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November 21, 2012

Process continues to update county school board policies

CULLMAN — The process of updating the outdated Cullman County Board of Education policy book is now underway, and officials hope to kick start work sometime next month.

Earlier this month the school board signed a $14,000 contract with the Alabama Association of School Boards (AASB) to help draft an updated version of the system’s policy manual.

Several current policies can be dated back to the 1970s and 1980s, and officials say the outdated wording can sometimes create problems in the decision-making process. Plus, some outdated policies are not in compliance with new state and federal laws.

With state and federal laws evolving at a rapid pace, officials say an update of the policy manual is long overdue.

The process is expected to take between 3-5 months to complete.

“I think this can be a real asset to our school system,” Superintendent Billy Coleman said.

Coleman said the board should receive the AASB’s proposed template this week, which will likely serve as a jumping off point to draft the local schools’ new regulation book.

“We’ll be getting their board policy template soon, which will give us somewhere to start,” he said.

The next step is for the county school board to create a policy committee to pore through the existing policy book to determine what needs to be carried over to the new document. The committee will likely include a mix of administrators, teachers and central office personnel.

With the holiday break drawing closer, Coleman said he would like for board members to have some recommendations for the committee in time for the upcoming December 13 board meeting.

“By the time of the board meeting in December I believe we need to have some ideas for the committee,” he said.

Some previous initiatives have been mounted over the past several years to revamp the policy book, though most never made it past conception.

Trent Moore can be reached by e-mail at trentm@cullmantimes.com, or by telephone at 734-2131, ext. 220.

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