Board Policy 4001, Curriculum directs the superintendent to “develop procedures to insure for periodic revision of the curriculum.” Such procedures were not among the documents provided to the auditors.
Regulation 4008-R, Experimental, Pilot, or Innovative Instructional Programs directs that “all pilot programs will be evaluated on a cyclical schedule” and that “results of the evaluation will
determine...the adoption or termination of such programs.”
The unavailability of
evaluation reports (see Finding 4.3).
Board Policy 5340, District Inservice Programs directs district wide inservice programs to be “needs-based.” However, the auditors determined that staff development is not needs driven (see Finding 3.1).
The organizational structure of the policy manual itself is a deterrent to the systematic use of the policies for direction.
Board policies and respective administrative regulations and procedures are organized according to a content driven numbering system (0000-7000) in a three-ring notebook, but critical documents related to several of the curriculum management standards (i.e., Technical Manual) are not physically incorporated into the collection or referenced in the policy manual. This lack of “connection” creates confusion among document users as to whether or not direction for a particular function exists and, if it does, where to find it.
The policy manual includes a summary table of contents as well as a table of contents for each of the major sections that lists the number and title of the policies, regulations, and procedures within the section. However, the manual does not include an index by topic, limiting the user’s ability to locate a desired policy unless she/he already knows the policy number and/or title. The absence of a topic index makes it impossible to cross reference index, an extremely helpful tool in conducting thorough research on a topic.
All policies reviewed by the auditors included legal references, and a few (less than five) include reference to other district documents. Only one policy (Board Policy 3115, Education of Students with Disabilities Under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973) includes a cross reference to other board policies. Policy cross-referencing allows the user to investigate further direction from the Board on pertinent and/or related subjects to increase the probability that comprehensive perspective is attained before action is taken.
Many board policies have respective administrative regulations (denoted by an “R”) and/or administrative procedures (denoted by a “P”). If there are more than one of each, the regulations and
procedures are numbered, i.e.,
When the auditors queried district administrators
regarding the difference between regulations and procedures, they were advised that the only difference is the time period in which the document was developed and that neither superceded nor had more authority than the other. The term “regulation” was changed to “procedure” in the mid- 1980s, but the new terminology was never applied to the pre-existing documents. The use of multiple terms for the same kind of documents is confusing to users.
Although district employees who have access to a computer that is on the “administrator network” can access individual policies by policy number, there is no “search” drive to locate the desired policy via key words, limiting the system’s usefulness to lay users who do not know the policy by title or number and find the large hard copy manual cumbersome.
Some of the policies refer to positions or things that are no longer in existence. For example, Board Policy 5340, District Inservice Programs directs all inservice programs offered by colleges and universities to be approved through the Coordinator of Staff Development, a position that is not on
Clover Park School District Audit Report Page 19