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Policy Update. Alabama Council of School Board Attorneys Summer Conference June 22, 2013. Robin Andrews Bishop, Colvin, Johnson & Kent, LLC 1910 First Avenue North Birmingham, Alabama 35203. *Concussions *Local School Board Governance. CONCUSSIONS. Act No. 2012-314

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Policy update

Policy Update

Alabama Council of School Board Attorneys

Summer Conference

June 22, 2013

Robin Andrews

Bishop, Colvin, Johnson & Kent, LLC

1910 First Avenue North

Birmingham, Alabama 35203


Concussions local school board governance

*Concussions*Local School Board Governance


Concussions

CONCUSSIONS


Policy update

Act No. 2012-314

Extended Obligations

Regarding Concussions to

Local School Boards


Requirements of act no 2012 314

Requirements of Act No. 2012-314

  • “Develop guidelines and other pertinent information and forms to inform and educate youth athletes and their parents or guardians in their program of the nature and risk of concussion and brain injury, including continuing to play after a suspected concussion or brain injury”

    • The AHSAA, Centers for Disease Control, and other organizations have developed fact sheets for both athletes and their parents or guardians.

    • The CDC fact sheets can be downloaded online and are free of charge:

      • www.cdc.gov/concussion/headsup/youth.html

      • www.cdc.gov/concussion/headsup/high_school.html

    • The CDC has versions in Spanish that might be helpful for systems that need translated versions.


Requirements of act no 2012 3141

Requirements of Act No. 2012-314

  • School boards could include the fact sheet in the Student Handbook or Code of Student Conduct to ensure that every student is provided the information at some point.

  • In addition, consider posting the information on the Board website.


Requirements of act no 2012 3142

Requirements of Act No. 2012-314

  • “Annually promulgate for parental signature and return a “concussion and head injury sheet,” a signed copy of which must be obtained by the board prior to the student’s participation in practice or in competition.

    • The AHSAA has developed a form for this purpose.

    • In addition, the CDC has a similar form.

  • Identify employee responsible for checking for receipt of form before the student practices or competes.


Requirements of act no 2012 3143

Requirements of Act No. 2012-314

  • Receipt of a signed “concussion and head injury” sheet for each youth athlete should be required before a student participates in practice or in competition.

  • Ensure that this requirement is tracked for each athlete. Make it part of the review of their eligibility to play or as part of any other existing process that is set up to be done on a routine basis by a competent employee.

  • Keep copies of the sheet in a safe, secure location where it can be retrieved if needed.


Requirements of act no 2012 3144

Requirements of Act No. 2012-314

  • Ensure that “coaches receive annual training to learn how to recognize symptoms of a concussion and how to seek proper medical treatment for a person suspected of having a concussion”

    • AHSAA requires online training for coaches.

    • CDC also suggests free, online training.

    • Training can be found at :

      • http://www.ahsaa.com/Coaches/tabid/158/Default.aspx

      • http://www.nfhslearn.com/electiveDetail.aspx?courseID=15000

      • http://www.cdc.gov/concussion/headsup/training/headsupconcussion.html


Requirements of act no 2012 3145

Requirements of Act No. 2012-314

  • “Establish by rule the requirements of the training which shall be provided by using designated resources to the extent practicable and timelines to ensure that, to the extent practicable, every coach receives the training before the beginning of practice for the school athletic team”

    • Establish what training model will be used.

    • Best practice : Train all coaches at once or establish deadline for completion of training before school starts each year.

    • Identify a person to track training and verify completion by all coaches.

    • Keep copies of verification of training for each coach. Track completion of training just like you would other qualification requirements.


Requirements of act no 2012 3146

Requirements of Act No. 2012-314

  • Remove an athlete suspected of sustaining a concussion “from participation.” The athlete may not return to play the day of the injury until the athlete is evaluated by a licensed physician and receives written clearance to return to play from a licensed physician.

    • Receipt of a signed written clearance from a licensed physician is required to return to play

    • Identify employee responsible for ensuring that athlete is not allowed to participate the day of the injury.

