Community Relations (Section 3000)

Table of Content

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Newspaper Releases (Policy 3110)

Staff members are encouraged to publicize the work, events and accomplishments of the school program.

All publicity concerning the Schoharie Central School, except write-ups of athletic teams and any columns written regularly by individual students for local news media, will be cleared through and sent out from the Superintendent’s office in order to:

  1. Avoid duplication of material;
  2. Maintain consistency with regard to school publicity;
  3. Compile a file of releases and pictures to maintain a record of District publicity.

Material copy for publication, together with any pictures, should be typewritten, double spaced, and forwarded to the District office well in advance of desired publication dates to allow time for editing and transmittal to news media.

School principals shall contact the Superintendent to grant permission for media activities in  their respective schools. Photographers, television camera persons, reporters and writers, whether from the news media or free lancers, may be permitted by the school principal to photograph students, school activities, and sports events, provided their presence will not unduly disrupt the education of  the students. Media representatives wishing to photograph or identify particular students other than those mentioned above must obtain parental or guardian approval as well.

Representatives of the media wishing to cover school athletic events should contact the principal’s office prior to the event. In such cases, there will be no fee required for attending the event. In addition, no special permission shall be required before photographs and articles referring to students involved in athletic events may be published.

Students must obtain permission from the principal to act as representatives of their school through the media. The principal should be appraised of all information concerning the presentation, but shall not be held responsible for any opinions expressed by the students.

News releases will be sent to the following publications unless special instructions are given:

  1. Cobleskill Times Journal;
  2. Daily Editor;
  3. Daily Gazette;
  4. Mountain Eagle;
  5. WSCM Radio Station.

In addition, staff members are encouraged to submit information, photos, etc. for the monthly District newsletter to the Superintendent. The deadline is the third Wednesday of each month.

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Relations with the Municipal Governments (Policy 3120)

It is the policy of the Board to establish and maintain a positive working relationship with the governing bodies of the municipality. The Board shall also cooperate with municipal, county and state agencies whose work affects the welfare of the children of the District, including the County Social Service Department, the Board of Health, the Recreation Department, the Public Library, and all community emergency service agencies.

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Senior Citizens (Policy 3130)

The Board of Education will consider school related programs for senior citizens in accordance with Education Law and/or regulations of the Commissioner of Education. Such programs include special use of school buses, school lunches and partial tax exemptions.

Education Law Sections 1502 and 1709(22) Real Property Tax Law Section 467

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Flag Display (Policy 3140)

In keeping with State Education Law and Executive Law, the Board of Education accepts its  duty to display the United States flag upon or near each public school building during school hours, weather permitting, and such other times as the statutes may require or the Board may direct.

When ordered by the President, Governor, or local official, to commemorate a tragic event or the death of an outstanding individual, the flag shall be flown at half-staff. The Superintendent’s approval shall be required for the flag to be flown at half-staff upon any other occasion. Regulations  for  seeking such approval shall be established in the Administrative Manual of the District.

The flag shall be displayed in every assembly room (i.e., the auditorium) including the room where the Board of Education meetings are conducted, as well as displayed in all rooms used for instruction.

Education Law Sections 418 and 419

Executive Law Sections 402 and 403

8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Sections 108.1-108.3

Adopted: 6/16/04

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School Volunteers (Policy 3150)

The Board recognizes the need to develop a school volunteer program to support District instructional programs and extracurricular activities.  The purpose of the volunteer program will be to:

  1. Assist employees in providing more individualization and enrichment of instruction;
  2. Build an understanding of school programs among interested citizens, thus stimulating widespread involvement in a total educational process;
  3. Strengthen school/community relations through positive participation.

Volunteers are persons who are willing to donate their time and energies to assist principals, teachers, and other school personnel in implementing various phases of school programs. Volunteers shall serve in that capacity without compensation or employee benefits except for liability protection under the District’s insurance program.

