Classroom display policy for TRCS 'in the works'

THREE RIVERS — A policy regarding classroom displays at Three Rivers schools is on track to be in place before the 2022-23 school year begins.

During Monday’s Three Rivers Community Schools Board of Education meeting, board Vice President Melissa Bliss reported that a classroom display policy for schools was discussed during a policy committee meeting of the board. She said they are looking to have one in place before the start of the next school year.

“We’re just reviewing policy and statements and possibly an administrative order that will go along with that,” Bliss said.

No details on what a potential policy could look like were shared in the update, and when asked by Secretary Ben Karle, she said there isn’t a specific policy on the table as of yet.

“It’s in the works, and it’ll be something that’ll probably be reviewed with attorneys prior to the next meeting,” Bliss said.

Bliss’ mention of a policy being created for classroom displays is the first time the topic was discussed in a board meeting since Dec. 6, when a controversial late November directive removing Pride flags from district classrooms was lifted by the school board after community backlash. The directive was initially put in place Nov. 22 due to an “external challenge” from a parent regarding Pride flags in classrooms and the Three Rivers Middle School’s Gay-Straight Alliance after-school club. The directive also led to the resignation of a middle school teacher.

During the Dec. 6 meeting lifting the directive, a statement read out by board President Erin Nowak stated the board would “take community feedback on a classroom displays policy and any additional ideas that will allow the district to move forward as a united school community.” It is unknown at this time if any community feedback has been involved as of yet in discussions about a policy, or when community feedback may be taken.

In other business…

  • The board approved a high school hockey partnership with the Kalamazoo United hockey team. The district is currently partnered with the Kalamazoo Blades hockey team if students wanted to participate in high school hockey, but Kalamazoo United would be a second option for students to play “without having to change school districts to play high school hockey,” according to Athletic Director Matt Stofer. Kalamazoo United is a partnership between Gobles, Schoolcraft, Hackett Catholic Central, Loy Norrix and Kalamazoo Central.
  • TRCS Superintendent Nikki Nash reported there are 35 positions open in the district, 11 of them being teacher positions. Specifically, the openings include two bus aide positions, four bus drivers, four coaching positions, 11 noon aides, one parapro, one building/groundsperson, one kindergarten teacher at Andrews Elementary, one first grade teacher and one fourth grade teacher at Norton Elementary, one kindergarten teacher and one GSRP teacher at Park Elementary, six openings at Three Rivers Middle School in science, math, social studies, family/consumer science, assistant principal and special education, and one science teacher at the high school.

Robert Tomlinson can be reached at 279-7488 ext. 22 or robert@threeriversnews.com.

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