NEW EAGLE – Ringgold School District will soon be deploying a drone over its main campus to enhance school safety.

According to Ringgold School District Police Chief Clayton Shell, the district is purchasing a DJI Mavic 2 Pro Drone Quadcopter, which will primarily be used for surveillance at the high school and middle school. In addition, the drone can be deployed as needed to monitor Ringgold Elementary School North and Ringgold Elementary School South.

“Everyone is using drones these days, but the DJI Mavic quadcopter is not a needless toy,” said Shell. “This drone is state-of-the-art and meets all FAA registration requirements. The video footage and aerial photographs taken by the drone can help police and other law enforcement agencies to better respond to critical incident situations at our facilities. The drone will also come in handy if we need to find a special needs student who wanders out of a building or if we need to monitor students during a fire drill. We can also use the drone to monitor the stadium and stands during a football game.”

The drone, which will cost around $2,400, is capable of flying up to eight miles and can provide a live video feed up to five miles. Both of Ringgold’s elementary schools are located within four miles of the main campus.

“In this day and age, it’s important to have an eye in the sky,” said Shell. “We are excited to be bringing this technology to Ringgold School District.”

In other business, the board:

n Approved “Option 3” to renovate Ringgold’s baseball field. The $591,650 project will include retrofitting the outfield and infield with sod and drainage, replacing the first base fence and constructing a third base fence. Plavchak Construction will begin work on the baseball field in August.

n Approved a Letter of Agreement between Ringgold School District and Centerville Clinics, Inc. to assist with the district’s 2019-2020 yearly sports physicals.

n Approved a motion to purchase 17 Chromebook carts of 30 Acer Chromebooks for use at the Middle School, Ringgold Elementary North and Ringgold Elementary South. Ringgold will purchase the equipment from CDWnG, LLC at a cost of $149,033.

n Agreed to participate in the National School Lunch Program to provide free and reduced-price lunches to all eligible children in the district.

n Approved a motion to enter into a partnership with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to become a NOAA Weather-Ready Nation Ambassador. Superintendent Megan Marie Van Fossan said the goal of this program is to educate students and their families about potential weather hazards, such as lightning, tornadoes and hurricanes.

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