BY KRISTEN BUCKLES
The Greene County Board of Education will consider changes to more than two dozen policies during Thursday's 5 p.m. meeting at the school system's Central Office.
While most of the changes will be editorial in nature (grammar changes, etc.) or updates to legal references, there are more significant revisions proposed for the Board Committees, Emergency Preparedness Plan, and Compulsory Attendance Ages policies.
The Board Committees Policy has prompted considerable debate between members of the board and will come before the board on first reading this month after having been sent back to committee for further revision.
The new policy would make the Policy, Bid, Curriculum and Long-Range Planning Committees standing committees, while emphasizing that all such committees are advisory only.
The policy would allow for there to be three board members appointed to each committee.
All board members would be invited to attend all committee meetings, but only those actually serving on the particular committee could vote on committee business at a meeting and be compensated for their attendance.
The chairman of the school board would make the committee appointments.
Also on first reading, the board will again revisit policy changes to the Emergency Preparedness Plan Policy, which was referred back to committee due to language some board members felt limited parental rights.
In response, the committee rewrote this portion of the policy to state the following: "In the event that weather conditions prohibit safe travel, buses will not run, and students will be retained at school and released to an adult with authority to pick that child up.
"Should circumstances require a school lockdown for safety reasons, the authority on site designated as the incident commander will make decisions regarding student admission or dismissal."
On second reading, the board will consider changes to the Compulsory Attendance Ages Policy, which has changed due to revisions to state law that requires kindergarteners to be five years old on or before Aug. 31 for the 2013-2014 school year and before Aug. 15 for every year thereafter.
Parents of children turning five years old after the August cutoff dates but before Sept. 30 may request that the child be considered for admission by evaluation and examination.
Previously, a child needed only to have turned five years old on or before Sept. 30 for admission to kindergarten.
Changes to the Director of Schools' Evaluation Model and criteria process will also come under discussion on Thursday.
While the current contract calls for the board to evaluate the Director of Schools (Dr. Vicki Kirk) based on performance, progress toward board goals, working relationships and other matters, state law now requires that this evaluation also use student achievement data.
As a result, the Tennessee School Boards Association recommends that the evaluation take place in the fall in order to have all student achievement data available.
According to a resolution submitted by Kirk, "It is recommended that the rating scale evaluation be completed for the 2012-2013 school year and that a new evaluation model be adopted that complies with the revised policy, and also that contract language be altered to schedule this review in the fall of each year in order that student achievement and other data be available for review."
Also on the board's agenda for Thursday will be an update on savings from new energy conservation programs put into place during the past fiscal year.
New procedures under consideration will include forms for Kindergarten Enrollment of Underage Children and Parent Request for Kindergarten Enrollment of Underage Child, as well as minor changes to the Notification of Right to Appeal for Disciplinary Hearings and the Notification of Appeal Meeting for Discipline Appeals.
The final new procedure details what steps should be taken should anyone suspect child abuse or neglect, including immediately reporting the information to the Tennessee Department of Children's Services, the police, or a judge.
Finally, the board will also consider:
* approving a new format for job descriptions;
* scheduling the Retiree Reception to be held at Chuckey-Doak High School at 3:15 p.m., Tuesday, May 14, with an early dismissal of 2 p.m.;
* adopting Houghton-Mifflin Harcourt for the 2012-13 Reading Series; and,
* approving Perkins Reserve Grant interbudgetary adjustments.