Policy BG -G1: Guidelines for Development and Adoption of New School Committee Policies and for Amending Existing Policies

Creating New Policies or Changing Existing Policies:

Suggestions for new policies or for changes in existing policies maybe brought to the Regional School Committee by the Superintendent, byindividual School Committee members, or by the Policy Subcommittee.Other individuals who would like to suggest policy changes or want torequest that a policy be reviewed may go through any one of those threechannels, or they may ask to speak directly to the entire SchoolCommittee.

If the Regional School Committee concludes that a new policy may beneeded or that an existing policy should be reviewed, then the SchoolCommittee will assign the task of researching the issue to either theSuperintendent or to Policy Subcommittee.

The School Committee may choose instead to assign the research task to another existing or new subcommittee.

Any subcommittee working on policy change should confer with theSuperintendent for his/her recommendations. The Superintendent willrequest input from the people who would be affected by the policy andwill obtain legal advice when appropriate.

Before a written draft of a proposed policy comes to the SchoolCommittee for discussion, it must be given to the Superintendent forhis/her review and recommendations. The proposed policy also should bereviewed by the Policy Subcommittee to check for consistency withexisting policies and to identify the laws to reference in the policy.

Approval Process:

Proposed new policies and proposed changes in existing policies arebrought in writing to a Regional School Committee meeting fordiscussion.

At the next regular meeting, special meeting, or at any latermeeting, the Regional School Committee may take a vote to approve theproposed policy. A policy is approved by a majority vote of the SchoolCommittee. (Voting requires a quorum be present.)

If the Regional School Committee decides during their discussion thatrevisions are needed in the substance or wording of the proposedpolicy, then the policy will be given back to a subcommittee or to theSuperintendent for further work.

If the revised policy comes back to the Regional School Committeewith substantive changes, no vote may be taken to approve the policyuntil the next regular or special meeting.

After the proposed policy has been discussed at a Regional SchoolCommittee meeting, the Amherst School Committee and the Pelham SchoolCommittee may vote to approve the proposed policy at any of theirregular meetings or specially scheduled meetings.

A policy is adopted when it has been approved by a majority vote ofall three School Committees. The date when the policy becomes effectiveis set by the Regional Committee.

Policies Applying to a Single District:

Policies generally will be consistent across the Amherst, Pelham, andAmherst Regional School Districts. Policies must be voted on andapproved by all three School Committees before becoming official SchoolCommittee policy, except when the topic of a policy is not relevant toall three School Districts.

When a policy does not apply to all three School Districts, theappropriate School Committee will follow the procedures outlined abovefor the Regional School Committee. The policy for a single district isadopted when it has been approved by a majority vote of that district’sSchool Committee. The date when the policy becomes effective is set bythat School Committee.

Emergencies and Exceptions:

In an emergency, the above procedures may be dispensed with by a vote of two thirds of those members present.

Region Voted to Approve: 7/11/06
Amherst Voted to Approve: 8/15/06
Pelham Voted to Approve: 9/7/06
Effective Date: 9/7/06