RANCHO SANTA FE — District counsel of Currier and Hudson, Kendall Swanson, provided the Rancho Santa Fe School District a detailed update regarding its 2017 annual board policy at the monthly April 6 board meeting. The purpose of the presentation was to review the items — no action was taken.
Board policy revisions and updates align with any California Education Code changes. District counsel goes through board policies annually to ensure that they remain updated with all of the amendments to any laws.
Swanson highlighted and provided an overview of the biggest updates to the policies this year. The two categories included the following: Pupil Rights and Responsibilities and Personnel.
One area in the section relating to Pupil Rights and Responsibilities referred to the administration of epinephrine auto-injectors. Swanson cited how the district is required to stock them and have volunteers who are trained to administer them.
The board wanted to know if parents still need to provide EpiPens for their children if they may have that need. Swanson said parents could certainly make them available to the school, but the district was required to stock them.
Also discussed was a suicide prevention policy mandated by AB 2246.
“This is a new law, and it requires every district with students in grades between seven and 12 to adopt a suicide prevention policy,” Swanson said. “There are specific requirements for what must be done in order to adopt the policy.”
Swanson pointed out the need for a consultation with the school and local community. According to Swanson, there are specifics to follow and Superintendent David Jaffe will be putting together a group of community members, which will also include teachers.
“I’m going to prepare a draft of the suicide prevention policy and then the group can make comments on it and then we’ll bring back a draft at the next board meeting,” Swanson said. “The board would actually have a chance for input and then it would come back for adoption at the June meeting. It’s required to be adopted no later than July 1, so we’ll have that done and start the process of getting that in place. This is a new law that all districts are working to create a policy on this year.”
One Personnel policy update dealt with “Designation of Management Team.”
“This is the board policy where the board designates what positions are going to be deemed as the management team and the director of technology and director of finance have been included under this provision,” Swanson said.
Also revised for “Personnel” was “Leaves of Absences.” According to Swanson, last year there was an amendment to the education code that provided differential pay to certificated employees once they have exhausted their sick leave for what’s called “baby bonding leave” under California Family Rights Act (CFRA).
“It provides 12 weeks after the event, 12 weeks from starting any remaining sick leave that the certificated employee has and then for any remaining portion of that 12 weeks,” Swanson said. “They are entitled to what is called differential pay.” Differential pay for certificated employees is the difference between their regular daily rate of pay and the rate of a substitute. “So during the remaining part of that 12-week period, they are entitled to that differential pay,” she added.
The 12 weeks was also cited as being within a 12-month time period. Swanson explained that this year’s amendment served to add some clarity like any new education code.
“And originally, when this was effective in January of 2016, it didn’t extend to classified employees, it was only for certificated (employees). Effective Jan. 1 (2017), it has now been extended to classified employees and nearly parallels the state language of the certificated statutes, and the district has been compliant with that since it went into law Jan. 1 of this year,” she said.