Providence Working Canines returns to USD 356


By Michelle Leidy-Franklin

CONWAY SPRINGS – After a COVID-19 hiatus, USD 356 has once again elected to bring back Providence Working Canines.
PWC provides canine searches to help minimize the presence of prohibited items on school campuses.
“We are convinced the poor choice of a few will affect the populace, and it is our intention to inspire and motivate a safer learning environment and hopefully eliminate problems altogether,” said Conway Springs High School principal Brent Harrell. “Our schools work diligently each day to make certain students are safe. However, we are limited in the scope of our abilities given the concealable nature of new types of illegal, prohibited items.”
USD 356 has formed a retainer agreement with PWC to provide random safety sweeps and additional services to the district utilizing highly trained, non-aggressive working canines. Harrell said that many school districts in the area have experienced noticeable results using these services and recognize students making choices while at school.
“Testimonies include how these working canines have positively impacted the school culture while strongly deterring unwanted contraband from being brought on school property,” said Harrell.
Random safety sweeps will include parking lots, lockers, sports facilities, commons, perimeters, and other areas as directed. Students are required to make sure their vehicles are free from prohibited items while parked on school property.
Conway Springs high school and middle school students attended an assembly on Wednesday, Jan. 26 to inform them of the reinstatement of the program.
“We recognize the amazing challenge before today’s parents,” said Harrell. “We partner with them toward our common end objective and hope they will appreciate the steps taken on behalf of their child. For the sake of the kids, we appreciate (parents’) support.”