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Feb. 27 Horizon School Board briefs

Posted on March 15, 2023 by Taber Times

By Ian Croft

Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

news@tabertimes.com

This is a selection of briefs from the February 27 Horizon School Board Meeting.

Policy Development

The adjustment to this policy requires that each policy needs to be reviewed every 10 years instead of every five.

Code of Conduct

Wording was implemented to clarify that all employees must treat members of the public with respect, and without the prejudice based on the grounds of discrimination which are laid out by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Alberta Human Rights Act. The school board also added a requirement that all employees must foster a safe and welcoming learning environment, which is laid out by the Education Act. The restriction to only complaining about an employee’s competence to an appropriate supervisor was expanded to include alleged incompetence or inappropriate conduct. Another clause was put in that any reporting to the correct authorities in regard to employees causing harm to students, must also be reported to the superintendent. Another exception was added in allowing teachers to exclude information about a student if it would be in their best interest, and the information being excluded is permitted by law. Additionally a clarification of what an employee should not do were added in which included intentionally engaging in illegal or non-illegal activity that would put a student at risk of harm or abuse, knowingly encouraging a student to commit illegal activities or an activity that would put them at risk of harm or abuse, or attempting to get another coworker fired due to personal advancement or animosity.

Copyright

Changes to this policy now requires the division to have a Society of Composers, Authors, and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN) license for music that will be used within school activities, and additionally, to show films or other visual audio media licenses must be obtained from the appropriate sources, such as Audio Ciné Films (ACF) and Visual Education Centre (VEC/Criterion Pictures). In the circumstances where media is outside of these license holders permission still must be obtained from the correct legal authority. Another section of this policy was added on which covered copyrighted work within the school division. In the section the school division is the first copyright holder of any employee’s work that was produced during their course of employment. Additionally, the section also clarifies that the copyright of any student work is owned by that student, and that work cannot be used in any school material without the student or their legal guardian’s permission.

High School Graduation Ceremonies

A definition was added to this policy to clarify that graduation only refers to the completion of high school course material, which includes Alberta High School Diploma, Certificate of High School Completion, Certificate of Achievement, and Certificate of School Completion. A guideline was added that outlines only activities organized by the school board are sanctioned school board activities when it comes to graduation. Other activities that are organized by parents or students are not considered sanctioned activities. Staff are strongly advised to not participate in any non-board sanctioned graduation activity. If they do participate they are to participate as private citizens, and take full responsibility and are liable for their actions as private citizens. Students with individual support plans may be permitted to participate in ceremonies using different material due to their unique circumstances. A clause was added on stating that the superintendent will serve as the chair of the appeal committee. Clarification was made that a student or parent/guardian are required to bring information to the appeal committee regarding why they should participate in graduation activities. The student’s principal must also attend the hearing and provide information on the criteria that they have completed, what efforts that the school made to support them in being able to participate in graduation activities, and why they shouldn’t be allowed to participate in graduation activities. Finally, instructions were included within this policy on how to treat guests of honour, such as elected officials, dignitaries, or Indigenous elders, and how graduation events will be structured.

Course Challenge

A guideline to this policy was added to indicate what courses a student is unable to complete outside of a normal classroom, which are Agriculture Safety (AGR3000), Career Internship 10, courses in the post-secondary institution (PSI) occupational area, English as a second language courses, Green Certificate Program courses, high school K&E occupational courses, including Workplace Readiness 10-4, Workplace Practicum 20-4 and Workplace Practicum 30-4, locally developed courses, with the exception of locally developed language arts or language and culture courses, Registered Apprenticeship Program (RAP) courses, Special Projects 10, 20 and 30, Work Experience 15, 25 and 35, and Workplace Safety Systems (HCS3000). Additional clarification was added to the guidelines stating that students will not receive credit for completing a course challenge until they complete a diploma relating to the course. Principles are also able to arrange challenge courses that are not officially arranged by the school. Students that take advantage of these challenge course that are not normally offered by the school must assume all financial responsibilities besides the normal assessments. This policy’s regulations were also altered to clarify the order of subjects a student is able to challenge.

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