Board approves monitor for Housatonic hallways

FALLS VILLAGE — The Region One Board of Education approved a request March 4 from Housatonic Valley Regional High School Principal Matt Harnett for a “hall monitor,” a part-time position for a person to be in the school building while after-school activities are underway, to monitor building security and students.“This building is a huge traffic area every day of the week,” said Harnett. “There are kids all over the place.”He said that he and Assistant Principal Ian Strever and Athletic Director Dan Carroll are usually in the building after school, but they are usually in meetings.“Having someone in that position would help.”Harnett said he named the position “hall monitor” because he couldn’t think of a better label.Region One Business Manager Sam Herrick said in a phone interview Tuesday, March 5, that the position, which has never existed before, would probably pay between $12 and $14 per hour, three hours a day, and only on days when there is a late bus (135 days).Board member Marilyn Yerks of Sharon, referring to a chart of projected (and declining) enrollments for the district provided earlier in the school board meeting by Region One Superintendent Patricia Chamberlain, said she thought that adding a part-time position mid-year was “going around the budget process,” since voters did not have a chance to consider it.She also questioned the wisdom of adding any positions, given the prospect of declining enrollments.Harnett said, “I look at it as a response to what people have asked for” in terms of building security in the wake of the Sandy Hook school shootings.“It’s not a knee-jerk reaction.”Yerks and Gale Toensing of Falls Village voted against adding the position.

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