Archive for Thursday, November 16, 2006

Patrons express concerns at meeting

November 16, 2006

Several Baldwin City patrons voiced their opinions about several different topics at the Baldwin Board of Education meeting Monday night.

The items that were brought to the board included a bond issue, sports injuries and problems at the Baldwin Elementary School Primary Center. Despite the different topics, the school board took no action.

"We welcome the public to participate at the meetings," Board President Alison Bauer said. "It shows that they care about education. We are glad to hear their concerns, but there is no way for us to comment right then."

Amy Cleavinger came to the meeting as a mother of a child in the district, instead of her role as Baldwin City Council president. She spoke about the need for a bond issue that has been briefly discussed by the board in previous months.

"My main reason for going was to express my concern that I haven't seen anything about a bond issue," Cleavinger said Tuesday. "The frustrating thing to me is that we don't have a committee or anything to begin to discuss needs or how much it's going to cost."

Cleavinger was upset that the district is considering waiting until the spring of 2008 before having a possible bond issue.

"The spring of 2008 is disturbing to me," Cleavinger said. "It's unacceptable to wait that long. We have great teachers in the district, but they can't do their jobs if they don't have their tools."

She said the ball fields are one reason that she is concerned about the bond issue, but not the only one.

"We've been working for two-and-a-half years on the ball fields and now we've got a site for them," Cleavinger said. "Now we need to sit down and discuss what we want out there and how much that's going to cost.

"But it's not just about the ball fields," Cleavinger said. "It's also about the teachers and allowing them to have the supplies and technology they need. It's a wide array of things that could be included in a bond issue."

One of her concerns is that the school board is hesitant to make any financial decisions since the $300,000 shortfall was discovered in late July. She does believe that district patrons will support a bond issue, if it includes items that the district needs.

"I think there is support out there for a bond issue," Cleavinger said. "I think it's time to move on now."

Cleavinger was not the only upset parent at the meeting. David Simmons once again commented about his son's football injury and the lack of response from any of the coaches.

Simmons attended the previous meeting to inform the board of the situation. He sent a letter to the editor to the Signal, explaining the situation further. That can be found on page A-4 in today's issue.

At Monday's meeting, Simmons briefly reiterated what he said before, but spoke more about the secondary insurance that the district offers. He wanted parents to be aware of the insurance, because he never was.

One more district patron that spoke during the meeting was XXXXX Kite. She is a member of the Baldwin Elementary School Primary Center site council. She spoke about her concerns for the building and its many problems.

After the many public comments, the board resumed its meeting and went on as scheduled. One item that came up during the superintendent's report was the Baldwin High School soccer field.

The field that is located north of BHS is not in the city limits. Supt. Paul Dorathy told the board this, because it was recently brought to his attention. He said the city wanted to know if the board wants to include it the city limits.

One reason Dorathy gave was the county road to the east of the field could be paved, because the area north of the field is in the city limits. The board will wait until its next regularly scheduled meeting to hear more about the field.

After a long executive session, the board approved the personnel report 7-0. It included the hiring of BHS librarian Jana Jorn as the BHS musical assistant. It also had the resignation of Charles Holvoet as a BHS language arts teacher and debate sponsor at the end of the school year.

The school board will be holding a work session at 7 p.m. Nov. 27 at the District Office. Bauer said the board will be allowing public comment before the meeting begins.

The next regular board meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Dec. 11 at the District Office.

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