LAKE PLACID - The three principals of the Lake Placid Central School District, all of them new, presented revised student and teacher handbooks to the school board last week.
Brian Latella, a teacher from central New York who took over as elementary school principal, presented a revised version of the elementary school handbook, while former Saranac Lake Middle School Dean of Students Dana Wood, who is now principal of Lake Placid High School, presented one that covers the middle and high school.
Both said there weren't a ton of changes - mainly adding information about the Dignity for All Students Act, which took effect last year and seeks to protect students from bullies, and tweaking some other details. Wood said the principals didn't think it would be appropriate to change much without getting input from teachers and other community members, since they are new to the district.
Wood said the principals decided to put together a committee to look at the district's cellphone policy over the next year. The current one says students must turn off their cellphones at the beginning of the school day and keep them off until the final bell.
Wood said there are growing reasons to let students use cellphones in classes for educational purposes. Some teachers already use them in classes, which is technically against school rules, he said.
Because of that, he said it's important to create a policy that will allow for educational use while taking into consideration privacy issues and other problems that stem from cellphone use.
"I look forward to what you come up with," said school board member Herb Stoerr, who inquired about the policy.
Middle school Principal Theresa Lindsay, who used to be principal of Bloomingdale Elementary School, presented a revised version of the teacher handbook. She said the idea was to have one teacher handbook consistent to all three schools in the district.
Lindsay said going through the handbooks was a good way to dive in and get to know the district's policies and priorities, but she agreed it was best to get to know the culture of the district over the next school year before making any significant changes to handbooks.
She noted the handbook is a living document that will constantly change.
"We really want this to be a collaborative process," Lindsay said.
District Superintendent Roger Catania said he has been working with the new principals since they started July 1.
"It's two months of outstanding teamwork," Catania said. "Lots of energy, lots of enthusiasm, lots of fun and lots of hard work."
Contact Jessica Collier at 891-2600 ext. 26 or firstname.lastname@example.org.