Safe Passage for Students Discussed at Joint Session


Diana Gish/KMXT

Last night, members of the Kodiak Island Borough Assembly and the Board of Education met for a joint work session in the assembly chambers. One of the topics they discussed was the issue of school crossing guards.

Before and after school crossing guard shifts are covered by volunteers and are organized by the Salvation Army. Under the current arrangement, filling crossing guard shifts is one way for non-profit agencies to receive funding from the borough at ten dollars a shift. But a shortage or fluctuating number of volunteers has made it difficult to keep the intersections manned twice a day when school is in session.

Concerns about the safety of students at street crossings have been raised at Borough Assembly, City Council and School Board meetings. A Facebook page has been created by councilman Terry Haines to share communication between crossing guards and to help generate solutions to the problem.

At the joint session between the assembly and the school board, the topic was further explored.

Borough Manager Rick Gifford gave the group an update from an earlier joint meeting between the borough and the Kodiak City Council.

(Crossing Guards 1 "What came out … have this discussion.")

One Kodiak business that’s been mentioned by assembly members as a potential contractor to manage the crossing guard program is HCR Security. If the borough, city and school district do decide to request proposals, any interested company can submit one.

Borough Mayor Jerome Selby felt there’s also a need for the police department to play a role in the program.

(Crossing Guards 2 "To me there … down through there.")

Borough Assemblywomen Pat Branson and Louise Stutes offered their support for that idea.

(Crossing Guards 3 "Having that link … idea as well.")

During the course of the discussion, questions were raised as to which agency is actually responsible for administrating and paying for the crossing guard program. After some give and take on the subject, Branson suggested that it was a duty that all three groups could share.

(Crossing Guards 4 "We have an … the fall schedule.")

The next step is for borough manager Gifford to meet with the Kodiak city manager and a representative of the school board to talk about the possibility of requesting proposals from companies who are interested in managing program.

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