This story has been updated with the correct meeting date:
(Riverton, Wyo.) – The Riverton School Board will adopt on second reading Wednesday night a revised policy on educating homeless children who live in the district. The new policy spells out definitions for fair and equal treatment of such students and guarantees them a free public education.
A definition of what constitutes homeless children::
- Students who are sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship or a similar reason; are living in motels, hotels, trailer parks or camping grounds due to lack of alternative adequate accommodations; are living in emergency or transitional shelters; or are abandoned in hospitals;
- Students who have a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings;
- Students who are living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations or similar settings; and
- Migratory students who qualify as homeless because the students are living in circumstances described in a – c above.
2018-19 Budget Adoption
The main item of discussion Wednesday, and the reason for a Wednesday meeting, will be a public hearing on the district’s 2018-19 budget and the district’s intent to levy mills to help fund that budget. A public hearing will be held on those topics and the budget and mill request will be explained. Following the hearing, the board will be asked to approve the budget and mill levies.
In information items, board members will have a first look at the district’s 2018 Coaches and Sponsors Handbook.
One area of interest in the guidelines comes under the Title IX section of the handbook on Harassment, Intimidation or Bullying. The handbook states:
- It shall be the policy of School District No. 25, Fremont County, Wyoming that all students have a right to attend school in an environment free of physical or sexual harassment, intimidation, discrimination or bullying. This policy is in compliance with the passage of SF 0056 of the Sixtieth Legislature and signed into Law by the Governor.
- Harassment, intimidation or bullying means any intentional gesture, any intentional electronic communication or any intentional written, verbal or physical act initiated, occurring or received at school or school supervised site, or school supervised activity, or occurs outside the school day and off campus but creates a significant disturbance at school, that a reasonable person under the circumstances should know will have the effect of:
- Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature made to any student.
- Discrimination of any student based on race, age, gender, disability or religious affiliations.
- Reprisal or retaliation against a victim, witness or person who reports information about an act of harassment, intimidation or bullying.
- Harming a student physically or emotionally, damaging a student’s property or placing a student in reasonable fear of personal harm or property damage.
- Insulting or demeaning a student or group of students causing substantial disruption in, or substantial interference with, the orderly operation of the school.
- Creating an intimidating, threatening or abusive educational environment for a student or group of students through sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive behavior.
- All students must avoid offensive or inappropriate behavior. Anyone who believes he or she has been subjected to harassment or discrimination or bullying is urged to report such conduct to the building principal, a teacher, a guidance counselor, or the school nurse.
- All complaints will be investigated and when confirmed, appropriate corrective action will be taken. Corrective action may include expulsion.
In connection with the last bullet point, three students were expelled this month and charges were filed in Natrona County against two of the students in reaction to what was termed an “assault and sexual harassment” of other students on an activity trip last January.
Wednesday’s meeting begins at 7 p.m. at the Fremont County School District Central Office at 121 North Fifth West. The public is encouraged to attend.