Parents concerned students left in cold

NEW MATAMORAS –The library of Frontier High and Middle School was full of concerned parents Monday who brought up the issue of students waiting in the cold before school begins.

A few parents attending Monday’s board of education meeting brought up the issue of students arriving to school prior to the doors opening at 7:45 a.m. and having to wait in the cold, rainy or snowy weather.

“I’ve been hearing things don’t run the way they used to,” said Brenda Wilson, president for the Ohio Association of Public Schools Employees. “A teacher was told they could watch the kids in the building so I don’t know why that stopped.”

Superintendent Brian Rentsch said he has been working to figure out an alternative than to leave students in bad weather.

“We sent home letters around Thanksgiving alerting parents about the start time for the district schools,” he said. “The letters were in regard to not dropping your kids off until someone is there to open the doors at 7:45 a.m.”

Some parents said previously there was a teacher who enjoyed arriving early and letting students into the building.

“I don’t know if that teacher was told to stop or what happened,” said Wilson.

Rentsch said he was never told to stop letting students in early but it has been discussed.

“This is clearly something we need to discuss further as a board but as a board we have also said we didn’t want to spend district money hiring someone to be there before 7:45 to let the kids in,” he said.

Board president Justin Hoff brought up the idea of having a volunteer able to do this without spending money.

“Possibly a parent or grandparent would be able to do this if authorized,” he said. “They could let the kids in at 7:35 and we wouldn’t be spending money.”

Board member Todd Collins said he has seen his daughter in this situation and as a parent is all for hiring someone if needed to let the students in early.

“We are grouping our kids together and just passed this concealed carry thing,” he said. “I guarantee that somebody would be willing to come in early just for the safety of our kids.”

Collins was referencing a recent policy passed by the board to allow authorized personnel to carry concealed weapons in the school.

Rentsch said this will be something that he will discuss with Wilson this week.