When: Hempfield School Board meeting, August 9.
What happened: Superintendent Michael Bromirski provided a back-to-school update to the board, including changes to how club events are approved.
Details: All school club events must be approved by a director. If there are guest speakers or performing groups arriving, all information should be listed ahead of time for the director to review. The building manager or other district administrator must oversee events.
Background: The changes come after a high school drag show took place on April 25, prompting a district investigation. Hempfield High School Gay Sexuality Alliance club counselors received approval to host the event. The results after the investigation indicated that there was a lack of appropriate level of monitoring and supervision.
Quotable“I just wanted to get this over with as we prepare to kick off the 2022-23 school year and reset and refocus on those expectations, and work to make sure there’s a full understanding not only policies but also expectations moving forward,” Bromirski said.
Transportation: The board approved the authorization of up to $450,000 in emergency relief funds for elementary and secondary schools per year, for the next two school years, for the retention and hiring of bus drivers under contract through Student Transportation of America. Bromirski said the district is currently in good shape when it comes to drivers for the upcoming school year.
School meal: Students have had free access to school meals since March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Federal funding for this universal program has ended. This means that only eligible families will receive free or reduced-price meals. The superintendent stressed the importance of applying in time if parents and guardians need help, as there are specific deadlines set by the state.
Athletic Politics: Ten people registered to speak during the public comments, and almost all thanked the board for adopting a policy limiting the participation of student-athletes on sports teams aligned with their gender at birth.
Quotable“Just over a year ago, many of us in this community stood here to share our concerns about Hempfield’s lack of policy to ensure the fairness and safety of our women’s sports team. We know this has not been an easy task for you. We know that you are volunteers. You are servants of the community. We know that the only reason you are still sitting here tonight is that you care about our children and the future of this community,” district parent Amy Williams said.About 50 community members and parents were in the audience, with the majority standing in applause after her speech.
And after: The first day of school for Hempfield students is August 23rd.