Pine River updates policies, reviews enrollment

LEROY — After updating its homeless student procedures in the past, Pine River School Board updated it’s written policies Monday to comply with state regulations.

At a regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, the board unanimously voted to adopt the updated NEOLA policy after the second reading of the copy.

“Every year we review certain policies that need to be updated,” said Pine River superintendent Jim Ganger.

The adoption was a formality required by the state, but will not create any change in day-to-day procedure for the school.

The wording of the new policy clarifies the definition of a homeless student to comply with the McKinney–Vento Homeless Assistance Act. The new policy states that homeless students are defined as individuals who lack a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence, as well as those who share the housing of other persons, live in motels, hotels, or camping grounds, live in emergency shelters, are awaiting foster care placement, live in a car, park, public space or abandoned building or have a primary nighttime residence not designed for sleeping.

Last year, Pine River School District enrolled 45 students identified as homeless.

In other business, the board reviewed enrollment numbers for the current school year. The district currently enrolls 1,145 students split between five school buildings. LeRoy Elementary has 202 students in kindergarten through second grade, Luther Elementary has 98 students in kindergarten through fifth grade and Tustin Elementary enrolls 212 students in third through fifth grade. Pine River Middle School has 236 students in sixth through eighth grades and Pine River High School has 397.

“Enrollment is down about 20 or 30 students from last year,” Ganger said. “I think it’s because nuclear families are smaller than they used to be, and part of that is related to the economy.”

The board also heard a proposal from Holly Hendrickson, French Club advisor, for a trip to Montreal over spring break 2013 as a way to emmerse students in French culture and improve their speaking and cultural understanding. The board will consider the trip and revisit the topic at its next board meeting.

The next meeting of the Pine River School Board will be at 6 p.m. on Oct. 8 at Luther Elementary school, located at 900 State Road in Luther.