A new, $130,000 “security vestibule” on the front of Jonathan Alder Junior High School will be in place by December, pending contractor’s access to building materials.
New Trump Administration tariffs on metals may impact the timeline, Superintendent Gary Chapman said.
Alder school board members authorized Chapman to take bids for the project on Tuesday.
The original intent was to have a new, more secured entrance to the junior high in place by the start of the 2018-19 school year, but designers said newly-imposed tariffs may push that back to November or December, Chapman noted.
Visitors will be “buzzed” through an exterior door into a secured glass vestibule, then “buzzed” again through a second door before reaching the building’s interior. One administrator called the design a “man trap” that would prevent anyone with malicious intent from reaching staff or students.
Also on Tuesday, district social worker Jennifer Korn outlined a new program to boost girls’ self-esteem and confidence that will be implemented this fall in grades 4-12.
Alder is the first Madison County district to employ “Ruling Our Experiences” or ROX. The 20-week, after-school curriculum is based on the belief that “confident girls make better decisions,” Korn said.
Current staff will be trained to conduct 45-minute classes for 10 to 12 girls. Those classes aim to build self-esteem and diminish online bullying, dating abuse and pressures to send intimate pictures and comments via social media.
National surveys show 75 percent of 12th grade girls have either “sexted” or been asked to “sext.”
Alder’s program will cost about $25 per student with funding coming from federal Title IV money, Korn said.
School board members asked if similar national programs are available for male students. Korn said none exist currently.
Board members also approved a new science curriculum for students in grades K-4. The curriculum was designed by National Geographic and will bring 200 highly illustrated books into each science classroom. It will also involve labs, according to curriculum director Misty Swanger.
Plans to implement a new science curriculum for higher grades are pending, she added.
In other routine business on Tuesday, board members:
• Approved a revised agreement with Tolles Career & Technical Center to expand career awareness and STEM programming into Canaan Middle School. Tolles already supplies similar programs to the Alder junior high and high school.
• Renewed a contract with the Madison County/London City Health District for a school nurse to work 27 hours per week during the 2018-19 school year.
• Renewed a $41,141, one-year contract with Schneider Electric for district electrical service.
• Approved a spring break trip for the high school softball team to Panama City, Florida. The trip will take place March 24-30, 2019.
• Authorized sale of former junior high and high school cheerleading uniforms in order to raise money for new pom-poms. Some of the uniforms date from the early 1990s and will cost $25 to purchase.
Jane Beathard is a contributing writer for The Madison Press.