Coloma in discussions to get school resource officer

Don Campbell / HP staff Coloma Junior/Senior High Schools are pictured Sept. 20, 2018.

COLOMA — Coloma Community Schools may have a school resource officer in the district, starting next school year.

Superintendent Dave Ehlers told the school board Monday night that he is in discussions with interim Coloma Township Police Chief Wes Smigielski to get a resource officer stationed in the district.

“This is something I’ve talked with chiefs about and it just never quite worked out,” Ehlers said. “He has a plan that he thinks he can get it pulled off.”

He said they’ve already earmarked some funding through state at-risk dollars to pay for a portion of the officer. 

“It does support objective 6A of our strategic plan to ensure the safety of all staff and students,” he said. “I know (Smigielski) is very excited about the possibility of partnering to educate our students. We both believe if we’re proactive and educate some of these kids, it’ll reduce some crimes later on, and working with the younger kids to show them that police are here to help.”

Ehlers said it’s a win-win for both the district and the township. He said he and the chief are working on a joint presentation to give to the school board and the Coloma Township Board of Trustees this spring.

In other business, Ehlers said students will make up one of the snow days, this Friday, they used during the polar vortex that closed school for a week. The district is allotted six snow days, but has taken seven.

He said the day was supposed to be part of a mid-winter break, including Monday, but the students will still have Monday off.

“We thought it was important to honor our commitment to our kids and their instruction time,” he said. “I think they used to earmark this mid-winter as a possible snow-day makeup, then that went away and when it came back they didn’t do it again. So we’ll make sure it’s marked as such in the future.”

Ehlers said while they don’t have to make up snow days as part of the waiver process, making a plan for making up snow days is part of the application process if the district needs to apply for snow day waivers in the future.

He also said the district’s buildings made it through the weather with just a little bit of damage. The only problem was a leak in the junior high library where a vent was exposed and then froze, which made a small mess on the carpet. 

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