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Centralia R-VI School Board hears school security upgrade proposal, changes in school lunches

Posted on Friday, May 15, 2020 at 6:47 am

Starting Monday, meals only available at Chance Elementary

Voices echoed beneath the high ceiling of the Chance Intermediate School gymnatorium, the site of the May 11 Centralia School Board meeting.

An audience of four attended, minus board member Jason Hedrick.

One topic heard was school security and potential upgrades, as discussed by David Davenport, Centralia police officer and school resource officer for the Centralia R-VI School District.

Another was a change in the district’s school meal program.

Steven Chancellor, Centralia R-VI superintendent said after this Friday, the district’s meal service will be only distributed from Chance Elementary School. “Friday will be the last day for bus delivery. After that the meals will only be distributed from Chance Elementary School.” He said the district would continue serving meals from Chance Elementary through June 30.

Davenport gave a presentation on active shooter trainings for the district.

He said he wanted to do a more comprehensive training that involves fire and emergency medical

CPD Officer David Davenport addressing the Centralia R-VI School Board on proposed security upgrades.

service departments instead of just the police department. Davenport said if anybody had questions they were welcome to call him.

Chancellor agreed with Davenport. “Coordination is everything. We don’t want their first time in our school when we need them in an emergency… These scenarios help us think through these situations. It’s super-beneficial, it’s one of those things we should always train for but hope we never have to use.”

Davenport also said one future project would be an upgraded remote camera system. One, Davenport said, that would be more accessible from the CPD headquarters and the patrol cars.

In other business, they discussed summer school and the possible shape of the 2020-21 school year.

“Right now summer school is on hold… Our best opportunity will be the last two weeks of July and the first two of August.” Chancellor said regarding the rest of of the school year. The district is creating programs for the students who want more online credit as well as identifying those students who need credit recovery. He said if the state: “Loosens up the spacing you might see an actual seated summer school at the end of summer… Which will give us momentum going into the school year. That is a benefit for us.”

Regarding the possibilities of the next school year, Chancellor said: “We are not going to jump the gun on anything. We’ve got to let common sense rule the day… It is going to look different than it ever has before.” Right now, he said the district is in “Hurry up and wait,” mode.

Some form of summer sports might be permitted to begin June 1, and “dead weeks,” might also be waived,“ Chancellor said.

“MSHAA gave schools a lot of leeway on how they can operate,” said Matt Smith, Centralia High School principal. “Meanwhile,” Chancellor said, “we encourage coaches to come up with individual training plans.” He said one insurance company recommendation was that if a student tests positive for COVID-19, the building must be shut down for two weeks… It’s all still up in the air.”