    • Identify employee responsible for checking that written clearance is on file before athlete returns to play.

    • Keep the written clearance on file for the student.


Requirements of act no 2012 3147

Requirements of Act No. 2012-314

  • Boards should establish a process (but not necessarily a policy) for ensuring compliance with the requirements of the law.

  • Materials that have been prepared by sports organizations in response to the 2011 Act may be consulted or even adopted for sports governed by those organizations. However, some caveats are in order. Such organizations may not cover all sports or sports at all levels. Act 2012-314 applies to all “youth athletes.”

  • Further, such materials may impose requirements that are not actually required by the legislation.

  • Because the Act requires that training requirements and timelines be established “by rule,” some formal pronouncement is arguably mandated by the statute.

  • Whether the rule is in the form of a policy, procedure, board resolution, or administrative directive, the statement should require nothing more than what the Act itself mandates


Local school board governance

Local School Board Governance


The school board governance improvement act of 2012

The School Board GovernanceImprovement Act of 2012

  • Recent school board accountability legislation has focused on improving administrative, financial, and educational performance. The School Board Governance Improvement Act of 2012 (“the SBGIA”) (Act. No. 2012-221) shines the accountability spotlight on board members themselves by codifying principles of “boardsmanship” and providing the means for assuring more effective leadership at the local policymaking level.


The school board governance improvement act of 20121

The School Board GovernanceImprovement Act of 2012

  • The purpose of the SBGIA is to enhance the effectiveness of public school governance by Alabama School Boards.

    • Board members should function collectively, not individually, to govern a local school system that promotes student learning and prepares students for college and careers.

    • Board members have the duty to act in the best interest of the local school system as a whole, without self interest.


The school board governance improvement act of 20122

The School Board GovernanceImprovement Act of 2012

  • An individual board member must meet minimum qualifications to serve, comply with a code of conduct, and participate in orientation and ongoing training.


The school board governance improvement act of 20123

The School Board GovernanceImprovement Act of 2012

  • This Act requires an official affirmation by the board member upon taking office that:

  • The actions and decisions made as a school board member will be based on the needs and interests of the students and the school system.

  • No decision or action will be made to serve or promote the personal, political, of financial interests of the school board member.

  • Each decision or action will be based on the interests of the school system as a whole.

  • The views of all school board members and the local superintendent will be considered before making a decision or taking action on any matter before the board.


The school board governance improvement act of 20124

The School Board GovernanceImprovement Act of 2012

  • Formal actions will be taken after recommendation and consultation with the local superintendent and that board members may not individually or jointly attempt to direct or corrupt school operations, or obstruct the local superintendent's duties.

  • The board member will promote public support for the school system and endorse programs to improve the quality of public education for all students.

  • The board member will attend scheduled meetings and participate in training programs and school functions.


The school board governance improvement act of 20125

The School Board GovernanceImprovement Act of 2012

  • The affirmation must be signed before assuming each term of office

  • Each affirmation must be recorded in the minutes of the Board


The school board governance improvement act of 20126

The School Board GovernanceImprovement Act of 2012

  • This Act establishes new duties for school board members:

  • Work with the local superintendent to establish a vision for the school system by adopting goals that address student needs, advance student performance, and review data to monitor implementation of policies and programs.

  • Adopt policies and programs to meet the adopted goals and respond to system needs recommended by the local superintendent.

  • Address personnel recommendations submitted by the local school superintendent in a timely manner and take personnel actions based on student needs and system finances without regard to personal preferences or political interests.

  • Approve operating budgets aligned with the adopted goals as recommended by the local superintendent.

  • Advocate for the needs, resources, and interests of students and allow the local superintendent to address constituent issues.


The school board governance improvement act of 20127

The School Board GovernanceImprovement Act of 2012

  • The State Superintendent will develop continuing education and training programs for school board members to provide each school board member with an understanding of the role of the school board member in assuring the effective provision of educational services.

