In addition to routine items on the agenda, such as requesting bids for services and overseeing personnel changes, board members will consider approving two policy updates.
Staff/Student Relations and Programs for Gifted Students are the two policies being updated.
Most significant of the two is the policy regulating staff communication with students online. According to SB 1 – a rewritten version of the Amy Hestir Student Protection Act passed during the General Assembly‘s special session this fall — all districts must adopt policies concerning employee-student communications (including electronic communications) no later than March 1, 2012. The statute was controversial enough to attract national media attention because a judge said it might violate First Amendment rights to free speech. According to the Missouri State Teachers Association, which is the organization suing the state over this bill, they may now have to fight the constitutionality of this issue in every district instead of just on the state level.
Center district staff is recommending updates to the second policy in order to reflect changes in the way the state now funds gifted education. In addition, the district is incorporating a suggestion from the Missouri School Boards’ Association to use alternative methods of identifying gifted and talented students. Sometimes students who otherwise qualify are not identified for reasons such as not speaking English fluently, being a member of an ethnic or minority group or having a disability or behavior disorder.
The meeting, which is open to the public, will take place at the District Office; 8701 Holmes Road; Kansas City, MO 64131.
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