The Natrona County school board will formally consider a number of new policies at its late October board meeting, including one concerning how much the district can disclose in “student and staff incidents.”
In addition to that transparency policy, which the board has been discussing for months, the elected trustees will consider a policy regarding homeless students and a policy about giving employment references for staff members who have faced accusations of sexual misconduct.
All three policies will be up for first read by the board at its Oct. 22 meeting. Trustees may propose changes to the policies, which will then return for second reading and a vote in November.
The homeless student policy — defining what students qualify as homeless and how their enrollment works — brings no new practices to the district, policy committee chairwoman Dana Howie said. It’s language that conforms with federal law. The district has long had a homeless student liaison and coordinator, who helps the more than 200 homeless students in the district.
The transparency policy, still in an early draft form as of Monday afternoon, gives the school board and the officials appointed to run the district guidance on what they can release to the public following significant student and staff “incidents.” The policy has broad support from both the board and administrators, in what they say is a desire to provide as much public detail as they can.
The Star-Tribune, via its publisher, Dale Bohren, has already provided some comment on the proposal, and the board said it was hoping to discuss it more with Casper media at large. The district’s private attorney provided feedback on the policy, officials said Monday, and suggested mostly minor additions.
Finally, the board will also consider a policy that will “close a loophole” and formally prevent anyone in the district from providing an employment reference for a former staffer who’s accused or suspected of sexual misconduct, said Associate Superintendent for Human Resources Verba Echols. The loophole, she explained, is that an employee may quit before facing disciplinary action for any suspected misdeeds.
Like the homelessness language, this policy is largely a reflection of federal law.