The public has until Friday of next week to comment on the Kanawha County Board of Education’s proposed repeals of, or changes to, nearly 30 policies, half of which haven’t been altered since their creation in 1975.
Email comments to email@example.com .k12.wv.us.
The proposed changes are available to read on the school system’s website, in “Proposed Policies” under the “District” tab at the top of the page. Words proposed for addition are underlined, words proposed for deletion are lined through and entire policies proposed for deletion are marked “repeal.”
The school board, which put these changes out for public comment early this month, will vote to approve or reject the proposed alterations after next week.
Here are the policies proposed to be changed, or deleted:
Animals on school property (C59) (retracted)Changes were proposed to this policy, but the school system withdrew them after it accidentally uploaded a version for public comment that didn’t show the proposed changes.
Bomb threats (C08) (for revision)
The proposed additions to this would add requirements that were in a separate administrative regulation. Administrative regulations can be approved or deleted by the county schools superintendent, without the board’s approval, the school system said.
Breakfast and lunch (C14) (for repeal)This policy, proposed for deletion, is redundant with another current policy.
Child nutrition — billing and collection procedures (C52) (for revision) The proposed changes to this would add a line saying the school system will resume charging students for meals if the federal program that currently provides all Kanawha public schoolers free meals goes away.
Closed campus (C46)
The proposed changes to this would clarify that high schoolers have “limited exceptions” allowing them to leave campus for academic reasons and for reasons approved by the superintendent.
Community activities contests (C02) (for repeal) This policy, proposed for deletion, bans student “contests or other activities” that haven’t been approved by the school system. It says no commercial activities or activities lacking educational value will be approved.
Duties and responsibilities of teachers (C35) (for repeal)This policy, proposed for deletion, lays out a suspension and expulsion process. It largely mirrors what’s already in state law.
Faculty meetings (C13) (for repeal)This 1975 policy, proposed for deletion, already has a line saying state law has superseded it, but the board never officially repealed it.
Fire drills and regulations (C20) (for repeal)This policy, proposed for deletion, requires schools to report fire drills. Kanawha has already implemented a more robust administrative regulation requiring fire drills and reporting of them.
Good sportsmanship (C27) (for revision)The proposed revisions to this would expand an existing requirement that principals report any unsportsmanlike acts at their school to the central office, to also require them to report such acts if they happen anywhere their school’s teams compete.
Intramural athletics (C29) (for repeal)This policy, proposed for deletion, says middle and high schools “are encouraged” to provide intramural games, like within-school basketball games. But the policy also contains the word “should” in places, as if it may require intramurals.
“It’s just not necessary to state in a policy that we encouraged this,” Kanawha schools general counsel Lindsey McIntosh said.
Maintenance standards (C11) (for revision)The proposed revisions to this would no longer specifically require some maintenance the school system is currently mandated to perform.
The revisions would nix the requirement for the school system to sweep sidewalks, pavements and yards at least twice a week and clear sidewalks of snow.
“The strike-through language is just very specific things that we know that you’re supposed to do as a custodian,” McIntosh said. “A custodian isn’t going to read this policy and be like, ‘What am I supposed to do?’ They have that elsewhere.
“Obviously, sidewalks around the building should be given special attention when there’s snow, but that’s not something a school maintenance person may do,” she said. “They would alert the principal that it needs to be done and [other employees from] Crede [Operations Facility] would come out and do it.”
The changes would also add a requirement that custodians check the operation of the water system in schools each morning.
Money raising (C03) (for revision)The proposed revisions to this would lift the ban on schools selling clothing “in the community.” Though the ban is still policy, McIntosh said schools are already doing this.
Night football games (C28) (for repeal)This policy, proposed for deletion, sets restrictions on nighttime football games. But it refers to senior high schools and junior high schools, which Kanawha has replaced with high schools and middle schools.
Senior high schools, which included grades 10-12, are banned by the policy from having nighttime games before school days. Junior highs, which included grades 7-9, can have night games with central office approval but are banned from starting them after 7:30.
“It’s more of a scheduling issue with coaches,” McIntosh said. “We did not feel as if there needed to be a policy.”
Recommended snacks for elementary schools (C15) (for repeal)This policy, proposed for deletion, says the nutritional break is considered part of the instructional day for elementary students.
Records to be kept by school personnel (C30) (for repeal)This policy, proposed for deletion, has no impact and mirrors an existing state law.
Register of attendance (C31) (for repeal)This policy, proposed for deletion, requires teachers to use a specific recording document in a specific way. McIntosh said it’s redundant with another policy.
School pictures (C04) (for repeal)This policy, proposed for deletion, refers to the no-longer-existing senior high and junior high schools. It says “there shall be no pressure to encourage pupils to purchase pictures.”
School sponsored activities on Sunday (C37) (for repeal)This policy, proposed for deletion, bans all activities from starting before 1 p.m. on Sundays and bans sports games and practices from happening anytime on Sundays. It also says students shall be excused from Sunday activities for “church services and/or activities.”
Selection of vendors for photography, etc. (C34) (for repeal)
This policy, proposed for deletion, requires the school system to annually place a legal ad in local newspapers saying that those selling school pictures, yearbooks, class jewelry and announcements can contact principals. The policy also sets rules for how individual schools must go about picking these vendors.
Senior high school money raising activities (C06) (for repeal)This policy, proposed for deletion, says the no-longer-existing senior high schools can have no more than 16 fundraisers on school time.
“The school can still limit,” McIntosh said.
Solicitations (C05) (for revision)This proposed changes to this would erase the restriction that “solicitations in the schools shall be limited to the United Way.” The changes would add language about what types of solicitations and pamphlet distributions are, and aren’t, allowed.
Student census (C12) (for repeal)This policy, proposed for deletion, doesn’t match how the state currently measures enrollment.
Summer band instruction (C32) (for repeal)This policy, proposed for deletion, says summer band practice must start in August and be at least six hours a day. It sets no requirements for band camp.
“The school can decide how the band practices in accordance with SSAC [Secondary Schools Activities Commission] guidelines,” McIntosh said.
Teacher responsibility for extracurricular activities (C38) (for repeal)This policy, proposed for deletion, has no real impact, and McIntosh said it’s mirrored in law anyway.
Textbooks (C24) (for repeal)This two-sentence policy, proposed for deletion, contains no actual requirements. It’s from 1975, amid the Kanawha County textbook controversy, the historic socially conservative backlash over books’ content.
Transcripts of credit (C33) (for repeal)This policy, proposed for deletion, guarantees students three free transcripts of their high school credits, and says they can get them for $1 apiece after that.
Vehicles and livestock (C26) (for repeal)This policy, proposed for deletion, bans motor bikes, “other similar vehicles” and livestock from school system property. McIntosh said these restrictions exist elsewhere.
Wellness policy (C57) (for revision)This proposed changes to this rearrange food safety and nutrition regulations, clarifying that they apply to all food served at schools, including during meals, snacks and celebrations.