GHEC Board considers policy change | News, Sports, Jobs

GRANADA- The Granada-Huntley-East-Chain School District met on Thursday to conduct end of school year business and prepare some policies that will impact the upcoming school year.

The board began to consider a possible change to the middle school and high school cell phone policy. In its current state the proposed change would require middle school students to store cell phones in lockers during the school day, a policy similar to that which currently applies to elementary school students. High school students would also be required to store cell phones in lockers during class but would be permitted to retrieve and use them during passing times and LEAP. Cell phone use would also be prohibited in restrooms and locker rooms. This revised policy would aim to reduce distractions in school and improve student’s mental wellbeing by restricting their access to social media.

“I look at the overall impact that is having on our adolescents and when you talk about mental health, depression, and all those things that is my major concern,” said Superintendent Doug Storbeck.

Another possible change to cell phone policy would require all students to keep cell phones in lockers to ensure a more uniform and streamlined enforcement process. Any changes to cell phone policy would be approved or denied when the school board reconvened for its July meeting.

Moving on to activities there remain openings within cheerleading, junior high volleyball, and junior high knowledge bowl. There was some preliminary discussion concerning the creation of a dance team, possibly in conjunction with Fairmont Area Schools or independent of the Minnesota State High School League.

In May 2022 the company responsible for repairing some of the district’s Chromebooks went bankrupt and due to the company ceasing regular operations the district is currently unable to retrieve the 21 district devices which were in its custody. While these devices are in the process of being retrieved and repaired, the resulting device shortage meant the district temporarily suspended its policy of allowing seniors to purchase their issued Chromebooks upon graduation.

In other business:

— The board has resumed charging cafeteria lunches following the expiration of a temporary program which expanded the free lunch program to all students. Lunch prices may increase soon due to increasing costs associated with food service and prices not being adjusted recently.

— The board accepted the resignations of Elementary Music Instructor Kristine Schuldt and Special Education Teacher Teri Watt.

— The board accepted the retirement of Paraprofessional Sandy Steuer. Steuer has retired after 20 years of service.

— The weight room is now open from 8 am to 11 am Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays for students in grades 6-12. The air conditioning in the facility is now operational.

— Candidates who wish to file for the 2022 school board election must file an affidavit of candidacy between August 2 and August 16 at the district office.

— The art room has begun to receive replacement cabinetry and a remodel of the second floor bathrooms is scheduled for July.

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