School board discusses security changes, attendance policy, budget

— Athletes or members of similar extracurricular organizations are not permitted to participate in any extracurricular activity if they have missed any part of the school day. Schnabl pointed out that the “health appointment” excuse for tardiness was being used as a loophole for students who had missed a part of the school day for an illegal reason but still wanted to participate in extracurricular activities. The requirement of a doctor’s note closes this loophole.

There were some questions from the board regarding the family emergency policy. Schnabl said that the procedure for family emergencies was changed so that he and the school’s Vice Principal Susan Vickers would handle the family emergency excuse by communicating directly with the student’s parents. The concern of some board members was that requiring the student to explain the emergency may invade their privacy and the claim of a family emergency by a parent should be taken at face value.

It was decided that the board would discuss and vote on the policy at a later date.

There was also discussion of the upcoming budget decision. The head of the board’s finance committee, Pat Vogl, reported that the district was in a significant deficit, around $600,000.

“We are going to run into some problems down the road,” Vogl said. “We are projecting problems like this for the next four or five years. We want to take a look at it so that we don’t have significant tax increases down the road.”

Board President Fritz Koennecke said budget deficits “are approaching the point where they are structural. We need to make some cuts or we are going to run out of money.”

There was encouraging news presented by Vogl as well. Through refinancing of some bonds, the budget gained a substantial amount of money. According to Assistant Superintendent Bill Furlong, the savings are to the tune of $40,000.

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