Dare school board to take up policy changes at May 8 meeting

Published 7:57 am Monday, May 8, 2023

At the next regular meeting of the Dare County Board of Education scheduled for May 8, two new policies and four revised policies will be considered for adoption.

Three revisions and one new policy are recommended by the North Carolina School Boards Association which provides regular updates to policies which have undergone revision due to legal requirements.

The two new policies are:

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Policy 6402/9100, Ethics and the Purchasing Function, which is new to the board’s policy manual. It describes the responsibilities of those employees conducting the board’s business. It was recommended by the School Boards Association.

The second new policy was requested by Dare County Schools. Policy 6128 is titled Administration of Naloxone. The policy addresses possession and administration of naloxone or Narcan by school system employees to address drug-related overdose.

In the draft policy, the school board recognizes the frequency of opioid use and abuse in the local community. Consistent with the state’s standing order about the distribution of Naloxone, the opening statement says “employees may maintain and administer doses of the opioid antagonist medication Naloxone or Narcan to those experiencing a drug-related overdose.”

In the definition section, the terms “drug-related overdose,” “Naloxone and Narcan,” and “Opioid” are defined.

Under the new policy, Dare County Schools must notify students and parent/guardians about the policy annually. Training about maintaining and administering naloxone is required. Four training agencies are listed.

The principal or designee must purchase the naloxone. The school nurse must check expiration dates. The school nurse’s office is designated as the storage space or another location if tapped by the superintendent.

Law enforcement shall be notified of the possession and use of illegal substances.

Student discipline follows Policy 4300A, Code of Student Conduct.

The final section acknowledges good faith responses from on law enforcement officers, emergency medical technician and others to administer their own naloxone supplies.

Dare’s school board will take up four revised policies, such as Policy 2120 titled Code of Ethics for School Board Members.

The opening paragraph states “The board recognizes that, collectively and individually, all members of the board must adhere to a code of ethics” as required by the state’s General Statutes 160A-86 and 115C-47.

The opening section states five standards (instead of considerations).

To implement those standards, the policy then lists 15 board member commitments which include attending meetings, making decisions based on facts and independent judgment, modeling civility and integrity to students, employees, and all elements of the community, engaging in respectful dialogue, complying with all board policies, earning 12 hours of training every two years, earn two hours of ethics education within 12 months of election, refrain from investigating or attempting to resolve complaints received personally but instead direct complainant to follow the board’s process to resolve concerns, refrain from participating in deliberating, voting, or attempting to influence any person regarding employment of the board member’s spouse, taking no private action that compromises the board or administration.

The second revised policy is Policy 2121, titled Board Member Conflict of Interest. This is an extensive three-page revision. The policy was last revised in 2012. It was recommended by the North Carolina School Boards Association.

The opening statement says that board members “recognize they are subject to the state’s criminal laws related to conflicts of interests in public office and that a board member may not use his or her office for personal benefit.” The opening statement refers to standards set by the federal government for recipients of federal grants and concludes with “board members will not let any personal or business interest interfere with their duties as public officials.”

Revised Policy 2123 is titled Board Member Opportunities for Development with minor revisions recommended by the School Boards Association. The major change is requiring funds for board members to participate in training events, meeting and conventions to be budgeted annually and expenses reimbursed in accordance with law and applicable board policy.

Revisions to Policy 6455 titled Bids and Quotations now has a statement that the board has the right to reject any or all proposals. Additionally, the formal bid procedure for construction and repair work will be followed when the estimated expenditure is $500,000 instead of $300,000.