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June 10, 2013

Starpoint considering Internet policy update

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — PENDLETON — Starpoint is looking at a change in its Internet safety and content filtering policy that includes the teaching of social media and proper online behavior.

Board of Education members saw the first draft of the policy at a meeting Monday. The policy remains pretty much the same, except for the addition of social media education and the teaching of Internet behavior.

The changes are required by the federal Children’s Internet Protection Act, said Superintendent C. Douglas Whelan. Districts have to abide by it so to be eligible to receive e-Rate funding, which assists most schools and libraries in receiving affordable telecommunications and Internet access.

Chris Parker, a library media specialist at Starpoint, said the teaching of proper Internet behavior and online safety has been going on for awhile.

”We’ve been teaching it for years, “ she said. “It’s already happening.”

The policy change has to go through another reading by the board before it can be voted on for adoption. 

Board members are also considering a policy change concerning propositions for the annual budget vote.

The proposed policy, number 1650, would require an item to be submitted to District Clerk Dorothy Frew 90 days before the May vote date in order to appear on the ballot.

Whelan said the 90-day requirement is the longest allowed, with 30 days before the election being the minimum. The state education department recommends 45 days.

The change is up for a second reading and adoption, but board members decided they needed more time to consider it and did not vote Monday. 

• In other district news, resident Sara Siracuse requested a meeting with the Board of Education concerning supervision issues that occurred on Nov. 21 and Jan. 16.

On Nov. 21, Siracuse said over 200 students were left unattended during the school day while a teacher was working at a blood drive held at Starpoint. On Jan. 16 a special education teacher called in sick, but no substitute was called to cover the teacher’s two students.

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