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Superintendent Term Project

The term project for my superintendent internship was to review and recommend changes for school board policies for the St. Cloud Area Schools. I worked with the Executive Director of Student Services and Special Education, Carol Potter and the Executive Director of Student Achievement and Strategic Alignment, Joni Olson to suggest revisions to ten different policies. As a guest to the cabinet meetings, I was present when the superintendent let the cabinet members look at the calendar and deadlines for a full policy review in each department.Some policies were recently updated and others had not been updated for seven or eight years. The cabinet felt that it was important to take the next two years to do a full update on the district policies.

Once I heard that the district was going to reviewing policies, I reached out to Carol Potter to see if she would allow me to help making suggested revisions of the policies in her department since many of the policies in the 500's had to do with students and student services. I worked with Susan O'Connor-Meyer the district research assistant to understand the process.

Each policy would be compared to the Minnesota School Board Association's (MSBA) model policy. I had to go back to the MSBA's history of revisions to be sure that I had the updated changes from all of the years that had passed since the last update of the St. Cloud schools policy. From there, I used a strike and line approach to show the recommended changes on the policy. Additionally, I created a separate document to highlight the changes that were made with each policy.

Most of the policies were quite straight-forward; however, I was charged with helping to update policy 506 or the Student Discipline policy. Susan O'Connor-Meyer had noticed that the language in the policy did not match our Student Code of Conduct. The Code of Conduct had recently been updated to remove outdated language like "zero tolerance". Carol Potter and I worked to form a committee to update the Student Discipline Policy. I worked to get all of the suggested revisions added based on the MSBA model policy before our first meeting. However, at our first meeting everything changed.

One of the principals suggested that the MSBA model policy did not reflect the language of the Code of Conduct. She felt that we should write our own or find another policy to better reflect the tone and language of the Code of Conduct. Luckily, Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) had a policy that was similar to the language of our Code of Conduct. We met several times as a committee to adapt and change the MPS policy to make it our own.

Once the policy was adjusted, Carol Potter and I worked on a presentation to give to cabinet. At cabinet, we received some additional changes to make. Currently, Carol Potter is in the process of presenting the changes to the school board for their three readings. Once the readings are finished, I anticipate that our new policy will be adopted and put into place. This experience has been an amazing opportunity for me to see the inner workings of cabinet level staff, the superintendent, and the school board.

 

506 Student Discipline Policy Google Slides

506 Policy Review - Draft

506 Policy Review Administrative Procedures - Draft

506 Policy Review Administrative Procedures B - Draft

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