AlliedNews.com - Grove City, Pennsylvania

January 30, 2013

Public invited to read GCASD manual

By Felicia A. Petro/Senior Reporter
Allied News

GROVE CITY — The public is invited to read revisions to Grove City Area School District's policy manual; the first section of which has just been posted on its web site.

Last school year, school directors approved the Pennsylvania School Boards Association to revise the manual with current school laws, language and codes. There will be 700 sections total.

PSBA has completed the revisions, and directors will now plan to work through a section at its monthly work sessions to see if they agree with the changes, and want to make their own. Monday evening included a look through the 000 section of the manual.

Each number in that section included issues like board policy, procedures and regulations; its authority and powers; and its membership, function, meeting, as well as public access to the policy. A final part of the section included standards and codes of conduct for board members, which is an addition to Grove City's manual by PSBA, said Sue Herman, president.

"I've been trying to get the board to approve this for three years," she noted.

Part of the standards include community engagement, said Esther Falcetta, who believed the PSBA's revisions of the district's policy manual should be accessible online.

Director Scott Somora also felt the public wasn't given adequate awareness about the board discussing the revisions to the policy manual on Monday, so they could attend the meeting to give input.

The board decided to have each section of the manual posted on the district's web site after the directors discuss it and make revisions. Kim Buchanan, business manager, will then send a form with the board's changes to PSBA to make sure they are legal, she said after the meeting.

For instance, PSBA stated in the 000 section that minutes of committee meetings can be taken by the heads of the committees; however, the board functions as a committee as a whole, will all committee members discussing district matters together at the monthly workshop meetings.

On Monday, director Adam Renick suggested that there would be no specification of who would take minutes at the meetings, since Buchanan or Debbie Holmes, assistant business manager, usually does that job.

The committee as a whole has been a sore spot for Somora, who has stated that - since board members have committee chair titles - school issues should be discussed through specific committees before the board votes on them as a whole to be compliant with current school policy.

All of PSBA's - and the board's - changes to the district's policy manual will be preliminary until members go through all 700 sections and make sure their are OK with PSBA, when the district will open its web site for online suggestions from the community. The process could take a year before the document could go up for a vote by the board, Herman said. Each section must undergo two readings at meetings.  

The manual can also be seen by the public at any of the district's school buildings or central office, which members decided to add to the revised document.

Visit www.grovecity.k12.pa.us, click on "school board" and "policy review" to see the Pennsylvania School Boards Association revisions to the district's policy manual.

Published Jan. 12, 2013, in Allied News. Pick up a copy at 201 A Erie St., Grove City.