Oppenheim-Ephratah-St. Johnsville Jr/Sr High School
Student Handbook 2020-21
Welcome Letter to Parents
Dear Parents and Guardians:
We intend to celebrate the excellence in academics, sports, and extracurricular activities as each of our students develop into a college and career-ready citizen. It is our privilege and our challenge as educators to strive to provide a well-rounded education for our students so that they will become successful citizens. We have a caring and dedicated faculty that has joined forces and committed to the success of every student at OESJ Jr/Sr High School. It is the responsibility of all stakeholders: students, parents, teachers, support staff, community members, and administration to collaborate and communicate in order to achieve the vision that we have for our students.
Technology at OESJ is important for the success of our students. It is important that parents are connected to school via the SchoolTool parent portal. Along with students, parents are able to see real-time data on how the student is doing academically, see student attendance or disciplinary issues. Parents will be able to see report cards and progress reports via the portal. This type of connection can only help our students to become better prepared for college, the military, or a career of their choosing and make the home to school connection stronger.
The OESJ Jr/Sr High School Student Handbook (found on the high school website) contains information about our school and the policies and procedures you and your child will need to be familiar with for a successful school year. Because the information contained in this handbook is so important, we encourage you and your child to read the handbook and, if necessary, assist your child in his/her understanding of the contents. The OESJ Board of Education has updated our attendance policy. It is imperative that students are in school so that they can be successful. Please take the time to look over the new policy and if you have any questions, please let us know.
This year, we are excited to let you know that all OESJ 7-12 students will receive free breakfast and lunch. There are no forms to fill out to receive breakfast and lunch.
I am excited to meet each and every one of you! My door is always open to you and your student(s)! Please do not hesitate to stop by my office or email me if you have any concerns throughout the year. Communication is the key to success so please feel free to stop in and see me!
Mr. Kevin Warren Principal
OESJ High School
Please visit our website www.oesj.org throughout the year for information!
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.
OESJ Central School Mission
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 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 century learning, and reach their workers, quality producers, and outstanding citizens.
1:1 Chromebook Program
Students need to be college and career ready. OESJ students will need to develop the “soft skills” necessary for success. Business owners stated at a meeting this past fall: “High schools must teach students that a deadline is a deadline”. Whether at college or work, students need to demonstrate self-discipline and perseverance. To help our students be better prepared, we have started our 1:1 Chromebook program. Collaboration between students, teachers, and home is crucial for this program to be successful.
Students need to be prepared for 21st Century Skills
These are required for students to succeed in the workforce and college.
- Taking initiative in their learning and becoming lifelong learners
- Working successfully on a team (collaboration)
- Communicating effectively
- Thinking critically (critical thinking and innovation)
- Managing and planning for short- and long-term goals
- Self Direction
- Technological literacy
“OESJ 1:1 Chromebook Handbook Policy”. This can be reviewed at any time by parents and students.
Important Contact Information
OESJ High School
- Building Principal Mr. Warren 518-568-2011
- Guidance Counselors Mrs. Van Wie 518-568-7824
- Mrs. Stalteri 518-568-7824
- Building & Grounds Mr. Swartz 518-568-2011 x 3180
- Transportation Mrs. Brundage 518-568-2014 x 2105
Whom do I contact about…?
- Athletic Director Mr. Heroth 518-568-2011
- Athletic Coordinator Mr. Heiser 518-568-2011 x 3133
- Cafeteria/Meal Information Ms. Myra Trumbull 518-993-4000 x 1003
- Courses – Curricula Mrs. Van Wie 518-568-7824
- Discipline Mr. Warren 518-568-2011
- Health Concern Mrs. Smith 518-568-3002
- Lost and Found Main Office 518-568-2011
- Personal Problems Guidance 518-568-7824
- Use of Building Main Office 518-568-2011
- Library Mrs. Johnson 518-568-2011
- Superintendent’s Office Ms. Bonk 518-568-7280
- Business Office Mrs. Stallman 518-568-9990
- School Social Worker Mrs. Marchand-Clifford 518-568-2011
- School Psychologist/CSE Mr. O’Brien 518-568-2014
- Attendance Mrs. Trumble 518-568-2011
- Technology Mr. Roth 518-568-7063
- IT Support Mr. Heroth 518-568-2011 x 3107
- DASA Coordinator Mr. Warren 518-568-2011
Parents can also obtain school information by visiting the OESJ Central School website at www.oesj.org.
Chain of Command
We want students to become independent thinkers and problem solvers: consequently, we encourage students and parents to first try and resolve problems with the individual(s) in question. If you are not satisfied with the outcome, then please seek help at the next appropriate level. Please use the chain of command listed below as a reference. Individuals may be referred to the proper level if the chain is not followed.
- Staff (Teacher, Social Worker, Guidance Counselor, Aide, Bus Driver, Nurse, Cafeteria Personnel, Secretary
- Board of Education
Statement of nondiscrimination / Anti-Harassment
It is the policy of the OESJ Central School District to prohibit 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 intended to annoy, intimidate or cause fear. If anyone discriminates against you or harasses you, you must report it to a teacher or see Mr. Slater.
Announcements to students and staff will be made daily at 7:55 am and, if necessary, in the afternoon. Some announcements may occur only in the cafeteria during lunch periods in order to reduce the interruption of instructional time. Students will be called out of class only for unusual circumstances. Announcements must be submitted in writing and approved by the main office staff.
Attendance and Tardiness
It is each student’s basic responsibility as a member of the school community to be on time and attend all classes. Daily telephone calls will be made by the office to parents or guardians to report unexcused absences.
The following reasons for student absences and tardiness from schools are recognized as excused:
- Personal illness
- Illness or death in the family
- Impassable roads or weather making travel unsafe
- Religious observance
- Medical appointment
- Approved school-sponsored trips
- Required court appearances
Any other absence shall be considered unexcused, unless a legitimate reason is provided otherwise.
The district will support and encourage a student’s efforts to maintain or improve school attendance and tardiness. Students with unexcused absences or tardiness will be disciplined according to the provisions set forth in the district’s code of conduct. Additional action taken by the District includes, but not limited to, home visits, mandated calls to child protective services, and written PINS petitions to county probation departments. In serious cases, a call to District Attorney’s office for educational neglect may be necessary.
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. Scheduled conferences between parents and teachers, and interim reports may be issued as needed or required. Parents are encouraged to visit the school and to meet with guidance counselor and teachers whenever necessary. Please schedule all such visits in advance.
MARKING PERIODS 2020-2021
- Quarter 1 September 14, 2020 through November 15, 2020
- Quarter 2 November 16, 2020 through January 31, 2021
END OF FIRST SEMESTER
- Quarter 3 February 1, 2021 through April 18, 2021
- Quarter 4 April 19, 2021 through June 25, 2021
PROGRESS REPORTS 2020-2021
- 5 Week September 14, 2020 through October 12, 2020
- 15 Week November 16, 2020 through December 20, 2019
END OF FIRST SEMESTER
- 25 Week February 1, 2021 through March 7, 2021
- 35 Week April 19, 2021 through May 23, 2021
Student Dismissal and Precautions
In order to ensure students’ safety, the Building Principal and school nurse shall maintain a list of individuals who are authorized to pick up students in attendance at the school. No student may be released to any individual who is not the parent or guardian of the student, unless the individual’s name appears upon the 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 authorize the release of his or her child, shall be maintained in district offices.
If an individual desires to pick a child up from school, he/she must report to the school office and, upon request, present satisfactory identification to the Building Principal. If the person seeking release of a child presents an out-of-state custody order, the Superintendent shall be called.
In the event the parent desires to excuse the child early for emergency reasons, the parent shall make such request in writing and submit the request to the main office. Medical releases are handled by, and should be directed to, 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 student must sign the register in main office before leaving.
Student Scheduling and Course Load
Course scheduling is designed to accommodate different teaching styles and subject materials. All scheduling shall conform to state requirements, enhance student learning opportunities and improve individual academic achievement.
