School Board Meeting Updates
December 14, 2020
The Sarasota County School board and the staff who work in the county have worked long and hard to come up with the best solution in teaching every student within the county. The coronavirus global pandemic has caused challenges for everyone, therefore multiplying the need for meetings. The meetings (for general members) have been held on October 6th, November 10th, December 8th, 2020 held in Sarasota’s Administration Center. The school board discussed the new school year’s issues and listened to parents’ and former students’ concerns that voiced their opinions.
To start the first meeting off, Caroline Zucker, the chair of the Sarasota County Board, presented the North Port High Cologuard, and everyone present stood for the pledge of allegiance. She then introduced the student representative for the meeting, Erica Schmitt from NPHS. She presented the squad trait, which was adversity, and explained how she believed her school was an excellent example of the trait. Specifically, she said, “Diversity is a necessity in today’s ever-changing society, and North Port High School represents just that.”. That lead to a series of different representatives announcing new things to the audience. Parents’ and students’ concerns about the new mask policy of the year 2020 are being looked over and addressed, which means that they have nothing to worry about. Next, the School Board Meeting that took place on November 10th started with the flag salute, then caudate Aiden Botchard, member of ROTC, stood at the podium to give a speech about veterans day. Aiden started his speech with, “tomorrow we pause to honor the courage and sacrifice of our veterans.” Later on in his speech, he warmed the hearts of the audience by honoring his father, who was in the navy for over 10 years.
Next, Caroline Zucker introduced the month of November’s school representative, Kendall Seely, a senior from NPHS. She presented the trait this month; it is kindness. Kendall said, “… something that we did is that we decorated the hallways for spirit week… we heard a lot of positive feedback from it…” In other words, Kendall used her school’s spirit week as an example of kindness. After her introduction, the first presentation of the night began. It was on PBIS model schools. The board members then discussed how much they supported the program. Specifically, superintendent Dr. Brennan Asplen mentioned that when he was visiting schools around the county, it was clear to see that the schools were very well behaved. Also, the Board expresses their gratefulness for working with Eric Robinson, as he was not reelected.
In a hearing of citizens, many concerned citizens receive 3 minutes each to express their concerns to the board and audience. For example, in the first meeting, a father of a student Nelson Philips Sims said students do not have enough rights against masks. He was able to voice his opinion. Even if many other people disagree with the concern, people were still able to share it. Multiple other citizens voiced their concerns afterward. In the next meeting, one of the citizens was Ashly Cody. She said, “When you are passionate about something, you take action.” She is a parent that is passionate about her son’s education. She wants parents to be able to help and be involved in their children’s education. The hearing of citizens is a prime example of parents, students, and staff voicing their opinions to the school board and the audience.
The School Board Meetings held on October 6th, November 10th, and December 8th effectively addressed parents’ and students’ concerns. Meeting directly impact student and staff of Sarasota county. Everything from school lunch decisions to the mask policy can be affected by the boards’ decisions. Knowing what the board decides at the meeting held for the general public is very important because it directly impacts the students, staff, and parents in Sarasota county. Citizens can attend the meeting in person or have the option of watching YouTube lives. The YouTube channel is called the ‘’Sarasota County Schools Education Channel’’.