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Mid-Prairie School Board Approves Contract Extension for Schneider, Discusses Volunteer Policy

Posted: Tuesday, May 15th, 2018 at 6:27 am
Author: KCII News - Sam McIntosh

Mid-Prairie School Board met May 14. Photo by Sam McIntosh.

Tim Grady Gymnasium at Mid-Prairie High School was filled Monday night as the school board decided on the future of Superintendent Mark Schneider and held a public forum to discuss volunteer policies and procedures.

This forum was held in light of Schneider’s decision to allow a former registered sex offender volunteer in the district. The meeting agenda originally included a vote of confidence or no confidence for the board to take regarding Schneider’s future as superintendent. That was taken off the agenda as the board chose to focus on volunteer policies and procedures and forming a committee to recommend those changes. Board President Jeremy Pickard said after learning of the volunteer situation this March he was not in favor of Schneider’s decision, but stated that Schneider did not break any district policy. Several people stated that the highest priority is to change the district’s policies, including board member Gabrielle Frederick, “The issue at hand is a policy issue, it’s not about Trent [Yoder], it’s not about Mark [Schneider], it’s not about the Anita [Elementary School] community. I know people are asking how and why and don’t get me wrong I struggle with that as well but I’m choosing to look forward.”

Schneider stated there will be a 25-member committee to discuss the volunteer policies and procedures, and board members Jodi Meader, Marianne Schlabach, and Denise Chittick volunteered to serve on the committee which will be meeting next week. An extension of Schneider’s contract for the 2018-2019 school year was placed on the agenda prior to the volunteer situation, and the board voted 6-1 to extend that contract. A statement by Schneider:

Personal Public Statement
May 14, 2018

I want to thank the Mid-Prairie School Board for offering me a contract for the 2018-19 school year.

I look forward to working with school board members and the Community Volunteer Policy Committee to create revised policies and procedures for governing parent and community volunteer involvement in our schools.

The Mid-Prairie School District has a long history of national and state recognitions for academic excellence. I am proud of the school board members, school staff members, parents and community members who worked together to make these honors happen. A future goal will be to create these same recognitions for social and emotional student learning. Mid-Prairie can become a role model for conflict resolution and trauma informed care for our students suffering traumatic events but it will take the same cooperative and collaborative efforts by everyone.

Mark Schneider