School policy changes proposed

by | July 6, 2018 5:00 am

Last Updated: July 3, 2018 at 12:16 pm

Two reworked school policies were given a first reading by the members of the Colleton County School Board during the June 26 meeting The proposed changes would be in the district’s policies on student dress, articles and displays, and on harassment, intimidation and bullying.
A second reading and approval could come at the board’s July meeting.
The policy of student dress, articles and displays removes one phrase from the policy-school uniform.
School officials explained that when the policy was first drafted, the phrase school uniform was incorrectly used. The policy detailed what type of garments could be worn, but did not require what would be considered a specific type of uniform.
The reworked policy will not alter the approved list of garments but does make some minor changes.
“The policy was amended to take into consideration some of the concerns expressed regarding the current policy and to add a religious exemption,” School Superintendent Dr. Franklin Foster explained.
Shirts and blouses are no longer required to be tucked in.
In the existing policy, school-sponsored t-shirts could be worn on specific occasions. The proposed change would allow those shirts to be worn on any day.
High school and middle school students are now required to wear their student IDs.
Under the existing policy, an exemption from adhering to the dress or appearance codes can be obtained for medical reasons.
The new code will also allow an exception to be sought for “a sincerely held religious belief.”
A student seeking an exemption would be required to provide documentation from medical officials or religious leaders.
The district undertook a substantial rewriting of the school district’s policy on harassment, intimidation or bullying.
Dr. Foster said, “The board, on a continual basis, evaluates its policies to ensure compliance with federal and state mandates. This policy was presented to the board to outline the district’s guidelines on harassment, intimidation and bullying.”
Major changes to the policy set the administrative rule for dealing with such incidents and establishes a harassment, intimidation and bullying reporting form that details the incident.
Dr. Foster also updated the board members on the centralized District Office Renovation project that will turn the former Forest Circle Middle School into a new district office complex. The district is awaiting the approval of the final design from the state’s Office of School Facilities.
Board members accepted the resignation of two members of the professional staff and approved hiring 12 new teachers for the coming school year.
They also approved hiring Angel Parker as an administrative assistant principal and Forest Hills Elementary and Jerolyn Murray for a new post in the district office: curriculum and instruction specialist.

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