Updating Student Policies, Handbooks, and Your Website to Comply with New Laws
Are You Ready for Some Spring Cleaning?
Spring and summer is the best time to do an internal review to ensure that your school has up to date legally compliant and comprehensive student services board policies, annual notices (often provided through a student and family handbook), and legal content.
Thank you for joining us for the webinar where we:
- Reviewed the list of legally required student services policies and parent notifications, including recent legal updates to each;
- Discussed building and maintaining an efficient and legally compliant student and family handbook; and
- Discovered what information is legally required to be posted on the school’s website now and starting next school year.
Are elementary schools now required to have a Suicide Prevention Policy?
Yes – Existing law requires that schools serving students in grades 7-12 have a suicide prevention policy. Before the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year, schools serving students in grades K-6 are now also required to have this board approved policy.
Are schools required to have a Medical Cannabis on Campus Policy?
It depends – If the school wants to permit parents or guardians to administer medical cannabis to their child on campus, then a board policy is required to outline the procedures and limitations of these actions. If the school does not want to permit medical cannabis on campus, then no policy is required.
Do full student services policies and annual notices need to be included within the Student & Parent Handbook?
Generally no – Inclusion of this information within the Handbook is generally at the school’s discretion, but full policies can make the Handbook cumbersome. We recommend that student services policies be referenced within the Handbook along with information as to where they might be accessed (i.e. the website, at the main office, in a policy manual, etc.). The required Annual Notices may be provided through the Handbook or through enrollment/registration paperwork, a school newsletter, orientation handout, or other annual communication to parents. The school should also check its existing policies, notices, charter, and MOU with the authorizer to determine what it may have agreed to include within the Handbook.
Are there full student services policies that are required as part of the annual notice requirements?
Yes – The school must provide parents and students annually with a complete copy of the (1) Title IX, Harassment, Intimidation, Discrimination and Bullying Policy and (2) Employee Interactions with Students Policy. The school may also be required to annually provide a complete copy of the Suicide Prevention Policy, the Suspension and Expulsion Policy, and other policies depending on the language stated within its policies, the school’s charter petition, or existing MOUs.
Do parents and students have to sign the Student & Parent Handbook?
No – This is at the school’s discretion. Seeking a signature may be helpful to document parent and student receipt of the document and understanding of the rules and school expectations.
DATE AND TIME:
May 27, 2020
10:30 – 11:30 AM PST
Matejka Handley, ESQ.