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SSCOOP, Bayview, board settle state standards policy

In what must have been a record-breaking meeting in terms of brevity — 20 minutes — Monday, the South Whidbey Board of Education approved the two policies affecting the district’s alternative education programs.

The two policies, which have been considered by the board over the course of several recent meetings, relate to the Shared Schooling Cooperative and Bayview School. The changes were minor but important to the parents and SSCOOP staff. The changes were in policy wording relating to curriculum meeting the State Essential Academic Learning Requirements. Specifically, the words “must be directly aligned” were taken out in favor of “the program shall include the instruction of” the state standards.

Following a week of meetings, the change of fewer than a dozen words was engineered between SSCOOP directory Nancy Thompson, Superintendent Bob Brown, school board members Helen Price Johnson and Bob Riggs and SSCOOP parents.

Speaking about the change Thompson said SSCOOP got the changes it asked for. The board waited until Thompson returned from vacation to adopt the policy changes.

The SSCOOP program, now 11 years old, enrolls former homeschool students in a district program that is funded by the state. Learning plans are developed to meet state requirements and are monitored by an employee of the district.

Several SSCOOP-related policies were approved during the board’s July business meeting, but one was held up because concerned SSCOOP parents and staff did not want changes made until Thompson returned.

In addition, Thompson said a concern about state-required monthly reporting for homeschoolers at SSCOOP has been resolved with parents.

The district’s other alternative schooling program, Bayview School, serves grades 9 through 12 in the South Whidbey and Coupeville School districts.

The second policy approved Monday night related to selection and duties of volunteers in the alternative programs.

Prior to the meeting the board met in a 90-minute executive session to discuss union negotiations, personnel issues and Superintendent Bob Brown’s evaluation.w

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