Highlights of policy changes
The Anderson School District One Board recently approved twenty policy changes ranging from school bus safety, food and sales and snack vending to health education and homeless students. Highlights of some of the changes are :
Changes were made to the following policies: Board Meeting Notification, Agenda, Bus Safety Program, Competitive Food Sales/Vending Machines; Competitive Food Sales/Vending Machines Rule; “Smart Snacks” Individual Exempt Fundraiser Checklist Form and “Smart Snacks” Annual School-Based Exempt Fundraiser Summary Report Form.
Also School Year; Health Education; Instruction Services for Limited English Proficiency Students; Instructional Services for Limited English Proficiency Students Rule.
Also Admission of Homeless Students; Admission of Limited English Proficiency and Migrant Students; Parents Permission to take School-Sponsored trip form; Graduation Requirements Rule; Admission of Nonresident Students; Student Fund-Raising Activities; Food Allergies and Special Dietary Needs and a related rule.
Explanation of Changes for Policy – BEDA/BEDB
The General Assembly enacted a measure to clarify public meeting notice requirements and to establish the conditions in which an agenda may be amended.
Under the changes to FOIA, an agenda is required for all meetings of a public body. The agenda must include the dates, times and location of the meeting and must be posted on a bulletin board in a publicly accessible location at the office or meeting place of the public body (and posted online if the public body maintains a website) at least 24 hours prior to the meeting. The mandate for posting agendas does not, however, apply to emergency meetings.
The superintendent, in cooperation with the board chairman, will prepare the agenda for the regular called, special or rescheduled meetings. The agenda will include items the board will address in performing its duties as the governing body of the school district in accordance with board policy. The agenda will include references to the board’s policies, where appropriate.
Items of business may be suggested by board members, staff members or citizens of the districts. To be considered for placement on the agenda, an item must be within the scope of the board’s duties, must be timely and must be appropriate for consideration. The written request (electronic or paper) must be received a minimum of six business days prior to the desired meeting for it to be reviewed for the agenda. The superintendent and board chairman may will decide whether or not to include those items. The final agenda must be approved by the board. The agenda will, however, allow time for the remarks of persons who have been granted their request to appear before the board in accordance with Policy BEDH.
The board will follow the order of business set by the agenda, unless the order is altered by a majority vote of the members present. The board may amend the agenda during any meeting by a two-thirds vote of the members present if the matter is a discussion item. If the matter is one in which final action will be taken without prior notice to the public, the agenda may only be amended by a two-thirds vote and a finding via a vote that an emergency or exigent circumstance exists. Items of business not on the agenda may be discussed and acted upon if a majority of the board agrees to consider them.
The superintendent will distribute the agenda and supporting materials to the board, along with the notice of the meeting and agenda. The materials will include minutes of the past regular meeting, any past special meetings, and reports and proposals to be considered by the board.
Materials distributed to the board which reflect staff recommendations in their final form are open to the public unless exempt from disclosure by law or are of a personal nature such that public disclosure thereof would constitute unreasonable invasion of personal privacy.
Anyone desiring additional information regarding an agenda item should direct inquiries to the office of the superintendent.
Explanation of Changes to Policy – EEAE
Lawmakers amended state laws concerning the physical examination requirements for school bus drivers by broadening the type of authorized medical professionals who are eligible to conduct physical examinations. Under state and federal laws, school bus drivers must have a physical exam by a medical professional before operating a bus and at least every two years after that.
Lawmakers passed a bill to delete specific language citing physicians, nurse practitioners and physician’s assistants and insert the term “medical examiner” which could include, among others, a chiropractor.
Also, language regarding maintenance and inspection of buses has been added.
Explanation for Changes to Policy – EFE
Under the Healthy-Free Kids Act of 2010 and the Child Nutrition Act of 1996, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) authorized state education entities to grant exemptions regarding fundraisers. In two memorandums dated January 22, 2015, and March 6, 2015, the South Carolina Department of Education established exemption guidelines.
According to the guidelines, the following applies:
· For the 2015-2016 school year, districts are approved to have up to 30 exemptions, not to exceed three days in length.
· For the 2016-2017 school year, districts are approved to have up to 30 exemptions, not to exceed two days in length.
· Beginning with the 2017-2018 school year, districts can have 30 exempt fundraisers, but the fundraisers can only last one day in length.
Districts reserve the right to further restrict fundraisers in policies.
Explanation for Changes to Policy – IC School Make-Up Day Waivers
For the 2015-2016 school year and thereafter, a majority vote of the school board may waive up to three days but only after the district has made up three days, even if the built-in make-up days no longer available.
The local school board may lengthen the hours of school operation by no less than one hour per day for the total number of hours missed, operate schools on Saturday or waive up to three full days or the equivalent number of hours due to snow, extreme weather or other disruptions.
If, after the school board has waived up to three days and a waiver is still needed for additional days, the state department may discharge up to three additional days.
The state also mandates how the 10 professional development work days may be used by school districts.
Explanation for Changes to Policy – IHAM
Among the major issues before the General Assembly last legislative session was how to address the state’s high incidence of deaths caused by domestic violence. Beginning with the 2016-2017 school year, for grades six through eight, instruction in comprehensive health education must also include the subject of domestic violence.
