At Monday’s meeting the Teutopolis School Board considered making a major change to the THS graduation ceremony that would end the practice of recognizing families as their last child graduated. The board conducted a straw vote to see where members stood on the issue with a final vote of four voting yea, to change or end the practice, and three voting nay. Superintendent Bill Fritcher explained that topic has been in discussion for some time.
Several Board members commented on the emotional importance of the “last child” recognition, while others suggested that the practice puts too much stress on those planning for the ceremony.
The School Board also passed a motion to raise the price of district lunches. K-6 students currently pay $2.00 for lunch and grade 7-high school students pay $2.25. Beginning next school year, a $0.25 increase will be applied to all meals and a $0.05 increase will be applied to the price of milk. Superintendent Fritcher told Effingham Radio News that the cost hike was simply to compensate for rising costs.
The Board also discussed changes to the start time of the school day as per a legal agreement with the ACLU made last month. Under the current proposal, the public school day for Teutopolis Grade School would now begin at 8:45 AM with buses arriving around 8:30 AM. Students participating in the religious programs prior to the school day would need to rely on parents to get them to class. No new schedules have been approved and the district will revisit the issue in their June board meeting.
During the June meeting the Board will also consider to approve a new district budget. The topic was discussed during last night’s meeting, but a final budget was not approved. A public hearing on the new budget will be held at the start time of the June Board meeting beginning at 6:30 PM in the district office.
A motion was also approved that would change the district’s Cafeteria Plan from Aflac to American Fidelity. According to superintendent Fritcher the change will not cost the district any money, but employees will need to consult with American Fidelity representatives.
The board also voted to increase athletic trainer services for athletic events.
During the meeting the Board also heard an essay written by Teutopolis Junior High School 8th Grader Clair Bushur, who was one of 15 students statewide selected to receive the IESA Scholar Attitude Award. Bushur’s essay was on the value of sportsmanship.