Photo by Alexander Willis
BY ALEXANDER WILLIS
Talks of updating school naming policies, previous policy achievements and more were discussed Thursday night during the first meeting of the Williamson County Board Policy Committee since the beginning of the new school year.
“This is the last meeting in this year’s policy cycle, so I thought we could take a minute to think about what we have accomplished,” said Nancy Garrett, vice chairman for Williamson County Schools. “During this year, we have adopted 16 policies, we have developed a framework for discussing policy changes, we’ve enhanced process related to policy reviews, and then finally, we’ve all made great strides in increasing the efficiency in our meetings.”
One particular policy that’s received admiration from both the community and the school board was policy 4.6053 – the online learning program. The online learning program allowed WCS students in grades 9 – 12 to enroll in online course, either taught by WCS teachers, or approved third-party vendors.
“We had an amazing turnout for that program,” said KC Haugh, WCS board member representing the 11th district. “People have a lot of interest in having a little more flexibility on opportunities, [and] this provides a way to ensure the rigor and quality of those courses. People really received it well.”
The current school naming policy boils down to selecting a committee composed of board members, staff members and county commissioners, and then having that committee make the ultimate decision following a name screening process. Under the current policy, naming buildings after individuals is discouraged.
The Policy Committee discussed and agreed to bring up the topic of tweaking the naming policy during October’s work session meeting, well ahead of the two new schools planned for openings in 2019.
New regulations regarding criminal background checks were also discussed during the meeting. These regulations would require WCS staff to undergo routine criminal background checks every five years after initial employment.
The next school board meeting will be a work session. It is scheduled for Thursday, September 13 at the Professional Development Center in Franklin.