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Random student drug testing policy adopted for Zionsville Community High School

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By Desiree Williams

After years of discussions, Zionsville Community High School now has a random student drug testing policy. The school board approved a policy on second reading at its April 10 meeting. The approved version had minor changes from the one presented last month.

Board Secretary Debbie Ungar voiced concerns about language within the policy. The board deleted a sentence that allowed students to tell an administrator if they were using drugs or prescribed medication prior to a screening to keep students from offering private information to a stranger.

“I think this encourages kids to disclose private medical information to even an administrator, which I’m not sure has any positive backend reason to do so,” Ungar said.

Two parents spoke out in opposition of the policy, saying that ZCS has other positive initiatives to focus on. Board President Jane Burgess explained that the board already approved the development of a random drug testing program Nov. 28, 2016, so the decision to move forward had already been made.

The board approved the policy as amended at the meeting.

The board also approved two technology contracts. ZCS will partner with Konica Minolta for the management of copier services. Dan Layton, chief technology officer, said this should decrease the cost of printing services throughout the district.

ZCS also will enter into contract with Presidio to upgrade ZCHS, ESC, EE, ZMS and SGE to a Cisco Voice Over Internet Protocol phone system. Currently, these schools have a 20-year-old phone system while all other schools in the district have been updated.

The school board will provide an early retirement incentive this year. Two teachers scheduled to retire, but to generate savings, the incentive encourages other eligible veteran teachers to retire early.

“This is always a careful consideration, because it’s a careful balance of making sure we continue to maintain a very knowledgeable veteran staff who is able to mentor and support our young teachers, but it’s also something financially that could be advantageous to us,” said Rebecca Coffman, ZCS chief operations officer.

The next school board meeting is at 6 p.m. May 8.


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