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Hastings adopts new ‘vaping’ policy

Luke Froncheck

Staff Writer

The punishment for “vaping,” or using electronic cigarettes, will be tougher for the upcoming school year in the Hastings.

The 2019-20 handbook, approved by the school board Monday, says that students will have two options for their first offense.

If a student is caught either vaping or with vaping paraphernalia, the administration will give the student and their guardian two options: The option of either attending an educational meeting on the dangers of electronic cigarettes or, if they decline that option, the police will then be notified of the incident. The offense is against a Hastings city ordinance.

The educational option is only available for a student’s first offense, meaning that if a student is caught twice or more the incident will then automatically involve the police. The changes are being made in addition to last years vaping rules which are as follows;

-1st offense mandates multiple days of detention.

-2nd offense  mandates up to 3 days of out of school suspension.

-3rd offense mandates up to 5 days of O.S.S and referral to the Superintendent of Schools/Board of Education

-4th  offense mandates a ten day suspension and recommendation to Superintendent of Schools/Board of Education for long term suspension/expulsion.

When a student is caught breaking school policy E-cigarettes/”vape” products, oils, and liquids will be taken from students and not returned.

Trustee Dan Patton spoke about the importance of making sure each student and parent is aware of the new policy coming into the upcoming school year.

The school will send a mass informational email to notify each parent of the new policy. There also will be handouts on the new policy available during student orientation.

The board approved a 10-cent increase in school breakfast and lunch prices. The board discussed the school's limited participation in the free and reduced lunch program. Board President Luke Haywood encourages anyone who thinks they may be eligible to apply for the program. The online application process to apply for free and reduced lunch is currently open and the paper application process opens on Aug. 1. The 2019-20 Hastings breakfast and lunch prices will be: full-price breakfast, $1.75; reduced-price breakfast, 30 cents; full-price lunch, $3; reduced-price lunch, 40 cents; and adult lunch, $4.

The board voted to approve a bid from Asphalt Solutions for $113,750 to resurface the parking lot at Star Elementary. They approved an additional bid from Asphalt Solutions for $127,650 to do work on the High school parking lots. Haywood says the work should be done by the upcoming school year.

The board accepted a bid from Hoekstra Electrical Services not to exceed $18,460 when doing work to illuminate a dark portion of the south parking lot at the high school. They will move five existing poles on-site in the district to the new location to light up the area.

In other action, the board approved the athletic admission costs for the upcoming year, there is no change from last year. Admission costs will be: high school events adults and students, $5; middle school events adults, $3; middle school events students, $2; student pass for admission to all sports events during a season, $40; adults pass for admission to all sports events during a season, $80; all-season family pass, $200.

The board also:

 • authorized the administration to charge tuition and/or transportation fees to non-resident students during the 2019-20 school year.

• authorized the superintendent to have the ability to discipline students under current school policies, the authorization will last until the July 2020 school board meeting.

• reached an agreement with First Agency Inc. of Kalamazoo to provide accident insurance coverage with Guarantee Trust Life Insurance Company for parents and students who wish to purchase it during the 2019-20 school year.

• approved an annual retainer with Thrun Law firm, P.C. as the board’s legal counsel.

• approved Stevens, Kirinovic & Tucker to be the board's auditor for the 2019-20 school year.

• appointed the following individuals to maintenance positions; Jonathan Arnold (community center lifeguard), Lauren Grubius (substitute maintenance), Logan Schoendorf (substitute maintenance), and Elijah Smith (community center weight room attendant).

• appointed the following individuals to coaching positions; Todd Bates (high school girls diving), Steve Collins (high school boys and girls cross country), Pat Coltson (assistant varsity football), Robert Cole (assistant junior varsity football), Brian Donnini (assistant varsity football), James Doran (girls junior varsity golf), Marshall Evans (junior varsity football), Alyssa Fein (freshman volleyball), Tiffany Hendershot (junior varsity volleyball), Michelle Homister (assistant girls swim), Lindsey Jacinto (varsity cheerleading), Anthony Knop (middle school assistant cross-country), Kristen Laubaugh (girls golf), Francisco Lopez (boys junior varsity soccer), James Murphy (varsity football), Kelly Newberry (assistant cross-country), Jon Pewoski (freshman football), Carl Schoessel (girls swim), Timothy Schoessel (boys varsity soccer), Krista Schueller (boys varsity tennis), Heather Teed (middle school boys and girls cross country), Amanda Zalewski (junior varsity cheerleading), Scott Zull (varsity volleyball).

• voted to terminate the employment of special education teacher Teresa Borton.

• approved the following organizational memberships for the district: Michigan Association of School Boards, Michigan Association of School Administrators, Michigan School Business Officials, Michigan High School Athletic Association Inc, Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association, Michigan Institute for Educational Management, Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, Interstate 8 Athletic Conference, Barry County Community Resource Network, Barry County Substance Abuse Prevention Council, Barry County Wrap-Around, Barry County Area Chamber of Commerce, and Barry County Family Support Center.


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