Elementary Student Handbook

OESJ wolf symbol/mascot2018 – 2019 Student Handbook

Oppenheim-Ephratah-St. Johnsville Elementary School
6486 State Highway 29
St. Johnsville, NY 13452
518-568-2014
518-568-2941 FAX
www.oesj.org

Jeanine Kawryga, Building Principal

Joseph Natale,  Interim Superintendent

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Academic Intervention Services
Assessments
Attendance/Tardy
Automated External Defibrillators
Bicycles
Board of Education
Cafeteria
Child Protective Services
Code of Conduct
Computer Use
Conduct on School Property
Corporal Punishment
Daily Schedule
Dignity for All Students Act (DASA)
Disciplinary Penalties
Dismissal Precautions
District Vision and Mission Statement
District/School Safety Plans
Dressing for PE
Directory
Fire Drills
Food and Drink
Grading Systems
Homebound Instruction
Homework
Honor Roll and “Wolf” of the Month
Instructional Support Team (IST)
Internet Safety
Live Animals in School
Lockers
Marking Periods
Non Discrimination/Anti-Harassment
NYS Testing Schedule
Open House/Parent Conferences
Parental Involvement
Personal Electronic Devices (PEDs)
Promotion/Retention
Public Complaints and Chain of Command
School Calendar
School Closings
School Food Services
Six-Day Schedule
Student Dress Code
Student Health Services
Student Lockers, Desks and other School Storage Places
Student Progress Reports and Report Cards
Student Rights and Responsibilities
Student Searches
Students with Disabilities
Visitors to School

This September 2018-2019 OESJ Elementary School Student Handbook supersedes all other copies. All students in grades Pre-K through 6th grade will receive a copy the first week of school and it will be available on our website. The Student Handbook contains important  school information, such as rules, procedures, routines, discipline, contact information, and arrival, and dismissal procedures, etc. Please review it with your child and contact the principal if  you have questions.

Back to the top

THE STUDENT HANDBOOK

DISTRICT CONTACT INFORMATION

Joseph Natale, Interim Superintendent
61 Monroe Street
St. Johnsville, NY 13452
Phone: (518) 568-7280
Fax: (518) 568-2797

Jeanine Kawryga, Principal
OESJ Elementary School
6486 STHWY 29
Phone: (518) 568-2014, ext. 101
Fax: (518) 568 – 2941

Adam Heroth, Principal
OESJ Jr./Sr. High School
44 Center Street
St. Johnsville, NY 13452
Phone: (518) 568-2011, ext. 1
Fax: (518) 568-2797

Kyle O’Brien, Director of Student Services
6486 STHWY 29
St. Johnsville, NY 13452 Phone: (518) 568-2014, ext 103
Fax: (518) 568-2941   

The District website:  www.oesj.org

BOARD OF EDUCATION

Neil Clark, President   
Dean Handy, Vice President         

Shellie Walrath, Member
Jeremy Brundage, Member
Susanne Sammons, Member

Chad Barnes, Member
Sarah Barnes, Member

Members are unpaid public officials elected by the voters of the school district to take formal legal actions and assume the major responsibilities for the operations of the schools. These people are members of the community, who have taken on the additional task of Board membership in order to provide leadership for the welfare of district students.

In order to perform its duties in an open and public manner, and in accordance with state law, the Oppenheim-Ephratah-St .Johnsville Central School Board of Education holds regular business meetings on the first Wednesday of each month at the OESJ High School and OESJ Elementary School respectively. Parents, students, and other members of the community are encouraged to attend and demonstrate their interest in the education of district students.

VISION STATEMENT

The OESJ School District seeks to provide the best possible education for every student. We strive to maintain an excellent learning environment to ensure every student graduates from high school prepared for college and career success.

MISSION STATEMENT

The mission of the OESJ Central School District is for every student to experience an enriching environment where they will master the skills necessary for 21st century learning and reach their full potential for applying knowledge. All OESJ students will have the opportunity to engage in meaningful and authentic learning through teachers’ use of research based, innovative instructional practices. We will educate our students to become lifelong learners, cooperative workers, quality producers and outstanding citizens.

Back to the top

STATEMENT OF NONDISCRIMINATION AND ANTI-HARASSMENT

It is the policy of the Oppenheim-Ephratah-St. Johnsville School District not to permit discrimination or harassment based on race, creed, color, sex, national origin, religion, age, economic status, marital status, sexual orientation or disability in the district’s educational programs, activities or employment. Harassment may take the form of comments, name-calling, jokes, stalking, perpetuating rumors or gossip, offensive gestures or language, assault or any other behavior that is designed to annoy, intimidate or cause fear. This also includes cyberbullying. If anyone discriminates against you or harasses you, you must report it to a teacher or the building principal immediately.

DIGNITY FOR ALL STUDENTS ACT (DASA)

“The Dignity Act was signed into law on September 13, 2010 and took effect on July 1, 2012. This legislation amended State Education Law by creating a new Article 2 – Dignity for All Students. The Dignity Act also amended Section 801-a of New York State Education Law regarding instruction in civility, citizenship, and character education by expanding the concepts of tolerance, respect for others and dignity to include: an awareness and sensitivity in the relations of people, including but not limited to, different races, weights, national origins, ethnic groups, religions, religious practices, mental or physical abilities, sexual orientations, gender identity, and sexes. The Dignity Act further amended Section 2801 of the Education Law by requiring Boards of Education to include language addressing The Dignity Act in their codes of conduct.” www.p12.nysed.gov/dignityact/ Please contact Mrs. Kawryga, Principal/DASA Coordinator  for the Elementary School if you have questions, concerns, or want to report an incident.

Back to the top

PUBLIC COMPLAINTS AND CHAIN OF COMMAND

Most often, parental complaints and concerns can be addressed simply through a telephone call or a conference with the teacher. If the matter is not settled satisfactorily, the complaint should be directed to the building principal and, if necessary, to the Superintendent. Complaints regarding district programs, instructional or library materials, operations and/or staff members, should be directed to the building principal. If the matter is not satisfactorily settled, the complaint should be directed to the Superintendent. Please use the “chain of command” listed as a reference (beginning with number 1) when you have an issue:

  1. Student (students should first try to resolve differences with each other; this is for lower level problems)
  2. Staff (teacher, social worker, assistant, nurse, cafeteria personnel, secretary, etc.)
  3.  Principal, Jeanine Kawryga
  4.  Superintendent, Joseph Natale
  5.  Board of Education

DIRECTORY OF OESJ ELEMENTARY SCHOOL STAFF

  • Attendance Julie Taylor – 518-568-2014 ext. 117
  • Building Use Main Office – 518-568-2014 ext. 100
  • Building and Grounds/Custodians Jeffrey Swartz – 518-568-2011/518-568-2014 x106
  • Bus Schedule/Issues Bruce LaQuay – 518-568-2014 ext. 107          
  • Business Office Jodi Haddad – 518-568-9990
  • Cafeteria/Meal Information Myra Trumble – 518-568-2014 ext. 113
  • Curriculum/Programs/Discipline Jeanine Kawryga – 518-568-2014 ext. 101 
  • District Technology Coordinator William Cooper – 518-568-2014 ext. 128
  • Health Concerns & Lost and Found Cheryl Brown – 518-568-2014 ext. 112
  • Library Karen Johnson – 518-568-2014 ext. 125
  • Social Worker Diana Ashton – 518-568-2014 ext. 111
  • Superintendent’s Office Joseph Natale – 518-568-7280
  • CSE Office Kyle O’Brien/Crista Morrone – 518-568-2014 ext.103/115
  • High School Principal Adam Heroth – 518-568-2011

Back to the top

Universal Pre-Kindergarten Kindergarten

  • Heidi Sprouse
  • Kate Yoder

Kindergarten

  • Tiffany Case
  • Michelle Gentile
  • Angela Hazzard

First

  • Tiffany Heroth
  • Linda Mang
  • Jean VanValkenburgh

Second

  •  Amanda Blanc
  •  Heather Smith
  • Sue Pedrick

Third

  • Brooke Cuddy
  • Travis Heiser
  • Elaine McNulty

Fourth

  • Karin Eggleston
  • Skyler Viveros
  • Sam Lynch

Fifth

  • Dina Brundage 
  • Shoann Etherton
  • Jodi Eakin

Sixth

  • Staci Battisti
  • Thomas (T.J.) Jordan
  • Hannah Murcray

Special Area Teachers

  • Tim Barnes, Physical Education
  • Russ Bellinger, Instrumental Music
  • Kevin Cannon, Art
  • Rachel Brownell, Vocal & General Music
  • Dan Hart, Physical Education
  • Brenda Waterbury, Remedial Reading
  • Angie Jones, Remedial Reading
  • Nanette Masle, Remedial Math
  • Chris Parry, Technology, Remedial Math

Technology

  • William Cooper, Director of Technology
  • John LiBritz, Computer Coordinator

Business Office/District Office

  • Joseph Natale, Superintendent
  • Stephanie Bonk, Superintendent Secretary/District
  • Jodi Haddad, District Treasurer
  • Jackie Hill, Account Clerk
  • Eileen Sammons, Account Clerk

Support Staff

  • Courtney Crozier, Teacher  Assistant               
  • Jill Fredericks, Teacher Assistant
  • Melissa Baker, Teacher Assistant
  • Erin Thayer, Teacher Assistant
  • Janell Mosher, Teacher Assistant
  • Samantha Carter, Teacher Assistant
  • Sandy Bradt, Teacher Aide
  • Pam Cool, Teacher Aide
  • Yvonne Spraker, Teacher Aide
  • Amanda Schwasnick, Teacher Aide
  • Inger Leonard, Teacher Aide
  • Jennifer Blair, Teacher Aide
  • Brenda Stowell, Teacher Aide

CSE Office    

  • Kyle O’Brien, CSE/CPSE Chairperson
  • Crista Morrone, CSE/CPSE Secretary

Custodial Staff

  • Joe DePiazza
  • Brian Clark
  • Yvonne Leveille
  • Kathy Walters
  • Allan Chausse

Food Service Workers

  • Myra Trumble, Food Service Mgr.
  • Rosemary Hart
  • Susan Watson   
  • Kristen Layman
  • Pam Turner

Back to the top

SIX-DAY SCHEDULE

Our district follows a “six day” schedule. The first day of school in September will be a “Day 1”, second day will be “Day 2” and so on. If school is closed due to any reason (i.e. holiday, conference days, or inclement weather), the day students resume classes will be the next numbered day. For example, if school is closed on Monday due to a holiday, and Friday was a “Day 5”, then Tuesday would be a “Day 6”.

DAILY SCHEDULE

The school doors open at 7:40 when the first run of buses arrives. There is no supervision inside or outside of the school building prior to the time. All students will report to the cafeteria where breakfast is optional. At 8:00am, all students will be dismissed to their classrooms. The bell schedule is as follows:

  • Late Bell 8:05
  • Period 1 8:10 – 8:50
  • Period 2 8:53 – 9:33
  • Period 3 9:36 – 10:16
  • Period 4  10:19 – 10:59
  • Period 5  11:02 – 11:42
  • Period 6  11:45 – 12:25
  • Period 7   12:28 – 1:08
  • Period 8   1:11 – 1:51
  • Period 9   1:54 – 2:34
  • dismissal 2:40

LUNCH/RECESS SCHEDULE

Time          Lunch                     Recess

  • PK               10:35-11:15
  • K                  10:40-11:00        10:19-10:40
  • 1st               11:02-11:22          11:22-11:42
  • 2nd             11:22 – 11:42        11:02-11:22
  • 3rd              12:05-12:25        11:45-12:05
  • 4th              11:45-12:05         12:05-12:25
  • 5th              12:28-12:48         12:48-1:08
  • 6th              12:48-1:08           12:28-12:48

ATTENDANCE AND TARDINESS

Tardiness and absences from school are strongly linked to school failure. Likewise, being on time for school and present are strongly linked to school success! It is each parent/guardian’s responsibility to make sure their children are on time for school and attend all classes. Daily telephone calls will be made by the office to parents or guardians to report unexcused absences. Parents are asked to call school when they know their child will be absent. Parents need to provide  a written excuse for ALL absences, otherwise the absence will be considered “unexcused” . Parents will be notified in writing after every 5 reports of tardiness or absences. The school principal will meet with parents to investigate the concern and develop a positive outcome.

The following reasons for student absences and tardiness from schools are recognized as legal excuses when provided with written documentation/note signed and dated by a parent/guardian:

  1. Personal illness
  2. Illness or death in the family
  3. Impassable roads or weather making travel unsafe
  4. Religious observance
  5. Medical appointment
  6. Approved school-sponsored trips
  7. Quarantine
  8.  Required court appearances

Any other absence is considered unexcused.

*General “rule of thumb” when sickness is the excuse: if your child does not have a fever and is not vomiting, (s)he should come to school.

Back to the top

STUDENT DISMISSAL PRECAUTIONS

In order to ensure students’ safety, the building principal, office staff and school nurse, maintains a list of individuals who are authorized to obtain the release of students in attendance at the school. No student may be released to the custody of any individual who is not the custodial parent or guardian of the student unless they are named on the authorized list. Parents or guardians may submit a list of individuals authorized to obtain the release of their children from school at the time of the child’s enrollment.

A parent or guardian may amend a list submitted pursuant to this regulation at any time, in writing, with a signature of the parent or guardian. Certified copies of any court orders or divorce decrees provided by the custodial parent, which restrict a parent’s ability to seek the release of his or her child, shall be maintained in district offices.

If anyone seeks the release from school of a student, he/she must report to the school office and, if requested, present satisfactory identification to the Building Principal. If the person seeking the release of a child exhibits to the school official an out-of-state custody order, the Superintendent  will be notified.

Early excuses for emergency reasons should be requested in writing by the parent. Medical releases are handled through the Nurse’s Office. All other reasons for release must be submitted to the Main Office, and students must be picked up in the Main Office. The parent/guardian must sign the register in main office before leaving.

USE OF SCHOOL COMPUTERS

Students will be granted an account number to access the school district’s computer network. Each student’s account number is intended for personal use only and should not be shared with other individuals. Users of the district’s computer equipment shall have no expectation of privacy. The district reserves the right to access all files and monitor all uses of the district’s computer technology equipment at its own discretion in order to ensure the equipment is not being used inappropriately.

