BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
FORT MADISON – With less than two weeks before graduation ceremonies, approximately 40 seniors at FMHS have yet to meet their community volunteer service hours.
At Monday’s regular meeting of the Fort Madison School Board, board president Timm Lamb said FMHS Principal Greg Smith had indicated that there were some issues with seniors getting the hours complete. All students are required to perform 10 hours of community service during their time at FMHS. Starting with next year’s incoming freshmen, that requirement will be bumped to 20 hours of service.
” I just spoke with Greg today and he said there are still quite a few people who have not completed their service requirements…a lot,” said Board President Timm Lamb. “They’re going to hold to the fact and they aren’t going to graduate.”
They’ve had a lot of opportunities and they just aren’t taking advantage of them. I think some of them think it’s not going to happen.”
Board member Gayla Young asked what the contingency was for the students that didn’t get the hours completed. Lamb said they won’t go across the stage at graduation on May 27th. He said as soon as the students complete their volunteer service hours they will get their diploma, but they won’t be able to go across the stage with their classmates. But he reiterated that they won’t receive their diploma or graduate until the volunteer service hours requirement is met.
“Greg was telling me today what he and Patrick (Lamb, assistant principal) have put together. They’ve gone way over board to help get this done,” Lamb said.
District Superintendent Erin Slater confirmed after the meeting that Smith had told her it was about 40 students who have yet to complete the service.
In other action, the board passed several policy revisions including a provision that would provide an alternative meal for any student whose lunch account is more than $10 delinquent.
Students would be allowed to pay cash for lunch while in the delinquent stage, but no charges would be allowed until the account is brought current.
The meal would be include a choice of fruit, vegetable, and milk.
Slater said the Iowa Association of School Boards is requiring a policy to be on the books by July 1. The district had incurred shortages of close to $60,000 in the past for unpaid lunch accounts.