NACOGDOCHES COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - Officials with Central Heights Independent School District will be closely following Wednesday’s commissioners court meeting in Nacogdoches County. The court will be discussing a memorandum of understanding which will address safety and security measures for Central Heights students.
Central Height ISD’s superintendent said the county is examining its overall plan to better serve the district if evacuation were ever ordered.
“For instance, being located to so close to Highway 259, if there were ever any kind of hazardous chemical spill, anything along that nature, we would be able to take our students off campus safely and set up some type of reunification with the parents,” said David Russell, CHISD superintendent.
Russell said he’s been with the district for 19 years, and the plan has not changed since he started. The old plan included breaking the students up into two main groups, which were taken to separate locations for safety purposes. The memorandum which will be addressed Wednesday will include keeping the students in one group and finding a secure location similar to the Nacogdoches County Exposition Center.
“Our numbers have grown, our student body has increase, so we started trying to think of an area that we could go and take all of our students at one time, so our resources and staff and administrators were not divided if we ever had to do that,” Russell explained.
The memorandum will also lay out the responsibilities of both parties; Nacogdoches County judge Greg Sowell said the school district would shoulder most of the responsibility in terms of transporting kids and arranging parental pickups, but the county would provide support services when needed.
“This was several months in the making, we’ve been back and forth with the county attorney’s office and the school district,” said Sowell. “This is, about a couple of months we’ve been talking about it.”
Sowell said while the expo center may be the first place where school officials would check, the location would change on a case-by-case basis. Even then, Sowell does not expect much resistance from court officials.
“I would anticipate there being no issues whatsoever,” said the judge said. “When you’ve made the plan, and the plan is solid and you’ve worked on it and exercised it, it should be an excellent guide.”
“We hope this is a plan we never have to use. You just never know. If there’s some type of emergency situation where we have to remove students from campus, we felt like this was the best location we could find," Russell said of the expo center.
The Nacogdoches County commissioners court will meet Wednesday, April 10 at 10 a.m. for its regularly scheduled meeting.