LOGAN – Logan City School District’s Board of Education is gearing up for a new school year and is ready to vote on several changes and adjustments including school fees, student data protection, and safe school policies during their next board meeting August 13.
Superintendent Frank Schofield said the change in student data protection policy is a clarification on what their practices currently are.
“All of these components have been required by law. Our past practices are now in writing,” he explained.
The policy outlines how the district manages student data, both digital and hard-copy, and the procedure if there is ever a data breach. It also addresses staff training and an understanding of ownership.
“All student data is the property of the student and parent and should never be released to a third-party entity unless that entity is a listed exception in the policy, like law enforcement needing information for an ongoing investigation,” Schofield said.
The Safe School Policy FHA changes deal with everything related to basic school safety, Schofield said. Topics include hazing, bullying, cyberbullying, harassment, expulsion, and suspension and what the district does to respond to those situations and to prevent those situations from happening in the first place. It also clarifies the definition of each offense.
“Basically, you take the worst student behavior and we determine what the district policy is in responding to those behaviors,” he said.
Schofield said the district did not have clear guidelines for bringing a student back from expulsion. He explained if a student gets expelled for one year, but then demonstrates they have done the appropriate work to address the underlying conduct, they now have a way to reapply for admission. Examples include working with a counselor, community service, paying restitution, etc.
With the policy updated and made clear, Schofield hopes it will prevent school employees from skipping steps, and help parents and students know in advance what to expect.
The push to update the school district’s policy came from changes in Utah state law regarding juvenile justice bills that were passed. “We wanted to make sure our policies clearly reflected state law,” Schofield said.
There were also a few disciplinary issues last school year that Schofield said helped them realize the district could provide more clarity to the parents and their student when dealing with those issues that, “would provide more direction and consistency and parent expectation of our response.”
“The more information we can put out in advance the fewer surprises there are. If you are already in a situation that is stressful as a parent, we want to give them as much information as possible, so we don’t add to that stress,” he explained.
Other policy changes to be voted on including the district auditing committee and financial report. Schofield said it means there will be two board members and two patrons from the community in that committee who will be responsible for making sure the audit is completed in the appropriate manner.
They will also be voting on school fees that have been updated to reflect the legislation that was passed during this past legislative session regarding a school’s responsibilities with fees.
The school district is inviting community members interested in sharing their thoughts on these policy changes to attend their next board meeting on August 13.