Changes to Albany County School District No. 1’s sexual harassment policy may be coming soon, as part of revisions and updates the district’s officials are making to ACSD No. 1 policies.

Superintendent Dr. Jubal Yennie said the school district plans to replace policy 4024, “Title IX sex discrimination and grievance process” with policy 4020 “sexual harassment and discrimination of students.”

Yennie said many of the school district’s policies, including the sexual harassment policy, needed to be updated. Yennie said the sexual harassment policy was next on the list.

“The whole policy manual needed work,” Yennie said. “Some parts of the manual had been in place since the 1990’s.”

ACSD No.1 School Board Vice-Chairman Dona Coffey said the policies needed to be updated to take federal and state statues into consideration.

“The reason you update policies is because policies elsewhere have changed,” Coffey said. “We want to reflect current laws.”

New language in policy 4020 includes a more specific definition of the kinds of sexual harassment that it prohibits, such as sexual violence like assault and battery and harassment based on a person’s actual or perceived sex, including harassment based on gender identity or nonconformity.

Updates to reporting and investigation guidelines were also made, eliminating the section that called for a two-person team of a male and a female to investigate all complaints. Instead the policy calls for complaints to be investigated in accordance with the procedures in the school board policy 4021, “prohibiting harassment, intimidation and bullying.”

The student grievance procedure was added to policy 4020 in its entirety and outlines the procedure in the event of complaints by students or parents in the school district regarding sex discrimination.

Superintendent Yennie said the policy is currently in its first reading out of three. At the third reading it will officially become policy. Yennie also said the documents are all available to the public on the ACSD No. 1 website.

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