By Megan Kelley
Will possible new policy changes force the district to rename Blanche Sims Elementary once the new building is finished? No, and you won’t see any unapproved drones flying over school facilities either.
The Lake Orion Community School’s Board of Education met on Wednesday for a regular meeting that included discussions of possible policy changes.
During their first reading of eight policy changes, two stood out to board members: policies 7250 and 7440.03.
The first draft of 7250 policy states, “The District does not engage in the practice of commemorating it’s assets or any portion of an asset, nor does it sanction dedication plaques.”
“It changes our policy such that LOCS will not commemorate our assets or any portion of an asset, which would mean like the field or the court being named,” said Treasurer Jake Singer. “The district will also not purchase commemoration plates when a new asset is dedicated. This is something that Birgit (McQuiston, vice president) and I talked about today.
“We further reviewed the policy and would like to include additional language in the second reading which says, ‘previously approved board of education commemorations can be continued to be applied when assets are replaced by substantially similar assets on the same campus.’ This is a very specific reason — Blanche Sims (Elementary School). Blanche Sims is commemorated after a woman who taught in the district for almost 50-years. If we had this policy in place, and the new building was built, we wouldn’t be able to commemorate it…if we accept that, that will be part of the second reading,” Singer said.
District documents show that should this policy be adopted, it would drastically change the district’s stance on the commemoration of school facilities. The district’s current policy lays out specific guidelines for commemorations and dedication plaques. This change would put an end to those processes all together.
Singer explained why this policy is now being included citing buildings such as the Cobo Center.
“Just a general thing, like the Cobo Center in Detroit. When you go back and you think, ‘Oh, this is great. We named it after a mayor of Detroit’ and 50-years later they look back and say, ‘Well, there were some racist issues that come up and it bothers people.’ So our issue, we should just stay away from that,” Singer said.
Policy 7440.03 regards small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS).
“We’re adopting a recommended policy to control the use of drone-style aircrafts on properties controlled by LOCS,” said Singer.
Essentially, the policy would prohibit the use of drone style aircrafts without the specific authorized by the Superintendent or a designated person in the district.
Remote board participation
The board was also expected to discuss a policy change that would instate a form of remote participation for board members that are unable to attend a meeting for specified reasons.
Superintendent Marion Ginopolis had, prior to this meeting, reached out to nearing districts to gather input regarding the matter, board members said.
It was decided that the board would table the discussion until Ginopolis, who was absent from Wednesday’s meeting, was there to present the information herself.