CHEYENNE – The Laramie County School District 1 board of trustees is considering a variety of changes to the way it adopts district and board policies.
The school board declared a 45-day review period ending Sept. 30 related to its intention to amend the first two chapters of its policy manual.
Action will be taken at a regular meeting, which starts at 6 p.m. on Oct. 3 in the boardroom at Storey Gymnasium. Contact and comments can be sent beforehand to LCSD1 General Counsel Amy Pauli or Darlene Davis in the superintendent’s office, at 307-771-2121 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Specific amendments are proposed to:
- Delete obsolete programs
- Clarify reporting procedures for discrimination
- Update election and meeting procedures
- Update the process for hearings in front of LCSD1 trustees
- Update the process for policy review
- Streamline and reduce the number of rules
Some of the most significant changes are outlined in the chapter regarding governance and operational powers and duties of the board, as well as the policy review process.
An amendment would be made that the board will not be required to strictly adhere to Roberts Rules of Order, using “such rules as general guidelines of conduct and meeting procedures.” Large adjustments were also made to the hearing process for trustees.
An addition was made that the board chair “may call an emergency meeting to take temporary action on a matter of serious, immediate concern without notice. However, a reasonable effort would be made to notify the public of the meeting.”
All action taken at an emergency session would be temporary.
“For it to become permanent, it must be reconsidered and acted on at an open public meeting within 48 hours, excluding weekends and holidays, unless the event constituting the emergency continues to exist after 48 hours. In such a case, the governing body may reconsider and act upon the temporary action at the next regularly scheduled meeting of the agency, but in no event later than 30 days from the date of the emergency action.”
Policy Advisory Committee
The Policy Advisory Committee would be dissolved completely, and would not research and consider each proposal for an amendment, addition or deletion to LCSD1 policy. It is currently made up of the superintendent, administrators, personnel and parent representatives in the district.
Proposals for policy amendments, deletions or additions could be made by a member of the board and the superintendent, instead of just parents, students or district employees. They won’t be submitted to the advisory committee or go through a review period.
Instead, the changes proposed state that “a careful and orderly process will be used in examining policy proposals prior to any action being taken by the board. The board will take action after hearing the recommendations of the superintendent and the viewpoints of persons and groups affected by the policy.”
The formal adoption will be recorded in the board’s minutes, and only written statements that are adopted will be seen as official policy.
An entire section in the adoption process would also be deleted. The board would not have to act on proposals within 90 days after they are received from the Policy Advisory Committee, or indicate their intent. There would also not be a review period of 45 days before officially adopting, rejecting or modifying a change.
Absence of policy
An entire section was added that “in instances where action must be taken within the school district where the board has provided no district-wide policy guides for administrative action, or when an exception to policy may be appropriate, the superintendent shall have the authority to act.”
Following action, it would be the duty of the superintendent to inform the board “promptly of such action and the need for a policy at the next regular board meeting.”