Atlantic to host Exira/EHK consolidation meeting


January 15th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic High School will host a public meeting in March, pertaining to consolidation of the Exira-Elk Horn Kimballton School Districts. That was the word Monday night from Atlantic School District Superintendent Dr. Michael Amstein, during a regular meeting of Atlantic’s Board of Education. Amstein says Exira-EHK officials requested an “impartial setting” for the meeting, which takes place March 13th in the Atlantic High School Auditorium, and is open to the public. Also in attendance, will be representatives with the Green Hills and the Heartland Area Education Agencies.

In other business, Amstein said also the district will have to make up two days of school missed on December 20th and 21st, due to a snow storm. Amstein said he will wait until sometime next month before he makes a recommendation to the Board about when those dates should be made up, knowing that there could be additional snow days between now and then.

But Amstein says he’s optimistic the next few months will be sunny and warmer than normal, and rain instead of snow. Right now though, he’s taking a “wait and see” attitude.  And Amstein reported to the Board Monday, that two officers with the Atlantic Police Department, Cass County Sheriff Darby McLaren, and County Emergency Management Coordinator Mike Kennon, came to speak to a meeting of the district Principals, with regard to the A.L.I.C.E program schools use to deal with lock-down situations, such as the mass shooting in Newtown, CT and similar incidents, elsewhere.

Amstein says he will meet with district administrators Friday afternoon about the plan. He says another school district in Iowa has already begun to implement the program, which Atlantic may also use, to “Save as many lives as possible,” according to Amstein, should the district be faced with the potentially tragic situation.

ALICE stands for Alert-Lockdown-Inform-Counter-Escape. It teaches educators and students how to barricade doors, and if necessary, throw objects and attack an armed gunman. The program has not been endorsed by the National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO) , which has more than 3,000 members nationwide. The program was created by a former SWAT officer and his wife, in response to the 1999 school shooting in Columbine, CO.  More than 300 schools are using the plan across the country.

(For more info. about the ALICE Program, surf to: