Council Report: Parking Amendment Passes
New school parking and attendance policies dominated the discussion at the Council’s first meeting of the 2017-2018 school year on Wednesday, September 6th. The meeting included the first vote of the school year for changes to the HHS Handbook.
The Council voted nearly unanimously (with one abstention) to approve an amendment to the Handbook that would change the rules regarding student parking at HHS. The motion, which was introduced by Dean of Students Julie Stevenson, states that the school will now select which students will receive school parking permits solely on the basis of hardship. This means that the school will depart from its previous practice of using a lottery system to determine who would be able to park at the school. Mrs. Stevenson added that sports and extracurricular activities would be not be considered hardships by the school.
These changes to the school’s policy were mainly spurred by a recent move made by the Town of Hanover in which the town took away many parking spots on Hovey Lane (which runs adjacent to the school’s property) that had previously been used by the school for student parking, leaving the school with only 36 regular parking spots for students to use. As a result, the school was able to award parking permits to only less than half of the students who applied for one. Rep. Jasper Meyer, the Council’s assistant moderator, encouraged anybody who might be upset with the town’s decision to contact the town government and voice their concerns.
Currently, a student must have a parking permit if they wish to park their car at the school during school hours; students who violate this rule risk facing fines and/or towing. Parking is scarce for HHS students in most places around the school as well since most parking spaces require the possession of a permit from the Town of Hanover or Dartmouth College.
Other highlights from last week’s Council meeting include the following.
- Representatives signed up for their committees.
- Sign-ups were held for Ad Hoc committees, including those for Community Service and Religious Observances.
- Seniors representatives Marion Umpleby, Max Taxman, and Perrin Milliken spoke briefly about promoting environmental sustainability at the school, plans for a bio-shelter on school grounds, and providing assistance to the Environmental Club on the task of collecting the school’s compost.
- The Council began a discussion on formally implementing a new attendance policy that was approved by the school district and brought to Council by Julie Stevenson. Prominent features of the policy a new warning system meant to limit the number of school days missed by students each year and the introduction of a “tardy contract” for students who are tardy to class three or more times; this contract is meant to replace the automatic cut that students used to receive if they were late for repeatedly late for class without an excuse.
Discussions on the new attendance policy will continue at the next Council meeting during the Wednesday activity period in the chorus room.