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 CAB Drug Testing Policy Questioned

February 25, 2009 - Questions about the application of a new random drug testing policy for students sparked discussion during last week's monthly meeting of the Charles A. Beard School Board.

With the policy set to take effect at the start of the 2009-2010 school year, Board Vice President Steve Dalton said he was unhappy with the difference in how students caught using drugs are treated depending on how the drug usage is detected. As an example, he said a student caught by a random drug test only has to produce a clean test before returning to their extracurricular activities, whereas a student whose drug use is discovered through some other means could end up missing a significant portion of activities or sporting events as punishment.

"That is incongruent," Dalton said. "... I'm not happy with that incongruency."

"I totally understand what you're saying," board member Tom Schaetzle said. While he agreed there was question as to the fairness of an outcome like that, he said he didn't think the board "should throw this policy out the door because of that."

"I believe it can be a benefit the way it's presented," Board President Kevin Knott said of the policy. "... I think there's some merit to it."

In personnel matters, the board voted to hire Nathaniel Cockeril as a temporary chemistry teacher at KHS. The board also OK'd the hiring of Alison Conway, Kevin Hiner and Joann Stoten as substitute bus drivers, and approved the following extracurricular appointments: Academic Bowl English coach (Jena Schmidt); and Academic Bowl social studies coach (Carissa Brammer).

Storie told the board that two appraisals had been received for the central office property, one for $88,000 and the other for $106,000. State law prohibits CAB from selling the property for less than $96,000, the average of the two appraisals. On Storie's recommendation, the board voted to table this issue indefinitely.

Storie received permission from the board to apply for an advance of up to $131,000 from the Common School Fund to replace about 160 pieces of technological equipment. Storie said this will not be an additional tax levy and that if CAB gets the advance, it would be repaid with future appropriations for technological purchases.

The board approved on second, final reading amendments to CAB's policy for eligibility for resident and non-resident students. Depending on actions the state general assembly may take this session, Storie said it may be necessary to revisit this policy at some point to make further changes.

The board approved using weighted grades for some of the more difficult classes at KHS. Storie said the reason for this was to provide students with some added incentive to take more challenging courses.

Darren Turner, executive director for the Boys and Girls Club of Hancock County, told the board he was interested in starting afterschool programs for CAB's three elementary schools. Storie said he thought the idea had merit and asked Turner to contact him to make an appointment to discuss it further.

Area resident Esther Brock told the board she was glad CAB offers KHS students some opportunities to earn college credits while still in high school. In addition to providing a chance for students to better themselves, she said she thought it also improved the high school.

The board approved two field trips at last week's meeting. A group of fifth graders will go to the Newport Aquarium near Cincinnati in April, and the FFA group is scheduled to take an overnight trip to Trafalgar.

The Charles A. Beard School Board is scheduled to meet Monday, March 2, at 6 p.m. in the central office, 345 N. Adams St., Knightstown. This special meeting, which is open to the public, is to continue strategic planning for the school corporation.


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