DIS board gets safe school report

Published 1:59 pm Monday, November 28, 2022



During the monthly Danville Independent School Board meeting, the board received a report on school safety from Director of Pupil Personnel and Student Support Services Ron Ballard.

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“Our suspensions are down well over 50 percent across the district,” Ballard said. “I really believe that it’s in part due to the positive behavior and interventions supports they have in the systems. I think they have done a really good job of looking at doing restorative practices with the students and using them as learning opportunities rather than being punitive and sending students home.”

A regional compliance officer conducts surprise audits to ensure that the school is acting in accordance to Kentucky’s School Safety and Resiliency Act, Ballard said. The officers are checking that schools are in compliance with state policy, such as keeping all doors being locked at all times to keep out intruders. Any violations will reflect directly on those responsible for not being in compliance, Ballard said.

“The incident that happened in Texas last spring has heightened awareness nationwide,” Ballard said. “They have announced the reports this year will go up by teacher’s name.”

Funding cuts will be forthcoming to any schools that are not in compliance, said Ballard. Danville Independent Schools had similar policies before the law was in place and Ballard is confident that the school system is in compliance.

“If you have a safe environment kids just learn better,” said School Board Chair Steve Becker. “Teachers are more settled, and they feel better about being at work. We have been pretty progressive on safety.”

For other business discussed at the meeting, the board has approved a bid of $268,732 to increase handicap accessibility at Hogsett Elementary’s playground. The project will also improve drainage to prevent the school’s sidewalks from flooding.    

The school board has also approved a bid of $15,000 to redo the lighting at the high school’s gym. Upgrades will include high efficiency LED lighting and motion activation. The project is expected to pay for itself in five years, the board said, due to overall efficiency of the system that includes decreased running time and maintenance.