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Manitowoc schools Buildings & Grounds Committee approves proposed policy revision for board member key fobs

Posted at 1:20 AM, Sep 08, 2022

MANITOWOC, Wis. (NBC 26) — In July, the Manitowoc school board voted in favor of giving board members key fobs to be able to access all district buildings.

BACKGROUND

"There's big changes happening in the Manitowoc public schools; changes for the better," Buildings and Grounds Chairperson and board member Kerry Trask said.

But there is a visitor policy that still needs to be changed to accommodate the fobs. On Wednesday, the Buildings and Brounds Committee unanimously approved a set of revisions.

"The intent there is to become much more familiar and knowledgeable about what's going on in the school system, rather than us being in this sort of a bomb shelter of a room," Trask said.

Changes made by the committee vote say the key fobs will only work to access school buildings between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Board members will sign in and out at the school office using a visitor management system for safety and security reasons.

"It adds transparency in a way that there hasn't been before," Trask said.

While visiting, board members will visibly wear their official school board ID card. Going into a classroom setting will require reasonable consent of the teacher in charge.

"It makes us more accessible to the teachers, the students, the parents, etcetera," Trask said.

Members will not be authorized to act in any administrative or supervisory capacity. If there's a concern, members should report to the principal or tell the superintendent in serious circumstances.

All visits must fully comply with all safety and security policies and relevant laws.

If policy is not complied with, the board can revoke the fob of any non-compliant member following a due process hearing.

"The intent is to bring transparency and have an understanding of the relationships between the board members, the community members, the teachers and the principals," Buildings and Grounds Committee and board member Matthew Phipps said.

If adopted, the proposed revision would become an amendment to the current visitor policy.

It goes to a final vote at the board meeting next Tuesday.

"Tonight was an example of how different perspectives come together to solve issues," Phipps said.