Explanation of Changes for Policy – IHBEA/JFABD/JFABE
The South Carolina Department of Education emphasized that all children will have the opportunity to participate and achieve in public school. SCDE state that children should not be discriminated against due to their homeless, immigration or English-speaking status. The agency has directed all districts to include non-discrimination clauses in enrollment policies including the applicable legal references.
SCDE also mandates the following with regard to enrollment and services:
· State law only requires two documents for enrollment.
– immunization records (DHEC allows a 30-day waiver for a student to present records or to begin immunizations)
– birth certificates or proof of age (required for first-time enrollment of children entering kindergarten or first grade)
· A district may not deny a student enrollment due to the lack of proof of immigration status, and the district should not request that information from the parent/legal guardian.
Explanation of Changes for Policy – IJOA-E
“Parent’s Permission to Take School Sponsored Trip”
There are several issues that are reoccurring problems with school-sponsored field trips. These include students needing medication on field trip, parents bringing younger/older siblings, and parents not picking up students after the field trip in a timely manner. Revisions to the form will draw attention to these issues with parents and help alleviate these problems with field trips.
· A district may require written proof of residency.
· Social Security cards or
numbers are not required. Parents/Legal guardians will not be required to present South Carolina driver’s licenses or other photo IDs for access to the main office in order to enroll their children in school.
· A home language survey must be administered to all students. Based on the information in the survey, schools must give a standardized language assessment to potential students with limited English proficiency and migrant students to determine needs and to provide alternative language program services.
· Students with limited English proficiency should be placed with students of the same age. Classroom teachers should modify instruction, assignments and grades to meet the needs of the student.
· A student with limited English proficiency should be advanced along with his/her peers unless there is evidence that the student was held back for factors other than English proficiency.
· Students with limited English proficiency and migrant students are eligible to participate in all age-appropriate school programs and to receive all available services.
· Students will be monitored for at least two years after students have exited alternative language services. Such services may be reinstated as necessary.
Required to have policies in place regarding the admission of homeless, LEP, and migrant students. (We do not currently have these policies).
Explanation for Changes to Policy – IKF-R
South Carolina joined seven other states to pass legislation aimed at boosting students’ knowledge of American civics. The new law requires all public and charter school students, beginning with entering ninth graders in the 2016-2017 school year, to take the online, 100-question civics test given by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. The test is utilized to show that citizenship applicants can demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of the fundamentals of United States history and the principles and form of government.
The following are key provisions of the new law in South Carolina:
· Students will take the test as part of their high school U.S. Government class, provided there is no cost to the school or district for obtaining and giving the test.
· The provision does not apply to a student who is exempted in accordance with the student’s individualized education plan (IEP).
· Students are not required to meet a minimum score.
· School districts and charter schools may recognize students who earn a passing grade or higher.
· School districts and charter schools must report the percentage of students at or above the designated passing score on the test to the South Carolina Oversight Committee, which will then include this information on the school’s annual report card.
· No school or district can collect any fees or charges to carry out this requirement.
· Remove language regarding the High School Exit Exam. This assessment is no longer given or required.
Explanation for Changes to Policy – ILB-R
Regulation 43-262 – Assessment Program Test/Assessment Administration
The regulation delineates requirements for the statewide assessment program managed by the Office of Assessment at the State Department of Education. Information from repealed Regulations 43-260 and 43-262.4 has been merged into this regulation so that regulatory information governing assessments is in one place. Within the amended regulation, information has been updated and expanded throughout; the definition of local school district includes the South Carolina Public Charter School District and additional information on test materials covers the different testing formats. The End-of-Course Examination Program (EOCEP) has been added to this regulation in its entirety and the section on the exit examination has been deleted in compliance with Section 59-18-310 of Act 155 which states that “students are no longer required to meet the exit examination requirements to earn a South Carolina high school diploma.”
Explanation of Change for Policy – JFAB
The district receives a lot of requests for students to attend Anderson School District One who reside out-of-district or who are planning to move into or out of the district. The district must be consistent when dealing with all of these situations. The changes to JFAB will allow the district to consistently apply the out-of-district policies to all families.
Explanation for Changes to Policy – JJE Student Fund-Raising Activities
Part of the schools’ mission is to provide students with opportunities to help others through volunteering, helping others, and charitable giving. Schools currently provide these opportunities through numerous school activities where students may give of their time, talents, and resources to benefit a charity or other worthwhile project. This policy change aligns district practice with board policy.
Explanation for Adopting Policy – JLCDC
The Voluntary Guidelines for Managing Food Allergies in Schools and Early Care and Education Programs were developed in response to Section 12 of the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, which was enacted in 2011. Collaboratively the Departments of Health and Human Services and Education, as well as the Center for Disease Control, developed guidelines to support the implementation of food allergy management and prevention plans and practices in schools. The guidelines provide practical information, planning steps and strategies for reducing allergic reactions and responding to life threatening reactions for parents/legal guardians, district administrators, school administrators and staff.
The revised rules will be posted and can be viewed on the School District website.