MISSISSIPPI LEGISLATURE

2006 Regular Session

To: Education

By: Representative Scott

House Bill 870

AN ACT TO REQUIRE SCHOOL DISTRICTS HAVING A LEVEL 3 OR LOWER ACCREDITATION LEVEL TO ADOPT CERTAIN POLICIES AND PROCEDURES REGARDING DAILY CURRICULUM, WEEKLY HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENTS, PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT, DRESS CODES, SCHOOL HOLIDAYS, PARENT-TEACHER CONFERENCES AND A SCHOOL SYLLABUS; TO PROVIDE THAT ALTERNATIVE SCHOOLS IN THOSE DISTRICTS MUST ADOPT THE SAME 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 the daily curriculum in schools, weekly homework assignments, parental involvement, dress codes, school holidays, parent-teacher conferences and a school syllabus. The policies and procedures must include, but not necessarily be limited to, the following:

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

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

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

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

(e) Every child must 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 must be used to assess the child's retention of the assignment;

(f) Every child must be assigned a minimum of one (1) book to read per subject each month and must write a short report on the subject matter of the book, which report must 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 assisting at the bus stop, working the concession stand for an athletic event, chaperoning a school sponsored event, serving in 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 must be required to wear a school uniform;

(j) The school districts shall provide for only the following school holidays: Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Spring Break and Good Friday holidays. Permanent early release days are prohibited;

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

(l) Parent-teacher conferences must be held at the middle of each nine-week term with the parent and a child who has not mastered his or her course work for the mid-term or who 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 must contain an agreement that the parent or guardian is required to sign stating that the parent understands the child has daily homework assignments and that the parent has received a document outlining the child's work assignments and due dates of the assignments; and

(n) The school district shall post the syllabus on the school district website, if 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 must attend school for no less than eight (8) hours per day and must attend school on Saturday for no less than eight (8) hours per day. At alternative schools, Saturday must be known as "Attitude Adjustment Day." Each Saturday, the school districts shall arrange for retired military, first responders, volunteer mentors, ministers, parents and any other community volunteers to attend school with the alternative school students and to share their skills and knowledge with the students, encouraging them to become better students and citizens. In addition, the school district may authorize students to participate in community service programs on Saturdays 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, 2006.