Rick Poppitz
Special to The Gardner News
At the Board of Education meeting on May 7, USD 231 Pam Stranathan, superintendent, reported a second meeting with the city had occurred and John Duncanson, GEYCP coordinator, would be meeting with Parks and Recreation to talk about possible collaboration in some areas. She said it went very well. Later in the meeting, the board discussed the Gardner Edgerton Youth and Community Programs (GEYCP).

Controlled Entrance System
Ben Boothe, director of secondary educational services, gave a presentation on the new entrance systems installed at all the schools. It’s basically a video doorbell system.
The equipment is installed and functional but not yet in use. Over the past week, office staff has been trained on how to use the new system.
Boothe played a video that is part of an effort to explain the new system to parents.
Outer doors open to a vestibule – once inside, visitors must alert office staff of their arrival and identify themselves prior to entering the building. Be ready to show government issued photo identification. Once allowed entry, visitors can sign in and get a visitors badge.
The video describes it as an additional safety feature and closes by saying “parents and visitors are always welcome in our schools.”
The new system will be implemented on May 14.

Recording BoardMeetings
Boothe also presented the Educational Services Advisory Committee (EASC) recommendation on recording board meetings. The committee had been asked to recommend one of three options – to equip the meeting room with a video/audio recording system, an audio only system or continue documenting meetings with written minutes.
The recommendation was for a video system. Cost is to be between $7,000 to $11,000, depending on equipment options yet to be determined.
Staff advised against live streaming the meetings.
“We would encourage that it be recorded and then that would allow for editing to take place, […] we would make sure students were protected from a confidentiality standpoint, to edit out executive sessions […] an inappropriate comment, something way out of bounds, we would have time to correct that before it was posted,” said Boothe.
Andy Price, director of technology, said that there wouldn’t be any editing of typical meetings, as long as everything goes right, but if something that should be confidential was said or executive session was accidentally recorded, it could be edited and explained.
Shawn Carlisle, board member, made motion to pursue the video system as recommended by EASC. Motion was seconded by Kristen Schultz, board member, and carried by unanimous vote.

GEYCP Oversight
Boothe presented the Educational Services Advisory Committee’s (EASC) recommendation on what type of oversight should be assigned to the Gardner Edgerton Youth and Community Programs (GEYCP.)
The GEYCP has lost $153,000 year to date, and the money to support it is coming from the general fund. Greg Chapman, board member, had requested a special committee be appointed for oversight.
The BOE was presented with three options –
1 – to establish a special committee on a temporary basis,
2 – to establish a GEYCP committee on a permanent basis, or
3 – to make no change now, leaving GEYCP under the EASC committee.
The committee recommended option three.
Chapman said he prefers option one, a temporary committee focused on GEYCP only. He said he would like to see John Duncanson, GEYCP coordinator and Ryan Colston, GEYCP supervisor, be granted voting rights on EASC.
“I’m more than willing to compromise on an Option four,” he said.
Pam Stranathan, superintendent, and Rob Shippy, board president, would have to appoint them to the EASC.
There was discussion on the need for public forums and surveys to get the community involved and provide feedback.
After discussion the board voted in favor of option three with suggestions as discussed.