By John Hummer
Financing is now secured for a new security and safety system for Napoleon Schools. At its April meeting Monday, the school board unanimously adopted a resolution to adopt the LockOut Co. and UniFi Equipment company’s financing at a ceiling of $319,292.
“We’re committed to this as a district and as a community,” said Superintendent Jim Graham. “We’re moving forward.”
Napoleon Community Schools has taken the fast track to be the first school district in the area that will install a state-of-the-art system to protect students, faculty, and administrators from dangerous situations. Superintendent Jim Graham expects the new system to be installed and ready for the start of the 2018-19 school year.
Financing will allow the district to install a new Smart Boot Safety System. The Boot™, the flagship product of the system, is a rectangular-shaped five-pound plate of quarter-inch thick, cold-rolled industrial steel with tremendous strength to prevent entry from danger on the other side of a door. Each of its two steel pegs offers 8,000 pounds per square inch (psi) of tensile strength – totaling 16,000 psi when both pegs are fully engaged.
The Boot™is ideal for use in all school settings – classrooms, school offices, and building or cafeteria entry doors. The device provides an additional level of security during a lockdown that until now has been missing.
The Boot™is augmented with other products that make up the entire system, including emergency placards which clearly identify room numbers for first responders, ballistic shields placed on entry points to each school, and an advanced lighting security system that can detect gunfire and set off an emergency red light system.
The Napoleon school district will be filmed for an upcoming NBC television show called The Profit for about a week in June. Napoleon will be featured on the show as one of the latest school districts in the nation to purchase and install the new state-of-the-art security system. The system is now being looked at by other districts in the area, including Grass Lake, Onsted, and Vandercook Lake.
To not have to go through a competitive bidding process for the security system, the board also adopted a resolution to amend its Neola board policy to read “Competitive bids are not required for items purchased through the cooperative bulk purchasing program [through the State of Michigan].
In other news, Graham announced that the district has entered into a short-term contract with Edwin Payne, a social and emotional support specialist, through the end of the school year. Payne will primarily be working with high school students that are in need of assistance but will also be available to middle school and elementary school students as needed. Since Payne is not a school district employee, the district is using the short-term contract as a trial basis for working with a private contractor counselor. If the arrangement works, it’s likely that a longer-term contract will be built into the district’s budget for next year, Graham added.
High School co-principal Patrick Dillon presented the board with statistics showing that Napoleon High School led Jackson County in the 2016-17 school year’s Michigan Department of Education Index Rating and was in the top tier in the state for high schools. A detailed story on this achievement will be in next week’s Exponent.
The Napoleon Girls Robotics Team was recognized by the board for placing second at a recent competition called Robofest in Westland, Mich. The achievement qualified the team for the World Championships to be held May 19 at Lawrence Technological University in Southfield, Mich.
Napoleon High School bowler Collin Baldwin was also recognized by the board for receiving all-state honors and competing recently at the state finals.