August 15, 2013

Board deals with conduct code issues

The Oskaloosa Herald

OSKALOOSA — The Oskaloosa School Board approved the Series 500 Board Polices at its meeting Tuesday that included the Good Conduct Code.

During Public Comments, Diane Crookham-Johnson raised concerns about the Good Conduct Code. She had concerns about the level of offense that could impact a student's eligibility to participate in sports or other extra-curricular activities, and that parents and students must also understand the rules and disciplinary measures. Crookham-Johnson said that she had received mixed responses from school officials regarding her inquiry. She was concerned about the status of offenses such as traffic or parking tickets in affecting student eligibility.

The School Board had approved the Good Conduct Policy in July. The School Board approved the Series 500 Board Policies by a 4-2 vote, with board members Charlie Comfort and Nik Rule voting against it. Board member Ann Whitis was absent from the meeting.

After the meeting, Oskaloosa Superintendent Russ Reiter said that School Board members are interested in discussing the Good Conduct Code further. They may decide to simplify it — the code is eight pages long. Other school district codes, such as the one in Ankeny is only two pages long.

Reiter said that traffic and parking tickets would not count against a student's eligibility. However, he said that students who go out of their way to drive in a “destructive or malicious” manner would be held accountable.

Reiter also said he will visit with students during their early sports practices to discuss the Good Conduct Code and what is expected of them.

In other action, the School Board approved the Master Agreement with the Oskaloosa Support Staff Association.

The School Board also reappointed Chad Vink as the board secretary-treasurer.

Herald Editor Duane Nollen can be reached by email at oskynews@oskyherald.com