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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
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Copyright © 2002 Express Publishing Inc.
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For the week of June 18 - 24, 2003


WRHS freshmen may have to stay on campus

Express Staff Writer

Lunch boxes and paper bags may make a come back with high school freshman because buying lunch in Hailey is likely to no longer be an option during the school day.

If the Blaine County School Board approves the recommendation of the Open/Closed Campus Committee to close the new Wood River High School, its first freshman class will have to stay at school the full day.

The following year, 2004-2005, the campus would be closed for both freshman and sophomores. The policy will be reevaluated yearly.

The committee, comprised of administrators, teachers, students and community members, recommended the closed campus policy to the school district last week. The recommendation is on the action agenda for the school board’s Tuesday, July 15, meeting. It starts at 7:30 p.m. at the district office on Bullion Street in Hailey.

The committee had previously held two public forums on the issue. In asking the community for input, several issues were cited: safety for kids leaving campus, safety of the neighborhoods and attendance.

Problems have been noted in the past due to students speeding through neighborhoods during lunch. Complaints about speeding have mostly come from homeowners in the Deerfield subdivision, Hailey Police Chief Brian McNary said.

The district had an obligation to revisit the issue, Blaine County School District Superintendent Jim Lewis said. Six years ago when first brought up by a neighborhood watch committee, the issue was set aside because the kitchen and cafeteria in the high school couldn’t provide enough lunches.

"We said we’d revisit it if and when we have the facility. Now, with the new facility (in the new high school that opens in the fall), we do," Lewis said.

One sophomore, upon hearing the news said, "I’m glad. I don’t think freshman should be driving around during lunch."

Suggestions on how to deal with the change include having more appealing food in the cafeteria, and perhaps having separate parking lots for underclassmen. Another idea is to allow Leader of the Pack program sponsors—a program paring upperclassmen with underclassmen in a mentor/mentee program—to take their group to lunch as a reward system.

And there will probably be a student survey in the fall to find out what extra curricular activities could be organized on campus during lunch for those not allowed to leave.

To deal with the off-campus activity during lunch hours, speed bumps on neighborhood streets and more trash cans might be installed as well as better signage and neighborhood watch groups. Standards of behavior for those off campus at lunch and increased attention of off campus activity by city and county police would also aid in safety issues.


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The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.