Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

February 9, 2013

Fallsburg Elementary changing open-door approach

FALLSBURG — Located in a small community, Fallsburg Elementary School had left its doors unlocked for visitors since it first opened. After the deadly elementary school shooting in Newtown, Conn., the open-door policy has been reconsidered.

 “We just knew some changes had to be made,” Fallsburg Principal Jamie Lester said.

In January a meeting was held by the school for parents to voice concerns. More than 70 parents attended.

Angela Copley is both a teacher at Fallsburg and a parent of two FES students. She attended the meetings and said having an open meeting was the best way to approach the situation.

“I really like having an open forum where everyone could be heard and state their concerns and solutions for the problem,” Copley said.

Those who attended the meeting seemed to agree about the school’s biggest safety concern.

“People kept saying parents can’t just come in the school the way they were,” Lester said.

At the time of the meeting the school was left unlocked during the school day so parents could enter to pick up or drop off their children.

Lester asked parents and faculty for suggestions to improve procedures for morning dropoff and afternoon pickups. He also researched security policies of other schools across the state.

Together Lester and the Fallsburg school community created a stricter school safety policy.

With the new plan, students walk to the gym and sit with their class until either their buses or parents arrive. Students can only leave the school with an adult who has proper identification.

“It’s not intricate or rocket science,” Lester said. “It just makes sense.”

Multiple practice runs were held to make sure all students from kindergarten to eighth grade understand how the new policy works.

Students were given handouts to let parents know about the new procedure.

Copley said the new system makes her feel more at ease as both a parent and a teacher.

“I love the idea that no one can just walk into the building and take any child from the building without showing the proper identification.” Copley said.

Lester says he plans to evaluate the effectiveness of the new process at the end of the school year to determine if improvements will need to be made.

“The changes we’ve made haven’t just been in procedures, but in culture,” Lester said. “We aren’t an open-door school anymore.”

The new procedure began this week.

SARAH BECKELHEIMER is a student at Morehead State University and part of the college’s convergent media program.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • State’s longest trail system turns 35

    The Sheltowee Trace was officially dedicated as part of the National Recreation Trail system in 1979. After 35 years, the trail remains Kentucky’s longest distance trail, estimated at 307 miles.
     

    July 21, 2014

  • Pancake releases new album

    The top of the Sky Tower in downtown Ashland was booming Saturday night with music from Larry Pancake’s new album “Fair Weather Friend.”
     

    July 21, 2014

  • Telephone scammer fleeces man of $5,000

    A telephone scammer claimed another area victim when a Williams Avenue man paid $5,000 after the con artist told him he had won a sweepstakes but had to pay taxes on the prize money before collecting it, according to Ashland Police Department reports.
     

    July 21, 2014

  • Murder defendant pleads guilty on lesser charge, sentenced to 8 years

    One of four charged with murder in a 2008 double killing pleaded guilty to a lesser charge Monday just before his trial was to start.

    July 21, 2014

  • MIA Rush Marine to rest in Arlington

    Finding Dottie McCoy’s uncle after 71 years was the biggest part of the struggle.

    July 21, 2014

  • Morehead gets Trail Town status

    It has been two and a half years in the making and it happens today.
    Morehead will officially be designated a Kentucky Trail Town following Dawson Springs and Livingston.

    July 21, 2014

  • Fallsburg’s traditional haunt attracts unique talents

    Brian Cassidy said there is no substitute for individual talent while tackling tasks ranging from sculpting a massive hillbilly to inventing paintball gun brackets capable of withstanding the pressures caused by an incoming zombie attack.

    July 21, 2014

  • Local in brief: 7/22/14

    The Kentucky Interagency Coordination Center on Sunday mobilized two fire crews to assist with firefighting efforts in the western United States.

    July 21, 2014

  • marine3.jpg MIA Rush Marine to rest in Arlington

    Finding Dottie McCoy’s uncle after 71 years was the biggest part of the struggle.

    July 21, 2014 3 Photos

  • 0722burger2.JPG TIM PRESTON: Burgers for Boyd County bragging rights

    Looking at Saturday morning’s rainy skies, I assumed my duties as a judge for the first tailgate and burger grilling competition at the Boyd County Fairgrounds would be canceled.

    July 21, 2014 3 Photos