OSKALOOSA — The Oskaloosa Community School District Board of Directors met Tuesday evening.
Following the typical business of running a meeting, reports were heard from board members. A primary topic of discussion was focused on student behavior. School board President Tom Richardson had some information to share.
There has been much discussion not only with administration but also teachers, parents, other area schools and the Area Education Agency (AEA) regarding student behavior.
At the June meeting, there had been a presentation by parents regarding student behavior, both Individualized Education Plan (IEP) students
and the regular learning population, examining what type of a program would be best suited for those students.
There was also a meeting at the elementary school recently to review the handbook with parent representatives, associates, teachers, administration and school board members.
It is important, said Richardson, to have a wide range of people sharing information.
“What I want to emphasize is […] we are required as a public school to educate all children, whether they have behavior issues, whether they’re
IEP or regular education students,” said Richardson. “The state of Iowa requires public schools to educate all students. We must have a plan for
educating all those, and we’re being thorough. We’re using research to come up with the best way to educate and deal with all these students. This
is extremely important to me, as I know it is with all board members, and I expect that there will be a lot of follow-up discussion as we begin this new
school year regarding behaviors in all our buildings.”
Richardson wanted to respond to some comments that were made at the June board meeting. “Let me first say again that student security and a good
learning environment are our top priority for me and they always will be.”
There had been comments at a previous meeting regarding arresting students, a zero-tolerance policy and handing out suspensions for misbehavior. Richardson reiterated that the district has to operate within the laws that the state of Iowa has set down and that the board cannot make a policy that it cannot enforce.
“We need parents, teachers, administrators and the school board to be unified in how we solve problems, whether they be behavior, academic or any other type that will make the education of Osky’s kids better.”
Board member Carl Drost responded to Richardson’s statements, speaking with concern about student behavior and how it’s been dealt
Story provided by Angie Holland