The district prohibits the use of any computer hardware/software in any inappropriate, fraudulent or destructive manner, including, but not limited to:

  •  Accessing inappropriate websites
  •  Sending out unauthorized messages
  •  Entering a code-protected file
  •  Plagiarism
  •  Altering a software program
  •  Vandalizing hardware or software components
  •  Copyright infringement
  •  Use of a password, other than your own
  •  Cyberbullying

Discipline procedures include, but not limited to:

  •   Suspension of computer use
  •   Detention
  •   Suspension from school

The following is a copy of the Acceptable Use form and the Photo Consent Form sent home to parents during the first week of school:

Back to the top

Acceptable Use Policy

2018-2019
Computer and Internet User

Oppenheim-Ephratah-St. Johnsville School District

The purpose of the Internet is to provide access to unique resources. Our goal in providing  this service to students is to promote educational excellence within the OESJ Schools by facilitating resource sharing and innovation. The use of the computer network is a privilege, not a right! To remain eligible as a user, the use of your account must be in support of and consistent with the educational objectives of the District.

Acceptable Uses:

  1. All use of the Internet must be in support of educationally related inquiry.
  2. Network user ID’s are ONLY to be used by the authorized owner of the account.
  3. All use of messaging software, including e-mail, must be in support of educationally related inquiry.
  4. Only school-provided devices may be connected to the network.

Unacceptable Uses:

  1. Sharing passwords or seeking passwords belonging to other individuals or making unauthorized entry into another individual’s network account.
  2. Impersonation – real names MUST be used, pseudonyms are not allowed.
  3. Using profanity, obscenity or language that may be offensive to another user.
  4. Personal attacks upon others, including attacks that may be interpreted as “bullying” or “cyber-bullying”.
  5. Illegal installation of copyrighted software on District network. Users must respect all copyright issues regarding software, information, all media (i.e., music, video, intellectual property) and attributions of ownership. The unauthorized copying or transfer of  copyrighted materials is not acceptable.
  6. Downloading or uploading pirated or illegal software.
  7. Publishing, accessing, distributing, downloading, forwarding, or sending any information which violates or infringes upon the rights of others or which would be considered abusive, profane or sexually or ethnically offensive.
  8. Using the network for financial or commercial gain.
  9. Downloading computer applications or installing software applications or computer hardware without first having the express permission from the OESJ School District.
  10. Using the network for illegal activities or political lobbying.
  11. Accessing or processing pornographic materials, or inappropriate text files.
  12. Accessing or processing files dangerous to the integrity of the network.
  13. Creating any inappropriate documents or other digital content.
  14. Degrading or disrupting equipment, software or system performance.
  15. Disclosing or disseminating personal information regarding minors (i.e., address, phone number, pictures, social security number and academic standing).
  16. Bypassing or attempting to bypass any security measures or software the District has in place including but not limited to, internet content filtering, desktop security and anti-virus software.
  17. Users shall not use system resources for any non-instructional purpose, including but not limited to: personal email account access (e.g. Hotmail, AOL, Yahoo, Gmail, etc.), personal instant messaging (chatting), social networking sites (e.g. Facebook, MySpace, Twitter), online shopping, online gaming or personal use of streaming media such as online radio stations, music videos or video broadcasts.

Back to the top

EMAIL:

The OESJ School District reserves the right to monitor users’ online activities and to access, review, copy and store or delete any electronic communication or files and disclose them to others as it deems necessary. Users should have no expectation of privacy regarding their use of District property, network and/or Internet access or files, including email. All emails may be subject to the Freedom of Information Law.

VIOLATIONS:

This agreement shall serve to protect actions and computer usage that may occur  off campus, but have a nexus to the school community that substantially disrupts the work and discipline of the school and places a profound and significant impact on students within the District (i.e. an off-campus student who during non-school hours consistently emails another student’s district email with offensive, demeaning and threatening content). This shall not serve to suppress individuality or personal viewpoints, but simply to protect the safety of students and the sound educational environment the District proudly upholds.

Students using the District’s computer network and equipment are required to comply with the District’s policy and regulations governing the District’s computer network both on and off campus. Failure to comply with the policy or regulation may result in disciplinary action as well as suspension and/or revocation of computer access privileges.

Additionally, illegal activities are strongly prohibited. Any information pertaining to or implicating illegal activity will be reported to the proper authorities. Transmission of any material  in violation of any federal, state and/or local law or regulation is prohibited.

DISCLAIMER:

The OESJ School District makes no guarantee about the quality of the services provided and is not responsible for any claims, losses, damages, costs or other obligations arising from use of the network or accounts. Any additional charges a user accrues due to the use of the District’s network are to be borne by the user. The District also denies any responsibility for the accuracy or quality of the information obtained through user access. Any statement, accessible on the computer network or the Internet, is understood to be the author’s individual point of view and not that of the OESJ School District, its affiliates, or employees. Accordingly, anonymity is NOT allowed. As an educational institution, we believe that individuals must take responsibility for their actions and words.

The OESJ School District makes no warranties of any kind, either expressed or implied, for the internet access it is providing.  The school is not responsible for:

  1. Any damages users suffer, including, but not limited to, loss of data resulting from delays or interruptions in service;
  2. The accuracy, nature or quality of information stored on school diskettes, hard drives or servers or gathered through school-provided Internet access;
  3. Personal property used to access school computers or networks or for school-provided Internet access; or
  4. Unauthorized financial obligations resulting from school-provided access to the Internet.

The individual in whose name a system account is issued will be responsible at all times for its proper use. Thus, users have full responsibility for the use of their account. All violations of this policy will be treated as the sole responsibility of the owner of the account. Any violation of this policy must be reported to school administrators.

I have read the ‘District Acceptable Use Policy’ and I hereby release the District, its personnel and any institutions with which it is affiliated, from any and all claims and damages of any nature arising from my use of, or inability to use, the District System, including but not limited to claims that may arise from the unauthorized use of the system to purchase products or services. I agree to follow the rules contained in the ‘District Acceptable Use Policy’ and I understand that if I violate the rules, access to the Internet and/or District can be terminated and I may face other disciplinary measures.

Date:                        

Grade/Teacher/Home Room No:                                                  

 Student’s Name:                                    

Parent or Guardian’s Name:                            

Student’s Signature:                              

Parent or Guardian’s Signature:    

PLEASE RETURN TO THE DISTRICT AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. YOUR STUDENT DOES NOT HAVE COMPUTER ACCESS UNTIL THIS IS RETURNED.

Board Approval: 9/18/2013

Back to the top

PHOTO CONSENT FORM

As a part of the district’s promotion of school activities or recognition of student achievement, district staff members or the news media may photograph or video individual students or groups of students, while they are engaged in school activities not normally open to the public. Your child’s photographic image may thereafter appear in district publications, school website, newspapers or newscasts. PLEASE SEND THE SCHOOL A SEPARATE NOTE IF YOU DO NOT WANT YOUR CHILD’S PICTURE PUBLISHED.

Other Important Information

Parent or Guardian email address:

PROGRAMS FOR STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES

Students with disabilities are entitled to receive, at public expense, special education, related services and/or supplementary aids and services as necessary to ensure a free appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment, appropriate to meet their individual needs.

Each student identified as having a disability will have access to the full range of programs and services of this school district, including extracurricular programs and activities, which are  available to all other students enrolled in the public schools of the district.

Parents/students who desire further information on these programs and services should contact the CSE Chairperson, Ann Drummond at 568-2014, ext. 103.

ACADEMIC INTERVENTION SERVICES

The district shall provide Academic Intervention Services (AIS) or remedial services to students who have been identified as falling below the state learning standards in English Language Arts and mathematics. Such mandated services include Academic Intervention Services (AIS) and/or remediation.  Other services may include counseling and study skills.

A student’s eligibility for AIS will be determined based on his or her performance on state assessment examinations and/or in accordance with district assessment procedures. Students who score a level 1 or 2 on state tests in Math or ELA will have AIS as per commissioner’s letter and cut points; generally the classroom teacher and AIS teacher will be responsible for such services.

When it has been determined that a student needs AIS, the building principal will notify the parents, in writing. The notice will outline the reason the student needs such services, the type of services to be provided. In addition, the district will provide the parents with opportunities to consult with teachers and other professional staff, regular reports on the student’s progress and information on ways to monitor and work with teachers to improve the student’s performance. Parents are encouraged to contact the school regarding our test out policy from academic intervention services. Parents will be notified when their child attains consistent success and no longer needs AIS.

Back to the top

INSTRUCTIONAL SUPPORT TEAM (IST)

If a child shows consistent delays (concerns) impacting his/her educational performance, he/she may be referred to the Instructional Support Team for review. Teachers may refer a student any time. The Team establishes a plan of action to support the child in his/her educational setting. The student is closely monitored and reviewed again to assess  levels of performance. Attendance by parent/guardian is recommended. If you have questions about the IST, please contact Ann Drummond, school psychologist at 568-2014, ext. 109.

ASSESSMENTS

The purpose of continual and periodic assessments is to ensure every child is learning.  It is much more beneficial for a student when deficiencies are caught early and interventions are immediately implemented.   

Fountas and Pinnell (F&P) F&P provides reliable reading screening in order to identify students at the correct independent and instructional reading levels and strategies and skills deficits; this assists teachers in helping students learn and provides a measure of reading growth.   

Benchmark Assessments in ELA and Math – Interim assessments aligned with the Common Core are effective in progress monitoring our students. Teachers are required to assess students quarterly to monitor what they should have learned from the first day of class. Teachers will implement new strategies to ensure each student learns the skills and concepts expected at that grade level.   

iReady Math and ELA – Assessments are given in the Fall and Spring to identify instructional levels and measure growth

Houghton-Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) Program assessments for phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, fluency and comprehension.

NEW YORK STATE TESTS

New York State Testing Dates for 2018-19

Examination                   Administration Dates

Grade 3-8                        Tuesday, April 2 – Thursday,        English Language        April 4
Arts

Grades 3-8                     Wednesday, May 1 – Friday, May 3
Mathematics

Grade 4 & 8                     May 22 – 31
Science Performance
Test

Grade 4                            Monday, June 3
Science Written
Test

HOME-BOUND INSTRUCTION

A student who is temporarily unable to attend school for at least two weeks due to physical, mental or emotional illness or injury may be eligible to be instructed at home or in the hospital by an appropriately certified teacher.

The parent must notify the principal or guidance counselor if a student will be on an extended school absence. If the inability to attend is due to a medical or emotional reason, the parent should obtain from the child’s physician a written medical request for home-bound instruction.

Where advanced notice is not possible, the parent should make every effort to obtain homework assignments until such a time as home/hospital instruction may begin. As soon as possible after receiving notice of a prolonged absence, the district will arrange for home instruction for the time periods prescribed by law. A parent or another adult is expected to be present during all teaching sessions. Tutoring may be delivered at home or an alternative site, depending upon the availability of an adult.

Back to the top

PROMOTION AND RETENTION OF STUDENTS

Student retention or promotion will be discussed on an individual basis at Instructional Support Team (IST). A decision to retain shall be arrived at by consensus from a case conference approach involving the Instructional Support Team including, teacher, building principal, school  psychologist, as well as a parent/guardian. Factors to be considered include all assessment data on a student’s response to recommended interventions, teacher observation data; attendance, social, emotional and physical development; family conference; and, for identified students, recommendations by the Committee on Special Education (CSE). If retention is recommended by school personnel and a parent refuses retention, parents must meet with principal to discuss  concerns prior to promotion.

GRADING SYSTEMS

Primary grades such as kindergarten and first grades utilize a skill and effort key specific to grade level to determine performance level. Upper level grades 2-6 use a numerical/letter system to determine performance level. The grading system is used to indicate achievement and development in each class or subject area in which a student is enrolled. Letter grades or percentage are also  used in Special Area classes such as Physical Education, Art, Technology, Library, and Music. Grading will be based upon students’ ability to demonstrate learning via assessments and other means.

Skill and Effort Key for kindergarten and first grades

  • 4 = Exceeds Expectations 85-100
  • 3 = Meets Expectations – 65-84
  • 2 = Approaching Expections – 50-64
  • 1 = Below Expectations – 0-49
  • X = Not Evaluated at this Time
  • A+ = 97-100
  • A = 93-96
  • A- = 90-92
  • B+ = 87-89
  • B = 83-86
  • B- = 80-82
  • C+ = 77-79
  • C = 73-76
  • C- = 70-72
  • D+ = 67-69
  • D = 66
  • D- = 65
  • F = Any grade below a 65

PROMOTION AND RETENTION OF STUDENTS

HOMEWORK

Homework provides practice of content that has already been taught and provides excellent opportunities for developing good study habits, providing for individual differences and abilities, and encouraging self-initiative on the part of the student. Parents and teachers share the responsibility for student learning.  Parents can assist their children with homework by:

  • providing a study area free of distractions which includes good lighting;
  • asking questions about the content of student homework;
  • giving requested assistance, but letting the student do his or her own work;
  •  avoiding undue pressure; and
  •  helping create positive “homework habits” including a scheduled time each night for homework completion.

The Oppenheim-Ephratah-St. Johnsville School District believes that parental involvement in students’ homework is essential to making homework an integral part of the educational program. Parents should encourage and monitor homework assignments.

At the discretion of the teacher, students may be assigned homework each night. If a student feels that he/she has an excessive amount of or too little homework per week, a conference with the teacher is recommended. The amount of homework will vary with each course and grade level and should be age appropriate. When appropriate, homework assignments will be graded and counted towards each student’s quarterly grade.

If a student knows that he or she will be absent for several days, it is possible for homework assignments to be sent home. Arrangements for assignments can be made through the main office (568-2014 x100) at least one day in advance.

Back to the top

High Honor Roll/Honor Roll

Students in grades 4 through 6 are eligible to earn a place on the High Honor Roll/Honor Roll list based upon grades received during the quarter. The High Honor award will be given to students  with an average of 89.5 or above. The Honor award will be awarded to students with an average between 84.5 and 89.4. An assembly to recognize these students will be given quarterly. Staci Battisti coordinates this award program and should be consulted for questions or concerns.

“WOLF” AWARDS

The “Wolf” Award is for students who display the traits of outstanding civility, citizenship, and character in the school, which supports the efforts of the Dignity for All Students Act. This is an award generally given once a month for students in grades PreK through 6 based on, but not limited to, the following criteria:

  1. Effort:  works hard,  puts forth effort, and completes assigned work on time
  2. Dependability:  has acceptable attendance to school and arrival times to class
  3. Respectfulness: consistently treats  others with kindness,  tolerance, and compassion and demonstrates an awareness and sensitivity in the relations of people
  4. Helpfulness:  consistently helps staff, classmates, as well as volunteers
  5. Responsibility,  Honesty, and Accountability: accepts  responsibility  by telling the truth about self or others’ behaviors and does not make excuses for those behaviors
  6. Self-control: no discipline issues, such as no conduct referrals in the past 3 months for inappropriate behaviors and no disruptive behaviors (excessive talking in class, harassing- type or teasing behaviors, manipulating others, spreading rumors, making rude or inappropriate comments about others, passive-aggressively bothering others, etc)

Staci Battisti, 6th grade teacher, coordinates this award program and should be consulted for questions or concerns.

