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Hall considers handbook changes

SPRING VALLEY – The Hall High School Board considered a number of handbook changes at its meeting June 19.

Assistant Principal Eric Bryant said some of the changes were regarding cheating and plagiarism. He said there is a big problem with students copying homework, and a newer problem with students using translation apps on their cellphones for foreign language classes.

A first offense will receive a Saturday detention, and there will be an out-of-school suspension after the second offense.

Students will also be asked to declare a college major or career choice when registering for sophomore classes. Superintendent Mike Struna said the guidance department needs to do a little better job in communicating with students at the end of their freshman year about their future. Students need to be shown how to choose electives that will help them follow a career or college path.

In another change, students who drop out and then apply for readmission will be denied enrollment if they cannot earn enough credits to graduate by the age of 21.

“Students come back at 18, and they’re taking freshman English with 14 year olds,” Struna said.

Regarding truancy, any student who reports after 8:05 a.m. is considered truant, not merely tardy. After five unexcused absences, police will be notified of a chronic truant. Bryant said the police generally give a second chance, followed by a ticket for $100.

Finally, interim report cards will only be sent to students with a D or an F in any class. Assistant Principal Angie Carpenter said almost 100 percent of the parents of freshmen access the district’s online grading system.

The board will vote on the changes at the July 10 board meeting.

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In other business, the board:
• Set a special board meeting for 5 p.m. July 24.
• Approved salary increases of $3,500 for assistant principals Eric Bryant and Angie Carpenter for the Fiscal Year 2014 school year
• Hired Bob Hanck, Vicki Piontek, Gina Puck, Debbie Evelhoch, Lynn Ellis, Debbie Arreguin and Jason Bland as administrative support staff for the FY '14 school year.
• Hired custodians Delmar Baracani, Mike Edgcomb, Jeff Ferrari and John Marshall; head cook Kelly Bartolucci; and teacher aides Angie Cinotto and Randy Tieman as union support staff for the FY '14 school year.
• Accepted the retirement request of Julie Anderson and Superintendent Michael Struna, both effective the end of the 2016-17 school year.
• Approved the following personnel for extracurricular sponsorships: Yearbook - Deb Arreguin, Student Council - Kathy Martin, Power Mechanics - Joe Panzica, Public Relations - Teresa Colmone, Photography - Karen Klopcic, senior class - Klopcic and Panzica, junior class - Colmone and Ann Maller, sophomore class - Nicky Barto and Joanna McConville, freshman class - Klopcic and Evelhoch, Special Olympics - Jessica Strouss, Scholastic Bowl - Maller, HAC - Colmone, Science Club - Barto, NHS - Barb Fulara, Spanish Club - Donna Albrecht, Pep Club - Kayleen Haslam, MHCC - Mary Drumheller, French Club - Carolyn Neuhalfen, WYSE - Colmone, and Letterman’s Club - Gina Puck.

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