The Pickerington Board of Education this week approved a contract to purchase new employee safety training software.
The board Monday, April 22, voted unanimously to purchase software from Cincinnati-based Public School WORKS International to provide school safety training to the district's teachers, staff and administrators.
The total cost of the contract, which covers the remainder of the current school year, as well as the 2013-14 and 2014-15 school years, is $42,900.
"Public School WORKS is a software package that allows school districts to offer training in various areas," said Pickerington Superintendent Rob Walker. "It will provide the district opportunities to customize it in any way we like."
Specifically, the software is designed to train employees in the district's school safety master plan, something that's required for all public school districts in the state by the Ohio Attorney General's Office.
Those plans must be updated every three years, and currently the district is in the process of reviewing its safety master plan to see if revisions are needed.
The Public School WORKS software is designed to assist the district in implementation of its safety master plan by providing teachers, staff and administrators with electronic training courses, written plans, programs and procedures and checklists and other materials to train and refresh them on safety policies and procedures.
Additionally, the software includes tracking features so district officials can see which employees have completed various levels of safety training.
"Administration is relieved of the responsibility of tracking required mandatory training, drills, inspections or other safety compliance requirements," the Public School WORKS' website states.
"(The software) automatically communicates with staff and vendors to ensure that training, safety compliance tasks and other requirements are completed and it alerts the administration in the event requirements are not met.
"Administration will see a reduction of no less than 50 percent of the time required of them to track safety compliance requirements, regardless of how it is being managed today," the website said.
In other action Monday:
* The board announced it will hold a public hearing June 10 regarding Lead Instruction Adviser Sharon Caccimelio's request to retire and be rehired by the district. The hearing is slated to take place as part of the board's regular meeting, which is scheduled for 7 p.m. in Heritage Elementary School, 100 N. East St.
* Pickerington Community School Superintendent Bob Blackburn stated attendance at the community school through the end of March is 90.21 percent, which was up from the school's 89 percent attendance rate over the same period for the 2011-12 school year.
He said there are 99 students attending the school -- 48 from Pickerington High School Central and 51 from Pickerington High School North -- and 27 students already have completed their requirements to graduate.
* The board's next scheduled meeting is at 7 p.m. May 13.
It will hold public hearings on retire-rehire requests by Walker, as well as North business education teacher David Butcher and Renee Mortimer, a response-to-intervention specialist at North, at 6:30 p.m.