Asst Superintendent Sally Winslow - provides an overview of the updates being done, some with a legal and compliance focus, bringing some consistency across the middle schools and elementary schools.Elementary Schools
All the principals met to talk about the changes
- use of ConnectEd
- lunch purchase process
- MCAS dates
- added section on managing life threatening food allergies
- Absentee call in via the ConnectEd program
Oak St added some language from the middle school in regards to the dress code as they had noticed this becoming a problem the last couple of years
How to access information online instead of sending so many copies home with the students.
The handbooks will be posted to the websites and hard copies will be available in each school office for those parents who request them
Rohrbach - Some hand books highlight new sections, others don't?Middle Schools
policy in regard to special education for parental questions was added
no other major policy changes or additions other than that mentioned by above
some more continuity coming in regards to discipline
looking to find the best way to see how they can be read, signed and copy returned to the office
Added process prior to suspension, apparently it had been deleted in one version some where along the way to the Annie Sullivan hand book
Armenio - Looking at it across the board and see that they are more consistent is wonderful.
Trahan - any language that didn't need to be there, wasn't there. That is good. The individual covers add to the school.
Sabolinski - "the consistency speaks to the collaboration we see across the schools, we may not be perfect yet but we are getting there."
Roy - some of my questions are more in general, we should have Page come into help discuss that. If we have a policy at the School Committee level that is not consistenly applied across the district, then we could be in troubleHigh SchoolDerek Folan
, Assistant Vice Principal
Absent documented - there is some document from parent or medical office referencing the absence
Confusion arises when there is a phone call telling of the absence but not having a document to support it. Equivalent to the sick days that an employer allows, after that number is reached, then the absences need to be documented.
Last year only seniors were allowed for documented college visits, this year juniors will be allowed.
Additional wording to address tardiness when a case where a number of students come in and decide to go for breakfast. We'll be able to take steps to address this situation.
Multiple changes were addressed in the last School Committee meeting by Peter Light (multiple update sections) and in the letter to the parents.
Added a line for expectations around the students behavior at detention.
Naming of detentions - minor, office, major, etc. There were too many.
Teacher - comes from a teachers
Office - comes from Asst Principal
Extended - 2.5 hours on Tue/Thu (replaces Alternative)
Saturday - still held periodically
ADP - for students that need additional guidance in their lives with additional counseling
Academic - always had it, will try to implement more of this
Social - the big 'new' suspension, want the students to be substance free in and out of school, "co-curricular activities are a privilege not a right". If you are going to participate in our athletics, you are going to be drug and alcohol free in and out of school. Moving away from the option to do outside substance abuse counseling and drug testing. Very difficult to track and not very effective overall.
first offense - 6 week suspension from social activities (42 days from offense)
second offense - 9 weeks
suspension from social activities (63 days from offense)
third offense - one full school year
Q - What constitutes possession of alcohol?
A - What comes from due process, either from school administration or from a police report.
Q - If the kid is at a party with alcohol but not charged directly possession, then this section would not apply.
A - correct
Q - If on a Facebook page, there is a picture of a student posing with it?
A - On the internet there is less legal standing, it could be a cropped photo. If we talk to the student and they admit it, then they would be handled by this policy.
These circumstances are not out of the realm of the MIAA guidelines.
The MIAA guidelines go so far as to say when you are in a room with alcohol, then you should apply their policy. Kudos to the Franklin Police department for handling this very well. Especially after the Taylor Myer event, they have been giving us real good information.
Cell phones - there is no magic solution, here is what we are going to try this year. It is often the parent that is calling or texting the child. We are making our classroom sacred. If they are not there, they can not be used. We are a little away from the cell phones becoming an instrument in the classroom,
Hallways, students will be allowed to check messages. There is an eight minute break between classes, it would be a good time to check. We don't won't calls being made. If they make a call in the hallway, they wouldn't get to class on time.
What you get comes with responsibility. They still can't be used in the cafeteria. The nature of the texting is an issue.
ATT works at FHS, nothing else seems to.
My addition to the meeting:
This is going to be an interesting piece to work on. One suggestion from another state somewhat low tech and relatively inexpensive was to use a shoe caddy hanging on the door. The students would put their phone in the slot as they entered and take it with them as they left. Some bathrooms opened during the time passing between periods.
On the higher standard element, if a student is going to participate in an extra-curricular activity, they used to be required to have a full day attendance. Now they can come in after 9:00 AM
Prom guest from an other school had a contract where an administrator from their school signed that they were in good standing. This is being added to the handbook.
Dismissing a team captain, some due process for the protocol to be followed.
Trahan - this is the best hand book I have seen, this is great progress. Are they allowed to drink water in the classrooms?
I believe it is okay other than in the science classrooms where it may be a safety issue.
Roy - Based upon the first clause, if someone had a cell phone, you would have this language to enable a search. Consider the recent Supreme Court case and have the language modified accordingly.
I understand what you're saying.
Roy - I would rather have a policy that specifies more clearly what should and shouldn't be done.
Sabolinski - the notice was lacking and that has been addressed. The practice has not been to search the car.