De Pere updates manual to gender neutral pronouns
BY LEE REINSCH
DE PERE — The Unified School District of De Pere school board Tuesday approved several wording changes to its administrative policy manual.
Included is changing from the general use of “his/her” to “their.”
Board member Brittony Cartwright said she didn’t feel the change was necessary, and board member Chad Jeskewitz said that feedback he had received on the topic led him to not be in favor of it, either.
Superintendent Chris Thompson said publication style manuals, such as the one most colleges use, are making the change to their because it includes everyone.
“It’s the fact that it (their instead of his/her) is unbiased and that’s what they (style manuals such as the APA Style publication manual) are focusing on; it’s the lack of bias,” Thompson said. “It’s not making a statement with regards to what their personal beliefs are … .It’s just taking a neutral stance on the language. As an organization, we’re always looking at how can we be the organization for all, because that’s what we want, that’s what our mission strives for us to be.”
Board Vice President Doug Seeman met the two sides halfway.
“I personally would use he/she, but I can see the business admin sense of using they,” he said.
Update on televising of meetings
Board President David Youngquist updated the board on the status of the district providing live streaming of the school board meetings so more people can follow what’s going on in the district.
At a meeting several months ago, the board discussed its research into sound systems for the auditorium or other meeting room, and the cost proved to be prohibitive.
The board decided to look into alternate sites off-campus that are already equipped with audio and video equipment, such as City Hall.
Youngquist reported that they have since found out that City Hall can’t accommodate school board meetings due to scheduling conflicts.
American Education Week is Nov. 14-18, and members of the Unified School District of De Pere school board and administrators will be at various sites after school hours to talk to parents, students, and members of the public:
Monday Nov.14 — Board member Brittony Cartwright and Superintendent of Schools Chris Thompson will be at the Foxview Intermediate School media library center.
Tuesday Nov. 15 — Board member Adam Clayton and District Finance Director Dawn Foeller will be at the De Pere High School/District Office back commons.
Wednesday Nov. 16 — Board member Dan Van Straten and Curriculum Director Shelly Thomas will be at Dickinson Elementary School’s library media center; and Board President David Youngquist and District Pupil Services Director Jerry Nicholson will be at De Pere Middle School’s library media center.
Thursday Nov. 17 — Board member Doug Seeman and Superintendent Chris Thompson will be at Heritage Elementary School’s Tinkering Lab; and Board Member Jeff Mirkes and District Technology Director Curt Pieschek will be at Altmayer Elementary School’s Community Room.
Cookies and/or bars will be served.
New classes approved
The board of education approved several new classes for De Pere High School.
They include data science (part of the Computer Science department), multicultural influencers (part of the English/Language Arts department), organic chemistry (part of the Science department), medical terminology (part of the Family and Consumer Education department), trigonometry (part of the Math department), statistics and probability (also part of the Math department) and building automation systems (part of the Engineering and Tech Ed department).