Public Meeting Agenda: January 24, 2011 at 6:00 PM - Policy Committee

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January 24, 2011 at 6:00 PM - Policy Committee Agenda

January 24, 2011 at 6:00 PM - Policy Committee
1. Agenda
Speaker(s):  Dr. Charles Tollett
Attachments:
2. What we are learning about policy
Speaker(s):  Dr. Charles Tollett
Rationale: 
  1. Policy should do no harm
  2. School boards are not a strategy to improve schooling.  School boards can contribute to an environment where improvement is more likely to take place.  That is our task.  Policy is a chief tool in this effort.
  3. Policy should assist and guide (rather than burden) the school community in the work-see item 3 below.
  4. School boards can create an environment in which improvement is more likely to take place.
  5. Policy should assist the board in making decisions.  In a recent email John Evans, TNRMT Program Director, wrote:  I agree ...that board members should be guided by their own vision and objectives of their constituency rather than those of a lawyer.  I have attended thousands of school board meetings over the past twenty-five years and find that the most successful boards, from a leadership perspective, are those with the wisdom to defer an action if it appears they are treading on the line between leadership and litigation.  There are few issues that are so urgent that they cannot be tabled if a question of legality arises.  The worst boards, in my opinion, are those who ask their attorney-in-attendance whether the question before the board is legal or appropriate.  This tends to substitute the fine line of aggressive vision of conscientious board members for the conservative and sometimes inventive thoughts of a rambling lawyer.  The answer lies in the motivation, vision, interest, judgment and intelligence of the individual board members.  What does Mr. Evans' observations say to us about the importance of operating from well written, comprehensive policy and incorporates the motivation, vision, interest, judgment and intelligence of the Board?
  6. A challenging question:  If we did not have the schools of today, would we create them as the means to educate our people?  We do not propose to answer this question in our meeting.  It is asked to encourage us to look beyond what is to consider what could be.
3. Amended calendar for future meetings.
Speaker(s):  Dr. Charles Tollett
Attachments:
4. Policy 1.808 Registered Sex Offenders
Speaker(s):  Dr. Charles Tollett
Rationale:  Our Safety Committee has recommended changed working in this policy to replace on line 18 the wording after principal "may confer with legal counsel to make appropriate legal action" with "shall immediately inform law enforcement."
Attachments:
5. Policy 6.304 Student Discrimination/Harassment and Bullying
Speaker(s):  Dr. Charles Tollett
Rationale:  The Safety Committee is undertaking a major project designed to help schools develop a procedures manual to guarantee safety of all students with freedom from bullying and other harassment.  We will likely need policy revision at some future point.

As we continue to recognize bullying in all of its ugly forms as a threat to the health and safety of the entire school community and as we appreciate efforts by the Safety Committee and school staff to be proactive on this matter, may we consider two related matters before our committee works on policy:
  1. The role of the policy vs. the role of administrative procedure.
  2. The more challenging task of 'things that will not be tolerated-things we do not want" vs. "the healthy environment that we do want-what we want our school community to be like".
Attachments:
6. Policy 3.403 Traffic and Parking Controls
Speaker(s):  Dr. Charles Tollett
Rationale:  At our last board meeting there was concern for the safety of walkers and riders on bikes, in personal vehicles, and on buses; concerns for efficiency in getting in and out were also expressed.  These results are simple to express and challenging to achieve.