Course outlines may be found in the guidance office; they are also provided to students during registration. Students generally decide upon their yearly schedule with the help of their guidance counselor. The following consists of a typical daily schedule for a district student:
4 Foreign Language/Elective
5 Enrichment/Extra Help/Study Hall
* LUNCH *
8 Social Studies
Once student schedules are completed, students may change their schedule, subject to the approval of the parent, teacher, guidance counselor, and administrator, but only for one of the reasons listed below. Students must obtain an add/drop form from the guidance office and have it completed before any changes will be made.
- Failure of a graduation requirement that must be made up.
- Success or failure of a summer school course not factored into the schedule. [a successfully completed summer school course would be repeated in the school year schedule?]
- Elimination of a scheduled course by the school.
- Forced change in the schedule by an outside agency.
- Student placement in a class inappropriate to his/her ability level.
- Addition of a course to replace a scheduled study hall.
Schedule changes will be allowed on a limited basis on October 1 – 2, 2020 except for emergencies.
Schedule changes will be allowed Friday, February 5, 2021.
If a student drops a class after the add/drop deadline, he or she will may be subject to a W/P or W/F (Withdraw/pass or fail).
The library is open during regular school hours. The library is used for research, borrowing books, using the computers, or reading quietly. Students may come to the library during their study hall and lunch by signing up and obtaining a pass.
Materials in the library circulate for a specific period of time, generally two weeks. All students wishing to borrow materials must check them out at the library desk.
Students are expected to be responsible and courteous of the needs of others and return library materials on time. Lost or damaged materials must be replaced at the expense of the borrower.
Multimedia Tools in the Classroom
During the course of the school year, teachers supplement classroom work by utilizing a variety of multimedia tools. As such, your child may have the opportunity to view one or more videos as part of his or her classroom participation, including:
- Videos related to the curriculum being taught to your child.
- Videos that are in the school library.
- Videos that can be obtained through an inter-library loan program.
Any videos shown outside the above guidelines will require written notification to parents specifying the video’s content and suitability.
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 cannot 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 used appropriately.
The district prohibits the use of any computer hardware/software in any inappropriate, fraudulent or destructive manner, including, but not limited to:
- Sending out unauthorized messages
- Entering a code-protected file
- Altering a software program
- Vandalizing hardware or software components
- Copyright infringement
- Use of a password, other than your own
Discipline procedures include, but not limited to:
In School suspension from school
Out of school Suspension from school
The last disciplinary action depending on circumstances will be loss of computer privileges.
Acceptable Use Agreements
An acceptable use agreement outlining appropriate student use of District computers will be sent home. It describes the student’s access to the network and expectations for acceptable use. Parents are expected to review this agreement with their child. The parent and students shall sign the agreement, acknowledging they will abide by district policy and regulation in the use of district computers. These agreements are kept on file in the Building Principal’s office.
Failure to comply with the district’s policy and regulations governing the district’s computer network, both on and off campus, may result in disciplinary action as well as suspension and/or revocation of computer access privileges.
While the district uses technological and manual means to regulate access and information on the school computer network, these methods do not provide a foolproof means of enforcing the provisions of the district’s policy and regulations. Parents are encouraged to review acceptable uses with their children and reinforce appropriate use of district computers.
The district makes no warranties of any kind, either express or implied, for the access being provided. Further, the district assumes no responsibility for the quality, availability, accuracy, nature or reliability of the service and/or information provided. Use of the district’s computer network and the Internet is performed at the user’s own risk. Each user is responsible for verifying the integrity and authenticity of the information that is used and provided.
The district will not be responsible for any damages suffered by any user, including but not limited to, loss of data resulting from delays, non-deliveries, miss-deliveries, or service interruptions caused by its own negligence or the errors or omissions of any user. The district will also not be responsible for the unauthorized financial obligations resulting from the use or access to the district’s computer network or the Internet.
The OESJ Jr/Sr High School is committed to safeguarding children’s access to the Internet and World Wide Web on district computers. Although the district cannot totally guarantee the effectiveness of selected filtering and blocking technology, the district will use such measures that block or filter Internet access to visual depictions that are obscene or otherwise harmful to minors, as defined in the Children’s Internet Protection Act.
7110 COMPREHENSIVE ATTENDANCE POLICY
The Board of the Oppenheim-Ephratah-St. Johnsville Central School District recognizes that student attendance in school is an important component of student success. Student interaction with teachers and other students in class helps to enhance the academic learning experience and provides a basis by which students can demonstrate mastery of subject matter.
In this regard and in accordance with Section 104.1 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of education, the Board adopts this comprehensive attendance policy, containing the following
a) Overall objectives of the policy;
b) Specific strategies to accomplish these objectives;
c) Excused vs. unexcused student absences or tardiness;
d) Coding system identifying reasons for absence or tardiness;
e) Student attendance and course credit;
f) Disciplinary sanctions;
g) Notice to parents or guardians;
h) Intervention strategies to identify patterns of student absence or tardiness;
i) Parties responsible for student attendance in each school; and
j) Annual review of policy by the Board.
All staff will be provided with a copy of the comprehensive attendance policy and any amendment to such policy within ten days following initial adoption or amendment of the policy. New staff members shall receive a copy of the comprehensive attendance policy upon commencement of employment
with the District.
The Board shall promote community awareness of the District comprehensive attendance policy by providing a plain language summary of the policy to the parents or guardians of students at the beginning of each school year and taking such other steps deemed necessary to promote the understanding of such policy by students and their parents or guardians. Copies of the complete comprehensive attendance policy shall be available in the District Central Office and in each school building and will be provided to any member of the community upon request.
Overall Objectives of the Policy
The major objectives of the comprehensive attendance policy in the Oppenheim Ephratah-St. Johnsville Central School District are to:
a) Ensure the maintenance of an adequate record verifying the attendance of all children at
instruction in accordance with Education Law;
b) Establish a practical mechanism for each school in the District to account to the parents or
guardians of students enrolled in the school for the whereabouts of such children throughout each
c) Ensure sufficient pupil attendance at all scheduled periods of actual instruction or supervised
study activities to permit such pupils to succeed at meeting the State learning standards.
Specific Strategies to Accomplish These Objectives
The Board charges the Superintendent or designee to develop a system of pupil attendance recordkeeping in each school in a register of attendance that shall provide an accurate record of
each pupil’s presence, absence, tardiness, and early departure. The register of attendance shall set forth the following for each pupil: name; date of birth; full names of parents or guardians;
address where pupil resides; phone numbers where the parents or guardians may be contacted; date of the pupil’s enrollment; and a record of the pupil’s attendance on each day of scheduled
All entries in the register of attendance shall be made by the teacher of the class in which the pupil is enrolled. The entries in the register of attendance shall be verified by the oath or
affirmation of the individual making the entries in the register of attendance. The principal of each school shall have the responsibility of supervising the keeping of the register of attendance. The principal shall also be charged with reviewing pupil attendance records periodically for the purpose of initiating appropriate action in accordance with this policy to address unexcused pupil absence, tardiness, and early departure.
Beginning in the 2013-2014 school year, attendance in each school building shall be recorded as follows:
- In each school building, after the taking of attendance in each period of scheduled instruction.
- Any absence for a school day or portion thereof shall be recorded as excused or unexcused in accordance with the standards articulated in this policy. In the event that a pupil at any
instructional level arrives late for or departs early from scheduled instruction, such tardiness or early departure shall be recorded as excused or unexcused in accordance with the standards
articulated in this policy.
The following reasons for pupil absences, tardiness, and early departure shall be considered by the Board to be excused when provided written documentation:
b) Illness or death in the family;
c) Unsafe travel conditions;
d) Religious observance;
e) Medical appointments;
g) Required court appearances;
h) Participation in a school-sponsored activity;
i) Approved college visits (requires completion of college verification form);
j) Approved cooperative work programs.
Any other pupil absence, tardiness or early departure is considered by the Board to be unexcused.
Each absence, tardiness and early departure shall be accounted for by the teacher in the register of attendance and shall be entered as excused or unexcused.
