Board reviewing uniform survey

Sparta gets closer to releasing data

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  • Board of eduction member Richard Bladek, left, explains his research into the benefits of a uniform dress code, as fellow board members J. Todd Muth, center, and Kelly McEvoy, right, look on. Photo by Jennifer Jean Miller

By Jennifer Jean Miller

— The Sparta Board of Education is drawing closer to releasing the survey for public feedback on whether students should wear uniforms to school.

At its Monday meeting, as during some previous meetings, the board discussed the uniform possibility.

Board member Kelly McEvoy reported that Dr. Melissa Varley, the district’s assistant superintendent of curriculum and staff development, had posted the survey for the other members to review.

Board member Frank Favichia asked if there is an issue with the dress code, which in turn triggered the need to evaluate the possibility of uniforms.

Member Richard Bladek said it was something he had been researching, and reminded Favichia it was something the both of them had discussed in the past, and said that he had emailed the group about it.

Bladek said his research has shown the advantages, including assisting parents to keep costs down for clothing purchases.

In other business

The guitar curriculum was approved for Sparta High School, though not in full agreement from the entire board.

Member Brenda Beebe was the dissenting voter on the resolution, initially asking when students began registering for it.

Superintendent Dennis Tobin said registration began in the spring. Beebe asked why the resolution was brought so late to the finance committee.

Tobin said it has been recognized that the policy protocol was not followed and has been addressed.

To date there are 80 students registered for the course.

“The decision now is we have 80 students planning to take this course,” Tobin said. “We will have to reschedule these students. We have to do what we think is right for the kids.”

Beebe said agenda items should not be approved retrospectively without previous financial approval.

McEvoy said the option turned out that students would be renting the instruments, rather than the school purchasing guitars. Beebe asked about hardship cases with students who were unable to afford a guitar, who still wanted to take the class.

Tobin said the school was aware of the hardship cases, such as students enrolled in the free and reduced lunch programs.

“We would take care of it as an impact,” he said.

Tobin said he is reviewing ways to advise residents about special meetings, such as the special service department meeting that took place at the board meeting that same night.

At some of the meetings in the past, he said that two-to-three parents had been in attendance, out of 500 emails that were sent. The meeting information was on the agenda, though Tobin said he is considering a ticker on the home page of the board’s website for future meetings.

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