An application shall be filled out by each prospective volunteer and forwarded to the District Office for evaluation. The building principal will forward his/her decisions concerning selection, placement and replacement of volunteers to the Superintendent for final evaluation. Following approval from the Superintendent of Schools, volunteers selected for work in the District shall be placed on the list of approved volunteers. However, the Superintendent retains the right to approve or reject any volunteer applications submitted for consideration.

Administrative regulations will be developed to implement the terms of this policy.

Volunteer Protection Act of 1997,

42 United States Code (USC) Section 14501 et seq. Education Law Sections 3023 and 3028

Public Officers Law Section 18

NOTE:      Refer  also  to  Policy  #6540  —  Defense  and  Indemnification  of  Board  Members  and Employees

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Visitors to the School (Policy 3210)

All visitors shall be required to report to the main office upon arrival at school and state their business. Visitations to classrooms for any purpose require permission in advance from the building principal in order to allow teachers the opportunity to arrange their schedules to accommodate such requests.

When individual Board members visit the schools, they must abide by the regulations and procedures developed by the administration regarding school visits.

Education Law Section 2801

Penal Law Sections 140.10 and 240.35

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Public Expression at Meetings (Policy 3220)

It is the policy of the Board to welcome all interested citizens to Board meetings, except during executive session, and to provide visitors with copies of the agenda and pertinent background information where appropriate.

The Board may schedule on its agenda a privilege of the floor for public participation during  each regular meeting. It may also set a time limit on the length of this period and/or a time limit for individual speakers.

The Board President will be responsible for recognizing speakers, who shall properly identify themselves, and adhere to any time limits set.

The Board  of Education  reserves the right to  enter into executive session  as specified in Policy

#1730 — Executive Sessions.

NOTE:      Refer also to Policy #1730 — Executive Sessions

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Public Complaints (Policy 3230)

Complaints by citizens regarding any facet of the school operation often can be handled more satisfactorily by the administrative officer in charge of the unit closest to the source of the complaint. In most instances, therefore, complaints will be made to the building principal and/or his/her assistant if the matter cannot be resolved by the teacher, coach, or other school employee.

If the complaint and related concerns are not resolved at this level to the satisfaction of the complainant, the complaint may be carried to the Superintendent and/or one of his/her assistants. Unresolved complaints at the building level must be reported to the Superintendent by the building principal. The Superintendent may require the statement of the complainant in writing.

If the complaint and related concerns are not resolved at the Superintendent level to the satisfaction of the complainant, the complaint may be carried to the Board of Education. Unresolved complaints at the Superintendent level must be reported to the Board of Education by the Superintendent. The Board of Education reserves the right to require prior written reports from appropriate parties.

Complaints concerning Board actions or Board operations may be brought directly to the Board of Education.

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Student Participation (Policy 3240)

Students provide an important channel of communication with parents and the entire community. Information concerning the schools may be properly disseminated through students. The School District’s administrators shall review all messages and materials prior to authorizing their dispersal through the student body.

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Parent-Teacher-Student Organization (Policy 3250)

The Board of Education recognizes that the goal of the Parent-Teacher-Student Organization is  to develop a united effort between educators and the general public to secure for every child the highest achievement in physical, academic and social education. Therefore, staff members, parents  and students are encouraged to join the Parent-Teacher-Student Organization and to participate actively in its programs.

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Booster Clubs (Policy 3260)

Booster clubs or other related organizations may be created to promote community support and  to raise funds for specific school activities or programs. These groups must receive official Board approval and may not discriminate on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, color, national origin, ethnic background, disability, religion or any other arbitrary criteria.

Rules and regulations will be established to govern the activities of booster clubs and other related organizations. The Board further requires that:

  1. Financial records be maintained and made available, upon request, for Board and/or public inspection;
  2. Fund raising activities be approved in advance by the Superintendent; and
  3. Groups wishing to make a contribution adhere to the District’s policy and regulations regarding the acceptance of gifts.

Violations to District policy or regulations may result in the dissolution of the club or organization.

New York State Civil Rights Law Section 40-c

Prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, creed, color, national origin, sex, marital status, sexual orientation or disability.

