Both the Crossville Police Department and Cumberland County Sheriff's Office have new agreements under consideration for the school resource program in Cumberland County Schools.

"We have worked with both law enforcement entities," Director of Schools Janet Graham said. "I have to take my hat off to those agencies for working so well with us."

The memorandum of understanding, unanimously approved by the Cumberland County Board of Education at its June 27 meeting, provides the same agreement for both law enforcement agencies, which had operated under different agreements in the past.

The agreements outline the rights and responsibilities of the law enforcement agency and the school system and details the duties of the school resource officer. Duties include conferencing with students, parents and faculty to assist with problems or law enforcement or crime prevention, refer students or families to appropriate community agencies, develop plans and strategies to minimize dangerous situations, take appropriate action against intruders and unwanted guests, and serve in a security capacity at school functions. The officer does not act as a school disciplinarian, but may determine if law enforcement action is appropriate.

The officers will adhere to all board policies and state and federal laws.

Following creation of a threat assessment team by the board, the officer will also participate in those teams to review emergency plans and security assessments.

The board must provide an office for the officer and a secure space to keep files and records. The officer will also have access to the school camera system. 

The officers remain the employee of their law enforcement agency, and the sheriff and police chief assign officers to the schools who volunteer for the position, have two years of experience as a certified law enforcement officer, and complete 40 hours of specialized training. The school resource officers also complete 16 hours of ongoing professional training each year. 

The board also approved the grant application for Title IX McKinney Vento grant to serve homeless students in the school system. The school system reports 176 homeless students. For school district purposes, homeless students may be living with another family, living in a shelter or transitional housing or unsheltered. Most homeless students are living with another family, 128, with 33 students living in transitional housing and 10 students reporting they are unsheltered.

The homeless liaison works with homeless students and their families to connect them with community services and school services. The grant provides half the salary for the homeless coordinator position and funds help provide transportation services for students. 

In other action, the following consent agenda items were approved:

•Volunteers at Cumberland County High School, North Cumberland Elementary and countywide athletics. Please see the Chronicle website for volunteer lists

•CCHS girls soccer team overnight trip to Gatlinburg Aug. 23

•Contract with LIfetouch National School Studios to provide photography services at Pine View Elementary School

•contract with Therapy Works LLC for physical therapy services in the 2019-'20 school year

•contract with Karyn Henderson, Global Therapies Inc., for occupational therapy services in the 2019-'20 school year

•contract with Coca-Cola to provide drinks to Cumberland County High School

Josh Stone, 4th District representative, and Tony Brock, 5th District representative, did not attend the meeting.

Heather Mullinix is editor of the Crossville Chronicle. She covers schools and education in Cumberland County. She may be reached at hmullinix@crossville-chronicle.com.