but not younger pupils -- will be allowed to sell goods door to doorfor school fund-raisers, under the county's first formal fund-raising policy.

The policy adopted by the school board Thursday reflected many changes sought by parents and students who spoke at a public hearing last month, including the abandonment of a proposed ban on alldoor-to-door sales.

The ban, presented by the committee that drafted the policy as a safety issue, met general agreement for elementary school students. But speakers at the public hearing protested that parents should set safety rules for middle and high school students.

After hearing that some fund-raisers, such as sub sandwich sales, would be impossible without door-to-door sales, the committee proposed exempting high school students.

Board members decided to allow the practice for middle school students, but added a clause saying the elementary school students are "discouraged" from going door to door.

The final version of the policy also lifted a proposed ban on individual rewards forstudents, but barred any prizes other than token gifts such as ice cream.

Several parents and students said at the hearing that individual rewards keep enthusiasm high among middle school students.

The board retained a statement that endorses equity among schools despite fears expressed by some parents that the term could prevent one school organization from providing athletic equipment or other items that another school lacks.

"Equity is fairness; equity doesn't implyequalness," Board Chairman Deborah D. Kendig said.

The board alsoretained proposed school oversight committees to review fund-raisingplans, but stripped them of decision-making power. The committees will make recommendations on fund-raising ideas to the school principals, who make the final decisions.

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