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Policy 2020 - Policy Development and Adoption

This policy provides a uniform format for Board policies and establishes processes by which policies are developed, implemented, monitored, evaluated, reviewed, and updated.

Policy Document

I. Policy Statement

The Board of Education of Howard County, with the advice of the Superintendent, sets goals and expectations for the Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) through the creation, revision, and adoption of policies. These policies guide the development and implementation of educational programs and the management of system operations. Board policies are aligned with the HCPSS mission and goals, as well as applicable federal, state, and local laws. The Board believes that sound policy decisions require the consideration of staff recommendations and community input.

II. Purpose

This policy provides a uniform format for Board policies and establishes processes by which policies are developed, implemented, monitored, evaluated, reviewed, and updated.

III. Definitions

Within the context of this policy, the following definitions apply:

  1. Adopted – Original date the Board took action to approve a policy.

  2. Charter – A document that focuses the work of a Policy Development/Revision Committee by establishing the reason the committee is formed, the objectives of the committee, and the parameters within which the committee will work.

  3. Effective – The date a policy is implemented throughout the HCPSS, typically July 1 following Board action.

  4. Implementation Procedures – Administrative directives adopted by the Superintendent that provide specific instructions related to the execution of Board policy.

  5. Modified – The date the Board took action to alter a policy that did not require committee evaluation.

  6. Policy – A written document adopted by the Board that furthers the mission of the HCPSS and guides the development and implementation of educational programs and system operations.

  7. Policy Development/Revision Committee – The group of stakeholders who discuss and make recommendations to the Superintendent regarding the development or revision of a policy.

  8. Reviewed – The date the Board authorized the continuation of a current policy without a Policy Development/Revision Committee evaluation. The authorization is based on the recommendation of the Superintendent’s Standing Policy Committee.

  9. Revised – The date the Board took action on a policy following evaluation by a Policy Development/Revision Committee.

  10. Standards – Parameters that specify the required behavior or outcome that follows from the broad intent of a policy.

  11. Superintendent’s Standing Policy Committee – A group of stakeholders from the HCPSS staff who recommend those policies that need revision and those policies that do not need revision.

IV. Standards

  1. All policy development and revision activities will adhere to the processes detailed in this policy and the corresponding implementation procedures.

  2. Policy development or policy revision can be initiated in any of the following ways:

    1. By majority vote of the Board, following the recommendation of one or more Board members. Board member recommendations may be based on community input.

    2. By the Superintendent to comply with established annual policy development activities (see V.A below).

    3. By school system staff, in accordance with procedures established by the Superintendent (see Implementation Procedures, II.B).

  3. All Board policies will be reviewed within a six-year cycle.

  4. The Superintendent/Designee will present an annual report to the Board which includes policies that:

    1. Need revision by a Policy Development/Revision Committee.

    2. Do not need revision at this time.

    3. Need revision to the implementation procedures only.

  5. In certain cases, outside the regular cycle, policies will be modified when changes to specific language, such as those mandated by law or statute, are needed.

    1. The policies do not require review by either the Superintendent’s Standing Policy Committee or by a Policy Development/Revision Committee.

    2. Modifications to the policy will be made and presented to the Superintendent’s Cabinet for comment and review.

    3. The Superintendent/Designee will present the modified policy to the Board for action at a regularly scheduled Board meeting.

  6. For policies needing full review, a Policy Development/Revision Committee will be convened to discuss and make recommendations to the Superintendent regarding the development or revision of each policy.

  7. Groups invited to serve on a Policy Development/Revision Committee as representatives of the community and other HCPSS stakeholder groups will include, but not be limited to:

    1. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME)

    2. Community Advisory Council to the Board of Education (CAC)

    3. Howard County Administrators Association (HCAA)

    4. Howard County Association of Student Councils (HCASC)

    5. Howard County Education Association (HCEA)

    6. PTA Council of Howard County (PTACHC)

    7. Equity Council

    8. General Citizens

      The school system will post a public notice soliciting public participation on a Policy Development/Revision Committee.

      The Policy Development/Revision Committee chair will assemble a committee, striving for equal representation of central office staff and other stakeholders.

  8. Policies of the Board will include the following elements:

    1. Policy Statement

    2. Purpose

    3. Definitions

    4. Standards

    5. Responsibilities

    6. Delegation of Authority

    7. References

    8. History

  9. For each policy needing full review, the Board will conduct its deliberations on the proposed policy and obtain input from the public through the following procedure:

    1. The Superintendent/Designee will present, as a report to the Board, a committee charter regarding a new or revised policy that:

      1. Explains the purpose for development or revision of the policy.

      2. Includes members of the Policy Development/Revision Committee.

      3. Identifies existing data sources to guide policy development and revision as appropriate.

      4. Provides other supporting rationale.

    2. The Superintendent/Designee will present, as a report to the Board, recommendations and rationale for the content of a new policy or revisions to an existing policy. If there was committee dissent on a particular recommendation, the Superintendent/Designee will present a minority opinion on that matter as a component of the report.

    3. Following the Superintendent’s recommendation, the Board will provide an opportunity for public comment on the proposal, including a public hearing, in accordance with Policy 2040 - Public Participation in Meetings of the Board.

    4. Following the public hearing and comment phase, the Board will take action on the proposed policy.

  10. Policies that directly affect students or staff will take effect on July 1 following their adoption unless otherwise approved by the Board.

  11. Implementation procedures that correspond to a Board policy will be issued by the Superintendent.

    1. Implementation procedures will be submitted to the Board concurrent with the corresponding draft policy.

    2. If revisions to implementation procedures do not require changes to a corresponding Board policy, the implementation procedures will be submitted to the Board as an information item prior to implementation.

  12. After policies are approved by the Board, the HCPSS Policy Manual and websites of the HCPSS and the Board will be updated.

  13. The Board may alter these standards at any time upon a majority vote of the Board.

V. Responsibilities

  1. At the end of each school year, the Superintendent will provide the Board with a schedule of proposed policy development/revision plans for the following school year based on identified needs. The schedule will list the policies recommended for review and those recommended as not needing review. The schedule will be approved by the Board.

  2. The Superintendent is responsible for the preparation and presentation of draft proposals for new policies and policy revisions.

  3. The Superintendent is authorized to develop and issue implementation procedures to execute Board policies when applicable.

  4. The Superintendent is responsible for the publication and maintenance of an HCPSS Policy Manual and for ensuring that information is made available to all employees, employee associations, students, and the community regarding newly developed or revised Board policies and implementation procedures.

  5. The Superintendent will develop a process to ensure the continuous monitoring of Board policies and their implementation including, as appropriate, the submission of reports to the Board that link data sources to policy implementation.

VI. Delegation of Authority

  1. The Superintendent is directed to develop appropriate procedures to implement this policy.

  2. The Superintendent is authorized to suspend a Board policy in circumstances in which implementation of the policy is reasonably believed to compromise the health, safety, or welfare of students, staff, or others.

    1. If the Superintendent acts to suspend a Board policy, the rationale for the suspension will be provided to the Board at its next regular meeting.

    2. The suspension will not extend beyond the date of the meeting at which the rationale is provided unless its continuation is approved by the Board.

    3. The Board will approve the reinstatement of the suspended policy based on the recommendation of the Superintendent.

VII. References

The Annotated Code of Maryland, Education Article, §4-108(3) and (4)

C. Relevant Data Sources

D. Other

HCPSS Policy Manual

VIII. History

ADOPTED: January 22, 2004



REVISED: April 27, 2006, January 26, 2012

EFFECTIVE: January 26, 2012