Highland board discusses vacancy, new dress code

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The Highland School Board is celebrating School Board Recognition this month. Superintendent Ken Crawford describes being a member of the school board is “not always glamorous” and mentions how much grief they get.

“This is truly public service at its finest,” Crawford concludes.

Cathy Butler resigned from her position on the Highland School Board on April 15. Butler covered District 6, which stretches into Johnson County from the Iowa River southeast of Hills, west to Maier Avenue, south and east to the intersection of Highways 218 and 22 staying north of Riverside city limits, west and southwest to Redwood Avenue with a southern border of 150th Street. The board has until May 19 to appoint a new member who will finish out Butler’s term till November 2023.

Highland’s Student Council has been writing up a new dress code for the school’s handbook. Senior Carsen Mellinger presented the updated draft with revisions and suggestions that were given previously by the school board in February.

“Right now, the central focus is making sure that we are not discriminating based on gender,” said Mellinger.

The student council has drafted different ideas for “inappropriate” and “appropriate” guidelines. One of the most significant changes being the approval to wear hats in school.

“We appreciate the student council for taking on such a controversial subject, and handling it with care and inclusion,” said school board vice president Mike Golden.

The playgrounds at Highland Elementary and Preschool are currently being renovated. The current plan is to replace the pavement and add turf by the kindergarten classroom, then put in the playground itself. The board motioned to hold a public hearing on June 13 at 5 p.m., where they will present the layout and cost.

“It will also make arrival and dismissal safer for the preschool and kindergarten kids, with fences installed to keep things organized,” said Elementary Principal Jane O’Leary.

The school board briefly covered the idea for a new mission statement. One that is “more concise” and still covers their primary goals. Their current statement is, “To provide all students the opportunity to acquire the necessary skills to fulfill their potential and become positive contributors to society”. The final version of their new mission statement is, “Highland Community School District supports all learners in pursuing continuous learning in a culturally responsive, academic environment”.

The Highland School Board also:

• Accepted $1,417.47 from Hills Bank “Classroom Cash”.

• Approved 40 students pending graduation requirement completion. Graduation will be held on Sunday, May 22 at 2:30 p.m.

• Approved construction contract and notice to proceed for the wastewater plant improvement project with Spectra.

• Discussed plans to sign a three-year contract for Equipment Breakdown Insurance, instead of a one-year contract.

The Highland School Board will meet again on Monday, June 13 at 5 p.m.

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