The Brevard School Board convened for a workshop yesterday morning to review policies in the 5000s section of the District Policy Manual, which pertains to students. Throughout the year, the School Board has been holding additional workshops to review and update the District Policy Manual comprehensively. They are more than halfway through reviewing the manual, which extends to policies in the 9000s.
Brevard Public Schools collaborates with NEOLA (North East Ohio Learning Associates) to aid in drafting and updating policies. NEOLA, an educational consulting firm with over four decades of experience, specializes in creating policy language aligned with state statutes and specific state concerns. Originating from Ohio, NEOLA operates in six states nationwide, as per their website.
In yesterday morning’s discussion, the School Board delved into policies already integrated into the District Policy Manual and those suggested by NEOLA yet to be adopted by BPS. One such policy is NEOLA Policy 5724: High School Voter Registration Program. District 5 Representative, Kayte Campbell, mentioned that BPS already undertakes the actions specified in this policy. However, District 4 Representative and School Board Chairperson, Matt Susin, presented a contrasting perspective.
Chairperson Matt Susin revealed that two years prior, he acquired voter registration lists from the Supervisor of Elections and student data from Brevard Public Schools. This was to enable district staff to cross-reference names and identify students not registered to vote. He added that these lists were subsequently handed to the respective schools. District 3 Representative Jennifer Jenkins voiced her support for student civic engagement but expressed concerns about distinguishing between registered and unregistered students, given their age. She was promptly interrupted by Matt Susin, who pointed out the legal voting age of 18. However, he seemed to overlook that teens can pre-register to vote from the age of 16 once they’ve obtained a license.