locally owned since 1854

Middletown Area School District will get safety report soon

By Dan Miller

danmiller@pressandjournal.com

717-944-4628
Posted 7/11/18

Middletown Area School District likely will get its full safety risk and vulnerability assessment report sometime next month.

But a preview the school board received last month had some promising …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Middletown Area School District will get safety report soon

VSG's Brian Krause provided a preview of the results of a risk and vulnerability assessment of MASD buildings to the School Board on June 19. Board member Julie Gomboc-Turyan listens.
VSG's Brian Krause provided a preview of the results of a risk and vulnerability assessment of MASD buildings to the School Board on June 19. Board member Julie Gomboc-Turyan listens.
staff photo by laura hayes
Posted

Middletown Area School District likely will get its full safety risk and vulnerability assessment report sometime next month.

But a preview the school board received last month had some promising statements.

“I can say Middletown district as a whole when it comes to security and policies … are far beyond what many of the districts that I’ve seen, as far as the things that are in place here,” Brian Krause told the board June 19.

Krause is the chief security officer of Vulnerability Solutions Group LLC and served as a Pennsylvania State Police trooper for 25 years. In April, the board voted to hire Vulnerability Solutions Group to conduct the assessment for $11,900.

Krause said he conducted a risk and vulnerability assessment of all MASD schools in early May. Part of the assessment included identifying threats to the schools, meeting with school leaders to conduct a questionnaire and touring the schools both while students were in the building and when they arrive and leave. During the tour, Krause said they made observations for potential vulnerabilities.

Krause said he has conducted more than 120 risk and vulnerability assessments throughout the state, in both rural and urban districts.

Phoenix Contact USA, which is based on Fulling Mill Road in Lower Swatara Township, reached out to the district following the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, on Feb. 14 in which 17 people were killed.

The company offered financial assistance for MASD to make any necessary safety and security improvements at the schools. 

Part of their assistance was funding VSG’s assessment.

In May, President of Phoenix Contact USA Jack Nehlig told the Press & Journal that the company would provide funding of at least $100,000.

At first, the identity of the donor was anonymous, but it later was revealed to be Phoenix Contact. Nehlig told the board June 19 that he didn’t want it to be about him or the company.

“I wanted it to be about the kids,” Nehlig said. “You’re our neighbor.”

About 30 district students are either children or grandchildren of Phoenix Contact employees. Financial resources should not be a constraint, Nehlig said.

“We wanted to make sure that you have every opportunity to provide the best environment for them,” Nehlig said.

Once the study is completed, Krause said he could deliver reports with observations and recommendations for each school and the district as a whole, potentially in either July or August.

In an email July 6, Superintendent Lori Suski said she hoped the report would be ready for the board’s August meetings.

At the June 19 meeting, Suski said that Nehlig is “very eager” to take Krause’s recommendations and see what Phoenix Contact can do to support the district.

“We are most grateful, Jack, for your generosity and for your company’s generosity,” Suski said.

Nehlig said the company is “standing ready” when the board decides what measures it wants to undertake.

“I just promise you that we will make sure that in our giving priority, you are number one to make sure we’re taking care of the kids,” Nehlig said.