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2/8/2021 Policy Subcommittee Minutes

SCHOOL COMMITTEE: POLICY SUBCOMMITTEE MEETING
Present: School Committee District Administration
Melissa Keefe, Terri Medeiros, Leah Palmer, Sonia Tellier and Anne Barnes
and Andrea Thorrold
Absent: Lori Duerr
Date: Monday, February 8, 2021
This meeting was conducted virtually via a Zoom Webinar; Michael Falcone, Director of IT, was also present to support our
members’ use of this Zoom application.
• Review and Approve Minutes
Members reviewed the draft minutes from January 19, 2021. The minutes were approved and subsequently forwarded for posting.
Minutes from this meeting will be reviewed at the subcommittee’s next meeting.
• Continue Discussion of MASC Suggested Policy Revision re: Harassment
ü Discuss ACAB. Conversations continued by looking at district counsel’s proposed revision of this policy to align with
changes precipitated by Title IX revisions. Questions surfaced regarding whether the district is able to shape policies and
procedures to be more rigorous and to affect incidents that occur outside of school but could have implications for the district
during school. Members discussed that the suggested revisions, specifically language associated with hearings and crossexamination, appear to make it more daunting to pursue disciplinary action against potential aggressors. Members’ questions
will be forwarded to district counsel, and responses will be discussed at a forthcoming meeting.
In addition, in line with a previous response from district counsel, the “reasonableness” standard will be revisited once the
draft policy is completely updated. Finally, a member asked about the procedures related to filing complaints. This document
will be updated after the policy revision is completed and then moved to the district’s procedure manual.
ü Discuss ACA. Some revisions were made during the subcommittee’s comprehensive policy review process. Discussion
returned to the list of examples, which are required by law. District counsel did not suggest any changes to the examples
listed in the proposed draft. Leah asked the subcommittee how and if examples can be prioritized. Others suggested that
perhaps using less specificity and more generalizations in order to broaden thinking about what is an example of harassment
could be beneficial. Among revisions, members resolved to eliminate gender specific references and change the term
“photos” to “possessing or sharing images.” Discussion was held with regard to whether microaggressions should be added to
the examples, and it was suggested that we consult with others as it may be difficult to discern between microaggression and
implicit bias.
• Other Item 1: Preview of Policy Search Tool within Online Policy Manual
Sonia described and demonstrated updates to the online policy manual’s search features that improve navigation. A search app
was newly activated on the site, enabling efficiencies in searching policies, accessing cross-references, printing documents.
Policies under review by the subcommittee will display an “under review” indicator and will be tracked by a timetable showing
dates discussed, when revisions are submitted to School Committee for read, and subsequent revision approval date. Andrea
suggested adding a notation at the top of the page, informing that the search bar is located at the bottom of the page. In addition,
she requested that we have an embedded analytic that tracks the clicks in the manual.
• Other Item 2: Upcoming Information
üNext Meeting Monday, March 1, 2021; 4:30 – 5:30 pm
üAnticipated Agenda
Review and Approve Minutes
Return to Discussion on Policy Update for Harassment
Other
Respectfully Submitted by,
Sonia L. Tellier Anne Barnes
Assistant Superintendent Assistant Director of Special Education