North Callaway adjusts, adopts new policies for 2012-13 school year

At their monthly school board meeting Thursday night, members of the North Callaway School Board adopted a series of new policies, regulations and orders for the upcoming school year. Most were state-mandated policies that simply reaffirmed practices that the school had already had in place, and some will provide new students in foster care and staff members juggling sick and personal days some leeway.

Under one new policy, when students transfer to North Callaway as part of a foster program, the district may work with their previous district’s classes, schedules, graduation requirements and Individualized Education Program in the case of students with learning disabilities. This is helpful for older students who transfer from a district with easier or different graduation requirements than North Callaway. District superintendent Bryan Thomsen said he was excited for the policy, and that it was a “good opportunity” for students.

Teachers and other staff members also have some breathing room thanks to the district’s new updated absences, leave and vacation policies and regulations. A key change among them is that teaching staff now get 10 “leave days” per year. Under the former policy, teachers had 10 sick days per year, but two could be used as personal days. It was a designation many staff members, including district business manager Kellie O’Donley, felt was unnecessary and complicated.

“Our accounting department had to do double book-keeping on days off,” said O’Donley. “We feel like (the new policy) will aid principals in finding subs, as teachers are not compelled to wait until the last minute to call in a sick day. Subs are hard to find at the last minute.”

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