New front office features better safety for high school building
HUGHESVILLE – With school starting today, Superintendent Michael Pawlik expressed concern for those who haven’t completed the required immunizations. “We have gone from an 8 month transition period to get them to no grace period at all,” he said. As of last week, there were still some 50 more students in the district who need to get the updated vaccinations necessary for attendance by the Pennsylvania Department of Health in the public schools.
“The seniors have to have theirs by the fifth day of school,” he added. “Some students are lacking one or two of the immunizations. We have been sending out letters since last spring.” This includes the cyber and charter schools as well.
The most exciting aspect of the the school year is the new high school office. Principal, Ron Lorson said, “We needed to be more safety conscious at our high school for better control of who is in our building.”
Previously, it would take about 70 yards of trekking before anyone would reach the high school office. Wendy Daugherty, high school secretary, said that sometimes we would lose sight of who was in the building once we opened the door. Now the main office is located to the immediate right when entering the main foyer or lobby area of the building. “It used to be the teacher’s faculty room,” Daugherty said.
Furniture was delivered last Friday for the new office and the teacher’s lounge is now the old high school office. Lorson added, “We filled a lot of dead space. It was an unused hallway.”
The contract bid went to Best Builders, a local company, that installed two sets of doors and a quick drop off to slide under a nearby window. Sam Shaffer, a Hughesville High School graduate of 2008, was the site manager and the school administrators said they were glad to have him.
The closed circuit cameras also were replaced and updated according to Pawlik. “There is a new security camera on the first set of doors,” he said.
“I think it’s a necessary step,” Daugherty added.
“It was a challenge to increase the level of safety in a cost-effective matter,” Pawlik continued. With safety and convenience added to the new construction and the new surveillance equipment, it will now take a double beep to get to the new office. “The improvements we have made here will be noticeable by our community,” said Lorson.
The school district also is switching from i-pads to Chromebooks because they are more functional for the school according to Pawlik. “They are less costly,” he said. They will be used in grades four through 12. One thousand of them have been purchased and were part of the district’s budget. Some of the students and staff members were exposed to them last year and gave “glowing reviews”. Pawlik added that students will be able to access books and tests on the Chromebooks as well as lab documents and Excel reports. “The servers here are filtered, so it is important students have a safe experience,” he said. The teachers will give them out the first week of school, and some of the teachers took an online course over the summer during their own time. Pawlik added, “The kids seem to be incredibly careful with their devices. They grew up with this stuff and they know what to do.”