A mother asked the Donegal school board to reconsider a rule that says students can only take one field trip per year, so that fourth graders would be able to take two field trips this school year.
Superintendent J. Michael Lausch said in an interview that the one field trip per year rule was created many years ago. However, it has not been enforced until this year.
“We’re frustrated with the enforcement of this rule that has long been ignored, and we just don’t see the basis for changing it now,” Beth Karpel told the school board at its meeting on Thursday, Oct. 26. “As it stands, the fourth-grade students are going to miss out on a trip to the state capitol, something that many of them would never do, apart from the school field trip. It is my understanding that you, as members of the board, have the opportunity to change this rule, and we, as fourth grade parents, are requesting that you do that.”
At the board meeting on Oct. 12, the board heard from a fourth grade student and some mothers of fourth graders who wanted the students to be allowed to go to the state Capitol.
Lausch said the fourth grade teachers chose a field trip to a farm to learn about agriculture as the fourth graders’ one field trip. But parents said that in the past, fourth grade students had always visited the state Capitol.
Karpel then directly asked the board what it would do about field trips. Board President Oliver C. Overlander III said that the board does not respond to the comments made during the public comment part of the meeting. Then board member Ron Melleby said he had asked the board’s secretary to place a “field trip policy discussion” on the agenda for the next meeting on Thursday, Nov. 9. At the November meeting, parents and students will be allowed to speak at the beginning of the meeting, since they will now be speaking about an agenda item. They will not have to wait for the public commenting on non-agenda items at the end of the meeting.
Overlander then asked the board to compile a list of 2015 and 2016 field trips taken by grades one through eight for the next meeting.
In other news, it was announced at the board meeting that Amanda Hann will be the new director of secondary education for the Donegal School District. She has been working in the Elizabethtown Area School District for the past 14 years; her current job title is assistant to the superintendent for learning.
Hann has taught first grade and special education in elementary and high schools and has also served as a principal. She received her Superintendent’s Letter of Eligibility from California University of Pennsylvania.
Hann will be paid an annual salary of $114,000. She will replace Cheryl Champion, who is retiring at a date to be announced in the future.
The next Donegal School District board meeting will be held at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 9, at the Donegal Primary School at 1055 Koser Road, Mount Joy.