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Blue Mountain School Board urged to allow virtual comments

Being able to participate in public comment at a Blue Mountain School Board meeting is reserved for participants who attend the monthly meetings in person, but one person at the Oct. 19 meeting wants to see that changed.

Meetings are held in-person every month and can be watched via Microsoft Teams with a link made available on the district website at, but cameras and microphones for virtual attendees are automatically disabled by the district.

At the meeting, a woman who did not identify herself questioned why public comments from the virtual public are not allowed.

Dr. David Helsel, superintendent, responded that following COVID-19 it was decided that only in-person comments would be accepted to prevent issues like confusion and repetition.

The woman urged the board should to reconsider that policy.

No formal decisions were made.

In other business, the board:

• Approved an addendum to the student discipline section of the student/parent handbook for the high school and middle school going into effect Nov. 1.

The addendum reads: “Abetting is encouraging or inciting other(s) to do wrong. Students who are found responsible for instigating other students into misbehaviors (especially fights) or assisting in wrong doing will be assigned discipline consequences similar to that received by the misbehaving students.”

• Created one assistant swim/dive coach position and named Kenny Knittle to that position at a stipend of $1,900 for the 2023-24 school year.

• Approved Kelly Wolfe as assistant girls basketball coach at a stipend of $2,800 for the 2023-24 school year. Wolfe replaces Tiffany Cresswell-Yeager.

• Approved James Daniels as long-term substitute math teacher assigned to the high school at an annual prorated salary of $50,000, effective Oct. 23.

• Granted permission to hire the Blue Mountain Elementary East Elementary position, the Blue Mountain Elementary West guidance counsel position and the part-time security resource officer positions. The board is expected to ratify those positions at the next meeting.

• Approved the 2023-26 Future Ready Comprehensive Plan, which is available on the district website.

Source: Berkshire mont

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