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Frontier talks district security

Photo by James Dobbs Superintendent Beth Brown, right, presented her district report to the Frontier Board of Education in New Matamoras. Also pictured was Treasurer Lee Howard.

NEW MATAMORAS — The Frontier Local Schools Board of Education met Thursday and discussed security concerns following the recent Texas shooting, as well as gym upgrades.

Joani Reese, board member, asked for a moment of silence before the prayer in honor of the lives lost in the Texas shooting.

Bruce Cassady, technology director, gave a presentation of the schools’ new camera system, which had been installed since April. It is a 4K camera system, including 92 cameras across the district. The board talked about eventually adding new cameras in classrooms to protect students and teachers.

Superintendent Beth Brown said there are about 45 teachers or classrooms district wide. Cassady said the cameras would cost approximately $1,700 per camera. No decisions were made at this time.

“It clears up fights, it clears up incidents, it clears up stuff happening inside each and every classroom,” said Adam Snyder, board vice president, about protecting the students.

Cassady brought up putting card readers for access at every door, in every building in the district. He said they would cost about $3,000 per door.

Snyder brought up the Texas school shooting and said he was concerned that if there were a student who “wants to go nuts,” they could grab a key card and could get access to anywhere in the building. His thought was to just have a main entrance at the schools instead of multiple ones.

Cassady responded by explaining that they can dictate certain hours and certain doors that the key cards can access.

“School safety is something that we want to make sure that we have done and something that we want to expedite,” said Board President Jarod Kiggans. “So we need to look at getting that done as soon as possible.”

The board discussed future upgrades to the gymnasium including painting, murals, a scoreboard, monitors and new seating, among other upgrades. Kiggans said he would like to have it completed by basketball season.

During her district report, Brown said through the Ohio Valley Educational Service Center and the Muskingum Valley Educational Service Center, they are working on getting driver’s education reinstated as a course in 15 different school districts.

“That’s great for our students, because every one of our districts in southeastern Ohio had the same thing, where kids graduated without driver’s licenses,” she said.

Lee Howard, treasurer, did not go over the Five Year Forecast, but after the meeting said Frontier has a positive balance through 2026. She said there is deficit spending that is “very small,” in years 2025 and 2026. She also said she noticed that of their expenditures, the prices of diesel, natural gas and food have been increasing.

“Our expenses are going up, just like everyone else’s,” she said.

James Dobbs can be reached at jdobbs@newsandsentinel.com.

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