By:John Patten
New policy bans use of cell phone, pagers
   The Board approved a new policy requiring students to turn off cell phones and pagers when in schools.
   The policy was approved by a vote of 7-1, with Ken Lessing casting the lone dissenting vote (Frank Jurewicz was absent from the meeting).
   Under the new policy, which goes into effect immediately, allows volunteer members of the local fire companies and rescue squad to keep electronic devices turned on, provided they have written statement verifying that they will be called to respond to emergencies.
   The policy provides for school principals to confiscate cell phones or pagers that are turned on, which Mr. Lessing had objected to when the policy was introduced.
   Students violating the policy may also face disciplinary action.
Keeping eyes on the goal
   Four laminated signs mounted near the ceiling in the ABIS media room help members of the Board of Education keep focused when discussing student needs.
   Unless, of course, one of "goal statements" posted falls down, which is what happened to the board’s first goal, to improve the district’s curriculum for science in all grades.
   At the board’s Jan. 13 meeting, members searched overhead for the missing goal as they discussed several new classes proposed. Missing the vital information led to a few moments of confusion as the board members looked for the missing sign.
   But the missing goal was found taped to a column below its spot on the ceiling, and Business Administrator Richard Reilly has been charged with getting the card replaced.
   "The board wanted them (the signs) right in front of them as a reminder," Mr. Reilly said.
   The goals are set at the beginning of each year, and intended to guide board decisions throughout the year.
   The other four goals direct the board to "improve instructional services and deliver" in math, fine, practical and performing arts, language as well as organize guidance programs.
School groups defined
   A unanimous vote approved the district’s new policy defining school-connected organizations at Tuesday’s Board of Education meeting.
   The policy describes such organizations as "having as their objectives the promotion of pupil welfare; the development of close relationships between the home and the school; and the development between educators and the public of such united efforts as will secure for every pupil in the schools the best kind of educational program possible."
   The policy also specifies limits on the groups, barring the use of the district’s name without written permission, and notes the groups are not empowered to write district policy or otherwise participate in the management and operation of the schools.