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Janesville School Board covers much ground at short meeting

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Kathleen Foody
August 12, 2009
— The Janesville School Board on Tuesday held what DuWayne Severson called "the shortest meeting in my six years as board president."

During about 75 minutes of public session, the school board:


-- Signed a previously approved code of conduct for district employees. Board member Peggy Sheridan thanked the members and suggested they should hold each other to meet the standards included. The board waited until Tuesday's meeting to sign the code publicly so all members could be present. The code can be accessed online at www.gazettextra.com/jsdstandards.

-- Discussed district policy for the creation of a boundary line committee. Board member Greg Ardrey said he would prefer the members of the committee be selected by Severson and Superintendent Karen Schulte. He also suggested the committee report to the Buildings and Grounds committee of the board. Severson suggested the rule be revised to "at least" seven members to accommodate additional duties if a school were to be closed.


-- Decided to draft a letter to Gov. Jim Doyle in support of changing a state law regarding teacher evaluations. Wisconsin law prevents evaluating teachers by the scores students receive on state tests. U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has called similar policies "simply ridiculous" and spoken in favor of judging teachers by their students' test results. The board will review the letter at its next meeting before it is sent to the governor.


-- Planned to discuss the district's drug search partnership with the city's police department during a future meeting. A former school board member expressed his dissatisfaction with the policy, pointing to search records that always resulted in false positives when dogs were used. Board member Lori Stottler suggested the board reconsider the policy and invite police department officials to contribute to the discussion.


-- Requested more information on the district's budget plans. Stottler asked district CFO Keith Pennington to provide an update before a budget book is drafted. He said he hoped to provide that before September.



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