Tallmadge -- In response to the deadly shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., last December, President Barack Obama signed 23 executive actions last month that related to increasing security in schools and other public places.
Obama said the actions were in addition to gun control laws he wants Congress to pass.
Steve Wood, business director for Tallmadge City Schools, said it appears three of the actions eventually will apply to the district, but at this time he doesn't know how.
"There's nothing in his executive actions that surprises us or is out the of the realm of what we're doing already," he said.
Wood said he expects Obama and the U.S. Department of Education to release additional information about the actions on a monthly basis.
According to the White House's website at www.whitehouse.gov, the Obama Administration will "provide law enforcement, first responders and school officials with proper training for active shooter situations"; "provide incentives for schools to hire school resource officers"; and "develop model emergency response plans for schools, houses of worship and institutions of higher education."
Some Tallmadge Schools staff already have gone through ALICE training, which stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate, with the Tallmadge Police Department, and another session is to be scheduled this spring for all the staff, according to Superintendent Jeff Ferguson. The training seeks to teach school personnel how to handle situations involving guns or other threats.
"What we do is try to be state-of-the-art and up on the best practices. As you can imagine, on the federal level there's plenty of schools out there that haven't even heard of ALICE training," Wood said. "So I think what President Obama is trying to do is bring state-of-the-art security and procedures to every school in the country."
Wood said although the district doesn't have a school resource officer, or a police officer that is assigned to the schools, the district has a "great partnership" with the Tallmadge Police Department.
"They're routinely in our buildings for a number of reasons, and that's something we're talking with Chief Zesiger more about to see if there's something more can be done between Tallmadge Police and Tallmadge City Schools," he said.
Wood said "nothing firm" has come out of talks, and the district isn't considering hiring a school resource officer. He said after the district's staff is trained again on ALICE then there may be other opportunities for the school district and police department to work together.
In addition to officers training school staff on ALICE, police routinely visit the schools for various things, such as drug sweeps with a K-9 unit at the middle and high schools, Wood said.
The state of Ohio requires every school district to have an emergency response plan, and Wood said it would update its plan to incorporate the requirements of whatever plan the Obama Administration comes up with.