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Dare Board of Education takes up policy changes

Dare County Board of Education is considering 10 policy re-writes and one new regulation.

The documents were presented for a first reading May 11 and are expected to be on the board’s agenda June 8. Associate Superintendent Sandy Kinzel made the presentation.

The policy numbers and titles and a brief description are below.

1610/7800: Professional and Staff Development. All staff members are required to have six hours of mental health training, according to Kinzel. A comprehensive mental health plan is under development. NC Department of Public Instruction is providing resources.

2440: Policy Review and Evaluation (New). The system superintendent already has the authority to make changes to existing policy to conform with state and federal law. Added to the authority is to make “minor changes to correct typographical, grammatical, or clerical errors.”

3410 Testing and Assessment Program. All students in middle and high school, enrolled in high school courses, must take end-of-course tests and Career and Technical Education State Assessments. Results of End-of-Grade and End-of-Course tests, CTE assessments and local developed final exams will count as 20 percent of a student’s final grade in each course for which such an exam is given.” Some exemptions exist.

3610: Counseling Program. This policy has numerous substantive changes. One such change is “Employee Mandatory Reporting.” The new section reads “any staff member who is aware that a student is contemplating suicide or is otherwise suffering from an emotional or psychological crisis must immediately notify the counseling program…”

And, “any counselor or other staff member who knows or has cause to suspect maltreatment of a child must report the information as provided in policy 4240/7312, Child Abuse and Related Threats to Child Safety.

4240/7312: Child Abuse and Related Threats to Child Safety. New language reads, “any administrator who knows or has reason to believe that a licensed employee has engaged in conduct that would justify automatic revocation of the employee’s license … or involves physical or sexual abuse of a child shall report that information to the State Superintendent of Public Instruction…

4125: Homeless Students. Additional language adds requirements to the dispute resolution process outlined in the policy.

4400: Attendance. Extensive changes are put forth. For example, the policy if adopted would clear up how to count tardiness.

6120: Student Health Services. One change is that school employees may administer medication prescribed by a health care practitioner only upon written request of the parents… The word doctor is eliminated.

This is the policy that addresses school-based mental health plans. Such a plan must include a mental health training program and suicide risk referral protocol. The superintendent is required to report to the State Superintendent.

8310: Annual Independent Audit. New language requires a school board to receive the report and opinion from the auditor and arrange for the auditor to present the financial statements and compliance reports and other information as required by contract. The auditor’s presentation must be made at an official meeting, in open session, not later than 45 days from submission of the audit report to the Secretary of the Local Government Commission.

8341: Limited Claim Settlement (New). This policy sets up a procedure for the board to use prior to a legal action being filed. School board attorney Richard Schwartz delivered comments about this policy.

3229-R: Student Laptop User Agreement. The following is added “The student may receive a loaner device until his/her device is fixed if he/she does not owe for damages.”

If a student loses a power supply cord, “a fee equal to the replacement cost will be charged to the student for a replacement cord with approved specifications for proper charging capability” is added. The statement replaces a set replacement fee of $20.

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