PORTAGE | Following last month's tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., Portage Township Schools officials are taking a renewed look at how to keep students safe.
They won't, however, discuss it publicly.
Agenda items at Wednesday evening's School Board meeting included developing plans to increase entrance security at each building to include remodeling of primary entrances and to enclose several classrooms at Portage High School West.
It also included a discussion on updating a school security plan.
When it came time to discuss the items, Board President Cheryl Oprisko said discussion on security issues will be moved to executive sessions because of their sensitivity.
"Security is an issue that is an executive session issue. We're not trying to make it a secretive issue, it is a security issue," Superintendent E. Ric Frataccia added.
Frataccia said the district has a security committee that will be looking at several areas, ranging from improving policy and procedures to making structural changes to enable school employees to more closely monitor who goes in and out of the buildings.
Funding for any structural changes would come from money left over from recent construction projects, he said.
In addition, the district will be involved in a countywide security committee.
One issue that has arose since the district developed its last security plan, said Frataccia, is social media.
"When the previous plan was constructed, the idea of social media was a pipe dream," he said.
Shortly after the Sandy Hook shootings and prior to holiday break, schools throughout Porter County spent an excessive amount of time dealing with rumors spread by social media, Frataccia said.
The security committee will meet to develop recommendations and then will report those recommendations to the board during an executive session. No meeting dates have been set.