Families will notice a few changes to the student handbooks for Creston Community School District students for the upcoming school year.
School administrators highlighted some of the major changes to the CCSD Board of Directors during the June 18 regular meeting.
One of the biggest changes comes at the elementary/middle school level, where cell phones will not be allowed out of lockers after a trial run last year, which allowed cell phones to be used in hallways and during lunch.
“Everything was up – cyber bullying, discipline referrals. We spent a lot of our time chasing things down,” said Middle School Principal Brad Baker. “So we have a section in there, we’re going to have them in their lockers and we’re pretty aggressive if they don’t.”
Baker told the board the first offense for having cell phones out will be five detentions, followed by 10 and 15 detentions and meetings with parents. In-school suspensions will also be an option if the students don’t comply.
CCSD Superintendent Steve McDermott said negative interactions between students during the school day led to the handbook change.
“It just caused a lot of issues and we’d have kids out of class because something was sent,” Baker said. “We tried to let them have them in lunch and hallways last year for the first time, and it just didn’t work out.”
“Just to make sure you understand, Mr. Baker has a plan for how he’s going to communicate this with the students and parents, and make sure everybody understands going in the adjustment and why,” McDermott said.
Creston Community High School Activities Director Jeff Bevins said he updated the section of the handbook pertaining to the good conduct policy and the percentage of games student-athletes miss for violating the policy.
Baker added that the middle school’s policy has been updated, as well.
“We followed suit with what the high school does,” he said. “What we found is our students, seventh and eighth, are also under the good conduct policy, so we matched that up with the high school so they know, going into high school, what’s going to happen.”
“It makes sense for it to be the same, not to have a set of rules one place and a different one another place,” Board Member Sharon Snodgrass said.
CCHS Principal Bill Messerole highlighted a change regarding prom payments.
Junior students will now have to pay $15 per event not worked as opposed to $10 per event or $90 instead of $75 if no events are worked.
“Because prom is much more expensive than it was when they instituted that, we took out the $10 per event and added $15,” Messerole said. “Part of that is we have fewer juniors than when the policy was put in there. It’s getting difficult to get those kids there to work those concession stands.”
Bevins reminded the board that if a student and a parent both work, that counts as two events worked.
“It’s just getting hard to keep kids there to work at football concessions,” Bevins said.
In other CCSD news:
• The board unanimously approved a fuel bid from Agriland FS for gasoline and diesel fuel for the 2018-19 school year.
• The board unanimously approved the renewal of the cooperative sponsorship of the high school band, which allows Orient-Macksburg students to participate in the CCHS band program.
• The board unanimously approved an agreement with Southern Iowa Council of Governments (SICOG), for SICOG’s services in the grant writing process for a new FEMA safe room.