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USD 113 POLICIES

July 08, 2015

Understanding the Policy System

            This document represents the policies and administrative rules of Prairie Hills USD 113. 

            Policies are principles adopted by the school board to chart a course of action.  They tell WHAT is wanted and may include also WHY and HOW MUCH.  They should be broad enough to indicate a line of action to be taken by the administration in meeting a number of problems day-after-day; they should be narrow enough to give the administration clear guidance.

            Rules are the detailed directions that are developed by the administration and staff to put policy into practice.  They tell HOW, BY WHOM, WHERE, and WHEN things are to be done.

            This philosophy was incorporated into the thinking that went into the model and guided the board members and administrative staff in developing the attached policies and rules.

            There are twelve sections of policy and rule with each representing a separate and distinct grouping of principles.  They are as follows:

           A SCHOOL DISTRICT ORGANIZATION        A Table of Contents

           B SCHOOL BOARD OPERATIONS                B Table of Contents

           C GENERAL SCHOOL ADMINISTRATION

           D FISCAL MANAGEMENT

           E BUSINESS MANAGEMENT

          F FACILITY EXPANSION PROGRAM

          G PERSONNEL (Certified, non-certified and paraprofessional)

           H NEGOTIATIONS

         I INSTRUCTIONAL PROGRAM           I Table of Contents

         J STUDENTS       ​J Table of Contents

         K GENERAL PUBLIC RELATIONS      K Table of Contents

          L INTERORGANIZATIONAL RELATIONS        L Table of Contents

          M RELATIONS WITH OTHER EDUCATIONAL AGENCIES        M Table of Contents

            This type of classification system is designed for computer use and conforms to sound principles of information storage and retrieval, to sound principles of school governance, and also to the mandates of practicality.  The system’s ultimate success or failure will depend on the extent of its day-to-day usefulness as a management tool to facilitate board operations.

            Basic to the system is the vocabulary of policy development descriptors.  This vocabulary includes more than 1000 discrete terms, e.g., “Underground Newspapers”, “Psychological Testing”, “Nepotism”, etc.  These terms set forth-specific issues and concerns for possible school board action at the policy development level.

            The coding or “tracking” of terms is by letter rather than by number.  Letter encoding offers two major advantages over number coding for the task at hand:

  1. A letter system offers more flexibility.  The coder has available 26 separate letters to use compared to only ten digits; (2) A letter system requires no decimal points.  This tends to reduce the likelihood of errors of reproduction and filing.

At first glance, letter codes may look strange compared to the more familiar decimal systems.  Yet it takes but a moment for a code-user to appreciate the logic and simplicity of alpha coding.

The Index

      The index is found in the policy manual after section M and is an alphabetized listing of more than 1400 terms.  Its purpose is to help users find their way quickly to coded descriptors.

      The index also includes many terms not used in the classification system.  These “extras” appear in italic type and are cross-referenced to official descriptors.  Some of these topics are synonyms.  (E.G., Administrative Regulations see “Administrative Rules.”)  Others are included to show where they might be placed into the system by local classifiers.  (E.G., Jury Duty see “Leaves and Absences.”)

      In addition, major descriptors appear in several places in the index.  This again is to facilitate the user’s search for correct term placement in the system.

Symbols

      The policy classification system employs these signs and symbols which are explained below:

      SN       Scope Note – a brief statement used when necessary in order to clarify

                  and/or limit the intended use of a descriptor entry.

                  E.G., Administrative Personnel

                              SN        For school management and supervisory personnel below

                                          district superintendent level.

Also     A prefix to a parenthetical code to indicate that the identical term (and                    similar school board policy) appears elsewhere in the classification system.

            E.G.     AFC (Also EBBD) Emergency Closings

                        EBBD (Also AFC) Emergency Closings

Cf.       A prefix used to indicate cross-reference to another policy or rule of similar subject matter or to a policy or rule which over-rides a policy or  supplements it.

            E.G.,    JCDAC (Cf. IDBB) Drug Use

                        IDBB (Cf. JCDAC) Drug Education

-R        An affix to a code to indicate that the statement it describes is an administrative rule, not a school board policy.

When Using These Manuals

            To use these manuals properly, the reader should look up the subject matter in the index and turn to the policy section first.  Check the table of contents found in the front of each policy section to determine whether the subject you are looking for is cross-referenced to any other policy.  Check also to see if the symbols Cf. and ALSO are present.  Turn to the alpha code and read the policy.  If a rule is present also read the rule. After you have done this, read all cross-references and other similar referrals.

            If by chance you do not find a policy statement, one of two things has occurred:

(1)The board does not have a policy or rule on the subject, or (2) Another classification (Cf.) is overriding and should be read to determine the board’s policy.  This latter statement makes it incumbent on the user to check the table of contents before looking up the subject.

There will be times when a policy does not have a rule.  If this occurs, the reader must assume the board felt the policy was self-executing and did not need an implementing rule.

There will be times when a rule exists but not a policy.  When this happens, the reader must assume there is another policy which overrides.  Re-check the table of contents to find the applicable policy.

State Law

            These policies do not contain any statutory language.  If the reader is in doubt about whether there is a state law on the subject being pursued, ask the superintendent or some other professional staff member for guidance.

 

 

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