Lincoln Public Schools

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Policies and Regulations

Introduction

These documents contains the policies and regulations of the Lincoln Public Schools. In accordance with regulations promulgated by the Nebraska Department of Education, these policies and regulations are based on the purposes and goals of the Lincoln Public Schools as noted in the 8000 series.

Definitions
As a rule, the role of the Board of Education is to establish policies, while the role of the administration is to implement those policies through regulations. The following definitions are set forth by the National School Boards Association to draw a distinction between policies and regulations:

Policies
are principles adopted by the board to chart a course of action. They tell what is wanted and may include why and how much. They are broad enough to indicate a line of action to be taken by the administration in meeting a number of day-after-day problems; they are to be narrow enough to give the administration clear guidance.
Regulations
are detailed directions usually developed by the administration to put policy into practice. They tell how, by whom, where, and when things are to be done.

By definition, policies are actions of the board, while regulations are actions of the administration, undertaken to implement actions of the board. A policy may provide sufficient direction by itself, and, as a consequence, it may not be accompanied by regulation. Regulations, however, do not exist in the absence of policies. Therefore, every regulation is written to implement a policy adopted by the board.

Although definitions are good guides for understanding the distinction between the two types of statements, practice does not always follow sound theory of governance and administration. For example:

  1. State and federal governments often require boards of education to make or officially approve detailed regulations and procedures in certain areas, such as special education.
  2. Boards of education often sign contracts which may interweave policies, regulations and procedural details.
  3. A board of education from time to time may decide that it is in the public interest to take action itself on specific regulations or procedures, especially when highly sensitive areas are being considered.

Beyond these kinds of examples, it is sometimes difficult to separate policy from regulation in day-to-day practice. While every effort is made to maintain the appropriate separation, the line between the two is oftentimes blurred and ongoing discussion and clarification often are necessary to establish the appropriate separation.

The board is kept informed of all district regulations issued by the superintendent and all such regulations are subject to board review. The board may also choose to develop and adopt regulations in certain areas.

In developing this manual, the following guidelines were followed:

  • Wherever law requires board approval of detail that might otherwise be designated as regulation, the entire statement is presented here as policy.
  • Wherever the board has interwoven policy and regulation in a statement adopted by the board, the entire statement is presented as policy.
  • Where the board has adopted rules and bylaws concerning its organizational and operating procedures, these statements appear as policy.

Manual Organization
The policies and regulations of the Lincoln Public Schools are divided into nine major sections. These sections provide the first digit of the four-digit number used to reference each policy. Thus, the number 1000 refers to a policy in the 1000 series. The nine major divisions are as follows:

  • 1000 Community Relations
  • 2000 Administration
  • 3000 Business
  • 4000 Human Resources
  • 5000 Students
  • 6000 Instructional Program
  • 7000 Special Education
  • 8000 Board Operating Procedures

The second digit of the reference number refers to a large division within the series. Within the 5000 series, for example, ADMISSIONS is covered in the 5100s, ASSESSMENT in the 5200s, and STUDENT RECORDS in the 5300s. The third and fourth digits refer to smaller and smaller sections within these headings.

Regulations are numbered in a similar way. They are keyed to the appropriate policy whenever possible by using the same number. Regulation numbers always include decimals to distinguish them from policies. A policy on admission procedures, for example, would be numbered 5110 and the related regulation numbered 5110.1. In some cases a number of regulations wil1 be subsumed under one policy. In those cases, the regulations will carry an additional digit following the decimal: under a policy numbered 5140, for example, the related regulations would be numbered 5140.1 and 5140.2.

How to Find a Policy or Regulation
An indexing system reference is contained at the start of each of the eight sections arranged according to a logical organization of topics. Regular users of the manual probably will quickly learn to turn to a topical section and find the appropriate policy or regulation listed there.

How the Manual is Updated
Policies of the Lincoln Public Schools are created by action of the board and become effective on adoption, not when they are printed and disseminated for inclusion in the manual. Therefore, at any time it is possible—even probable—that the manual is incomplete to the extent that recently adopted policies have not yet been printed in policy manual form.

As policies and regulations are adopted, changed or updated, they are put into policy manual form, printed and disseminated to all school district offices maintaining a comprehensive policy and regulations manual. Responsibility for disseminating changes rests with the Superintendent's Office. Inquiries regarding policies or regulations should be directed to that office.

No less often than annually, and generally before the start of each academic year, the Superintendent's Office circulates a memo indicating the number and titles of policies or regulations that have been adopted, changed or updated in the previous year. This memo is accompanied by copies of any policy or regulation that has not been previously disseminated. Those offices which have manuals are responsible for ensuring that updates and additions are placed in the manual as soon as they are received.

Interpretation
Policies of the Lincoln Public Schools must be interpreted in accordance with federal or state law, regulations promulgated by the federal or the state government, or decisions of courts or other similarly empowered unit of government. Wherever inconsistencies may be found, such laws and regulations prevail.