SEAFORD SCHOOL DISTRICT SUPERINTENDENT’S STUDENT ADVISORY COUNCIL 29 September 2009 Members present: Middle School – Cameron Baynum (Grade 6); High School – Maria DeMott (Grade 10), Martha Lamb (Grade 11), and Paige Venables (Grade 12) WELCOME AND THANK YOU Dr. Knorr welcomed the students to the first advisory council meeting of the year. He distributed his business card to the students and encouraged them to contact him via telephone or e-mail if they had questions, concerns, or comments prior to the next advisory council meeting. Dr. Knorr also thanked the students for serving on the advisory council and gave each student a Seaford School District pen. PURPOSES OF THE SUPERINTENDENT’S STUDENT ADVISORY COUNCIL Dr. Knorr explained to the students that the school district has to operate within the parameters of relevant federal and state laws and regulations, Department of Education regulations, and the policies and regulations of the Seaford Board of Education. He pointed out the many volumes of Delaware Law as well as the Department of Education’s regulations and the Seaford Board of Education’s policy and regulation manual. He reminded the students that the purposes of the council were: 1) to react to existing school board policies and regulations as well as policies and regulations under consideration or review; 2) to suggest potential new school board policies; and 3) to discuss issues which should be brought to the attention of the superintendent. Dr. Knorr explained to the students that at advisory council meetings, they would have the opportunity to make suggestions for improving the schools or the school district and to raise questions or to express concerns. He noted that the advisory council exists as a means of involving students in decisions that may affect them. Dr. Knorr explained to the students that they would also have the opportunity to submit agenda items for the next advisory council meeting. RESPONSIBILITIES OF ADVISORY COUNCIL MEMBERS Dr. Knorr noted that the members of the student advisory council can act as extra eyes and ears that can help identify and bring concerns to the superintendent’s attention as well as helping to provide a broad-based idea of how to react to proposed changes in school board policies and regulations and other important matters of the schools and the school district. Among the responsibilities of advisory council members is to also maintain ongoing communications with other students so as to simultaneously keep them informed as well as to bring back to the next advisory council meeting questions, concerns, and suggestions from other students. FRIEND OF SEAFORD EDUCATION Along with the agenda, Dr. Knorr had sent information about the Friend of Seaford Education award that the Seaford Board of Education presents to a person (or an organization) that has made significant contributions to the students and/or staff of the Seaford School District. He noted that the nominees for the award cannot be a current member of the Seaford School District staff or Seaford Board of Education. He noted that the award is presented during American Education Week.
SUPERINTENDENT’S STUDENT ADVISORY COUNCIL MINUTES 29 September 2009 Page 2 Dr. Knorr noted that he had polled members of his administrative staff and, to date, there are two nominees for the award – Representative Danny Short and Mr. Frank Parks. Nonetheless, he asked members of the advisory council if they had any additional suggestions. Members of the advisory council had no additional nominees for the Friend of Seaford Education award. STUDENT DRESS CODE REGULATION Dr. Knorr had sent to members of the advisory council Draft #2 of a proposed student dress code for the 2010-2011 school year. He explained to members of the advisory council that the Seaford Board of Education had as one of its priority goals to establish a student dress code and the regulation draft was an early attempt to create a stricter dress code. He pointed out, for example, that if adopted by the Board as presented, t-shirts and any garments with hoods would be unacceptable beginning the next school year. Members of the advisory council were opposed to eliminating t-shirts and garments with hoods as acceptable clothing to be worn next school year. One of the members of the advisory council indicated that t-shirts were practically her entire wardrobe. Beyond that, members of the advisory council noted that it is almost impossible to wear sweatshirts without hoods. If wearing the hoods in school is a problem, then the hooded garments should be confiscated rather than prohibiting everyone from wearing them. Members of the advisory council asked that Dr. Knorr share their viewpoints on these two items of clothing with the Board of Education. BOARD PRIORITY GOALS Dr. Knorr distributed a copy of the 2009-2010 Board Priority Goals and talked about them briefly with members of the advisory council. The goals are:
Try to secure funding for major capital improvements including new roofs at Central, Frederick Douglass, and West Seaford Elementary Schools as well as a new roof for the Middle School Gymnasium and one for the brick storage shed and new elevators for our middle school and high school Establish a strict student dress code for the 2010-2011 school year Increase board member advocacy of the school district, promote positive public relations, and improve communications among board members, administrators, teachers, and the community
OTHER GOALS FOR THE DISTRICT Dr. Knorr asked members of the advisory council if there were any things that they thought the schools or the school district in general should have as goals – things that the schools and/or the school district could do better. The students had no suggestions for other goals. COUNCIL MEMBER QUESTIONS, CONCERNS, SUGGESTIONS There were no student questions, concerns, or suggestions.