Derry School Board Reviews New, Updated Policies

The Derry School Board is reviewing several new and updated policies for addition to its policy handbook.
The School Board did a first reading of the policies at its Sept. 10 meeting.
Policy JLCJ deals with concussions and head injuries and is an update, Superintendent Laura Nelson told the board. “This policy was originally adopted in January 2013,” Nelson said. 
In the past, Nelson said, the policy covered middle-and high-school students. It has been expanded to cover all Derry students, grades Kindergarten-8, she said.

The policy is consistent with the National Federation of High School and the New Hampshire Interscholastic Athletic Association guidelines and requires the following: training for all sports coaches in the management of head injuries and concussions; information sheets for parents; student athletes not returning to play until they are evaluated by a health care provider and receive medical clearance; and a protocol and course of action to make sure any affected student can resume academic activities.
Policy EFA was a first reading and concerns the availability and distribution of healthy foods. The policy states that the superintendent or his/her designee ensure that all foods and beverages distributed within the district meet state and federal nutritional standards relative to nutrient density, portion size and nutrition targets. 
Member Ken Linehan asked if this were a new policy and Nelson said it didn’t replace the Health and Wellness policy, but was a companion policy.
Policy IFA, a first reading, concerns instructional needs of students with different talents, and directs the district to design the curriculum to meet the needs of students with different talents, interests and development.
The policy requires the district to meet the instructional needs of students with alternative learning programs such as extended learning opportunities, alternative learning plans, distance education, vocational/ technical education and more.
Policy IMGA was also a first reading. IMGA, regarding the use of service animals, is required by the state and also by the Federal 504 regulations as part of the Americans With Disabilities Act, Nelson said. It covers students, employees and visitors.
The definition covers a “hearing ear dog,” “guide dog” or “service dog” as defined in RSA 167-D:3. The policy provides that the district not make an inquiry about the nature or extent of an individual’s disability in order to determine whether a service animal should be allowed on the grounds, but may ask whether the animal is required because of a disability and what service or task the animal is expected to perform.
The district may also require annual submission of proof of vaccination. An animal may be prohibited from district property if it is out of control and the handler does not take effective action to control it; the animal is not housebroken; the presence of the animal will require a fundamental alternation of the program or interfere with educational process; the owner/handler fails to provide a certificate of vaccination; and the owner fails to comply with RSA 167-D:3.
Policy JLCK, a first reading, deals with special physical health needs of students. Linehan asked what that would entail, and Nelson gave an example of a child who had a broken leg and needed a wheelchair. “It’s an interim need,” she said. “Instead of requiring a 504 plan, we would just beef up the accommodations.”
Another example would be if a child had a back problem and couldn’t carry books, she said, adding, “We would provide two sets of books, one at home and one at school.”
The policies are expected to have a second reading and be voted on at the Sept. 24 meeting.

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