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County students will see some policy changes

Students in the Lincoln County School District who set theirsights on making good grades and attending class regularly canexpected to be rewarded with test exemptions.

After reducing the exemption policy to just seniors last year,it was recommended by the district’s handbook policy committee thatthe decision should be reversed this year.

“They were very adamant. They thought if (students) maintainedan A average all year long, they should be exempt from the finalexam of the year,” said Superintendent Perry Miller of his recentmeeting with the parents and teachers on the committee.

According to the 2002-2003 handbook approved Monday, students infourth, fifth and sixth grades may be exempt if they have a yearlyaverage of A (95 or above), or yearly average of B (85-94) withperfect attendance.

“Perfect attendance means being present 100 percent of each daywith no excused or unexcused absences,” said AssistantSuperintendent Dr. Leanne Summers.

Students from seventh grade to grade 12 must have a yearlyaverage of 95 or above or a yearly average of 80 or above withperfect attendance to be exempt.

Board members agreed with the committee’s recommendations andapproved the change in the handbook.

“I don’t have any problem with it. If they can maintain an A,then I don’t see anything wrong with them being exempt,” said boardVice President Jerry Coon, who presided over the meeting in theabsence of President Brenda Warren.

Another major change in the new handbook is its length andformat. In an effort to bring “significant savings” to thedistrict, the elementary and secondary handbooks were combined toform a universal handbook.

“In looking through the handbooks and going over it, probablythree-fourths of it was the same,” said Summers. “We also made theprint a little smaller. We’re trying every way to cut thecosts.”

Summers also pointed out to board members the sections on givingstudents comprehensive tests and subject area tests for promotionto the next grade. The year 2003 starts the state requirementswhere students must pass the class or pass the state’s subject areatests at the end of the year for promotion.

Last year, the tests were administered, but the results wereonly used as a “trial run” to see how the testing system worked,said Summers.

Also in the handbook, students in grades four through six wereadded to the list of students who cannot wear shorts to school.

Besides the approval of the handbook, the board also discussedthe lack of activity in the removal of asbestos at Bogue ChittoSchool.

Miller explained that there had been a delay after somemiscommunication between the company contracted for the the job andthe business that was sub-contracted by the company.

He said most asbestos had been removed, but workers forgot thefloor area. That work will be done later this week after schoolemployees clear the entire work area of books and desks.

In other matters, board members accepted about 85 studentstransferring into the district from the Brookhaven SchoolDistrict.

“We’ll accept them as long as it does not overload any classes,”said Coon.

The next school board meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m., July15.