GHEC revises tardy policy

GRANADA — Superintendent Doug Storbeck provided a report to the Granada-Huntley-East Chain School Board on Thursday.

Storbeck reminded the board that Aug. 27 will be the welcome back workshop for teachers and staff. Traditionally, school board members have served breakfast to staff at the beginning of the day.

“I know the staff is already looking forward to it,” he said.

Storbeck updated the board on some changes that were made to the middle school/high school student handbook.

“We added some language … ‘a student who accumulates 10 unexcused tardies will violate the student code of responsibility that will result in not being able to participate in one event or activity. This will continue for each subsequent unexcused tardy,'” Storbeck read.

He said students have four minutes to go from class to class and administrators believe the time is adequate. He pointed out that students get 10 unexcused tardies before any action is taken.

“We want to hold students accountable,” Storbeck said.

Board member Jessica Salic asked if the school’s cell phone policy has been reviewed. Currently, each teacher is in charge of how cell phone usage is controlled in their classroom.

“It has. Basically we came to the consensus that we would stick with the current cell phone policy and make sure that it’s enforced consistently,” Storbeck said.

Salic questioned how it can be enforced consistently when it varies so much from teacher to teacher.

“I think it needs to be expressed to the staff to follow the rule and stay consistent with the rule,” said board member Bob Garry.

“We need to trust that our students will do the right thing and we need to make sure that our staff is holding students accountable,” said Storbeck, adding that if there are problems this year the policy will be reviewed next year.

A brief update on the new school resource officer was provided. Martin County Deputy Chris Gerhardt will act as SRO for GHEC this coming school year. Gerhardt will have an office connected to the media center.

“He won’t just be there to lay down the law, so to speak,” Storbeck said. “He’ll be making connections with the students and putting a positive light on law enforcement.”

In other action, Assistant Principal Taylor Topinka offered a report.

“We’re getting close to the school year,” she noted. “September keeps creeping up. We think we have the master schedule for middle school and high school pretty much finalized.”

Topinka said there will be five new teachers in the district and two teachers transitioning into other positions.

Activities director Erin Roiger also provided a brief update. She provided a recent number of Granada students who have signed up for different sports. There are 18 for grades 9-12 football; 11 for junior high football; 15 for grades 9-12 volleyball; eight for junior high volleyball; four for cross country and eight for cheerleading.

In other action, the board:

o Accepted the resignation of Kristie Rolling, dean of students.

o Accepted the resignation of Jenn Schaal as a paraprofessional.

o Approved a contract for Kayla Ekstrom as preschool teacher for 2019-20.