It is the responsibility of the parents or guardians of the pupil to notify the office by telephone on the morning of the absence or tardiness or at the time of early departure as to the reason for
such absence, tardiness or early departure. As a follow-up to any oral notification, parents or guardians of the pupil shall provide a written excuse upon return to school containing the date of
the absence, tardiness, or early departure and reason for such.
Coding System Identifying Reasons for Absence or Tardiness
The Board shall charge the Superintendent or designee to design a coding system that will be used by the District in recording pupil absences, tardiness or early departure in their registers or
For any absence, tardiness or early departure that is excused, the coding system shall identify the reason for such absence, tardiness or early departure. An absence, tardiness or early departure shall be assumed to be unexcused until written confirmation is received that such absence,
tardiness or early departure is in fact excused with appropriate reason.
Along with coding for whether an absence, tardiness or early departure is excused or unexcused and, if excused, the reason for such, the teacher shall record the time of entry of a student due to
tardiness and the time of exit of a student due to early departure.
The following codes shall be consistently used by the District:
- A – Absent Unexcused
- AE – Absent Excused
- T – Tardy Unexcused
- TE – Tardy Excused
- E – Excused/Early Dismissal
Student Attendance and Course Credit
The Board recognizes that regular attendance in classes is essential to the total learning process.
Although some class absence may be unavoidable, each student is expected to make every effort to attend each assigned class. The underlying rationale for an attendance policy that denies course credit for non-attendance is based on recognition of the vital role classroom attendance and participation plays in academic achievement.
In order for a student in the high school or middle school to receive credit for a course, it is important that the student attend regular class meetings. For a full-year course, 20 absences shall
result in a loss of credit. For a half-year course, ten absences shall result in a loss of credit.
Any pupil absence that is both properly excused and for which the student has performed any assigned make-up work shall not be counted as an absence for the purpose of determining the
student’s eligibility for course credit under this policy. It shall be the student’s responsibility to obtain all make- up work from his or her teacher(s) immediately upon the student’s return to school, and all make-up work shall be submitted within three days after the excused absence to be reviewed by the teacher.
A student shall be regarded as being absent from class under this section of the policy if he or she misses more than 20 minutes of class due to tardiness or early departure. Such tardiness or early departure shall be excused, and the student shall perform the necessary make-up work within the allotted time, in order for the tardiness or early departure to not be counted as an absence
for the purpose of determining the student’s eligibility for course credit under this policy.
All medical excuses shall be submitted upon student’s return to school in order to be considered as a valid excuse for the student’s absence.
Notice to the pupil’s parents or guardians regarding absences and the potential for denial of course credit and strategies that shall be employed in the high school and middle school prior to the denial of course credit to the pupil for insufficient attendance shall be as follows:
a) On the seventh absence from class (third in a half-year course), student management system will notify parent(s) or guardian(s) by phone or email as to the class and the number of absences.
b) On the twelfth absence (sixth in a half-year course), a letter will be sent home advising the parents or guardians of the class and the number of absences. The attendance committee shall also
meet with the student and the student’s parents or guardians, and the student’s teacher or teachers may attend if requested by building principal.
c) On the twentieth absence (tenth in a half-year course), the student shall receive no credit for the course. The principal shall so notify the student’s parents or guardians by letter. The student
shall not be able to sit for examinations, with the exception of a New York State examination.
d) Students disqualified from receiving credit in any course(s) may be assigned to one of the following areas:
- Continues in the course on a non-credit basis.
- Removed from the course and assigned to a study hall or AIS. The assignment decision will be made by the building principal.
In-school suspension, for which the student is doing work related to his or her particular classes, and out-of-school suspension, where the student takes advantage of alternate educational services provided by the District, shall not count as absences from class under this section of the policy.
Where it is determined by the school that disciplinary sanctions are necessary to discourage a specific instance of an unexcused pupil absence, tardiness or early departure or a pattern of
unexcused absences, tardiness or early departures by a pupil, the following sanctions shall be available for use by the school.
Detention, ISS, Loss of Pass Privilege, Probation: clubs, Honor Society, etc.; loss of: clubs, etc.
Transportation is the responsibility of parents or guardians.
The Board shall charge the Superintendent or designee with the task of monitoring the effectiveness of the disciplinary sanctions in each of the schools, and the building principal shall prepare a
quarterly written report to the Board, at the end of each ten-week grading period, detailing the use of disciplinary sanctions in each school.
Notice to Parents or Guardians
As noted in this policy, any pupil absence, tardiness or early departure other than those specified in the policy is considered by the Board to be unexcused. It is the responsibility of the parents
or guardians of the pupil to excuse such absence, tardiness or early departure by notifying the office by telephone on the morning of the absence or tardiness or at the time of early departure as to the reason for such absence, tardiness or early departure.
As a follow-up to any oral notification, parents or guardians shall provide a written excuse upon return to school, which shall include the following: date of the absence, tardiness, or early departure and reason for such. The Board shall charge the Superintendent or designee with developing a form to be provided to pupils upon their return to school or return to class that will allow parents or guardians to indicate the date(s) of the absence, tardiness or early departure, the reason for such absence, tardiness or early departure, and the signature of the parent or guardian.
The school may accept the form completed by the parent or guardian or a handwritten note from the parent or guardian containing information about the pupil absence, tardiness or early departure similar to that found on the District form. If no written note is received upon return to school, the pupil will be given an absence form to take home and be completed by the parent or guardian.
Intervention Strategies to Identify Patterns of Student Absence or Tardiness
The Board understands that in order to increase overall District attendance and pupil attendance in each school building, it is important to develop a process by which teachers and other school employees can readily identify patterns of unexcused pupil absence, tardiness or early departure and can employ specific intervention strategies in an attempt to change such patterns.
Each school building shall establish a committee which shall be charged with monitoring overall pupil attendance and determining and addressing specific patterns of unexcused pupil absence,
tardiness or early departure. The committee shall be comprised of the building principal, nurse, social worker, and other support staff as determined by the principal.
The committee shall meet on a regular basis to identify specific pupils with patterns of unexcused absences, tardiness or early departure and the intervention strategies to be employed by teachers and other school staff to address these patterns. Minutes of each meeting of the committee shall be kept for documentation and shall be made available upon request of the Superintendent. The building principal will be given minutes to report on quarterly attendance.
Students who incur an illness or injury that causes them to be absent in excess of five school days are requested to apply for home tutoring. In the event home tutoring is requested, a physician’s statement is required describing the medical condition and verifying that the student will be absent in excess of five school days. When home tutoring begins, no further days will be recorded as absences.
Parties Responsible for Student Attendance in Each School
The principal of each school building shall be charged by the Board to be the person responsible for reviewing pupil attendance records and initiating appropriate actions at the building level to
address unexcused pupil absence, tardiness and early departure consistent with the comprehensive attendance policy of the District.
Annual Review of Policy by the Board
The Board shall annually review overall District pupil attendance and the pupil attendance records for each school building. Should such records demonstrate a decline in pupil attendance, the Board
shall have the opportunity to amend the comprehensive attendance policy and make revisions to the plan as deemed necessary. Any such amendment to the comprehensive attendance policy shall be provided in writing to each staff member no later than ten days after adoption of the amendment by the Board.
Dignity For All Student 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/
The district cannot investigate bullying and correct a problem if it is not reported, so we encourage staff, students, and parents to speak up when they witness bullying. Anyone who feels he or she has been bullied, wants to report a bullying incident, or has questions about bullying should contact the building principal at the school in question.
- Jr./Sr. High School: Adam Heroth (518) 568-2011
- OESJ Elementary: Jeanine Kawryga (518) 568-2014
The Oppenheim Ephratah St. Johnsville School Board is committed to protecting its students from bullying, harassment, or discrimination for any reason. The school board believes that all students are entitled to a safe, equitable, and harassment free school environment.
The standards of this policy constitute a specific, focused, coordinated, integrated, culturally sensitive system of supports for all students, families, and community agencies that will improve relations within our school. It is designed to ensure that every school has staff that have been trained and are supported in our school’s efforts to provide awareness, and intervention training as well as instructional strategies on prevention and direct follow up when incidents are reported and/or occur.
