South Jefferson Public Forum on School Safety Meeting Info

Tonight at 6:30pm South Jefferson Board of Education held a public forum on school safety.  This is to brief any parents who were interested in attending but unable to be there on what happened.

I’d say 75-100 people were in attendance.  I was quite pleased to see quite a few attendees were staff members from all buildings in the district.  Every principal was there, school greeters were there, building & grounds and teachers.  The former School Resource Officer, Jeff Stevenson, was also present.  Several of them spoke up about their concerns as well.  The rest of the attendees were parents, grandparents and yes even students. 

Within the past 18 months the schools have installed 27 security cameras, including a camera pointed at every main entrance.  The monitors are currently in the principals office but they are discussing possibility of moving monitors out to the greeters desk.  With the recent Sandy Hook tragedy, there has been talk at both federal and state levels of bringing back funding for School Resource Officers but the school is still looking into it. 

Concerns voiced from the audience:

  • Much concern was expressed about the front entrance doors being unlocked.  Currently, Mannsville is the only school in the district that locks all doors during the school day.  The feedback from locking the front door has been only positive.  It is reported by staff that locking all doors, including the front door increases the feeling of security and safety in the school. 
  • Concern was also expressed about where the front entry is located in the Mannsville building.  The point of entry is located in rather close proximity to the cafeteria, which concerns parents that it leaves the children too vulnerable in face of an intrusion.  Suggestions were made to move the main entrance to another location in the school, such as closer to administrative offices. 
  • Suggestions were made for main entrances such as placing reflective window protection over the doors so that people within the school can see out but people outside the school can not see in. 
  • Another suggestion was to invest in panic buttons for the greeters.  These buttons would only be used in emergency and would alert police that they are needed at the location. 
  • Jamie Moesel explained the difference between a lock out and a lock down.  During a lock out, there is concern for danger outside of the school.  During a lock down, there is concern for danger within the school.  An attendee voiced concern that during a lock out staff is allowed to still come in and out of school.  It was suggested that during a lock down or lock out, once you exit building you can not get back in.
  • The school has been running lockout/lockdown practices.  They try to not practice too much of this to keep the children’s anxiety at a minimum.  One mother was moved to tears as she explained how her pre-k child showed her how she was to lay if a gun man were to come in.  Another mother voiced concerned that neither of her kids were able to tell her where they were to go during a lockdown.  Mrs.  Moesel explained to the audience that Trooper Stevenson has advised her that the school can only prepare/practice for about 70% of scenarios.  It is difficult to predict emergencies or how individuals will react in these types of situations.
  • There was concern over the easy access to the schools after hours, when no greeter is available.  It would be quite easy for someone to enter the school and simply not leave to gain access.  It was suggested that during public events gates be used to close off all but main hallways.  Building and grounds pointed out that there is a concern with fire safety when you use gates.  A gentleman suggested a committee of volunteer hall monitors. 
  • Mrs. Moesel also said that there has a great increase in concern over the safety of children on the bus and the possibility of harm when the bus comes to a stop. 
  • In general, the major push was for a School Resource Officer to be assigned to every school in the district.  One parent suggested that we as a community self-fund resource officers if the state/federal won’t.  A student suggested talking to the town about hiring a school safety officer.  Even if we can’t be assigned state troopers, it is a general consensus that even a security officer would increase confidence in school safety measures.  One attendee pointed out that we can lock doors, place greeters with panic buttons at the door and install cameras but once an attack starts the only thing that will stop it is an armed officer. 
  • The meeting was wrapped up with Mrs. Moesel saying that all suggestions and concerns were right in line with what the board has already been discussing. 
  • On my behalf, I will be writing to Mrs. Moesel and requesting that Wilson, Middle and High School follow Mannsville’s examples and lock all doors during the school day.  It may not deter an attack, but it will give the greeter increased time to call for help or order a lockdown. 
  • What can you do?  Write Mrs. Moesel about your concerns.  Write your local politicians and demand funding for school resource officers be restored in the face of Sandy Hook.  Demand funds to be designated to increased school safety measures.  It sounds as if several Jefferson County schools have been assigned officers, but South Jefferson has not been. We can not let this issue drop or fade away. 
  • Jamie Moesel email: jmoesel@spartanpride.org
  • Patty Ritchie email: ritchie@nysenate.gov
  • Bill Owens email: Click here
  • Andrew Cuomo email: Click here
  • Barack Obama email: Click here
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Boost Your Resume and Your Chances of Landing a Better Job

So you don’t want to work minimum wage anymore?  No college education but seeking better employment?  There are easy ways to boost your resume and catch employer’s eyes! 

