Years ago, when high school students would sneak into school restrooms to smoke cigarettes, administrators would add smoke detectors to deter this activity. As e-cigarettes and vapes become popular with underage users, administrators are now looking for ways to prevent students from vaping in school bathrooms.
On Monday, Fort Dodge High School principal Stacy Laird asked the school board for permission to use $16,900 of the building’s budget to purchase a dozen vape sensors to place in the school’s busiest bathrooms. ‘school.
“These environmental sensors actually have the ability to detect vapours…they will send messages to the person we programmed, letting us know that there is something going on in the bathroom that we need to go check out,” said Laird.
The board approved the purchase from Verkada Environmental Detectors, of San Mateo, Calif., which includes 12 sensors (two for each of six bathrooms) and a five-year license agreement.
Laird also received a quote from ACP CreativIT, of Buffalo Grove, Illinois, for $14,739. However, ACP’s quote only included a one-year license.
The board heard a presentation from Webster County Sheriff Luke Fleener and Fort Dodge Police Captain Dennis Quinn on the standard response protocol that schools and law enforcement follow in the event of a crisis on the campus of school.
“The good news is that we have been building this partnership for the past six years,” said Fleener. “Fortunately, that was never necessary.”
The goal of the protocol, he said, is to get everyone — law enforcement, students, staff, parents, administrators, community members — on the same page by crisis and to use the same terminology to avoid confusion with terms like “lock” versus “lockdown” and other situations.
Fleener said he and the FDPD regularly hold security training and drills with district personnel.
The cost of renovations to Cooper Elementary School has increased slightly. The school board approved a change order for $109,000 Monday night. The bulk of that expense — about $104,700 — was to replace several classroom appliances that weren’t originally part of the project, including whiteboards, cabinets, sinks and faucets, said Ryan Utley, director building and land district.
The school planned to reuse the existing whiteboards, but when the contractors started widening the classroom doors, they had to cut out the whiteboards – which were just laminated whiteboards over the old blackboards.
Utley also said the district planned to reuse existing cabinets in the classrooms, but found the asbestos tiling was underneath and would have to be reduced if it ever decided to remove those cabinets. He said they decided to remove those cabinets and remove the asbestos tiling along with the rest of the asbestos abatement that is part of the project.
Cooper’s renovation project is funded by the district’s share of COVID relief funds, with the district’s physical facilities and equipment levy fund covering a small amount.
The Cooper wheelchair lift will also be replaced during this project. The board approved a $15,195 bid from Wheelchair Dynamics of Fort Dodge to replace the existing wheelchair lift that runs from the building’s main level to the gymnasium.
“He’s nearly 25 years old and actually came out of the old Fair Oaks, so he just needs replacing,” Utley said.
He added that two companies have evaluated the lift and estimated that it could still be used for two to three years, but due to the replacement of the flooring already underway with this project, he decided that the time was right. came to replace him.
Utley also received an offer from Access Elevator and Lifts, of Des Moines, for $17,450.
The council also received an update from a team of students from Butler Elementary School who participated in a “crusade” to bring a water bottle refilling station to the school’s fourth and fifth grade hallway.
In early March, the group presented its project to the board of directors and planned to sell wristbands and water bottles to fund the $1,600 needed for the device.
Band member Emersyn Lara, a fifth-grade student, told the board Monday night that they had surpassed their fundraising goal of $300.
“We haven’t decided yet what we are going to do” she says.
The water station has been commissioned and the students – Lara, along with fifth graders Ray’Zaria Parker, Ava Potter and Brooklyn Gilliland – will work together to decide what to do with the extra money that would still benefit the school community. , Principal says Jessica Kruckenberg.
Kruckenberg said they hope the water station will be installed before the end of the school year, so students can use it for a few weeks before leaving for the summer and moving on to middle school.