BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
FORT MADISON – Fort Madison’s school board continues to modify its policies to better align with the state school board association.
At Monday’s meeting of the Fort Madison School Board about 20 polices were either deleted, added or had language cleaned up in them to more closely align with the Iowa Association of School Boards.
Superintendent Erin Slater said the district’s policies are reviewed every three years and the modifications are an ongoing process, but she said since she’s arrived she’s wanted to move the district more toward the IASBs recommended policies.
“We review policies about every three years, so we make sure our policies reflect current law and we are cognizant of any updates IASB is recommending,” Slater said. “We look at a policy we have and the policy they have and we do a crosswalk. My philosophy is to migrate more to what IASB is recommending.”
She said because Fort Madison is a rural Iowa school district, the board will take that into consideration.
“We do look for nuances because we are a rural district in Iowa and then we’ll add to the IASB recommendation,” she said. “Sometimes the regulation will be districtformed that we will use and other times, if there are more specific things, we’ll adjust the policy to reflect that, but what we’re finding is that there is a larger percentage of the time that we are very close or even mirroring what IASB has written.”
She said it takes about three years to get all the polices on the board schedule, so they do them in big chunks.
As part of Slater’s regular report, she recommended approving changes to 11 policies, mostly relating to student attendance. One change was to the policy of vandalism of school property. Most of the changes were minor language restructuring and deletion of redundancies in the district’s policy. Of those 11, one was deleted that dealt with temporarily disabled students because language on disabled students covered the same issue. A policy outlining the district’s policy on accepting foreign exchange students was tabled until language could be cleaned up.
The district also added a policy section that addresses pregnant students and what procedures and allowances the school will implement.
During the discussion portion of the meeting, she recommended nine additional policy changes with regard to locker searches, weapons, and drug enforcement. Of those nine, three of the policies were deleted because the issue was addressed in other policy chapters, one had no revision, and five were recommended to go to the IASB language.
In other action, the board:
– heard from six district math teachers who went to the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics conference in Chicago. The teachers demonstrated an algebraic game with cards that demonstrates calculating unknowns with a card game. The teachers also shared information on new teaching strategies and analytics they brought back from the conference.
- voted to allow Kay Peterson and Jessica Gutzman to attend the Learning Disabilities Association National Conference in Atlanta in February.