When the St. Tammany Parish School Board meets Dec. 13, it will consider adopting new policies on the use of social media by its members, the provision of in-school behavioral health services and the purchase of land near Goodbee to serve as the site for a new elementary school.

The topics were recommended recently as School Board members met as a Committee of the Whole.

The new social media policy includes guidelines for school board members on using social media and other online platforms such as blogs and personal websites.

Among other things, it requires that board members make it clear they are speaking as individuals rather than as representatives of the school system and that they conduct themselves in a manner that doesn't reflect negatively on the system. It forbids deliberating School Board business online and disclosing confidential information.

The new behavioral health services policy, slated to go into effect Jan. 1, brings the school system into compliance with Act 696, which was adopted by the state Legislature this year.

The act requires school systems to allow licensed behavioral health professionals to provide in-school services to students with diagnosed needs at the request of the students’ parents.

The student must have a condition that inhibits their education as diagnosed by a licensed professional and as described in a treatment plan.

Parents must select the provider and pay for the cost of the services, either directly or through an insurance provider. Practitioners must agree to adhere to state law and School Board policy while delivering the services and provide liability insurance that covers the services they provide.

Board members recommended the adoption of the policy but asked administrators to toughen the liability insurance requirements over and above those required by the act.

Board members also recommended the purchase of 6.28 acres of land on the east side of La. 1077, north of U.S. 190, north of Covington.

The land is adjacent to a 7.36-acre tract the school system already owns across the highway from the Countryside subdivision. Together, the two parcels will provide enough land for the future construction of an elementary school to serve the fast-growing Goodbee area. The system will offer $295,050 for the land based on recent appraisals.