Windham Southeast School District (WSESD) Policy and Amendment Committee Meeting Minutes June 12, 2024

Note: These minutes should be considered preliminary until they are approved at the next Policy and Amendment Committee meeting.
Windham Southeast School District (WSESD) Policy and Amendment Committee

Wednesday, June 12, 2024
Regular meeting 2:00 pm

Hybrid meeting: WSESU Central Office, 53 Green St., Brattleboro, VT and

Remotely via Zoom

Policy and Amendment Committee members present: Deborah Stanford (DS, Chair), Tim Maciel (TM), Anne Beekman (AB)
WSESD/U Staff and Administrators present: Superintendent Mark Speno (MS), Paul Smith (PS), Shannon Kelly (SK), Mike Kelliher (MK), Mo Hart (MH)
Guests (via Zoom): Liz Adams (LA), Robin Morgan (RM)

Call to Order

DS convened the meeting at 2:10 p.m. and read the hybrid statement.

I. Approval of Minutes and confirmation of next meeting date

The minutes of 5/22/24 meeting approved by assent.

The Policy and Amendment Committee meets on second and fourth Wednesdays, from 2-4 pm at the WSESU Central Office and on Zoom. The next meeting is scheduled for: June 26

No meetings in July

II. Updates
● The following policies were presented for a first reading on 5/28/24:
o E14 Environmental Awareness and Responsibility
o F4 Searches, Seizures, and Interrogation of Students by School Personnel
o F5 Searches, Seizures, and Interrogation of Students by Law Enforcement Personnel or Other Non-School Personnel
o F41 Policy on Section 504 and ADA Grievance Protocol for Students & Staff
o G13 Acceptable Use of Electronic Resources and the Internet

● The following policy was re -adopted by the Board on 5/28/24:
o F26 Participation of Home Study Students in School Programs and Activities

● The following policy will be presented to Board for repeal on 6/25/24:
o LSP2 Transportation – Pupil Transportation Utilizing Private Vehicle

III. Policies

F1 Student Conduct and Discipline
● Committee reviewed the Due Process section on page 4.
o Suspensions of “five days or more” � “ten days or more” per statute.
o The paragraph was split into three bullet points for clarity.
o A final sentence was added after the bullet points: “Upon a suspension of ten days or more, an appeal hearing must be scheduled with the board and the family.”

● MS will ask Hannah or Cassie to attend the 6/26 meeting to give feedback on F1.
● F1 on hold until 6/26 to review with high school administration .

D4 Educator Supervision and Evaluation
● TM raised a question regarding policies like D4 that require a report to the Board. Efforts are duplicated when the SD and SU have the same policy and both require a report.
o PS suggested that such policies could require a report either to the SU or to both the SD and Vernon school boards.

● D4 will go for a first reading on 6/25.

D2 Professional Development
● PD will be central to the conversation at the 6/18 retreat. That discussion may influence the committee’s thinking on D2.
● D2 is on hold until after the 6/18 retreat.

Gender freedom in schools
● Committee reviewed the Curriculum and School Culture section , with the following comments:
● “The Equity and Social Justice League is a resource for administrators and staff who have questions about how to implement this.”
o SK confirmed that the ESJ L is not an outside organization, but the district’s renamed Diversity Equity Committee.

● “Schools will establish LGBTQ+ affinity groups or Queer Straight Alliance groups that are student-led and facilitated by an adult on site.”
o Significant discussion took place as to whether the line should read “Schools will establish…” or “Schools may establish…” or “Schools will offer…”
o “School will establish” may feel like a mandate.
o SK noted that using “Schools may establish…” would put students in the position of advocating for their own needs. Students who most need the affinity group are the ones who would be least likely to speak up.
o LGBTQ+ affinity groups already exist at Academy, Putney, Dummerston, Guilford, BUHS, and BAMS.

● “Students in the groups may engage in activism to the degree that they choose. However, advocacy for gender freedom will not be the students’ responsibility.”
o Rearrange for clarity: “Advocacy for gender freedom will not be the students’ responsibility. Students in the groups may engage in activism to the degree that they choose.”

● “Schools will provide resources for students to discuss gender identity in a therapeutic setting. Ideally this would involve sessions with a therapist or social-worker who is trained and competent in supporting trans and gender -expansive youth, in accordance with the Vermont Education Quality Standards and the American Academy of Pediatrics policy statement.”
o Second sentence: therapist � counselor.
o Discussion focused on the phrase “therapeutic setting.” Will schools be offering counseling or referring the student to a therapist in the community? Does the phrasing “schools will provide resources” imply that the schools will be paying? Rather than “therapeutic setting,” could it be worded as “safe setting” or “confidential setting”?

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