The Zachary Community School Board approved at its Feb. 3 meeting committee assignments that were formed at a January board retreat.
All that remains is to fill open positions, two on each of the seven committees, with members of the community, board members said.
The seven committees — parental and community; academics, extracurricular and accountability; technology; operations; finance; policy and governance; and human resources — will develop the district’s five-year plan to be submitted to the board for approval in August.
The Zachary school district uses the strategic planning process to set priorities, focus resources, strengthen operations, ensure staff members and others in the community are working toward common goals, establish agreement around intended outcomes and results, and assess and adjust the district’s direction in response to changes, Superintendent Scott Devillier said.
Board members signed up to serve as either committee chairmen or members. School district staff and administrative employees will serve as advisory members on each committee, with members of the community filling the other vacancies.
The committees will make recommendations to the full board, study issues more thoroughly than time allows at board meetings and provide avenues for additional community or staff input as needed, district officials said.
“The committees are posted on the district’s website, and we’re inviting people to submit applications to serve as strategic planning committee representatives,” Devillier said. “Once members have been selected, we’ll post committee meeting dates and times as we schedule them, and members will be required to attend.”
Committee meetings will be held at least once a month from March to July. The deadline to submit an application is 5 p.m. Friday. Applications can be found by visiting www.zachary schools.org and selecting the second link under Latest News at the bottom of the homepage.
The board tabled a vote to consider a one-time $250,000 payment to complete the implementation of the district’s safety and security plan.
Following a weeklong training seminar over the summer by Blue Line Security Consulting Group, of Windsor, Connecticut, which involved Zachary government, fire, police, sheriff’s deputies and school administration, a snapshot of Zachary schools, including levels of safety and security at each, was compiled into a 13-page security audit.
“The multiple intent was designed to heighten responder awareness levels and the need for preplanning while at the same time providing specific plans, development guidance and assistance based on sound and proven criteria,” said Zachary official Chris Calbert, who has a law enforcement and homeland security background. “Most importantly was stressing the need for preparing to prevent, versus preparing to respond to school violence threats and related issues.”
Calbert said the training was intended to help advance and promote a well-developed plan using the initial one-week course as a primer and the additionally proposed follow-up to help complete plan development.
“All of the training is designed and intended to protect Zachary’s most precious resource, its children,” Calbert said.
Based on a site visit of each school, areas needing improvement were identified along with the cost of the upgrades at each school. The final implementation of the plan would cost a one-time payment of $250,000, said Patrick Jenkins, director of operations.
“Following the one-time payment, annual repairs and maintenance of the plan would be an annual budgeted amount of $100,000,” Jenkins said. “This plan would help us bring all the facilities up to safe keeping.”
During the work session, board member Gwen Fuselier asked whether the upgrades were basic or the “Cadillac” of security plans and whether the district would be liable if the plan wasn’t approved.
“I’m sorry, I just need some questions answered before signing off on this,” Fuselier said.
Jenkins explained that initially, $50,000 was budgeted for the security upgrades, but those funds have been depleted. A $5,000 grant also was obtained to help with repairs and upgrades, but that’s gone, too, he said.
At the request of Devillier, Jenkins was asked to set up a presentation involving members of the original seminar and suggested Fuselier and any other interested board members attend the presentation.
Jenkins said he would bring Fuselier and the board members on a tour of the schools to point out some of the items that are part of the safety and security plan.
“That would be great,” Fuselier said.
The item was tabled until the presentation could be made.
The School Board will meet again March 3 beginning with a 6 p.m. work session followed by a 7 p.m. board meeting.