At the Jefferson High School District No. 1 School Board meeting on Aug. 13, the board discussed the school’s plan for hiring a student resource officer (SRO) and approved the final report submitted by SMA Architects last month.
Hiring an SRO has been on the board’s agenda for the past few months. An SRO is a police officer who works in the school, interacts with students, and deals with safety and security issues when they arise, according to Jefferson High Superintendent Tim Norbeck.
Norbeck said that he got the idea for hiring an SRO from other schools he’s been to. According to Norbeck, an SRO can either be a full-time or part-time presence. For Jefferson High’s purposes, the SRO will be part time for a few hours a week.
Norbeck said he thinks an SRO would be a positive addition to Jefferson High because it would help familiarize students with police officers and give them the opportunity to build a relationship with those authority figures.
At the meeting, Norbeck and board chair Denise Brunett reported that they visited with Jefferson County Sheriff Craig Doolittle and discussed the costs of hiring an SRO, as well as the logistics and challenges.
One challenge is that the Sheriff’s Office is understaffed, Norbeck told the board. Brunett said that the next step for adding the position is to present it to the Board of County Commissioners.
At the meeting, the board also moved to approve the final report from SMA Architects, a firm the board hired to collect information about the school district. However, the board moved to redact handwritten, individual responses and names from the report.
After SMA Architects makes the changes requested by the board, the final report will be posted on Jefferson High’s website and a link to the report will be sent out. The board also requested that SMA print 10 copies to place in the schools and libraries in the district.
Other items discussed at the meeting include the resignations of former assistant cheer coach Elizabeth Pierce and former paraprofessional Jeff Guay, as well as the approval of several substitute teachers for the upcoming school year.
The board’s next regularly scheduled meeting is Sept. 17.