The Osceola School Board voted in their last meeting on August 4 to support the T21 Smoking Age Bill.

Commonly known as “Tobacco 21,” this bill, if enacted, will move the legal age of purchasing tobacco, medical marijuana and vaping products to the age of 21. 

Due to recent findings demonstrating the harmful effects of vaping on youth, the hope for this bill is to decrease its usage numbers, especially by those under 21.

While tobacco is prohibited on Osceola school grounds, vaping has proven a problem in recent years, since the emergence of flavored inhalants.

School District Superintendent Mark Luebker clarified, “Vaping is a major concern in our community. We need support from more local entities to get this bill passed into law by Congress.” 

Continuing, the Board approved all fundraisers for the 2019-20 school year. All fundraisers are the same as in recent years such as Read to Feed, Pennies for Patience, and others. 

Administrators were present at this meeting to relay the start of the new school year. Lindsay Thomas began this discussion by describing the first couple weeks as a “wild start” because OES has received a few curve balls, one of which includes a lot of new students with trauma. This trauma, as Thomas explains it, has materialized in the form of fostered and homeless students. Despite this new challenge, Thomas notes that “Our staff is all in, to provide a safe and supportive environment for our students to grow.” 

Amanda Meyer was proud to announce that OMS will be moving to four bells, three in the morning and one in the afternoon. Additionally, the number of grade reports will decrease from six to three. In doing so, Meyer and her staff hope to switch to electronic modes of providing this information because grade reports are already updated frequently and available online. 

Finally, Julie Bender shared a fun reading activity OIS will be participating in this year: “Read Aloud.” Essentially, this program is a way for all classes and grades to connect by reading the same book in their individual classrooms. This time’s pick is The Wish Tree by Kyo Maclear. Not only will students read this book but they will be able to discuss it with anyone in the school, staff and students alike. Bender foresees a unification in OIS, a solid way to begin a new year. 

The next regular Board Meeting will be held on Wednesday, September 25, 2019 at 6 p.m. in the District Boardroom. 

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