Consider this wording:
The principal of each school shall develop and implement a plan to maximize safety of  of walkers, bikers, and those riding in vehicles.  This plan shall emphasize efficiency as well as safety and will be submitted to the director of schools for approval.  Each plan will include a sketch (or drawing) showing parking areas, traffic flow, areas for bus loading and unloading, and the location of any safety hazard to be avoided by vehicles and walkers.  Parking regulations and dismissal schedule will be developed by the principal and published in the school handbook.
Attachments:
7. Policy 3.602 - Workers Compensation
Speaker(s):  Dr. Charles Tollett
Rationale:  Concern here centered on feasibility of screening within 8 hours - including access and cost. I have discussed policy 3.602 Workers’ Compensation with the staff and recommend that we do not make changes at this time.  While 8 hours is important when testing for substances in the body, we can not offer a feasible solution to the 24/7 opportunity for testing in our county without using the CMC emergency room. The extreme cost of using the emergency room far out ways the few instances that the 8 hours has been an issue.  Since TNRMT accepts the test if longer that 8 hours, then I recommend that we follow their lead.
Attachments:
8. Policy 4.100 - Instructional Goals
Speaker(s):  Dr. Charles Tollett
Rationale:  Policy 4.100 is an awesome statement for our goals - let's talk about it since it comes 1st.
  1. Are any additions or amendments needed?  We appropriately emphasize achieving our goals?  A case study to illustrate:  It is clearly evident that obesity is a major feature of our youth today in this county.  Is that our concern?  does this situation have anything to do with our instructional program?  Is it our job to raise those test scores and leave these other matters for others or for no one?  Are our children obese because they lack knowledge of the causes of the condition?  What a mess we get into when we ask such questions!
  2. Which of these goals do we measure?  How do we know about our progress on the others?
Attachments:
9. Section 4 - Instructional Program
Speaker(s):  Dr. Charles Tollett
Rationale:  This meeting gives us a scheduled opportunity to review our policies in this most significant area of our school system operation.  Much good work has already gone into writing and following the policies in this section.  We have an excellent base to work from in moving forward.  At this point, we would be well served by hearing from our Director about her aspirations and vision of our instructional program and ways to make it even better.  The same invitation is extended to the staff she has invited to be with us.   We appreciate their ongoing work and invite them to share ideas and suggestions to help us to help them.

We will not have the time to review all instructional policy with thoroughness.  Perhaps, we will be able to get a sense of "in what ways might we" be able to pursue our assignment as a committee to help our board make wise policy decisions in this important area.  Sometimes board members are more comfortable talking about buses, buildings, and beans than about teaching and learning.  Let's move beyond that place.  Will you accept our goal for today as gaining a better perspective on our instructional program - the things that advance it and the things that block our progress-with a stated intention of acting through policy to give vitality to our vision of the kind of teaching and learning community we want for all of our citizens.  If we begin this journey, we will help to create a system where learning for all is a top priority.   

It was Plato who first said: "Whatever is honored in a community will be cultivated there." On to our challenging opportunity.
Attachments:
9.A. 4.201 Basic Curriculum Program
Speaker(s):  Dr. Charles Tollett
Rationale:  The State Board of Education and Legislature set the course of study and changes as the needs and expectations change.  There is no reason to list in BOE policy.
Attachments:
9.B. 4.203 Advanced College Placement
Speaker(s):  Dr. Charles Tollett
Rationale:  Is based on cumulative grade average.
Attachments:
9.C. 4.204 Summer School
Speaker(s):  Dr. Charles Tollett
Rationale:  A minimum of 133 contact hours is no longer required to earn one unit of credit.
Attachments:
9.D. 4.209 Alternative Credit Options
Speaker(s):  Dr. Charles Tollett
Attachments:
9.E. 4.402 Selection of Instructional Materials (Other than Textbooks)
Speaker(s):  Dr. Charles Tollett
Rationale:  This policy should reflect BEP funding and not specifically identify $100.  This could change with legislature
Attachments:
9.F. 4.502 Patent/Family Involvement
Speaker(s):  Dr. Charles Tollett
Rationale:  Recommendations made to comply with new Federal guidelines.
Attachments:
9.G. 4.5021 Family Engagement
Speaker(s):  Dr. Charles Tollett
Rationale:  Recommendations reflect new guidelines for Federal Programs.
9.H. 4.700 Testing Programs
Speaker(s):  Dr. Charles Tollett
Rationale:  Recommended changes are a reflection of new legislature and rules and regulations.
Attachments:
10. Other policy to consider
Speaker(s):  Dr. Charles Tollett
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