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Blunt truths aired at WC school board

Seniors ask for help in curtailing student use of drugs and alcohol; Eagle Grove and Clarion may leave North Central Conference

December 11, 2012
Jim Krajewski ( , The Daily Freeman Journal

Two seniors at Webster City High School spoke to the district board of directors Monday with concerns about drug and alcohol.

During open comment to the board, Ariel Clabaugh and Carrie Ommen asked for school board involvement in addressing what they have seen during their four years at the high school as an increase in use of drugs and alcohol amongst the student body.

"We feel it's an important issue that does not just affect individuals," Ommen said. "It's aimed at our slogan, 'We are one.' If one individual has a drug problem it's something we all need to address."

Clabaugh said the group Students Helping Impact Future Teens, or SHIFTs, has helped to spread awareness, but many students don't listen to them. Ommen suggested that punishment at the school was not adequate as offenders are often given a minor suspension or a "slap on the wrist." Superintendent Mike Sherwood commended the students, thanking them for taking a stand. Sherwood said he would meet with the students at a later date.

The North Central Conference will be down to nine schools in a couple years and more may leave the conference. Bishop Garrigan High School in Algona will likely be moving to the North Iowa Conference in 2014. Sherwood said Clarion and Eagle Grove have conversed with the North Iowa Conference but have yet to petition them for entry.

"If that would all come to pass,then that would leave seven members in the North Central Conference," Sherwood said. "Seven is workable, but seven is a stretch. You're one away from six and six is pretty difficult."

The North Central Conference has a meeting scheduled for Friday to talk about the status of the conference, which is 88 years old.

"It's been a very competitive conference, it's a well respected conference and our goal is to keep it together," Sherwood said.

A grant for $355,396 was approved for modified allowable growth to support dropout prevention. This is an annual application that will supports guidance counselors, the school's junior court liaison, study halls, instructors, in school suspension, second chance reading programs, after school programs and more.

A letter from the Webster City Education Association was presented at the board notifying them of their intent to bargain for the next school year. Sherwood said he expects an initial proposal from the association in early January.

Technology committee recommendations were presented to the board. Four boards reports, including district vision, support systems, device and platform and methodology will be considered during a work session at the next board meeting on Jan. 14 at 6 p.m. in the administration office.

A vendor contract with Coca-Cola will expire in January. Coca-Cola has notified the board of interest in a six-month extension of their contract. Pepsi Co. has also contacted the board. The board decided to ask both companies for proposals that will be considered at their next meeting.



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