Newspaper Article Archive of
The Kalona News
Kalona, Iowa

Newspaper Article Archive of
The Kalona News

June 14, 2018 Volunteer policy gets Mid-Prairie review
Article Pages -- as published on the The Kalona News website.

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Updates to Mid-Prairie school district’s volunteers policies are underway.

The school board received its first update from the volunteer committee that has been tasked with revamping the district’s policy

“During the first organizational meeting on May 22, roughly 30 of us were briefed on background by Superintendent (Mark) Schneider and school board attorney (Joseph) Holland,” committee co-chair Jack Seward Jr. said. “We split into small groups to discuss what questions we had about the issues and what information we would like to have in order to draft recommendations to present to the board.”

Seward detailed three main areas the committee is expected to review, which include policies and procedures related to volunteers, including background checks and application process; the use of facilities by non-school sponsored groups and activities; and the distribution of materials by non-school sponsored organizations and entities.

He said the committee created a document made up of questions and suggestions from committee members.

“During our second meeting on June 5, committee members were divided into different groups and assigned to work on the areas identified in the consolidated document to come up with ideas and options on how to handle each item,” Seward said. “It became quickly apparent that some of the issues are very complicated and not easily resolved.”

Committee co-Chair Ryan Slabaugh added, “It is all-encompassing. It is a group effort. We’ve come together to tackle and come up with a solution that you guys can weigh in on. It’s going to take a little bit of time.”

Seward said that the committee should have its first draft of recommendations ready on June 19, and the policies would be ironed out further at meetings on July 10 and 24. An Aug. 7 meeting is scheduled if necessary.

“Our goal is to have a finished document to present for your consideration by the Aug. 13 school board meeting,” Seward said.

Board President Jeremy Pickard expressed concern about the timing of the final draft, saying that the policy would need two readings – Aug. 13 and 27 – before it could be adopted.

“I can’t stress enough that the community and us want something on the books prior to the start of the school year,” Pickard said, adding that the school year begins Aug. 23.

However, Pickard said that the Aug. 13 first reading would show the direction the district was going on the issue.

“There are going to be a lot of other districts that will look at what this district does and what you guys do and say, ‘That’s really good,’ or ‘They just paid lip service to it,’” Slabaugh said. “As administrators, school board and us, we want it to be a good representation of how good this school district is.”

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