European tour unopposed, but meet in neighboring state comes under scrutiny
Members of the Northern Ozaukee School Board had to haul out their calendars when asked to approve a pair of upcoming out-of-state student trips.
The most ambitious of the outings was a 12-day trip to Europe next July.
The tour, being organized by business teacher John Odenwald, advisor for the Future Business Leaders of America group, will include stops in Italy, Austria, Germany and the Czech Republic.
In his field trip request, Odenwald said as many as 12 students will be on the tour, which will focus on global studies and cultural awareness.
Each student will be able to earn academic credit by doing pre-trip research and online work in anticipation of the field study.
The cost is $3,800 per student, and will be covered by each student’s family. There is no cost to the district.
The booking agency, EF Educational Tours, offers one free chaperone passage for each six students taking the trip.
Board members unanimously approved the field trip.
However, it was a much shorter trip that stirred a little debate on the board.
Roger Sinnen asked for permission to take members of the girls’ cross country team to the Roy Griak Invitational on the campus of the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis next September.
The team is a co-op with Random Lake High School, with the team’s top 12 runners heading to the meet. The costs will be shared by the districts.
Cedar Grove-Belgium has been sending teams to the prestigious meet for years.
Sinnen said the invitational draws as many as 52 teams and 500 runners, giving the competitors the opportunity to work on large-meet strategies.
He said the boys team would not be going to the meet, because their numbers are limited and the program is going through a rebuilding.
“The girls have been competitive and would learn from being exposed to this kind of competition,” Sinnen said.
There is a $150 entry fee, and the districts would also be responsible for transportation costs. Team fundraising will cover the cost of food.
Despite those financial assurances, board member Tom Hoffmann asked whether sending select members of the cross country team to the meet was the best use of public funds.
“We have teachers scrounging for classroom supplies but we have money to send a team to a meet like this? Aren’t there closer options?” Hoffmann asked.
The board approved the team trip, with only Hoffmann opposed.