2018-05-13 / News

Michigan Speaker of the House visits Montrose schools

By Jeanne Marcello
Staff Reporter


On Monday, May 7, Michigan Speaker of the House Tom Leonard (left) visited Hill-McCloy High School to discuss school safety. He visited with Dr. Linden Moore (right), who was just named superintendent of Montrose Community Schools. On May 8, the school board chose Moore to succeed Dr. Edward Graham as superintendent. 
Photo by Jeanne Marcello On Monday, May 7, Michigan Speaker of the House Tom Leonard (left) visited Hill-McCloy High School to discuss school safety. He visited with Dr. Linden Moore (right), who was just named superintendent of Montrose Community Schools. On May 8, the school board chose Moore to succeed Dr. Edward Graham as superintendent. Photo by Jeanne Marcello MONTROSE – On Monday, May 7, Michigan Speaker of the House Tom Leonard re-visited Montrose Community Schools as part of his school safety tour for budgeting purposes.

Leonard said, “School safety is a big issue with the (state) budget now. We know every school is different. I’m looking to see what their needs are.” On May 7, he visited Midland, Kearsley, Montrose and Oakland schools.

Hill-McCloy High School Principal (now superintendent) Dr. Linden Moore met with Leonard to discuss not only school safety improvements that were made, but also school safety improvements that would enhance security.

Leonard, who is a 1999 graduate of Hill-McCloy High School, immediately recognized that the main entrance had changed; it is now far more secure.

Moore explained that in 2017, the school district went away from having a school liaison officer. Currently, the police department responds to priority one and two calls within the city. “But if anything happens at the schools, they come. We’re pretty safe, logistically.”

He explained that now that the police department has relocated to the township’s new public safety administration building, at Seymour Road and Vienna, they’re only about a mile from the schools.

Moore told Leonard, “Jaime Cochran, who was the police liaison officer when we were in school, is now the police chief.”

Leonard was very impressed with the school’s new athletic complex. Moore talked about how the improvements, including those to the athletic complex, enhance safety for students.

Moore explained that in 2012, Montrose voters approved a bond proposal that enabled the schools to install security doors and cameras, as well as make significant technology upgrades; among other improvements.

Leonard said, “The House is budgeting $30 million for school security grants. What would you apply for?”

Moore said the public address (P.A.) system has become a safety concern. Moore has been informed that in some areas of the high school, people can’t understand what’s being said on the garbled P.A. system. Similar issues exist in the middle school and elementary school. Moore explained that during an emergency, he needs to be able to let everyone know what’s going on immediately as part of the school’s Alert-Lockdown-Inform-Counter-Evacuate (A.L.I.C.E.) training. The school district has also been working with Critical Incident Management Tom Mynsberg.

“We’re told there is an app that puts security cameras on active recording mode and locks all of the entrance doors, switching from the motion detection mode using a smart phone,” Moore said. Leonard was familiar with the technology.

Moore explained, “Our board of education is looking at different options that would help staff secure students in their classrooms in the event of an emergency.”

Leonard was intrigued. “This is why it is so important to visit different schools. Keeping our students safe is a priority and we need to find ways to help schools do that,” he said. Leonard plans to bring his findings back to Lansing.

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