How to Read Policy

Policies typically use a precise format that includes:

  • Policy Statement – a quick description of what the policy does and who it affects.
  • Rationale – a brief introduction of the policy along with its history and the reason the policy is necessary.
  • Legislation / Regulations – a list of sections from the School Act (referred to as "the Act") or other statutes that apply to a specific policy. Regulations are law. Authority for a regulation is contained in the statute.
  • Policy – more detailed information and interpretation based on the Policy Statement, which could also include specific objectives/goals.
  • Procedures – an outline of steps required to implement the policy like who does what, how, and in what order. There are two types of procedures:
    1. Mandatory procedures use the verbs "shall", or "must"
    2. Discretionary procedures use the words "may" or "should"