- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
The proposed Code of Student Conduct for the 2012-2013 school year was presented to the Calvert County Board of Education last Thursday with few changes.
Kim Roof, executive director of administration for Calvert County Public Schools, presented the board with some of the changes in the code. Roof said there are “not a lot of significant changes” in the code, which will be posted on the school board website for review. She said most of the changes are in the language of certain policies to make them consistent with new policies and procedures passed over the course of the year.
A change Roof said she felt was important to discuss was the addition of language in the cameras, CD/tape players, electronic games and other electronic devices section of the code. The proposed language adds that students should not bring those items to school, and also included radios, iPads, Kindles and Nooks on that list.
“We felt like we needed to at least put that specific language in there at this point,” Roof said. “We’re never going to advocate for students to bring their own with the understanding that it is a serious theft issue.”
Roof said a page at the back of the code of conduct about registering electronic devices that are brought to school with the school was removed in the proposal.
“That created a lot of confusion on both parents’ parts and school system employees’ parts,” Roof said. “It seemed like we were sending a mixed message. In one part of the code we’re saying don’t bring [electronic devices] because they’re high theft and on the other hand we’re saying, well, if you bring them let’s just go ahead and register them.”
Roof said she felt that page should be taken out because it created too much confusion.
Board member Dawn Balinski recommended not putting in the specific names of the electronic devices.
“Instead of saying iPads, I would just say tablets, and instead of saying Kindles and Nooks I would say e-readers,” Balinski said. “We may even want to put personal tablets and e-readers.”
Board president Rose Crunkleton agreed with Balinski, adding that if the items were specifically named, students still could bring a tablet or e-reader made by another company that isn’t named.
Jack Smith, Calvert County Public Schools superintendent, said the paragraph about electronic devices is intended to discourage students from bringing them to school and states that if they are brought to school and used in a disruptive manner they could be confiscated.
“We haven’t banned them, we just said you shouldn’t bring them to school,” Smith said.
If the board decided it wanted to see how students’ bringing their own devices works, Smith said they could implement a pilot program at one school or a small group of schools to see if it is successful.
Another change in the code highlighted by Roof was in the harassment, intimidation and bullying section. Roof said language was added about intentional electronic communication on or off school property causing disruptions.
“As you well know, there are things that occur off of school property with electronic devices … that create disruptions and distractions in school, so we added on or off school property in there to encompass that,” Roof said. “We felt like putting that language in there cleared up any misunderstanding.”
In other news:Ÿ Smith said he will put the $111.9 million Calvert County Board of Education proposed budget on the next agenda for the board to vote on. He said when the budget is submitted to the county, the board should attach a letter that identifies the potential problems with the possibility of teachers’ pensions shifting back to the school system and include a request that the county help meet those obligations;
Ÿ Annette Lagana, director of special education, presented the board with the special education staffing plan. Lagana said the plan did not change and is the same as it was last year;
Ÿ Roof presented the National Student Clearinghouse college data report, which outlined how many students from Calvert County went to a two- or four-year college upon graduating from high school.