Wolf Creek BOE discusses student drug testing

WATERFORD — The Wolf Creek Local Schools Board of Education discussed enacting a drug testing policy for students during a presentation by Superintendent Doug Baldwin at the regular monthly board meeting Monday night.

The policy if enacted would be similar to those approved by other districts in Washington County. It would make random drug tests mandatory for students participating in extracurricular activities and optional for students whose parents want them enrolled in the program.

Baldwin distributed a packet of information from Great Lakes Biomedical, the same company he said is used by Belpre City Schools and the Warren and Frontier local districts. Warren approved a policy in April.

“I’m going to meet with them Wednesday and get a better idea of how it works,” Baldwin said. “They will help us with a policy, and I want more information on the process and procedures.”

Baldwin said drug use among students has become an issue in the community.

“I’ve been in enough meetings, and a big concern is that after high school, kids can’t pass drug tests,” he said. “As a parent, if it was my kid I’d want to know and get help.”

Baldwin said the lab uses a standard 10-panel test for drugs, and each test is $22.

In response to questions from board members Scott Lang and Jerry Barnett, Baldwin said school staff cannot be compelled to take drug tests, with the exception of bus drivers, for whom it is mandatory. He noted that there is nothing to prevent staff members from voluntarily becoming part of the random testing pool.

The board also approved $35,000 for the purchase of a new radio system for communications with bus drivers and communications between buildings. Baldwin said the district administration sought estimates on the system and got the best one from Commercial Electronics. The estimate includes installation of a repeater on a tower near Sherwood’s, along with several hand-held sets, he said.

In other business, the board:

¯ Approved agreements with Easter Seals for occupational and physical therapy services and Memorial Health System for athletic training.

¯ Accepted a $2,000 donation from Dr. Jeremy Waters for the purchase of football helmets.

¯ Authorized approximately $205,000 for a six-year subscription with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt publishers for reading and math curriculum materials for kindergarten through eighth grade.

¯ Approved six coaching positions for athletics.

¯ Approved a list of substitute aides, bus drivers and custodians for the coming year.

¯ Was notified by Waterford High School Principal Suellen Coleman that the district had received a four-year, $142,000 grant to assist in closing the achievement gap for disabled students.

¯ Saw the winning entry in a student contest to design a new district logo, drawn by Bethany Dawson.

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