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Curriculum, running track undergo changes at Rock Hill

The Rock Hill School District made several changes over the summer including curriculum based, security and aesthetic improvements.

Wes Hairston, Rock Hill superintendent, said beginning this year all visitors will have to go through several layers of security.

“We installed new doors and window panels at each school,” Hairston said. “These additions make for added security and add layers of security. We also installed an intercom system that is intertwined through all schools, so if something happens in the high school that effects all the schools, we are one button away from alerting everyone.”

Another security measure is the main door entry. Hairston said anyone coming into the schools through the main door has to be buzzed in by the secretary. Hairston also said these measures are preventative to ensure top-notch safety for students in the unlikely event of an incident.

James Burke from the Ohio Attorney General’s Office will conduct active shooter training at Rock Hill High School on Wednesday from 8 to 11:30 a.m. This exercise will train all faculty and staff on how to deal with a possible gunman on campus.

“This training will benefit anyone who participates in it,” Hairston said. “Obviously we hope it’s something we never have to deal with, but if we do, we’ll be prepared.”

Rock Hill was unable to hold a home track meet last year because of the poor condition of the school’s track. But the surface has been fixed and the Redmen will again welcome runners.

“We had to put a new surface down on the track,” Hairston said. “We couldn’t run home meets last year because of the surface, it just wasn’t up to standard.”

A new scoreboard is in place on the football field, which was done at no cost to the district. The board was donated and as part of the agreement, ad sales for the board will be split between the district for its revenue and the donor for the cost of the sign.

“It’s never a bad thing to get a new scoreboard somebody else paid for,” Hairston said.

Kathy Bowling, assistant superintendent, said a comprehensive preschool reading program has been implemented and new math curricula are in place at the elementary, middle and high schools.

Bowling also praised the district’s BackPack program, which provides snacks for needy children during weekends.

“Sadly, the only meals some kids get are at school, so the BackPack program is one we feel strongly about,” she said. “We are sending lots of kids home for the weekend with a backpack full of snacks.”