DRESSING FOR PHYSICAL EDUCATION (PE) CLASS

  1. K – 6th Grade Dress and Participation
  2. Students are required to wear appropriate sneakers and bring in a change of clothes comfortable for them to exercise in during class. This should include a change of T-shirt and shorts for our students in 4th grade through 6th grade. For 4th grade, changing will be encouraged, while for 5th and 6th grade, changing is mandatory.
  3. Consequences for being unprepared:

   1st Offense = Remind the student of the rules and expectations.
  2nd Offense = Remind the student of the rules and expectations and  call/send note to parent.
  3rd Offense = Refer student for counseling (guidance, social worker or school psychologist).  Do we need to refer the student to IST?
 4th Offense = Refer student to principal

Students in grades K – 3 are only required to have sneakers for P.E.

Back to the top

LIVE ANIMALS IN SCHOOL FOR INSTRUCTIONAL PURPOSES

Prior approval by the building principal is required before the animal enters the school building. The school nurse must be notified and precautionary measures such as notifying teachers of student/staff allergies and/or safety concerns is established prior to entry (see BOE policy)

STUDENT HEALTH SERVICES

We are concerned not only with educating our students but also with their health and safety. We would like to take this opportunity to bring to your attention the following health service issues:

  1. Physical Examinations – are required by NYS Education Dept. for new entrants, students receiving special education evaluations, kindergartners, and children in grades 2, 4, 7, and 10. Of course it is always best that a child see their physician on a regular basis, so if you wish your child to receive his/her physical by your private physician notify the school nurse to receive the physical exam form. Otherwise, children can receive their physical during the school year through the  school physician / nurse practitioner.
  2. Dental Exam Certificates –will be requested when the health appraisals are required which would be for new entrants, as well as students in Pre-K, K and Grades 2, 4, 7 and 10.
  3. Medication – can be administered by the school nurse when the appropriate medication  form is completed by a child’s parent and physician. Medication must be brought to the nurse by  the parent in its original container. DO NOT send medication in with any student. Contact  the nurse when you need a medication form if your physician does not provide one.
  4. Vision & Hearing screening – done during each school year. If any problem is found the parent will be notified and requested to have further evaluation done by their physician.
  5. Growth rate – height and weight checked each year, parent will be notified of any concern.
  6. Scoliosis screening – Students in grades 5 through 8 will have a visual exam by the school nurse for any back, spine, shoulder, hip bone growth abnormality, parent will be notified of any concern.
  7. Physical Education Class/Recess Excuses

  1.  Participation Excuse:

  Class Period Excuse

 A student well enough to be in school is generally well enough to be dressed and participating in class. However, there are times when a student becomes ill at school. A student who has become ill at school (when possible) will first report to class to inform his/her teacher. The teacher will then write a pass for the student report to the Health Office to be evaluated by the nurse and be excused from class.

Class Period Parent/Guardian Excuse

  A student with a parent excuse will first report to class to inform his/her teacher. The teacher will then have the student report to the Health Office to have the nurse initial the excuse.

  A parent excuse is only good for a maximum of 3 class periods within a marking period. To be excused longer than 3 class periods within a marking period requires a doctor’s note.

Expectations when not participating

 The nurse will decide if the student is able to report back to class. At which time the student will be given an alternative participation assignment.

   If the student is not able to complete the alternative assignment (s)he will be required to make-up the class at a designated time in order to earn credit for the class by the end of the marking period in order to earn credit for the class.

 A participation excuse is not a “social” time to chat with friends, or a study hall to catch up on homework.

  If the student is well enough to be in the activity area, (s)he will be expected to satisfactorily complete the alternative assignment or sit quietly and be a spectator on his/her own.

  Any other behavioral choice will result in a “0” zero for the day and possible disciplinary action.

Back to the top

2.   Proper Dress for Class

  • Students must change tops and bottoms prior to the start of activity in grades 4-6. P.E. clothes need to follow the dress code in the student handbook and be appropriate for movement:  t-shirts, shorts, sweatpants, and sweatshirts.
  • No school athletic uniforms, jean shorts, ragged cut-offs, spaghetti strap shirts, tops that do not cover the midriff, pants that do not stay up and/or show undergarments or clothes with buckles will be allowed.
  • There are several days when we go outside for P.E. class. Be prepared with a sweatshirt and/or sweatpants if needed.
  • Footwear is very important for your safety!  Each student must wear sneakers and socks.
  • Sneakers must be secured tightly at all times.
  • Jewelry and watches are not allowed during class. Jewelry and watches are to be placed at the student’s discretion and any lost or stolen items are not the responsibility of the school district.

8    Communicable Diseases – If your child is absent due to any type of illness that can be spread from person to person, please notify the school nurse. Being aware of this information will help better control the spread of diseases such as chicken pox, strep throat, scabies, head lice, impetigo, ringworm, pinworms, etc. Notifying the school nurse of your child’s illness would be beneficial for other children as well as helping to prevent a possible relapse for your child.

9 Home Contact/Emergency Information Forms – if any information you provided on this form changes during the school year please be sure to notify us.

10. Change of Clothing – You may want to consider sending in a change of clothes to be kept in your child’s book bag or locker. Sometimes accidents occur such as spilled milk at lunch, a fall  in the mud at recess, or a “late arrival to the bathroom”. Children always feel more comfortable in their own clothing.

11.Call-In for Absences – It is our policy that parents call to inform the school when their child will not be coming to school. If we do not receive a call from you, we will contact you either at home or at work.

Feel free to contact the school nurse any time with any questions or concerns and remember…HEALTHY CHILDREN LEARN BETTER!!

For more information on health issues, contact the school nurse, Mrs. Brown, at 518-568-2014 x112.

Back to the top

AUTOMATED EXTERNAL DEFIBRILLATORS

The Oppenheim-Ephratah-St. Johnsville Central School District maintains on site, in each instructional school facility, at least one functional automated external defibrillator (AED) for use during emergencies. Whenever public school facilities are used for school-sponsored or school approved curricular or extracurricular events or activities or a school-sponsored athletic contest is held at any location, school administrators shall ensure the presence of at least one staff person who is trained in the operation and use of an AED. Where a school-sponsored competitive athletic event is held at a site other than a public school facility, the public school officials must assure that AED equipment is provided on-site. There are 4 AED’s on campus: one AED in the main office to be used for sporting or outside events, one outside of the gym, one outside of the nurse’s office and one located on the second floor of the elementary wing.

DISTRICT AND SCHOOL SAFETY PLANS

The Oppenheim-Ephratah-St. Johnsville School District has adopted a district-wide school safety plan and building-level emergency response plan for each building in the district. These plans are intended to define how the district and each school building will respond to acts of violence and other disasters.

They provide a framework for identifying and implementing appropriate strategies for creating and maintaining a safe, secure learning environment for all students. A copy of the district-wide school safety plan is available for examination in the district offices.

FIRE DRILLS

The building principal is responsible for conducting fire drills in order to instruct students and staff in exiting the school building in an emergency in the shortest time possible and without confusion and panic. Fire drills shall include instruction on fire drill exits and fire alarm boxes, as well as fire drill procedures.

All students are expected to cooperate with staff members during fire drills, and to leave the buildings in a quiet and orderly manner. The exit route is posted in each room. Students must stay with their teacher. Distracting behavior will be subject to either teacher or  administrative discipline, and may merit a penalty.

Back to the top

SCHOOL FOOD SERVICES

Students will receive a monthly menu indicating the breakfast and “hot lunch” of the day. Sandwiches are also offered daily, such as peanut butter and jelly. Milk or juice is provided for each meal along with a snack.

All students attending OESJ Elementary receive free breakfast and lunch. For information on this program, please call Myra Trumble at 518-568-2014, ext. 113.

SCHOOL CLOSINGS

The Superintendent of Schools may close the schools or dismiss students/staff early in the event of severe weather, emergency situations, or hazardous road conditions. Parents are requested to avoid calling schools on days of poor weather as it is important to keep school phone lines open. Every attempt will be made so younger students will not be left without proper supervision. The district uses an electronic phone messaging system. In the event the electronic phone system is not operating, school closing and two hour delay starting times will be announced over local radio stations. If no report is heard, it can be assumed the schools are opening on time. The following television and radio stations will carry information regarding emergency closings:

Television                                                    

  • WKTV                                         
  • WUTR                                                 
  • WNYT           
  • WTEN                              
  • WTWC/WYNN        

Radio    

  • WGY  (81 AM)
  • WENT (1340 AM)

PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT

The Oppenheim-Ephratah-St. Johnsville Central School District believes that children  succeed when there is a strong partnership between home and school. This partnership thrives on open communication between parents and the school, parental involvement in their child’s education, and parental responsibility for all aspects of their child’s education.

Parents can become partners in their child’s education by:

  • becoming familiar with their child’s school activities and academic program, including special programs offered by the district.
  • becoming a member of P.A.W.S. and the Home-School Relations Team
  • supporting continual academic growth by monitoring homework completion.
  • encouraging literacy development by reading and listening to your child and/or providing
  • books for their reading enjoyment (i.e. visiting local library).
  • discussing with teachers and the principal options available to their child.
  • monitoring their child’s academic progress and contacting teachers.
  • attending scheduled teacher/school conferences.
  • and monitoring their child’s attendance at school.

Regular school attendance is important if  a child is to achieve his/her full potential. Parents are urged to make an extra effort to ensure their child establishes a regular attendance pattern.

Back to the top

STUDENT PROGRESS REPORTS TO PARENTS

The district’s formal reporting system includes report cards and/or forms developed by the professional staff and issued periodically. Progress reports will be issued at the 5 week mark.

Scheduled conferences between parents and teachers, and interim reports will be issued as needed or required. Parents are urged to visit the school and to meet with teachers whenever necessary.  Please schedule all such visits in advance.

THE MARKING PERIODS FOR THE 2018-19 SCHOOL YEAR:

  • Quarter 1 September 5th through November 12th
  • Quarter 2 November 13th through January 27th
  • Quarter 3 January 28th through April 7th
  • Quarter 4 April 8th through June 26th

Progress Reporting Periods for the 2018-19 School Year:

  • 5 Weeks September 5th through October 10th
  • 15 Weeks November 13th through January 1
  • 25 Weeks January 28th   through March 10th
  • 35 Weeks April 8th through May 19th

OPEN HOUSE AND PARENT CONFERENCES

An Open House is scheduled for Thursday, September 27th from 6:00 7:30 p.m.  This is a time for parents to be a part of a specific project, mini-program or activity involving their child.  Open House is not a time to discuss individual student issues. It is advisable to have parents sign up for a conference at that time.

Parent/Teacher conferences will be held on Thursday, November 15th from 2:00 – 7:00 pm and Friday, November 16th  from 8:00 am – 3:00 pm; however, parents should feel free to request a conference at any time.  Parents should be notified in advance of the available dates and times so a convenient appointment can be arranged. Every effort should be made to accommodate those families that have more than one student in our building.

VISITORS TO SCHOOLS

Parents are encouraged to visit the school periodically during the course of the school year. Unless they have a specific reason and prior approval from the building principal, student visitors from other schools are not permitted to enter school buildings.  Listed are visitor procedures:

  1. Must have prior approval to visit, register in the main office, and obtain a visitor’s pass which must be displayed at all times;
  2. Stay at their assigned location;
  3. Cannot make unannounced visits to staff or wander throughout the building;
  4. Should not engage or confront staff in conversations about behaviors or academics;
  5. Must have behaviors, language, and appearance conducive to the learning environment;
  6. The visitor’s pass must be returned to the main office, and the visitor must sign out at the conclusion of the visit.

Back to the top

VOLUNTEERS AT SCHOOL

All volunteers must receive approval by filling out a volunteer form and being approved by the Board of Education prior to volunteering. (See Board Policy).

The following is your copy of the OESJ Code of Conduct. Additional copies may be found on the district’s website at www.oesj.org. Please review this important information with your child(ren) and keep in mind that a child’s age will always be taken into consideration when determining disciplinary penalties.

CODE OF CONDUCT

The Board of Education is committed to providing a safe and orderly school environment where students may receive and district personnel may deliver quality educational services without disruption or interference. Responsible behavior by students, teachers, other district personnel, parents and other visitors is essential to achieving this goal.

The district has a long-standing set of expectations for conduct on school property and at school functions as well as conduct off school premises, which relates to the Oppenheim-Ephratah-St. Johnsville Central School District, its students and staff.  These expectations are based on the principles of civility, mutual respect, citizenship, character, tolerance, honesty and integrity.

The Board recognizes the need to clearly define these expectations for acceptable conduct on school property, identify the possible consequences of unacceptable conduct, and to ensure that discipline, when necessary, is administered promptly and fairly. To this end, the Board adopts this Code of Conduct (“Code”).

Unless otherwise indicated, this code applies to all students, school personnel, parents and other visitors when on school property or attending a school function.

Definitions

For purposes of this code, the following definitions apply.

