(Nov. 29, 2019) The Worcester County Board of Education unanimously approved a policy that would act as a standard operating procedure for all other policies during a meeting last Tuesday.

“So one of the things that we were missing in our school district was having, literally, a policy that directed how we create policy in our school district and we how review policy in our school district,” said Dr. Annette Wallace, chief operations and academic officer for ninth through 12th grades.

At the direction of Superintendent Lou Taylor, Wallace is spearheading the new protocol that will provide guidelines for a wide range of policies, including school safety, transportation and human resources.

“I mean we even have sunscreen policy, so it literally is everything under the sun that’s in that policy manual,” Wallace said.

Wallace added that personnel will also work to make things more efficient by removing outdated and otherwise non-applicable policies.

The policy is “our bible” for administrators and Wallace told the board she wants to streamline to make finding answers among these standards easier.

“I know from my own experience, I was a high school principal [at Pocomoke High School], and when I would go to look for … the policy to cover governing students traveling abroad, it was really difficult,” she said. “I wasn’t even sure what section to look in.”

Wallace said she’s also working to make these policies available in an online platform and is hoping to have the process completed by the board of education meeting in November 2020. 

“So we’ve had to come up with a really organized and succinct way to flip our books, because when we flip ‘Book A,’ everything’s got to be there and everything’s got to be removed out of the other books, so it’s a very tedious process,” she said.

Once the policies are available online, it should increase public transparency for educators and the public, she said.

“It will be … much easier for them to access the things they need because everything is public knowledge,” Wallace said. “So we also need to make it make sure that we’re being transparent with our community and our families and all of our stakeholders, and I think that will also build trust in our community.”

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