New and Updated Board Policies
Policy 6.1.6 adopted by the Board of Education on December 17, 2022
6.1.6 – Students Charged with Serious Crime
a. Placement – If a student is arrested for non-school-related crimes, he or she may be placed in an alternative setting or on an alternative education plan during the pendency of the criminal process against the student. When the Superintendent or a designee learns of pending non-school-related criminal activity of a student, the Superintendent or designee shall work with the student’s school’s administration to determine an appropriate school placement. Identified students will not be allowed back on any school property until the appropriate placement is determined.
b. Length of Placement – The student’s placement will run concurrently with the pendency of the criminal charges against the student. If the student is placed at an alternative school for a period longer than the end of the current school year, the student’s placement at the alternative school will be reevaluated prior to the commencement of the next school year.
c. Notice of Serious Criminal Activity –
- By Court or Law Enforcement – The court or law enforcement may notify the Superintendent or designee of any student’s arrest. The Superintendent or designee will notify the principal of the student’s arrest.
- By Parent – If a student is charged as an adult or is alleged to have committed a serious crime, as identified below, regardless of age, his/or her parent/guardian should contact the School Principal to determine appropriate school placement during this time.
d. Examples of Serious Criminal Activity – For purposes of this policy, a serious crime includes, but is not limited to, any crime for which a student is charged as an adult; any crime committed using Deadly Physical Force or with a Deadly Weapon as those terms are defined in Ala. Code § 13A-1-2; and any crime resulting in Physical Injury or Serious Physical Injury as those terms are defined by Ala. Code § 13A-1-2. The ultimate decision about the seriousness of the crime rests with the Superintendent or designee.
e. Protection of Special Education Students – Any decision to assign a student to an alternative setting shall include a review and consideration of the student’s exceptional status and any applicable federal and state law requirements or procedures.
f. Privacy of Student Information –
- Any information received by a teacher, counselor, administrator, or other Board employee pertaining to a student’s pending criminal activity shall be received in confidence for the limited purpose of rehabilitating the student and protecting students and staff at all schools. Such information shall not be further disseminated by the teacher, counselor, or administrator, except insofar as communication with the child, his or her parent, legal guardian, legal custodian, law enforcement personnel, and the juvenile probation officer of the student is necessary to effectuate the rehabilitation of the student or to protect students and staff at all schools.
- All information received relating to a student’s pending criminal activity shall be kept separate and apart from the student’s educational record and shall be accessible only by the Superintendent or designee or the student’s principal. Such information shall be destroyed when the student is no longer enrolled in the school district.
Code Sections: Ala. Code § 13A-1-2; Ala. Code § 12-15-217
Underlined language added to Policy 4.10 by the Board of Education on Oct. 13, 2022
4.10 Political Activity
Board employees may participate in political activities to the full extent permitted by the United States Constitution and federal and state laws securing the right to engage in such activities, subject to the following restrictions:
a. Employees may not appropriate Board property or resources for use in political campaigns, and may not engage in partisan political activities (including but not limited to the distribution of campaign material or literature) during regular school or duty hours or at Board sponsored or sanctioned events, functions, or at activities at which the employee is on duty or assigned official responsibilities;
b. Employees may not represent their political beliefs or positions on political matters to be those of the Board or other Board officials, or to falsely assert or imply that their political activities or positions are endorsed by or undertaken in the name of the Board or other Board officials;
c. In order to avoid disruption to the classroom and the school, employees may not wear or display political buttons, clothing, or banners during regular school or duty hours or at Board sponsored or sanctioned events, functions, or at activities at which the employee is on duty or assigned official responsibilities;
d. In order to avoid obstructing the parking lot or otherwise disrupting school activities, employees may not place large signs or billboards in or on personal vehicles in the school parking lot;
e. Candidates and representatives of candidates for political office may not be invited or allowed to address student groups except when 1) such candidates are participating in a forum or like format that is designed to provide all candidates the opportunity to participate; or 2) the candidate is a current public official invited to address student groups for non-campaign related purposes. Such forums may be conducted only for appropriate age groups, and with the advance approval of the school principal and the Superintendent;
f. Political signs may not be placed on schools or school board property; and
g. Campaign literature and other material may not be distributed on Board property during the regular school or work day and may not be distributed at school or Board sponsored events or activities in a manner that impedes the normal and safe movement of pedestrian or vehicular traffic, that creates any other safety hazard or risk, or that disturbs or disrupts the function, activity, or event.Notwithstanding these restrictions, any common area that is available for use by the general public may be used for political purposes as long as such area is available to all candidates on an equal basis and such activity does not disrupt the normal business of the property.
Approved Sept. 12, 2022
Policy 6.26 Parental Opt-In for Mental Health Services
6.26.1 Definition of School-Based Counseling. For purposes of this policy, “school-based counseling services” include those school counseling services which are split into domains NOT requiring a mental health therapist or other mental health therapeutic license.
