Superintendent's Update

Mr. Nix

Catoosa County Public Schools Board of Education, Catoosa County Board of Commissioners, and Sheriff Gary Sisk partner to place SROs in every Catoosa County School.

Catoosa County Public Schools Superintendent Charles Nix said, “Providing safe and secure schools is the highest priority for the Board of Education. In partnership with the Catoosa County Board of Commissioners and Catoosa County Sheriff Gary Sisk, the school system will add 7 additional resource officers to provide a full-time SRO in every Catoosa County school. I appreciate that the Sheriff and Commissioners are partnering with us to add this additional layer of security in our schools.”

SROs have been in place in the district’s secondary schools for almost 30 years. In 2018, the district added 5 SROs to be shared by elementary schools. The district will not increase property taxes to fund the additional resource officers. Superintendent Nix said, “The district has included funding for full-time SROs in every school in the FY23 budget, and a property tax increase is not being considered.”

Mr. Nix explained that resource officers enhance physical safety because they act as a deterrent to school violence, and they are armed and prepared for crisis situations; however, the district sees the officer’s daily informal interactions with students as one of their greatest benefits.

On a daily basis, school resource officers build positive relationships with students. They become another trusted adult in the school that students who need help may confide in when they are having trouble at school, or at home. Through these relationships we believe SROs contribute to the social and emotional well-being of students, and, when necessary, students are more comfortable reporting issues that need to be investigated to maintain safe schools.

Superintendent Nix added, “School safety requires a multifaceted, preventive approach of law enforcement working together with our school counselors, administrators, and teachers to create a safe and healthy school climate. Resource officers add to the district’s multiple layers of security infrastructure and provide support for students that results in emotionally and physically safer school campuses.”

Catoosa County Public Schools made a significant investment in security infrastructure with ESPLOST V funds. Features of this investment include: Visitor identification required for school entry, comprehensive video surveillance in all areas of the school, and the Sielox Crisis Lockdown Alert Status System to enhance emergency notification and response from law enforcement. For more information about the district’s safety measures click here.

Superintendent Nix said, “While security infrastructure is important, the district is committed to emergency preparedness by requiring regular drills so students and staff are prepared for a crisis situation. SROs play an important role in training, especially with Run, Hide, Survive drills that teach teachers and students to evaluate crisis situations to determine the best response.”

He added, “As a former police officer and SRO, the safety of our staff and students is my number one concern. I know the difference a dedicated SRO makes on a school campus on a daily basis. I believe in, and we have invested in, the most advanced safety technology on the market, but all the safety technology in the world can not take the place of teachers, counselors, and SROs working together as a team to keep our kids safe. This is the right time for this next step in our district's strategic safety plan.”

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Catoosa County Public Schools will prepare every child to reach their full potential, so they graduate prepared to be good citizens and leaders of the future.

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