Zachary School Board members have approved the district’s Pupil Progression Plan, a comprehensive document that includes sections on placement, promotion requirements, acceleration, remediation, and alternative schools, programs and settings.
The plan, approved Sept. 15, includes sections on attendance, retention and grading policies, as well as how honor students are graded and valedictorian and salutatorian selections are made.
Developed by each parish or city school board, pupil progression plans are based on student performance on state assessments and require a student’s mastery of grade-appropriate skills before he or she can be recommended for promotion, district officials said.
“We want schools to consider everything when considering accelerating or retaining students,” Student Support Services Director Aeneid Mason said.
The plan’s purpose is to inform school personnel, parents, students and the community of school board rules and administrative procedures and policies required to implement state and local progression requirements.
The 66-page plan can be found at zacharyschools.org.
Also on the agenda, the School Board adopted updates to policies pertaining to school bus scheduling and routing, student dress code, and suspension and expulsion.
Board member Beth Kimmell said the policies are part of two acts in the Louisiana Legislature but stronger language has been added, affecting the three policies.
In 2014, the State Legislature created a dilemma for school bus routes when it required school buses to be routed so that students did not have to cross a street when boarding or departing a school bus.
Superintendent Scott Devillier said the intent was to prevent students from having to walk across four-lane highways or medians but the resulting legislation did not reflect that original intent.
The policy now states that buses are prohibited from loading and unloading in a location on a divided highway such that the student would be required to cross a road with traffic that’s not controlled by school bus signs or lights.
In another of the policies, students enrolled in kindergarten through fifth grade will not be suspended or expelled from school or suspended from riding a school bus for a uniform violation that is not tied to willful disregard of school policies.
“We’re not going to suspend kids for dress code violations, unless it’s been addressed over and over again, the situation has been repeatedly discussed with parents, and there continues to be a violation of policy,” Devillier said. “That is what’s considered willful disregard of school policies but at these grade levels, it’s a doubtful scenario.”
The next regular School Board meeting is Oct. 20.