Archive for Thursday, December 13, 2007

Weather prompts fast school board meeting

December 13, 2007

Icy weather helped make history at the Baldwin Board of Education meeting Monday night.

Supt. Paul Dorathy and the school board shortened Monday's agenda considerably at the beginning of the meeting. By 8:45 p.m., the meeting was over, which gave Dorathy time to cancel classes for Tuesday.

"It was nice to have a shortened meeting," Dorathy said. "We wanted to get everybody home early. I had my conference call with other superintendents at about 9:30 to discuss closing schools."

Although it was one of the shortest school board meetings ever, it didn't come without news. At the end of the meeting, the board approved the retiring of Bill Scott, Vinland Elementary School principal, effective at the end of this school year.

"My years at Vinland Elementary were absolutely terrific," Scott said. "Whoever replaces me will never have as positive and enjoyable experience that I had there. I never went to school a single day wishing I didn't have to be there.

"The new principal inherits a great staff, supportive parents and most of all, super kids," Scott said. "The most important people in any educational institution are those kids and I love them all."

The news of Scott's retirement didn't come as a surprise to Dorathy.

"I think it is something that he has been considering for some time now," Dorathy said.

The other resignation from Monday was Celia Boyne-Schuh, social worker for the two Baldwin Elementary Schools. Her resignation will be effective at the end of the school year also.

Other news from Monday included approving a bullying plan, adding several Baldwin High School classes and approving a Parents as Teachers grant. A couple of items were tabled until the Jan. 14 meeting.

Along with every other school district in the state, Baldwin has been required to create a bullying plan before Jan.1. That plan was approved Monday night with a unanimous 7-0 vote.

"This looks like a great plan to me," School Board President Alison Bauer said. "I am happy to approve this."

Dorathy said the board had to approve this Monday and the plan includes several ways the district will be dealing with bullying.

"The legislature passed a law this last session that said every district is to have a plan in place before Jan. 1," Dorathy said. "We started back in August when a few of us went to a training course about that law. Then the board adopted a policy about how bullying isn't allowed in this district. Then we developed a plan that would address all of those requirements. That's what we approved tonight.

"We have already started training staff and students," Dorathy said. "We will get information out to the community. We will survey all of the students in all of the buildings to see how much of a bullying problem we have in Baldwin. Then we will figure out ways to address that."

The school board also approved five classes for the BHS curriculum next year. The four new courses will be Creative Writing, College Chemistry/AP Chemistry, Advanced Weightlifting and Certified Nurse Aide/Paid Nutrition Aide. The other change was to the Spring Team and Lifetime Sports class.

The other vote Monday approved the Parents as Teachers educators to go after a grant that would allow children to remain with the program until age 5. Currently, they are only allowed to be part of the program from birth until age 3.

Several topics were briefly discussed Monday, but tabled until the January meeting. They were the science curriculum, strategic planning quotes and the teacher retention committee. A few administrative reports and the two recognitions were also moved to the January meeting.

The next school board meeting will begin at 7 p.m. Jan. 14 at the District Office.

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