  1. “Disruptive student” means an elementary or secondary student under the age of 21 who is substantially disruptive of the educational process or substantially interferes with the teacher’s authority over the classroom.
  2. “Disability” means (a) a physical, mental or medical impairment resulting from anatomical, physiological, genetic or neurological conditions which prevents the exercise of a normal bodily function or is demonstrable by medically accepted clinical or laboratory diagnostic techniques or (b) a record of such an impairment or (c) a condition regarded by others as such an impairment, provided, however, that in all provisions of this article dealing with employment, the term must be limited to disabilities which, upon the provision of reasonable accommodations, do not prevent the complainant from performing in a reasonable manner the activities involved in the job or occupation sought or held.  (Education Law. §11(4) and Executive Law §292(21)).
  3. “Cyberbullying” means harassment or bullying as defined in subdivision K of this section where such harassment or bullying occurs through any form of electronic communication.
  4. “Employee” means any person receiving compensation from a school district or employee of a contracted service provider or worker placed within the school under a public assistance employment program, pursuant to title nine-B of article five of the Social Services Law, and consistent with the provisions of such title for the provision of services to such district, its students or employees, directly or through contract, whereby such services performed by such person involve direct student contact.  (Education Law §§ 11(4) and 1125(3).
  5. “Parent” means parent, guardian or person in parental relation to a student.
  6. “School property” means in or within any building, structure, athletic playing field, playground, parking lot or land contained within the real property boundary line of a public elementary or secondary school, or in or on a school bus, as defined in Education Law §11(1).
  7. “School Bus” means every motor vehicle owned by a public or governmental agency or private school and operated for the transportation of pupils, children of pupils, teachers and other persons acting in a supervisory capacity, to or from school or school activities, or, privately owned and operated for compensation for the transportation of pupils, children of pupils, teachers and other persons acting in a supervisory capacity to or from school or school activities.  (Education Law §11(1) and Vehicle and Traffic Law §142).
  8. “School function” means any school-sponsored extracurricular event or activity on or off school property as defined in Education Law §11(2).
  9. “Sexual Orientation” shall mean actual or perceived heterosexuality, homosexuality or bisexuality”.
  10. “Gender” shall mean actual or perceived sex and shall include a person’s gender identity or expression.
  11. “Harassment” or “bullying” shall mean the creation of a hostile school environment by conduct or by  threats, intimidation or abuse, including cyberbullying as defined in Education Law §11(8), that either has or would have the effect of unreasonably and substantially interfering with a student’s educational performance, opportunities or benefits, and/or  physical well being; including conduct, threats, intimidation or abuse that reasonably causes or would reasonably be expected to cause emotional harm; or reasonably causes or would reasonably be expected to cause physical injury to a student or to cause a student to fear for his or her physical safety.  Such conduct includes acts of harassment and/or bullying that occur (1) on school property; and/or (2) at a school function or (3) off school property where such acts of harassment and bullying create or would foreseeably create a risk of substantial disruption within the school environment, where it is foreseeable that the conduct, threats, intimidation or abuse might reach school property.  Acts of harassment and bullying shall include but are not limited to nonverbal and verbal threats, intimidation or abuse based on a person’s actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender or sex.
  12. “Violent student” means a student under the age of 21 who:
  • Commits an act of violence upon a school employee, or attempts to do so.
  • Commits, while on school property or at a school function, an act of violence upon another student or any other person lawfully on school property or at the school function, or attempts to do so.
  • Possess, while on school property or at a school function, a weapon.
  • Displays, while on school property or at a school function, what appears to be a weapon.
  • Threatens, while on school property or at a school function, to use a weapon.
  • Knowingly and intentionally damages or destroys the personal property of any school employee or any person lawfully on school property or at a school function.
  • Knowingly and intentionally damages or destroys school district property.

13 “Weapon” means a firearm as defined in 18 USC §921 for purposes of the Gun-Free Schools Act. It also means any other gun, BB gun, pistol, revolver, shotgun, rifle, machine gun, disguised gun, dagger, dirk, razor, stiletto, switchblade knife, gravity knife, brass knuckles, slingshot, metal knuckle knife, box cutters, cane sword, electronic dart gun, Kung Fu star, electronic stun gun, pepper spray or other noxious spray, incendiary bomb, ammunition, imitation ammunition or exploding substances, or other device, instrument, material or substance that can cause physical injury or death when used to cause physical injury or death.

Back to the top

Student Rights and Responsibilities

Student Rights

The district is committed to safeguarding the rights given to all students under state and federal law.  In addition, to promote a safe, healthy, orderly and civil school environment, all district students have the right to:

  • Take part in all district activities on an equal basis regardless of race, color, creed, national origin, religion, religious practice, weight, gender, gender identity, sex, sexual orientation, age, economic status or disability.
  • Present their version of the relevant events to school personnel authorized to impose a disciplinary penalty in connection with the imposition of the penalty.
  • Access school rules and when necessary, receive an explanation of those rules from school personnel.
  • To be protected from intimidation, harassment, bullying or discrimination based on actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, sex, gender, including gender identity, sexual orientation, age, economic status or disability, by employees or students on school property or at a school sponsored event, function or activity.  

Student Responsibilities

All district students have the responsibility to:

  • Contribute to maintaining a safe and orderly school environment that is conducive to learning and to show respect to other persons and to property.
  • Be familiar with and abide by all district policies, rules and regulations dealing with student conduct.
  • Attend school every day unless they are legally excused and be in class, on time, and prepared to learn.
  • Work to the best of their ability in all academic and extracurricular pursuits and strive toward their highest level of achievement possible.
  • React to direction given by teachers, administrators and other school personnel in a respectful, positive manner.
  • Work to develop mechanisms to control their anger.
  • Ask questions when they do not understand.
  • Seek help in solving problems that might lead to discipline.
  • Dress appropriately for school and school functions.
  • Accept responsibility for their actions.
  • Conduct themselves as representatives of the district when participating in or attending school-sponsored extracurricular events and to hold themselves to the highest standards of conduct, demeanor, and sportsmanship.
  • To respect one another and treat each other fairly and civilly in accordance with the District Code of Conduct and provisions of the Dignity for All Students Act, including the responsibility to conduct themselves in a manner that fosters an environment free from intimidation, harassment or discrimination.
  • Students have the right of access to computer technology. Students have the responsibility to use computer technology responsibly and only for school-related projects.

Back to the top

Student Complaints and Grievances

Students will be given an opportunity to be heard concerning complaints and grievances they may have. A student filing a complaint for any matter, or alleging discrimination on the basis of  actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, sex, gender, including gender identity,, age, economic status, disability and/or sex including sexual harassment or harassment on the basis of sexual orientation, should read the following information regarding the resolution of the complaint.

  1. Investigation of a Complaint
    Upon receipt of a formal or informal complaint, a prompt, thorough and impartial investigation of the allegations will follow. All witnesses shall be interviewed and complainant will be notified of the outcome of the investigation.
  2. Informal Complaints
    The OESJ School District encourages the resolution of all student complaints as promptly as possible and at the lowest level possible. Accordingly, students are urged to discuss complaints first with the appropriate teacher, staff member or Building Principal. However, if the complaint concerns sexual harassment, the student and/or parent should notify the Compliance Officer or their designee.  Upon receipt of an informal complaint the Compliance Officer, designee, Principal or other appropriate staff member will conduct a prompt investigation to determine what occurred and then take appropriate steps to resolve the situation.

The complainant has the right to end the informal process at any time and begin the formal stage of the complaint process.

Essential Partners

  • Parents

All parents are expected to:

  1. Recognize that the education of their child(ren) is a joint responsibility of the parents and the school community.
  2. Send their children to school ready to participate and learn.
  3. Ensure their children attend school regularly and on time.
  4. Ensure absences are excused.
  5. Insist their children be dressed and groomed in a manner consistent with the student dress code.
  6. Help their children understand that in a democratic society appropriate rules are required to maintain a safe, orderly environment.
  7. Know school rules and help their children understand them.
  8. Convey to their children a supportive attitude toward education and the district.
  9. Build good relationships with teachers, other parents and their children’s friends.
  10. Help their children deal effectively with peer pressure.
  11. Inform school officials of changes in the home situation that may affect student conduct or performance.
  12. Provide a place for study and ensure homework assignments are completed.
  13. Teach their children respect and dignity for themselves and for other students, regardless of actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion or religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender or gender identity or sex, which will strengthen their child’s confidence and help promote learning in accordance with the Dignity for All Students Act.
  •  Non-Instructional Staff
    All district non-instructional staff are expected to:
  1. Maintain a climate of mutual respect and dignity, for all students regardless of actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion or religious practice, disability, age, economic status, sexual orientation, gender and gender identity or sex, which will strengthen students’ self-confidence and promote learning.
  2. Contribute to the educational process and student achievement.
  3. Build good relationships with administration, teachers, parents and children.
  4. Assist in maintaining a climate of mutual respect and dignity throughout the district.
  5. Know school policies and rules and assist in enforcing them in a fair and consistent manner.

Back to the top

  • Teachers and other instructional staff
    All district teachers and other instructional staffs are expected to:
  1. Maintain a climate of mutual respect and dignity, for all students regardless of actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion or religious practice, disability, age, economic status, sexual orientation, gender and gender identity or sex, which will strengthen students’ self-confidence and promote learning.
  2. Be prepared to teach.
  3. Demonstrate an interest in teaching and concern for student achievement.
  4. Know school policies and rules, enforce them in a fair and consistent manner.
  5. Confront issues of discrimination, bullying and harassment or any situation that threatens the emotional or physical health or safety of any student, school employee or any person who is lawfully on school property or at a school function.
  6. Address personal biases that may prevent equal treatment of all students in the school or classroom setting.
  7. Report incidents of discrimination, bullying and harassment that are witnessed by teachers or other instructional staff or who receive an oral or written report of such conduct shall promptly be orally reported  to the building administrator, superintendent or their designee, and/or Dignity Act Coordinator (DAC) within one (1) school day of when they witness or receive the report and within two (2) school days thereafter shall file a written report with the principal, superintendent or their designee.
  8. Communicate to students and parents:
    1. Course objectives and requirements
    2. Marking/grading procedures
    3. Assignment deadlines
    4. Expectations for students
    5. Classroom discipline plan

9. Communicate regularly with students, parents and other teachers concerning growth and achievement.

  • School Counselors/Social Workers
  1. Assist students in coping with peer pressure and emerging personal, social and emotional problems.
  2. Initiate teacher/student/counselor conferences and parent/teacher/student/counselor conferences, as necessary, as a way to resolve problems.
  3. Regularly review with students their educational progress and career plans.
  4. Provide information to assist students with career planning.
  5. Encourage students to benefit from the curriculum and extracurricular programs.
  6. Maintain and encourage a climate of mutual respect and dignity for all students regardless of actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender and gender identity or sex, with an understanding of appropriate appearance, language and behavior in a school setting, which will strengthen students’ self-image and promote confidence to learn.  
  7. Report orally any incidents of discrimination, bullying and/or harassment that are witnessed or otherwise brought to the counselor’s attention to the building administrator, superintendent and/or their designee, which may be the  Dignity Act Coordinator (within one (1) school day and shall file a written report of such incident with the designated official to receive these reports within two (2) school days after making an oral report.
  • Principals and Supervisory Personnel
  1. Seek to develop a sound and helpful atmosphere of mutual respect within the school.
  2. Evaluate the program of instruction in their school to achieve a meaningful educational program;
  3. Help their staff self-evaluate their own procedures and attitudes in relation to the interactions within their classrooms;
  4. Provide the opportunity and encouragement for students and staff to approach the principal or other appropriate administrators directly for redress of grievances;
  5. Work with students and staff to formulate individual school regulations;\
  6. Assist staff members to resolve any school related problems which may occur;
  7. Work closely with parents to establish a cooperative relationship between home and school;
  8. Utilize all appropriate support staff and community agencies as resources to help parents and students identify problems and seek solutions;
  9. Establish necessary building security;
  10. Assume responsibility for the distribution of the Code of Conduct and ensure that all discipline cases referred are resolved justly and promptly;
  11. Ensure fairness, reasonableness and consistency,
  12. Comply with pertinent state laws governing hearings, suspensions and student rights;
  13. Demonstrate desirable standards of behavior through personal example.
  14. Maintain and encourage a climate of mutual respect and dignity for all students regardless of actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion and religious practice, disability, age, economic status, sexual orientation, gender and gender identity or sex, with an understanding of appropriate appearance, language and behavior in a school setting, which will strengthen student’ self-image and promote confidence to learn.
  15. Promptly lead or supervise and complete a thorough investigation of all written reports of discrimination, bullying and/or harassment that are  submitted to the Principal or their designee.
  16. When an investigation verifies a material incident of harassment, bullying and/or discrimination, the principal and/or their designee shall take prompt action, consistent with the District’s Code of Conduct, including but not limited to the provisions of 100.2(l)(2)(ii)(h), reasonably calculated to end the harassment, bullying and/or discrimination,  eliminate any hostile environment and create a more positive school culture and climate.
  17. Ensure the safety of the student or students against whom harassment, bullying or discrimination was directed.   
  18. Shall promptly notify the appropriate local law enforcement agency when it is believed that any harassment, bullying or discrimination constitutes criminal conduct.
  19. Shall provide a regular report on data and trends related to harassment, bullying and/or discrimination to the Superintendent.  A “regular report” shall mean at least once during each school year in a manner prescribed by the District.

Back to the top

  • Superintendent and District Administration
  1. Take such steps as are necessary to develop, publicize and carry out the rules and regulations for students;
  2. Consider and act upon recommendations for suspensions in keeping with the Board of Education policy;
  3. Review with the principals and other supervisory personnel the policies of the Board of Education and State Laws relating to discipline,
  4. Listen and consider the views of the total community;
  5. Inform the Board of Education of educational trends relating to discipline;
  6. Provide for the development of innovative educational programs which will help to minimize problems of misconduct;
  7. Make himself/herself available to administrators, teachers and other staff, advise them on serious discipline matters and support them so long as the latter have acted in accordance with the discipline policies of the District and the laws of the State of New York;
  8. Be well informed on the programs and the problems of the District and work with staff in offering leadership.
  9. Promote a safe, orderly, respectful and positive school environment, free from intimidation, harassment and discrimination.
  10. The Superintendent and/or their designee shall lead or supervise the thorough investigation of all reports of harassment, bullying and/or discrimination to ensure that such investigation is completed promptly after receipt of any written reports made under Education Law section 13.
  11. When an investigation verifies a material incident of harassment, bullying, and/or discrimination, the Superintendent or their designee shall take prompt action, consistent with the District’s Code of Conduct, including but not limited to the provisions of section 100.2(l)(2)(ii)(h), reasonably calculated to end harassment, bullying and/or discrimination, eliminate any hostile environment, create a more positive school culture and climate and prevent recurrence of the behavior.
  12. The Superintendent and/or their designee shall ensure the safety of the student or students against whom harassment, bullying and/or discrimination was directed.   
  13. The Superintendent and/or their designee shall notify promptly the appropriate law enforcement agency when it is believed that any harassment, bullying or discrimination constitutes criminal conduct.
  • Board of Education
  1. ]Collaborate with student, teacher, administrator, and parent organizations, school safety personnel and other school personnel to develop a Code of Conduct that clearly defines expectations for the conduct of students, district personnel and visitors on school property and at school functions.
  2. Adopt and review at least annually the district’s Code of Conduct to evaluate the code’s effectiveness and the fairness and consistency of its implementation.
  3. Appoint a Dignity Act Coordinator (DAC) in each school building who has the appropriate licensure and/or certification by the Commissioner of Education as a classroom teacher, school counselor, school psychologist, school nurse, school social worker, school administrator or supervisor, or Superintendent of schools.  
  4. In the event that a Dignity Act Coordinator vacates their position another eligible employee shall be immediately designated for an interim appointment as the DAC, pending approval of a successor coordinator by the Board of Education within thirty (30) days of the date the position was vacated.  In the event a DAC is unable to perform their duties of the position for an extended period of time, another eligible employee shall be immediately designated for an interim appointment as Coordinator, pending the return of the previous DAC to their duties.
  5. Ensure that  each Dignity Act Coordinator appointed will be thoroughly trained to handle human relations in areas of actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion or religious practices, disability, sexual orientation, gender and gender identity and sex.
  6. Ensure that each Dignity Act Coordinator appointed shall be provided with training which addresses the social patterns of harassment, bullying, and discrimination, including but not limited to those acts based on a person’s actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender and sex.
  7. Ensure that each Dignity Act Coordinator will be provided with training in the identification and mitigation of harassment, bullying and discrimination.
  8. Ensure that each Dignity Act Coordinator shall be provided with training strategies for effectively addressing problems of exclusion, bias and aggression in educational settings.  
  9. Ensure that  each Dignity Act Coordinator will be accessible to students and other staff members for consultation and advice as needed on the Dignity Act.
  10. Designate the school employee(s) charged with receiving reports of harassment, bullying and discrimination.
  11. Submit an annual report of material incidents of harassment, bullying and/or discrimination that occurred in such school year to the Commissioner in accordance with Education Law Section 15.  
  12. Lead by example by conducting Board meetings in a professional, respectful, courteous manner.

