District Four Board Approves Policy Revisions

By Betsy Finklea
Several policy revisions were presented to and approved by the Dillon School District Four Board of Trustees at their August meeting.
Polly Elkins, Assistant Superintendent for Administration/Personnel, made the presentation.
The first policy was about safety drills. Now there will be two fire drills, two active shooter drills, and two severe weather/earthquake drills. There will be one drill each semester.
The next policy was physical education. An addition was made to this policy, which states that marching band may be substituted for P.E. if it complies with the S.C. athletic standards for physical education.
The next policy regarded health education. Opiod abuse prevention was added.
The next policy is on released time for religious instruction. This is an all-new policy. (See box with policy).
Superintendent Ray Rogers and Polly Elkins names were added to the non-discrimination equal opportunity policy.
A complaint procedure was added to the Open Hearing Equal Opportunity Employer/Affirmative Action policy.
A new paragraph was added to Professional Staff Recruitment of states that hiring will be based on qualifications and merit and is the responsibility of the superintendent.
The Graduation Requirements Policy was discussed. Starting with classes graduating in May 2022 students who earn a 3.5 grade point average and meet other requirements can earn a college seal or career seal that will help them get a job. This shows the employer that they met the additional requirements of the seal.
Other policies taken up included the posting and advertising of professional vacancies, professional staff hiring, grading and assessment regarding credit recovery, and suicide prevention.

NEW POLICY

The Dillon District Four Board of Trustees has adapted the following new policy:

RELEASED-TIME FOR RELIGIOUS INSTRUCTION
The board will release students in grades Nine through Twelve from school, at the written request of their parent/legal guardian, for the purpose of religious instruction for a portion of the day. The school will consider this a lawful absence.
The board will not allow the student to miss required instructional time for the purpose of religious instruction. Any absences for this purpose must be during non-instructional periods of the school day.
When approving the release of students for religious instruction, the board assumes no responsibility for the program or liability for the students involved.
The sponsoring group or the student’s parent/legal guardian is completely responsible for transportation to and from the place of instruction. The district assumes no responsibility or liability for such transportation.
Religious instruction must take place away from school property and at a regularly designated location.
District officials will ensure that no public funds will be expended to support a released-time program and that district staff and faculty will not promote or discourage participation by district students in a released-time program. District faculty and staff may not promote program attendance through encouragement, coercion, or other means. Specifically, employees of the district may not be instructors for a released-time program.

Elective Credits
The district may award high school students no more than two elective Carnegie unit credits for classes in religious instruction taken during the school day in accordance with this policy. The district will evaluate the classes on the basis of purely secular criteria prior to awarding credit.

Transfer Credit
The district may accept released-time transfer of credits without individually assessing the quality or subject matter of the class when the transfer is from an accredited private school.