Hoopeston Area Superintendent Suzi Hesser outlined some of the new security and student safety measures the district has implemented for next school year during last week’s Hoopeston Area Board of Education meeting.

These key changes included training all staff members in Youth Mental Health

First Aid and trauma-informed practices.

“Because we know that strong, caring, trauma-informed relationships with our students and their families are central to a positive school climate and school safety,” Hesser said. “We are continuing this study in the upcoming 2018-2019 school year with online trauma-informed academy modules followed by a district-wide book study, of the same author, we have planned for the 2019-2020 school year.”

Additionally, Hesser said the district sent five faculty members to become certified trainers in the active shooter response method, ALICE (Alert Lockdown Inform Counter Evacuate).

Hesser said those trainers, in conjunction with the Hoopeston Police Department, trained all Hoopeston Area staff.

“Hoopeston Area is now an ALICE certified organization and will continue regular training in this area,” she said. “We also carefully reviewed and revised our district crisis plan this year by meeting extensively to combine all school level crisis plans into one Hoopeston Area District-Wide Crisis Plan that is in line with model plans around the state.”

Before this plan was completed, Hesser said the district held a review that invited feedback from area first responders. Out of conversation in that comprehensive review, the district is planning to update handheld radios so that administrators and key staff members will be able to communicate both within buildings and throughout the district in the event of a crisis situation.

Finally, Hesser said, the district is adding two apps to enhance security for the upcoming school year.

The first is CRISIS GO, an app that provides staff members mobile access to the district’s crisis plan, alert signals in crisis situations, the ability to share information in a crisis and methods for reporting student attendance in the event of an evacuation.

The second app, called StopIT!, is an anonymous reporting system that allows

students and families to report safety concerns directly to administration.

While the program is completely anonymous, Hesser said users are able to attach screenshots, pictures, and videos while also having the option for a secure chat with administration.

“At Hoopeston Area, we understand that safety and security is our number one priority,” she said. “Therefore we have worked diligently this year to learn about youth mental health and trauma-informed practices, train in ALICE, conduct a thorough review and revision of our crisis plan, update our radios for communication, add the CRISIS GO app to effectively respond to crisis, and add the StopIT! app to present a crisis through anonymous reporting. As we serve our students, families and entire community, we welcome

feedback and conversation regarding our ongoing efforts to continually improve safety and security at Hoopeston Area.”

In other business:

The board approved the following personnel actions:

— Action to approve the movement of Emily Carter from Classroom/Paraprofessional at John Greer to John Greer Secretary for the 2018-2019 school year.

— Action to approve the movement of Wade Clemmons from Maple Custodian to Buildings and Grounds Supervisor effective July 1, 2018.

— Action to approve to employ Carolyn Lander as Special Education Paraprofessional at Maple Elementary School with a starting date of Aug. 16, 2018.

— Action to approve the movement of Tina Jackson from Personal Aide at John Greer to Special Education Classroom Paraprofessional at John Greer for the 2018-19 school year.

— Action to approve the retirement of Stephen Mastin as John Greer Custodian effective Aug. 17, 2018.

— Action to approve the resignation of Marc Campbell as High School Principal effective June 30, 2018.

— Action to approve the resignation of Michelle White as High School Student Support Services Coordinator effective June 30, 2018.

— Action to approve the resignation of John Klaber as Middle School Student Support Services Coordinator and High School Head Soccer Coach effective June 17, 2018.

— Action to approve the resignation of Bryan Brown as John Greer Physical Education Teacher and 5th Grade Boys Basketball Coach effective June 12, 2018.

— Action to approve to employ hire Ryan Jones as John Greer Physical Education Teacher with a starting date of Aug. 16, 2018.

— Action to approve the resignation of Patrick Brooks as High School/Middle School Band Director effective May 31, 2018.

— Action to approve to employ Steven Kurk as Middle School/High School Band Director with a starting date of Aug. 16, 2018

— Action to approve to employ Wendy Ochs as High School Agriculture Teacher with a starting date of Aug. 16, 2018.

— Action to approve the resignation of Rachel Zick as Fifth Grade Teacher and Library Coordinator at John Greer effective May 29, 2018.

— Action to approve to employ Jennifer Gaddis as Fifth Grade Teacher at John Greer with a starting date of Aug. 16, 2018.

— Action to approve the resignation of Kristin Powell as Fifth Grade Teacher at John Greer effective May 25, 2018

— Action to approve to employ Jayde Gress as Fifth Grade Teacher at John Greer with a starting date of Aug. 16, 2018.

— Action to approve to employ Jennifer Robinson as Special Education Teacher at John Greer with a starting date of Aug. 16, 2018.

— Action to approve the resignation of Hannah Duke as Middle School Boys Track Coach effective May 25, 2018.

— Action to approve the resignation of Jana Fesser as Middle School Girls Track Coach effective May 25, 2018.

— Action to approve the resignation of Jeff Alexander as High School Assistant Baseball Coach effective May 25, 2018.

— Action to approve the movement of Kevin Root from High School Assistant Soccer Coach to High School Head Soccer Coach effective June 21, 2018.

— Action to approve to employ Jena Schaumburg as John Greer Library Coordinator with a starting date of Aug. 16, 2018.

— Action to approve the movement of Brooke Walsh from 6th Grade Girls Basketball Coach to High School Assistant Girls Basketball Coach effective June 21, 2018.

— Action to approve to employ Ross Bryll as 6th Grade Girls Basketball Coach effective June 21, 2018.

— Action to approve to employ Tom Sage as High School Assistant Golf Coach effective June 21, 2018.

— Action to approve to employ Nate Allison as High School Assistant Soccer Coach effective June 21, 2018.

— The board also approved administrative salaries for 2018-19.

— The board approved the District Title I Plan and the Middle School Title I plan.

— The board approved board meeting dates for fiscal year 2019. The meeting times and dates remain the third Thursday of each month, generally in the high school library, with closed session starting at 6 p.m. and open session starting at 7 p.m.

— The board approved the district’s membership in the Illinois Association of School Boards for fiscal year 2019.

— The board approved the destruction of old executive session minutes from prior to November 2016.

— The board approved the appointment of Mark Eighner as district treasurer for 2019.

— The board adopted the fiscal year 2019 prevailing wage resolution.

— The board approved student handbooks for each of the district buildings.

The Hoopeston Area Board of Education will next meet at 7 p.m. July 19 in the high school library.