In addition to routine items on the agenda — such as giving student organizations permission to contract with fireworks stands to hold fundraising activities and awarding construction contracts — board members will consider approving new district policies and revising existing ones.
Usually board members take at least two meetings to consider policy changes. The first time the board hears new language is referred to as the first reading. After the second reading, members vote on approval. Sometimes district administrators request policy revisions, such as changing the staff person designated as the coordinator of programs for homeless students. However, most of the changes under consideration tonight are in response to changes in state and federal laws. For example, because the state legislature now “requires school districts to control all noxious weeds growing on district property,” the Building and Grounds Maintenance policy has been revised to require that weeds not be allowed to go to seed.
More than a third of policy changes under consideration tonight are in response to requirements of the state’s new Amy Hestir Student Protection Act. This Act requires all Missouri school boards to create written policies describing what information they will provide to other public schools regarding former employees, and the compliance deadline is July 1. This Act also requires districts to disclose whether teachers have resigned after being threatened with termination following allegations of sexual misconduct. Because of concerns that districts may be required to release such information even if the allegations turn out to be untrue, the Missouri School Boards’ Association is suggesting policy revisions in an attempt to protect districts from being sued.
Tonight the board will vote on whether to approve one new policy and eight revisions. “References” is the subject of the new policy. Those being revised include:
- Exempt Staff Short-Term Leaves and Absences
- Voluntary Termination or Resignation of Professional Staff Members
- Termination of Professional Staff Members
- Nonrenewal of Professional Staff Members
- Resignation of Support Staff Members (Employees Not Under Contract)
- Non-Exempt Staff Leaves and Absences
- Nonrenewal, Suspension and Termination of Support Staff Members; and
- Programs for Homeless Students.
Also tonight, the board will consider eliminating one policy. In addition, board members will hear first readings of two new and 20 revised policies. Because the “Insurance Management” policy is now redundant, it is no longer needed. Proposed new policies relate to “Building and Grounds Maintenance” and “Animals on District Property.” Policies being revised include:
- Prohibition Against Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation
- District Wellness Program
- Fiscal Responsibility
- Fiscal Accounting and Reporting/Accounting System
- Surplus District Property
- Traffic and Property Controls
- Technology Usage
- Property and Liability Insurance
- Criminal Background Checks
- Professional Staff Assignments and Transfers
- Suspension of Professional Staff Members
- Support Staff Assignments and Transfers
- Academic Calendar/Year/Day
- District-Sponsored Extracurricular Activities and Groups
- Student-Initiated Group Use of District Facilities
- Interscholastic Athletics
- Ceremonies and Observances
- Reporting and Investigating Child Abuse/Neglect
- Community Use of District Facilities; and
- Visitors to District Property/Events.
The meeting, which is open to the public, will take place in the Board Room of the Central Office; 301 N.E. Tudor Road; Lee’s Summit, MO 64086. Next month’s meeting will take place Thursday, June 14.
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