News

PACE trustees double investment in saw safety grant to $200,000

Property and Casualty Coverage for Education (PACE) trustees voted in July to make Oregon schools more safe by doubling their investment in the SawStop® safety grant to $200,000.

"I'm sold on those (saws)," said John Rexford, superintendent of High Desert ESD, during the discussion about boosting grant funds. He and other PACE trustees said their goal is to help members prevent serious student injuries through the safety features included in SawStop saws.

Effective immediately, grants will be available to districts on a first-come, first-served basis, until the additional $100,000 is exhausted. Saws bought with the grant money will be restricted to use by vocational shop classes or drama departments. To gain the new saw, schools will be required to dispose of any outdated equipment. The application is available online.

Trustees also heard a report from OSBA Litigation Services Director Kate Wilkinson on PACE pre-loss phone calls and consultations. PACE has seen an 8 percent increase in calls over last year.

With the completion of the new PACE Employment Liability Toolkit, PACE risk managers began traveling around the state to disseminate the toolkits and provide trainings. Scott Neufeld, director of risk management, discussed his team’s goal to visit each PACE member before the end of the year and assist them in gaining a possible 5 percent discount for completion of this checklist (member login required).

OSBA Director of Board Development Steve Kelley announced the lineup of PACE trainings for this summer and fall. PACE Regional Trainings, recently completed, focused on transgender issues in schools and conducting investigations. A new focus this year, the PACE Employment Practices: Hire to Retire Trainings delve into four main issues: the hiring process, supervisory practices, workplace discrimination and harassment and the termination process. In October, PACE will once again team up with the I Love U Guys Foundation to provide Train the Trainer workshops for teams of superintendents, principals and first responders on the Standard Response Protocol for school safety.