The Stephenville ISD board of trustees met Monday to discuss several agenda items including drug testing at the high school. The board also approved changes to the 2016-2017 student handbook.

The board took some time to discuss whether or not to move forward with drug testing at Stephenville High School, but ultimately did not take action at Monday’s meeting. 

The board said they would need to further discuss policy, pricing and the scope of the testing.

“I don’t feel there has been enough information in this short time,” Matt Underwood, SISD superintendent, said. “I think we should maybe allow a public hearing on the issue before we move forward.”

Underwood added that some parents expressed concern in thinking that the drug testing would be for all students kindergarten-12th grade who are involved in extracurricular activities, but he cleared that up stating that they would want to start with high school only.

“I think we need time amongst ourselves. I don’t want to move too quickly and then we lose them as a student all together,” Dr. Ed Dittfurth, board member, said. 

Underwood also stated that the first time a student tests positive for drugs would result in a conference with the parents.

“I’m not really in favor of first offense punishment,” he said.

At a previous board meeting Underwood had laid out a punishment plan starting with a parent conference for first offense, some type of counseling for the student for a second offense and then ultimately suspension for a third offense.

“I think there has to be some intervention opportunities before you suspend,” Underwood said at a previous meeting.

Underwood concluded the discussion saying he believes it’s doable and a decision on whether or not to move forward will be made in August.

The SISD board also went over changes to the 2016-2017 student/parent handbook, which was approved.

Here is a look at what the released handbook states:

1. Limiting electronic communication with students by district employees - Verbiage was added requiring employees to include his/her immediate supervisor and the student’s parent as recipients on all text messages with regard to extracurricular activities.

2. Rights of access to student records, curriculum materials and district records/policies - Parents are entitled to request that the school allow their student to take home any instructional materials used by the student, if sufficient availability exists to grant the request.

3. Participation in federally required, state mandated and district assessments - Parents may request any information related to students participation in assessments required by federal law, state law or districts.

4. Teacher and staff professional qualifications - Modification of types of information that may be requested by parents regarding professional qualifications of their student’s teacher.

5. Students in the conservatorship of the state (foster care) - Students who are in foster care and enroll in the district after the beginning of the school year, will be allowed credit by exam opportunities and the district will grant proportionate course credit by semester when a student only passes one semester of a two semester course.

6. Students who are homeless - Children who are homeless will be provided flexibility regarding certain district provisions. Such as proof of residency, immunization requirements, graduation requirements, etc.

7. Video cameras - Upon request of a parent of a student who receives special education services, a staff member, or a board member, state law requires the district to place video and audio recording equipment in a classroom in which the student spends at least 50 percent of his or her instructional day, referred to in the law as a self-contained classroom. The majority of students in this type of classroom must also be students who receive special education services. Before the district places a video camera in a classroom or other setting in which your child receives special education services, the district will provide notice to you.