A. “Bullying” means systematically and chronically inflicting physical hurt or psychological distress on one or more students or employees. It is further defined as: unwanted purposeful written, verbal, nonverbal, or physical behavior, including but not limited to any threatening, insulting, or dehumanizing gesture, by an adult or student, that has the potential to create an intimidating, hostile, or offensive educational environment or cause long term damage; cause discomfort or humiliation; or unreasonably interfere with the individual’s school performance or participation, is carried out repeatedly and is often characterized by an imbalance of power.
Bullying may involve, but is not limited to:
- unwanted teasing
- physical violence
- sexual, religious, or racial harassment
- public humiliation
- destruction of school or personal property
- social exclusion, including incitement and/or coercion
- rumor or spreading of falsehoods
B. “Harassment” means any threatening, insulting, or dehumanizing gesture, use of technology, computer software, or written, verbal or physical conduct directed against a student that:
- places a student in reasonable fear of harm to his or her person or damage to his or her property;
- has the effect of substantially interfering with a student’s educational performance
- has the effect of substantially negatively impacting a student’s emotional or mental well-being; or
- has the effect of substantially disrupting the orderly operation of a school and/or school district work environment.
C. “Cyberstalking”, means to engage in a course of conduct to communicate, or to cause to be communicated, words, images, or language by or through the use of electronic mail or electronic communication, directed at or about a specific person, causing substantial emotional distress to that person and serving no legitimate purpose.
D. “Cyberbullying” is defined as the willful and repeated harassment and intimidation of a person through the use of digital technologies, including, but not limited to, email, blogs, texting on cell phones, social websites (e.g., MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, etc.), chat rooms, “sexting”, instant messaging, or video voyeurism.
E. “Bullying”, “Cyberbullying”, and/or “Harassment” also encompass:
- retaliation against a student by another student or school employee for asserting or alleging an act of bullying, harassment, or discrimination.
- retaliation also includes reporting a baseless act of bullying, harassment, or discrimination that is not made in good faith.
- perpetuation of conduct listed in the definition of bullying, harassment, and/or discrimination by an individual or group with intent to demean, dehumanize, embarrass, or cause emotional or physical harm to a student by:
a) incitement or coercion;
b) accessing or knowingly and willingly causing or providing access to data or computer software through a computer, computer system, or computer network within the scope of the District school system (this includes facebook postings or texts after school hours that affect relationships within the school setting); or
c) acting in a manner that has an effect substantially similar to the effect of bullying, harassment, or discrimination.
F. “Bullying,” “Cyberbullying”, “Harassment,” and “Discrimination” (hereinafter referred to as bullying, as defined in Section A, for the purpose of this Policy) also encompass, but are not limited to, unwanted harm towards a student in regard to their real or perceived: sex, race, color, religion, national origin, age, disability (physical, mental, or educational), marital status, socio-economic background, ancestry, ethnicity, gender, gender identity or expression, linguistic preference, political beliefs, sexual orientation, or social/family background or being viewed as different in its education programs or admissions to education programs and therefore prohibits bullying of any student by any Board member, District employee, consultant, contractor, agent, visitor, volunteer, student, or other person in the school or outside the school at school-sponsored events, on school buses, and at training facilities or training programs sponsored by the District.
G. “Accused” is defined as any District employee, consultant, contractor, agent, visitor, volunteer, student, or other person in the school or outside the school at school sponsored events, on school buses, and at training facilities or training programs sponsored by the District who is reported to have committed an act of bullying, whether formally or informally, verbally or in writing, of bullying.
H. “Complainant” is defined as any District employee, consultant, contractor, agent, visitor, volunteer, student, or other person who formally or informally makes a report of bullying, orally or in writing.
I. “Victim” is defined as any student in the school or outside the school at school sponsored events, on school buses and at training facilities or training programs sponsored by the District, who is reported to have been the target of an act of bullying as a result of participating in during any educational program or activity conducted by Oppenheim Ephratah St. Johnsville Central School.
The Oppenheim Ephratah St. Johnsville School District expects students to conduct themselves in keeping with their levels of development, maturity, and demonstrated capabilities with a proper regard for the rights and welfare of all members of the school community, the educational purpose underlying all school activities, and the care of school facilities and equipment.
A. The School District prohibits the bullying of any student:
- during any educational program or activity conducted by Oppenheim Ephratah St. Johnsville Central School;
- during any school-related or school-sponsored program or activity or on a Oppenheim Ephratah St. Johnsville Central School school bus;
- through the use of any electronic device or data while on school grounds or on a
Oppenheim Ephratah St. Johnsville Central School school bus, computer software that is accessed through a computer, computer system, or computer network of the Oppenheim Ephratah St. Johnsville Central School.
4. through threats using the above to be carried out on school grounds. This includes threats made outside of school hours, which are intended to be carried out during any school-related or school-sponsored program or activity, or on a Oppenheim Ephratah St. Johnsville Central School school bus.
5. The District does not assume any liability for incidences that occur at a bus stop or en route to and from school. A student or witness may file a complaint following the same procedures for bullying against a student and the school will investigate and/or provide assistance and intervention as the principal/designee deems appropriate. The principal/designee shall use the proper form to log all reports and interventions. However, if a student’s ability to receive an education or a school’s ability to provide an education is significantly impaired, as determined by the school district administration, disciplinary sanctions may be issued.
6. Though an incident of alleged bullying (cyberbullying or other) may occur off campus and may not entail threats of acts to occur during school hours, if a student’s ability to receive an education or a school’s ability to provide an education is significantly impaired, as determined by the school district administration, disciplinary sanctions may be issued.,
B. All administrators, faculty, and staff, in collaboration with parents, students, and community members, will incorporate systemic methods for student recognition through positive reinforcement for good conduct, self discipline, good citizenship, and academic success, as seen in the required school plan to address positive school culture and behavior
C. Student rights shall be explained as outlined in this policy and in the Student Code of Conduct: Respect for Persons and Property.
D. Proper prevention and intervention steps shall be taken based on the level of severity of infraction as outlined in the Student Code of Conduct and this Policy.
III. Stakeholder Responsibilities
A. Student Support Services’ Office of Prevention: The DASA Coordinator in collaboration with other District departments, will collaborate with school based staff members, families, and community stakeholders to utilize this Policy and associated procedures to promote academic success, enhance resiliency, build developmental assets, and promote protective factors within each school by ensuring that each and every staff member and student is trained on violence prevention. These trainings will work to create a climate within each school and within the District that fosters the safety and respect of children and the belief that adults are there to protect and help them. Additionally, students and staff (including, but not limited to, school based employees, administrators, area/district personnel, counseling staff, bus drivers) will be given the skills, training, and tools needed to create the foundation for preventing, identifying, investigating, and intervening when issues of bullying arise.
B. Schools: A DASA Coordinator will be a person who shall serve on existing teams that address acts of violence and school safety, e.g.,threat assessment teams and act as the Bullying contact. This person is the key school based personnel who will receive prevention training and assist in the dissemination of prevention methods, intervention, and curriculum, for bullying and other issues that impact the school culture and welfare of students and staff.
C. Accountability: The Building Principal will share accountability for implementation of these student support services consistent with the standards of this policy. These administrators will take steps to assure that student support services are fully integrated with their instructional components at each school and are pursued with equal effort in policy and practice.
IV. Training for students, parents, teachers, area/district staff, school administrators, student support staff, counseling staff, bus drivers, contractors and school volunteers on identifying, preventing, and responding to bullying will be conducted.
A. At the beginning of each school year, the school principal/designee and or appropriate area/district administrator shall provide awareness of this policy, as well as the process for reporting incidents, investigation and appeal, to students, school staff, parents, or other persons responsible for the welfare of a pupil through appropriate references in the Student Code of Conduct, Employee Handbooks, the school website, and/or through other reasonable means.
V. Disciplinary sanctions (consequences) and due processes for a person who commits an act of bullying under this policy.
A. Concluding whether a particular action or incident constitutes a violation of this policy requires a determination based on all of the facts and surrounding circumstances, followed by the determination of disciplinary sanctions.
