School board approves STOP School Violence Safety Grant | #schoolsaftey

The McDonald County R-1 School District Board of Education, at its meeting on Sept. 14, approved entering into a memorandum of understanding with the U.S. Department of Justice for a grant.

School Resource Officer Buck Owen explained the grant, called the STOP School Violence Safety Grant, has two parts. The first piece will allow the district access to software for all district student devices (Chromebooks) to track what students do on the internet. It has 17 different filters for harmful sites, including pornography, gambling, self-harm, etc., he said. He said the district currently has a system that filters such sites. However, “Kids find a way around our system.”

The software would be free for three years, and the district could try it and see how it works, he said. He added that he has spoken to the IT department and it is comfortable with using the software.

The second part of the grant, he said, would involve threat assessment teams for when a student presents with self-harm or a threat. He said the teams would be working with a professor from the University of Missouri for training.

The board approved the memorandum of understanding.

Athletic Director Bo Bergen requested permission to take two returning state champion wrestlers to a national wrestling tournament in California. He said the tournament would be beneficial to the athletes by providing them with a higher level of competition and by getting them in front of collegiate programs. He also said it would represent the school on a national level. He added that, for future purposes, students would have to be returning state champions to attend the national wrestling tournament.

The board approved the request.

Will Gordon, director of operations, presented an update on the work on the storm shelters in the district. He said the new restroom is finished at Southwest City Elementary School, and the slab at White Rock Elementary School has been poured. Next, the foundation for the shelter will be poured at White Rock, he said. He said most of the movement has been at Southwest City and White Rock, although some fencing has been put up at other schools.

In other business, the board:

  • Gave permission for FFA students to attend the FFA National Convention in Indianapolis, Ind., Nov. 1-4.
  • Approved a request from Transportation Director Doug Coberley to be able to transport students living closer than one mile to school, as some may face hazardous walking conditions such as railroad tracks.
  • Approved a request from the Missouri Department of Transportation for a permanent easement for ADA-accessible sidewalks.

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National Cyber Security