Back to the top

Student Dress Code and Grooming

All students are expected to give proper attention to personal cleanliness and to dress appropriately for school and school functions.  The items listed below are examples of appropriate dress and grooming and should not be considered an exhaustive list. The rules of dress and grooming are designed to focus on safety and respect for the rights of others. In keeping with the educational purpose of this school, students, teachers, other personnel, parents and visitors are expected to dress and groom themselves appropriately for school functions. Students and their parents have the primary responsibility for acceptable student dress and appearance.  Teachers and all other personnel should exemplify and reinforce acceptable dress and help students develop an understanding of appropriate appearance in the school setting. Failure to cooperate will be considered insubordination or disruptive to the educational environment; violators shall be subject to disciplinary action.

Appropriate Standards of Dress

  1. Students are expected to dress in a manner that is safe, reflects appropriate attire in the educational environment place, and is not a distraction to the educational process. Students will be required to change immediately if deemed necessary (or stay in the ISS room).
  2. Students may not wear headgear during school hours. Some examples of headgear include hats, visors, sunglasses, bandanas, that tie, and hoods (students may be asked to remove other types of headgear and be held accountable for noncompliance, as well).  Headgear or head coverings that are medical or religious in nature are exceptions to this rule.
  3. Clothing or accessories that promote and/or endorse the use of weapons, alcohol, tobacco, or illegal drugs and/or encourage other illegal or violent activities will not be allowed.
  4. Clothing or accessories may not include words, statements, items, or symbols that are disruptive, vulgar, obscene, libelous, or denigrate others on account of race, color, weight, creed, gender or gender identity, religion or religious practices, ancestry, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, or disability.
  5. Skirts/shorts should be of an appropriate length as to not distract from the learning environment. Principal or his/her designee will determine appropriate length using various techniques including fingertip tests, etc.
  6. Recognize that extremely brief garments such as tube tops, net tops, halter tops, plunging necklines(front and back) and see  through garments are not acceptable. As a rule of thumb, straps need to be at least 1” in width. Muscle shirts/tanks that expose a student’s midsection are prohibited.
  7. Under garments must be completely covered with outer clothing.
  8. At no time should midriffs or cleavage be visible. See through garments are not permitted.  
  9. Coats and backpacks (or large bags used to carry school supplies or other items) are not allowed during the school day.
  10. Proper footwear must be worn at all times. Cleats, spikes, and heelies may not be worn inside the school building.  Students will be asked to change unsafe footwear that is deemed hazardous.
  11. Wallet chains (or thick chains) are prohibited in school.  
  12. Pajamas and slippers are not allowed as we are preparing students for career readiness.

The Administration shall be responsible for informing all students, teachers, other personnel and parents of the dress code at the beginning of the school year in addition to any revisions made during the school year.

Students who violate the student dress code shall be required to modify their appearance by covering or removing the offending item and, if necessary or practical, replacing it with an acceptable item.  Any student who refuses to do so shall be subject to discipline, up to and including in-school suspension for the day. Any student who repeatedly fails to comply with the dress code shall be subject to further discipline, up to and including out of school suspension.

Student Behavior and Prohibited Conduct

The items listed below are examples of conduct which are prohibited, but should not be considered an exhaustive list. The rules of conduct are designed to focus on safety and respect for the rights and property of others. The Board of Education expects students to conduct themselves in an appropriate and civil manner, with proper regard for the rights and welfare of other students, district personnel and other members of the school community, and for the care of school facilities and equipment. The best discipline is self-imposed, and students must learn to assume and accept responsibility for their own behavior, as well as the consequences of their misbehavior. An awareness of school rules on the part of the students and enforcement of them by school personnel help to minimize discipline problems. Personnel who interact with students are expected to use disciplinary action only when necessary and to place emphasis on the students’ ability to grow in self-discipline. The Board recognizes the need to make its expectations for student conduct while on school property or engaged in a school function specific and clear. Students who will not accept responsibility for their own behavior and who violate these school rules will be required to accept the consequences for their conduct.  

Students may be subject to disciplinary actions, up to and including suspension from school, when they:  

A. Engage in conduct that is disorderly.  Examples of disorderly conduct:

  1. Use and possession of all personal electronic devices is prohibited upon entering the school building in the morning until outside the school building after dismissal. Some examples of electronic devices include cell phones, iPods or music devices, cameras, games, and laser pointers (anything that uses electricity).  Personal computers may be used solely for academic reasons and must be approved by the administration prior to their use.
  2. Running in hallways.
  3. Making unreasonable noise.
  4. Using language or gestures that is profane, lewd, vulgar, or abusive.
  5. Obstructing vehicular or pedestrian traffic.
  6. Engaging in any willful act which disrupts the normal operation of the school community.
  7. Trespassing. Students are not permitted in any school building, other than the one they regularly attend, without permission from the administrator in charge of the building.
  8. Computer/electronic communications misuse, including any unauthorized use of computers, software, or Internet/intranet account; accessing inappropriate websites, or any other violations of the district’s educational information network and Internet acceptable use policy.
  9. Video/Pictures are not to be taken of students/staff without their consent.  All picture taking is prohibited in bathrooms and locker rooms at any time. Any inappropriate video/picture taking of yourself or others will be subject to discipline.

Back to the top

B. Engage in conduct that is insubordinate.  Examples of insubordinate conduct:

  1. Failing to comply with the lawful directions of teachers, school administrators or other school employees in charge of students or otherwise demonstrating disrespect.
  2. Lateness for missing or leaving school without permission.
  3. Skipping detention.
  4. Absences that are excessive and unexcused

C. Engage in conduct that is disruptive.  Examples of conduct that is disruptive:

  1. Failing to comply with the lawful directions of teacher, school administrators or other school personnel in charge of students (including dress code violations).
  2. Being late for school or class.
  3. Being unprepared for class.
  4. Harassment of other students.
  5. Public Display of Affection.

D. Engage in conduct that is violent.  Examples of violent behaviors:

  1. Committing an act of violence (such as hitting, kicking, punching, and scratching) upon a teacher, administrator or other school employee.
  2. Committing an act of violence (such as hitting, kicking, punching, and scratching) upon another student or any other person lawfully on school property.
  3. Possessing a weapon. Authorized law enforcement officials are the only persons permitted to have a  weapon in their possession while on school property or at a school function. “Weapon” means a gun, pistol, revolver, shotgun, rifle, machine gun, disguised gun, dagger, dirk, razor, stiletto, switchblade knife, gravity knife, metal knuckle knife, box cutters,cane sword cane, electronic dart gun, Kung Fu star, electronic stun gun, pepper spray or other noxious spray, explosive or incendiary bomb, or other dangerous instrument that can cause physical injury or death.
  4. Displaying what appears to be a weapon and/or threatening to use any weapon
  5. Intentionally damaging or destroying the personal property of a teacher, administrator, other district employee or any person lawfully on school property, including graffiti or arson.
  6. Intentionally damaging or destroying school district property.
  7. Engaging in harassing, bullying or discriminatory conduct, including through threats, intimidation or abuse which may include verbal and nonverbal actions, which has or would have the effect of unreasonably and substantially interfering with a student’s educational performance, opportunities or benefits, or mental, emotional and/or physical well-being, including conduct, threats, intimidation or abuse that reasonably causes or would be reasonably expected to cause emotional harm; or reasonably causes or would reasonably be expected to cause a physical injury to a student or to cause a student to fear for his or her physical safety or well being; or creates or would forseeably create a risk of substantial disruption within the school environment, where it is foreseeable that the conduct, threats intimidation or abuse might reach school property.

E. Engage in conduct that endangers the safety, morals, health or welfare of others.  Examples of behavior that endangers the safety, morals, health or welfare of others:

  1. Lying to school personnel.
  2. Stealing the property of other students, school personnel or any other person lawfully on school property or attending a school function.
  3. Defamation, which includes making false or unprivileged statements or representations about an individual or identifiable group of individuals that harm the reputation of the person or the identifiable group by demeaning them.
  4. Discrimination, which includes the use of actual or perceived race, color, weight, creed, ethnic group, national origin, religion or religious practice, age, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, or disability as a basis for treating another in a negative manner.
  5. Harassment and bullying, which includes the creation of a hostile environment by verbal and non-verbal conduct, intimidation, verbal threats or abuse, including cyberbullying, that has or would have the effect of unreasonably and substantially interfering with a student’s educational performance, opportunities or benefits; or mental, emotional and/or physical well being; including conduct, threats, intimidation or abuse that reasonably causes or would reasonably be expected to cause emotional harm; or reasonably causes or would reasonably be expected to cause emotional harm; or reasonably causes or would reasonably be expected to cause a student to fear for his or her physical safety.  Such acts of harassment and bullying include those that occur on school property; at a school function or off school property where such acts create or would foreseeably create a risk of substantial disruption within the school environment, where it is foreseeable that the conduct, threats, intimidation or abuse might reach school property. Harassing and bullying behavior may be based on any characteristic including but not limited to actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender and gender identity.
  6. Intimidation and bullying.  Threatening, stalking or seeking to coerce or compel a person to do something; engaging in nonverbal or verbal or physical conduct that threatens another with harm, including intimidation through the use of epithets or slurs involving actual or perceived race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, religious practice, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender and gender identity that substantially disrupts the educational process or would have the effect of unreasonably and substantially interfering with a student’s educational performance, opportunities or benefits, or mental, emotional or physical well being.  Intimidation, cyberbullying and bullying are forms of harassment.
  7. Hazing, which includes any intentional or reckless act directed against another for the purpose of initiation into, affiliating with or maintaining membership in any school sponsored activity, organization, club or team.
  8. Selling, using or possessing obscene material.
  9. Using vulgar or abusive language, cursing or swearing.
  10. Possessing or smoking a cigarette, cigar, pipe or using chewing or smokeless tobacco, including the use of a vapor cigarette/vapor-pen (including all similar devices).
  11. Possessing, consuming, selling, distributing or exchanging alcohol or illegal substances, or being under the influences of either. “Illegal substances” include, but are not limited to, inhalants, marijuana, cocaine, LSD, PCP, amphetamines, heroin, steroids, look-alike drugs, and any substances commonly referred to as “designer drugs”.
  12. Inappropriate using or sharing prescription and over-the-counter drugs.
  13. Gambling.
  14. Indecent exposure, or exposure to sight of the private parts of the body in a lewd or indecent manner.
  15. Initiating a report warning of fire or other catastrophe without valid cause, misuse of 911, or discharging a fire extinguisher.
  16. Possess, use or distribute synthetic cannabinoids on school property or at school functions.

Back to the top

F.  Engage in any form of academic misconduct.  Examples of academic misconduct:

  1. Plagiarism
  2. Cheating
  3. Copying
  4. Altering records
  5. Assisting another student in any of the above actions

G. Engage in misconduct while on a school bus.

The bus driver is in charge at all times and students must follow directives.  Students must conduct themselves in a manner consistent with school and bus rules and regulations. Unsafe behaviors and insubordination will not be tolerated, such as excessive noise, destroying property, throwing objects, teasing and bullying, inappropriate language, standing and moving around, pushing, shoving, fighting, arguing with the driver, and not following driver instructions.  Bus referrals generally result with higher level consequences due to the immediate danger inappropriate behaviors pose. Consequences include losing riding privileges; parents will be responsible for transporting their student(s).

Reporting Violations

All students are expected to promptly report violations of the Code of Conduct to a teacher, guidance counselor, the Building Principal, his/her designee, or any other staff member. Any student observing a student possessing a weapon, alcohol or illegal substance on school property or at a school function shall report this information immediately to a teacher, the Principal, the Principal’s designee or the Superintendent of Schools.  Any student observing a student being harassed, bullied and/or discriminated against by another student or a staff member shall report this information either orally or in writing immediately to a staff member, the Principal, the Principal’s designee, the Superintendent of Schools or the Dignity Act Coordinator.

Staff who receive oral or written reports of harassment, bullying and/or discrimination or witness such acts shall  report the incident orally within one (1) school day to the Principal, the Principal’s designee, the Superintendent or the Dignity Act Coordinator.  Following the oral report, a written report of acts of harassment, discrimination and/or bullying shall be filed within two (2) school days following receipt.  The District’s Building Principal, Superintendent or their designee shall lead or supervise the thorough investigation of all reports of harassment, bullying and/or discrimination, and ensure that such investigation is completed promptly after receipt of any written report made.

When an investigation verifies a material incident of harassment, bullying and/or discrimination, the Superintendent, Principal or their designee shall take prompt action, consistent with the District’s Code of Conduct, including but not limited to the provisions of Section 100.2(l)(2)(ii)(h),  reasonably calculated to end the harassment, bullying and/or discrimination, eliminate any hostile environment, create a more positive school culture and climate, prevent recurrence of the behavior and ensure the safety of the student or students against whom such behavior was directed.

