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Handbooks to cover individual schools
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Parents used to the one-size-fits-all Bryan County Schools Student Handbook will be in for a bit of surprise this year.
It’s going to be smaller, for one thing. And more school specific.
“It has been a super handbook ... but we hope to reduce the size and cost,” said Superintendent John Oliver, who outlined some of the proposed changes to the Bryan County Board of Education on Thursday.  
Among the differences: no longer will there be one mammoth student handbook which in 2009 weighed in at 126 pages.
Now, there will be two smaller versions -- one for students in kindergarten through 5th grade and another for those in grades 6-12. Some of the language has been cleaned up as well, which gives administrators more flexibility when dealing with students who run afoul of some rules.
And instead of including every school’s “mission statement” in one handbook, students will get a handbook tailored to his or her school.
The changes could save the school system around $7,000, according to assistant superintendent Brad Anderson. Last year about $15,000 was spent on printing the handbooks, which include everything from dress codes and rules on student conduct to safety plans and grade policies.
“There is probably more information in these than we truly need to provide,” Oliver said.

Parents are required to sign and return a statement to the school saying they’ve read the handbooks that spell out punishment for violations of everything from fights to violating the school’s cell phone policy, which now states that students caught with cell phones can be fined $25.

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