The Cumberland County Board of Education’s policy committee recommended changes that simplify several policies and update others to current legal standards during its Nov. 5 meeting.
Student guidance program, policy 6.400, received the most changes, cutting it down to state the director of schools will develop procedures to promote and protect the health and welfare of students. That program is to include student guidance services, school health services, school psychological services and school social work services.
“It’s a short list, but a comprehensive challenge for the school system to deliver,” said Tony Brock, 5th District representative.
Chris King, 6th District representative, proposed a change in the policy title, noting that guidance counselors were changed to school counselors in the past.
A title such as student comprehensive school counseling welfare program would make it easy for parents or guardians to find the policy, he said.
Finding that title a bit long, they committee settled on school counseling welfare program.
Director of Schools Ina Maxwell has developed administrative procedures for carrying out the policy’s directive, which were also shared with the committee.
Brock suggested waiting to take action on the policy until those procedures had been reviewed by principals and counseling staff. However, that could delay the first reading of the change until January. The board holds a joint November-December meeting to avoid conflicts with holidays.
Jim Inman, 1st District representative, noted the committee and the board only vote on the policy language, however.
Brock agreed, telling Maxwell, “Yes, procedures are your responsibility, your wheelhouse.”
The policy was approved and will go to the full board for consideration at its Dec. 3 meeting.
The committee also approved a change to policy 6.309, alternative school programs, to remove a portion of the policy that contradicted the school system’s disciplinary hearing authority policy regarding placement of students in the alternative school program.
Other policy changes recommended are:
•Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, policy 6.404, to specify prevention curriculum and materials will be used in accordance with the Family Life Curriculum
•Migrant Students, policy 6.504, to update legal references
•Homeless Students, policy 6.503, to update legal references
All policy changes require two successful readings by the full board before taking effect.