Port Angeles schools mull multi-age classes, tribal ties, transgender policy

By Arwyn Rice
Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — The Port Angeles School Board will hold two special meetings today and Thursday.

They will discuss the Multi-Age Community program, renew ties with the Lower Klallam tribe and consider a transgender student policy at district schools.

The board will meet for a work session at 5 p.m. today for a review of the Multi-Age Community program, known as MAC, at the Central Services Building, 216 E. Fourth St.

The MAC program, located at Franklin Elementary School, serves about 120 students in the first through fifth grade in grade-level and multi-age groupings.

The board also will meet to renew language and vocational education partnerships with the tribe at 5 p.m. Thursday at the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribal Center, 2851 Lower Elwha Road.

The board will hear a report on the status of the Klallam language program, which offers native language lessons to students at Dry Creek Elementary, Stevens Middle and Port Angeles High schools.

It will consider a renewal of the district’s agreement between the tribe and the North Olympic Peninsula Skills Center to provide vocational educational training to members of the tribe.

Transgender policy

In matters unrelated to the Lower Elwha Klallam tribe, the board will be asked to vote on a new transgender policy.

The policy, required by state mandate, would prohibit discrimination against transgender students and require schools to use the pronoun of the student’s choice.

It also would allow that students to dress in a manner appropriate to the student’s gender identification.

The implementation of gender-neutral dress codes, to be applied consistently to all students, is encouraged by state policy.

State policy requires schools to allow transgender students to be allowed to use the restrooms or locker rooms of their choice, and to provide alternatives for any student who has a need or desire for increased privacy.

The policy also provides for access to staff or other small, private restrooms for all students who are uncomfortable with privacy levels in larger, multi-toilet restrooms.

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Reporter Arwyn Rice can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5070, or at arwyn.rice@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: May 13. 2014 5:47PM
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