Medical marijuana policy update approved

KC Bunch
The Hill City School District Board of Education meeting last Monday evening saw reports by the staff, including superintendent Blake Gardner reporting no cases of COVID-19 currently in the Hill City Schools.
Gardner also brought up the upcoming activities and events surrounding homecoming week. With that discussion, he presented the school board with a photo that was recently donated by Holly VanderBeek of Hill City school’s very first homecoming dated 1922.
The school board approved the policy updates with regard to the medical marijuana law that was recently passed in South Dakota. This new policy “clarifies that a separate policy governs administration of medical cannabis; contains updated language regarding prescription medication labels, contains new language related to school employees and medical cannabis and a definition of illegal drugs, and expands language related to drugs in schools.” The policy was unanimously approved. 
Also gaining unopposed approval was the compensation of graduate credits for school district employees at $70 per graduate credit, up to 35 total credits. 
Extra duty contracts garnered a bit of discussion with regard to how to execute the legality of a contract. The current policy stands in that Gardner interviews and hires these extra duty employees with the understanding that the full contract is not binding until the hires are approved by the board and the board president signs those contracts.
Board vice president Angie Ross requested an investigation take place to see if there is a better way to handle this process going forward.
Some discussion centered around the retirement of Coleen Clapper and appreciation of her many years of teaching service to the Hill City Schools was iterated. Clapper has impacted many many lives throughout the 34 years she has both taught and coached in Hill City, the board said. Barb Sachs will  teach the fifth grade class being vacated by Clapper’s retirement and her position was unanimously approved. 
The board discussed with school staff the position and success of the Loss Learning interventionist, Shelbie Walton. Both the elementary as well as the high school/middle school principals voiced their support for the help Walton has been to their students. Her position was approved unanimously and her compensation is to come from ESSER funds received by the school district.
Another item of much discussion was the first reading of the policy update regarding Alternative Education students at Hill City schools. The previous terminology of  “home-schooled” students has been changed to reflect a broader base and the term “alternative education” is now being used. 
The discussion centered around the code of conduct for students who do not attend traditional classroom style courses and the expectation of excellence of character at events these students may participate in. It was discussed that the school doesn’t have alternative education students read and sign the code of conduct as the regular students do, and that that should be rectified going forward and possibly before accepting this policy change. 
The next regularly scheduled school board meeting is Oct. 11 at 6 p.m.

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