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KINCAID — The South Fork Board of Education held a regular meeting on Wednesday, February 16, 2022 at 6:30 p.m. in the district media center.
Like many area schools, the Board of Education decided to make South Fork schools masks optional following the decisions by the Joint Committee on the Administrative Rules (JCAR) earlier. However, Superintendent Chris Clark wanted to make it clear that the masks optional stance they took was based solely on their return to learn to plan. The district will follow the numbers and the data; as long as COVID numbers stay low, the masks remain optional. Clark also wanted people to know that the district would abide by the state once the courts finished their review of the Governor’s insistence on a mask mandate in the schools.
Clark told the Board at the meeting that the district was following the budgeted projections nicely. He said the district had used 57% of the budget, and that the revenues were right at 55% brought in.
The Board heard from the Junior High Student Council sponsor, Tasha Mohn. She asked the Boar permission to allow the students to stay overnight when attending the JH student council state convention at the Crown Plaza hotel in Springfield April 22-23./ In years past, the students were bused to the event and home in the evening, often missing out on some activities and arriving home around midnight before having to get up early to be bused back fro the second day of events. Mohn said she had spoken with parents and they were interested in the students being allowed to stay. There would be two chaperons present, and off-duty police officers would be providing security. The Board agreed to let the students stay overnight.
The Board also heard from the Senior class student council. They had come to the Board to ask permission to revise their requirements for the school trip following multiple students failing to keep wither the 2.25 GPA, under eight tardies, or both. Two students who had failed t he requirements spoke at the meeting, admitting to fault and owning the mistakes, but asked for a second chance. The student council sponsor also said she had not been aware at the time the requirements were made that the GPA was cumulative over the high school career, meaning students who struggled early in high school might not be able to make up the damage to attend the senior trip. The Board agreed to allow the seniors to revise their senior trip requirements.
Board member Wes Aymer was the sole no vote. He expressed understanding that the students wanted a second chance and admitted fault, but said that they also needed to be aware of consequences for their actions and be held responsible for them. He likened it to being in a sport elective; if a student failed to meet the requirements to participate, they were not allowed to play.
Clark told the Board that he was proud of how the student athletes had been playing this year. However, there had been issues of people being ejected from the games. Because South Fork had more than three ejections in their games, they were put on the IESA watchlist. If the ejection continued, then the IESA could become involved. Clark said they did not want that and would have to come up with a plan of action on how to handle the way the community is presented at the games. He said that an advisory committee would be put together to try and help control the home games. Away games, Clark admitted, they had no control over.
Like many schools in the area, South Fork relies upon Aramark for food services. Due to the supply chain disruptions, Aramark has asked many of their schools to increase the cost of lunches until the end of this current school year to help offset the increased costs. The Board asked if the cost would remain higher. Clark explained that it was his understanding that the cost would return back down to the contracted level for the next school year. The Board agreed to the increased price.
Also approved at the meeting:
– Treasurer’s report
– 2022-2023 Intergovernmental Agreement for School Districts (ROE Programs)
– First reading of updated district policies
The next regular meeting of the South Fork Board of Education will be held on Wednesday, March 16 at 6:30 p.m. in the district media center.