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Educators' Code of Ethics reviewed by the school board PDF Print E-mail
Written by Brenda Johnson Brandt   
By Brenda Johnson Brandt
    An official Code of Ethics for educators in Holyoke was reviewed by Holyoke Re-1J Board of Education at its Jan. 6 meeting. It will return to the Jan. 20 meeting for adoption.
    The Code’s preamble states the educator accepts the responsibility to adhere to the highest ethical standards. The desire for the respect and confidence of one’s colleagues, students, parents and members of the community provides the incentive to attain and maintain the highest possible degree of ethical conduct.
    Two principles are cited in the proposed Code of Ethics. The first is “Commitment to the Student.” In fulfilling the obligation to the student, the educator strives to help each student realize his or her potential as a worthy and effective member of society.
    “Commitment to the Profession” is the second principle. It notes the education profession is vested by the public with a trust and responsibility requiring the highest ideals of professional service.
Football, softball
coaches resign
    Coaching resignations were accepted at last week’s board meeting from head football coach George Purnell and head softball coach Brittany Krueger.
    Later in the meeting, when discussing the Jan. 3 board work session, Supt. Stephen Bohrer reported assistant football coaches Russ Sprague, Aaron Sprague, Aaron Mosenteen, Mike Smith, John Ortner and Rod Trumper are interested in carrying on.
    Bohrer indicated he would support having the entire group of assistants continue coaching, with one of them becoming head coach.
    However, board members continue to have a consensus there are too many HS football coaches. The board feels with that number of coaches they should also take on the duties of the JH football program, reported Bohrer.
    Further details of the Jan. 3 work session appear in a separate article in this week’s Enterprise.
First semester random
drug testing summarized
    With the completion of the first semester of random drug testing in grades 7-12, Principal Susan Ortner reported at last week’s meeting.
    A total of 80 percent of the 7-12 students are enrolled in Random Drug Testing (RDT). This includes 70 percent of seventh and eighth graders and 86 percent of students in grades 9-12.
    Ninety-four random tests were conducted over 18 weeks, for an average of 5.22 per week. Twelve students have been selected and tested twice. No positive tests have been recorded.
    Of these tests, 57 were five-panel dip tests (for cocaine, amphetamines, opiates, marijuana and PCP), 37 were Etg tests (for alcohol up to 80 hours after consumption) and two were hair tests (for drugs listed above up to three months after use).
    Cost per test is $10 for dip, $25 for Etg and $75 for hair, for a total cost of $1,645.
    Ortner reported one alteration in practice from the adopted policy. She takes a bottle of water to each student selected for testing 30 minutes prior to the test.
    For future years, Ortner made one recommendation for policy change. She suggested if students request a hair sample test rather than a dip or Etg, the family would make up the $50 difference in cost.
Dept. of Safety updates
    Colorado Dept. of Public Safety (DPS) finalized securing signoffs for the district’s HVAC project after Nebraska Fire & Safety wired heat/smoke detectors into the fire alarm system at the high school Jan. 5. Since signoffs are complete, Supt. Bohrer reported the occupancy permit should be received this week.
    While working with the DPS, it was realized the alternative school had not gone through a safety inspection. The district thought that was cleared when the city issued a variance to locate in that area.
    A DPS Dec. 22 inspection of the alternative school required certain improvements before the building could be occupied. During the holiday break, maintenance repair person Stan Kreider supervised improvements including sufficient fresh air exchange, outside combusion air, exit lights, emergency lights and better air circulation to the office.
    A Jan. 2 follow-up inspection resulted in a 90-day temporary occupancy permit so students returned as scheduled Jan. 5. This gives 90 days to correct some other infractions.
    Supt. Bohrer noted this week the district spent approximately $2,000 on this work and will split it 50-50 with building owner Ramón Dominguez.
Board supports CRSC
    Holyoke’s board adopted a resolution of support for Colorado Rural School Caucus’s (CRSC) proposed modification of SB 212 (CAP4K).
    Citing SB 212’s requirement that all students in grades 9-12 enroll in a state mandated post secondary workforce readiness program, it’s noted the district’s ability to control instruction is violated.
    Additionally, the state setting minimum graduation requirements is a further encroachment into the area of local control.
Music teachers share
    Band director Pat Wiebers and choir director and elementary general music teacher Marcia Dalton told about the Re-1J music program activities at last week’s board meeting.
    They pointed out music is more than concerts, programs, pep bands and parades.
    Dalton started with a quote pertaining to the value of the fine arts by John F. Kennedy. She cited a number of educational facts, including music has been linked to significantly higher test scores in writing.
    Wiebers continued with thoughts on why the arts are important. “They are languages that all people speak—that cut across racial, cultural, social, educational and economic barriers and enhance cultural appreciation and awareness” started the list.
    The teachers pointed out the music curriculum is linked to standards and there are performance outcomes for all levels.
    Wiebers involved the board in a rhythm drill sample used in her classes. They clapped a pattern of notes and rests put to music.
    Dalton noted she starts her elementary classes with echo claps, and uses many games to teach music symbols and facts. The board enjoyed a quick game fashioned after Hollywood Squares.
Other business
    In other business Jan. 6, the Re-1J Board:
    —heard from a community member about the continued employment of a staff member. The concern expressed was for students needing transition time.
    —held a 30-minute executive session for personnel reasons during the meeting with teacher Mike Miller, Supt. Bohrer and Principal Ortner.
    —held a one hour and 40 minute closed session at the end of the meeting to discuss the superintendent evaluation.
    —added Deb Carlstrom, Ray Bailey, Penny Johnson and Alyssa Clark to the substitute teacher list.
    —granted a facility use request for the new gym for a peewee wrestling tournament Saturday, March 14.
    —noted the official posting place for school board meeting notices is the administration office at 435 S. Morlan Ave.
    —canceled the Feb. 3 and Feb. 17 board meetings, scheduling that month’s meeting for Tuesday, Feb. 10 at 6 p.m. in the administration office.