Wilson Area School District discussed updating their policies within their handbook for the upcoming school year, which includes allowing the district to take action against accounts of cyber bullying.
Six policy headlines may be revised. These include age requirements for Kindergarten and first grade, bullying/cyber-bullying, high school promotion and graduation, child abuse, cheerleading, and testing programs.
No action was taken by the board during Monday night's meeting. Superintendent Doug Wagner explained each of the proposed policy changes.
Wagner stated that the district will change their bullying policy to include cyber-bullying. The change would allow the school to take action if there are bullying situations online.
In the district's policies, bullying is newly defined by the district to include bullying that occurs outside of school.
The bullying must affect the child's education in order for the school to be able to intervene. The bullying policy is defined as intentional electronic, written, verbal or physical acts or a serious of acts directed at those student(s) in a school setting or outside a school setting that are severe, persistent or pervasive and affect the child's education.
Three pieces to the policy include substantial interference in the child's education, creation of a threatening environment and substantial disruption to the overall operation of the school. The bullying must fit into one of those categories for the school to be able to take action.
The policy also gives direction to the administration as to what to do when bullying is reported.
Wagner stated that this year the district is focusing on bullying, cyber-bullying, and child abuse.
The child abuse policy for the district has not been updated since 1976, but the Superintendent stated that the school has been following the correct procedures for child abuse.
"Every five years employees must receive three hours of instruction in this area," said Wagner, who explained that while the district has been following the current state policies in these areas, the have been working to change the handbook so the protocols reflect their actions.
The policies for high school promotion and graduation involve rules with the state testing exams. This year, the Keystone Exams will also be administered to the students.
The Keystone Exams are in the areas of Algebra 1, Biology and Literature. The testing program polices are also to be updated to include the Keystone Exams.
"Approval tonight would put us in the schedule for testing," said the Superintendent.
The district wants to also update the procedures for cheerleaders and establish a date or timeline for the entrance to Kindergarten and first grade.
"The earlier we can be notified, the student can be appropriately placed," said Wagner.
The board will be presented with the revised version of the policies in September, when official action will be taken.