Next to having no policies at all, the riskiest situation confronting a school board and administration is not knowing exactly what (or even where) policies are. This situation exists when some policies are buried in board minutes, some appear in staff and student handbooks, and some are in an out-of-date policy manual that is of limited value.

When a school unit takes an organized, comprehensive approach to getting its policy “house” in order, the results can be a well-codified, functional manual of board policies and procedures. The board then has a system for retrieving policy information quickly and easily, for keeping policies up-to-date, and for helping to make sure that policies are implemented.

If your policy system is less than effective or just needs a thorough updating, Maine School Management Association has the staff and proven experience to assist. MSMA is strongly committed to local board policy development and consults with school officials during the manual review process to create a draft policy manual that is consistent with state and federal law and regulations, yet reflects the philosophy and practices of the local school system.

MSMA offers its custom policy manual review services on a fee basis. The following is a description of the policy services most often requested, but we will work with your school unit to structure a project that meets your needs. Please call Charlotte Bates, Director of Policy and Research Services, at 800-660-8484, for more detailed information on these services, including fee ranges and scheduling.

Complete Manual Policy Revision 
In performing a complete policy manual revision MSMA will:

  • Audit manual for required and recommended policies and supply samples on missing topics;

  • Code policies according to the current NEPN/NSBA classification system;

  • Analyze and edit policies to current policy standards for content, consistency, style, language appropriateness, and gender neutrality;

  • Review board minutes, labor contracts, and municipal charters for consistency, as appropriate;

  • Add legal citations, cross references, and adoption dates to policies, as appropriate;

  • Review town/city charter for consistency with policy language, if appropriate;

  • Consult with superintendent as necessary throughout the review process;

  • Provide a report documenting all MSMA work, recommendations, and suggestions for future policy work; and

  • Provide one copy of the revised policy manual, including table of contents, code finder index and section tabs, and complete manual on computer disk.

Level I Audit
In performing a Level I Audit, MSMA will:

  • Check manual for policies required by state or federal law or regulation or recommended by Maine School Boards Association Resolutions and supply samples as necessary; and

  • Provide a written report with MSMA’s observations and suggestions for future policy work.

Level II Audit
In performing a Level II audit, MSMA will:

  • Provide Level I services; plus

  • Analyze and edit required and recommended policies to current standards for content, consistency, style, language appropriateness, and gender neutrality; and

  • Add legal references and cross references.

Manual Recoding
In this project, MSMA will:

  • Re-code policies to current NEPN/NSBA coding system (handwritten on each policy);

  • Generate a table of contents listing old and new codes;

  • Provide one copy of code finder index and section tabs; and

  • Provide a report with MSMA’s observations and suggestions for future policy work.

In addition to these services, MSMA offers policy workshops to assist boards in their policymaking role and in developing strategies for review and adoption of the school unit’s revised policy manual.