The search for five campus monitors at the elementary schools drags on as a wider net is cast in an effort to attract more candidates with security backgrounds.

One of the six monitors the Representative Town Meeting approved was hired and started work at Middlesex Middle School last week.

Superintendent Stephen Falcone said he thought the administration was "very close" to filling the remaining openings.

As of Tuesday, May 21, between 40 and 50 candidates had been interviewed, according to Falcone.

"We have lots of candidates, some of them very good ones," he said. However, a definitive time line for hiring the rest of the campus monitors isn't available, Falcone said.

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The original job was posted on March 22, the day after the Representative Town Meeting approved the appropriation of $75,000 for campus monitors for the remainder of the school year.

"We got some response but we think we can get more response by going to other publications," Falcone said.

The district has since "refreshed" its search for the right candidates by putting the job posting in more publications.

The campus monitors at the elementary schools will be implemented all at once, according to Falcone.

The desire to implement the campus monitors came as a result of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown on Dec. 14.

The shooting left 26 dead, 20 of them students.

Any money not spent on the monitors during fiscal year 2012-13 year, which ends on June 30, will be returned to the town, according to Falcone.

It is the hope of the district administrators that the campus monitors become ingrained within the schools to which they are assigned.

Four monitors at the high school have been in place for years, and while increasing security measures were discussed, Falcone spoke often of their importance.

They are in place to spot the first sign of an issue at a school.

During the March RTM meeting, Falcone told the members that it's not just the campus monitors who are in charge of ensuring a safe environment in the schools, but the responsibilities fall upon the shoulders of all of the teachers and other staff.

"This is our house," Falcone said.

The RTM approved the fiscal year 2013-14 school budget of $83 million on Monday, May 13.

Of that amount, $156,000 is for campus monitors.

mspicer@bcnnew.com; 203-972-4407; @Meg_DarienNews