Fitness center policy adopted by Valley Falls School Board
by Clarke Davis
Members of the Valley Falls Recreation Commission appeared before the USD 338 school board Monday night with a policy covering public use of the fitness center.
Under the policy the public will have access around the clock except when school is in session. People who sign up will be given access with an electronic card that unlocks one door.
The main concern for the board members was school security. Once in the door a person could go elsewhere, but Jeri Clark, chairwoman of the commission, said if they break the rules they will lose their privileges.
To safeguard the rest of the school, only the person who has an entrance key will be allowed in and that person cannot bring a friend or even their children, who might run free.
The electronic lock records who comes in and the time, and there are cameras in the event something goes awry.
There are also concerns that something could happen to a person in the fitness room at 3 a.m. with no one else around. There is a phone in the room if the person could get to it.
Clark said there are people who go to work at 6 o’clock and want access at 5. “We want people to be able to use it at their convenience,” she said.
The board will review the situation in a couple of months.
Attending the meeting with Clark were Heather Allen, Kelly Gatzemeyer, and Jami Heinen.
Signing up to use the fitness room will be done through the Recreation Commission.
Clark said they will provide information to the public through the paper and their newsletter. To sign up and receive a card, a person will need to call a commission member who will give them a tour of the facilities and explain the rules. A small deposit will be charged for the cost of the card.
Superintendent Loren Feldkamp said there is some unrest among members in the Delaware Valley League and some talk that a few might bolt.
He said there will be a meeting in a couple of days in which nothing may happen, two or three schools might leave, or the league could vote to disband and then reform.
“Either way we are OK,” Feldkamp said. He noted that a smaller league will not hurt nor is there a problem with the way it is.
He said scheduling football is the biggest problem with one school having soccer, but no football. There is also some disparity with large 3A and small 2A schools.
Principal Susan Grey presented the board with the latest statistics concerning the use of alcohol and tobacco products among Jefferson County students.
The survey is conducted through a program called “Communities That Care” that polls teens annually on risk behaviors.
It was noted that the survey participation has taken a significant step backwards in Jefferson County, that only 37 percent of eligible students participated and it takes an 80 percent participation level to provide the “utmost confidence in validity of the data.”
The results indicate that alcohol and tobacco use have decreased since last year and that binge drinking has also decreased and is below the state average.
Seniors reported parental acceptance of alcohol use decreased slightly, yet remains above the state average.
The report shows that one in five seniors have used prescription drugs not prescribed to them at some point their lifetime and that social hosting — teens drinking at their friends’ homes — continues to be an issue in Jefferson County.
Teachers Deb Spade, Cheryl Brosa, and Trista Gish brought the board a proposal for introducing iPads in the classroom. This technology committee had attended a conference recently on incorporating technology in the classroom and found that the iPad has several advantages.
Among them are less expense, ease in using, free and less expensive applications, longer battery life, and they could eliminate the use of Smart boards.
Feldkamp said he would like to buy three iPads, one for each of the teachers to help them get a start and see how they would benefit their classes.
High school counselor Katie Ackerman brought the board members some pie charts showing student interest in various career paths. The purpose, she said, was to guide the school in aligning the classes they can provide with the staff they have to meet these needs.
In other business, the board discussed:
- Contracting heavy snow removal.
- Purchase of a utility vehicle with a snow blade that could be used for other purposes.
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