East Holmes Partners with Holmes Sheriff for security

East Holmes Local Schools contracted with the Holmes County Sheriff's Department for security measures.

By Stacey Carmany
The Budget

The East Holmes school district is partnering with the Holmes County Sheriff’s Department to provide increased security and peace of mind within the district.

During their July meeting, members of the East Holmes Board of Education voted unanimously to enter into an agreement with Holmes County Sheriff Timothy Zimmerly to provide one full-time officer to patrol the district during the 2018-2019 school year. “The general idea there is for us to have a resource person like that in the district to rely on and be there to help us in the event the need arises or to be a resource person for us,” explained Superintendent Erik Beun. “Having a deputy dedicated to East Holmes, one thing it does do is improve response if there’s someone in the district who can help with those things.”

Under the terms of the agreement, the department will provide one full-time officer to spend 40 hours per week patrolling the district during the school year, with additional hours to be scheduled at the discretion of the district in consultation with the sheriff. “We’ll provide an officer to the East Holmes district and one to the West Holmes district, and then what they’ll do is they’ll kind of be at the disposal of the superintendents and the building principals to be there for security, for patrols,” explained Chief Deputy Richard Haun. “I do believe that they want to get them in there as well to do some talks and to interact with the students as much as possible.”

At East Holmes, the officer will be present in the district during regular school hours and will be authorized to perform any law enforcement function, exercise any law enforcement power, or render any law enforcement service on behalf of the school district. For matters involving violence, immediate threats of violence or emergency situations, the officer will consult with the principal of the school building to determine whether the matter will be handled through the school’s disciplinary process or through criminal prosecution.

Under the terms of the agreement, East Holmes will cover the current rate of pay and benefits for the officer as well as any additional training, equipment or supplies needed specifically for school policing. The department will furnish a patrol vehicle for the assignment and cover the cost of maintenance, gas and insurance and will be reimbursed by the district for use of the vehicle during the duration of the assignment. Haun noted that the increased security measures are not unique to Holmes County but are being implemented in school districts throughout the state. “We’re not the only county going through these changes,” he said. “All the surrounding counties are doing the same thing, and we’re glad to be able to get this off the ground here in Holmes County.”

He added that the officers for both districts will likely be spending the majority of their time at the middle and high school buildings, where the majority of incidents tend to occur. “That’ll be the primary focus, but they’ll also be going out and stopping by the elementary schools as time permits and as the principals need to liaison with the students in those places as well.”

Beun expressed his gratitude to the Holmes County Commissioners for allowing the department to contract directly with the district and for agreeing to cover the cost of maintaining the officer for road patrol when school is out of session. “We’re looking forward to developing that partnership with the sheriff and whoever the deputy ends up being,” he said.

Haun noted that the department is currently interviewing potential candidates and plan to fill both positions internally from the road patrol.

In other business, the board approved a resolution to proceed with the submission of a substitute tax levy effective for a continuing period of time for the November 6 ballot. The levy will replace an existing 1.49-mill, 10-year emergency levy that generates $550,000 annually for the district. Beun emphasized that the new levy will not increase the tax burden for existing properties but instead will allow the district to realize additional property tax revenue on new developments.

In other action, the board:

LEARNED that information has been sent out to parents regarding the new 1:1 technology initiative being launched this year at Hiland. Families received information outlining policies and procedures and detailing how to pick up devices.

APPROVED a resolution with META Solutions to advertise and receive bus bids on behalf of the district for the 2018-2019 school year.

ENTERED into a contract with the Holmes County Board of Developmental Disabilities to provide educational teacher assistant support services for students attending the Holmes County Training Center for the 2018-2019 school year.

APPROVED a service agreement with Knox County Educational Service Center to provide special education instruction for district students at the Knox Learning Center for the 2017-2018 school year.

ADOPTED the Revised School Calendar for the 2018-2019 school year. The first day of school will be Tuesday, August 21, and the last day will be Friday, May 24. Make-up days are scheduled for May 28-31 and June 3.

APPROVED a quote from Farnham Equipment Company to provide two banks of used telescopic bleachers to replace the existing bleachers in the old gym at Hiland. The cost of the bleachers is $35,700 and includes installation, and for an additional $2,7000, the company will store the bleachers for up to two months on a trailer and transport the materials to the school.

AUTHORIZED the purchase of a 72-passenger school bus through Cardinal Bus Sales at a cost of $84,872. Bids were received through META Solutions (formerly MEC).

APPOINTED board member James Gertz as the delegate to the Ohio School Board Association Capital Conference to be held November 11-13. Board member Thurman Mullet will serve as the alternate.

SET the following fees for the 2018-2019 school year: Kindergarten – $20; Grades 1-12 – $35. Activity fees were set at $10 for elementary students, $25 for middle school students and $50 for high school students. Free lunch students are exempt from general and required course fees but are expected to pay activity fees if they opt to participate.

SET the following lunch fees for the 2018-2019 school year: Elementary – $2.65 (an increase of 15 cents); middle and high school – $3; adult – $3.50; reduced meals – 40 cents; milk – 50 cents. Breakfast fees were set at $1.50 for students and $2 for adults. Breakfast will be provided at no cost to students qualifying for reduced-price meals.

APPROVED one-year limited contracts for the following new Classified personnel, pending completion of all requirements: Cameron A. Miller, special education aide at Hiland and Natasha L. Yoder, classroom aide at Walnut Creek and Winesburg elementary schools.

APPROVED Korie A. Haswell as the intervention specialist tutor at Mt. Hope for the 2018-2019 school year, pending completion of all licensure requirements.

APPROVED the reorganization of the Transportation Department for the 2018-2019.

APPROVED the following supplemental positions for the 2018-2019 school year: John Whitmer, transportation assistant ($9,000 stipend); Korie Haswell, girls tennis coach; Trace Cooper, girls assistant tennis coach volunteer.

The next meeting of the East Holmes Board of Education is Tuesday, August 21, at 7:30 a.m. in the Central Office, located at 6108 County Road 77 in Berlin.

This story originally appeared in the July 25, 2018 edition of The Budget. For more stories like this pick up a copy of The Budget at an area retailer. Better yet, subscribe and the news will be waiting in your mailbox each week. Call us at 330-852-4634.