NEW FRANKLIN  An update to the new security measures completed and planned for the Manchester Local Schools was presented by SACS Consulting, of Akron, during the Oct. 18 meeting of the Manchester Local Schools Board of Education.

This spring, the school board authorized contracting with SACS to provide a security analysis, to assess and report what needed improvement and what changes needed implemented before the school year began. The cost of the consultation was $4,500, 

Jay Ruble, a school administrator/security specialist for SACS, said the company assessed all three school buildings and the administration building. Derrin Dimofff, a security consultant, explained that SACS divided its assessment into green, yellow and red categories, representing security measures already in place, those that need improvement and those that need changed. This resulted in recommendations, some of which were completed this summer.

Additional lighting was added at the high school and the outside athletic track. Also, at the high school, 35 additional security cameras were installed. At the middle school, lighting was added and buzzers were installed at entry doors.

At Nolley Elementary, all new door locks were installed.

Superintendent Dr. James Robinson said all of the projects over the summer were completed by the custodial staff. He estimated the cost of the additional security measures totalled $75,000 to $100,000. There are future measures to be taken and he could not estimates the costs. He said it is an ongoing project to keep the students and staff safe.

Robinson noted that one new security measure that will help staff is an app on each staff members' phone allowing them to alert the police and receive an alert if there is an intruder.

In other business, the board:

-  Approved a resolution of congratulations to Nolley Elementary Principal Christi Pappas and her staff for being awarded a national Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education. This was a first time the school has receieved the award. Board president Richard Sponseller said the achievement was a testament to the dedication to the students.

"You (Pappas) are the coach, and the staff hit it out of the park. They are the all stars," he said.

- District Curriculum Director Rachel Willis gave a report on the status of the report card issued by the state. She said Manchester Schools are in the upper 20 percent of schools in the state based on the test results.

"We are always reviewing testing and students had to transition from paper testing to online," she said. "There are improvements to me made in test results, as well as how to better explain the state report card to the community."

She added that the four year graduation rate and the five year graduation rate are both at 92 percent.