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Changes in Hancock school policies approved by board

The school board put the finishing touches on some of the decisions regarding the coming school year at their meeting on July 16. The last of five new staff members was approved by the board with the hiring of Kirsten Nygaard as the Phy Ed/Health teacher. She will also take the head track coach position.

The board members were told that she is a recent graduate of Concordia College and is originally from Forest Lake. She was a track athlete at Concordia and most recently has been subbing and assisting with coaching track at the University of Minnesota, Morris.

The summer work projects have been going good and the new classrooms for fifth and sixth grades in the high school are finished. The two gym floors have been sealed so they will be closed until Aug. 1. Principal Tim Pahl told the board members that he heard a lot of compliments on how nice the school looked for the reunion and he thanked the many volunteers who helped with painting and cleaning. He also thanked the many people who helped make the reunion a success.

Pahl also presented some revisions for the secondary and elementary handbooks for the next school year. More restrictions will be put in place in regard to the dress code and having food or beverages in the classrooms. The Policy Committee will work with Student Council to find a compromise on the food issue.

Letters will be going out to parents about the change in dress code. There will be some types of clothing that will not be allowed so parents and students should be made aware of the changes before school shopping. The old policy states that at all times girls are to be dressed in a ladylike manner, boys are to be dressed in a gentlemanly manner.

The students and the school are known by the dress of its members. This is to apply to all school days, and at any time that the student is representing the school at a school event, whether at home or away, as a participant or a spectator. The new policy will list a few things that the students shouldn't wear. However, the old dress code policy left a lot open for interpretation, and staff were finding it difficult to enforce the dress code in a consistent manner.

A few other changes in the handbooks will deal with suspensions, attendance and cell phone use. Parents and students are asked to read the handbook carefully when they are received.

The board members also approved the annual designates of board salaries, official newspaper and depository with no changes. They did make a change to the board meetings deciding to start the meetings at 6 p.m. instead of 7 p.m.

The admission, lunch and participation fees were approved with lunch prices raised by five cents to comply with state regulations. It was noted that there is a senior citizen pass available at no charge for seniors 65 and older. They simply need to stop at the school office and request this pass.

The board will hold a special meeting on July 27 at 2:30 p.m. to discuss construction. The next regular board meeting will be on Aug. 20 at 7 p.m.