MISSISSIPPI LEGISLATURE

2005 Regular Session

To: Education

By: Representative Scott

House Bill 1435

AN ACT TO REQUIRE CERTAIN SCHOOL DISTRICTS TO ADOPT POLICIES AND PROCEDURES REGARDING THEIR DAILY CURRICULUM, WEEKLY HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENTS, PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT, DRESS CODES, SCHOOL HOLIDAYS, PARENT/TEACHER CONFERENCES AND A SCHOOL SYLLABUS; TO PROVIDE THAT ALTERNATIVE SCHOOLS IN THE SAME DISTRICTS PROVIDE FOR THE SAME TYPE POLICIES AND PROCEDURES; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:

SECTION 1. (1) The school board of every school district having a Level 3 or lower accreditation rating shall adopt policies and procedures regarding their daily curriculum, weekly homework assignments, parental involvement, dress codes, school holidays, parent/teacher conferences and a school syllabus. The policies and procedures shall include, but are not limited to, the following:

(a) Every child shall be assigned daily homework assignments;

(b) Every child shall be taught to write in proper manuscript and cursive lettering, which shall be reinforced through weekend homework assignments at every grade level;

(c) Every child shall be assigned a daily reading assignment;

(d) Every child shall be assigned a daily written assignment to accompany the daily reading assignment to assess the reading comprehension level of the child;

(e) Every child shall be assigned a minimum of five (5) words per week in each subject area to learn to spell, define and use in a sentence, which shall be used to assess the child's retention of the assignment;

(f) Every child shall be assigned a minimum of one (1) book to read per subject each month and shall write a short report on the subject matter of the book, which shall be used to assess the child's learning ability. Children in primary grades may be allowed to draw pictures, elaborate orally or use any other alternative method to tell about their books;

(g) Every parent or guardian of a child shall participate in one (1) supportive service for the school district, such as watching the bus stop, working the concession stand for an athletic event, chaperoning a school sponsored event, serving the Parent Teacher Association, or serving as a mentor, resource officer or tutor;

(h) Every teacher shall dress in a professional manner, which does not include wearing blue jeans, denim jeans or tee shirts;

(i) Every child shall be required to dress in school uniforms;

(j) The school districts shall provide for only the following school holidays: Labor Day, Thanksgiving Holidays, Christmas Holidays, New Year's Holidays, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Holiday, Spring Break and Good Friday. There shall be no more permanent early release days;

(k) Staff development training shall not be held during the use of regular school days; however, the staff development training may be offered after the regular school day has been completed. The staff development training shall be relevant to the teaching experience and beneficial to the teacher, student and district as a whole;

(l) Parent/teacher conferences shall be held at the middle of the nine (9) week term only with the parent and child who has not mastered his or her course work for the mid-term or if the child has demonstrated bad citizenship;

(m) The school district shall provide a syllabus for each nine (9) weeks with the homework assignments posted for each subject. The syllabus shall contain an agreement that the parent or guardian shall be required to sign stating that they understand the child has daily homework assignments and that they have received a document outlining their child's work assignments and the due dates of the assignments; and

(n) The school district shall post the syllabus on the school district website, if one is available. If a student loses his or her syllabus, the school district may charge a fee of not more than Twenty-five Cents (25) per individual sheet to copy and replace the document.

(2) Alternative school programs in school districts having a Level 3 or lower accreditation rating shall adopt the same policies as provided in subsection (1) of this section. Students attending an alternative school shall attend school for no less than eight (8) hours per day and shall attend school on Saturday for no less than eight (8) hours per day. At these alternative schools, Saturday shall be known as "Attitude Adjustment Day." Each Saturday, the school districts shall arrange to have retired military, first responders, volunteer mentors, ministers, parents and any other community volunteers attend school with the alternative school students and share their skills and knowledge with the students, encouraging them to become better students and citizens. In addition, the school district may provide that on Saturdays, students may participate in community service programs to help build character and concern for their own school, family, neighborhood and community.

SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2005.