The family of a resident who does not attend school in the Katonah-Lewisboro school district has made an impassioned plea to the district to allow the individual to gain access, for a fee, to the district’s externally contracted driver education course, according to Superintendent of Schools Dr. Paul Kreutzer.
There are state and district restrictions on allowing non-student residents to participate in extracurricular activities, particularly athletics and clubs, but the district lacks a specific policy addressing driver education, placing it in an extracurricular gray area. Dr. Kreutzer pointed out that the status quo among neighboring districts is to allow non-students to participate in driver education programs, and he asked the board to consider extending the status quo to the resident.
“This is a hole,” board President Mark Lipton said. “We are supposed to have a policy on this.”
Multiple board members, including Mr. Lipton and Charles Day, said the decision was an easy one, especially considering the course would begin soon and past precedent for expediting adjustments in policy had been set.
A well-trained driver is an obvious benefit to the whole community, Mr. Day said.
“This is ridiculous,” Ms. Tobin said. “Of course we should let this kid in the driver’s education class.”
Board members Marjorie Schiff and Janet Harckham deferred the issue to procedure, saying the request was not being addressed through the proper channels and that taking direct action was inconsiderate of others in the district who had previously raised issues about homeschooled children being excluded from extracurricular activities.
“That feels wrong to me,” Ms. Schiff said.
But without a set district policy on offering driver education, Dr. Kreutzer said he would refuse to allow the individual entry.
“This whole thing irks me,” Ms. Harckham said. “Lord knows you don’t want to punish the kid for our lack of a policy. We should really be apologizing for not having a policy and saying we will get to it posthaste, not having an entire board dialogue for one kid, for one family, for one driver’s education class.”
No action was taken and the issue remains to be addressed at the Feb. 7 board meeting.