- Consequences and appropriate interventions for students who commit acts of bullying may range from behavioral intervention plans up to, but not limited to suspension, as outlined in the Student Code of Conduct and this Policy. All steps necessary to protect the victim from further violations of this policy will be taken.
- Consequences and appropriate intervention for a visitor, volunteer, or parent/guardian found to have committed an act of bullying shall be determined by the school administrator after consideration of the nature and circumstances of the act, including reports to appropriate law enforcement officials.
- These same actions will apply to persons, whether they are students, school employees, parents/guardians, or visitors/volunteers/independent contractors, who are found to have made wrongful and intentional accusations of another as a means of bullying.
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VI. Reporting an act of bullying
A. The DASA Coordinator is responsible for receiving oral or written complaints alleging violations of this policy, as with all infractions from the Student Code of Conduct.
B. Students may report complaints of bullying to any school district employee, faculty or staff. All District employees, faculty and staff are required and must report, in writing, any allegations of bullying or violations of this Policy involving students to the DASA Coordinator.
C. Any other members of the school community who have credible information that an act of bullying has taken place may file a report of bullying, whether a victim or witness.
D. Any student (and/or the parent on that complainant’s behalf if the complainant is a minor) who believes he/she is a victim of bullying (or any individual, including any student who has knowledge of any incident(s) involving bullying of students) is strongly encouraged to report the incident to a school official.
E. A school district employee, school volunteer, contractor, student, parent/guardian or other persons who promptly reports in good faith an act of bullying to the appropriate school official, and who makes this report in compliance with the procedures set forth in this District Policy, is immune from a cause of action for damages arising out of the reporting itself or any failure to remedy the reported incident. Submission of a good faith complaint or report of bullying will not affect the complainant or reporter’s future employment, grades, learning or working environment, or work assignments within Oppenheim Ephratah St. Johnsville Central School.
F. The DASA Coordinator shall document in writing on the proper form regarding bullying, as with all infractions of the Code of Student Conduct, to ensure that problems are appropriately addressed in a timely manner, whether the report is made verbally or in writing.
VII. Bullying Complaints and Resolution
A. The investigation of a reported act of bullying of a student to the school is deemed to be a school related activity and begins with a report of such an act.
B. The DASA Coordinator shall document all complaints in writing to ensure that problems are addressed in a timely manner. Although this Policy encourages students to use the formal written complaint process, school officials “should investigate all complaints and reports of harassment, whether or not the complaint is in writing,” as stated by the Office for Civil Rights in Protecting Students from Harassment and Hate Crime: A Guide for Schools, Part II (1999).
C. The DASA Coordinator will make an initial determination if a reported act of bullying or harassment falls within the scope of the District. The DASA Coordinator will then report the findings to the Building Principal.
- If it is within the scope of the District, move to Procedures for Investigating Bullying and/or Harassment as outlined on the accompanied flow chart.
- If it is outside the scope of the District, and determined an alleged criminal act, refer to appropriate law enforcement, provide any applicable interventions, and document according to Policy.
- If it is outside the scope of the District, and determined not a criminal act, inform parents/guardians of all students involved, provide appropriate interventions and document according to Policy.
D. Resolution – where the administrator, along with the alleged victim and the accused/student, may agree to informally resolve the complaint. Documented interviews of the victim, alleged perpetrator, and witnesses are conducted privately separately, and are confidential. Each individual (victim, alleged perpetrator and witnesses) will be interviewed separately, and at no time will the alleged perpetrator and victim be interviewed together. Each party’s agreement to Informal Resolution must be in writing.
The incident and the resolution must be documented on the appropriate data system.
E. The resolution, all interviews and interventions that take place and the corresponding dates shall be documented in writing on the proper form.
VIII. Investigation requirements for reported acts of bullying under this policy
A. The DASA Coordinator shall begin a thorough investigation with the alleged victim and accused within two (2) school/working days of receiving a notification of complaint.
B. During the investigation, the DASA Coordinator may take any reasonable action necessary to protect the complainant, alleged victim, other students or employees consistent with the requirements of applicable regulations and statutes.
- Documented interviews of the alleged victim, alleged perpetrator, and witnesses are conducted privately, separately, and are confidential. Each individual (victim, alleged perpetrator, and witnesses) will be interviewed separately and at no time will the alleged perpetrator and victim be interviewed together.
- At no time during the investigation will the name of the complainant be revealed by the investigator; however, the victim needs to understand that if it goes to court his or her name will not be able to be withheld.
- In general, student complainants and/or alleged victims will continue attendance at the same school and pursue their studies as directed while the investigation is conducted and the complaint is pending resolution. Any legal order of a court will prevail.
- When necessary to carry out the investigation which will be consistent with federal and state privacy laws, the DASA Coordinator may also discuss the complaint with any school district employee, the parent of the alleged victim, the parent of the complainant or accused, if one or both is a minor (or has given consent or is an adult who has been determined to be incompetent or unable to give informed consent due to disability), and/or child protective agencies responsible for investigating child abuse.
C. The Principal/Designee will inform all relevant parties in writing of the decision and the right to appeal.
D. No retaliation of any kind is permitted in connection with an individual’s having made a bullying complaint and if it occurs, it shall be deemed an additional act of bullying as stated herein this Policy.
IX. Referral for Intervention
A. Referral of a student to the collaborative problem-solving team (or equivalent school-based team with a problem solving focus) for consideration of appropriate services is made through the school problem-solving process by school personnel or parent to the principal/designee. Parent notification is required and should be made by the person filling out the forms.
B. School-based intervention and assistance will be determined by the collaborative problem-solving team and may include, but is not limited to:
- counseling and support to address the needs of the victims of bullying.
- counseling interventions to address the behavior of the students who bully (e.g., empathy training, anger management).
- intervention which includes assistance and support provided to parents.
- analysis and evaluation of school culture with resulting recommendations for interventions aimed at increasing peer ownership and support.
C. Self referral for informal consultation: District staff, students or parents may request informal consultation with school staff (e.g., school social worker, school counselor, school psychologist) to determine the severity of concern and appropriate steps to address the concern of bullying (the involved students’ parents may be included) orally or in writing to the principal/designee.
D. Any investigations and interventions shall be recorded on the District specified data system.
X. Incident reporting requirements
A. The procedure for including incidents of bullying in the school’s report of safety and discipline data is required. The report must include each incident of bullying and the resulting consequences, including discipline, interventions and referrals. In a separate section, the report must include each reported incident of bullying or harassment that does not meet the criteria of a prohibited act under this policy, with recommendations regarding said incident.
B. Discipline, referral data, investigations, interventions, and actions of discipline shall be recorded on the specified forms, as with other infractions from the Code of Student Conduct.
XI. Process for referral for external investigation
A. If the act is outside the scope of the District and believed to be a criminal act, referral to appropriate law enforcement shall be made immediately, the parent will be notified, and the referral documented by the principal/designee in the specified data system.
B. While the District does not assume any liability for incidents that must be referred for external investigation, it encourages the provision of assistance and intervention as the principal/designee deems appropriate.
XII. Appeals process
A. Appeal procedure for bullying by a student will follow the steps outlined in the Code of Student Conduct – “Right to Appeal Unfair Penalties.”
A. To the greatest extent possible, all complaints will be treated as confidential and in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA”); the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”).
B. Limited disclosure may be necessary to complete a thorough investigation as described above. The District’s obligation to investigate and take corrective action may supersede an individual’s right to privacy.
C. The complainant’s identity shall be protected, but absolute confidentiality cannot be guaranteed.
D. The identity of the victim of the reported act shall be protected to the extent possible.
XIV. Retaliation Prohibited
A. Retaliation includes, but is not limited to, any form of intimidation, reprisal or harassment in connection with filing a complaint or assisting with an investigation under this Policy.
B. Retaliatory or intimidating conduct against any individual who has made a bullying complaint or any individual who has testified, assisted, or participated, in any manner, in an investigation is specifically prohibited and as detailed in this Policy shall be treated as another incidence of bullying.
