Greenville schools aim to update some policies

By Lori Hansen • Last Updated 11:15 am on Tuesday, December 10, 2013

GREENVILLE — The Greenville Public Schools Board of Education considered policy changes on behavior, bugs and conflict of interest during its Monday night meeting at the Central Services Office.

The policy changes were presented for information-only purposes and will be voted on at the next regular meeting. All three were slight changes more in wording than the policy itself.

“These are in good shape, but some changes needed to be made,” said Board President Janet Ralph.

Noted was the Administrative Rule-Behavior Code, especially the paragraph on electronic devices that states: “Students shall not use not have in their possession any electronic communication device during regular school hours. Students who must have in their possession an electronic communication device for health reasons or an extraordinary reason must secure permission from the building principal. Students violating this policy may be subjected to detention, suspension and/or expulsion.”

“This has become very outdated,” Ralph added.

Treatment of the head lice policy was revised to include more emotional and educational support to parents.

“This was put together by (school nurse) Patty Gray and is very well done,” said Superintendent Peter Haines.

The third policy was a draft of a conflict of interest clause

“Basically it eliminated the long opening paragraph and incorporated the information into the bullet points,” Haines said.

Also at Monday’s meeting, the school board accepted a $2,000 donation — with $500 designated to each of the four local elementary school buildings — from Michigan One County Credit Union.

Tim Hemmingway and Kamey Krum-Howe represented the new local credit union.

“We are happy to be able to help, happy to be able to prove we are a part of this community,” Krum-Howe said.

The funds can be used at the principals’ discretion to be given to students to help them be successful learners, according to Ralph.

The board also heard a report from Montcalm Community College Early College Director Shannon Tripp and Brooke Stoutjesdyk, a Greenville High School junior, enrolled in the program.

“What I like about the program is that I can go at my own pace, and we have the opportunity to get ahead,” Stoutjesdyk said. “It’s good.”

Stoutjesdyk, as one of 20 Greenville students who began the first-year program, will complete her junior and senior year of high school while taking early college classes at Montcalm Community College. After the third year of the program, which will be the first year of college for most of her peers, she will graduate with an associate’s degree.

Board members inquired about the classes she is completing, if she missed the social interaction with her high school peers and her plans after graduation.

“The first semester we have worked on soft skills — how to take notes, how to study, how to prepare for college, what they need to know to be successful at the college level,” Tripp said. “Three of the Greenville students will now, at the beginning of second semester, be full-time college students.”

“The program is not for everyone,” she added. “Students who are involved in athletics and the social aspects of high school — it would not be good for them. The students enrolled are in for a number of reasons. Brooke is one who is really ready for college courses.”

Correspondent Lori Hansen is a Greenville-area resident.

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