by Jaye Sudar
WALSENBURG-Pull your pants up was the sentiment echoed repeatedly during the RE-1 workshop. It was a controversial topic that packed the boardroom. While studies give a 50/50 split on whether uniforms help or hinder education, Erin Jerant stated that the district didn′t wish to add to the financial burden of parents. She and the board were searching for alternatives. The solution voiced by those present was to enforce the present dress code and put some teeth into it. Doc Siders asked for a “no sagging” clause as well as help in reinforcing the dress code. While much was being said about boys wearing their pants around their knees, it was also mentioned that girls wearing pants low enough to show their underwear or blouses too low cut was also unacceptable. One parent stated that staff and parents needed to lead by example. It was finally decided that the board would bring a recommendation for enforcing the dress code to a future board meeting. Parents and staff would be asked to help with compliance.
Board president Jerant also discussed the work being done with CDE to improve the district. She stated that the three worst districts in the state were being helped by CDE. Without total commitment to the plans laid out by CDE, the state will come in and take over the district. Therefore, the board is calling for cooperation within the district. It was stated that it took some time for the district to reach this point and that it will take time for recovery. CDE has given RE-1 three years.
Graduation requirements was a short topic. State standards now require four years of math and English. Students that need assistance to make up the required credits will be identified and assisted.
Extra curricular eligibility was another hot topic. On the table was a change to the grade point average needed for participation in extra curricular activities which includes sports, clubs and other school events. Various coaches, RE-1 staff members and parents stated their opinions. An issue concerning grades not being posted soon enough was brought up and two solutions were recommended. Power School, which is the online school interface where you can check on a student′s grades was mentioned. Parents can access their children′s grades through this program. It was mentioned that parents once again as well as staff and coaches need to help those students that are struggling as well as raise the bar for those students who are not having issues. It was decided that there would be no change in the eligibility requirements at this time.
The discussion on athletic fees was short. The thought of doubling the fees was nixed by the public. Sponsorship from the community, changing the limits on fund raising was discussed.