A district-wide survey found that the majority of the Lake County Schools employees, students, parents and community members who responded do not support school personnel having access to a secured weapon on campus during school hours.
The survey link was posted on the district’s internal and external web sites and was shared on its social media pages and published in local media. It asked participants to identify themselves as an employee, student, parent or community member. Then, it asked a single question about the “School Guardian” program: “Do you support school personnel, to include school administrators, ROTC instructors, current or former service members, and/or former law enforcement officers, who volunteer to participate in a “school guardian” program, to have access to a secured weapon on campus during school hours?”
A total of 2,673 people answered the question, and in every category the majority responded, “No.” 59.6% of parents responded "no", while 80.2 of students responded negatively. 54.9 percent of school employees also said replied “no.”
An earlier survey taken before Spring Break asked similar questions of school-based personnel. In that survey, when asked whether they support instructional personnel (only ROTC instructors, former military personal and former law enforcement officers) participating in a voluntary guardian program with access to a concealed firearm on campus, 52.75% personnel responders answered yes and 47.25% answered no.
The most recent survey opened April 5 and closed on April 20. A different survey is circulating among high school students to determine their opinions on school safety matters. School Board members have said they will consider all stakeholder input before making any decision about the School Guardian program.
The School Guardian program is a result of a new school safety law that was passed in the aftermath of the February mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland that killed 17 people, including 14 students and three staff members. 17 people were injured.
The days of students nervously waiting for the mail carrier to deliver their report cards are going away in Lake County Schools. Effective immediately, the district will no longer print and mail report cards to parents. Instead, parents can see the report cards digitally online through the Skyward Family Access program. The change is projected to save the district $35,000 a year. It’s also expected to be a more efficient way of getting the report cards to parents. Many times, report cards that were mailed to parents in previous years would be returned to the district unopened because families often move without updating their addresses in school files. Parents are being asked to enroll in Skyward Family Access now so they have no problems seeing grades when report cards are published at the end of the school year. Enrolling in Skyward Family Access not only links parents to their children’s report cards, but it also gives them the ability to monitor attendance records, assignments and test scores, and to receive important notices from the school or district. To enroll, parents should download the enrollment form at www.lake.k12.fl.us/FamilyAccess , print it and complete it and then bring it and their ID to the school and sign the form in front of a witness there. Parents have the option of returning a notarized form to the school instead.
Parents without access to a home compute can link to Skyward Family Access from a mobile device – a link is available on the Lake County Schools app, which can be downloaded through Google Play or the Apple App Store. They also have the option of using computers for free at public libraries in Lake. Those who still want a paper copy of their child’s report card can come to the school and have one printed and given to them on the spot. For more news and events in Mount Dora, Tavares & Eustis, click here. Find out what's happening locally with just a tap on your phone by downloading the area's free mobile app. Monthly issues of Mount Dora Buzz are available here.
By Marc Crail Mount Dora City Council Member, District 4 It was a marathon evening of 4, count 'em 4 meetings. Our City Council Work Session began at 3:00 and ended at about 5:15. We broke for something to eat and reconvened at 6:00 for our regular meeting followed by 2 Community Redevelopment Board meetings which finally finished up about 9:15.
There were a couple of important discussion items on the Work Session agenda.
As you are probably already aware we have had an annual "Fire Assessment Fee" in effect now for several years. Businesses also chip in based upon the size of their buildings. The money collected from the Fire Assessment Fee was used to purchase our 2 new fire trucks which are now in service. They replaced 2 trucks that were about 18 years old. A Fire Assessment Fee can only be used for fire equipment and facilities (not for EMS). Our number of fire emergency calls more than doubled from 2014 to 2017 and that trend has continued through the first quarter of 2018.
We heard an informative presentation about the need to reduce our response times from our current 8 minutes or less in 90% of incidents to get closer to the national standard of responding to 90% of our calls within 4 minutes. To accomplish that we would need to go from our current 2 fire stations to 3. One of our current fire stations is very poorly located and has ongoing safety/maintenance issues. Over the next few months we will need to come up with a plan to decrease our response times for the protection of our residents and their property. More details to come on this important topic.
