PrattTribune - Pratt, KS
  • Skyline eighth graders planning trip to Washington, D.C.

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  • Skyline eighth grade students might be standing in the halls of Congress in May if a proposed trip to Washington D.C. comes to fruition.
    Business and computer teacher Jane Melroy presented the trip idea to the board during their regular monthly meeting Monday, Dec. 9.
    Melroy said the trip would be organized through Explore America and the proposed dates of the trip are Sunday, May 25, 2014 to Wednesday, May 28, 2014 with airport departure from Wichita Mid Continent Airport.
    Cost per student for the trip is $1,823. Cost for adults on the trip is $2,028.
    Melroy said she would talk to students about fundraising to pay for the trip.
    The Skyline group would join with a group of students from Haven where Judy Henry, an experienced traveler with EA would lead the group through the travel process, Melroy said.
    The Board approved the tour, an essential element because it has to be a school sponsored event for insurance purposes.
    At this time, there are no limits to the number that can go, they just have to have the money for the trip.
    Students would be housed four to a room and adults would be two per room.
    Since this trip would take place during the time drivers education takes place, instructor Brad Pagenkopf has said he would make arrangements for students so they could take the trip.
    This is not the first time a trip of this nature has been considered. Two years ago a trip was also approved but the plan fell apart and didn't happen.
    The idea has been hanging around since then and now the time seems right to try again.
    The trip would cover four nights with events scheduled every day. A highlight of the trip would be a visit to Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial Day and a tour of D.C. that night, Melroy said.
    Other tour sites include a tour of the U.S. Capitol, the Supreme Court, Library of Congress, several of the Smithsonian museums, the various war memorials, a tour of Mount Vernon, a nighttime ghost tour and a trip to the National Zoo.
    Photo stops are also planned for White House, Washington Monument, Jefferson Memorial and other memorials.
    The cost of the tour includes provided chaperones, round-trip airfare and transportation, hotel accommodations, breakfast and dinner, overnight security at the hotel, tour consultants and tour websites and a full time tour director.
    Students that choose to graduate early at Skyline will now be invited to participate in graduation exercises if they so choose.
    The Skyline Board of Education revisited the policy that was recently established after visiting with Janessa Davis who chose to go through early graduation and had expressed interest in walking at graduation with the rest of her classmates even though she had already left school, said Mike Sanders, Skyline superintendent.
    Page 2 of 2 - Davis also has the choice to attend the awards banquet if she chooses. The booster club sponsors the awards banquet so the board does not have authority over that event.
    Davis can also attend prom as a guest. Prom is another activity that not a board-governed event, it is a junior class project.
    Sanders reviewed the policies at a dozen other schools that allow early graduation to see what they allowed. Most schools in 1A to 4A don't allow early graduation.
    Of those dozen: one will not allow an early graduate to walk with classmates at graduation; six will allow the early grad to participate in graduation only but no other events like prom; three will allow attendance at prom only; two would allow the student to attend the awards banquet and prom.
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