Noblesville Schools announces safety changes, potential referendum

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Portable classrooms gone, resource officers to be placed in each school

Noblesville Schools has announced a list of school safety enhancements it will be pursuing.

The initial recommendations are the direct result of a continuous improvement safety review the district was pursuing prior to the May 25 shooting at West Middle School.

The district said recommended changes are based on analysis by the district’s Safe Schools Committee, which includes parent, staff and law enforcement input. Initial recommendations include:

  • Elimination of all portable classrooms
  • Additional school resource officers
  • Enhanced facility structures
  • Increased facility lockdown tools
  • Additional surveillance equipment
  • Classroom barricading products
  • School parking lot access control
  • Additional technology for increased safety communications
  • Additional counseling staff and mental health supports

The district said specific details of each item would not be shared publicly as it may increase risk and that additional recommendations may follow at a later date.

Niedermeyer

“We are pleased that we are able to address community concerns by eliminating portable classrooms and adding safety enhancements to our already comprehensive list of safety measures,” Noblesville Schools Supt. Beth Niedermeyer stated. “Beginning in the 2018-19 school year, Noblesville Schools will have a trained police officer in every school. We are so appreciative of the Noblesville Police Dept. for agreeing to share the cost of additional school resource officers.”

Funding is already in place for some of the initial safety enhancements the district is recommending. The district also is exploring other funding options through state and federal resources and could propose a referendum in November to provide additional funding for safety initiatives and teacher compensation.

The district said it will host several initiatives this summer as it continues to evaluate further ways to strengthen safety. A Community Safety Summit and a Safety Panel with law enforcement will be scheduled soon.

“Safety in today’s world is a complex issue, and there are no easy answers,” Niedermeyer stated. “We are committed to working together with law enforcement, community leaders, parents and the overall community to best protect students. We will be purposeful in our approach to safety enhancements and will make decisions based on what experts recommend.”

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