Schools cannot effectively address bullying if incidents are not reported, which is why the district encourages staff, students and parents to speak up when they witness bullying.
Anyone who feels that he or she has been bullied, who wants to report an incident of someone else being bullied or who has questions about bullying can contact the district’s Dignity Act coordinators.
- OESJ Elementary: Jeanine Kawryga, 568-2014
- OESJ Jr/Sr High School: Adam Heroth, 568-2011
Programs with 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 at 518-568-2014.
Academic Intervention Services
The district shall provide academic intervention services to students who have been identified as being at risk of falling below the state learning standards in English language arts, mathematics, social studies, and/or science. Such services may include additional instruction services and/or student support services such as guidance, counseling, and study skills.
A student’s eligibility for academic intervention services will be determined based on his or her performance on state assessment examinations and/or in accordance with district assessment procedures.
When it has been determined that a student needs academic intervention services, the Guidance Department will notify the parents, in writing. The notice will outline the reason the student needs such services, the type of services to be provided and the consequences of not achieving the performance standards. 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 can contact the school regarding our test out policy from academic intervention services.
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 documentation indicating a need 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.
A high school student who fails a course may be eligible to attend summer school to earn credit or retake a Regents exam. A student can take up to two academic courses during the six-week summer school program. The Superintendent will have final approval of student eligibility for summer school.
High School Credit for College Courses
High school credit will be awarded to students who enroll in and complete approved courses offered by accredited colleges and universities, as follows:
- A student who wishes to participate in college courses must meet specific academic, grade level and course-work requirements as set forth by the Superintendent of Schools.
- A student must get approval from the high school principal prior to enrolling in a course he or she wishes to submit for high school credit. The Principal and the Superintendent must approve the course content, equivalency of instruction, and time requirements in advance. In the case of students with disabilities, the committee on special education (CSE) must also approve the above.
- One high school credit will be awarded for a three- or four-credit college course.
Students must receive a passing grade in the college course in order to receive high school credit.
Grades 7-12 uses a numerical 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. Quarter grades should reflect student’s ability to perform on NYS regents exams or final exams if no regents exam is available. No grades over 100 will be accepted.
Classroom teachers will evaluate students and assign grades according to the established system. All students are expected to complete the assigned class work and homework as directed. Students are also expected to participate meaningfully in class discussions and activities in order to receive course credit.
Grading will not be used for disciplinary purposes, i.e., giving lower grades for bad behavior, unless the student’s misconduct is directly related to his or her academic performance (plagiarism, for example).
Homework provides excellent opportunities for developing good study habits, providing for individual differences and abilities, and encouraging self-initiative on the part of the student. The High School homework plan has immediate consequences for students who fail to submit or complete homework. In the event a student is absent, the student should consult the District’s website, www.oesj.org to obtain homework information.
Parents and the school share the responsibility for student learning. Parents can assist their children with homework by:
- providing a study area free of distractions and with 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 a “homework habit” at the same time each night.
The OESJ School District believes that parental involvement in student’s 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, the student or the parent may suggest a conference with the teacher
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 guidance office (518-568-7824) at least one day in advance.
Students in grades 7 through 12 are eligible to earn a place on the High Honor Roll and the Honor Roll based upon grades received during the quarter. The High Honor Roll award will be given to students with an average of 90 or better. The Honor Roll award will be given to students with an average between 85 and 89.
Class rank will be calculated at the conclusion of the third quarter of the senior year.
Promotion and Retention of Students
At the middle school level, students who pass all subjects will be promoted. Students who do not make satisfactory progress in one or more core subjects — English language arts, mathematics, social studies and science — shall have their cases considered on an individual basis and may be retained.
Determinations on retention are made after consultation with the teacher, Building Principal, and guidance counselor. Factors to be considered include teacher recommendation; classroom achievement and attitude; standardized test scores; social, emotional and physical development; family conference; and, for identified students, recommendations by the committee on special education (CSE).
At the high school level, promotion from one grade to the next shall be contingent upon passing all required subjects and the correct accumulation of graduation credits at each grade. Students, and parents, are encouraged to meet with the guidance counselor to discuss the appropriate credits needed for each grade level. Students need 5 credit to become 10th graders, 10 credits to become 11th graders and 15 credits to become 12th graders.
Diplomas will be granted on the successful completion of the requirements of the Board of Regents, the Commissioner of Education, and the OESJ Central School Board of Education. Students are encouraged to meet with the guidance counselor to discuss the graduation requirements as well as their current standing on an annual basis.
Code of Conduct
The OESJ Code of Conduct can be viewed here. If you would like a copy please contact the main office.
The guidance program is available for all students in grades 7-12 to ensure effective participation in their current and future educational programs.
In grades 7-12, the guidance program provides the following services:
- An annual review of each student’s educational progress and career plans.
- Instruction to help students learn about curriculum options and careers.
- Individual and/or group counseling assistance to help students develop and implement postsecondary education and career plans.
- Individual or group counseling assistance to help students who exhibit any attendance, academic, behavioral, or adjustment problems.
Employment of Students
Students under 18 who are interested in working papers may pick up applications in the Main Office. The Guidance Office can sometimes offer assistance in finding summer employment, since guidance counselors often keep in touch with community employers.
Despite the attraction of having a part-time job after school hours, students should give careful consideration to the amount of time and energy an after-school job can demand. Students should remember that school responsibilities always take precedence over such jobs.
The OESJ Central School District offers a variety of co-curricular and extracurricular activities for students. Participation in such activities provides students with experience in building social relationships, developing interests in an academic area, and gaining an understanding of the responsibilities of good citizenship.
Members of school-sponsored clubs and teams are representatives of the school district. District students who participate in extracurricular activities are expected to conform to standards that meet or exceed those in the school district code of conduct.
I. Academic Eligibility
In order to remain eligible for participation in the above named activities, students must maintain passing grades in classes. If, at the time of preparation of interim and quarterly reports, the student’s average is failing, or incomplete, in two or more classes, he/she will be placed on the academic eligibility list for the five weeks between reports. To remain eligible to participate in non-credit bearing extra-curricular activities, students that are failing must submit a weekly teacher signature sheet indicating passing work.
II. Behavior Standards/Code of Conduct/Athletic Training Code
- The student agrees to abide by the district-wide Student Code of Conduct and understands that a violation of the code may result in suspension from the above-named activities in addition to any penalty given by the district.
- The student agrees to refrain from the use, possession or sale of alcohol, drugs and/or tobacco products, on or off campus.
- The student and parent(s)/guardian(s) must sign and abide by the rules of the Athletic Training Code.
III. Participation/Training Standards
Certain activities require a minimum level of participation/ training, as established by the activity adviser/coach. The student agrees to these conditions (provided by activity adviser/coach) and realizes that failure to maintain this minimum level of participation may result in suspension from the activity.
A student will be ineligible to participate in an extracurricular and/or interscholastic activity when one of the following occurs:
- The student is deficient in meeting academic requirements.
- The student is found truant.
- The student is given the equivalent of a full day of in-school suspension.
- The student is suspended from school.
- The student’s behavior does not meet the standards set by the school.
No student can participate in any co-curricular activity or interscholastic activity on a day when he or she is absent from school.
Parents can contact the Building Principal or Athletic Director with any questions they may have in regards to extracurricular and/or interscholastic activities.
The following list presents current student organizations. If a student is interested in joining any of the activities sponsored by these organizations, he/she should ask the advisor for further information.
- Future Farmers of America
- National & Junior Honor Society
- Science Student Council
- Art Technology
It is recognized that fundraising is the major source of revenue for student organizations. At least two weeks prior to the intended fundraising activity, each group must receive permission from the building principal, authorizing the group to engage in such activities. Without prior permission, no group should order any items or commit to or contract with any outside companies or agencies. Individual candy sales are not allowed in the Jr. /Sr. High School during the school day. A school day includes all morning time before the official start of the day, and includes 30 minutes after the end of the official school day. No sale of food will be allowed in the building on school days prior to lunch services.
