Parents and other members of the public need to know how the school district addresses basic education, discipline, meals and programs for students with special needs.
The Missouri School Board Association (MSBA) says the district should have a written policy that spells out how the public is notified of the full scope of district programs.
Districts should have a two-tier communication plan. One addresses how board members and employees interact with parents/guardians, community members and the press.
And a second policy that informs all members of the public on what the district education system offers and how to access it for their child.
The Internet, posters in the principals’ offices, radio, newspaper and letters to parents are among methods the Meramec Valley School District will use to make sure parents have the information they need.
School board members approved the public information program at its meeting June 18.
In addition to the basic needs of posting notices of all school board meetings and making certain written board policies and district handbooks are available on the district’s website, school board members reviewed the full scope of what the public needs to know about the local schools and the most effective way to reach patrons and parents.
A written copy of the district’s discipline policy will be provided to every student enrolled in the district and parents/guardians at the beginning of the school year and also made available in the superintendent’s office.
A school accountability report card will be produced and reported to parents/guardians, community, media and legislators.
The methods and materials used to teach reading to kindergarten through fourth grade students will be made public, without identifying personal identification of any student or educational personnel who have not met the reading standards on the state-mandated reading assessment.
Parents/guardians will be notified of the content in sex education programs and curriculum materials will be available to the public at the administration office.
Information on the district’s practices in providing services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act will be widely disseminated. The district will publish a notice on its website, air one notice on public radio, place posters in all administrative offices and provide written information to parents/guardians of students enrolled in the district.
The district also will provide information on the state of Missouri children’s health program and distribute information on the district’s nutrition program, including eligibility for free and reduced-price meals.
A key feature of the program calls for the district to make a systematic effort to communicate with the public using a variety of communication channels and the district will authorize the funds for preparing and distributing information to the public.
The superintendent, president of the school board, or their designee, will serve as the official spokesperson for the district and questions regarding the district or its policies should be directed to them.