FLORENCE — Superintendent Janet Womack took the opportunity at Thursday's school board meeting to reiterate the school district's attitude toward school safety.
Womack addressed dozens of parents in the audience at the meeting, many of whom were there to support their children who were recognized with awards of excellence.
"We take school safety as our top priority," Womack said. "First and foremost, we take seriously the fact that we must get safety right. We've spent a great deal of time the past few weeks (since the deadly school shooting in Newtown, Conn.) revisiting our safety plan."
Womack said the goal is for school employees to be confident and successful in carrying out the plan, should it be needed.
Board member Bill Griffin told school system employees in the audience that he appreciates the hundreds of hours they've put into creating a successful school safety plan.
"I know you are prepared, but I hope we never have to use it," he said.
Womack said she sees the need for schools locally and nationwide to have more school resource officers and mental health support.
"We're so fortunate in this district to have a police resource officer in all our schools, but we know we must constantly be working toward improving our ability to keep the schools safe," she said.
In other business, Womack announced that the district's Ipad initiative will expand to fifth-grade students next fall when the 2013-14 school year begins.
Also, Weeden and Harlan elementary schools were named 2012 Torchbearer schools. The state award recognized academic achievement.
Chief Schools Financial Officer/Assistant Superintendent Connie Roberts said the new athletic facility at Florence High School is about 95 percent complete.
She said construction has started on the new Florence Freshman Center on the high school campus, the high school office complex renderings are in the discussion phase, and renovations for the district's new central office complex atop the Florence-Lauderdale Government Building is about 75 percent complete.
Lisa Singleton-Rickman can be reached at 256-740-5735 or lisa.singleton-rickman@TimesDaily.com.