Good conduct policy passes second reading
RIVERSIDE—The Highland School Board held the second reading of the good conduct policy at the meeting Monday night.
School board member Tara Black said once again she sent the proposed changes out to parents and received feedback from them. Black suggested changing the definition of extracurricular activities to “any activity a student is involved in that doesn’t result in the student receiving a grade.”
Board vice president Mike Golden said he supports Black’s proposed change. He asked, though, if the wording should be “grade” or “credit.”
“How do you refer to a science class?” Black asked. “Is it a class that gets a grade or a class that gets a credit?”
Superintendent Chris Armstrong asked Highland High School principal Angela Hazelett if it was the same thing and she said yes.
There was some confusion about which reading this was for the good conduct policy.
“Shouldn’t there be another reading on this whole policy so that we know what’s going on as concerned parents, or is this going to be a little discussion here and there where we don’t have any input?” asked Alan Beers.
Board member Lois Schneider asked the other school board members if this was the second reading of the good conduct policy. Board member Laura Scheetz said this was the second reading.
“It could be the end tonight,” said board president Kevin Engel.
Beers said he didn’t know what the good conduct policy included in its revision. He also pointed out there were more parents in attendance at the last meeting compared to Monday night’s meeting. He said sending out the good conduct policy to parents before the meeting may help the school board get more input from them.
Black said she sent it out to the same 22 parents that she had before and did receive input from them. Rita Beers said that was only 22 people in the school district.
“It’s a start,” Black said. “It’s an attempt. I had lots of great response and actually I think that response resulted in some good changes and so I actually sent those same people out this information for me to try to get some feedback, so that’s why I’m proposing we change this.”
Rita commended Black on sending out the information to those 22 parents but said this wasn’t all of the parents in the Highland School District. She said there wasn’t enough input from parents.
“How do you recommend we do that?” Black asked.
“I had a number of people ask for it and I sent them the first policy from the first reading,” Golden said.
Rita asked why the revised good conduct policy wasn’t put on the district’s Web site.
Scheetz said there weren’t any changes made to the good conduct policy from the last meeting. The difference from the last reading to this reading was that the changes were incorporated into the documents.
“Correct,” Engel said.
“So could we put what we discussed tonight—could we post out on the Web site?” Black asked.
Scheetz said the board could just approve the policy that evening.
The rock in the hard place for the school board was the deadline for the student handbooks to be sent to the printer, Alan said—even though Engel said previously that if the board needed to hold more meetings to get the good conduct policy correct, they would.
“Which we felt after the last meeting we had it right and tonight was the final reading,” Engel said. “That was the impression I had.”
Scheetz said if it wasn’t right, then the handbook would be printed and could always be changed later.
Dwight Miller, who also goes by Charlie, asked the school board why the school board wanted to police the students so hard when the school board and administrator did something wrong. The school district now has a lawyer bill to pay, which would affect the taxpayers.
“Why not let the parents do the parenting and kind of back off a little bit?” Miller asked.
“Nothing will ever be perfect,” Engel said. “Any other questions?”
Schneider suggested switching “story” to “allegations” on page 37 in the third paragraph. Board member Cindy Michel suggested switching the wording to situations.
Schneider asked why in the fourth paragraph it says “and/or” for representation at the meeting. Armstrong said because if a parent chooses not to show up at the meeting, then due process still goes on.
Grade and credit came up again during the discussion. Hazelett said credit would be the better wording for the beginning of the good conduct policy.
Black agreed with Hazelett’s suggestion. She said this would make the policy simpler for students and parents to understand.
A motion was made to approve the good conduct policy with the suggested changes. The motion was approved. Schneider was the lone dissenting vote.
Other items covered at the school board meeting included:
approving the student handbooks for the 2014-15 school year;
approving a 28E agreement with the Washington Community School District to share a human resources director. This person would spend 20 percent of his or her time in the Highland Community School District. Schneider voted no. She said she would feel better if she knew what this person’s job would entail for the district;
approving three construction projects using PPEL funds. The Highland High School kitchen will be added onto, the parking lot at Riverside Elementary School will be redone, and the bus barn will be renovated;
and approved raising school lunches to average out to $2.10 for elementary students and $2.30 for high school and middle school students.
The next school board meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, July 15, at 6 p.m. in the Highland board room.