The first item on the agenda at Thursday’s Devils Lake Public School Board meeting was the swearing in of the new student member. Mylasha Artis will be serving on the board for the 2012-13 school year giving the students a voice on the board.
Artis was invited to address the board and explain her interest in serving. She said she felt it was a great opportunity to learn broader leadership skills and to give the students’ perspective to the board’s decisions and discussion.
Following that any visitors to the meeting were invited to come forward. A set of parents of a middle school student stepped forward introducing themselves.
Tammy and Travis Beck explained why they’d come to the board. They were requesting a review of the disciplinary measures meted out to their daughter when she violated school district policy. The Becks said they felt that the Central Middle School administration did not follow procedures outlined in the parent’s handbook and that their daughter was being punished too severely for having a cell phone on school property.
School Board President Kory Boehmer directed Superintendent Scott Privratsky to look into the Becks’ request and review the situation. He also encouraged the Becks to keep their daughter in school rather than taking her out of school emphasizing the kind and quality of education she would receive at CMS.
“I will take a look at it,” Privratsky said. “I can’t give you any guarantees that you’ll be satisfied or not, but I will look into the matter.”
Their presentation sparked a conversation among the board members regarding the protocol for such complaints and responding to them in a public setting like the board meeting. Privratsky said he would take a look at the school’s policy but he assured the board members that there is a process parents must follow before they come to the board meetings with their grievances. Board member Paul Goulding suggested there be a due process hearing established for parents to air their complaints on a more confidential basis rather than the public forum.
Privratsky said they would address this concern at the first meeting in November after they’d had the chance to review what was already in place in the established district policy.
Dr. Connie Hovendick gave a brief presentation on the services the Lake Region Special Education provides for the region.
The financial report and bills were both approved.
Annual compliance reports accepted and a tuition waiver request was rejected.
Additional school board meetings were set for Sept. 24, Oct. 8, 22, Nov. 5, 19, and Dec. 10. The meeting on Nov. 19 may be a retreat off site.
Page 2 of 2 - The board adjourned to move to the Strategic Planning Meeting set in the DLPS library at 6:30 p.m. following a short dinner break.