Bracketed language occurs in sample policies to indicate proposed or recommended language to be selected in order to tailor the information specific to particular situations within the district.
Sample: within [five] working days
There is a need for language and the word shown is recommended, but not required. It should be changed to fit the practice of the district.
Sample: to the [superintendent][or designee][personnel director]
When a sentence includes bracketed language, and more than one option, at least one should be selected, replaced by applicable language, or deleted as appropriate.
The example above illustrates more than one bracket. Here the language can be tailored by the board to fit the practice in the district. A position title needs to be chosen or inserted and not left blank. Here the board may designate the superintendent by keeping ‘superintendent’, and may also add ‘or designee’ to allow the superintendent to designate another staff member. When designating position titles, adding specific individual names is not recommended.
In some cases, the bracketed language may be excluded all together. This depends on the designation of the policy, e.g., required, highly recommended, etc., and the construction of the sentence or paragraph.
Sample: The district shall utilize the [ ] training program of physical restraints and seclusion for use in the district.
Occasionally, open brackets are used for universally specific language. Open brackets require that the appropriate language be filled in and should not be removed.
Policies or administrative regulations designated required are mandated by Oregon Revised Statutes, Oregon Administrative Rules or federal law and must be adopted by boards. Boards have limited discretion to change the language in sample required policy because these policies reflect required language in statute, rule or law. OSBA sample required policies or administrative regulations have very little bracketed language – that is, language that is optional and usually written to make the required policy more comprehensive than law requires it to be.
Highly recommended policies or administrative regulations may contain more bracketed language.