The staff of the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools proposed several changes Tuesday night that would possibly expand the roles of school resource officers.
The resource officers would have more flexibility and visibility throughout the schools and be asked to attend high school graduations.
“In October of 2018, there was a legislative change that required school resource officer training for all SROs that’s offered by the Academy of Justice that has to happen within 12 months of being appointed as an SRO,” Dionne Jenkins, attorney for the school district, told the Board of Education.
Officers would also have to cooperate with marketing and communications on press releases and media events.
In addition, at schools with two officers, one of them would assist with traffic control.
The school system is proposing contracts for school resource officers during 2019-2020 with the Winston-Salem Police Department, Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office and the Kernersville Police Department. At least one school resource officer would be assigned to every middle school and high school. Two officers would be assigned to Glenn, Parkland, West Forsyth and Reagan high schools. The cost is $4.3 million.
In other business, the board of education approved changing the school district’s 2019-2020 early release day to Oct. 9 from Oct. 16, which is a PSAT administration day.
Brent Campbell, spokesman for the school district, said that historically early release days, when school gets out two hours early, have been used for professional development of school staff.
The board also approved the 2020-2021 school calendar. Opening day will be Aug. 24, with winter break from Dec. 19-Jan. 3 and spring break from March 27-April 4. School will end June 8. The calendar could have changes if early release dates are added back into the calendar or there is a need to meet new legislative requirements.