School Board approves tougher absence policy

Posted June 20, 2013 at 9:48 am

High School Principal David Hedrick, in presenting the policy manual to the R-II Board at its June 13 meeting, announced that it contained major changes in attendance and tardy policies because of misuse of doctors’ notes.

He said the state has gone too much stronger standards aiming for 90% of students to achieve 93% attendance.

Under the new policy, a student will be allowed only seven excused or unexcused absences before losing credit in class for that semester. A student can make up excused absences in Saturday school. One Saturday school will equal one day of school. The excused absences must be made up within one month of the end of the semester.

The policy sets up a system of appeals: 1st to the committee, 2nd to the superintendent and 3rd to the school board.

The policy allows one day for a student to take a driver’s test which will count against the seven absences. The policy allows two college or military visits per year.

Superintendent Mark Koca said, “This puts the responsibility on the student and the parents.”

The new Elementary policy does not permit students to bring food from home unless it is prepared in a kitchen approved by the Health Department. It also sets new punishment for Fighting and Physical Aggression: 1st offense – loss of three recesses, 2nd – one to three days of In-School Suspension and parent conference, 3rd – three to five days In-School Suspension and 4th – one to three days of Out of School Suspension.

All board members were present except Board President Darrell Eason: Vice President Greg Beydler – presiding, Walt Anderson, Benny Brower, Scott Cluck, Allen Hoover and Kevin Fast.

In looking over budget figures, Supt. Koca said that the legislature let a waiver expire so that the school district must now spend $47,000 on professional development.

The board adopted a change in sick leave policy to give teachers a second chance to go into the pool in their 5th, 13th and 14th years.

The board approved replacement of an AC unit by Stutesman Heating and Air for $7,875.

The board accepted a quote from Gerken for $5,990 to remove all asbestos in both boiler rooms.

The board approved press box renovations for $9,500 including the addition of roll up windows.

The board will meet at 6 p.m. Thursday, June 27, to “close the books” on the 2012-13 fiscal year.

The board voted to accept the low bid from Dane Perry to remove the house on Twyman for $12,298.

The superintendent reported that the bond campaign is active thanks to Kevin McCollough. He said that Justin Culbertson drew the logo. The next committee meeting will be at 6 p.m. Wednesday, June 19, in the High School library.

The board received a thank you from the family of Carolyn Durnell for the plant and from Josh and Nicole Smith for fully funding health insurance for employees.

In executive session, the board accepted the resignations of Erin Hillsman as part-time para, Tammy Underwood was para, Jule Savinske as Elementary teacher and Melissa Austin as Elementary teacher. The board hired Abagail Hubert – Elementary, Julie Hankinson – Elementary, Austin Gooden – Middle School, David Crowell – High School and Amy Carpenter – speech implementer.

The board approved a number of changes to policies and regulations:

Policy 2640 Student Use of Tobacco, Alcohol and Drugs—Mandatory Adoption

Due to changes in Department of Ed. Regulations and OCR, Policy rewritten to clarify the district’s right to place students with disabilities, who are found to be in violation of this policy, in alternative educational settings.

Policy 2815—Contact and Involvement with Outside Agencies—Mandatory Adoption

Clarifies when and what student information may be released to outside agencies and clarifies that cost for services of outside agencies is at parents / guardians expense.

Policy 5620—Safety Standards—Adoption Strongly Recommended

New Policy which was developed with input from MUSIC (our insurance carrier) to assist in controlling worker’s compensation claims. Employees will have to sign off that they have received a copy of the policy annually.

Policy 6140—Services for Students with Disabilities—Mandatory Adoption

Again to line up with changes in Federal Regulations, some slight wording changes in regard to students receiving services under IDEA.

Policy 6260—Educational Surrogate—Mandatory Adoption

Outlines the process for determining the need for an Educational Surrogate Parent, notification of the Dept. of Ed., and designates the Special Education Director as the person responsible for overseeing this process.

Regulation 1405—Parent / Family Involvement in Education—Adoption Strongly Recommended

Changes in this Regulation reflect DESE’s Self Monitoring Checklist and will serve to satisfy the District’s responsibility toward NCLB Federal Programs for parent involvement.

