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Tallmadge -- After an extensive review and update, the policy manual for the Tallmadge Board of Education will soon be available online and accessible to the public for the first time.
The school district administration and School Board are working with the Ohio School Boards Association [OSBA] on a periodic review to incorporate updates to ensure the policy manual -- the governing document of the school district -- is compliant with current state law.
A final version of the policy manual should come before the Board for adoption this month or next, according to Superintendent Jeff Ferguson. After the Board approves the document, it will be posted to the school district's website.
The policy manual covers a wide range of topics, including how the Board functions. The Board's primary function is to adopt policies that operate the school district, Ferguson said.
The estimated 2,000-page manual also has information about the school district's policies for graduation, testing schedules, school calendars, collective bargaining units, food standards and recommendations, and the new state standards for education.
"Over time, historically, [policy manual review and updating] has grown into such a large endeavor that school districts have hired or purchased policy services," Ferguson said.
The changes made to the law after Gov. John Kasich's biennial budget was passed last year are some of the updates that will be incorporated into the policy, he said.
Tallmadge Schools is a member of the OSBA, which provides this service to members for a fee. Tallmadge Schools will pay $10,000 for the policy manual audit and update, plus an additional $1,200 per year for every year in between major updates. The OSBA will send the school district legal updates quarterly that might or might not need to be incorporated immediately.
Ferguson said the policy manual hasn't been updated in at least eight years, and he doesn't expect another major update will be necessary for years to come.
Ferguson said the school district wanted to make an interactive, key word-searchable version of the policy manual available online and available to the public for transparency.
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