RPSB Announces Safety Measures For Students, Staff and Facilities
(ALEXANDRIA, LA) – On Thursday, September 8, 2022, representatives from the Rapides Parish School Board and local and state agencies announced a plan worth up to $4M to improve the safety and security of the school district.
The announcement came after RPSB members, who were present during the executive session, voted unanimously on Tuesday, September 6, 2022, to accept a safety and security plan created by members of the board, in conjunction with local and state agencies. Thursday’s announcement included representatives from the Rapides Parish School District, Louisiana State Police, Louisiana State Fire Marshall, Louisiana State Analytical and Fusion Exchange, Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office, Alexandria Police Department, Pineville Police Department and Petron, LLC.
“After the events that transpired at the end of last school year in Texas, as well as other events throughout our country over the last few years, the safety and security of our schools have been compromised in a number of ways,” Rapides Parish School Board Superintendent Jeff Powell said. “What the Rapides Parish School Board has recognized is that there is more that we can do to improve the safety and security of our campuses.”
Safety and security assessments are being conducted by the RPSB, in conjunction with local and state agencies, to give accurate evaluations of all school campuses in Rapides Parish. In the upcoming months, improvements will be made to the safety and security of the school district’s facilities using the $4M board-approved fund and the District 62 Bond that was passed last spring. The District 62 Bond will only be used to help improve safety and security in facilities that are within District 62.
“I think the threat assessments that we are doing are going to go a long way,” Rapides Parish Sheriff Mark Wood said. “The school board has put some money out that we can use. We got to do something. They have some good ideas, and I think we can come up with some good ideas to help that, but we are going to be there to work with them.”
The RPSB’s mission states that they are relentlessly committed to providing a supportive and innovative educational system that engages the community, empowers individuals and elevates people to their maximum potential. Supt. Powell explained that with these improved facilities, along with the collaboration from local, state, and federal agencies, they can provide a safe learning environment.
“This is a very real example of how we are proving to the world that Rapides Parish truly is better together with our state partners, our federal partners, and our local entities,” Supt. Powell said. “They are helping make sure that we have the safest possible campuses for our students and our employees so that our community can have faith that when they send their children to school, they are going to be safe.”