Board approves SRO recommendations

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The School Board unanimously approved the school resource officer evaluation report findings and recommendations as well as the contracts for the City of Middleton and Village of Cross Plains for the 2021-22 school year at its regular meeting at Kromrey Middle School on Monday, April 26.

The SRO position will remain at the high school campus with the following changes:

  • Purposeful, ongoing training of the SRO.
  • Dialogue with and feedback from students.
  • Delineation of roles and responsibilities of all professionals who support student success will be prioritized.

The SRO will not wear a police uniform while on duty. It was also recommended that all officers who enter the high school building engage in ongoing dialogue with administrators so that roles, responsibilities, expectations, and a shared understanding of hopeful student outcomes is established. A high school team will work with the police department on defining and articulating the roles and responsibilities of the SRO and developing an annual evaluation process as part of a series of next steps.

The SRO position at the middle schools will evolve so that they are able to create meaningful interactions with more students in authentic and intentional ways. The Community SROs will not have offices at the middle schools, but will spend time in elementary and middle schools and in community spaces when there is a purpose for their presence.

Next steps at that level include developing a revised job description, administrators and police department representatives meeting to identify activities for the Community SROs and a thorough onboarding process, and quarterly meetings with administrators and police department staff during the 2021-22 school year to develop and refine implementation.

Superintendent Dana Monogue provided a presentation before the vote. She thanked the several staff members who helped with evaluation and process. She also noted literature that was reviewed and helped inform the recommendations.

Monogue also noted there have been zero complaints against SROs in Cross Plains and two at MHS and one was determined to be unfounded and in the other the officer was exonerated. The Board had asked for that information at its meeting on April 12.

The School Board received a report on the evaluation process used by the District, which included feedback from more than 2,500 stakeholders, at its meeting on April 12. Monogue noted 79-84 percent of adults who took the survey indicated they wanted the SRO program to continue, while 86-90 percent of students supported maintaining the program.

The Board asked questions and shared their thoughts for approximately 20 minutes before their vote. The Board will receive annual reports on the SRO program going forward.