The Akron School Board held a special meeting Saturday to decide how to proceed with the open seat that was vacated by John Otterman, who resigned last week after a suspected opioid overdose in his car along East Cuyahoga Falls Avenue in Akron two weeks ago.
School Board President Patrick Bravo says that, opposed to appointing someone, they will be taking applications.
Bravo adds that those interested should send a letter of interest and a resume, and that there will be an online questionnaire that needs to be filled out after submitting an application. Bravo says that all materials are due no later than this Thursday, February 1st, at 5 p.m.
Anyone who lives in the Akron school district cal apply. The selected candidate will finish out Otterman's term, which runs through 2019.
On Monday, the Akron Public School Board voted 5-1 to allow school resource officers to carry Narcan on high school and middle properties in the district.
Narcan, or Naloxone, is the opioid overdose antidote that is applied to an overdose victim by a nasal spray. The resource officers who work on Akron school campuses are employees of the Akron Police Department and have been trained on how to use the drug. Bravo says that after the policy is officially passed, the School Board will decide who else on staff will be trained on how to use naloxone and where it will be stored on school campuses. He's hoping that will be decided by the Fall, and the start of the 2017-2018 school year.
Akron School Board President Patrick Bravo told the Ray Horner Morning Show, "The opioid epidemic is here; and I think you can either choose to arm yourself for a possible emergency at some point, or you can choose not to, and we chose to do something proactive."
As for the cost of the Naloxone program at Akron Public Schools, Bravo says the vendor they are looking at provides the doses free for the high schools for the first year. At $100 per dose, and two doses per resource officer, Bravo says the cost for the remaining middle schools will be around $2,000. He says the board will come up with those funds for the Naloxone doses.
The latest numbers from the Summit County Medical Examiner's office show an average of 9 opioid or opiate overdoses a day in Summit County. "We're here to look out for the safety and security of not only the 21,000 students that enter our buildings every day, but the 4,000 full time and part time staff and all of the adult visitors and children," Bravo added.
The Akron Public Schools announced the elimination of 93 positions Monday, including 31 teachers and 35 tutors. Much of the blame for the layoffs was placed on the merger of Kenmore High School and Garfield High School.
Akron School Board President Patrick Bravo and School Board member Lisa Mansfield joined Jasen Tuesday to talk about what the layoffs will mean for students and whether some of the laid off staff members could still get jobs within the district.