Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Policy handbook is being considered on Thursday

Among the items on Thursday's agenda is the Worcester Public Schools Student handbook, which is the policy manual for students. The proposed changes can be found in the Governance and Employees Issues agenda from last week. I'd look at those changes along with the edited handbook

First of all, if you have any thoughts on what is or isn't in the policy handbook, now is the time to let us know. We do a review of this once a year in the spring for the following year, so if you have a thought on what should be in or out, please get in touch.

Beyond that, there are some specific changes that might be of interest:
  • First of all, the entire opening piece on page 3 regarding majority and minority students is proposed, by the administration, to be deleted. That would mean that the Worcester Public Schools would no longer have a desegration/deisolation policy. I see from the minutes of the subcommittee meeting that my colleague Brian O'Connell has raised concerns about this, which I share. If you do, too, I'd suggest getting in touch with us and/or being there on Thursday. 
  • Second, the school transfer for both magnet and out of district students could now be rescinded "whenever the Quadrant Manager determines that the district school would more likely better support student outcomes than the magnet/out of district school." (that's in the proposed changes). That was not previously the policy.
  • It is proposed, in line with DESE policy, that "gender identity" be added to the nondiscrimination statements throughout.
  • There are some changes in the languages around testing (I'm planning to propose some changes from the floor on this as well).
  • It is proposed that we delete the entire section on excessive tardies and demerits leading to suspensions. 
  • We're adding a section on head injuries, per state law.
  • We're changing the course graduation requirements to bring us into line with MassCore (four years of math and two of the same foreign language are the changes).
  • There's also a change in the calculation of class rank.
Again, this will be decided on THURSDAY. Please get in touch with concerns or thoughts!

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