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USD 431 BOE makes changes to handbook
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HOISINGTON — The USD 431 Board of Education approved two changes to the district handbook concerning arrival and departure time for middle school students and concussions at its recent meeting.
The new middle school arrival time policy is that students may enter the doors on the east side of the school at 7:30 a.m.  The doors located near the concession stand will not be unlocked. Students eating breakfast will go into the cafeteria, while the other students will go into the gym area to wait supervised until the 7:45 a.m. bell. At 7:45, students will go to their classrooms. Students are required to be in their classrooms by 7:50 a.m. or will be counted tardy.  
At the end of the day, all students not involved in sports, Power Hour, or staying with a teacher should exit the building by 3:30 p.m.
The second change to the handbook involves sports injuries. If a student suffers or is suspected of having a concussion during sports, the student must be immediately removed from the contest and may not again participate again until a doctor has evaluated the student and provided written clearance. The student may not be cleared the same day as the concussion. Following medical clearance,  the student will complete a graduated protocol of participation in the sport.  
In other business, the board decided against using a consent agenda, which was first brought to the board in August, by consensus. Council Member Dean Stoskopf said that they might was well just turn off the cameras if a consent agenda was used and that he was philosophically against them.
The board was in agreement that the items in the consent agenda did not take long to review, and that they wanted to do so.
The board was also in agreement that they wanted to continue the Honor Banquet to recognize the achievements of students with high grade point averages. It will be in March or April.
In his administrative report, Superintendent Bill Lowry said that enrollment was at 740, including the preschool.
The Community Strategic Planning meeting will be held April 5-6, and each board member will appoint three community members for the meeting.
Lowry reported that the city utility was $1700 less this January than it was a year ago.
After an executive session, the board:
•Extended the contracts for Superintendent Bill Lowry, and Principals’ Alan Charles, Meg Wilson and Pat Reinhardt. The contract for Athletic Director Joel Mason was also extended.
•Employed Honey Hemken as part-time custodial position.
•Appointed Gene Mooney for an unexpired term on the Hoisington Recreation Commission.
•Accepted the resignation of Albert Davis.