Southeastern Schools now has school resource officer

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(Posted Feb. 28, 2019)

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

One of the South Charleston Police Department’s part-time officers is moving to full-time as he takes on duties as a school resource officer for Southeastern Local Schools.

On Feb. 19, the school board approved an agreement with the village. Officer Michael Seagraves will work at the school district full-time during the 172-day school year and perform police work for the village the rest of the year. The officer will remain as an employee of the village. The school district will pay the village $39,100 per year to cover the district’s share of the employee’s salary and benefits.

Seagraves’s work at the school district will start March 5. He will be on site whenever school is in session. This summer, he will complete student resource officer training and mandated juvenile de-escalation training.

“This is a win-win for both parties. We end up with an extra full-time guy, and the schools get a student resource officer,” said Police Chief Brian Redish.

In the past, the Clark County Sheriff’s Office has provided student resource officer services to Southeastern Schools on a part-time basis. With the creation of a position dedicated to the school district, Southeastern will have someone local on-site full-time. Redish said his department will call on the Sheriff’s Office resource officer on an as-needed basis.

As a school resource officer, Seagraves will spend time at both of the school district’s buildings every day to provide safety, security and support to students and staff. Duties could include sitting in on crisis intervention meetings with students. The police department is already part of the district’s crisis intervention team. The officer will be armed.

Southeastern Superintendent David Shea said the school resource officer program is one more way the school district is looking out for students.

“We are using more proactive type of activities to aid our students in dealing with everyday issues,” he said.

Other such student support programs at Southeastern include: DARE; Kids Hope, a mentoring program; Botvin Life Skills for third- and fourth-graders; Sanford Harmony, an intervention program; Sufficient Grace, a food program; and therapists from the Educational Service Center who visit the schools twice a week. Several of these programs are in their first or second years at Southeastern. Additionally, teachers are in training now for a new positive behavior intervention program.

Southeastern’s payment to the village for the resource officer will be pro-rated for the remainder of this school year.  Shea said the district is using a one-time safety and security grant from the state, state Title money, and general fund money to cover this year’s costs.

In other action, the board:

  • approved a tentative list of graduates for the 2018-19 school year. If all students on the list complete their graduation requirements, Southeastern’s Class of 2019 will have 53 graduates.
  • accepted the resignations of junior high track coach Jessica Miller and high school wrestling coach Joe Hall. The board hired Derek Richardson for junior high track, Randy Combs for wrestling, and Matt Locke as assistant varsity track coach.
  • approved the following permanent improvement and general fund expenditures–$4,985 for a new volleyball net and pole system at the high school, $3,150 to upgrade the press box at the football field, $3,376 for 15 Chromebooks and licenses for Miami View School, and $9,057 for percussion instruments for the band program.

Several students were recognized for recent achievements, including five accepted to the OMEA Middle School Honor Band: Carson Bell, Ella Davlin, Ethan Heskett, Shelby Kenley and Brooklyn Weller.

On Feb. 2, Southeastern junior high students competed in creative writing at the Power of the Pen district contest. Students from 20 schools participated. Ethan Heskett, Shelby Kenley and Olivia Skillings are moving on to regional competition. Kenley placed 13th out of 70 seventh-graders. Skillings placed 19th out of 70 seventh-graders and earned a “best of round” award for having the best story in one round of competition. Heskett placed 29th out of 82 eighth-graders. Southeastern’s seventh-grade team placed eighth out of 15 teams. The eighth-grade team placed 13th.

The high school cheerleading team qualified for the state cheerleading competition, which will take place on March 10.

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