Ketchikan School Board OKs abuse/assault program policy

A Ketchikan assemblyman is proposing the borough issue vouchers to allow students to choose private or public school. (Photo from KRBD)
Ketchikan High School (Photo from KRBD)

The Ketchikan School Board quickly approved a new policy Wednesday establishing programs to help reduce child abuse and sexual assault.

There was no discussion before the unanimous roll-call vote in favor of the policy, which calls for age-appropriate information for students in all grade levels to teach about appropriate conduct, and resources available for students.

The program also will provide information for dating-age students about healthy and respectful relationships, and the warning signs of abusive behavior. Teachers will receive training to not only present the information, but to identify students who may be victims of abuse.

The policy includes an opt-out measure for parents who don’t want their children to participate.

Also Wednesday, the Board heard from Revilla High School principal Kurt Lindemann about the school’s summer program. He said 42 students showed up to recover missed credits from the previous year.

“We had 15 who were Kayhi (Ketchikan High School) students who recovered 32 half-credits,” he said. “We had six kids from Schoenbar who worked on seven different classes. We had three kids from Fast Track who completed four credits, and we had 18 kids from Revilla who completed 27 credits.”

Lindemann said this sort of credit-recovery program helps students catch up, and stay in school.

The board spent a long time discussing a brief sentence in Superintendent Robert Boyle’s report. In his suggested strategic plan, he mentioned a policy that would allow students to skip one year of high school.

Boyle expanded on that idea during the meeting, explaining that the students would have to earn the proper credit through a high school equivalency test.

The district already does offer early graduation through several avenues. This program, though, would allow students to fulfill their graduation requirements and then stay in school to enhance their post-secondary education.

“If you’re really cooking, then you may want to take all AP classes,” Boyle said. “They could graduate earning $15,000-$20,000 a year while they’re in high school. Meaning that you can skip so many credits, even potentially your entire freshman year of college. It’s worth a lot of money for you to have dual credit and all those types of things that are possible through the AP classes.”

AP classes are Advanced Placement, and often can count for college credit.

The Board directed Boyle to bring back additional information for the next meeting.

Also Wednesday, the School Board approved a contract with Tatsuda’s IGA to provide milk for the district lunch program. That grocery store was the only bidder for the contract.

The next Ketchikan School Board meeting is Aug. 10.

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