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Rancho Santa Fe School District to adopt new policies

The Rancho Santa Fe School District is updating several board policies due to changes in the law and California Education Code, to bring them into compliance. Kendall Swanson, district counsel, gave an update on the various changes at the RSF School board’s April 6 meeting.

Changes include the new district requirement to stock epinephrine auto-injectors (EpiPens), procedures for processing complaints and an amendment to the public comment policy that the district must provide twice the amount of allotted time if the person needs a translator.

The policy on pupil discipline (suspensions and expulsions) is updated every year and this year they have made additions to reflect new laws that added videos to the definition of online or electronic bullying – cyber-sexual bullying was also included.

A new policy on suicide prevention is now required by Assembly Bill 2246. This new law requires school districts to adopt a suicide prevention policy on or before July 1. Per the Education Code, the policy shall be developed in consultation with school and community stakeholders, school-employed mental health professionals and shall at a minimum address procedures relating to suicide prevention, intervention and postvention. The policy must address the needs of high-risk student groups and address any training to be provided to teachers.

Swanson said her firm will prepare a draft policy for review which will be shared with a group of school and community stakeholders selected by RSF School District Superintendent David Jaffe. A proposed first draft of the policy will be presented to the board at its May meeting and the final policy will be on the agenda for approval in June.

The board will also consider its policy regarding “Continued Enrollment of Children Whose Parents Are Temporarily Not Residing In The District.” This policy was adopted by the board in 2008 to address a very limited exception to the rule set forth by the California Legislature that only parents or legal guardians who actually reside in the district may enroll their children in the district or continue to enroll their children in the district.

Swanson said board policy provides a limited exception “during the period when the parent or legal guardian will be temporarily residing outside of the district due to renovation or construction work that requires the parent or legal guardian to leave the resident in the district.” The policy automatically sunsets on June 30, 2012. The board may choose to revise the policy to extend the automatic sunset, delete the automatic sunset provision or rescind the policy in its entirety.

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