FORT MYERS, Fla. - Lee County School District leaders are making changes as the new academic year approaches, with a particular focus on student safety. Earlier this year, district officials discovered some schools failed to conduct required fire drills.
"There's no excuse for any of the non-compliance we saw last year," school board member Jeanne Dozier said at a meeting Tuesday afternoon.
District leaders recently began efforts to bring all schools into compliance with all mandated safety practices.
"I was disturbed at how inconsistent they were," Operations Asst. Superintendent Dr. Greg Adkins told the board.
Starting this school year, an online database will help ensure each campus is performing mandatory safety drills. District officials will automatically be alerted if a deadline is missed. For fire drills, that will include two in the first 14 days of the year, then one a month.
Principals begin training on August 7th.
"Sometimes when new people come in, the people who have been doing it for years are taken for granted," board member Nancy Fischer explained. "The message doesn't get across [to the new principal], so I'm glad to hear about the training."
New emergency plans will be reviewed regularly, and the school board would like to see them made into district policy. Officials say they improved consistency and safety are the goal.
"We tend to move forward thinking everybody knows what we know because that's what we've always done," Superintendent Dr. Nancy Graham told the board. "So we are going back to the basics."