School Board to tackle hot-button issues

All-day kindergarten, cameras to be considered

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Past Event

Steamboat Springs School Board meeting

  • Friday, February 1, 2008, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • George P. Sauer Human Services Center, 325 Seventh St., Steamboat Springs
  • All ages / Free

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Agenda

8:30 a.m. - Workshop to discuss all-day kindergarten, federal school security grant, school calendar and the district's harassment policy.

Noon to 1 p.m. - Executive session to discuss contract terms for the next superintendent.

1 p.m. - Reconvene to discuss the district's harassment policy, determine workshop dates for March and April, and develop an agenda for March policy governance training.

— The Steamboat Springs School Board will tackle a number of hot-button issues today, including how to implement all-day kindergarten, whether to install security cameras in schools, and revisions to the district's harassment policy.

Colorado Association of School Board representatives are meeting with board members today for an all-day workshop. One of the focuses will be ensuring the School Board is concentrating on how its policies impact students and the community.

"This is the start of a long process to form policies for some issues that are going to have a big impact on our community," said board member Laura Anderson, who was elected to the School Board in November. "We are look at big pictures, rather than the individual details, which is counterproductive."

Jim Weigel, a training consultant with the Colorado Association of School Boards, will lead the School Board through the workshop, which focuses on the principals of policy governance.

"What we want to do is practice using the principles the board has begun to learn by applying them to new topics that are on the top of their minds," he said. "One example is school safety. It's having conversations about the long-term impacts school boards want to make with the lives of students. : The next piece is how to have that conversation with the community, and schedule some community engagement sessions."

Anderson said she looks forward to discussing the policy implications of the $533,000 federal "Secure Our Schools" grant. The money would be spent to boost security measures at all four district schools. To help match the grant, district officials have set aside $245,000.

The grant includes funding for 800 MHz radios, bi-directional antennas, electronic keycard assess systems, and exterior security cameras. Money for interior school cameras also is included in the grant, but board members have questioned the need for in-school surveillance.

Proponents have said internal cameras would increase safety and decrease crime such as theft and vandalism. Opponents have argued the cameras invade the privacy of students and could destroy a culture of trust established at campuses such as Steamboat Springs High School.

The School Board's harassment policy discussion was prompted by a Steamboat Springs teenager's acquittal Jan. 10 of assault and disorderly conduct charges stemming from a February 2007 incident that left another student with a broken jaw. Randall Nelson, the acquitted teen, allegedly was the subject of repeated racially motivated taunts from the other boy.

The harassment policy mandates a series of steps that administrators must follow - including a written description of the incident - when students or faculty report harassment.

"I'd like to leave with (board members) knowing what community discussions they will have concerning these topics over the next year or so," Weigel said. "The power of policy governance is that it enables a board to be more accountable with those who are the moral owners of the organization - the community. It makes them take a step back and look at the larger decisions in a much more thorough manner and establish what is expected of the superintendent and staff."

Comments

beagle 6 years, 10 months ago

Hey B4UC BS PS - Would you by any chance be a doctor? Obsession is a strange thing.

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