BERNARD PARISH SCHOOL BOARD
This manual consists of the policies of the St. Bernard Parish School Board, herein referred to as the Board; some major regulations and/or procedures adopted by the Board and intended to facilitate the implementation of Board policy may also be included.
Policy development in a modern, forward-looking school system is a dynamic, ongoing process. New problems, issues and needs give rise to the continuing need to develop new policies or to revise existing ones. This is why the Board employs the loose-leaf format for its policy manual. It is easy to keep up to date.
Each person holding a copy of this manual shall make a diligent effort to keep it up to date as new or revised policies are distributed by the central office.
How to Use This Manual
The Board operates according to policies it has established. The Board, which represents both the state and parish community, develops the policies after careful deliberation; and the school administration implements them through specific regulations and procedures. The Board then appraises the effects of its policies and makes revisions as necessary. In the interest of harmony, efficiency, uniformity of interpretation, coordination of effort, and in fairness to all concerned, the Board makes this policy manual available to all who are affected by its policies.
How This Manual is Organized
The manual is organized according to the classification system originally developed by the Educational Policies Service of the National School Boards Association. This system provides an efficient means for coding, filing, and finding School Board policies, regulations, and procedures, and other documents.
There are 12 major classifications each bearing an alphabetical code:
A SCHOOL DISTRICT ORGANIZATION
B SCHOOL BOARD OPERATIONS
C GENERAL SCHOOL ADMINISTRATION
D FISCAL MANAGEMENT
E BUSINESS MANAGEMENT
F FACILITY EXPANSION PROGRAM
I INSTRUCTIONAL PROGRAM
K GENERAL PUBLIC RELATIONS
L EDUCATION AGENCY RELATIONS
Subclassification under each major heading is based on logical sequence and alphabetical subcoding. For an example of the subcoding system, examine the bordered pages immediately following the tab for Section A SCHOOL DISTRICT ORGANIZATION.
The bordered pages which follow the tab for each major section present the classification system, section by section and serve as the table of contents for each section or "chapter" of the policy manual.
How to Find a Policy
There are two ways to find a policy in the manual:
- Consider where the policy would be filed among the 12 major classifications. Turn to the table of contents for that section and glance down the listing until you find the term that closely fits the topic you are seeking. Use the code letters given for the term to locate the sheet which will appear in the alphabetical order by code within the particular section. The table of contents shows policies included in the manual with a checkmark to the left of the code (U). All pages of the manual are coded in the upper right hand corner. Or --
- Turn to the code finder at the end of the manual. The code finder is an alphabetic index of all terms used in the classification system. It also includes other terms commonly used in education. Look up your topic as in any index, find the code, and use the code to locate the sheet in the manual.
What if you cannot find the term you are seeking? The code finder lists more than 1,500 terms, but no index of useful size could include every possibility. If the term you are seeking is not included, look up a synonym or more general or specific term appropriate to the topic.
What if you can find the term and the code, but there is no policy? This probably means that the school system has no written policy in the particular area. All terms used in the classification system appear in the sectional table of contents and code finder to accommodate the coding and insertion in the manual. A brief statement related to the policy you are seeking may be incorporated in a "superior" policy which covers the area generally. This "superior" policy will be coded under a more general term. To find it, refer to the classification system. For example, a policy statement which relates to all meetings of the School Board might be filed under "Meetings" (BC) rather than "Regular Meetings" (BCAC).
Using the Signs and Symbols
Various signs and symbols are used in connection with the classification system. They are for your use in locating and/or examining policies. Included are the following:
Cf: Confer Certain policies relate to other policies. When a policy bears two or more codes in the upper right-hand corner with the second code (and perhaps others) preceded by the symbol of Cf., check statements under such codes for related statements.
-R Regulation This symbol following a code indicates that the statement is a Board regulation, not a Board policy.
-P Procedure This symbol following a code indicates that the statement is a Board procedure, not a Board policy or regulation.
Dates:The original date of adoption/issuance of the policy manual appears on the title page. Dates appearing immediately below the body of the policy indicate the date the policy was adopted or revised and released for insertion into the manual.
Ref: Pertinent legal references are given to tell the reader where in state law he may find specific statutes that relate to a policy. Court cases and Board minutes are also cited when applicable to certain policies.
Additional cross references are offered in notes throughout the manual to help the reader find all of the related information he seeks.
About Board Policies
Generally, the role of a Board is to set policy and the role of the administration is to execute it. Here is the basic distinction between policies, regulations, and procedures:
Policies are principles adopted by the Board to chart a course of action. They tell what is wanted and may include also why and how much. They are broad enough to indicate a line of action to be taken by the administration in meeting a number of day to day problems; they need to be narrow enough to give the administration clear guidance.
Rules and Regulations are specific requirements generally established by the Superintendent and/or his staff but may be specifically adopted by the Board. They are specific directions to fully implement the intent of respective policy statements.
Procedures are step-by-step guides that assist all personnel to carry out the specific regulations. They state exactly what is to be done and give detailed steps of how to do it.
These definitions are serviceable most of the time. They reflect sound theory of governance and administration. But the real world of Boards does not always conform. For example:
Often the state and federal governments confuse the distinction and require Boards to make detailed rules; and many regulations are established by law or by the State Department of Education.
A Board also signs many contracts which incorporate rules and regulations.
Additionally, the public may demand that the Board, itself, not the administrator, establish the specific rules and procedures in certain sensitive areas.
Thus, the separation of Board policies and administrative regulations and procedures follows several rules of thumb in addition to "basic theory:"
- All edicts of the state (even though regulations) are usually considered mandated Board policy.
- All agreements signed through contract (even though regulations) may be considered mandated Board policy.
- Where the Board has written regulations in particularly sensitive areas, and has incorporated them into policy, the entire statement may be included as Board policy, or the information may be separated into a Board policy and a Board regulation.
- Where the Board has adopted rules and regulations concerning its own procedures (as how it conducts meetings), these statements concerning operations of the Board generally appear as policy statements.
As long as the administration operates within the guidelines of general policy adopted by the Board, it may change administrative regulations and procedures without prior approval of the Board -- unless the Board has specifically asked that a particular regulation or procedure be given prior Board approval, or the change is to a previously adopted Board regulation or procedure. However, only the Board can adopt new policies or revise old policies.
Is the Manual Complete?
No. The manual contains all of the current written policies of the Board to date. But continually, the need for developing additional policies in writing, for adopting new ones, and revising old ones becomes apparent. No matter how well conceived and well developed, a policy manual can never be 100% up-to-date. Policy statements will be developed, coded according to the classification system, and issued for insertion in the manual as the need arises.
It is the hope of the Board that this collection of policies will make greater harmony and efficiency possible in all areas of school operations. It is hoped that this manual will enable the Board to devote more time to its primary duty – the development of long-range policies and planning for the future of the school system.
St. Bernard Parish School Board