School Safety Expert
Dr. Randal A. Lutz provided an update during Wednesday night's Baldwin-Whitehall School Board meeting regarding school safety-improvement efforts in the B-W School District.
Lutz said that district administration has been focusing recently on three main areas that pertain to school safety: education/professional development, communication and "the hardening of structures, or hardening of exteriors."
In the area of education/professional development, Lutz said that, during an in-service event on Jan. 21, local school safety expert Mary Margaret Kerr made a presentation to Baldwin-Whitehall educators on the topic of "owning spaces."
Said Lutz, "The topic was really ... How do we go through our facilities and 'own' the spaces, that, typically, kids and staff do not own?"
Kerr, a Whitehall Borough resident, is a department chair in the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education.
In the area of communication, Lutz said that he recently met with Baldwin Borough's emergency management team to "look at building those connections."
The idea there, Lutz said, is to ensure that emergency workers are familiar with district buildings. "What's where? And how do you get to certain places?"
And finally, in the "hardening of exteriors" category, the superintendent said that his administration is looking at ways to improve things like visitor clearances at district buildings.
Lengthy Executive Session
The school board went into a 48-minute, private executive session during the early part of Wednesday's meeting.
Lutz said that he could not comment on what was discussed during the session since it had to do with personnel matters.
Moment of Silence for Former Sen. Schaefer
The school board held a moment of silence at the start of its meeting for Michael P. Schaefer, a former state senator for Pennsylvania's 37th District, which includes Whitehall.
Schaefer died on Jan. 21, and according to B-W board member Martin Michael Schmotzer, who fought back some tears while speaking about Schaefer, the former state senator was buried while wearing a Baldwin-Whitehall School District lapel pin.
School board member George L. Pry was absent from Wednesday's meeting due to a death in his family, board President Nancy Sciulli DiNardo said.
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