1.  NO GAPS in employment!!  You must take care of your resume and work history.  As someone who frequently reviews resumes, it is a major turn off to see gaps in between jobs.  It tells me that you either are frequently unemployed (not desirable) or that you were at a job that you left on bad terms (not desirable).  So even if you hate your job, don’t leave it until you secure other employment. 

2. Don’t job jump.  It is also undesirable to see someone who often only works for 6 months at a time before leaving for another job.  It looks better to have only one job that you were at for 3 years rather than 3 jobs that you were at for a year at a time.  Employers want long term employees.  Show them you are capable of long term.

3.  Make yourself stand out.  If there is one opening and ten applicants, you want your resume to stand out from the others.  The biggest bonus points is going to come from experience and qualifications.  If you are hoping to secure a clerical job, take some Microsoft software seminars.  Take the test to become a Notary Public.  If you want to get in the medical field, get CPR certified.  Volunteer at the local hospital.  Keep track of any classes, seminars, volunteer work or certifications you receive and list them on your resume.

4. Take civil service tests that you qualify for.  Many do not require a college degree.  These will place you on lists that the county provides to facilities looking to fill county and state openings. 

5.  Cater your resume and cover letter specifically to the job you are applying for.  If you are applying for a job as a secretary in a lawyer’s office, they won’t care as much for your CPR certification as they will to know that you took a Microsoft Excel course or are a Notary Public.  On the other hand if you are applying for a medical office, they might care more to know you are CPR certified and spent summers as a volunteer in the hospital as a teenager. 

Here are some local classes coming up to help boost your resume:

Volunteer Opportunities:

Jefferson County Upcoming Civil Service Tests

Applications for qualified individuals are being accepted now for the following civil service exams:

  • No. 67-892 Fire Driver (Must submit applications by 2/1/13, test is 3/9/13) Requirements: High School Diploma or equivalent and an appropriate NYS driver’s license at time of appointment.
  • No. 64-276 Police Chief (Must submit applications by 2/1/13, test is 3/23/13) Requirements: Graduation from high school and two years of experience with an organized police force or law enforcement agency which must have involved investigation and/or apprehension of law violators.

CANDIDATES MUST HAVE BEEN LEGAL RESIDENTS OF JEFFERSON COUNTY OR CONTIGUOUS COUNTIES (Lewis, St. Lawrence, Oswego) FOR AT LEAST ONE MONTH IMMEDIATELY PRECEDING THE DATE OF THE WRITTEN TEST.

For applications click here.  Application fee must be sent in with application. 

Other county job openings: Occupational Therapist, Occupational Therapy Aide, Public Health Nurse, Physical Therapist, Public Health Educator, Computer Programmer, Registered Professional Nurse, Home Health Aide, Home Care.  For more info on these positions click here.

Friday’s Family Weekend Fun Features!!

I have TWO events to put the spotlight on this Friday! 

Kick the morning off with a FREE event for the young kids by letting them select their favorite stuffed animal to take to the Teddy Bear Clinic at the South Jefferson Ambulance Squad in Adams (9am-3pm).  They will get to get in the ambulance and watch as the EMT “works” on the stuffed animal, providing any bandages they need.  This helps children understand what happens in an ambulance and hopefully will make any medical emergencies less scary!!

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In the afternoon take your older children (2nd-8th grades) to the FREE math & science labs at NNY Math located next to Sears in the Salmon Run Mall!!  Email brian@nnymath.com to reserve a spot either at 3pm or 4pm!  Make sure you mention you saw the info on Penny Pinching Parents so you get the class for free!! 

Two family friendly events, both FREE!! 

Fun, Educational & Free!! This Weekend at the Mall!

Looking for something fun AND educational for your kids this weekend?  How about trying a class at NNY Math weekend?  The cost of a month is at NNY Math is normally $65 but Penny Pinching Parents can try a class this weekend at 3pm or 4pm for FREE! NNY Math is an afterschool Math & Science program for kids in grades 2-8 located in Salmon Run Mall next to Sears.  Email brian@nnymath.com to reserve a spot.

For more information on NNY Math click here or follow the NNY Math Facebook page!!  Make sure when you email him, you tell him you saw the deal on the Penny Pinching Parents site so you can give it a try for FREE!!

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C.N.A Training For Samaritan Keep Home Positions

Have you always wanted to get into the medical field?  Sick of your minimum wage job?  Want a recession proof job?  Samaritan Keep Home is now accepting applications for the Certified Nursing Assistant training program.  This is a 12 week program that upon completion will make you eligible to take the NYS Certified Nursing Assistant Exam.  The program is expected to start around March 2013.  Financial Assistance may be available.  For more information or to apply for the training program click here or contact the Samaritan Keep Home at (315) 785-4400.