Board discusses policy changes

ROGERS-The Beaver Local Board of Education approved readings of two new school policies that, if adopted, could have significant impact on students.

A proposed drug testing policy and an academic recognition policy both moved closer to becoming implemented as they passed required readings Monday night.

It was the second reading for the proposed drug and alcohol testing policy for students involved in non-academic activities. The first reading of the policy was held on May 12, according to board members. A draft copy of the policy is available for viewing on the district website.

Placed on first reading Monday was a new academic recognition policy for graduating seniors. According to a draft copy of the policy, the new system would replace the traditional salutatorian and valedictorian designations with three different distinctions – summa cum laude, meaning “with highest praise;” magna cum laude, meaning “with great praise;” and cum laude, meaning “with praise.” The draft copy of the policy stated the board wished to recognize students taking dual credit or AP (Advanced Placement) credit courses for their rigorous academics.

Superintendent Kent Polen commented that colleges are increasingly indifferent to a student’s high school class rank. He noted colleges are more inclined to look at the “whole student,” including volunteer work, organization membership and the classes taken in high school.

“When students apply to college, if they end up without a class rank, they do not hold that against them,” said Polen.

Polen noted that anyone wishing to comment on this policy may do so, in writing to him, by June 30.

Both policy readings were approved unanimously by the board.