Red Hook schools study new policies

The Red Hook Board of Education held a brief first reading of three new school policies at its Oct. 9 meeting.

The policies will cover concussions, harassment, and teacher evaluations.

The concussion policy would give physical education teachers, nurses and coaches training on how to deal with and recognize concussions. All students who show symptoms in school activities, including sports, would be removed from that activity.

Parents will be encouraged to notify school officials if students are showing symptoms outside of school, so the schools can appropriately manage the situation. Students who are found to have a concussion would not be allow to return to school unless cleared by a health care professional. Student athletes would have to go through an even more stringent screening process before returning to their sport.

The new harassment policy is in line with the state’s new Dignity for All Students Act. Each school would appoint a Dignity Act Coordinator, who will be trained to address harassment, bullying, and discrimination issues. The coordinator will be accessible to students, handle all reports of harassment, and submit an annual report to the state Commissioner of Education.

New teacher evaluations would fall in line with laws pertaining to Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR). After review, teachers will placed into one of four categories: highly effective, effective, developing, and ineffective.

Those who are deemed developing or ineffective will create and implement an improvement plan in coordination with the school principal. Two consecutive ineffectives would be grounds for termination.

A second reading and an adoption vote will be held at the board’s Oct. 23 meeting, which starts at 7pm.

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