School Board Adopts Policy Changes

Changes Made To Attendance, Dress Code, Voter Registration, Animals In Schools Policies 

By: Scott Bolejack

The Johnston County Board of Education on Aug. 13th made changes to a number of school policies and adopted a new policy.

The board amended its attendance policy to reinstate a couple of provisions it had scrapped in an earlier revision.

Returning to the policy is the requirement that students must be present for at least 91 percent of all class meetings to receive credit for a course. The principal may waive that requirement.

Also, the board reinstated the grade that students will receive for a class if they miss too much time. “If absences from class exceed four per nine weeks, eight per semester or 16 per year, the maximum grade a student may receive for the grading period is F or 59, regardless of the reasons for the absences.”

In amending its student dress policy, the board did away with consequences for the first violation. The board then inserted this language: “Repeated violations may result in consequences including parent contact and other disciplinary actions” described in the Student Code of Conduct.

The board tweaked its staff dress policy too. Going forward, staff dress requirements on non-student days and special occasions will be at the discretion of the principal. Also, the policy no longer deems facial jewelry inappropriate. Finally, the policy bans footwear that limits employees’ ability to maintain a safe environment and prevent injury.

In adopting Policy 2035, which encourages student voter registration, the board directed the superintendent to write rules governing “where and when groups will be permitted to hold voter-registration events.” The policy makes clear that all voter-registration events shall be nonpartisan and “shall not endorse any candidate or cause.”

Finally, the board amended Policy 3465, “Other Animals in Schools,” to provide more clarity and detail for the use of animals in schools. Among other things, the amended policy says the owner of any animal that injures students or staff “will hold the Johnston County Board of Education harmless and indemnify the board from any such damages.”