Student government at IHS can sometimes be very confusing. Students might ask: “I want better quality toilet paper. Who do I talk to?” or “The dress code is totally unfair! No one seems to listen or care about my ideas. What do I do?”
The answer to those questions is to speak to the Representatives to the Board of Education (BoE). There are four representatives at IHS: Leo Song, Asha Duhan, Meera Bai Singh, and Myeong Hak Lee. Representatives are responsible for being the link between the BoE, the powerful elected body that makes important decisions about the school district and ICSD’s student body. Representatives attend biweekly Board meetings on Tuesday nights at 7:00 pm in the district building on Lake Street. These meetings are open to the public, and students are encouraged to attend meetings to stay informed about important educational decisions.
The job of Representatives to the BoE is to be a voice for students and to fight for their ideas at these meetings. Students at IHS are passionate about issues relating to school, such as the dress code, bathrooms, and water quality. Students are encouraged to talk to or email any representative, or to talk to student council representatives in social studies classes so that invaluable opinions may be heard and communicated to the Board.
Here are a few updates from recent meetings:
The Board has enacted a plan to revamp the plumbing and old fountains in all ICSD schools with new units to fix the lead problem. They are installing new fountains, some of which will have a water bottle-filling mechanism to further reduce waste. Caroline and Enfield are being repaired right now, and each school’s renovation will cost the district $15,000. The Board has also budgeted $180,000 this year for spending on improvements to water quality; the same sum will be spent next year. Northeast and South Hill Elementary School pipes and fountains will be replaced between December 2017 and February 2018. Cayuga Heights and Belle Sherman will be March through June of 2018. Unfortunately, all other ICSD buildings, including IHS, are scheduled to be repaired last, likely in the summer of 2018.
Secondly, the IHS administration will be making an important decision about whether or not to factor in PE and Fine Arts classes into high school GPA. The Student Council has been lobbying hard for this effort, and a decision will be reached before the end of the first quarter of classes.
Finally, the Board approved the merger between the Ithaca Girls Hockey team and the Union Endicott girls, allowing IHS to have a goalkeeper. This merge did not negatively impact any of the IHS Hockey girls, and more details will emerge as the winter sports season approaches.
The first BoE meeting for the month will be on November 7. The meeting will include a discussion of issues and will conclude with a vote, and all students are encouraged to attend.