6.26.2 Definition of Mental Health Services and Ongoing School Counseling Services. For purposes of this policy, “mental health services” includes services treatments, surveys, or assessments related to mental health, and “ongoing school counseling services” includes those school counseling services requiring a mental health therapist or other mental health therapeutic license.
6.26.3 Annual Written Notice of Mental Health Services. Annually, the Superintendent, or his or her designee, will notify all parents and guardians of all District and school-based counseling, mental health services, and ongoing school counseling services. This annual notification will contain the following components:
a. A general description of each mental health service, including an explanation of the purpose for each mental health service;
b. An explanation of how a parent or guardian may review materials to be used as part of any guidance or counseling program for students; and
c. Information about the mechanism for parents or guardians to allow, limit, or prevent their students’ participation in these mental health programs.
6.26.4 Annual Opt-In Process.
a. As part of the notice described in 6.26.3, above, or as part of a separate document – depending on the discretion of the Superintendent, or his or her designee, the Superintendent shall require that each parent or guardian complete a written permission form prior to allowing a student who is younger than 14 years of age to participate in the District’s mental health services and/or ongoing school counseling services unless there is an imminent threat to the health of the student or others.
b. To be valid, the permission must be in writing – which may include electronic communication – and it must be obtained annually. Any parent or guardian may rescind his or her permission at any time by providing written notice to their child’s school administration.
6.26.5 Counselor Communications. For parents or guardians who permit their children to participate in mental health services and/or ongoing school counseling services as described in 6.26.2, above, the counselor providing these services must keep the parent fully informed regarding diagnosis, recommended counseling, or treatments.
6.26.6 Parental Authority. The parent or guardian of all students who have not attained 14 years of age shall have the authority to make final decisions regarding mental health counseling and/or ongoing school counseling services described in 6.26.2 and treatments even if the parent or guardian has previously opted-in for mental health services.
6.26.7 Record Keeping. The Superintendent, or his or her designee, will ensure that all records pertaining to school-based counseling, mental health services, and ongoing school counseling services are treated as health care records and kept separately from academic records.
Approved Aug. 22, 2022
Board Policy 2.5.3
Rules of Order – Board meetings will be conducted in accordance with the most recently revised edition of Robert’s Rules of Order, provided that strict adherence to the formalities of the Rules of Order may be reasonably relaxed in order to facilitate conduct of Board business. A majority of the whole Board will constitute a quorum for purposes of transacting Board business except as may otherwise be provided by law. Deviations from or errors in executing parliamentary procedure do not invalidate Board actions or decisions that are otherwise consistent with the intent of the Board.
[Reference: Ala. Code §16-11-5 (1975)]
Approved Aug. 22, 2022
Board Policy 2.5.4
Public Participation – Anyone wishing to speak before the Board, either as an individual or as a member of a group, shall inform the office of the Superintendent in writing and of the topic to be discussed no later than noon four (4) business days prior to the meeting date. Each delegation which appears before the Board shall select one of its members as a spokesman and provide his/her name to the Board. The speaker will be provided three (3) minutes to address the Board from the designated podium or table. The matter must have been previously discussed with appropriate staff and administration. Upon approval of the request to appear before the Board, the spokesman shall adhere to time allotments as specified by the Board President. Speakers may make statements about their particular concern with school operations and programs and shall observe appropriate decorum in doing so. The Board will not hear (1) comments regarding individual students or (2) comments regarding school personnel or person(s) connected with the school system that are unrelated to the performance of their duties, not tied to official business of the board, or are merely an attack on someone’s good name and character rather than their conduct or a position they have taken. The President of the Board shall not be obligated to recognize any person who desires to take up any business with the Board unless the time has been properly placed on the agenda for that meeting. The Board shall vest in the President or presiding officer of the Board full authority to terminate comments that do not conform to the criteria specified above, or for other good cause.
Approved Aug. 22, 2022
Board Policy 4.6.1
General Complaints (Grievances) – Subject to the limitations set forth below and elsewhere in this policy manual, any employee or member of the public may present to the Board a concern, complaint, grievance, or request for corrective action regarding any aspect of school system operations. A member of the public who files a grievance must demonstrate that he or she is impacted by the alleged violation to a greater extent than the impact on the public at large.
Before requesting corrective action or relief from the Superintendent or the Board, persons with such complaints, grievances, or requests should present them for resolution to the employee, supervisor, or administrator at the lowest administrative level who has the authority and ability to address the problem or to implement the requested action. The Superintendent is authorized to develop specific procedures that will provide for fair consideration and orderly review of complaints and grievances. Such procedures may not unreasonably burden or delay the presentation or processing of such matters, and will be subject to Board review, modification, and approval.