Wareham School Committee approves minor changes to handbooks

By Matthew Bernat | Jun 07, 2017
Photo by: Matthew Bernat School Committee members and Superintendent Kimberly Shaver-Hood listen while school handbook changes are explained on Wednesday night.

Next year’s student handbooks for all district schools will have several minor changes after the Wareham School Committee approved the revisions Wednesday night.

Those changes include the prohibition of students bringing toys to elementary schools without authorization, how middle school parents are notified of disciplinary action and the revocation of high school parking privileges for students caught with illegal items.

Wareham High School Principal Scott Palladino said most of the changes to his school’s handbook were minor. One change explicitly prohibits students from selling items.

“That’s not a huge issue, but it’s something we wanted to have in the book as a guideline,” said Palladino, adding that occasionally students have been caught selling sneakers to one another.

Committee member Geoff Swett asked Palladino if there was one policy in the handbook he found difficult to enforce.

Without hesitation, Palladino said the policy against food and drink in school hallways was tough to enforce on most mornings.

“I think there must be a Dunkin’ Donuts right outside of the school,” said Palladino.

Students are allowed to eat and drink in the cafeteria in the morning, however, Palladino said enforcement “is something we have to battle.”

At the middle school, Principal Peter Steedman said language was added to ensure students receive counseling after being disciplined “no matter the discretion.”

He said the handbook was updated to cover a number of different ways the school may notify parents following disciplinary action, including letters, phone calls and meetings with administrators when appropriate.

On a positive note, Steedman said a new award, called Leadeship Cafe, was added in the handbook. The award will be given to students who exhibit positive characteristics and leadership traits.

Those students will meet with other award winners and Steedman to discuss what it means to be a leader and serve as role models, Steedman explained.

At the elementary schools, Minot Forest Principal Joan Seamans said language was added to the handbook’s behavioral policy. While the handbook already covers disciplinary action, Seamans said the new section outlines behavior expectations in language young students will understand.

“We put that terms and words that a parent could read to their child and make those expectations clear,” said Seamans.

School Committee members approved all the changes unanimously.

Comments (4)
Posted by: cranapple | Jun 08, 2017 07:26

Now if you could incorporate Deca into the curriculum all the students can be successful.

Posted by: cranapple | Jun 08, 2017 07:27

Now if you could incorporate Deca into the curriculum all the students can be successful.

Posted by: cranapple | Jun 08, 2017 07:29

Curious as to how this posted here and not on the article about DECA...of course posted twice.

Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | Jun 08, 2017 11:08

The No Toys rule was probably due to the recent "Spinner" craze.  They are rather cool little gizmos, supposedly therapeutic for ADHD.  Maybe true, but they are a distraction.  They need to be authorized by a doctor.  Even if they help ADHD kids, it seems a little unfair to all the others.  In the eyes of kids, why should some kids have special privileges and be able to play with toys in class?

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