Two school security officers hired 

By Heather Michon

Von Hill Jr. and Malcolm Nelson have been hired as Fluvanna County High School’s new School Security Officers (SSOs). 

“Hill and Nelson serve as liaisons between the school community and local law enforcement and collaborate with the School Safety Team, including school resource officers and administration, to ensure the safety of students, staff, and visitors,” the school said in a press release. 

Both men are FCHS graduates, and Hill had previously been working for the school as an instructional assistant.

“Having two dedicated school safety officers is a strategic step forward in enhancing the safety measures and protocols that Fluvanna County High school already have in place,” said Principal Margo Bruce. “This addition ensures that we have sufficient coverage across the campus, enabling our personnel to respond promptly to any situation that may arise.”

The positions are funded by a $100,000 grant awarded to the schools earlier this summer. The grant is renewable for the next four years. 

Policy on parents in classroom

The mother of a special needs child pressed the Fluvanna County School Board on Wednesday night (Sept 13) to clarify the division’s policy on allowing parents to observe their children in the classroom.

Chelsea Hitt explained that her child, who has Down syndrome, has difficulty communicating. Last December, teachers told the Hitts that their daughter had become a bit aggressive with some classmates, so Hitt asked permission to watch her daughter in the classroom. “Maybe there was something I could see that was triggering her that the teachers couldn’t,” she explained. 

Hitt was told that she couldn’t observe the class because of privacy issues – even though she had been allowed in the classroom on another occasion as a volunteer. “It makes no sense.” After ten months, she said her patience was running thin.

Later in the meeting, Superintendent Peter Gretz told the board that there was no policy on parents observing classes, but a draft proposal had been developed by an advisory committee. Board members indicated they were willing to do what they could to expedite the approval process and agreed to take up the proposal at their October meeting.

Other items:

The high school’s EMT program has received an $80,000 donation from the Fluvanna Rescue Squad. The money will be put towards training simulators, including lifelike mannequins that can realistically mimic real-world medical situations.

Educators Jessica Lavin and Kelly Fallavollita, along with students Summer McGraw, Savannah Peterson, and Dani Scott, shared a presentation on a suicide prevention program called ‘Sources of Strength.’ The program trains student leaders to spread “messages of hope, health, and strength,” by helping peers find ‘sources of strength,’ like family, friends, spirituality, healthy activities, and physical health.

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