Students will soon have Wednesday nights free
BY KARYN SPORY
Mt. Pleasant News
Students in the Mt. Pleasant Community School District will have their Wednesday nights free in the future as the School Board plans to approve an “open night” policy.
The policy, which the board read for the first time Monday night, states during the regular school year, student activities will not be scheduled on Wednesday nights beyond 6:30 p.m. whenever possible.
The policy (505.11) also states it will be up to school administration to oversee the scheduling of school activities to comply with the policy.
The idea for the policy came from a conversation Superintendent John Henriksen had with members of the Henry County Ministerial Association.
“The Henry County Ministerial Association contacted me early on, in July or August, and they wanted to talk about the relationship between the school district and the area churches,” said Henriksen. “They wanted to see a policy for Wednesday nights as an open night.”
Henriksen said the policy committee had a lot of discussion regarding the issue.
The committee, board member Joy Conwell said, looked at other districts in the state, and specifically in the Southeast Conference, for similar policies. “Many districts have an open night policy,” she added.
“This comes from the importance of having a night, during the school week, that is an off night. Families know this will be an off night and they can choose to go to a service or (spend time together),” said Henriksen.
After approving the policy’s first reading, the board went on to review board policies 104-104.E3. “These policies represent mandatory policy that we currently do not have on the books,” he said.
The policies include language regarding equal education opportunity, an annual and continuous notice of nondiscrimination and student and parental rights.
“I want to try to review three series a year so that we’re going through our policies every three years,” he said.
Also during the meeting, the board approved a 10-cent increase in hot lunch prices. The increase will be effective Dec. 1, 2016. Pre-K through fifth-grade will see lunch prices increase to $2.10, and upperclassmen will now be paying $2.30.
Henriksen said the increase is mandatory and the district will need to increase lunches to $2.80 at some point. Currently, the minimum districts have to increase is 10-cents, and that, Henriksen said, is what he plans to do.
In other business, the board received a presentation from the district’s instructional coaches as well as heard an update from Director of Technology Brady McFarland. McFarland said the first wave of the district’s network upgrade has been completed, but there is still more to do as education becomes more technology based.
The school board will meet for a work session on Monday, Nov. 28, at 6 p.m. The next regular meeting of the Mt. Pleasant School Board will be held on Monday, Dec. 12, at 6 p.m., in the media center.