Principals of H.B. Elementary (MeLinda Royer) and West Side High School (Tyler Telford) as well as the head teacher of the Beutler Middle School (Julie Nash) gathered at the November meeting of the west Side School District to plan for the transition to a four-day school week.One such issue was that of lunch, more specifically how long until lunch.

The current plan for next year is that each period will take 58 minutes with the standard five minute break between classes. The first plan is that the nutrition break will remain between first and second period, with the middle school eating between fourth and fifth period and the high school eating between fifth and sixth period, as they do currently. The problem with this setup is that, with the longer periods, the high school students won’t begin eating until 1:20PM, and hungry teens are grumpy teens. It was then suggested that the Nutrition Break could be moved between second and third period, however some feared that moving the break to later in the day would negate the purpose and benefits of it being “breakfast” that close to “lunch.”After reviewing the daily elementary schedule and preliminary calendar the board decided to table the final decision of specific dates and times until Feb. Meanwhile they’ll keep brainstorming more options.

Principal Telford was also there to report on the training he received at a workshop called “Stop the Bleed, in which he was trained in the basics of first aid and many of the misconceptions about administering it. For example in cases of an open wound such as with a knife applying pressure externally, on the skin, is not enough; the person performing the aid may have to put their fingers inside the wound to be an effective plug otherwise the person may bleed to death internally.Another part of the training he received was in emergency management. The key point of which boils down to one basic principle, if you are the highest ranking or most experienced person in the room, you are in charge.

There was a brief discussion concerning using buses to evacuate in an emergency and possibly not having a bus driver. Superintendent Spencer Barzee said that in the event of an emergency any teacher would be able to drive a bus particularly with how simplified buses are becoming. “Just remember to turn wide,” he quipped.West Side requires faculty and staff to complete two online training courses in security. First is “ALICE (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, and Evacuate) training.” In instances such as a school shooter the goal of ALICE is to ensure students are safely inside a classroom and the assailant outside in the hall. The other is “Safe Schools Training” which covers a variety of topics from CPR to spotting bullies and suicidal students and how to deal with them.This commitment to the life and well-being of the students of the West Side School District is undoubtedly the reason why during the recent parent survey 65% of all the returned forms marked that the school always “provides a safe and positive learning environment.”For budding fashionistas there is good news. The board unanimously decided that whether or not hats can be worn inside a classroom is now at the sole discretion of the teacher.The board voted to approve changes to its Security Camera Acceptable Use Policy. The school has security cameras installed in all the classrooms. Recordings from these cameras can be used to support or refute claims made in he-said-she-said type of issues. The change states that while the recording function cannot be stopped, how many or how few people have access to those recordings is also at the sole discretion of the teacher.A Financial Aid Night held Nov. 6. was helpful to 15 of the 20 students who attended completed their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). They are confident that more applications will be completed in the coming months.

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