A question of gender and chaperoning policies for the regional high school was resolved Monday evening when the school committee voted to approve the new athletic handbook with minor updates. High school teams will travel off-Island with team coaches as they have before, regardless of the gender make up of the teams and coaching staffs.

A proposed policy concerned whether there should be a chaperone of each gender present when teams travel off-Island. A girls’ soccer team, for example, would be required to bring along a female chaperone if they only had male coaches.

The debate quickly drew attention from students, coaches and the public and brought last week’s school committee meeting to an abrupt halt when one committee member left the room, leaving the committee without a quorum.

The athletic handbook passed on Monday with one dissenting vote from Kim Kirk of Edgartown.

To assuage concerns about the athletic program, principal Sara Dingledy added new language to the athletic handbook explaining the coaches’ training process.

“MVRHS believes that coaches are powerful figures in the lives of students,” it says in part. “All of our coaches are trained by MIAA [Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association] in order to receive proper coaching certification.”

The new text commits the school to exploring further training and professional development opportunities for coaches and outlines a new post-season survey to gather coment from parents and athletes about their perspectives on the program. Ms. Dingledy also added a rule explicitly prohibiting changing in public or on the buses and another requiring students to park legally when they take the ferry for off-Island events.

Robert Lionette asked if the MIAA coach training curriculum was available for review and asked for ongoing communication with the committee about training for coaches.

“This is a topic that’s much bigger than us and our Island community,” he said. “I appreciate the work ensuring the continued safety of our students. I think it would be valuable for us to continue to have that shared with us.”

Ms. Dingledy said the administration has not received any specific concerns about the coaching staff and said her office would be the correct place to share them if they did arise.

In other business, the committee voted to hire the Boston firm Daedelus Projects Inc. as the owner’s project manager for the track overhaul project. Daedelus Projects has served as the project manager for Island projects including the West Tisbury emergency services station and the design process for the proposed Tisbury school building project.

The group has been trying for more than two years to improve the track and surrounding fields, but the effort has become mired in controversy over whether an artificial turf or grass infield would be best.

“That’s a big step forward in this project,” Jeffrey (Skipper) Manter 3rd said of the selection of a project manager.

Mr. Lionette voted against the choice.

If negotiations are successful, representatives from the firm will meet with members of the high school committee in coming weeks, school business administrator Amy Tierney said.

The committee also agreed to hire Architectural Consulting Group Inc. if negotiations with Daedelus are unsuccessful.

A money transfer was approved from the job advertising budget to pay for an audit by school safety consultants Synergy Solutions, at the request of superintendent Matthew D’Andrea. The consultants specialize in preparing institutions including schools and hospitals for the possibility of a violent intruder. The audit is estimated to cost $5,500 and involves a review of the building layout, a review of security policies, and a meeting with first responders. Mr. Manter voted against transferring funds for the purpose.

The committee also voted to fund an audit of the bussing systems using leftover funds from the special education transportation budget. That audit will examine staffing and procedures for bussing students on and off-Island, and look for cost-saving measures, Mr. D’Andrea told the committee. He estimated it would cost about $7,900 including meals and lodging for consultants. Mr. Manter and Mr. Lionnette both voted against the transfer, citing confusion about what the study would accomplish.

As calls for a major overhaul of high school facilities continue, the committee appointed an initial school building committee. The committee includes a representative from each Island town, chosen by selectmen. Tisbury school committee member Janet Packer will represent the high school committee in the group. Ms. Packer was nominated because of her now extensive experience with school building projects following the Tisbury school building proposal process. Mr. D’Andrea and Ms. Dingledy will also be involved. The school building committee will likely evolve, Mr. D’Andrea said, but the core group will begin the process.

ACE MV, the adult education nonprofit serving the Vineyard, would like to further join forces with the high school, Ms. Dingledy said, as it begins to target a younger demographic.

“Part of what we’ve talked about is the opportunity to start that process earlier while students are still engaged at the high school,” Ms. Dingledy said.

ACE and Ms. Dingledy floated the suggestion that the portion of ACE funding normally paid by towns through warrant articles at annual town meetings be included in the high school budget.

Committee members were enthusiastic about the partnership concept but wary of a funding merger.

“Bearing it in the school budget where nobody could say yes or no, may not be well-received by the towns,” said Mr. Manter, who is also a selectman in West Tisbury. “The partnership you’re talking about is very exciting... but I don’t know why we couldn’t continue that in a public-private partnership.”

Others agreed.

“I think it’s a great way to look outside the box,” Megan Anderson said. “But I echo . . . the financial concerns.”