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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

School board studies policy on student fees

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

McCOOK, Nebraska -- If a McCook student cannot afford to participate in a school activity due to financial difficulty, that need is always taken care of, said McCook Schools Business Manager Rick Haney.

"I don't think we have ever looked a kid in the eye and said we wouldn't take care of it," Haney told the McCook School Board Monday night at the regular meeting, during the discussion of "Student Fees" school policy.

That policy, along with polices concerning bullying prevention and parent involvement, were up for annual review Monday night.

No changes were made in the bullying and parent involvement policies, but board members wanted to make sure that all organizations were covered in "Student Fees."

Student fees year is an account at the McCook School District, mandated by state law, that can be accessed by students who qualify for free or reduced lunches, to help pay for extracurricular activities. These activities are supervised or administered by the school, but are not required and include such groups as art club, band, or cheerleading.

In response to a question by board member Larry Shield about field trips, Haney said that sometimes older students will use group treasury funds to attend a field trip, or a per-person charge will be assessed when a "pep bus" is used to attend an activity.

Tom Bredvick said grant funds are typically used for field trips and in the younger grades, PTO also helps out "to make sure the field trip is not a financial burden."

Board member Teresa Thomas asked if the school paid for cheerleading or dance club uniforms and Haney said that is handled by the athletic director's office but that the district offers a contribution annually, proportionate to what is offered to other groups with a standard uniform rotation.

McCook Athletic Director Darrin Nichols said new uniforms are purchased every five years for varsity sports, then rotated down to junior varsity. Since cheerleading outfits are not rotated - cheerleaders buy new ones each year -- the cheerleaders are offered alternate ways to help pay for uniforms.

This includes taking tickets at the McCook cross-county meet and working the concession stand at McCook track meets. This usually yields about $1,000 to $1,200, he said.

In response to a question by board member Diane Lyons about National Honor Society, Haney said although each club is not defined by name, no group is excluded.

"We can't cover everything in writing," he said, but these groups are included in the generic title, "Academic Clubs/ Groups."

After this discussion, the board unanimously approved the student fees policy, as well as the other policies.

Superintendent Grant Norgaard said the bullying prevention policy is in line with state statutes, but that bullying is an issue they are constantly dealing with.

"We can't policy it away, but we do monitor it aggressively," he said.

In other action, the board also approved local substitution certificates.

Superintendent Grant Norgaard said this certification allows the substitutes to teach 40 days and is used quite often, "to make sure we don't run out of substitutes."

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