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ID Badge Policy Won't Change in Current Year

Board votes 6-1 in favor of not changing the ID enforcement policy immediately.

ID badge requirements for students won't be changing this year.

Board member Laure Schmidt was the lone vote in favor of the change.  of the Board, Schmidt spoke out in support of an immediate change to the District policy.

"All this time is being spent checking ID badges, and it has nothing to do with education," she said at the meeting.

Tuesday night, Schmidt didn't change her tune. The current policy requires all students to display the ID badges at all times, but compliance has been an issue. When the policy came up in November, the Board heard from the five high school principals about the challenges of enforcing the rule. Discipline because of ID violations are on the rise.

"I do not want kids sitting in ISS or OSS because they don't have their ID badge on," Schmidt said. 

Schmidt said the Board should be focused on helping the students get an education, not enforcing arbitrary rules.

"There's no point to them wearing their ID badges," she said.

While other Board members agreed with Schmidt, most were reluctant to adjust policy mid-year. 

"It's the old, give an inch, take a mile," Scott Grasser said.  "… What else are they going to decide to see if they can get away with?"

Board vice president Barbara Story agreed.

"It's not a good example to set," she said.

Ultimately the rest of the Board agreed. The policy change will likely be debated at the end of the school year, but it won't be changed during the current year.

"To me it is not important enough to change with two months of school left," Carol Russell said. 

Four File For School Board

With the filing deadline for the 2012 General Election having passed, the field of four is set for the Fort Zumwalt Board of Education race.

Two seats are up from grabs in the April 3 election. Barbara Story and Mike MacCormack are at the end of their terms and both have filed for re-election. Former board president Michael Swaringim, who lost his spot in 2011, is also in the race. O'Fallon city councilman Jim Pepper, Ward 2, rounds out the field. 

The four candidates are running for two spots, each with a six-year term limit. Current Board members are on three-year terms, but a recent change has classified the Fort Zumwalt as an “urban” school district because of population growth, meaning Board members now have to sever six-year terms. 

Legislation sponsored by State Sen. Scott Rupp, R-  is trying to . If the legislation is successful, six-year term will be waived and turn into a three-year term. But, for now, the four candidates are running for a six-year trip. 

Other Notes

  • The Board approved a measure to move forward with the purchase of eight new buses. The district is looking to lease eight brand new buses to replace the worst of the current fleet. Chief financial officer Jeffrey Orr said the District is trying to keep costs done, so it's only replacing the worst buses. The buses being replaced have more than 100,000 miles on them and are, in the words of superintendent Bernard DuBray, in the shop more than they are on the road.
  • Seventy-one teachers have announced intentions to retire at the end of the year. This year is the last year of a big retirement incentive in the District, and 10 to 20 more retirements are being predicted by the end of the year.

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