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School officials: Children safer after central office move

KEOKUK – School officials in Keokuk said moving the district’s central office out of Torrance Pre-School will keep kids safe and help then learn better.

Pre-school special education teacher Amy Phil said she’s happy about the change.

“Someone could come in and wander around downstairs even possibly going into a classroom and we were not aware of what their intent was,” she said.

Phil said moving the district’s central offices will go a long way towards improving safety.

“It is huge,” Phil said. “Not only for me from a teachers stand point and having people like UPS come in, people from the community come in looking for central office staff.”

Superintendent Christine Barnes said safety wasn’t the only reason for the move.

“Just for student learning, a peaceful environment and not having people in and out all day long,” she said.

Phil said unexpected visitors can also be a big distraction.

“Often times I could be in the middle of helping a student and I would have someone ask where central office was and how to get there and I’d have to stop that instruction to guide them the right way,” she said.

Phil said moments like that can be especially challenging for students in their very first year of school.

“Because they were just in the middle of playing this really fun game and then I’m like, ‘OK, we’re done,’ and they’re not ready to be done and so usually it increases challenging behavior meaning they’re probably going to have a melt down,” she said.”

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Blake Sammann

Blake Sammann is a reporter and weekend anchor at WGEM News.

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