EAST ROCKHILL — Over the next few months, Pennridge School Board will be voting on revisions to a number of its policies.

The district is doing a review of policies that are at least eight years old, going back to 2012 or before, Superintendent David Bolton said.

"Some of those policies haven't been changed or reviewed since then, but we thought it important, so we started to go through," he said.

The district is also catching up on recommendations from the Pennsylvania School Boards Associations made to all school districts for policy revisions, he said.

"Every month PSBA sends out a list of either revisions or new policies — it's almost always revisions," Bolton said. 

Those changes are either marked as recommended or required, he said, with the required ones being because of changes in state or federal laws, he said.

The proposed revisions are first reviewed at the board's Policy Committee meeting, then at two full board meetings, with the first reading coming at the first full board meeting and the second reading and final vote on the revisions at the second full board meeting, he said.

Copies of the proposed revisions to the policies are attached to the agenda, available under the boardDocs section of the district website, for the Policy Committee's Jan. 11 meeting, during which the current batch of proposed revisions was discussed. 

The board's Jan. 26 meeting is slated to have a second reading and final approval of the following policies: Board Policy/Procedures/Administrative Regulations; Organization; Attendance at Meetings via Electronic Communications; Policy Manual Access; Principals for Governance and Leadership; Hazing; Unlawful Harassment; Bullying-Cyberbullying; Educator Misconduct; and Maintaining Appropriate Adult/Student Boundaries.

A first reading of the following policies is slated for Jan. 26: Admission of Students; Attendance; Withdrawal from School; Tobacco and Vaping Products; Suspension and Expulsion; Personal Electronic Devices; Tobacco and Vaping Products; Federal Fiscal Compliance; Use of School Facilities; School Security Personnel; School Bus Drivers and School Commercial Motor Vehicle Drivers; and Public Attendance at School Events.

Revisions to one policy often leads to changes to related parts of other policies, Bolton said, giving as an example the state law change, effective this school year, in compulsory school attendance age requirements.

Under the new rules, children must be enrolled in school by age six and remain a student until they are 18 or have graduated, whichever comes first. Previously, the law said children had to be enrolled by eight and remain until age 17.

"It doesn't really significantly change our practice," Bolton said about the age requirements change under state law.

"Kids'll still be going kindergarten through 12th grade," he said. "They'll still basically start when they're five and they'll end when they're 18."   

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