"I've used them in my past district," said Dr. Aaron Cornman, superintendent of the Pierce City District. "Our objective is to keep students safe at school."
Immediate Response Group (IRG) will make nine visits with canines to selected campuses at the district. The company will also provide educational training on bullying and the dangers of methamphetamine use for a total contract cost of $2,925 for the remainder of the 2011-12 academic year.
"IRG is located within 45 minutes of the district," Cornman said. "The dogs will serve as a deterrent to people bringing drugs onto the campus in their vehicles or keeping them in backpacks or lockers."
The educational components on bullying will also meet the state-mandated criteria for school districts to implement policies providing for cyberbulling education.
"The whole perspective is to be proactive in keeping students safe," Cornman said, "not waiting for something to happen and then being reactive."
The board also authorized Cornman to enter into a contract with Copy Products to replace three district copiers on a 60-month lease.
Cost of the units will be $303.37 per month.
Cornman said the Facebook law had been signed, and board policies would have to be upgraded to reflect the new legal requirements governing teacher-student contact on social networking sites.
Cornman also asked the board to considert replacing the signs that direct traffic to the school, citing the older two indicator signs were in bad repair. The board directed Cornman to check with property owners before making a decision on the project.
The district received an "unqualified" audit from Steve Harner, a certified public accountant with The CPA Group, of Monett. Unqualified is the highest rating the district can receive.
"In our opinion, Pierce City School District complied, in all material respects, with the compliance requirements...that could have a direct and material effect on each of its major federal programs for the year ending June 30," Harner said.
In her report to the board, Gayla DeGraffenreid, middle school principal, told board members about Red Ribbon Week activities. She also informed the board that the Drama Club will be presenting "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever" for the holiday season, and that the time and date would be announced at a later time.
DeGraffenreid noted the Pierce City Middle School Girls Basketball season will kick off on Nov. 8 at College Heights. A pep bus will be available for those wishing to attend.
Steve Garner, high school principal, said in his monthly report that things were going well at that campus. Four students are enrolled in the alternative school program, and he said that number would rise at the end of the first quarter.
Garner also reported that seniors attended College Day at Monett High School. Other activities for the month included: FFA students attending Farm Fest at Springfield; the United States Marine recruiter visiting the campus to hand out materials to interested seniors; a visit from Crowder College representatives to discuss the Upward Bound program; and the National FFA Convention.
Kristi Marion, principal at Central Elementary School, reported several teachers attended training on acuity assessment, which helps pinpoint specific skills that students have mastered. Members of the Pierce City Fire Department also visited with elementary students for Fire Prevention Week.
Upcoming events for that campus include a Scholastic Book fair on Nov. 7.
In his report to the board, Cornman told members that the metal fascia, damaged in the May 4, 2003, tornado, was being repaired at the elementary school campus where damage was most visible.
The next regular meeting of the Pierce City Board of education will be at 6:30 p.m. on Nov. 21 in the office of the superintendent.