Any retaliation against an individual who, in good faith, reports or assists in the investigation of harassment, bullying and/or discrimination is prohibited.  

All district staff who are authorized to impose disciplinary sanctions are expected to do so in a prompt, fair and lawful manner. District staff who are not authorized to impose disciplinary sanctions are expected to promptly report violations of the Code of Conduct to their supervisor, who shall in turn impose an appropriate disciplinary sanction, if so authorized, or refer the matter to a staff member who is authorized to impose an appropriate sanction.

Any weapon, alcohol, tobacco, or illegal substance found shall be confiscated immediately, if possible, followed by notification to the parent of the student involved and the appropriate disciplinary sanction, which may include permanent suspension and referral for prosecution.

The Principal or his/her designee must notify the appropriate local law enforcement agency of those code violations that constitute a crime and substantially affect the order or security of a school as soon as practical, but in no event later than the close of business the day the Principal or his/her designee learns of the violation.  The notification must identify the student and explain the conduct that violated the Code of Conduct and constituted a crime.

The Principal, Superintendent or their designee shall notify promptly the appropriate local law enforcement agency when it is believed that any harassment, bullying or discrimination may constitute criminal conduct.  

Back to the top

Disciplinary Penalties, Procedures and Referrals

Discipline is most effective when it deals directly with the problem at the time and place it occurs, and in a way that students view as fair and impartial. School personnel who interact with students are expected to use disciplinary action only when necessary and to place emphasis on the student’s’ ability to grow in self-discipline.

Disciplinary action, when necessary, will be firm, fair and consistent so as to be the most effective in changing student behavior. In determining the appropriate disciplinary action, school personnel authorized to impose disciplinary penalties will consider the following:

  1. The student’s age.
  2. The nature of the offense and the circumstances, which led to the offense.
  3. The student’s prior disciplinary record.
  4. ]The effectiveness of other forms of discipline.
  5. Information from parents, teachers and/or others, as appropriate.
  6. Other extenuating circumstances.

As a general rule, discipline will be progressive.  This means that a student’s first violation will usually merit a lighter penalty than subsequent violations.

If the conduct of a student is related to a disability or suspected disability, the student shall be referred to the Committee on Special Education and discipline, if warranted, shall be administered consistent with the separate requirements of this Code of Conduct for disciplining students with a disability or presumed to have a disability.  A student identified as having a disability shall not be disciplined for behavior related to his/her disability.

In the event of disciplinary actions in response to acts of harassment, bullying and or discrimination against students by employees or students , a progressive model of student discipline shall be imposed which includes measured, balanced and age-appropriate remedies and procedures that make appropriate use of prevention, education, intervention and discipline and shall consider, among other things, the nature and severity of the offending student’s behavior, the developmental age of the student, the previous disciplinary record of the student and other extenuating circumstances as well as the impact the student’s behaviors had on the individual(s) who was physically injured or emotionally harmed as a result of such acts.  Responses shall be reasonably calculated to end the harassment, bullying and/or discrimination, prevent recurrence and eliminate the hostile environment.

Penalties

Students who are found to have violated the district’s Code of Conduct may be subject to the following penalties, either alone or in combination. The school personnel identified after each penalty are authorized to impose that penalty, consistent with the student’s right to due process.

  • Oral warning – any member of the district staff
  • Written warning – bus drivers, hall and lunch monitors, coaches, guidance counselors, teachers, Principal, Superintendent
  • Written notification to parent – bus driver, hall and lunch monitors, coaches, guidance counselors, teachers, Principal or his/her designee, Superintendent
  • Detention – teachers, Principal or his/her designee, Superintendent
  • Suspension from transportation – Director of Transportation, Principal or his/her designee, Superintendent
  • Suspension from athletic participation – coaches, athletic director Principal or his/her designee, Superintendent
  • Suspension from social or extracurricular activities – activity director, Principal or his/her designee, Superintendent
  • Suspension of other privileges – Principal or his/her designee, Superintendent
  • In-school suspension – Principal, Superintendent
  • Removal from classroom by teacher – teachers, Principal or his/her designee.
  • Short-term (five days or less) suspension from school – Principal, Superintendent, Board
  • Long-term (more than five days) suspension from school – Principal, Superintendent, Board
  • Permanent suspension from school – Superintendent, Board.

Back to the top

Procedures

The amount of due process a student is entitled to receive before a penalty is imposed depends on the penalty being imposed. In all cases, regardless of the penalty imposed, the school personnel authorized to impose the penalty must inform the student of the alleged misconduct and must investigate, to the extent necessary, the facts surrounding the alleged misconduct. All students will have an opportunity to present their version of the facts to the school personnel imposing the disciplinary penalty in connection with the imposition of the penalty.

Students who are to be given penalties other than an oral warning, written warning or written notification to their parents are entitled to additional rights before the penalty is imposed. These additional rights are explained below.

Detention

Teachers, Principals, or their designees, and the Superintendent may use after school detention as a penalty for student misconduct in situations where removal from the classroom or suspension would be inappropriate.  After School Detention will be imposed as a penalty only on dates that transportation home is provided by the district.

Suspension from transportation

If a student does not conduct himself/herself properly on a bus, the bus driver is expected to bring such misconduct to the administration’s attention. Students who become a serious disciplinary problem may have their riding privileges suspended by the Principal or the Superintendent or their designees. In such cases, the student’s parent will become responsible for seeing that his or her child gets to and from school safely. Should the suspension from transportation amount to a suspension from attendance; the district will make appropriate arrangements to provide for the student’s education.

A student subjected to a suspension from transportation is not entitled to a full hearing pursuant to Education Law §3214.  However, the student and the student’s parent will be provided with a reasonable opportunity for an informal conference with the Principal or his/her designee to discuss the conduct and the penalty involved.

Suspension from athletic participation, extracurricular activities and other privileges

A student subjected to a suspension from athletic participation, extracurricular activities or other privileges is not entitled to a full hearing pursuant to Education Law §3214.  However, the student and the student’s parent will be provided with a reasonable opportunity for an informal conference with the district official imposing the suspension to discuss the conduct and the penalty involved.

In-school Suspension (ISS)

The Board recognizes the school must balance the need of students to attend school and the need for order in the classroom to establish an environment conducive to learning. As such, the Board authorizes Principals and the Superintendent to place students who would otherwise be suspended from school as the result of a Code of Conduct violation in “in-school suspension.” A student subjected to an in-school suspension is not entitled to a full hearing pursuant to Education Law §3214.  However, the student and the student’s parent will be provided with a reasonable opportunity for an informal conference with the district official imposing the in-school suspension to discuss the conduct and the penalty involved.

Back to the top

Teacher Disciplinary Removal of Disruptive Students

A student’s behavior can affect a teacher’s ability to teach and can make it difficult for other students in the classroom to learn. In most instances the classroom teacher can control a student’s behavior and maintain or restore control over the classroom by exercising good classroom management. Unfortunately behavior challenges occasionally require techniques at the extreme end of the behavioral management continuum.  These techniques may include practices that involve the teacher directing a student to briefly leave the classroom to give the student an opportunity to regain his or her composure and self-control in an alternative setting. Such practices may include, but are not limited to: (1) short-term “time out” in an elementary classroom or in an administrator’s office; (2) sending a student into the hallway briefly; (3) sending a student to the Principal’s office for the remainder of the class time only; or (4) sending a student to a guidance counselor or other district staff member for counseling. Time-honored classroom management techniques such as these do not constitute disciplinary removals for purposes of this code.

On occasion, a student’s behavior may become disruptive.  For purposes of this Code of Conduct, a disruptive student is a student who is substantially disruptive of the educational process or substantially interferes with the teacher’s authority over the classroom.  A substantial disruption of the educational process or substantial interference with a teacher’s authority occurs when a student demonstrates a persistent unwillingness to comply with the teacher’s instructions or repeatedly violates the teacher’s classroom behavior rules.

Within 24 hours after the student’s removal, the Principal, or another district administrator designated by the Principal, must notify the student’s parent by phone, e-mail or in writing, that the student has been removed from class and why. The notice must also inform the parent that he or she has the right, upon request, to meet informally with the Principal or his/her designee to discuss the reasons for the removal. The Principal may require the teacher who ordered the removal to attend the informal conference. If at the informal meeting the student denies the charges, the Principal, or his/her designee, must explain why the student was removed and give the student and the student’s parents a chance to present the student’s version of the relevant events. The informal meeting must be held within 48 hours of the student’s removal.  The timing of the informal meeting may be extended by mutual agreement of the parent and Principal.

When a student is removed from a classroom at the secondary level, the teacher must generate a District-established disciplinary referral form as soon as possible, but no later than the end of the school day, to explain the circumstances of the removal. Within  24 hours after the student’s removal, the principal or another District administrator designated by the principal must adjudicate the referral and notify the student’s parents by phone, email or in writing, that the student has been removed from class and why. The notice must also inform the parent that he or she has the right, upon request, to meet informally with the principal, or the principal’s designee, to discuss the reasons for the removal.  The principal may require the teacher who ordered the removal to attend the informal conference.

Any disruptive student removed from the classroom by the classroom teacher shall be offered continued educational programming and activities until he or she is permitted to return to the classroom. Each teacher must keep a complete log (on a district provided form) for all cases of removal of students from his/her class.  The Principal must keep a log of all removals of students from class.

Removal of a student with a disability, under certain circumstances, may constitute a change in the student’s placement. Accordingly, no teacher may remove a student with a disability from his or her class until he or she has verified with the Principal or the chairperson of the Committee on Special Education that the removal will not violate the student’s rights under state or federal law or regulation.

Suspension from School (OSS)

Suspension from school is a severe penalty, which may be imposed only upon students who are insubordinate, disorderly, violent or disruptive, or whose conduct otherwise endangers the safety, morals, health or welfare of others.

The Board retains its authority to suspend students, but places primary responsibility for the suspension of students with the Superintendent and the Principals.

Any staff member may recommend to their respective Principal that a student be suspended. All staff members must immediately report and refer a violent student to the Principal or his/her designee for  a violation of the Code of Conduct. All recommendations and referrals shall be made in writing unless the conditions underlying the recommendation or referral warrant immediate attention.  In such cases a written report is to be prepared as soon as possible by the staff member recommending the suspension.

The Superintendent, Principal, or their designee, upon receiving a recommendation or referral for suspension or when processing a case for suspension, shall gather the facts relevant to the matter and record them for subsequent presentation, if necessary.

Back to the top

Short term (five days or less) Suspension from School

When the Principal (referred to as the “suspending authority”) proposes to suspend a student charged with misconduct for five days or less pursuant to Education Law §3214(3), the suspending authority or their designee, must immediately notify the student orally.  If the student denies the misconduct, the suspending authority or their designee, must provide an explanation of the basis for the proposed suspension. The suspending authority must also notify the student’s parents in writing that the student may be suspended from school. The written notice must be provided by personal delivery, express mail delivery, or some other means that is reasonably calculated to assure receipt of the notice within 24 hours of the decision to propose suspension at the last known address for the parents. Where possible, notice should also be provided by telephone if the school has been provided with a telephone number(s) for the purpose of contacting the parents.

The notice shall provide a description of the charges against the student and the incident for which suspension is proposed and shall inform the parents of the right to request an immediate informal conference with the Principal.  Both the notice and informal conference shall be in the dominant language or mode of communication used by the parents. At the conference, the parents shall be permitted to ask questions of complaining witnesses under such procedures as the Principal may establish.

The notice and opportunity for an informal conference shall take place before the student is suspended unless the student’s presence in school poses a continuing danger to persons or property or an ongoing threat of disruption to the academic process.  If the student’s presence does pose such a danger or threat of disruption, the notice and opportunity for an informal conference shall take place as soon after the suspension as is reasonably practicable.

After the conference, the Principal shall promptly advise the parents in writing of his or her decision. The Principal or designee shall advise the parents that if they are not satisfied with the decision and wish to pursue the matter, they must file a written appeal to the Superintendent within five business days, unless they can show extraordinary circumstances precluding them from doing so.  The Superintendent shall issue a written decision regarding the appeal within 10 business days of receiving the appeal. If the parents are not satisfied with the Superintendent’s decision, they must file a written appeal to the Board of education with the District Clerk within 10 business days of the date of the Superintendent’s decision, unless they can show extraordinary circumstances precluding them from doing so.  Only final decisions of the Board may be appealed to the Commissioner of Education within 30 days of the decision.

Long term (more than five days) Suspension from School  

When the Superintendent or Principal determines that a suspension for more than five days may be warranted, he or she shall give reasonable notice to the student and the student’s parents of their right to a fair hearing.  At the hearing the student shall have the right to be represented by counsel, the right to question witnesses against him or her and the right to present witnesses and other evidence on his or her behalf.

The Superintendent shall personally hear and determine the proceeding or may, in his or her discretion, designate a hearing officer to conduct the hearing.  The hearing officer shall be authorized to administer oaths and to issue subpoenas in conjunction with the proceeding before him or her. A record of the hearing shall be maintained, but no stenographic transcript shall be required. A tape recording shall be deemed a satisfactory record. The hearing officer shall make findings of fact and recommendations as to the appropriate measure of discipline to the Superintendent. The report of the hearing officer shall be advisory only, and the Superintendent may accept all or any part thereof.

An appeal of the decision of the Superintendent may be made to the Board that will make its decision based solely upon the record before it.  All appeals to the Board must be in writing and submitted to the district clerk within 10 business days of the date of the Superintendent’s decision, unless the parents can show that extraordinary circumstances preclude them from doing so. The Board may adopt in whole or in part the decision of the Superintendent. Final decisions of the Board may be appealed to the Commissioner of Education within 30 days of the decision.

Back to the top

Permanent suspension

Permanent suspension is reserved for extraordinary circumstances such as where a student’s conduct poses a life-threatening danger to the safety and well being of other students, school personnel or any other person lawfully on school property or attending a school function.

Minimum Periods of Suspension

Students who bring a weapon to school

Any student, other than a student with a disability, found guilty of bringing a weapon onto school property will be subject to suspension from school for at least one calendar year.  Before being suspended, the student will have an opportunity for a hearing pursuant to Education Law §3214. The Superintendent has the authority to modify the one-year suspension on a case-by-case basis. In deciding whether to modify the penalty, the Superintendent may consider the following:

  1. The student’s age.
  2. The student’s grade in school.
  3. The student’s prior disciplinary record.
  4. The Superintendent’s belief that other forms of discipline may be more effective.
  5. Input from parents, teachers and/or others.
  6. Other extenuating circumstances.

