Members of the Capital School District Board of Education held a lengthy discussion about updating the Code of Conduct for the upcoming school year during their Wednesday night session.
Supervisor of Student Support Services Tonya Guinn briefed board members about revisions to the code for grades K-6 and 7-12.
Key changes include revisions to policies regarding the use of cell phones on buses, an updated list of infractions and consequences and updated information on disciplinary procedures.
A change to dress policy now requires the waistband of pants, skirts and shorts to be above the buttocks at all times. Prior policy only prohibited the wearing of "baggy pants."
Board members had a spirited and sometimes light-hearted discussion about allowing students to use earbuds or headphones to listen to music while on buses. Overall, they agreed to permit their use and asked Guinn to include that change in the code of conduct.
"They're going to do it anyway, so we might as well work with them on this," Board President Kay Deitz-Sass said.
Dietz-Sass did have more serious concerns about tables that listed the consequences for certain disruptive activities. She was concerned that some items unnecessarily duplicated others, making it appear as if a student with a number of infractions had only committed one infraction per category, which would lessen the impact of any disciplinary actions.
She also thought it unusual that, for example, the punishment for endangering the safety of other students would be less than that for "inappropriate displays of affection."
Guinn agreed to accept revisions to the policy based on board member input, and also opened that possibility to district parents.
Parents wanting to review and comment on the proposed Code of Conduct may call Guinn at (302) 857-4237 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Because of time constraints on printing student handbooks with the updated Code of Conduct, board members must approve any revisions at their upcoming June meeting.
In other actions, board members adopted the new McGraw-Hill Reading Wonders reading program for grades K-6. The new plan replaces the district's current program, adopted 13 years ago and now considered to be out of date.
Total cost of the new program is $983,000, which includes installation of smartboards and new, dedicated computers at William Henry Middle School.
Acting on a motion by board member Brian Lewis, the panel tabled a discussion on updating the interview process for selected district employees until the June meeting. Lewis said he needed more time to review the proposal.
The school board plans a special session on May 28 to review ongoing construction work at the new Dover High School. That session is open to the public.
Page 2 of 2 - The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Capital School District Board of Education will take place Wednesday, June 19. Agendas and board packets will be posted at the district website, www.capital.k12.de.us.