We also heard a presentation from Waste Management. They are our contractor for trash, recycling and yard waste disposal. By reducing our trash pickups from twice a week to once a week (as many cities already have) we could save substantial money which would lower all of our monthly bills. Waste Management is also willing to install covered trash and recycling compactors in the downtown business district that would have a greater capacity than the current bins and would reduce the smell and pests. More details will be forthcoming in the next few weeks but it sounds promising to me.
In both our regular meeting and in our CRA meetings an economic development tool called "High Value Job Creation Programs" were approved. These are grant incentives awarded to business owners who add well paying jobs that pay workers at least 115% of the average local wage. That would be about $41,000 plus benefits. This program has no risk to the City since employers do not receive the grants until they have actually hired and kept their new employees for 2-5 years.
Remember that what you here from me is only my take and does not reflect your City Council as a whole!
I've got a Walt Disney quote for you. Walt said: "Everyone falls down. Getting back up is how you learn to walk."
Thanks for your interest in Mount Dora!
Dr. Marc Crail Mount Dora City Council Member, District 4
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Mount Dora Mayor Nick Girone will be presenting the annual State of the City Address on Thursday, April 26, 2018 at the W. T. Bland Public Library.
Topics of the address will include parking, hotels, development, emergency services, the Wolf Branch Innovation District, development of the Golden Triangle area and the expansion of trails and roads into the city.
The presentation will take place at 6 p.m. in the Community Room in the library located at 1995 North Donnelly Street.
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As part of the Wekiva Parkway project, the busy U.S. 441 / S.R. 46 interchange in Mount Dora will be converted to an at-grade, signalized intersection. A flyover ramp will eventually provide continuous traffic flow from the north and heading east on S.R. 46 toward the parkway. To achieve this, construction crews will divert all U.S. Highway 441 traffic onto temporary pavement along the State Road 46 southbound on- and off-ramps beginning April 16, at 9 p.m. Drivers will be required to stop at a new temporary traffic signal at S.R. 46 (see top blue arrow on exhibit below) and should be alert for lane closures and other traffic issues during these activities. Once traffic has been diverted, crews will begin removing the bridge and building the east side or future northbound lanes and the flyover bridge (shown as the red hashed area in the graphic below). When the east side is completed, traffic will switch onto those new lanes while work begins on the west side or the new southbound lanes. Upon completion of the new outside northbound and southbound lanes of U.S. 441, traffic will be split to allow building the new median and turn lanes. Work on this section is scheduled to finish in spring of 2020. Visit www.wekivaparkway.com for project information.
Mount Dora is switching emergency notification systems to provide better service to residents. City of Mount Dora utility customers have already been added to the new program. Residents that are not a City of Mount Dora Utility customer will need to register themselves and household members here.
The city will discontinue the use of the current program starting August 1, 2018.
The emergency notification system sends out messages for boil-water alerts, extended power outages, city emergencies, and police and fire incidents that affect the lives and safety of residents, visitors and businesses. NOAA weather warnings and watches for Lake County will also be distributed using this system.
The Eustis Police Department is investigating the April 2 robbery of the Aldi Grocery in Eustis. At approximately 11:23 AM, a white male entered the business located at 17935 U.S. Highway 441 in Eustis, He approached the cashier and placed merchandise by the register. The suspect allegedly showed her a note instructing her to give him the money and no one would get hurt. No weapon was reported.
The suspect is described as a white male, 18-25 years of age, approximately six feet tall and 165 pounds. He has short brown hair and was wearing glasses, blue jeans, black sneakers and a grey and black hoodie. If you have information on the identity, location or any information pertaining to this person, please contact Detective Simken at firstname.lastname@example.org or (352) 483-5400 or Crimeline (800-423-TIPS).