Madison County School System prepares for new year with focus on increased safety

WAFF 48's Romario Gardner reporting
Published: Aug. 1, 2023 at 10:37 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 2, 2023 at 8:59 AM CDT

MADISON CO., Ala. (WAFF) - As Madison County prepares to welcome its nearly 20,000 students and staff on Wednesday, Superintendent Ken Kubik said the district is working around the clock to ensure everything is in order.

“Whenever you start a school year, there’s a lot of anxiety just because you want to make sure everything’s just right to get started,” said Superintendent Kubik.

He said having ample transportation and teachers is key. The hiring process has been extended to the end of August.

Safety is the other major topic on his mind going into this year.

“The mission the vision of Madison County Schools is to provide a safe and secure environment for our staff and our students,” said Superintendent Kubik.

That mission includes hiring two additional school resource officers and contracting with off-duty Madison County Sheriff’s deputies to work at schools without SROs.

The district also added five airlock chambers to schools without them and plans on putting weapons detection systems in every school.

WAFF's Megan Plotka reporting

Deanna Burcina feels these upgrades are essential for her four children.

“Safety is the number one priority,” said Burcina. “I want to know that my children are safe amongst the other children as well.”

All of her children attend New Market School, and she believes the concerns for parents begin before setting foot on campus.

“For our kids, you know, from the second they step out the door for some of these students, it starts with getting on the bus,” said Burcina. “I’d like to see another adult on the bus to help keep our kids safe and make sure they’re being properly supervised.”

Burcina believes more transparency from school officials is also important, but believes parents also play a part in keeping other children safe.

“I think when we have more widespread concerns it would be nice for us to work together and you know, be able to address those maybe to establish a forum to address concerns,” said Burcina. “And you know, you can never stop advocating for our children.”

Superintendent Kubik said the district’s weapons detection system will be up and running within a few months.

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