Pioneer School District is taking steps to make its students, staff and facilities more safe. A big part of that initiative is past, current and future capital improvement projects. Another part is hiring additional staff who specialize in public safety.
At the June 21 regular meeting of the Pioneer School Board, Acting Superintendent Nick Silvaroli highlighted an agenda item related to the hiring of an additional School Resource Officer (SRO), to be located at Delevan Elementary and bringing the total number of deputy SROs to 2.5 full-time equivalent. An additional officer is contracted through the Arcade Police Department.
The program dates back over 20 years, to the hiring of Cattaraugus County Sheriffs Deputy Tammy Curtis in 1998.
Pioneer has had at least one SRO ever since, adding a part-time deputy at the middle school/high school campus and theArcade PD officer at Arcade Elementary School in recent years.
The board voted to expand the program at its June 21 meeting with the approval of another deputy, to work out of Delevan Elementary.
"I view this as another step forward for school safety but not the final step," Mr. Silvaroli said. "We've been addressing our building safety through capital projects but there's still work to be done.
"Recent tragedies in Buffalo and Texas warranted accelerating safety initiatives, plans and efforts," Mr. Silvaroli continued. Toward that end, he recommended convening a meeting of the district's Safety, Facilities and Transportation Committee to begin to conduct a more comprehensive assessment and needs analysis. That meeting, he said, could include local law enforcement officials and safety consultants as part of that review.
As part of current high school renovations at Pioneer High School, a more secure entryway is being completed. A redesign of Delevan Elementary's entrance is being planned as part of a new round of capital improvements approved May 17.
The new agreement with the Cattaraugus County Sheriffs Department calls for two full-time SROs and a part-time deputy to be assigned to Pioneer.