North Clay Board Reaches Agreement on Senior Trips

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Published on July 13 2013 5:26 pm
Last Updated on July 14 2013 4:07 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

North Clay school board members have reached agreement on how senior class trips will be handled in the future, with the trips eventually to be ended.

North Clay Superintendent Monty Aldrich said over two hours was spent Thursday discussing the current status of the senior trip and future senior trips for upcoming classes.  The major issues were of the District assuming liability for a senior trip and the lack of desire of any staff chaperoning one of the trips.

Aldrich said there have been incidents that have surfaced in the past few years, after the fact, regarding senior trips.  Some have included inappropriate Facebook posts and pictures, and rumors of other happenings while on trips.  Aldrich said the District is faced with assuming all liability for any potential happenings that take place.  Any staff members asked to chaperone the trips also assume liability for any potential happenings, so the staff members have hesitated in wanting to be involved with the supervision of an overnight long trip.

The Board discussed this year's senior trip and the possibility of getting adequate chaperones.  Also discussed was the potential for future trips not to have adequate chaperones.  13 area school districts were polled regarding how they conduct a senior trip, how it is sponsored, and whether the District assumes liability.  Most of the districts surveyed do not sponsor a senior trip, however some of those districts have had parents exclusively plan a "non-school sponsored" senior trip out of the District on their own.  This results in the District not being held liable for any part of the trip.

Discussion followed regarding allowing the current seniors to have their trip as planned, then downsizing future trips to one or two-day excursions.  More discussion followed regarding allowing any overnight trips due to liability concerns.

Eventually, the Board voted 7-0 to let the current senior class have their trip, provided they obtain adequate staff chaperones according to policy.  The Board also voted 5-2 to offer a one-day trip to the Class of 2015 and Class of 2016 only, contingent upon them getting adequate staff chaperones according to policy, and then dropping the senior trip entirely after those trips.  Members Rinehart and Smith voted No.

The Board also heard from Tonni Micklautz about reinstating high school cross country on a volunteer basis with no cost to the District.  After discussion, the Board voted 6-0 to reinstate the program contingent on private funding being provided before the season begins this fall.  Member Ballard abstained from the vote. 

The Board also voted to offer all high school concessions to the newly-formed Sportsboosters.

In personnel moves, the North Clay board accepted John Smith's resignation as Special Education teacher as of the close of the past school year, hired Gina West as a paraprofessional for the coming school year, and granted the administration the authority to hire personnel as needed before the August board meeting.