A brief summary of the topics presented and information shared during discussion is provided below.
Dr. Stoltz reviewed various changes that were implemented during the fall season related to stadium security. The District regularly assesses its safety plans and protocols, and as a result, changes to stadium security included repositioning of the ambulance crews, restricted parking near the fence outside the stadium, reversing the swing direction of gates, and a bag policy that was implemented in the final two weeks of the season. Feedback on these changes was generally positive. Possible expansion of the bag policy to other venues, such as the gymnasiums, remains under consideration as part of our regular review of facility safety.
More than 2,000 responses to the District’s survey on facilities were received. The survey results provided the Committee with insight on priorities, which included the distance of bus travel, effect on taxes, security, and technology opportunities. Recommendations for consideration, as well as focus groups, will occur after January 1. Information on ways the community can get involved, as well as status updates, will be posted on the District website.
A question regarding graduation location for the class of 2017 was raised during the meeting, and Dr. Stoltz clarified the administration recommended the use of the Farm Show Complex. The recommendation was based on the positive feedback provided following both high school ceremonies last year. The feedback included no limitation on the number of tickets provided to students, air conditioned facility, and no concerns about inclement weather. Some negative feedback was shared about traffic, sound issues related to band and musicians, and long walks for elderly spectators. Dr. Stoltz made note of those concerns and shared they were largely logistical concerns that could be addressed by this year by adjusting the time of the event, designating parking areas and entrances, and providing additional golf carts to assist elderly spectators into the venue.
There was quite a good dialogue on moving the ceremonies to a Saturday, where one school would graduate in the morning and the other school would graduate in the afternoon. Although this suggestion would not be implemented in 2017, mainly due to the graduation plans that many families have already made, the administration has recommended a Saturday graduation in 2018. Supporters of the Saturday ceremonies believe it will address traffic concerns, as well as allow extended family members to attend the ceremony as well.
As the discussion was closing, Dr. Stoltz also shared the administration’s move to a single gown to be worn by all students during graduation. Historically, male and female students have each worn a different gown which, in more recent years, has presented numerous challenges. In particular, having a gender-based dress code for commencement can unnecessarily place students in awkward or difficult public situations. There were mixed feelings expressed by the group on this change, some in support of the traditional two gown option and some in support of the change. Dr. Stoltz assured everyone that the ceremony would still remain very formal, be just as beautiful, and be just as meaningful. The change will simply ensure all students feel supported and comfortable on their special day.
Community members are reminded they can submit ideas for future topics of discussion to any District Voice representative.
Next Meeting: January 11, 2017