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New security and earlier dismissal times discussed during Peoria Public School's board meeting

PEORIA, Ill - Peoria Public Schools discussed a number of major items at Monday’s school board that will affect your child’s start time and potentially how safe their school is.

What started as a resolution back in September is now district-wide policy. Peoria leaders approved the district as a Safe Haven environment. The goal is to alleviate fears of employees and students who worry about being investigated or deported based on their immigration status. This comes after parents and students expressed concerns over controversial immigration talks in the white house.

Also, high school students will be getting out an hour early, once a week starting the 2018-19 school year.

Teachers will use that hour to meet in their Professional Learning Communities. As it is now they have to meet at various times during the school day, forcing substitutes to fill in.

“The last couple of weeks we've had staff just attending PTO meetings at the high school,” said district Superintendent Dr. Sharon Desmoulin-Kherat. “We received additional feedback and suggestions and that was so healthy.”

The early release plan will save $750 thousand dollars a year.

Additionally, security officers may soon be able to carry weapons while on duty.

Monday board members discussed a resolution to hire security officers who would carry firearms.

All officers would be required to pass police academy training. This training wold costs the district $6,100 dollars per person, but district leaders did say there is a possibility the state would reimburse them for part of the cost.

Daniel Walther said, “For us like we said its both a cost issue and a safety issue.” The board member continued, “Right now paying cost to $200 thousand dollars for city police to be in here and if we had our own armed security we wouldn’t have to do that.”

This resolution would be just the start of a lengthy process to get state approval.

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