  • Among other things, the SBGIA requires the State Board of Education to adopt a model code of conduct for members of local boards of education by January 1, 2013. By April 1, 2013, local boards of education must adopt a code of conduct “that includes, at a minimum, the model code of conduct adopted by the State Board of Education.” In effect, local boards may impose higher—but not lower—standards on themselves than are imposed by the State Board’s model code.

  • No requirement that the Code of Conduct be placed in the Board’s policy manual.


School board member eligibility requirements

School Board MemberEligibility Requirements

  • The Act amends current laws for city and county school board members to require a school board member to vacate office when the school board member moves from the school district the school board member represents.

  • Eligibility for election or appointment to a school board now requires

    • The person is of good moral character.

    • Has a high school diploma or equivalent.

    • Is not employed by the same school board.

    • Is not serving on the board of a private school or college.

    • Is not a registered sex offender.

    • Is not a convicted felon.


Board member training eligibility requirements

Board Member TrainingEligibility Requirements

The SBGIA charges the State Superintendent of Education with developing a program of orientation and ongoing training for school board members.

The Act became effective this spring and received pre-clearance from the U.S. Justice Department in August. The goal of the training-and in large measure the Act– to strengthen each board member's skills and the skills of each board team to ensure effective governance that promotes student achievement and fiscal accountability.


Annual training

Annual Training

  • From January 1, 2013, to June 30, 2013, every school board member must attend at least three hours of training.

  • Effective July 1, 2013, all members must complete six hours of training annually from July 1 to June 30.

  • At least two of the required six hours must be whole board, interactive training, which is defined as “A training session attended by at least the majority of the members of a school board during which the trainer or facilitator interacts directly with the board and members discuss an issue or issues specifically as they pertain to the board or system.“

  • To qualify as credit-hours under the SBGIA, a training session must either be provided by the AASB or approved in advance through an application process administered by AASB.


Annual training1

Annual Training

  • Credit-hours will only be awarded for training that is instate and Alabama-specific; attendance at regional and national conferences will not qualify.

  • Training may be done in any of a variety of formats, including conferences, workshops, retreats, Webinars, and online courses.

  • Credit-hours only apply in the year in which they were earned; they will not accrue from year to year. A record of each individual's training hours will be maintained by AASB.

  • Hardship exceptions to the orientation requirement must be approved by the State Superintendent of Education on a case-by-case basis.


Orientation training

Orientation Training

  • All school board members must complete an orientation, with courses covering the roles and responsibilities of the board; finance; ethics; board meetings; legal and personnel issues; advocacy; the Governance Act; student and school performance; working with the board attorney and superintendent; and public/media relations.

  • Members taking office for the first time on or after January 1, 2013, have one year from the July following their election or appointment to complete the orientation requirement. However, board members are strongly encouraged to take the orientation as soon as practicable following their election or appointment and may do so prior to taking office.

  • Any currently serving school board member who has already taken both of AASB's orientation courses will be deemed to have met the orientation requirement.


Orientation training1

Orientation Training

  • Currently serving board members who have not completed the full 12 hours of orientation must do so upon their re-election or reappointment as a board member. They will have one year from the July following their re-election or reappointment for completion of the orientation.

  • To qualify as credit-hours under the School Board Governance Improvement Act of 2012, a training session must be provided by the AASB or approved in advance through an application process administered by AASB.

  • Hardship exceptions to the orientation training requirements will be approved by the State Superintendent of Education on a case-by-case basis.

  • Training must be instate and Alabama-specific.

  • Training may be done in any of a variety of formats, including conferences, workshops, retreats, Webinar, and online courses.


Other policy considerations

Other Policy Considerations

  • Non-resident policy review in light of the Accountability Act.

  • RIF policy. Given recent legislative initiatives that seek to take away Board’s ability to base RIF on certification or seniority, Boards should make sure their RIF policy is current and the objective criteria chosen can be cogently explained and tied to the needs of the system.


Policy update

Robin Andrews

Melissa McKie

1910 First Avenue North

Birmingham, Alabama 35203

[email protected]

www.bishopcolvin.com


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