School board wrestles with policiesOne policy matter is resolved, but another faces the Superior School Board at its July meeting.
By: Emily Kram, Superior Telegram
One policy matter is resolved, but another faces the Superior School Board at its July meeting.
The board voted June 11 to amend language of its support staff policy to remove two sections regulating employee activities outside of work.
The changes came after a motion to introduce similar language to the teacher and administrator policies failed at the board’s committee of the whole meeting.
Employees packed the boardroom for that meeting to speak out against the language, which required them to avoid conduct and associations in their personal lives that could have an “adverse or harmful effect upon the school community.” The employees said the new policy, if applied broadly, would infringe upon their civil liberties.
Board members agreed, saying the language was too vague.
“You could cypher this to be whatever you want it to mean,” said Robert Morehouse, a school board member since 2012.
Superintendent Janna Stevens said the proposed changes align the administrator and teacher policies with the policy already in place for support staff. The goal was to make the policies consistent, she said.
The board voted down the motion unanimously and asked to review the support staff policy.
At its regular meeting June 11, the board voted to strike similar language from the support staff policy to align it with the policies for teachers and administrators.
Stevens agreed with the board’s changes and said it was important for the three policies to be uniform.
In the same motion, the board added wording to the support staff policy to prohibit employees from receiving fees for tutoring students enrolled in their classes.
A second change grants the superintendent authority to evaluate the impact of outside activities on staff effectiveness. The previous wording in the support staff policy left that decision to the Board.
The administration also recommended changes to a segment of the policies concerning research and publishing rights. Only teacher and administrator policies contain language addressing research and publishing.
The proposed measure would remove existing language about ownership of patents and copyrights and replace it with a greatly condensed version.
Board member Mary Klun said there would need to be serious discussion before she’d consider the change. The current language was introduced to ensure school property and time was not used in development of materials, books or devices, she said. Any materials developed using school resources belongs to the district.
The board voted to put off discussion on the motion until its July meeting.