Boarding School Staff, WFIS, and others impacted by SB 5515, the law requiring DCYF to license boarding schools, were at the table this week with DCYF and the State Board to start the process.

This was the first of many meetings about licensing rules for private boarding schools over the next two years. WFIS clarified the concern that the definition of boarding school does not differentiate between Private Schools offering a boarding school program for students and therapeutic, behavior modification programs teenagers are sent to with a school component.

The negotiation team members discussed the potential of repetitiveness in licensing boarding schools already overseen by the State Board of Education, inspected by the local health department, and, for many, accredited by a recognized accreditation organization.

The schools’ goal is for DCYF to recognize the work already done to provide safe and healthy student environments. DCYF is learning how safety is accomplished and what agencies already provide oversight. We are all considering avoiding duplication and “paper-pushing” to satisfy this new law.

This team will work together to craft meaningful rules for the safety and well-being of students, utilizing and not duplicating the well-worn paths that already exist.