Cumberland Times-News

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April 6, 2013

Hampshire school raising its own money to boost security

SLANESVILLE, W.Va. — Recent events have shed new light on safety in schools and Erica Kimble, a kindergarten teacher at Slanesville Elementary, is helping to chair an event to raise money for security updates.

The school hopes to raise $6,000 for security, said Principal Joyce Malcolm. Malcolm said school security is extremely important and that the fundraiser is an integral part in getting that. In the past, the school has received money from safety grants. However, Malcolm isn’t sure if or when money will be available from either the state or the Hampshire County Board of Education.

“We will only be able to make these necessary changes when funding has been raised,” Kimble said.

Malcolm declined to provide details of what the changes entail in the interest of keeping students and staff secure.

The schools in the county don’t receive funding for school security from the board or the state, per se, said Denise Hott, treasurer for the board of education.

In fiscal 2011, the schools received $32,000 in school safety access funds from the West Virginia School Building Authority.

“The SBA is no longer offering those funds,” said Hott.  

Hampshire County does not have an excess levy, so the schools operate using a state aid funding formula and tax revenue, according to Hott.  

The schools do receive a maintenance allocation, which covers various repairs, fire alarms and custodial supplies. If there is any leftover maintenance funding, which there usually isn’t, the money could be used on anything the schools may need, said Hott.

All the schools in the county have locking doors and buzzer systems and visitors are required to sign in, according to Hott.  

“While academics are the foundation for a solid education, making sure the learning environment is safe is a vital component to our educational mission,” said state Superintendent of Schools Jim Phares in a news release. “We all share a common goal of protecting our children.”

A carnival and live auction will be held at the school April 27. The fundraiser will feature a car show from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., a craft/yard sale from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., carnival games from 1 to 3 p.m. and a live auction at 3 p.m.

Items that will be auctioned include an autographed pictured of Troy Polamalu of the Pittsburgh Steelers, a basketball autographed by West Virginia University basketball coach Bob Huggins and graduate assistant coach Da’Sean Butler, autographed baseballs from the Washington Nationals and the Baltimore Orioles, a Baltimore Ravens item, gift certificates and Longaberger baskets.

Items for the live auction are still needed and can be picked up by Kimble by calling 304-496-7069 or emailing elsmith@access.k12.wv.us. Items can be sent to Slanesville Elementary School at P.O. Box 308, Slanesville, WV 25444.

Contact Elaine Blaisdell at eblaisdell@times-news.com.

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