Ward Byers, Director of Safety for the Plymouth Community School Corporation appeared before the school board last week to discuss updates to the Emergency Plan and report on School Safety and Security.
Byers told members that they have secured the 2024 School Safety Grant in the amount of $27,750. They have been working on the one-county one-protocol safety plan throughout all the corporation’s buildings and prominent areas with every school corporation in the county adopting the same protocols. The safety response protocols have also been shared with all the emergency services throughout Marshall County.
Another project he’s been working on is putting together venue-specific cardiac arrest protocols. Byers said a change in law now requires band and choir directors to be included as well as athletics has been. He said while writing it they found they needed to do some CPR and AED training for staff and had to purchase some additional AEDs because they didn’t have enough to meet the 3-minute rule of having an AED available within 3 minutes of an incident.
The All-Hazards Plan has been updated along with the Missing Student Policy which was simplified with bullet-points instead of reading through paragraphs of information which offers a quicker response from the school corporation. They also defined what a missing student is and reviewed the protocols. Byers said he did provide training to Menominee Elementary School last week on the Missing Student Policy. He will continue to meet with each school in the corporation to make sure they are up to date on the policy.
The Plymouth Community School Corporation has a Safety Committee with representation from the various grade levels, a parent member, and representatives from the Plymouth Police and Fire Departments. Mr. Byers met with them last month to review policies.
Another project Byers is working on is making crosswalks safer. They are looking at signage and making sure they are visible. He said they have already made some changes at Webster Elementary, and they have proven successful.
Transportation Director Ted Brown and Byers are working to update the radio systems from analog to digital which should give buses a better signal in the outlying areas. There have been some issues in West Township. They’ve been conducting some testing and found the digital product had much better coverage. Byers said this is a bigger project simply due to the price tag so they are continuing to work on it.
The Safety Committee is also working on making Rallie Points a bit more organized during an evacuation and updating the Tornado Preparedness Policy that came from an assessment conducted last year. This is looking at the best places to shelter in the buildings during an event. Byers also recently completed a two-day Reunification Training in case there was an event in our corporation and hopes to conduct some table-top exercises in the buildings.