reopen at 7:45 a.m. for drop off of nonbused students.

Parking as well as student drop-off is prohibited in the parking lots to the north and south of the school. The superintendent sited a dangerous environment is created for staff and students when cars drop off students in those two lots.

New this year is the secure vestibule at the entrance of the school. A bank teller type window has been installed where the attendance officer will be located. Marrone said visitor access to the high school will be limited to the front security vestibule. The school attendance officer will be able to assist parents and guardians who are signing-in or signing-out their students and a table will be available to leave items dropped off for students. Access to the school beyond the security vestibule will require an appointment.

The superintendent said the changes made for this year have all come from the school security committee. “Everything we do here at Mainland is for the safety and security of our students and our staff.”

Freshman orientation

Incoming freshmen and their parents are invited to the school at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 5 for orientation. They will hear from the principal, meet representatives from the school clubs and sports and have a chance to walk through the school and find their locker before the official start of classes the following morning. The school store will be open.

Classes at Mainland begin at 8 a.m. and students arriving after 8 a.m. will be marked late for class, according to information provided by the MRHS.