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School Board Discusses Internship, Weather Emergency Policies

By Staff | Mar 30, 2010

A pair of student handbook policies were discussed by members of the Emmetsburg Community Schools Board of Education at their Mar. 15, meeting.

During the February meeting of the board, a senior student had appeared before the board requesting approval to conduct an internship in his anticipated career field during the second semester of the current school year. The internship would be conducted during the last two periods of the school day.

“Seniors can take part in an internship during second semester only,” explained Principal Jay Jurrens. “They have to find their own internship opportunities, and no credit is available. We looked at putting a GPA [grade point average] requirement in there, but elected not to because we felt these students are on track to graduate and have taken all the classes we and the college have available in their area of interest.”

“What do students in this situation typically have as a GPA?” asked Kim Campbell, board member.

“This is the first one we’ve ever had. My recommendation would be a 2.0 if you wanted to include a GPA,” said Jurrens. “Usually, these are your non-traditional, non-college bound students.”

Board member Linda Tienter raised the idea that something should be included in the internship policy about “good conduct.” Board President Karla Anderson added that any violation committed during the internship period would cause the internship privilege to be discontinued. Jurrens was in agreement.

 “I just think something about GPA should be in there,” said Tammy Naig, member of the board. “This student will also likely be in an English and a math class. I don’t think we’d want those classes to slip because of their internship.”

Jurrens noted that since internships can only be conducted during the second semester, GPAs would not be as pertinent.

Anderson stated that she would like to see a GPA included, as well. She proposed a 2.5 GPA since that is the GPA used for open campus privileges.

“I can’t see allowing a student to participate in an internship, yet they don’t qualify for open campus,” Anderson said.

Jurrens explained that open campus is directed towards those students who are college-bound since the privilege is only available opposite students’ college classes.

“Not every kid is going to go to college,” said board member Laure Egland. “Some will go into the trades.”

“Remember these kids are in the last four months of their high school career,” Don Hagen, board member interjected. “As long as they’re on a track to graduate, they’re doing what they need to do. We’re not going to change them from here on out.”

On a vote, Linda Tienter, Don Hagen, Kim Campbell, Steve Pelzer, Laure Egland, and Tammy Naig voted in favor of the policy. Karla Anderson was opposed. Final approval of the internship policy will be considered at the June meeting of the board.

In other policy-related business, the weather emergency policy for early outs, late starts, and school cancellations was reviewed.

Joe Carter, 5-12 Dean of Students, was responsible for improving the current handbook policy. According to the updated policy, when school is cancelled because of the weather, all practices scheduled for that day will be cancelled. A decision will be made later in the day, by administration, whether there will be afternoon and evening performances. During two-hour late starts, practices scheduled prior to school will also be two hours late; and if school is dismissed prior to 3:15 p.m., afternoon and evening practices will be cancelled. Announcements will be made as soon as possible in regards to performances or activities scheduled for that evening.

The policy was unanimously approved by the board.

In other business, board members approved the resignations of Tyler Beving as seventh grade girls basketball coach (contingent upon finding a suitable replacement) and Mindy Ross as high school science teacher.