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Student rules are discussed
By the Henry Counry School Board
Friday, August 3, 2012
By DEBBIE HALL - Bulletin Staff Writer
The Henry County School Board on Thursday discussed expectations for students when the new school year begins Aug. 13.
Amy Scott, coordinator of student services, said school officials expect students to abide by the division’s Code of Conduct, including additions/amendments in several areas.
Scott said cell phones must be turned off and remain out of sight unless a teacher allows them to be used during an assignment.
No cell phones will be allowed in schools during SOL or Advanced Placement tests. Also, bullying, cyberbullying or cyberbaiting will not be tolerated, Scott added.
She explained the latter term is a new one that involves a student, a teacher and a viral video. It occurs when a student baits a teacher, videos the teacher’s response and posts the video online.
The dress code must be adhered to, and drugs, alcohol, weapons and/or other dangerous objects will not be tolerated, Scott said.
Those topics and more are included in the Student Code of Conduct. Students and parents must sign and return a statement that they have read and understand the code to the respective school.
In other matters Thursday, the board:
• Heard a report on guidelines for allowing eighth-graders to participate in junior varsity sports/extra-curricular activities.
Eighth-graders will be allowed to play if there is not a sufficient number of qualified and/or eligible ninth- and 10th-graders. No qualified or eligible ninth- or tenth-grader will be cut from a team to make room for an eighth-grader.
Other guidelines include keeping principals/assistant principals informed about the process.
The guidelines were crafted to address student safety, offer opportunities for high school students, ensure expectations are equal for all students involved, promote equity among athletes, fine arts and academic activities and ensure the guidelines adhere to all Virginia High School League regulations.
Schools Superintendent Jared Cotton requested more time to check on guidelines for students enrolled in band.
• Heard presentations from some students attending summer enrichment programs.
Ashley Minnick, a rising fifth-grader at Carver Elementary School, and Kayri Craig, an eighth-grader at Fieldale-Collinsville Middle School, reported on their experiences with the Piedmont Regional Governor’s Schools. Each attended a weeklong event this summer in Chatham.
Amanda Elgin, a rising senior at Bassett High School, discussed her experiences in Summer Residential Governor’s School, a monthlong event held at various universities. Elgin participated in the program at Radford University.
• Approved a consent agenda that included minutes from the regular meeting July 12 and bills for payment.
• Approved on second reading revisions to certain policies, as recommended by the Virginia School Board Association’s Policy Services. Revisions were to bring policies into compliance with new and existing laws and regulations, for editorial reasons or to correct technical errors.
• Approved regulations for school medical personnel to have and administer epinephrine to students who appear to have an anaphylactic (severe allergic) reaction, as required by the state this school year.
• Approved $22,715.77 to renew a contract with Renaissance Learning Inc. and keep the Accelerated Reader Program in all elementary schools and Laurel Park Middle School.
The program makes reading practice more effective for students and helps teachers assess students’ reading with quizzes.
• Approved a $27,214 tuition payment to Averett University for the Teacher Academy, which was established in 2004 to develop teachers in the school division.
• Approved an additional appropriation of $172,396 from the Virginia Department of Education to the school nutrition budget for the fresh fruit and vegetable program in several elementary schools.
A request for a similar action will be forwarded to the Henry County Board of Supervisors, which also must approve the appropriation.
• Learned that the division grossed more than $1.1 million savings (and more than $604,000 net) in energy costs over the last 28 months due to cost-saving measures implemented in schools and other facilities.
More measures are planned to further ensure energy efficiency, including lighting upgrades in various schools and a well to irrigate a football field at one school.
Cotton also was presented an Energy Education Environmental Excellence Award by Carl Odell of Energy Education.
• In closed session, discussed appointments and separations of personnel and student and legal matters.
• Noted that the next regular scheduled meeting will be at 6 p.m. Sept. 6 at Fieldale-Collinsville Middle School.