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Star-Courier The

M AI NLI NE newspapers

CHSD superintendent addresses school safety Vol. 125 No. 10

USPS 044-380

By Amber Stich of Mainline Newspapers

At the beginning of the Cambria Heights School Board meeting Feb. 27, superintendent Mike Strasser addressed those in attendance about the safety measures in place and new additions the district plans to add in response to recent school shootings across the country. “The administrative team and myself have prepared a statement to alert people as to what Cambria Heights has already been doing, is doing, and is planning to do to make sure we protect the wellbeing of our students. The No. 1 priority of the Cambria Heights School District is to protect our children,” Strasser said. In the statement, Strasser said

Northern Cambria, Pa.

the district already has a number of physical safety items in place along with many procedures to secure the school, including only one main entrance in each building, buzzers at the doors to identify people before they enter the building, security cameras, phones in every classroom, and all-call and text emergency notification systems. Strasser said some protocols in place at the schools include identification badges for all staff members. All guests receive badges upon arrival and must report to the main office. Staff members are to immediately report any unfamiliar people in the school to the office. Cambria Heights staff are annuSEE SAFETY, PAGE 3A

Thursday, March 8, 2018

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Northern Cambria Middle School students who competed in the Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science regional competition (back row, from left) Nicole Leese, Anthony Vella, Brandon McCombie, Jodie Fontanese, Kensey Kuzar; (front row) Ethan Miller, and Angelina Duriez sit next to the Nittany Lion, Penn State Altoona’s mascot, before the event March 3. See story, page 6A. Submitted photo.

CHES receives $2,000 grant for first aid kits in every classroom

By Amber Stich of Mainline Newspapers

With the new focus on school security and safety after multiple school shootings around the country, Cambria Heights Elementary School nurse Jackie Deckard wanted to find a way to make a tangible difference if an emergency occurred. She applied for a Wal-Mart Community Grant to help cover the costs of buying first aid kits for every elementary classroom. The school then received news that Wal-Mart had approved the grant request and presented

Cambria Heights Elementary with $2,000 for the purchase of 30 first aid kits with supplies for 25 people. These kits include everything from trauma pads, bandages, and eye wash to antibiotic ointment and ice packs. Deckard said having these kits, which will be used only in emergencies, gives the teachers a way to better address a medical issue if a lockdown would ever occur. “In a lockdown situation, I can’t get to the classroom if they need me,” Lockard said. “Having the kits gives them tools to use if a student is injured, which will help stabilize the student and buy some time until EMS can get in and take over the situation.” While she would always prefer to be there if a student has a medical issue, Deckard said this is just one more way to ensure the students can be safe, even in a lockdown situation. “We can’t give them a full

Cambria Heights Elementary School nurse Jackie Deckard (left) and school nurse assistant Lou Ann Legros show students Lauren Deckard and Brittney Griak the new first aid kits purchased with the Wal-Mart Community Grant. Photo by Amber Stich.

Schools celebrate Read Across America Day SEE GRANT, PAGE 3A

By Amber Stich of Mainline Newspapers

On March 2, 1998, the National Education Association celebrated its first Read Across America program held on Dr. Seuss’ birthday. Each year since, the organization has been encouraging schools, libraries, individuals, and organizations across the country to celebrate the joys of reading with this special day. Local students continued this tradition celebrating the annual reading motivation and awareness program with special activities and stories, all aimed to help develop a love for reading at a young age. Students at Cambria Heights and Northern Cambria elementary schools celebrated Read Across America week with fun activities and outfits each day that corresponded to a different book. Northern Cambria Elementary School’s week con-

cluded with a door decorating contest. Northern Cambria Elementary/Middle School assistant principal Dr. Joy Tibbott said she feels this is always a worthwhile event because it gets students excited about learning. “It’s great to help the student’s focus on reading, and we had some fun with it. Here at Northern Cambria, we want to not only promote reading at a young age but solidify it as a lifelong practice,” Tibbott said. Students at Cambria Heights Elementary School received a special visit on March 2 from Cambria County president commissioner Tom Chernisky, who has dedicated his time each year for more than two decades to visit schools and share two of his favorite stories with the students. Chernisky read “I am Not SEE READ, PAGE 8A

President commissioner Tom Chernisky and Tomahawks team mascot Chopper visit Cambria Heights Elementary School students March 2 to read books in celebration of Read Across America Day. Photo by Amber Stich.

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