Student Field Trips
OESJ Central School believes field trips are an important part of the educational program. By providing students with hands on experience and exposure to the larger community, field trips can greatly enhance a student’s educational experiences.
A signed permission slip from the parent or guardian is required for each child for each field trip. A child who does not provide a signed permission slip will be prohibited from participating and will be given an alternative assignment on the day of the field trip.
The classroom teacher will provide parents with specific instructions for lunch, appropriate dress, and arrival and departure times. In the event of inclement weather on the day of a field trip, parents should contact the main office to inquire about the status of the trip.
All students are expected to exhibit proper behavior on field trips. While field trips take place outside of school, school rules still apply. Students are expected to abide by the school’s student code of conduct while on a field trip. In addition, students who are unable to maintain appropriate behavior in the classroom may jeopardize their opportunity to go on a field trip. Parents will be notified prior to the trip if there are concerns about their child’s behavior.
In light of current events, the overall safety of the proposed trip location and of travel conditions will be a key factor in granting approval for field trips. Should conditions change during the time between the approval of a trip and the actual date of departure, it may become necessary to cancel the trip and deposited monies may be forfeited depending on the individual situation.
Spectator Sportsmanship for Sporting Events
The OESJ School District expects the same behavior of all spectators at school-sponsored sports events that it expects of its staff and students during the regular school day. Spectators at sports events who do not abide by the following guidelines will, in the first instance, be reminded of their obligation, and in the second instance, be asked to leave the event and/or refrain from attending future events for a specific period of time.
All spectators at OESJ School District’s interscholastic events will be expected to:
- Encourage good sportsmanship for all players, coaches, and officials at every game, practice or other sports event.
- Place the emotional and physical well being of the students participating first.
- Support the coaches and officials working with the children and encourage a positive and enjoyable experience for all.
- Demand a sports environment for students free from drugs, tobacco and alcohol pursuant to the district’s code of conduct.
- Encourage sportsmanlike behavior from all participants and other spectators.
Student assemblies are a part of the overall educational process. School assemblies, at all instructional levels, are often held to provide recognition of student accomplishments by peers, parents and staff members. Assemblies will be appropriate to the educational experience, as defined by OESJ Central School Board of Education, and reflect our school’s educational mission.
Students are reminded of proper conduct at assemblies to ensure responsible audience participation:
- Take an assigned seat quietly.
- Do not speak above a whisper, and speak only when necessary.
- Pay attention to the speaker/performer(s).
- Applaud only when appropriate.
Student Health Services
The OESJ Central School nurses monitor the health of all students in the school and are the liaison between the school and various health agencies. All students are required to have an updated emergency card on file in the Health Office. This card should be filled out completely and signed by the parent or guardian. The Health Office should be advised of any changes in address, phone numbers, and emergency contact person(s).
The school nurse will provide emergency care for students involved in accidents or unexpected medical situations. Students who leave school for medical emergencies without the authorization of school nurse will receive in-school suspension upon their return to school.
Administration of Medicine in School
If a student needs to take medication during the school day, he or she must follow these rules:
- Bring a note from his or her parent that gives the nurse permission to administer the medication as ordered by the licensed prescriber and store the medication for the student’s use, releasing the Board and its employees of liability for the administration of medication.
- Give the nurse written orders from a doctor providing the following:
- Student’s name and DOB
- Name of medication
- Dosage and route of administration
- Frequency and time of administration
- Description of what will happen if medication is not taken (e.g., unable to complete school work)
The school nurse reserves the right to request additional information, such as self-administration order, diagnosis and/or potential adverse reactions; however, medication delivery should not be delayed pending additional information, unless such information is essential to the safe administration of the medication. If the prescription is for over the counter medications, the medication must be in the original manufacturer’s container/package with the student’s name affixed to the container.
In accordance with the state Education Law, each student shall have a physical exam given by the school doctor or family physician upon entrance to school in grades 1, 3, 7 and 10. Physical forms are available from the school nurse for the family physician to fill out. If a form is not returned to the school nurse by Oct. 1 of the school year, the school physician will complete a student’s physical. Students wishing to participate in an interscholastic athletic program may also need to have a physical examination.
In accordance with law, the school will provide vision, hearing, and scoliosis screenings.
Students must receive proper immunizations for diphtheria, polio, measles, mumps, rubella, hepatitis B, Haemophilus Influenzae Type b (Hib) and Varicella prior to entering or being admitted to school. Parents will be notified of the required immunizations needed for entry, certificates of proof, and available resources for obtaining appropriate certificates.
For more information on health issues, contact the school nurse at 518-568-2013.
Automated External Defibrillators
The OESJ 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.
In emergencies, the school nurse will follow established first aid procedures. These procedures include the following requirements:
- No medical treatment except first aid is permitted in school.
- A master first aid kit shall be kept and properly maintained in the school and on each school bus.
- No drugs shall be administered by school personnel unless authorized by a physician.
- Parents are asked to sign and submit an emergency medical authorization that shall indicate the procedure they wish the school to follow in the event of a medical emergency involving their child.
- In all cases where the nature of an illness or an injury appears serious, the parent will be contacted if possible, and the instructions on the child’s emergency card followed. In extreme emergencies, arrangements may be made for the child’s immediate hospitalization whether or not the parent can be reached.
District and School Safety Plans
The OESJ School District has adopted a district-wide school safety plan and building-level emergency response plans 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.
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.
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 for students shall be conspicuously posted in each room. Students must stay with their teacher. Distracting behavior will be subject to either teacher or administrative discipline, and may warrant disciplinary action.
School Food Services
All students at the OESJ High School receive free breakfast and lunch.
Students will receive a monthly menu indicating the “hot lunch” of the day. Sandwiches are also offered daily. Milk accompanies each meal along with snacks. The District reserves the right to adjust the price of cafeteria food or drink at any time.
Transportation is provided to certain school students. Questions about the school transportation program should be directed to the Transportation Coordinator at 518-568-2014 x107.
The Superintendent of Schools may close the schools or dismiss students/staff early in the event of severe weather or hazardous road conditions. Every attempt will be made so younger students will not be left without proper parental supervision.
Parents are requested to avoid calling schools on days of poor weather; it is important to keep school phone lines open. School closings and delayed starting times will be announced over local radio stations. The following television/radio stations will carry information regarding emergency closings:
- Channel 2
- Channel 6
- Channel 10
- Channel 13
- Channel 9
- WGY (81 AM)
- WROW (590 AM)
If no report is heard, it can be assumed the schools are opening on time.
Student Transportation on School Sponsored Field Trips, Extracurricular Activities, or Similar Events
When the school provides transportation to students for a school-sponsored activity or event, it will also provide return transportation unless the parent or legal guardian of a participating student has given the district written notice authorizing an alternative form of return transportation for their student. If intervening circumstances make return transportation impractical, a chaperone or other representative of the school will remain with the student until the student’s parent or guardian has been contacted and informed of the intervening circumstances, and the student has been delivered to his/her parent or guardian.
Video Cameras On School Buses
Video cameras may be used to monitor student behavior on school vehicles transporting students to and from school or extracurricular activities. Students found violating bus conduct rules would be subject to disciplinary action in accordance with the district’s code of conduct.
Parent with Disabilities
Parents with disabilities will be afforded an equal opportunity to participate in the services, programs and activities of the district, particularly those that are designed for parental involvement and are directly related to their child’s academic and/or disciplinary progress (e.g., parent/teacher conferences, and/or meetings with other school personnel).
Requests for accommodations should be directed to the Superintendent at least 10 business days prior to the scheduled activity or program. Such requests should include a description of the parent’s needs and the specific accommodation they are requesting.
The OESJ 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.
- Discussing with guidance counselor, teachers and principal the options and opportunities available to their child.
- Monitoring their child’s academic progress and contacting teachers when necessary.
- Attending scheduled teacher/parent conferences.
- 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.
Access to District Records
Often, parents, students and other community members may want to have specific information about the schools in this district. Interested persons may inspect and/or copy school district records pursuant to Federal and State Laws and school policy. Student Records are only accessible by parents and/or legal guardians.
