By John R. Schirmer
The Nashville School Board approved handbook changes for each of the district’s campuses during the group’s regular meeting last week.
Administrators from each building presented proposed revisions, which the board accepted.
Changes include the following:
High school – Principal Tate Gordon and Assistant Principal Kim Slayton asked the board “to add a valedictorian and salutatorian statement for clarification. We use all-year courses to figure valedictorian and salutatorian,” Gordon said.
The policy for foreign exchange students was revised. The students must speak English and go through ESL testing, stay at NHS the entire year and must be approved by Aug. 1 of each year. There will be a limit of three students per year. They will take a full schedule, and the school will determine their grade placement. The students will not graduate from NHS, the policy says.
Gordon said the students will stay the entire academic year because “if we take them, we want them to get the full Scrapper experience from August to May.”
Students are placed by companies. The school “has the discretion to work with the placement company of our choice. We can choose not to work with a company if we’ve had problems before,” Gordon said.
Sports eligibility “will depend on the student’s visa,” Superintendent Doug Graham said. “Some visas are ok for sports; some aren’t.”
Most exchange students in the past have been eligible, Gordon said.
Junior high – Assistant Principal D.J. Graham said NJHS teachers want to raise the grade point average for National Junior Honor Society to 3.65 from the current 3.5.
“Last year, we had 81 inductees. The staff would like to see the top 25 percent get in. We hope the 3.65 gets us to that number.”
Superintendent Graham said the change would “make being in Honor Society mean more.”
Slayton said high school will mirror the 3.65 requirement for its Honor Society chapter.
The minimum as set by the national organization is 3.5, but the local district “can bump it up,” Gordon said.
Assistant Principal Graham said the other handbook change restricts lunch delivery to parents or guardians only. They must be signed in and have lunch “for only one student. Parents will come in the building, not kids go to the parking lot.”
Elementary school – Assistant Principal Rick Rebsamen said elementary will remove some of the forms from handbooks because parents receive them at registration.
He also asked the board to approve a ban on caps unless “approved by the principal or designee. Students can wear caps to school but must remove them inside the building.”
Sweatbands are allowed, but bandanas are not, Rebsamen said.
Primary school – Principal Shirley Wright said a new state law does not allow out-of-school suspension as an alternative for parents who do not want their children to be paddled. In the past, suspension had been an option.
Primary will reduce the number of school parties from four to two per year. They will be held for Christmas and Valentine’s Day only.
A section on toys at school bans spinners unless “part of an IEP or 504 plan because they help the child,” Wright said.
All school supplies are furnished by the district except backpacks and lunch boxes, Wright said. She thanked the board for providing supplies at primary and elementary.
All of the recommended changes were approved by board members. They take effect with the 2017-18 academic year.