By: Rhiana Huckins Email
By: Rhiana Huckins Email

In order for the policy manual to be legally sound, the Alabama Association of School Boards recommends that a lawyer plays a part in designing it.

A presentation given at tonight's meeting explained just how it would be done.

“We don't go by pages, we go by pounds!" says Dr. Sam Nichols, Superintendent of Dothan City Schools.

Its too many pages to count.

The Dothan City school board policy manual has not been recreated since the 1970s.

Its large size looks intimidating, and experts say there is a way to dramatically reduce the size.

"You don't need 3 policies anymore. We have computers, so what we did was design it like a code- Like the state code. So when you read it through the different subjects, they are grouped in different areas and you read right through it." Says Whit Colvin, an attorney from Birmingham.

The Alabama Association of School Boards has teamed up with a group of attorneys in Birmingham to put together a successful board policy manual that has been used in several Alabama school systems.

"We have had great results with this streamline approach, and that doesn't mean that the board's job is reduced because if you think your only policy making ability is in that book, that is when I want to encourage boards to think much broader than that." Says Sally Howell, the Executive Director of the Alabama Association of School Boards.

The AASB and the attorneys are willing to work with the school board system to make sure the policy suits their needs... And after seeing the presentation, taking them up on the offer may not be such a bad idea.

"It's probably been 7 or 8 years since the last time it was revised. And like I said in the meeting tonight, in the last 30 years it’s probably been revised 3 or 4 times so this is something we need to do." Says Dr. Nichols.

This issue is up for discussion on the December 15th agenda.

Board members will decide if they want to move forward with this service.

Dr. Nichols says he is not sure how much the project will cost but since the policy manual needs a desperate makeover... It will be money well spent.

Also at tonight's meeting, the School Board approved borrowing money from the reserves fund again because of the state's shortfall.

The state's allocation to Dothan city schools is not expected until the end of this month.

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