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August 30, 2013

At-risk students affected by policy change

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — MIDDLEPORT — A change approved by the Royalton-Hartland Central School Board on Wednesday could affect students at risk of not graduating on time. 

The policy change specifically affects the the practice of “doubling up.”

Daniel Bragg, board vice president, pushed for the approval of the change Wednesday.

“I think we need to provide our students with the tools to succeed. We should act on this tonight because school starts in a week,” he said.

The policy will still allow for students to double up if they seek to graduate early if their academic record supports the effort and it will still not apply to students enrolled in an online credit bearing course.

The main change in the policy affects at-risk students.

The policy states that doubling up will not be allowed as a practice, but it exempts seniors whose graduation is dependent on the action. The board on Wednesday agreed to add to the policy, essentially adding a case-by-case review to it to allow school administrators the ability to determine whether doubling up is needed.

Factors considered will be student attendance, as well as what other course and exam requirements the student in question has completed.

In making the changes, the board members briefly discussed also looking closely at the district policy as it relates to participation in sports and extracurricular activities.

Currently, a student is allowed to participate in such things so long as he or she is not failing more than two courses. Board President Patricia Riegle said the board should consider making changes to that policy.

In other board business, a public hearing was held on the district’s code of conduct, during which some specifics were added to a portion of the code to cover cyberbullying.

Superintendent Roger Klatt informed the board that district enrollment has decreased by 26 students from the end of last school year to the the start of this one. However, he did point out that numbers have increased since July.

According to Klatt, there were 1,481 students in the district at the start of the 2012-13 school year, but only 1,428 as of July. With school beginning next week, enrollment stands at 1,455, he said.

Since 2008, Klatt said Roy-Hart has seen its overall enrollment decrease by 117.

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