Williamsville School Superintendent Scott Martzloff on Tuesday night reviewed short-term and long-term plans to improve school security in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings.
Short-term improvements include the installation of additional security cameras and more school safety drills.
Long-term improvements include the implementation of a new ID card access system for all employees, and consideration of additional security staffing.
Martzloff told the Board of Education that since the Columbine High School massacre, the district has worked hard to create a “culture of security.”
“We do want to increase our vigilance,” he said.
The school district will maintain a “locked classroom-door policy” and is in the process of conducting additional security training at all schools, he said. Amherst Police will conduct random safety checks of all schools during the school year.
“We want to take a sensible approach and not promote fear among our students, our staff or parents,” he said.
The board offered a minute of silence for the victims of the Connecticut shooting at Tuesday’s meeting.
In other news:
• Martzloff asked for a moment of silence in memory of the passing of James Rusin, the longtime athletic director and a 42-year employee of the district. Rusin died Sunday after a long battle with cancer.
He was well known in the community as a leader and pioneer in the region for the growth and expansion of numerous public school athletic programs.
“Many of us in the Williamsville community were touched by Jim’s kind spirit, caring attitude and endless, boundless energy,” Martzloff said, “where he always strived to make decisions that were in the best interest of the students that he served. He will be sorely missed.”
• The board named two new assistant principals for South High School: Erich Ploetz, who previously served as an assistant principal for Frontier Middle School in Hamburg; and Jason Swenson, who previously served as assistant principal of the middle/high school in the Cleveland Hill school district.
• Martzloff said the district expects to be on the hook for $6.7 million in required expense increases for 2013-14, a hike of 3.8 percent. That includes $1.9 million in pay increases for school staff, $2.7 million in state pension increases, and $1.4 million in health insurance increases.
A modest, anticipated increase in state aid will not even be enough to cover the growth in pension costs, Martzloff said.
• The board heard a report about the use of iPads in school throughout most lower grade levels, and the introduction of iPads at the high school level.