In late February WSSDA issued an updated "Policy News" and included several recommended policy updates.
The policies listed below are recommended for Board consideration at first reading.
WSSDA classifies policies into three categories
As a practice going forward the WSSDA policy classification will be noted in the board brief.
Policy 2125 (New). This ENCOURAGED policy reflects changes to RCW 28A.300.475, dealing with Sexual Health Education.
Senate Bill (SB) 5395 was passed by the legislature in 2020 and subsequently approved by the voters in the 2020 general election. The bill requires all K-12 public schools to provide comprehensive sexual health education to all students by the 2022-2023 school year. As defined in the bill, comprehensive sexual health education is recurring instruction in human development and reproduction that is medically accurate, age-appropriate, and inclusive of all students. The bill also defines instruction for grades K-3 as social and emotional learning (SEL) that is consistent with Washington’s SEL Standards and Benchmarks. Instruction for grades 4-12 will continue to include HIV/AIDS prevention, as the AIDS Omnibus Act is also still in place. Parents continue to have the ability to opt their children out of comprehensive sexual health education instruction.
New requirements are not significantly different from those in place since 2007, when the Healthy Youth Act went into effect. The largest change is that school districts are now required to provide comprehensive sexual health education to their students. New legislative requirements, codified in RCW 28A.300.475, require comprehensive sexual health education to be provided at several points during the K-12 experience, which is consistent with what research shows is necessary to see positive outcomes for youth. Affirmative consent and bystander training were called out in the bill to address concerns about unacceptably high rates of unwanted sexual contact reported by Washington students. Bystander training is often included in bullying prevention programs as a way to encourage safe intervention when students see behavior such as bullying or sexual harassment.
The Policy is only slightly modified from the WSSDA recommended policy (WSSDA is in red and the modifications in blue)
Policy 2413 (Revised). This ESSENTIAL policy may look familiar as the board adopted recommended modifications in February 2021. WSSDA has revised this model policy to clarify portions that are specific to computer science. In particular, the revisions clarify that not all of the options available for awarding mastery-based credit for other subject matter are available for computer science.
Policy 3200 (Recommended for Retirement/Deletion). WSSDA has incorporated elements from ESSENTIAL Policy 3200 – Rights and Responsibilities into ESSENTIAL policy 3241 and retired 3200. These previously separate but interrelated policies work better and are less confusing synthesized into one holistic policy.
Policy 3241 (Revised). This ESSENTIAL policy has a number of WSSDA recommended modifications. The marked-up version is somewhat difficult to read in places so a nonmarked-up version is included for board review. WSSDA has incorporated key elements of Policy 3200 in this revision. Additionally, they are recommending the addition of elements that make a review of disaggregated student discipline data a key part of school improvement efforts. These recommendations are not required by any changes to laws or regulations.
Policy 3432 (Revised) WSSDA has comprehensively revised ESSENTIAL Policy and Procedure 3432/3432P – Emergencies to reflect the current laws and needs related to planning for safety. Additional details can be found on pages 11-12 of the WSSDA Policy News
Policy 6000 (Revised) WSSDA made several revisions to this ENCOURAGED policy and procedure. We revised language so it does not need updating any time changes in the law or changes in contracts occur. The revisions use more enduring language. For example, “The district will make payroll deductions for staff as required by law […]” and “The district will make payroll deductions for staff based on contractual agreements, such as those required by collective bargaining agreements.” We also added several legal references that address payroll deductions for staff.
Policy 6600-Transportation (Revised) WSSDA has updated this ENCOURAGED policy based on House Bill (HB) 2455 – Child Care – Parents Attending High School. The legislation provides that at the request of an eligible student, a school district may allow the student to transport an infant on a school bus or other district transportation. The infant must be transported in a rear-facing child restraint system. The legislation further states that if the district denies the student’s request to transport an infant by bus, the district must authorize other arrangements for the student’s transportation. An eligible student is any student served by the transportation program of a school district or compensated for individual transportation arrangements whose route stop is outside the walking area for a student’s school, except if the student to be transported is disabled.
WSSDA has also encouraged the adoption of Model Policy 3112. I am not presenting this ENCOURAGED policy for consideration at first reading. It adds a layer of complexity to an element that is already incorporated in the work occurring daily at the school level to create a positive and inclusive community.