Corbin H. Crable
[email protected]

Proposed changes to USD 231’s volunteer handbook have raised concerns among at least one member of the Board of Education.

USD 231 Finance Director Eric Hansen, at the board’s Nov. 15 regular meeting, distributed notes from a Nov. 9 Finance Committee meeting. Those notes included a copy of the Beaverton (Ore.) School District Volunteer Handbook, on which board members could base the district’s own handbook.
Suggested areas of discussion included training volunteers on how to handle injuries they may incur while working. Hansen, in his notes, reminded committee members that volunteers would not be covered by Workman’s

Compensation and as such, their own medical insurance would need to be used to cover treatment for the injury.

Another issue Hansen raised involved advocating background checks for all volunteers within USD 231. Board member Mary Herbert said she believes, however, that conducting such checks would be unnecessary for certain volunteer demographics.

“I wonder if this will actually push people away,” Herbert said. “For moms, grandmas, grandpas – I think it’s a little much.”

Hansen said he understood Herbert’s concerns, but that the guideline would be in place for everyone’s safety.

“But when you’re talking about background checks for volunteers, that bothers me,” Herbert responded. “I wouldn’t think the rules would apply to everybody.”

Finance Committee members have been given the task of reviewing the Beaverton handbook before the committee’s Dec. 7 meeting and to bring suggestions for changes, deletions or submissions regarding USD 231’s own handbook.

In other business, the board:

•  Joined Superintendent Dr. Bill Gilhaus in recognizing nine second-quarter Students of Character, including fourth-grader Nicole Gary of Edgerton Elementary, third-grader Rachel Rutherford of Gardner Elementary, second-grader Lindsey Bolen of Madison Elementary, third-grader Makinley Eaton of Moonlight Elementary, third-grader Trevor Layng of Nike Elementary, fourth-grader Logan Whitlow of Sunflower Elementary, eighth-grader Carson Hobby of Pioneer Ridge Middle School, sixth-grader Bryson Rohr of Wheatridge Middle School and junior Kyle Christine of Gardner Edgerton High School.

•  Joined Superintendent Dr. Bill Gilhaus in recognizing Pioneer Ridge Middle School Principal Lachelle Sigg as being named the Exemplary Principal of the Year by the Kansas Administrators of Middle Schools Association.
The Board of Education will next meet at 6 p.m. Monday, Dec. 13, at the USD 231 business offices, 231 E. Madison St. in Gardner.