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Cumberland Valley School District

Students walk across campus at Cumberland Valley High School.

The Cumberland Valley School District is moving forward in 2019 with an initiative that officials began last year to upgrade district security measures.

On Monday night, the school board approved administrators’ recommendation to fill four unarmed security positions at the high school that were included in the 2018-19 budget. The positions are three security officer II positions with a starting wage of $18.30 per hour and a security supervisor position with a starting rate of $19.80 per hour.

The new positions are described as an enhancement of the previous district job descriptions for hall monitors. The “whole new job descriptions” involve additional training and certification requirements, plus other factors, Superintendent Frederick Withum III said Monday.

Michael Willis, the district’s director of business and support services, said administrators “will start moving forward with the interviewing process” to fill the new jobs. The former hall monitor jobs were vacant because those employees had retired or were transferred to other areas within the district.

Withum said the four security positions were created to match goals listed in a recent safety review by MG Tactical Advantage. CV officials began planning to upgrade district security measures after the mass shooting on Feb. 14, 2018, at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, where 17 students, teachers and staff died.

In April 2018, the school board agreed to a multiyear contract with MG Tactical Advantage of Carlisle for costs not to exceed $22,000 in the district’s 2017-18 budget. For 2018-19, total costs must not exceed $30,500. Prior to that, Withum said the district was undertaking an extensive review of its emergency preparedness plans in collaboration with government officials, law enforcement agencies, consultants and district parents.

In September 2018, the Cumberland Valley School Board approved the appointment of Michael Sokolas as CV’s new school district safety and security coordinator at an annual salary of $72,000. The new administrative position was created to meet requirements of Pennsylvania’s Safe and Secure School Act that was signed into law by Gov. Tom Wolf on June 22, 2018.

Other action

In other news, the board approved the retirement of Assistant Superintendent Gary Quigley on Monday. Quigley’s retirement becomes effective on July 1 after 30 years of service with the district.

“I can honestly say that we will miss you tremendously. I wish there was a way that we could have you stay for another 10 years. We wish the best for you,” school board president Heather Dunn told Quigley.

In a related matter, the school board agreed to award incentive compensation of $5,000 to Withum relating to a clause in his contract with the district. The compensation is a portion of Withum’s annual salary that is withheld until a final review of his job performance for each year, he said. Withum’s contracted salary for 2018 was $173,400. For 2019, his salary was increased by 2 percent to $176,868.

Finally, the school board on Monday approved the purchase of furniture, fixtures and equipment for Mountain View Middle School totaling $1,781,227.74 from Tanner Furniture of Harrisburg. Willis said construction of the school remains on schedule for the building to open in April. Open house tours are planned there in July. Mountain View Middle School will welcome its first classes with the start of the 2019-20 school year.

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