A student with a disability may be suspended only in accordance with the requirements of state and federal law.

Students who commit violent acts other than bringing a weapon to school

Any student, other than a student with a disability, who is found to have committed a violent act, other than bringing a weapon onto school property, shall be subject to suspension from school for at least five days.  If the proposed penalty is the minimum five-day suspension, the student and the student’s parent will be given the same notice and opportunity for an informal conference given to all students subject to a short-term suspension. If the proposed penalty exceeds the minimum five-day suspension, the student and the student’s parent will be given the same notice and opportunity for a hearing given to all students subject to a long-term suspension. The Superintendent has the authority to modify the minimum five-day suspension on a case-by-case basis. In deciding whether to modify the penalty, the Superintendent may consider the same factors considered in modifying a one-year suspension for possessing a weapon.

Students who are repeatedly substantially disruptive of the educational process or repeatedly substantially interferes with the teacher’s authority over the classroom

Any student, other than a student with a disability whose conduct is directly and substantially related to his or her disability, who repeatedly is substantially disruptive of the educational process or substantially interferes with the teacher’s authority over the classroom will be suspended from school for at least five days. For purposes of this Code of Conduct, “repeatedly is substantially disruptive” means engaging in conduct that results in the student being removed from the classroom by teacher(s) pursuant to Education Law § 3214 (3-a) and this code on four or more occasions during a semester. If the proposed penalty is the minimum five-day suspension, the student and the student’s parent will be given the same notice and opportunity for an informal conference given to all students subject to a short-term suspension. If the proposed penalty exceeds the minimum five-day suspension, the student and the student’s parent will be given the same notice and opportunity for a hearing given to all students subject to a long-term suspension. The Superintendent has the authority to modify the minimum five-day suspension on a case-by-case basis. In deciding whether to modify the penalty, the Superintendent may consider the same factors considered in modifying a one-year suspension for possessing a weapon.

Back to the top

Referrals

  • Counseling

The guidance counselors and/or social workers shall handle all referrals of students to counseling.  A student found guilty of alcohol or drug use and/or possession shall be scheduled for a minimum of three remedial sessions with a school counselor.  Students found guilty of harassment or discrimination may be referred for counseling.

  •   PINS Petitions

The district may file a PINS (person in need of supervision) petition in Family Court on any student under the age of 18 who demonstrates that he or she requires supervision and treatment by:

  1. being habitually truant and not attending school as required by part one of Article 65 of the Education Law.
  2. engaging in an ongoing or continual course of conduct, which makes the student ungovernable, or habitually disobedient, and beyond the lawful control of the school.
  3. knowingly and unlawfully possession of  marijuana in violation of Penal Law § 221.05.  A single violation of § 221.05 will be a sufficient basis for filing a PINS petition.
  •   Juvenile Delinquents and Juvenile Offenders

The Superintendent, or his designee, is required to refer the following students to the County Attorney for a juvenile delinquency proceeding before the Family Court:

  1. Any student under the age of 16 who is found to have brought a weapon to school, or
  2. Any student 14 or 15 years old who qualifies for juvenile offender status under the Criminal Procedure Law § 1.20 (42).

The Superintendent is required to refer students age 16 and older or any student 14 or 15 years old who qualifies for juvenile offender status to the appropriate law enforcement authorities.

Alternative Instruction

When a teacher removes a student of any age from class or a student of compulsory attendance age is suspended from school pursuant to Education Law §3214, the district will act promptly to provide alternative means of instruction for the student.

Back to the top

Discipline of Students with Disabilities

The Board recognizes that it may be necessary to suspend, remove or otherwise discipline students with disabilities to address disruptive or problem behavior.  The Board also recognizes that students with disabilities enjoy certain procedural protections whenever school authorities intend to impose discipline upon them.  The Board is committed to ensuring that the procedures followed for suspending, removing or otherwise disciplining students with disabilities are consistent with the procedural safeguards required by applicable laws and regulations. This Code of Conduct affords students with disabilities subject to disciplinary action no greater or lesser rights than those expressly afforded by applicable federal and state law and regulations.

Authorized Suspensions or Removals of Students with Disabilities

For purposes of this section of the Code of Conduct, the following definitions apply.

  1. A “suspension” means a suspension pursuant to Education Law § 3214.
  2. A “removal” means a removal for disciplinary reasons from the student’s current educational placement other than a suspension and change in placement to an interim alternative educational setting (IAES) ordered by an impartial hearing officer because the student poses a risk of harm to himself/herself or others.
  3. An “IAES” means a temporary educational placement for a period of up to 45 days, other than the student’s current placement at the time the behavior precipitating the IAES placement occurred, that enables the student to continue to progress in the general curriculum, although in another setting, to continue to receive those services and modifications, including those described on the student’s current individualized education program (IEP), that will enable the student to meet the goals set out in such IEP, and include services and modifications to address the behavior which precipitated the IAES placement that are designed to prevent the behavior from recurring.

School personnel may order the suspension or removal of a student with a disability from his or her current educational placement as follows:

  1. The Board, the district (BOCES) Superintendent of Schools or a Principal may order the placement of a student with a disability into an IAES, another setting or suspension for a period not to exceed five consecutive school days and not to exceed the amount of time a non-disabled student would be subject to suspension for the same behavior.
  2. The Superintendent may order the placement of a student with a disability into an IAES, another setting or suspension for up to 10 consecutive school days, inclusive of any period in which the student has been suspended or removed under subparagraph (a) above for the same behavior, if the Superintendent determines that the student has engaged in behavior that warrants a suspension and the suspension or removal does not exceed the amount of time non-disabled students would be subject to suspension for the same behavior.
  3. The Superintendent may order additional suspensions of not more than 10 consecutive school days in the same school year for separate incidents of misconduct, as long as those removals do not constitute a change of placement.
  4. The Superintendent may order the placement of a student with a disability in an IAES to be determined by the committee on special education (CSE), for the same amount of time that a student without a disability would be subject to discipline, but not more than 45 days, if the student carries or possesses a weapon to school or to a school function, or the student knowingly possesses or uses illegal drugs or sells or solicits the sale of a controlled substance while at school or a school function.

4. “Weapon” means the same as “dangerous weapon” under 18 U.S.C. § 930(g)(w) which includes “a weapon, device, instrument, material or substance, animate or inanimate, that is used for, or is readily capable of causing death or serious bodily injury, except…[for] a pocket knife with a blade of less than 2 1/2 inches in length.”

5. “Controlled substance” means a drug or other substance identified in certain provisions of the federal Controlled Substances Act specified in both federal and state law and regulations applicable to this policy.

6. “Illegal drugs” means a controlled substance except for those legally possessed or used under the supervision of a licensed health-care professional or that is legally possessed or used under any other authority under the Controlled Substances Act or any other federal law.

Subject to specified conditions required by both federal and state law and regulations, an impartial hearing officer may order the placement of a student with a disability in an IAES setting for up to 45 days at a time, if maintaining the student in his or her current educational placement poses a risk of harm to the student or others.

Back to the top

Change of Placement Rule

A disciplinary change in placement means a suspension or removal from a student’s current educational placement that is either:

  1. For more than 10 consecutive school days; or
  2. For a period of 10 consecutive school days or less if the student is subjected to a series of suspensions or removals that constitute a pattern because they cumulate to more than 10 school days in a school year and because of such factors as the length of each suspension or removal, the total amount of time the student is removed and the proximity of the suspensions or removals to one another.

School personnel may not suspend or remove a student with disabilities if imposition of the suspension or removal would result in a disciplinary change in placement based on a pattern of suspension or removal. However, the district may impose a suspension or removal, which would otherwise result in a disciplinary change in placement, based on a pattern of suspensions or removals if the CSE has determined that the behavior was not a manifestation of the student’s disability, or the student is placed in an IAES for behavior involving weapons, illegal drugs or controlled substances.

Special Rules Regarding the Suspension or Removal of Students with Disabilities

The district’s Committee on Special Education shall:

  1. Conduct functional behavioral assessments to determine why a student engages in a particular behavior, and develop or review behavioral intervention plans whenever the district is first suspending or removing a student with a disability for more than 10 school days in a school year or imposing a suspension or removal that constitutes a disciplinary change in placement, including a change in placement to an IAES for misconduct involving weapons, illegal drugs or controlled substances.
  2. If subsequently, a student with a disability who has a behavioral intervention plan and who has been suspended or removed from his or her current educational placement for more than 10 school days in a school year is subjected to a suspension or removal that does not constitute a disciplinary change in placement, the members of the CSE shall review the behavioral intervention plan and its implementation to determine if modifications are necessary. If the CSE finds that modifications to the student’s current IEP, program and/or supports are needed, the CSE shall convene a meeting to modify such plan and its implementation.
  3. Conduct a manifestation determination review of the relationship between the student’s disability and the behavior subject to disciplinary action whenever a decision is made to place a student in an IAES either for misconduct involving weapons, illegal drugs or controlled substances or because maintaining the student in his current educational setting poses a risk of harm to the student or others; or a decision is made to impose a suspension that constitutes a disciplinary change in placement.
  4. The parents of a student who is facing disciplinary action, but who has not been determined to be eligible for services under IDEA and Article 89 at the time of misconduct, shall have the right to invoke applicable procedural safeguards set forth in federal and state law and regulations if, in accordance with federal and state statutory and regulatory criteria, the school district is deemed to have had knowledge that their child was a student with a disability before the behavior precipitating disciplinary action occurred.  If the district is deemed to have had such knowledge, the student will be considered a student presumed to have a disability for discipline purposes.
  5. The Superintendent, Principal or other school official imposing a suspension or removal shall be responsible for determining whether the student is a student presumed to have a disability.
  6. A student will not be considered a student presumed to have a disability for discipline purposes if, upon receipt of information supporting a claim that the district had knowledge the student was a student with a disability, the district either:
  • Conducted an individual evaluation and determined that the student is not a student with a disability, or
  • Determined that an evaluation was not necessary and provided notice to the parents of such determination, in the manner required by applicable law and regulations.
  • The Parent of the student has not allowed an evaluation of the student pursuant to Section 200.4; or
  • The Parent of the student refused services under  IDEA and Article 89 of the Education Law of New York.
  • If there is no basis for knowledge that the student is a student with a disability prior to taking disciplinary measures against the student, the student may be subjected to the same disciplinary measures as any other non-disabled student who engaged in comparable behaviors.

However, if a request for an individual evaluation is made while such non-disabled student is subjected to a disciplinary removal, an expedited evaluation shall be conducted and completed in the manner prescribed by applicable federal and state law and regulations.  Until the expedited evaluation is completed, the non-disabled student who is not a student presumed to have a disability for discipline purposes shall remain in the educational placement determined by the district, which can include suspension.

The district shall provide parents with notice of disciplinary removal no later than the date on which a decision is made to change the placement of a student with a disability to an IAES for either misconduct involving weapons, illegal drugs or controlled substances or because maintaining the student in his/her current educational setting poses a risk of harm to the student or others; or a decision is made to impose a suspension or removal that constitutes a disciplinary change in placement. The procedural safeguards notice prescribed by the Commissioner shall accompany the notice of disciplinary removal.

The parents of a student with disabilities subject to a suspension of five consecutive school days or less shall be provided with the same opportunity for an informal conference available to parents of non-disabled students under the Education Law.

Superintendent hearings on disciplinary charges against students with disabilities subject to a suspension of more than five school days shall be divided into a guilt phase and a penalty phase in accordance with the procedures set forth in the Commissioner’s regulations incorporated into this code.

The removal of a student with disabilities other than a suspension or placement in an IAES shall be conducted in accordance with the due process procedures applicable to such removals of non-disabled students, except that school personnel may not impose such removal for more than 10 consecutive days or for a period that would result in a disciplinary change in placement, unless the CSE has determined that the behavior is not a manifestation of the student’s disability.

During any period of suspension or removal, including placement in an IAES, students with disabilities shall be provided services as required by the Commissioner’s regulations incorporated into this code.

Back to the top

Expedited Due Process Hearings

An expedited due process hearing shall be conducted in the manner specified by the Commissioner’s regulations incorporated into this code, if:

  1. The district requests such a hearing to obtain an order of an impartial hearing officer placing a student with a disability in an IAES where school personnel maintain that it is dangerous for the student to be in his or her current educational placement, or during the pendency of due process hearings where school personnel maintain that it is dangerous for the student to be in his or her current educational placement during such proceedings.
  2. The parent requests such a hearing from a determination that the student’s behavior was not a manifestation of the student’s disability, or relating to any decision regarding placement, including but not limited to any decision to place the student in an IAES.
  3. During the pendency of an expedited due process hearing or appeal regarding the placement of a student in an IAES for behavior involving weapons, illegal drugs or controlled substances, or on grounds of dangerousness, or regarding a determination that the behavior is not a manifestation of the student’s disability for a student who has been placed in an IAES, the student shall remain in the IAES pending the decision of the impartial hearing officer or until expiration of the IAES placement, whichever occurs first, unless the parents and the district agree otherwise.
  4. If school personnel propose to change the student’s placement after expiration of an IAES placement, during the pendency of any proceeding to challenge the proposed change in placement, the student shall remain in the placement prior to removal to the IAES, except where the student is again placed in an IAES.

An expedited due process hearing shall be completed be conducted in accordance with the procedures specified in Section 200.5(j) of the Regulations of the Commissioner pursuant to the following timelines  unless the Parent and District agree in writing to waive the resolution meeting or agree to use mediation:

  1. A resolution meeting shall occur within seven (7) days of receiving notice of the due process complaint.
  2. The expedited due process hearing may proceed unless the matter has been resolved to the satisfaction of both parties within fifteen (15) days of receipt of the due process complaint.
  3. The expedited due process hearing shall occur within twenty (20) school days of the date the complaint requesting the hearing is filed.
  4. The impartial hearing officer shall make a determination within ten (10) school days after the hearing is completed.
  5. No extension to an expedited impartial hearing timeline may be granted.

The impartial hearing shall mail a copy of the written (or at the option of the Parents) electronic findings of fact and the decision to the Parents, to the Board of Education and to the Office of Special Education of the State Education Department within ten (10) school days after the hearing is completed.   

Referral to law enforcement and judicial authorities

In accordance with the provisions of IDEA and its implementing regulations:

  1. The district may report a crime committed by a child with a disability to appropriate authorities, and such action will not constitute a change of the student’s placement.
  2. The Superintendent shall ensure that copies of the special education and disciplinary records of a student with disabilities are transmitted for consideration to the appropriate authorities to whom a crime is reported.

