The Grayville Community School Unit #1 will get additional security equipment installed in the gym as well as outside on the playground. Last week, the School Board approved the purchase of additional cameras and DVR recording device to store the additional footage. The DVR will also allow more cameras to be connected if the school chooses to request more in the future.

“This all started because we started having some issues in the elementary gym, which has several entrances and exits, which is obviously a big safety concern if we can’t see,” said Wells Elementary School principal, Levi Johnson. “And then issues out on the grounds…on the playground, there’s no camera, out that way,” he continued.

Johnson requested more cameras in order to to eliminate some of the blind spots, he noted. But upon investigation into acquiring the additional cameras, he learned that the storage capacity would also need to be boosted.

In the past, the School Board had utilized tort funds to purchase and install the current security system, and Superintendent of Schools Sarah Emery suggested the district use them again to purchase the additional equipment, “[since] that is approved for safety and security.” The total cost for the DVR and to cameras would come to $5,275.60, plus an additional $50 a month, according to Emery.

Even amongst the current COVID-19 situation, the School Board did discuss and approve several agenda items for the 2020-2021 school year, to include the calendar and senior trip for the graduating class of 2021. The Board also queried about the upcoming senior trip for the graduating class of 2020, but under the current circumstances, no one associated with the trip is willing to cancel until the next few weeks panned out and they would be in a better place to decide if it should still proceed as planned.

Discussion about the current COVID-19 situation was minimal, but Emery did note that Mar 17-19 and 30 were considered “act of God” days for the district, since March 20 and 23-27 was still listed as “spring break.” March 31 and April 1-7 will also be considered “act of God” days for every school in the state.

Both Johnson and Emery discussed several activities that have been cancelled, postponed or may be postponed in district schools. Johnson hoped that upon returning to school, Wells Elementary students will possibly be able to continue with the spring book fair, but it was not known currently if it could.

Emery shared her gratefulness to the board for community members, the tireless work of the staff throughout the district and Principal Johnson. She also made special mention of Sarah Puntney, head cook at the cafeteria, who had worked extremely hard to get the breakfast and lunches put together and organized for the students in record time.