Kathy Dzewaltowski, observer
Board president Marcia Rozell explained the proposed format for the public forum on the MHS mascot scheduled for Nov. 30. She said it will be similar to a caucus. There will be four groups, which will each be provided with 15 minutes to make a presentation. The groups will represent retaining and changing the mascot and will include two student groups and two adult groups. Following the group presentations, names will be drawn to determine the order of speakers. Speakers will get 3 minutes, and the microphone will be switched off after three minutes. As the public leaves, they will be asked to fill out a card to indicate their preference of retaining or changing the mascot to provide the board with a feel of the audience’s preference and so that those who didn’t speak can still make their views known. The board clerk will tally the votes and provide the results to the board at the Dec. 7 meeting.
Eric Reid, Asst. Superintendent, provided the board with enrollment information based on the Sept. 20 count date. Elementary enrollment was up a little, middle school was down a little, and high school was up a little, for a net increase of 18 students.
The board received a report on Title I, At-Risk, and ESOL programs. Dr. Stan Ward said there had been 322 students last year who were homeless, which represented a 10% increase. At the time of central enrollment, 169 students had been identified as homeless, and in the few weeks since then, the number had increased to 209.
The governor has asked for input from school districts in regards to state education finance, and board members discussed items to consider. Mr. Reid suggested using a spring count date for enrollment so that legislators can better plan the state budget. Dave Colburn said the timing of the enrollment count never mattered for 20 years until folks who don’t want to support public education came along and didn’t want to have to come up with more money based on enrollment numbers, and so they came up with the idea of getting rid of the formula. Darell Edie suggested accounting for inflation. Other ideas included fully funding special education and keeping the weightings in the old finance formula.