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11/21/2018

'Tweaks' to policy prohibiting nicotine would extend signage to all school grounds

The Cape Elizabeth High School campus - not just the buildings, but the football field, tennis courts and every other venue on school grounds - are nicotine free, and the School Board plans to extend signage that says so.

Proposed updates to the board's policy on "Use of Tobacco Products and Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems" will include the placing of signs throught the school campus saying that none of those products are allowed.

The recommended updates are part of the committee's overall review of policies to be sure they comply with state and federal standards.

The board heard a first reading of the tobacco policy, as well proposed updates to policies governing communicable/infectious diseases; chemical hazards; grievance procedure for persons with disabilities; and the school system commitment to standards for ethical and responsible behavior, at their meeting Nov. 13, 2018.

The signage amendments to the tobacco policy were suggested by High School nurse Deb Braxton as a way to elevate the school's commitment to maintaining a nicotine-free campus, said board member Elizabeth Scifres, chair of the policy committee. The policy prohibits tobacco products as well as electronic "vaping" systems on school grounds.

Scifres also credited chemistry teacher Doug Worthley for his contributions to revising the chemical hazards policy. As school chemical-hygiene officer Worthley is responsible for making sure all chemicals at school stored and disposed of appropriately, and that students are educated to use them appropriately in chemistry and biology labs. "There is a very lengthy procedure that he has to go through in order to certify that," she said.

Policy deletions

In other policy news, the board voted to support the commitee's recommendation to delete a "completely outdated" policy governing attendance of students with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV); and two policies on the School Board's relationship with Community Services.

School oversight of Community Services ended in 2016 when that department, responsible for adult education, parks and recreation, moved to the auspicies of the town government, Scifres said. The policy on HIV attendance is addressed by other policies, making the 2009 standalone policy unnecessary.

The Policy Committee will next meet on Nov. 28. Second reading and approval of the policies presented for first reading Nov. 13 will likely be at the next meeting of the full School Board Dec. 11.