Proposal would give school board final say on policies

By Gabriel Monte: CNJ staff writer

Clovis Board of Education Secretary Mark Lansford wants students, staff members and parents to have a voice when it comes to school board policies.

That’s why Lansford is proposing a policy that would allow the board of education to preside over an appeals process regarding the interpretation of board policies.

The proposal was introduced during Tuesday’s board meeting and will be decided upon in a January meeting.

Lansford said the school superintendent is responsible for executing board policies. If there is an appeal, the board should have final say on how to interpret the policy, not the superintendent, according to Lansford.

“If we do not do this it also sends a negative message … that we are subordinating ourselves to our employee,” he said. “I think the public expects more from us than that.”

Lansford said the proposal came out of a publications policy the board passed in September, which gives the board final say on the content of student publications.

“I felt it was implicit … that if someone had a grievance with any of our policies to come to us for final adjudication,” he said.

Board president Lola Bryant said she agreed the board should have final say on interpreting its policy.

In other business:

• Board members approved a travel request for members of the Clovis High School Freshman Campus Student Council to visit the state capital. The students will travel in February and tour The Roundhouse, according to Clovis Schools Superintendent Rhonda Seidenwurm.

• Deputy Superintendent of Instruction Ladona Clayton gave members a presentation of the No Child Left Behind Act. In August, nine Clovis schools did not meet adequate yearly progress a benchmark the act uses to chart reading and math skills.

She said New Mexico has a more rigorous standard for proficiency compared to other states and includes more subgroups, which brings down progress scores. She said benchmarks also rise every year so improvements are not recognized.

• Board members approved changes to the school’s leave policy. The new policy complies with the National Defense Authorization Act, which authorizes extended leave time for military families, according to Executive Director of Personnel Rhonda Roberts.