Cell phones will be banned in all classrooms. The new rule takes effect this fall in accordance with a policy determined by the Milbank school district principals and reported to the Board of Education at its regular meeting on July 11. “This past year we allowed cell phones to be brought to class and cheating became rampant,” stated high school principal Dan Snaza. “Students may access their phones during passing times and lunch time.” Violation of this policy will result in the confiscation of the phone for 24 hours. Failure to relinquish the phone will result in immediate suspension and loss of credit for the day.
Changes were also made to the search and seizure policy to include checking of bags prior to overnight trips. “The policy does not make it mandatory, but reserves the right to search all bags on overnight trips if warranted,” Snaza said.
In an effort to help juniors and seniors with their independence skills, ICU for those students has been eliminated. “By 11th and 12th grade, students are preparing for college and life after high school, therefore, we feel they should have learned accountability and responsibility for their class assignments,” Snaza stated.
As a result of significantly increased rates for National Honor Society, the school’s relationship with the organization was terminated. Top academic students will now be recognized by the Milbank Honor Society, which will use the same requirements and standards as National Honor Society. “We can use our funds more wisely,” stated Snaza. “The Milbank Honor Society will have the same weight on scholarship applications as the National Honor Society.”
A change to out-of-school suspensions was also discussed. Previously, during an out-of-school suspension, all work missed by the student was made up for no credit. Snaza expressed concern over a suspended student missing a major test. He stated, “That may severely impact his or her overall grade.” Under the new policy, the suspended student can make up an exam for a maximum score of 75 percent.
Subtle changes were made to the middle school handbook. According to principal Kris Evje, the majority were related to discipline and consequences. He said, “We want to make things clear that consequences are established, but that all factors will be taken into account and may vary from case to case.”