Requests to inspect or make copies of records must be submitted in writing, either in person or by mail, to the Records Access Officer, who will provide information regarding fees and the number of copies available.
Access to Student Records
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA”) give parents and students over 18 years of age (referred to in the law as “eligible students”) the following rights:
- The right to inspect and review (your child’s) (your) education records within 45 days of the day the district receives a request for access. Parents or eligible students should submit to the Building Principal a written request that identifies the records they wish to inspect. The Principal will arrange for access and notify you of the time and place where the records may be inspected.
- The right to request the amendment of (your child’s) (your) education records that you believe are inaccurate or misleading. Parents or eligible students may ask the district to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate or misleading by writing the Principal, clearly identifying the part of the record they want changed, and specifying why it is inaccurate or misleading.
If the district decides not to amend the record as requested, it will notify the parent or eligible student of the decision and advise them of their right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided at this same time.
- The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in (your child’s) (your) education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
Please be advised there are exceptions to the confidentiality of student records. One exception in particular permits disclosure without consent to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the district as an administrator, supervisor, instructor, or support staff member (including health or medical staff and law enforcement unit personnel); a person serving on the school board; a person or company with whom the district has contracted to perform a special task (such as an attorney, auditor, medical consultant, or therapist); or a parent or student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks.
A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility.
- The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the district to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The Office that administers FERPA is the Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 600 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, D.C. 20202-4605.
Parent-teacher conferences are an important element in parent-teacher communication and reporting student progress to parents. Parents will be notified in advance of the available dates and times so a convenient appointment can be arranged.
Parents should feel free to request a conference with their child’s teacher at any time.
Parents may initiate a conference by calling the guidance office and making an appointment with the teacher(s), counselor or Building Principal. When a parent requests a conference with a teacher, the teacher will make every effort to arrange a mutually convenient time. Such conferences will be planned around the teacher’s schedule so as not to interfere with class time.
If a parent cannot attend a scheduled conference, he/she should notify the school as far in advance as possible so that another conference time may be arranged.
An Open House will be scheduled during the year. 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.
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.
All visitors to the school must report to the main office, sign the visitor’s register and obtain a visitor’s pass which must be displayed at all times. The visitor’s pass must be returned to the main office and the visitor must sign out at the conclusion of the visit.
Students are not permitted to bring guests (friends, relatives, etc.) to school for any part of the day including before, after school, and during the lunch period.
Conduct On School Property
The OESJ Central School District expects a high standard of conduct from its students, faculty and support staff, as well as visitors to the schools. The school will enforce a code of conduct which governs the conduct of all persons, whether or not their presence is authorized, upon any premises or property under the control of the district and used in its teaching, administrative, cultural, recreational, athletic, and other programs and activities. 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.
No person, either alone or with others, shall:
- Willfully injure any other person or threaten to do so.
- Willfully damage or remove district property.
- Disrupt the orderly conduct of classes, school programs or other school activities.
- 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.
- Intimidate, harass, bully and/or discriminate against any person based on actual or perceived race, color, creed, national origin, religion or religious practices, sex, age, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation or disability on school grounds or at a school function.
- Enter upon any portion of the school premises without authorization or remain in any building or facility after it is normally closed.
- Obstruct the free movement of any person in any place to which these rules apply.
- Violate traffic laws, parking regulations or other restrictions on vehicles.
- Possess, consume, sell, distribute or exchange alcoholic beverages, controlled substances, or be under the influence of either on school property or at any school-related function.
- Possess or use firearms and/or other weapons, including air guns, pistols, rifles, shotguns, ammunition, explosives, box cutters, knives, gas canisters, pepper spray or other noxious spray in or on school property (except in the case of law enforcement officers or except as specifically authorized by the school district).
- Loiter on or about school buildings or grounds.
- Gamble on school premises.
- Refuse to comply with any lawful order of an identifiable school district official acting in the performance of his or her duties.
- Willfully incite others to commit any of the acts herein prohibited.
- Violate any federal or state statute, local ordinance, or Board policy.
Anyone who violates any of the provisions of these rules is subject to appropriate penalties, up to and including reprimand, suspension, ejection, arrest, and/or prosecution.
Role of the Parents
All parents are expected to:
- Recognize that the education of their child(ren) is a joint responsibility of the parents and the school community.
- Send their child(ren) to school ready to participate and learn
- Ensure that their child(ren) attend school regularly and on time.
- Ensure absences are excused.
- Insist their child(ren) be dressed and groomed in a manner consistent with the dress code.
- Help their child(ren) understand that in a democratic society appropriate rules are required to maintain a safe, orderly environment.
- Know school rules and help their child(ren) understand them.
- Convey to their child(ren) a supportive attitude toward education and the district.
- Build good relationships with teachers, other parents and their child(ren)’s friends.
- Help their child(ren) deal effectively with peer pressure.
- Inform school of changes in the home situation that may affect student conduct or performance.
- Provide a place for study and ensure homework assignments are completed.
- 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.
Role of the Bus Driver
All bus drivers are expected to:
- Maintain a climate of mutual respect and dignity, which will strengthen students’ awareness of safe bus conduct.
- Be prepared to drive every day.
- Demonstrate and follow all laws, rules, policies, and procedures in order to transport students safely.
- Communicate to students, parents, supervisors, and administration passenger expectations and immediately write discipline referrals as needed.
Role of the Teacher
All teachers are expected to:
- 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, sexual orientation, gender and gender identity or sex, which will strengthen students’ self-confidence and promote learning.
- Be prepared to teach.
- Demonstrate interest in teaching and concern for student achievement.
- Know school policies and rules, and enforce them in a fair and consistent manner.
- Communicate to students and parents:
a. Course objectives and requirements
b. Marking/grading procedures
c. Assignment deadlines
d. Expectations for students
e. Classroom discipline plan
- Communicate regularly with students, parents and other teachers concerning growth and achievement.
- 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.
- Address personal biases that may prevent equal treatment of all students in the school or classroom setting.
- 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, 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.
Role of the Guidance Counselor
- Assists students in coping with peer pressure and emerging personal, social and emotional problems.
- Initiate teacher, student, parent, and counselor conferences in order to resolve problems.
- Regularly review with students their educational progress and career plans.
- Provide career planning.
- Encourage students to benefit from the curriculum and extracurricular programs.
- 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.
Role of the Principal
- Promote a safe, orderly, and stimulating school environment, supporting active teaching and learning.
- Ensure that students and staff have the opportunity to communicate regularly with the principal and approach the principal for redress of grievances.
- Evaluate on a regular basis all instructional programs.
- Support the development of and student participation in appropriate extracurricular activities.
- Be responsible for enforcing the code of conduct and ensuring that all cases are resolved promptly and fairly.
Role of the Superintendent
- Promote a safe, orderly and stimulating school environment, supporting active teaching and learning.
- Review with district administrators the policies of the Board of Education and state and federal laws relating to school operations and management.
- Inform the Board of Education about educational trends relating to student discipline.
- Work to create instructional programs that minimize problems of misconduct and are sensitive to student and teacher needs.
- Work with administrators in enforcing the code of conduct and ensuring that all cases are resolved promptly and fairly.
- 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’s or their designees attention. Such investigation may be performed in collaboration with the Dignity Act Coordinator (DAC).
- 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.
- Ensure the safety of student or students against whom harassment, bullying or discrimination was directed.
- Promptly notify the appropriate local law enforcement agency when it is believed that any harassment, bullying or discrimination constitutes criminal conduct.\
- Provide a regular report on data and trends related to harassment, bullying and/or discrimination to the Superintendent.
Role of the Board of Education
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Ensure that each Dignity Act Coordinator will be provided with training in the identification and mitigation of harassment, bullying and discrimination.
- Ensure that each Dignity Act Coordinator shall be provided with training strategies for effectively addressing problems of exclusion, bias and aggression in educational settings.
- 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.
- Designate the school employee(s) charged with receiving reports of harassment, bullying and discrimination.
- 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.
- Lead by example by conducting Board meetings in a professional, respectful, courteous manner.