The Charlotte County School Board wants to be able to remove any member of the district’s referendum oversight committee at any time, without cause.

The Independent Referendum Oversight Committee is tasked with overseeing how the School Board spends money from the referendum approved by voters last year. The referendum would bring in $17 million a year for four years from a property tax increase.

A new policy discussed by the School Board on Tuesday outlines the membership terms of the committee, which has 11 members, most of whom are appointed by community organizations.

The proposed policy reads, “Any member may be removed by the School Board at any time with or without cause.”

School Board Chairman Bob Segur said this addition was recommended by the board’s attorney.

“Relief would be available in the sake of an emergency,” Segur said.

An emergency can include an arrest, a committee member not performing duties, or not showing up to meetings.

Segur said the clause doesn’t mean the board would try to remove anyone who questions their spending.

“That’s why they’re there,” he said. “There’s a natural barrier that would ever keep us from trying to do that. I’m very comfortable that wouldn’t happen.”

Boundaries won’t changeBoundaries that determine which students attend Sallie Jones Elementary School and East Elementary School will remain the same for the 2019-2020 school year.

The Sallie Jones Elementary boundary includes the area south and east of the Peace River and north and east of Charlotte Harbor, west of Cooper Street, south of Olympia Avenue, becoming U.S. 17, west of Florida Street between Highway 17 and Airport Road north of (but not to include) Airport Road between Florida Street and Taylor Road, west and south of Taylor Road between Airport Road and Burnt Store Road, west of (but not to include) Burnt Store Road from Taylor Road to Charlotte Harbor, not to include roadways south of U.S. 41 which access Burnt Store Road from the west.

East Elementary School boundaries includes the area east of the Peace River and Charlotte Harbor, south of DeSoto County, west of Glades County, north of Lee County, east of Burnt Store Road to include roadways south of U.S. 41 which access Burnt Store Road from the west, east of (and including) Burnt Store Road between U.S. 41 and Taylor Road, north of Taylor Road from Burnt Store Road to Airport Road, south of and to include Airport Road between Taylor Road and I-75, east of and including Florida Street between Airport Road and U.S. 17, north of U.S. 17, becoming Olympia Avenue to the Peace River between Cooper Street and I-75 and east of Cooper Street.

Each May, the School Board holds a public hearing to review enrollment data at both schools and determine whether zones should be re-modified. A re-modification would allow a portion of East Elementary School attendance zone located in Punta Gorda to attend Sallie Jones.

Teachers must archive social media interactionsThe district allows teachers to use social media for instructional purposes and class activities. However, it comes with additional responsibilities for the teacher.

Social media is “probably the biggest challenge we have,” said Chuck Breiner, assistant superintendent for Human Resources and Employee Relationships.

The responsibilities are outlined in new policies: PO7544 Use of Social Media and PO8315 Information Management and replacement policyPO7540.02 Social Media — Web Content, Apps, and Services.}

The policies were discusses at the board’s regular workshop meeting on Tuesday, and will likely be voted on at April’s board meeting.

First, the social media account/site must be approved by the principal, according to the proposed changes. The teacher must use their district email to access any sites. This will allow the district to have access to filter it, and, if necessary, lock the email.

The site must include a statement telling users what the meaning of the site is.

As communication on district-approved social media/sites may be considered public record, teachers are responsible for archiving all comments, replies, messages, and other communication.

Florida’s Public Records Law says, “Any records made or received by any public agency in the course of its official business are available for inspection, unless specifically exempted by the Florida Legislature”.

Teachers must also be aware that all school-based communication is subject to public records request. This includes electronically stored information that may have been stored on a home computer, phone, or privately owned device. Electronically stored information can include Word documents, Powerpoint presentations, emails, email attachments, pictures and other media.

A human resources employee recommended installing a software that could filter out obscene comments, though they would still have to be archived.


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