Regulation 1621—Title I—Adoption Strongly Recommended

Again, modified to align with DESE’s Self Monitoring Checklist, this policy contains qualifications for Title I staff, building responsibilities for Title I, and outlines the grievance procedures for all Federal Programs.

Regulation 2110—Equal Education Opportunity and 504 Procedural Standards—Mandatory Adoption

Updated policy to align with Federal Regulations—Outlines the entire Section 504 process including due process appeals.

Regulation 2620—Firearms and Weapons in School—Adoption Strongly Recommended

Revised to reflect changes in Federal Regulations, this regulation defines what constitutes a “weapon “ at school, discipline consequences for students in violation of the regulation and outlines the applicability of the regulation to students with disabilities.

Regulation 5620—Student Transportation Services—Adoption Mandatory

Changes clarify the ability of the district to suspend a student with disabilities from school transportation services.

Regulation 6275—Homebound Instruction for Non-Disabled Student—Adoption Mandatory

To align with Federal Regulations, added paragraphs covering HIPPA, FERPA and designates this regulation not applicable in cases of IDEA or Section 504 students.

Regulation 6320—Internet Usage—Adoption Highly Recommended

Changes to cover the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA), and address staff and student use of “diversionary” websites which serve as jumping off points to access inappropriate material that will not be policed by our filtering software.

Middle School Board Report

It is hard to believe that we have completed another school year. I feel more fortunate everyday to e serving the El Dorado Springs R-II school district in the capacity that has been provided. I have the privilege to work with some wonderful teachers and a terrific office staff. I am continually amazed by the versatility and abilities of the students that we educate. We have so many gifted students in many different areas.

We had seven middle school students receive recognition for having perfect attendance for the 2012/13 school year. The students that achieved this lofty goal are: Santara Best (8th), Adrianna Cartwright (8th), Chadd Ellison (8th), Shelbie Loane (8th), Bryon Hogan (7th), Abbigail Cartwright (6th), and Donovan Collins (6th). Congratulations to these students for accomplishing such a hefty feat.

Fourth quarter “A” & “B” honor roll numbers:

Sixth Grade

6 students “A” honor roll and 21 students “B” honor roll

Seventh Grade

16 students “A” honor roll and 24 students “B” honor roll

Eighth Grade

7 students “A” honor roll and 35 students “B” honor roll

We had 226 students meet their fourth quarter AR goal. That means we had over 79% of our Middle School students read and pass a test on four different books. Our fourth quarter reward was taking the students out to lunch, at their own expense. Our sixth and seventh grades went to McDonalds and our eighth grade went to Pizza Hut. The students worked hard at meeting their goal and truly enjoyed their reward.

I dealt with a total o 412 discipline referrals during the 2012/13 school year. Of the 412 referrals, 355 of the referrals resulted in a punishment of either: Saturday detention, in-school detention or out-of-school suspension. I assigned 48 Saturday detentions, 246 in-school detentions, 48 out-of-school suspensions and swatted 13 students. The referrals dealt with everything from being tardy to class to being in possession of controlled substance.

Here are a couple of facts relating to the 412 total discipline referrals that I handled during the 2012/13 school year. There were 24 students with six or more referrals on the school year and those students accounted for 247 total referrals or 60% of the entire disciplinary referrals that I dealt with. There were 10 students with 10 or more referrals on the school year and those students accounted for 149 total referrals or 36% of the 412 disciplinary referrals that I handled.

In addition, I assigned 72 half or full Saturday detentions as it related to our ZAP policy. Remember that if a student fails to turn their assignment in on time they are assigned lunch detention for five days unless the assignment is turned in. If the student goes five consecutive days or has been zapped four or more times in one quarter in the same class, they receive a half or full Saturday detention depending on the offense.

Preliminary Schedule for the 2013/14 school year:

August 13 – 6th Grade Orientation; August 27 – Middle School Skating Party; September 19 – Middle School Showcase; October 25 – Halloween Dance; December 19 – Christmas Dance; February 13 – Valentine Dance; April 25 – Middle School Lock-In; April 28 – MAP Survivor; April 29, May 1 &6 – MAP Testing Dates; May 19 – 8th Grade Recognition.