Back to the top

Student Searches  

The Board of Education is committed to ensuring an atmosphere on school property and at school functions that is safe and orderly.  To achieve this kind of environment, any school official authorized to impose disciplinary sanctions on a student may question a student about an alleged violation of law or the district Code of Conduct.  Students are not entitled to any sort of “Miranda”-type warning before being questioned by school officials, nor are school officials required to contact a student’s parent before questioning the student. However, school officials will tell all students why they are being questioned.  

In addition, the Board authorizes the Superintendent of Schools, Building Principals or his/her designee, the school nurse and district security officials to conduct searches of students and their belongings if the authorized school official has reasonable suspicion to believe that the search will result in evidence that the student violated the law or the district Code of Conduct.

An authorized school official may conduct a search of a student’s belongings that is minimally intrusive, such as touching the outside of a book bag, without reasonable suspicion, so long as the school official has a legitimate reason for the very limited search.

An authorized school official may search a student or the student’s belongings based upon information received from a reliable informant. Individuals, other than the district employees, will be considered reliable informants if they have previously supplied information that was accurate and verified, or they make an admission against their own interest, or they provide the same information that is received independently from other sources, or they appear to be credible and the information they are communicating relates to an immediate threat to safety.  District employees will be considered reliable informants unless they are known to have previously supplied information that they knew was not accurate.

Before searching a student or the student’s belongings, the authorized school official should attempt to get the student to admit that he or she possesses physical evidence that they violated the law or the district code, or get the student to voluntarily consent to the search.  Searches will be limited to the extent necessary to locate the evidence sought.

Whenever practicable, searches will be conducted in the privacy of administrative offices and students will be present when their possessions are being searched.

Back to the top

Student Lockers, Desks and other School Storage Places

School lockers, desks, computers, and other such equipment are not the private property of students but the property of the school district, and as such may be opened and subject to inspection from time to time by school officials.  Students have no reasonable expectation of privacy with respect to these places and school officials retain complete control over them. This means that student lockers, desks and other school storage places may be subject to search at any time by school officials, without prior notice to students and without their consent.

Documentation of Searches

The authorized school official conducting the search shall be responsible for promptly recording the following information about each search:

  1. Name, age and grade of student searched.
  2. Reasons for the search.
  3. Name of any informant(s).
  4. Purpose of search (that is, what item(s) were being sought).
  5. Type and scope of search.
  6. Person conducting search and his or her title and position.
  7. Witnesses, if any, to the search.
  8. Time and location of search.
  9. Results of search (that is, what items(s) were found).
  10. Disposition of items found.
  11. Time, manner and results of parental notification

The Principal or his/her designee shall be responsible for the custody, control and disposition of any illegal or dangerous item taken from a student.  The Principal or his/her designee shall clearly label each item taken from the student and retain control of the item(s), until the item is turned over to the police.  The Principal or his or her designee shall be responsible for personally delivering dangerous or illegal items to police authorities.

Police Involvement in Searches and Interrogations of Students

District officials are committed to cooperating with police officials and other law enforcement authorities to maintain a safe school environment. Police officials, however, have limited authority to interview or search students in schools or at school functions, or to use school facilities in connection with police work. Police officials may enter school property or a school function to question or search a student or to conduct a formal investigation involving students only if they have:

  1. A search or an arrest warrant; or
  2. Probable cause to believe a crime has been committed on school property or at a school function; or
  3. Been invited by school officials.

Before police officials are permitted to question or search any student, the Principal or his/her designee shall first try to notify the student’s parent to give the parent the opportunity to be present during the police questioning or search. If the student’s parent cannot be contacted prior to the police questioning or search, the questioning or search shall not be conducted. The Principal or his/her designee will also be present during any police questioning or search of a student on school property or at a school function.

Students who are questioned by police officials on school property or at a school function will be afforded the same rights they have outside the school. This means:

  1. They must be informed of their legal rights.
  2. They may remain silent if they so desire.
  3. They may request the presence of an attorney.

Back to the top

Child Protective Services Investigations

Consistent with the district’s commitment to keep students safe from harm and the obligation of school officials to report to child protective services when they have reasonable cause to suspect that a student has been abused or maltreated, the district will cooperate with local child protective services workers who wish to conduct interviews of students on school property relating to allegations of suspected child abuse, and/or neglect, or custody investigations.

All requests by child protective services to interview a student on school property shall be made directly to Principal or his/her designee. The Principal or his/her designee shall set the time and place of the interview. The Principal or his/her designee shall decide if it is necessary and appropriate for a school official to be present during the interview, depending on the age of the student being interviewed and the nature of the allegations.  If the nature of the allegations is such that it may be necessary for the student to remove any of his or her clothing in order for the child protective services worker to verify the allegations, the school nurse or other district medical personnel must be present during that portion of the interview.  No student may be required to remove his or her clothing in front of a child protective services worker or school district official of the opposite sex.

A child protective services worker may not remove a student from school property without a court order, unless the worker reasonably believes that the student would be subject to danger of abuse if not he or she were not removed from school before a court order can reasonably be obtained.  If the worker believes the student would be subject to danger of abuse, the worker may remove the student without a court order and without the parent’s consent.

Back to the top

Corporal Punishment

Corporal punishment is any act of physical force upon a student for the purpose of punishing that student.  Corporal punishment of any student by any district employee is strictly forbidden. However, in situations where alternative procedures and methods that do not involve the use of physical force cannot reasonably be used, reasonable physical force may be used to:

  • Protect oneself, another student, teacher or any person from physical injury.
  • Protect the property of the school or others.
  • Restrain or remove a student whose behavior interferes with the orderly exercise and performance of school district functions, powers and duties, if that student has refused to refrain from further disruptive acts

The district will file all complaints about the use of corporal punishment with the Commissioner of Education in accordance with commissioner’s regulations.

Lockers

Lockers are issued to all students in grades 2-12. Students should not share locker combinations or keep their possessions in another student’s locker.  The main office is required to keep a master list of lockers indicating student names and combinations or an extra key if applicable.  Changes in locker assignments will be made in only extreme circumstances. Lockers and their contents are school property and as such, subject to search by the administration at any time.  Students found guilty of damaging lockers will pay restitution to cover the cost of repairs.

Student Driving/Parking

Student parking will be in the lower two lots that are accessible from the Averill Street entrance. Seniors will need to fill out a parking permit request in the main office. After the seniors have been registered, and if there is space available juniors will have an opportunity to register. No student vehicles will be allowed past the lower lots. Tags must be visible at all times. School speed limit (5 mph) will be adhered to at all times while on school grounds. Students will not be permitted to go to their cars/use their cars during the school day, unless they receive permission from the principal or his/her designee.  

Any minor violations will be dealt with as follows:

  • 1st offense:  Parking privileges revoked one week.
  • 2nd offense: Parking privileges revoked one month.
  • 3rd offense: Parking privileges revoked remainder of the year.

The district reserves the right to immediately revoke parking for any dangerous actions putting others at risk. Please remember that student parking is a privilege. Make sure you take care of this privilege by being courteous and responsible drivers.

Personal Electronic Devices (PEDs)

Personal Electronic Devices if used inappropriately are disruptions to the learning process.  Appropriate classroom use of PED will be at the discretion of the teacher. The teacher will explain all expectations for use in the classroom. If a student is in violation of the PED rule, the following discipline will take place:

1st Offense-Student will be asked to turn over the device to the teacher and will receive it at the end of the period..  If the student refuses to hand device over or becomes insubordinate then the student will go directly to the consequence for insubordination and a parent must pick up the PED at the end of the school day in the office.

2nd Offense and thereafter-Student will be asked to hand over device to staff member. The device will be delivered to the office.  If the student refuses to hand device over or becomes insubordinate then the student will go directly to the consequence for insubordination.  A parent must pick up the PED at the end of the school day.

Back to the top

Bicycles

Students riding their bicycles to school must lock them in the designated area  Students riding bikes are not allowed to leave school through the bus loop/area during bus dismissal.  Students who do not exercise the proper care and safety when riding on school grounds will not be allowed to ride to and from school. In New York State, all bicyclists under the age of 14 years old are required to wear safety certified bicycle helmets when they are operators or passengers on bicycles (Sec. 1238(5)), however it is recommended that all student wear a bicycle helmet.

Food and Drink

Students are not allowed food or drinks (with the exception of water in a clear container) anywhere in the building except the cafeteria during their lunchtime, unless permission is provided by the principal or his/her designee, or for medical reasons issued by a doctor and approved by the school nurse.  Students found with food or drink at an inappropriate location or time will be asked to put item away or face discipline for insubordination.

Public Conduct on School Property

The district is committed to providing an orderly, respectful environment that is conducive to learning.  To create and maintain this kind of an environment, it is necessary to regulate public conduct on school property and at school functions. For purposes of this section of the code, “public” shall mean all persons when on school property or attending a school function including students, teachers and district personnel.

The restrictions on public conduct on school property and at school functions contained in this code are not intended to limit freedom of speech or peaceful assembly. The district recognizes that free inquiry and free expression are indispensable to the objectives of the district.  The purpose of this code is to maintain public order and prevent abuse of the rights of others.

All persons on school property or attending a school function shall conduct themselves in a respectful and orderly manner.  In addition, all persons on school property or attending a school function are expected to be properly attired for the purpose they are on school property.

Back to the top

Prohibited Conduct

No person, either alone or with others, shall:

  1. Intentionally injure any person or threaten to do so.
  2. Intentionally damage or destroy school district property or the personal property of a teacher, administrator, other district employee or any person lawfully on school property, including graffiti or arson.
  3. Disrupt the orderly conduct of classes, school programs or other school activities.
  4. Distribute or wear materials on school grounds or at school functions that are obscene, advocate illegal action, appear libelous, obstruct the rights of others, or are disruptive to the school program.
  5. Intimidate, harass, bully and/or or discriminate against any person on the basis of actual or perceived race, color, creed, national origin, religion or religious practices, age, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation or disability on school grounds or at a school function.
  6. Enter any portion of the school premises without authorization or remain in any building or facility after it is normally closed.
  7. Obstruct the free movement of any person in any place to which this code applies.
  8. Violate the traffic laws, parking regulations or other restrictions on vehicles.
  9. Possess, consume, sell, distribute or exchange alcoholic beverages, controlled substances, or be under the influence of either on school property or at a school function.
  10. Possess or use weapons in or on school property or at a school function, except in the case of law enforcement officers or except as specifically authorized by the school district.
  11. Loiter on or about school property.
  12. Gamble on school property or at school functions.]
  13. Refuse to comply with any reasonable order of identifiable school district officials performing their duties.
  14. Willfully incite others to commit any of the acts prohibited by this code.
  15. Violate any federal or state statute, local ordinance or Board policy while on school property or while at a school function.

Penalties

Persons who violate this code shall be subject to the following penalties:

  1. Visitors.  Their authorization, if any, to remain on school grounds or at the school function shall be withdrawn and they shall be directed to leave the premises.  If they refuse to leave, they shall be subject to ejection.
  2. Students.  They shall be subject to disciplinary action as the facts may warrant, in accordance with the due process requirements.
  3. Tenured faculty members.  They shall be subject to disciplinary action as the facts may warrant in accordance with Education Law § 3020-a or any other legal rights that they may have.
  4. Staff members in the classified service of the civil service entitled to the protection of Civil Service Law § 75.  They shall be subject to disciplinary action as the facts may warrant in accordance with Civil Service Law § 75 or any other legal rights that they may have.
  5. Staff members other than those described in subdivisions 4 and 5. They shall be subject to warning, reprimand, suspension or dismissal as the facts may warrant in accordance with any legal rights they may have.

Enforcement

The Principal or his/her designee shall be responsible for enforcing the conduct required by this code.

When the Principal or his/her designee sees an individual engaged in prohibited conduct, which in his or her judgment does not pose any immediate threat of injury to persons or property, the Principal or his/her designee shall tell the individual that the conduct is prohibited and attempt to persuade the individual to stop.  The Principal or his/her designee shall also warn the individual of the consequences for failing to stop. If the person refuses to stop engaging in the prohibited conduct, or if the person’s conduct poses an immediate threat of injury to persons or property, the Principal or designee shall have the individual removed immediately from school property or the school function.  If necessary, local law enforcement authorities will be contacted to assist in removing the person.

The district shall initiate disciplinary action against any student or staff member, as appropriate, with the “Penalties” section above.  In addition, the district reserves its right to pursue a civil or criminal legal action against any person violating the code.

Back to the top

Dissemination and Review

Dissemination of Code of Conduct

The Board will work to ensure that the community is aware of this Code of Conduct by:

  1. Providing copies of a summary of the code to all students in an age-appropriate plain-language version at a general school assembly held at the beginning of each school year.
  2. Making copies of the code available to all parents at the beginning of the school year.
  3. Mailing a summary of the Code of Conduct written in plain language to all parents of district students before the beginning of the school year and making this summary available later upon request.
  4. Providing all current teachers and other staff members with a copy of the code and a copy of any amendments to the code as soon as practicable after adoption.
  5. Providing all new employees with a copy of the current Code of Conduct when they are first hired.
  6. Making copies of the code available for review by students, parents and other community members.
  7. The Board will sponsor an in-service education program for all district staff members to ensure the effective implementation of school policy on school conduct and discipline, including but not limited to, guidelines for promoting a safe and supportive school climate while discouraging, among other things, discrimination or harassment against students by students and/or school employees, and including safe and supportive school climate concepts in the curriculum and classroom.   Such training shall be designed to raise staff awareness and sensitivity to potential discrimination or harassment and provide strategies and responses to assist staff in responding to reports and incidents of discrimination and harassment and to help discourage their re-occurrence. The Superintendent may solicit the recommendations of the district staff, particularly teachers and administrators, regarding in-service programs pertaining to the management and discipline of students.

The District shall post the complete Code of Conduct (with all amendments and annual updates) on the District’s website.  

Review of Code of Conduct

The Board will review this Code of Conduct every year and update it as necessary.  In conducting the review, the Board will consider how effective the code’s provisions have been and whether the code has been applied fairly and consistently.

The Board may appoint an advisory committee to assist in reviewing the code and the district’s response to Code of Conduct violations.  The committee will be made up of representatives of student, teacher, administrator, and parent organizations, school safety personnel and other school personnel.

Before adopting any revisions to the code, the Board will hold at least one public hearing at which school personnel, parents, students and any other interested party may participate.

The Code of Conduct and any amendments to it will be filed with the Commissioner of Education no later than 30 days after adoption.

Board Approved: August 21, 2018

Back to the top