On the agenda last night for the District 205 Board of Education meeting was the consideration for approving the reinstatement of an assistant football coach for the high school football team.
Before the board meeting got underway, former school teacher Jim Jacobs spoke during the time for public comment, and asked the board to not approve the motion. As a taxpayer, he said he would “rather see… my money spent on hiring back a librarian.”
Many of the board members expressed concerns over staff cuts resulting in larger class sizes, using physical education as an example. Freshman board member Vicki Banks suggested cutting the size of the team down to help alleviate the need for the assistant coach.
“My first thought was then maybe we need to have fewer kids if we don’t have the staff to supervise them,” Banks says. “I have grave concerns about the fact that we’re putting P.E. teachers in a gym with 50 eight-year olds with a paraprofessional to help. If that’s not an accident waiting to happen I’m not sure what is.”
The motion to approve the reinstatement was made, which failed to pass with only Tianna Cervantez and Rod Scherpe voting in favor and the other 5 board members voting against.
The board did approve the partnership agreement with Bridgeway for the pilot mental health student support service. Some concerns were expressed over the criteria that would be used to assess and evaluate the program’s effectiveness. Superintendent Ralph Grimm called it a missing component and suggested it be created and added to the proposal.
Concerns were also raised regarding the federal funding of the partnership program, which are at the mercy of the state budget, with board members Wayne Statham and Maury Lyon being especially vocal. Statham said that as long as Bridgeway was willing to accept the fact that they may not receive payment for several months or longer, he didn’t have an issue with approving the pilot program.
The board also approved a resolution authorizing a licensing agreement for the building of a fence, and the districts ESSA plan for fiscal year 2018.
Up for discussion was the boundary waivers for students who wished to attend school outside of their home district.