OCS improves emergency plan

Published 12:03 am Thursday, December 20, 2012

Opp City Schools superintendent Michael Smithart said Tuesday that the system has recently made some improvements to its emergency plans that just so happened to come in a timely manner.

“We met with Chief Mike McDonald, Assistant chief Kevin Chance and Investigator Mark Kyzar to discuss plan and address specific issues,” Smithart said. “(Incidents like the massacre in Newtown, Conn.) triggers the need to look at procedures. We felt we have a good plan. There is no perfect plan.”

Smithart said one improvement made is in the form of communication.

“We improved our communication system internally, the way we communicate among our administrative staff and such,” he said. “We want to reassure our parents that our schools are safe.”

Additionally, the board passed two revisions to the board policy manuals.

The first is a revision to the corporal punishment policy that is required for students with disabilities.

The addition states that discipline of a student with disabilities shall be determined on a case-by-case basis in accordance with the requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Act and the student’s individualized education plan.

The second revision deals with the changes in the Alabama ethics laws regarding teachers’ gifts.

“Due to recent events in other areas of the state and in order to update our policy to reflect changes in Alabama’s Ethics Laws, we need to amend this policy,” Smithart said. “The Legislature has now clarified the guidelines for gifts and our current policy is out of date. We made changes to this last December, but at the time, the amount was $10, and now it is limited at $25 per gift.”

Smithart said the clarification now allows classes to pool their money to give a teacher a gift.

In other business, the board:

• Approved its first budget amendment for the 2013 fiscal year.

• Approved financials for the month of November.