Policy BG -G1: Guidelines for Development and Adoption of New School Committee Policies and for Amending Existing Policies

Creating New Policies or Changing Existing Policies:

Suggestions for new policies or for changes in existing policies maybe brought to the Regional School Committee by the Superintendent, by individual School Committee members, or by the Policy Subcommittee.Other individuals who would like to suggest policy changes or want to request that a policy be reviewed may go through any one of those three channels, or they may ask to speak directly to the entire School Committee.

If the Regional School Committee concludes that a new policy may be needed or that an existing policy should be reviewed, then the School Committee will assign the task of researching the issue to either the Superintendent or to Policy Subcommittee.

The School Committee may choose instead to assign the research task to another existing or new subcommittee.

Any subcommittee working on policy change should confer with the Superintendent for his/her recommendations. The Superintendent will request input from the people who would be affected by the policy and will obtain legal advice when appropriate.

Before a written draft of a proposed policy comes to the School Committee for discussion, it must be given to the Superintendent for his/her review and recommendations. The proposed policy also should be reviewed by the Policy Subcommittee to check for consistency with existing policies and to identify the laws to reference in the policy.

Approval Process:

Proposed new policies and proposed changes in existing policies are brought in writing to a Regional School Committee meeting for discussion.

At the next regular meeting, special meeting, or at any later meeting, the Regional School Committee may take a vote to approve the proposed policy. A policy is approved by a majority vote of the School Committee. (Voting requires a quorum be present.)

If the Regional School Committee decides during their discussion that revisions are needed in the substance or wording of the proposed policy, then the policy will be given back to a subcommittee or to the Superintendent for further work.

If the revised policy comes back to the Regional School Committee with substantive changes, no vote may be taken to approve the policy until the next regular or special meeting.

After the proposed policy has been discussed at a Regional School Committee meeting, the Amherst School Committee and the Pelham School Committee may vote to approve the proposed policy at any of their regular meetings or specially scheduled meetings.

A policy is adopted when it has been approved by a majority vote of all three School Committees. The date when the policy becomes effective is set by the Regional Committee.

Policies Applying to a Single District:

Policies generally will be consistent across the Amherst, Pelham, and Amherst Regional School Districts. Policies must be voted on and approved by all three School Committees before becoming official School Committee policy, except when the topic of a policy is not relevant to all three School Districts.

When a policy does not apply to all three School Districts, the appropriate School Committee will follow the procedures outlined above for the Regional School Committee. The policy for a single district is adopted when it has been approved by a majority vote of that district’s School Committee. The date when the policy becomes effective is set by that School Committee.

Emergencies and Exceptions:

In an emergency, the above procedures may be dispensed with by a vote of two thirds of those members present.

Region Voted to Approve: 7/11/06
Amherst Voted to Approve: 8/15/06
Pelham Voted to Approve: 9/7/06
Effective Date: 9/7/06