High school students will be able to earn 1/4 credit each semester (for a total of 1 credit for graduation) by enrolling in a Service and Citizenship Course. The course will follow the model of the Kiwanis Club, thus making that club an official co-curricular in the district. Students will meet 4 times per semester to review their portfolio and must have 35 service hours to earn the credit. The high school administration will determine if the volunteer activity is appropriate for the course.
Dave Weigand and Tim Stepanski both voiced concerns about the new program. Stepanski asked how the course would remain "apolitical", and Weigand asked Mr. Ourata to confirm that this would not make "a bunch of ACORN volunteers". Ourata assured them both that he would make sure those were not an issue. After the meeting I asked if students could earn credit by, say, collecting signatures for the Recall Walker campaign. Mr. Ourata stated that political activity would not be included in the definition of "volunteer. Mr Pauli, from administration, said it would be determined by those in charge.
My question is, who is right?
On another note...
Thanks to the work of board member Dave Weigand, the committee meetings will now be video taped and available the next morning for public viewing. Weigand is working toward transparency and accountability in the school district and administration. Weigand has commented that the meat of discussions take place at the committee level and not in the regular board meetings. The public will now be able to hear what takes place at that level even if they cannot attend meetings.