Ketchikan’s school board is set to discuss whether middle-schoolers should be allowed to use lockers to store their stuff.
Students at Schoenbar Middle School haven’t been widely issued lockers since the 2019-2020 school year. It’s a pandemic precaution — the idea is to cut down on surface contact and improve the flow of traffic through the middle school’s single main hallway, Schoenbar Principal Sheri Boehlert said at a town hall meeting last month.
“You have constant kids weaving in and out of each other, which leads to a lot of contact, which leads to a lot of — it’s a lot,” she said.
Lockers are available for some students, like members of the school band, and for students who medically require one. But it’ll be up to the school board whether to revise its policy when it meets on Wednesday.
In other business, the school district is looking to upgrade the computers issued to the district’s students. Many of Ketchikan’s students already have school-issued laptops, but school officials found out last spring that some students’ devices couldn’t run the software necessary for online learning.
Administrators are asking the school board to purchase nearly 800 new laptops and tablets at a cost of roughly $250,000 from educational tech nonprofit OETC. Federal COVID-19 relief money would fund the purchase. Ketchikan’s school board is set to vote whether to appropriate the money.
Also Wednesday, the board is scheduled to consider purchasing new social studies textbooks. The school district’s curriculum director says the district’s world history, U.S. history and civics textbooks are more than a decade old and need to be replaced. The new materials from publishers McGraw Hill, Savaas and Bedford will cost roughly $38,000.
Finally, Ketchikan High School’s yearbook class is asking the board for permission to send as many as 10 students and a teacher to a workshop in Seattle next month. Students would spend the weekend planning and creating the next Ketchikan High School yearbook. The trip’s $7,600 price tag would be paid by the yearbook club, but all out-of-state trips require board approval.
Ketchikan’s school board meets at 6 p.m. Wednesday in the White Cliff Building on First Avenue. Public comment will be heard at the beginning of the meeting. The full agenda is available online, and the meeting is broadcast on local cable channels and live-streamed at the borough’s website.