Parish school board to consider policy changes

Published 7:52 am Wednesday, January 16, 2013


Pending the vote of the Washington Parish School Board during its meeting Thursday, a number of policy files will be revised, adopted or deleted, and Assistant Superintendent Richard Kennedy will be authorized to have withdrawal privileges on school board bank accounts.

Kennedy presented the proposed revisions to several school board policies during the board’s committee meeting Monday.

The first policy revision concerns the naming of facilities.

Reworded due to changes handed down by the state Legislature, the second policy, on homeless children and youth, would allow a foster child to stay in a school for the remainder of the academic year or until graduation, even if he or she is moved to a home in another district. The school system would be responsible for providing transportation. According to the definition in the policy, 15 to 20 percent of children in the school system are homeless, Supervisor of Child Welfare and Attendance Frances Varnado said.

The third revision would be a change to the section on diabetes in the policy on the administration of medication.

Next, a new policy would give the school board the ability to sell surplus computers that are no longer needed at any of the schools to a student, parent, tutor or guardian without having to advertise for bids, Kennedy said. Another new policy would set the class size limits at 26 students for kindergarten through third grades and 33 students for fourth through 12th grades.

The board will also vote on deleting an old policy on the procedure for disposing of school properties.

Finance Director Beth Keaton discussed the proposal to authorize withdrawal privileges for Kennedy.

“We asked to do this because we’ve run into several instances in the past where the superintendent needs to be at a meeting the week that we need to sign payroll checks or the board president needs to be away, and it’s a hardship on them and on our payroll department,” she said. “So we ask that you give Richard Kennedy authority to sign, and then we would use two out of the three.”

In his superintendent’s report, Darrell Fairburn said an emergency plan meeting, with sheriff’s office, Franklinton and Bogalusa police departments and Washington Parish and Bogalusa City school board officials in attendance, will be held Thursday at 10 a.m. in the school board office’s media center.

Also on the agenda for the meeting to be held Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at the school board office are the election of board officers and an executive session for the purpose of evaluating the superintendent.