Board questions Italy trip, tables request

Local News

A Blue Earth Area High School teacher has some explaining to do before the School Board lets her and some students go to Italy.

Language Arts teacher Ingrid Chrisman was suppose to give a report on the 10-day trip at a recent board meeting, but she was unable to attend due to illness.

Instead, Superintendent Evan Gough filled in and says Chrisman was going to hold a meeting with students and parents to see if there’s enough interest in the trip.

“At least five students are needed to sign up,” says Gough. “It’s exposing them to a culture, rather than reading about it.”

For some on the board, this is the first time they had heard anything about the trip.

“I don’t like surprises,” says board chair Frankie Bly. “To me this should have come to us at our September meeting.”

Another shocker for district officials was the trip’s price tag of more than $4,300.

“I have concern over the cost. We want every student to be on the same playing field and not separate the haves and have nots,” Gough says. “I’m really struggling with the cost.”

High school principal Rich Schneider says each student and their parents will be responsible for the full cost and no money from district fund-raisers will be used.

Board members don’t doubt the trip would be a valuable experience, but they still want to know more details before giving their approval.

Students may also obtain three college credits by going on the trip, but board member Dawn Fellows says more information is needed on the type of credits that will be earned.

A request to approve the trip was tabled and the board is expected to discuss the issue again at its November meeting.

In the past, BEA students have gone on trips to Washington, D.C., and the Spanish class to Costa Rica or Puerto Rico, costing around $800 and $2,000 respectively.

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