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Fredonia School Board meets with concerned parents regarding school safety and future plans

The Fredonia-Moccasin Unified School District board met at the Fredonia High School Media Center on Tuesday, May 7, 2024. Board members Raymon Christensen, Sonya Kimball, Lori Tait, and Laura Bowler were in attendance. District Superintendent Dorene Mudrow and High School Principal Lannell Allen were in attendance, as well.



The Fredonia School Board monthly meeting held on Tuesday, May 7. Photo by Don Jennings.


About 35 members of the public filled chairs on the south side of the library. Raymon Christensen called the meeting to order at 6:05 p.m. Up first was a public hearing on the 2024 Budget Revision #1. Superintendent Mudrow presented a slideshow on the budget and process. There were a handful of questions from the audience that were answered by Mudrow, and then public hearing portion of the meeting adjourned at 6:20 p.m.


The regular meeting was then called to order and the agenda and minutes of the previous meeting unanimously approved. Mudrow reported on the upcoming Native American parent meeting, the district staff meeting, and staff planning events. Christensen reminded those in attendance that four of five board seats are open for election this year, and that notice of interest should be delivered to the district office.


Mudrow, referencing a projected PowerPoint presentation, also reported on plans for the end of the year including recruitment goals, efforts to codify behavior expectations and discipline processes, and plans for promoting the district’s schools.



Action items following this included the board’s approval of payroll and expense vouchers, the senior trip, and fiscal year contracts, addendums and work agreements. A proposal to modify the school year calendar from one week of summer vacation to eight weeks of summer vacation with additional short breaks each quarter was voted down by the board.


The board next unanimously approved policy advisory language changes recommended by district and state advisors.


The next item on the agenda under “Information and Discussion Items” was Parental Information and Concerns Regarding FMSUD, as presented by Fredonia Resident Thempi Brinkerhoff. Another half-dozen parents in the room participated in Brinkerhoff’s presentation about concerns with student safety and educational rigor in district schools.


This is an emotionally charged issue for the community. At times the board seemed surprised to hear of the incidents of violence, bullying and academic deficits being experienced by families. It should be noted that despite the intense feelings surrounding these issues, the parents, board members, and school staff remained civil during the three-hour discussion.


The parents in attendance, and 38 others who sent letters, described being hesitant to enroll their children in school next year. The superintendent acknowledged their concerns and described actions being undertaken to address them. The board noted that better communication and oversight needed to be implemented. The overall sense was that everyone, although passionate about the issues, wanted the schools to improve and not only survive, but thrive going forward.


Board member Raymon Christensen said that the topic would be added to next month’s agenda for discussion and update. There was a sense of guarded optimism about the time spent on the topic and plans to address ongoing concerns.


The meeting adjourned at 9:32 p.m.

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