WATER VALLEY – The school district has a new policy manual for the 2013-2014 school year that might even be interpreted to outlaw the time-honored practice of giving an apple to your teacher.
Superintendent Kim Chrestman presented the manual for approval at the Sept. 9 school board meeting after spending most of the last two years on the project.
“This is our old manual,” said Chrestman as he hoisted the massive three-ring binder with about a four-inch stack of pages.
He noted that some of the policies were dated as early as 1999. “It was one of the things that we were found in violation of during our audit,” he added. “We did not have current policy.”
Chrestman explained that each year the state policies change and pointed to the old manual, which is out of date.
“What we have here…” the superintendent said as he let the new volume land on the table with a thud, “…is the new one which has all the current school board policies and the revisions we have made all the way through those years.”
“It will be placed on our website?” asked board president Lamar Burgess.
“You’d better get a bigger hard drive, quipped trustee Pierce Epes after Chrestman confirmed that the manual in its entirety would be online.
The manual is available to the public at http://watervalley. msbapolicy.org/ and contains 12 policy sections that contain subsections that cover everything from flag display to emergency closings.
Under Section K, General Public Relations, Policy Code: KHD Gifts to Staff Members, the policy indicates that no public servant (teacher) shall use his official position to obtain, or attempt to obtain, pecuniary benefit for himself…
But, while there is no specific mention of apples, the policy further states there shall be no fund raising for gifts, or any gift giving, or exchange of gifts.
Chrestman also presented his Superintendent’s Report during the meeting. It included figures for enrollment at Davidson Elementary School: kindergarten, 93; 1st grade, 106; 2nd grade, 95; 3rd grade, 99; 4th grade, 98; 5th grade, 76; 6th grade, 103; special education and developmentally delayed pre-school students, 4; for a total of 674 students.
He noted that the average daily attendance (ADA) at DES was 98 percent, which he said may not be completely accurate, but close.
Chrestman also reported on the average teacher/student ratios in the DES classrooms. In kindergarten it is 1 to 16; 1st grade, 1 to 18; 2nd grade, 1 to 19; 3rd grade, 1 to 20; 4th grade, 1 to 20; 5th grade, 1 to 19; and 6th grade, 1 to 20.
He explained that these averages are rounded up. “Some of the actual class sizes may be larger or smaller due to specific placement of students based on behavior, academic issues, and students with an IEP.”