After mandates from the last legislative session, Brainerd School Board members reviewed amendments to district policies during its meeting Monday, Oct. 14.
Superintendent Laine Larson said there are about 15 policies in need of updates and brought five before the board Monday.
An addition to policy No. 510 on school activities states the school board will ensure any funds raised for extracurricular activities will be spent only on extracurricular activities.
Larson said the district already abides by that measure, but putting it in the policy will ensure the business department is keeping a close eye on extracurricular activity funds.
Policy No. 524 on acceptable and safe internet use, as it stands, prohibits students and staff from using the school district system to post personal information about a user or another individual on social networks, including but not limited to MySpace and Facebook. The amendment now specifies Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Reddit “and similar websites or applications.”
Unpaid meal charges
An amendment to policy No. 534 on unpaid meal charges states district officials cannot deny any student the opportunity to participate in graduation ceremonies or other commencement activities due to unpaid meal charges.
Student activity accounting
Several changes are proposed to monitor policy No. 713 dealing with student activity funds.
Under the new policy, the school board “shall take charge of, control over and account for all student activity accounting that relates to extracurricular activities.” Previously, the policy singled out activities relating to contracts ratified by the board, activities with fees and activities with a taxable sale related to them.
Next, an addition states all money received or expended for extracurriculars will be recorded in the same manner as other district revenues before being turned over to the treasurer.
A final addition states all activity accounts of a graduating class will be terminated prior to the start of the school year following graduation. Any residual money from those funds will go into the district’s general fund and can be used for any district purpose.
Policy No. 802 regarding obsolete equipment states the district may bypass competitive bidding when disposing of surplus computers and related equipment if conveying the property to another school district, the state Department of Corrections, the board of trustees of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities or a student’s family whose income meets the federal definition of poverty. An amendment to the policy adds charitable organizations registered for education use as well.
If surplus computers and tablets are not disposed of that way, another policy amendment states they may be sold or given to qualifying students at the price specified in a written resolution. A student is eligible to apply for a computer or tablet if he or she is currently enrolled and intends to enroll the year following receipt of the device. If more students apply than devices are available, students who qualify for free and reduced lunch will be chosen first, followed by a lottery for other students.
The board approved the first reading of the policy changes Monday night and will likely approve the policies at its next meeting Oct. 28.