(Photo by Michelle Felter, Staff)
Then he asked the group of teachers sitting before him how they would respond if that happened in the midst of an intruder or hostage situation.
Sikeston Public Schools teachers were in the classrooms on Tuesday learning a few lessons at orientation.
"We try to provide our professional staff with the necessary tools they need for the classroom," said Superintendent Steve Borgsmiller of Tuesday's seminars. "These are additional preparations for the teachers to be as successful as possible in their classrooms."
In Dicus' seminar, he told the teachers to only open the door if they were sure who the person was on the other side -- and that ID wasn't enough, as he has seen DPS badges on the Internet.
He taught the faculty about different types of subjects and situations and informed them of what action would be taken. He also offered a few tips for the teachers.
"Be familiar with your rooms, be familiar with your surroundings," Dicus said.
Split into groups, faculty rotated through 10 30-minute seminars -- five in the morning and five after lunch.
And the morning and afternoon revolved around two central themes: safety and technology.
"One of the greatest issues is safety," said Borgsmiller. Those classes included training for a hostage/intruder situation, search and rescue, a first aid refresher, crisis training and triage training.
The other seminars, which focused on technology, are "a very big piece of what we are responsibly supposed to do," Borgsmiller said. "It's not necessarily new things, but reaffirming capabilities."
Those courses taught the staff about podcasting, CPS remotes, Smart Board usage, A+LS and exam view, new software purchased by the district that does grade tallying for benchmark testing, excluding long essay questions.
"It's been interesting," Becki Koch, who teaches at Lee Hunter and Matthews elementary schools, said of the sessions. "I've been learning a lot about safety precautions."
Koch has gone through the orientations before. However, there were courses that weren't previously offered, such as the one on triage training.
"That was kind of interesting how they do that," Koch said. And as for the courses she's taken before, Koch called them "a good refresher."
Seminar topics are generated from comments and requests made at by faculty members at last year's in-service.
Scott Ezell, school safety coordinator, helped present the search and rescue seminar.
"We don't do as much of a training as an overall informational seminar," he said.
However, these trainings give some insight for future seminars, which will be more in-depth.
"Every guest instructor has built in time to answer questions from the teachers," Ezell continued. "Future in-depth training is exactly what we're looking for."