Alpena school board OKs elementary code of conduct

ALPENA — A student code of conduct is now in place for elementary school students in Alpena Public Schools.

The district Board of Education approved the 2019-20 code on Monday. Superintendent John VanWagoner said there had not been an elementary school code of conduct before this school year, which has sometimes made student discipline difficult.

“I don’t think there was ever one in written form, but each elementary school has their own conduct that they’ve been following,” VanWagoner said.

VanWagoner said there aren’t as many discipline issues in the elementary schools, but there are some things with which students struggle, so having a code of conduct in place will help both the schools and parents.

“It will make it clear for parents if there’s ever an issue, so everyone is treated fairly,” he said.

VanWagoner said a group of K-12 educators worked on the code this summer.

A code of conduct is a guide to student behavior and is adopted to guide the actions of everyone in the district. It has shared responsibilities for everyone throughout the district, outlines consequences for different levels of behavior violations, contains definitions for violations, and responses to different violations, and outlines the discipline process.

The code of conduct also includes what the student’s rights and responsibilities are.

The code of conduct is an item that doesn’t have to be approved by the board, but VanWagoner had the board approve it Monday because of possible suspensions or expulsions that could be appealed and brought before the board.

The board will approve the code of conduct annually if items have to be looked at and adjustments have to be made, VanWagoner said.

“If we have a major revision, I’ll bring it back to the board,” VanWagoner said. “I always want to give the board that option of initial adoption.”

In other business

The Alpena Public Schools Board of Education on Monday also approved:

∫ purchasing new lights and lamp supplies throughout the district for $347.80 from Voss Lighting.

∫ submitting the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs grant application so Alternative Choices for Educational Success students can work at Art in the Loft during the 2019-20 school year.

Julie Goldberg can be reached at 989-358-5688 or jgoldberg@thealpenanews.com. Follow her on Twitter @jkgoldberg12.