The Cumberland County Board of Education approved several changes to its policy manual during the Dec. 3 meeting of the board. Many changes were due to changes in state law, though the policy committee has also worked to simplify policies in recent months.

Policies approved on first reading were:

•Alternative School Programs, policy 6.319, to align the process for transferring students to alternative school programs with existing policies regarding zero-tolerance offenses.

•Student Guidance Program, policy 6.400, to change the title to student comprehensive school counseling welfare program. The policy states the director of schools will develop procedures related to school guidance services, school health services, school psychological services and school social work services, with the programs to be consistent with state law. Those policies are currently under development.

•Migrant Students, policy 6.504, to update legal references.

•Homeless Students, policy 6.503, to update legal references.

•Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, policy 6.404, to specify prevention curriculum and materials will be used in accordance with the Family Life Curriculum.

The board also approved the second and final reading of the following policy changes:

•Appeals and Appearances Before the Board, policy 1.404, to outline procedures for placing an item on the agenda for the board to discuss and how to speak to the board during the community comments portion of the monthly agenda.

•Suspension/Expulsion/Remand, policy 6.316, to state students may be suspended or expelled from attendance at school and any school activities, providing principals discretion based on the severity of the offense. The policy also outlines the process for suspending students and notification required to be provided parents or guardians. It also addresses in-school suspension, suspensions of five days or longer and suspensions of longer than 10 days.

•Student Disciplinary Hearing Authority, policy 6.317, stating the DHA will hear appeals of students who have been suspended for more than 10 school days. It lays out the process for requesting the appeal and appeals of decisions by the DHA, including appeals to the board.

Heather Mullinix is editor of the Crossville Chronicle. She covers schools and education in Cumberland County. She may be reached at hmullinix@crossville-chronicle.com.

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