Archive for Thursday, November 15, 2007

School board talks policies

November 15, 2007

Several items of brief discussion came up at the Baldwin School Board meeting Monday night regarding a couple of district policies.

Transportation and renting district buildings were the two primary policies brought up for discussion Monday. Supt. Paul Dorathy brought both topics to the table.

Dorathy revisited an item presented at the October meeting. A district patron told the board about how the school buses didn't pick up his child in the southwest part of town. That created a problem for him and he asked if the board would look at finding a solution for those children in that neighborhood.

"We had a request at the last board meeting to add a bus stop in the southwest corner of town," Dorathy said. "I spoke with Linda Russell (transportation director) about that. She said we would have to add another route because the current routes are full. That would cause a domino effect on where we would pick up students in town or where we wouldn't pick up."

The school board agreed with Dorathy about this problem and how picking up a couple of kids could cause a chain reaction.

Board Member Ande Parks suggested that this might be a time for the board to revisit its transportation policy regarding in-town students.

"I'm not sure the policies are best fit for our patrons right now," Parks said. "Is this a scenario where we need to review our busing policy and maybe revise that?"

The board discovered that the last update to the transportation policy regarding busing was in 1994. After that was presented, the board expressed concerns about changing the policy during the middle of the school year.

"I have concerns about changing the bus routes midstream of the year," Board President Alison Bauer said. "I think we should look at the whole issue and our policy."

Dorathy then gave the final remark on the subject.

"At this point we are not going to take any action on a new stop," Dorathy said. "We are going to look at our practices and policies, which may include a new stop. But, it won't be until next school year."

The other policy that was brought up was the rental of district buildings and space inside those buildings. Dorathy informed the board that the Lighthouse Baptist Church officials have asked him if they could use the Baldwin Junior High School auditorium and commons for Sunday service.

He said he had no problem with them using the space for the standard fee of $135. That fee covers the auditorium and commons for each time it is used.

Dorathy also said a key would be checked out to them and they will be responsible for cleaning the spaces each week. After a couple of questions, the board approved the rental with a 7-0 vote.

"Generally, policy says that we work with non-profit organizations when we can," Dorathy said. "We have a fee schedule to cover our cost for heating, cooling and so on. We generally try to do that. We also understand that these are taxpayers' buildings. They get priority over somebody coming in wanting to make a profit."

In other business, the school board reviewed its goals, which will now become an annual task. Dorathy was happy to see the board had reached most goals, but even more happy about the next step.

"One thing I like about this is the board now has decided it needs to look at strategic planning," Dorathy said. "The board wants to look at who it might have help us do that. I also like the idea of having an outside person helping us through that, so there isn't an internal bias about the direction that the strategic planning takes us."

After executive session, the school board accepted its personnel report 7-0. It included the resignations of Justin Hoffman (Baldwin High School assistant girls' tennis coach), Raymond Dunn (Baldwin Elementary School Primary Center custodian) and Gus Wegner (BHS soccer coach).

The hires were Celia Boyne-Schuh (BESPC/ Baldwin Elementary School Intermediate Center social worker) and Brad Page (BHS assistant wrestling coach).

The next board meeting will be a special meeting with the administration team. It will start at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 26 at the District Office. The next regular meeting will be at 7 p.m. Dec. 10.

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