School board

Dr. Donna Wright and WCS Board Chairman Larry Tomlinson look at the screen to see the results of voting on a policy change.

Changes to 11 policies within Section 4 of the Wilson School Board policy were voted on in a first reading last week.

Board member Kimberly McGee asked about an athletic “safety plan,” found in policy 4.301. 

WCS Health Sciences Coordinator Chuck Whitlock said the safety plan is for students participating in one sport that overlaps by two weeks. Physical examinations must be signed by April 15 of the previous year, according to the policy summation.

“We want kids to participate in as many things as possible,” Whitlock said. “Sometimes when kids have passions in multiple times. Especially in smaller schools, we may have a child that has a gift and a passion for basketball, but she also wants to cheerlead.

“The thought of having a two-hour basketball practice followed by a two-hour cheerleading practice with a couple of tumbling practice that same week, we’re at a problem. If that were the case and we really wanted to facilitate that, we’d have to get the parent, the cheer sponsor, the basketball coach down at the table and we’re going to say, ‘how are we going to make this work?’ ” 

Whitlock said that students in middle school, go from recreational sports as a 10-year-old to school sports “and the volume of training from a 10-year-old to a 12-year-old, goes up 300 to 400 percent. So, we need to have some safety precautions in there. (The 12-year-old’s) body isn’t ready for that.”

WCS Director Dr. Donna Wright said that the system wants “a plan that everybody agrees upon, so we’re not pushing the child to the limit. It’s a precaution on our part. We have some really talented youngsters but they’re too young for that kind of commitment.”

Whitlock said the policy is based upon the physicians’ statements from the American College of Sports Medicine and the Academy of pediatricians. 

“This is not just us making stuff up,” he noted. “Our goal in middle school is to keep kids involved, help them in middle school and carry them to high school athletics. And if, we have kids getting hurt and getting disengaged and burned out, we’re not meeting that goal.”

The policy changes were approved unanimously.

Publicity policy

Policy 4.407 deals with web pages and bringing the pages in compliances with the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and included English Language Arts, math, science and social studies.

Wright said that, “parents must be able to get access to that and we must have it posted.”

Board member said Wayne McNeese said he wasn’t “comfortable with an opt out policy. They have to have an opt out policy.”

The FERPA removes the parental consent for award recognition, aligning with FERPA policy which states that students who are awarded or receive an honor can be publicized.   

The parents have two weeks from the beginning of school to opt out of the policy.

The policy amendment passed 5-2 with McNeese and McGee voting against it.

The textbook committee was named and approved. This year’s textbook approval is for English Language Arts and select Career and Technical Education courses, such as Culinary Arts and Criminal Justice courses. There are approximately 60 people on the committee. The entire list is part of the agenda packet from the Oct. 3 meeting on the WCS website.

The matter passed unanimously

Calendar change

The board also voted on a date change for the school calendar.  Election Commissioner Phillip Warren told WCS that May 5, 2020 is not an election day.

Monte Wilson made a recommendation to Wright that stated the day should be one in which students are in school.

There are Advanced Placement calculus and geography exams that day, Wright said, adding “the number of students who will take an AP exam is pretty significant.”

The measure passed unanimously.

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