The Deptford board of education approved a number of agenda items at its March 21 meeting, including a budget for the 2023-’24 school year and dates for board meetings during that time.
Board members went into executive session for about an hour during the session. A discussion of the budget featured a revised submission from the board meeting earlier this month that focused a good deal on school security. That focus remains.
The budget includes adding new vestibules at Good Intent, Oak Valley, Lake Tract and Deptford High School; an extra layer of security; and repairs to school parking lots to ease access both in and out of the schools.
“The investments in enhancing school security have been ongoing for the past few years,” said the school district’s director of school security/operations, William Hanstein. “In 2019, I was hired as the director of security for the district to handle emergency planning at all schools.
“The process started with an overview of emergency drills and plans to ensure that we were following the best practices in emergency mitigation, planning and response to all types of school emergencies. We have changed many of our processes to be more efficient, with additional training to staff and students.”
The budget also includes funds to hire two new security officers and add four new security vehicles for added protection. A public hearing for the financial plan will take place at the board meeting on April 25 at 6:30 p.m.
“Security personnel have been added to the district team over the last few years to assist each school with day-to-day security tasks,” Hanstein noted. “The physical presence at the school(s) has been well received by students, staff and residents.”
The board also approved meeting minutes for the next school year. The last session of the current school year is scheduled for June 6 at 6:30 p.m. The first meeting for the 2023-’24 year will take place on July 18 and marks the first full school year for the board’s new meeting place at Deptford Middle School, which saw some renovations last year.
The next board of education meeting will take place on Tuesday, April 4, at 6:30 p.m.