Friday, March 15, 2013

Recap of the 3/14 School Board Meeting

While the meeting was lengthy, the issue that parents may want to know most about is that the last day of school, June 7th, will remain a half day. IF we have more snow days, I am praying we do not, then we will have to revisit.

Another item on the agenda was the school visitor policy. The division has proposed a modest change by adding the bolded words to the policy:

"Visitors are welcome in the schools as long as their presence is not disruptive. Upon arriving at a on school grounds during normal school operating hours, all visitors must report to the administrative office."

We had an interesting discussion, I welcome feedback from the public about this change. The discussion centered on the high school. The change would require anyone using the playground/track or walking through any of the grounds of our schools to stop and get a visitors pass at the office.

I tend to agree with the policy at the elementary schools, especially in the case of folks using the playgrounds while students are at recess. However, I have some concerns as it relates to CHS. CHS is sprawling and surrounded by lovely trails, a park and a neighborhood. The easiest way to get to the park from the neighborhood is to go through the grounds of CHS. Under this policy change, during school hours only, a passerby should let the office know that he/she is walking through (perhaps with his/her dog). I am not sure this is the best use of our staff's time. I would love to hear what you think about the potential change.

We also discussed summer school enrichment funding at length. The 2013-14 budget reduced the summer school budget by $20,000. To make up some of that difference, the division recommended charging an additional $30 for an orchestra camp to prepare rising 5th graders for orchestra. The class costs $25 for instrument rental if the student does not have one of his/her own. The discussion was interesting and led to a 3-3 tie since one of board members was away with an ailing family member tonight. In the event of a tie, the policy is to pass it by until the next meeting. Unfortunately, time was of the essence. Happily, I hope, a resolution came to pass when another funding source was suggested for the relatively modest cost of the camp ($3200). I had a lot to say about the fee at the meeting, so I wont go into it more here.

We had other discussions. Feel free to contact me if you have comments or questions. 

PS- minor editing changes made to this post in the light of day.

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