The April meeting of the board of trustees for Teton School District 401 will not include a discussion of the Teton High mascot, according to board chair Chris Isaacson. The meeting is scheduled for Monday, April 8, at 5:30 pm in the TSD District Office in Driggs.
The issue to reconsider the mascot was raised during public comment at the March board meeting by Victor resident Stephanie Crockett.
“The school board welcomes public comment, and takes it very seriously,” Isaacson said. “But that does not mean that the board follows up with action in the very next meeting.
“In this particular instance, given what happened five years ago when the mascot change was discussed, the school board would like to hear from and have involvement from the community, businesses, and most importantly the students and staff of our high school before proceeding.”
There are some logistical reasons to delay as well. In 2013, the public filled the THS auditorium to talk about the mascot change. Superintendent of Schools Monte Woolstenhulme said during March’s meeting that when a mascot-change is on the agenda, the district office may not be large enough to handle the crowd.
Isaacson and Woolstenhulme set the agenda by priority for the district each month and some agenda items are determined far in advance. There is a board calendar for each month of action items. Current priorities include oversight of the construction of two new schools, renovations and additions to four others, and continuing to meet objectives in the strategic plan.
State law requires following strict protocol about public-meeting agendas, the posting of them, and how school board meetings are conducted.
Agendas for an upcoming meeting are published on the district Website (tsd401.org) the Wednesday before the meeting on the following Monday.
Public comment is taken twice during the meetings, regarding agenda items only at the beginning of the meeting, and at the end of the meeting, which is when Crockett spoke.
“We are listening,” Isaacson said. “We are very sensitive to the community and our process has always been inclusive of the community’s input, from creating the strategic plan, holding Eggs and Education Breakfasts, and convening focus groups in regard to the bond, to mention a few. We want to continue adopting a purposeful, inclusive, and respectful approach.”