Pleasant Valley parents question dress code, textbooks, ID tags
Parents addressed the Pleasant Valley school board with issues ranging from the dress code to textbooks to identification tags this week.
Keith Barton of Ross Township said his son was asked to leave his 10th grade classroom and go to a study hall where he spent the whole day. Barton believed this action denied his son a public education and according to state mandate, the only time a student should be removed from the classroom is for illness.
"I think before procedures are put into place, they should be researched for the implications that may arise," he said.
Barton also feels the textbooks should be more current, pointing out that another son, a 7th grader, has no math book while his daughter has a 1994 math textbook and a 1992 literature book.
Robert Kaye of Chestnuthill Township told the board he would like some clarification of the dress code, stating that his daughter was sent to In School Suspension because she wore white sneakers with pink accents. He said that he and his wife shopped for their children and believed the shoes were in compliance.
"The kids end up feeling like bad children," Kaye said. "She was told if she wears the shoes again tomorrow, she will be sent to ISS."
Connie Kaye of Chestnuthill Township said her daughter brought home on Friday notification that starting Monday, Oct. 5, PV students will have to wear an identification tag with a bar code and picture, to which she objects to the bar code and the lack of time notification. She said she did speak to school administration and her concerns had been addressed and her child's ID will not have a bar code.
The new policy, listed in the current PV Student Handbook, states that every student from 5-12 grade will be provided with an ID card and must carry this card at all times while on school property and students in grades 8-12 must wear the ID card where it can be seen at all times.
The only way a student can be exempt from a photo ID is for religious reasons and only after submitting a written request and have it approved.
An ID may be required for school breakfast and lunch purchases; admittance to school events, dances, athletics, etc.; admittance to library and check out material; lavatory use; when boarding a school sponsored vehicle; other activities as deemed necessary by administrators.
When school directors had an opportunity to address the meeting, Tom Murphy gave his opinion.
"I would like to know what is wrong with those sneakers," he said, referring to the sneakers worn by Robert Kaye's daughter which were brought to the meeting.
The director said he "didn't see anything wrong with them."
Carole Geary, assistant superintendent/curriculum said, "We don't either. We'll talk to the teacher about it."
After the meeting, Chris Fisher, Assistant to the Superintendent for Professional and Support Services, spoke to Robert Kaye and Connie Kaye on the matters they presented to the board.
He told Mr. Kaye that there was nothing wrong with the sneakers and that a phone call would be made to his daughter's teacher to make sure there was no misunderstanding.
Fisher spoke to Connie Kaye who said she is opposed to a bar code used on the new ID cards. Fisher said that the ID cards are issued for the safety of the students.
"It lets us know where the student is and if they are where they are supposed to be," he said.
Francesca Zielkowski addressed the board with concerns of nutrition at the school cafeterias. One day, while working as a substitute teacher, she also had lunch duty and observed one student who purchased four snacks and ate them all but didn't touch his lunch plate. That was just one of the many she saw.
"I believe they should not be allowed to purchase snacks until after they finish their lunch. I was greatly disturbed by what I saw that day," Zielkowsk said.
Dr. Douglas Arnold, PVSD superintendent, noted that the enrollment is at 6,023. When director Susan Kresge asked how the other schools in Monroe County were doing, he said that PVSD is the only school that has shown a notable decline in enrollment.
Dr. Arnold noted that the PVHS band participated in a Band Cavalcade in Bangor, where it received superior ratings, and also won a band competition at the J. Burney Crum stadium.
Dr. Arnold said that the district will be sending a letter of thanks of appreciation to Mr. and Mrs. Alan Gethen of Brodheadsville for their generous donation for fall decorations to the schools.
In other business:
• Jack Brown has been recommended for position of casual security officer; Lynn Vento is recommended for the position of temporary paraprofessional associate.
• Nannette Gower was hired as a substitute cafeteria/monitor/secretary; Sarrie Mattson as substitute monitor; Bernadette Feliciano, monitor/cafeteria; Marcis Robenault, PPA; Rebecca Hearsey, PPA.
• Professional staff substitutes hired are: Daniel Giardina, all areas; Brandy Hahn, Social Studies, Teresa Livingston, Elementary; Domenique McKillop, all areas; Madeline Moller, elementary.
• Marlene Briglio has transferred from PVMS to PVI as a part-time PPA effective as of Oct. 15 and Katheleen Wolf from PVMS to PVI as a PPA, effective Oct. 13.
• The board accepted the letter of resignation from Rebecca Hearsey, a PVE PPA as of Oct. 15.
• Snow plowing bids were awarded for the 2009-2010 school year to: Richard Frantz for the Brodheadsville campus at $65 per truck, $77 per loader, $82 per dozer, $75 trucking and $87 snowpusher; Bruce George for the PVE/PVI campus, Polk, Eldred and Operations Facility at $65 per truck, $77 per loader, $82 per dozer, $67 tandem and $77 triaxle.