TVS to accommodate religious instruction

By Kelsey Kimbler -

WEST ALEXANDRIA — Twin Valley Community Local Schools Board of Education held the first reading of its Ohio School Board Association Policy Updates, during a meeting held on Wednesday, Jan. 10. The updates include a big change for the district: a new policy which will allow students to be released from school for religious instruction.

JEFB Released Time for Religious Instruction is a new policy for Twin Valley Community Schools which, according to Superintendent Bob Fischer, will help bring homeschooled students back into the district.

“I think this is going to be helpful for us. We have a large population of home school students, because of religious reasons. We have a lot of German Baptists in our community,” he said. “This policy allows for the release for religious instruction and a lot can be counted as credit, which will not apply to the core classes, but will help with the elective credits that they must get.

“It will allow them to graduate with a Twin Valley South diploma, which is one of the things I have heard in the community, that these parents would like their children to have an opportunity to have a Twin Valley South diploma, but would still like to have the opportunity to still use their religion as part of their education.”

Other policies discussed included:

•ACA/ACA-R/ACA-E Nondiscrimination on the basis of sex/Sexual Harassment: the current policy was last passed on Feb. 27, 2017. The updated policy as presented allows for the language used within this policy to be more consistent with language utilized in Title IX and sexual harassment documentation. Additionally, policy ACA-R and ACAA-R, has language that was added to make the formal process for documentation more consistent in language as well as the notice of outcome. Policy ACA-E is the formal documentation that would be used if a case is active.

•BDDJ/KBCD Broadcasting and Taping of Board meetings: the current policy was last passed on Nov. 17, 2008. The updated policy cleans up language for Board expectations on the use of recording and electronic media during meetings. Once passed, this will be something that will be included at the bottom of each board of education agenda in the future.

•EEA Student Transportation Services, IGD Co-Curricular and Extra-Curricular Activities, and IGDJ Interscholastic Athletics: these three policies were last approved on Nov. 25, 2014 (IGDJ), Feb. 22, 2016 (EEA), and May 23, 2017 (IGD). Each policy will add STEAM (Science, Technology, English, Arts, and Math) Schools within the policy as another type of “vocational school” that can fall under each policy.

•IGBI English Learners: this policy was last adopted on Jan. 14, 2013 and updates the language within the policy to be more consistent with the ORC code change on the exemption status for administration of the reading/language arts assessment that can be administered.

•IKF Graduation Requirements: this policy was last adopted on May 23, 2017 and adds the requirement for students entering 9th grade on or after July 1, 2017 that they are now required to take a half-unit of World History and civilizations as part of their required social studies units. Students at TVS already have been following this new state mandate.

•JEDA Truancy: this policy was last approved on May 23, 2017 and clarifies language on the expectations for the school to provide attendance notification to parents under HB 410.

By Kelsey Kimbler

Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH

Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH