School Board Votes to Update Policies, Rescind Outdated Ones

The School Board voted 5-0 to adopt several new policies, as well as to amend and rescind a number of outdated School District policies.

The vote occurred at the Board’s Tuesday, Aug. 25 meeting.

Among the policy changes, which were considered in three public readings, are a redraft of the transportation and busing policies and the addition of a policy detailing charges related to Right-to-Know requests of the District.

“This is not to discourage a resident from filing a Right-to-Know request. It is their right. It just puts into writing clearly that there will be a charge for services,” Business Administrator Peter Curro said during a first reading of the new policy.

The policy states, “The cost of copies is $.50 per sheet when the request is for specific records identified by the requester, or when the requester personally reviews and inspects the records and selects the records to be copied. The requester will be charged the cost for thumb drives, discs or other electronic copying devices provided to the requester.”

The policy goes on to say that if someone filing a Right-to-Know request “chooses not to personally review and inspect the records and does not reasonably describe the requested records, the SAU or School District may charge an hourly research charge to cover the actual cost of providing the copy instead of the per sheet copy cost.”

If someone requests records be mailed, they will be charged the actual costs of postage or delivery and the applicable costs for copies or research time, and must prepay those costs.

In redrafting the District’s busing policy, as the State recommended during an inquiry regarding the School District, school officials decreased the maximum walking distance to bus stops for elementary students from three-tenths of a mile to 2.5-tenths of a mile and prohibited bus routes on Class VI roads (private roads the Town is not responsible for maintaining).

Curro told the Board the shift from offering busing services on private roads is primarily due to problems buses have encountered trying to navigate narrow driveways, and roads that aren’t properly treated during snow events and other inclement weather.

Town Attorney Gordon Graham recommended the District stop including bus stops on Class VI roads in the past.

“Some of these roads are just gravel pathways, and sometimes they’re narrow enough for one vehicle to go one way,” Curro said during the first reading of the policy change. “We have had to pull buses out because they got stuck. We have two minibuses we use for these roads, and we have pulled them out with kids on board.”

Director of Pupil Services Kim Carpinone said other policies were redrafted to update language or citations to bring them into compliance with updated State laws.

New policies the State recommended or required for the District to maintain in compliance with State laws include Student Transportation Services; Student Transportation Services Regulations for Students Riding Buses; School Volunteers; Volunteer Application Form; Student Rights and Responsibilities; Pregnant, Parenting and Married Students; Corporal Punishment; Policy on the Use of Child Restraint and Seclusion; Procedures on the Use of Child Restraint and Seclusion; Safety Program and Right to Know Procedures.

For a complete reading of the new and amended policies, visit the School District’s website at www.londonderry.org. The policies are available under the School Board’s web page.

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