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Auburn City Schools Considering Major Policy Changes

According to the Opelika-Auburn News, the Auburn City School System is currently reviewing many of its policies, including admission and graduation requirements. Many of the changes would affect special education and immigrant students. The board of education plans to vote on the proposed changes at its November 14 meeting.

Admission

The school system is seeking changes to admission requirements that would include immigrants and English language learners. Homeless students are exempt from the residence requirement for admission under the current policy’s “Admission to Schools Section.” The new policy would expand on the current one.

“All homeless, migrant and immigrant students, children in foster care, and English language learners will have equal access to the same free appropriate public education, including public preschool education, provided to other children and youth and will be provided the opportunity to meet the same challenging state content and state student performance standards to which all students are held without being stigmatized or isolated… The enrollment of homeless, migrant, and immigrant students, children in foster care and limited English proficient children and youth shall not be denied or delayed due to any barriers that are specifically prohibited by applicable law,” the revised section reads.

The new policy would allow children in foster care to remain in their school district even if their foster family was zoned to attend a different school. The current attendance requirements make no mention of foster children.

Fundraising and Crowdfunding

In the new era of GoFundMe and Kickstarter, the school board is hoping to implement updated policies regarding fundraising efforts by school employees and students.

“Any property, money or other resources that are obtained by a Board employee through grants, fundraising, online giving, or like means in the name of or for the benefit of the school system or its students becomes the property of the school system and are subject to board policies and procedures governing board property and resources,” the proposed policy states. This would ensure that all money raised on behalf of the school actually makes it into the administration’s hands.

Graduation

The proposed revised policy also makes changes to the graduation requirements for special education students.

“Graduation options for students with disabilities according to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act will be governed by policies of the Alabama State Department of Education,” the changes would read. “Auburn City Schools will comply with these policies when determining the graduation status of each eligible student.”

This change would replace the current policy that states that special education students have the option of obtaining a Certificate of Attendance, an Alabama Occupational Diploma, or passing the required exam to earn a regular diploma. It also removes the Alabama Occupational Diploma and Certificate of Attendance from its graduation ceremony requirements.

Family Involvement

The school policy that would see the biggest changes is the “Parental and Family Engagement Section.” Essentially everything in this section would be changed in order to comply with section 1116 of the Every Student Succeeds Act signed by President Obama. The proposed section would provide more opportunities for parents to be involved in school activities. The school board hopes that parents and schools will have a more active, productive relationship.

A full list of the proposed changes can be found on the Auburn City Schools’ website.

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