Montgomery ISD discusses safety and security, makes annual updates at meeting Tuesday

Montgomery ISD is keeping updated safety and security policies a priority this year.

Montgomery ISD is keeping updated safety and security policies a priority this year.

The Montgomery ISD's board of trustees met Tuesday, Aug. 21—the first day of school—until well after 10 p.m. to hear updates about safety, budgets and employee compensation, which is now starting above $50,000 for schoolteachers for the first time.

Montgomery ISD Chief of Police Marlon Runnels presented safety and security updates that have been implemented in recent months, including security vestibules, bulletproof glass at all campuses, 200 additional security cameras, intruder hardware on campus doors with controlled access keys, new ID cards for all students and increased mental health training for officers.

"I'm really proud of that," Runnels said at the meeting. "It's necessary we continue to make commitments to the mental health aspect of what it is that we do, especially when dealing with our kids. When a kid might be in crisis, you don't want an officer to come and handle it the wrong way because they're not familiar with concepts of mental health."

Hiring four new officers is in the works, with two candidates going through background checks currently. There is also a Crime Stopper phone line to report criminal activities and an anonymous line to report bullying.

"Many items we're going over have been highlighted in Gov. [Greg] Abbott's [school safety plan] report—we're already implementing most of these, or they were already practiced in our district," Runnels said. "I was really proud when the report came out to see we're already doing this, we're already doing that."

Officers are also working on improving communication with school counselors, addressing threat assessments and installing active-shooter software to monitor social media posts from the schools' geolocations.

Last year, MISD received 10 school-shooter threats between December and May, resulting in three arrests, Runnels said.

"Investment in Social Sentinel software is money well spent, and I think we'll definitely benefit from it in our investigations," Runnels said.

Runnels said they are also continuing random safety and security drills including lockdown drills, and will be starting a situational awareness program to check if students or staff have left visible belongings in parked cars.

"We want to do preventative measures," Runnels said. "These things typically lead to crimes of opportunity, and we don't want that to start festering."

In other news Tuesday, the board:

  • Unanimously approved campus improvement plans.

  • Unanimously approved an updated student athlete handbook, which includes setting boundaries and expectations for student athletes and parents that includes spectator behavior.

  • Unanimously approved the 2018-19 budget.

By Jules Rogers
Originally from the Pacific Northwest, Jules Rogers has been covering community journalism and urban trade news since 2014. She moved to Houston in June 2018 to become an editor with Community Impact Newspaper after four years of reporting for various newspapers affiliated with the Portland Tribune in Oregon, including two years at the Portland Business Tribune. Before that, Jules spent time reporting for the Grants Pass Daily Courier in Southern Oregon. Her favorite beats to cover are business, economic development and urban planning.


MOST RECENT

student writing on paper
Texas Legislature allows parents to opt for students to repeat grade levels or courses

Senate Bill 1697 is effective for the 2021-22 school year.

Conroe ISD Superintendent Curtis Null announced during a YouTube update on July 28 tat that students, faculty or parents who test positive for COVID-19 are not allowed to come to school. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Conroe ISD officials: Individuals with a positive COVID-19 test will not be allowed to enter district schools

Superintendent Curtis Null said the district was granted the authority after state officials updated policies.

Outside of the Alan B. Sadler Commissioner's Courthouse in Conroe
Montgomery County commissioners vote on proposed tax rate, set date for public hearing on FY 2021-22 budget

A public hearing is scheduled for Aug. 20 to adopt the final budget and tax rate for the 2021-22 fiscal year.

The beauty supply store will open in August in Montgomery. (Courtesy Modern Chic Enhancements)
Beauty supply boutique Modern Chic Enhancements coming soon in Montgomery

The beauty supply boutique Modern Chic Enhancements will be located on Hwy. 105.

The district will still offer a la carte items and snacks for purchase. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Montgomery ISD to offer free breakfast, lunch during 2021-22 school year

In a typical year, a student's household must meet income eligibility requirements to qualify for free or reduced-priced meals.

4 tips on planning for a remodel from Conroe-area home remodeler Roy Janik

Royce Janik, owner of Royce’s Home Improvement in Conroe, offers tips to homeowners on when to invest in a remodel and how to plan for one.

3 tips from Montgomery-area home organization company SORT

As part of our Real Estate Edition, Whitney Jeski, owner of SORT, a home organization company based in Montgomery, offers tips on maintaining an organized home and the value of doing so.

School supplies will be exempt from the 8.25% sales tax Aug. 6-8. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
What to know before the statewide tax-free weekend Aug. 6-8

Customers will not have to pay the standard 8.25% sales tax on select clothing, footwear, school supplies and backpacks under $100.

Summer Moon Coffee's newest location is at 449 S. Loop 336 W., Ste. 100, Conroe. (Courtesy Summer Moon Coffee)
Austin-based Summer Moon Coffee coming to Conroe

Guests will receive free coffee and "Moon Milk" samples at the grand opening.

Main Chick Hot Chicken opened its first brick-and-mortar location July 23 in Sugar Land. (Courtesy Main Chick Hot Chicken)
Main Chick Hot Chicken opens in Sugar Land; Urban Bird Hot Chicken coming to Cy-Fair and more Houston-area news

Read the latest business and community news for the Houston area, including two new chicken restaurants.

Hope Elementary School will open Aug. 11. (Ally Bolender/Community Impact Newspaper)
PHOTO GALLERY: Ruben W. Hope, Jr. Elementary School to open in Conroe ISD on Aug. 11

Ruben W. Hope, Jr. Elementary School, 14755 Granger Pines Way, Conroe, will open on August 11 for the first day of the 2021-22 school year.