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Dayton schools vote today on safety plan, whether to close a school

Dayton’s school board will vote today on whether to keep a school open and whether to change active-shooter safety plans, along with the hiring of several new coaches and administrators.

The school in question is Dayton Business Technology High School — a dropout recovery charter school that has been sponsored by DPS for 12 years. The school board voted in December not to renew its contract with the downtown school, but then decided in March to give Dayton Biz Tech a one-year renewal, if the school completed a comprehensive strategic plan to improve operations.

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The plan is done, and the meeting agenda shows that DPS’ school board plans to vote Tuesday on that one-year renewal. The school board meeting begins at 5 p.m. at 115 S. Ludlow St.

On school safety, DPS Superintendent Elizabeth Lolli is recommending a three-year contract with the Alice Training Institute LLC, to provide “Violent Intruder Response training” for the district’s Safety and Security Department at a cost not to exceed $68,850. Lolli said that’s based on a recommended from Richard Wright, the district’s executive director of safety and security.

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ALICE is a safety approach calling for people in a school to “Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, and Evacuate,” when faced with a threat. Lolli said Dayton schools have used lockdowns in the past, but have not used the full ALICE approach, including fight-or-flight decisions.

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The school board will vote on the hiring of more principals, as DPS continues to make leadership changes. Lolli recommended Bryan Ertsgaard as principal at Ruskin and Dale Robinson at Louise Troy. If those are approved Tuesday, Belmont High School would be the last DPS school with a principal vacancy for 2018-19, after more than a dozen schools got new leaders.

Former Dunbar Principal Crystal Phillips is recommended for hire as District Student Services Advisor/Recruiter, and Angela Nichols is slated to be hired as Chief of the Office for Exceptional Children, replacing recently departed Greg Roberson as the head of DPS’ special education efforts.

On the coaching front, two more head football coaches are up for board vote — Corey Freed (Dunbar) and Robert Brown (Meadowdale) — as well as boys basketball head coaches Art Winston (Belmont) and Allen Spears (Ponitz).

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If those are approved, the only football or boys basketball coaching vacancy remaining for DPS high schools would be Dunbar’s basketball position. Chuck Taylor held that post last year, when Dunbar was determined to have used an ineligible player in the postseason tournament.

Among other issues before the board is the continuing discussion of whether to move Dayton Public Schools’ administrative offices across Ludlow Street to a smaller building. The board is slated to vote Tuesday on painting and paving contracts related to that move, but agreed last week to discuss the issue further.

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