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Solicitation of Charitable Donations From School Children (Policy 3271)

Direct solicitation of charitable donations from children in the District schools on school property during regular school hours shall not be permitted. It will be a violation of District policy to ask District school children directly to contribute money or goods for the benefit of a charity during  the hours in which District students are compelled to be on school premises.

However, this policy does not prevent the following types of fund raising activities:

  1. Fundraising activities which take place off school premises, or outside of regular school hours during before-school or after-school extracurricular periods;
  2. Arms-length transactions, where the purchaser receives a consideration for his/her  donation. For example, the sale of goods or tickets for concerts or social events, where the proceeds go to charity, shall not be prohibited as the purchaser will receive consideration – the concert or social event – for the funds expended;
  3. Indirect forms of charitable solicitation on school premises that do not involve coercion, such as placing a bin or collection box in a hallway or other common area for the donation of food, clothing, other goods or money. However, collection of charitable contributions of food, clothing, other goods or funds from students in the classroom or homeroom is prohibited.

The Board of Education shall ultimately decide which organizations, groups, etc. can solicit charitable donations and for what purposes, as long as the activities comply with the terms of this policy and the Rules of the Board of Regents.

Regulations shall be developed by the administration to implement this policy.

8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Section 19.6

New York State Constitution Article VIII, Section 1 Education Law Section 414

NOTE:      Refer also to Policy #7450 — Fund Raising by Students

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Advertising in the Schools (Policy 3272)

Neither the facilities, the staff, nor the students of the School District shall be employed in any manner for advertising or otherwise promoting the interests of any commercial, political, or other non- school agency, individual or organization, except that:

  1. Schools may cooperate in furthering the work of any non-profit, community-wide, social service agency, provided that such cooperation does not restrict or impair the educational program of the schools or conflict with Section 19.6 of the Rules of the Board of Regents;
  2. The schools may use films or other educational materials bearing only simple mention of the producing firm;
  3. The Superintendent of Schools may, at his/her discretion, announce or authorize to be announced, any lecture or other community activity of particular educational merit;
  4. The schools may, upon approval of the Superintendent of Schools, cooperate with any agency in promoting activities in the general public interest that are non-partisan and non- controversial, and that promote the education and other best interests of the students.

No materials of a commercial nature shall be distributed through the children in attendance in the Schoharie Central School District except as authorized by law or the Commissioner’s Regulations.

New York State Constitution Article 8, Section 1 8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Section 19.6

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Soliciting Funds From School Personnel (Policy 3273)

Soliciting of funds from school personnel by persons or organizations representing public or private organizations shall be prohibited. The Superintendent of Schools shall have the authority to make exceptions to this policy in cases where such solicitation is considered to be in the District’s best interest.  The Board of Education shall be notified of these instances.

Distribution of information about worthwhile area charities may be made through the Office of the Superintendent of Schools as a service to School District personnel.

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Public Use of School Facilities and Grounds (Policy 3280)

The school buildings and grounds are maintained for the education and recreation of school children and for the benefit of the community. All uses of school buildings and grounds shall be consistent with Section 414 of the Education Law.

Public use of school facilities may take place during and after school hours only if, in the opinion of the Building Principal or Director of Physical Education the use will not be disruptive to normal school operations. The determination of the Building Principal or Director of Physical Education in this regard may be appealed to the Superintendent of Schools.

The Board authorizes the use of school facilities, both indoor and outdoor. The Board maintains sole and unreviewable discretion to schedule facilities and delegates this authority to the Superintendent of Schools for items a) through c) with d) and e) being approved by the Board of Education.  The following priority order will be used as needed if conflict arises in scheduling use.

  1. For District use;
  2. For Town or local programs with only students from Schoharie Central School;
  3. For Town programs within Schoharie Central School which may include students from other districts, and then
  4. For other community use;
  5. Non-District requests.

(For items b) and c) a roster of participants must be provided.)

Conditions for Use of School Facilities

  1. The District, in its sole and unreviewable discretion, reserves the right to determine  whether a requested use will disrupt, interfere with, or disturb normal school operations or educational programs, or if facilities are in use for normal school operations.
  2. To ensure that school facilities and grounds are preserved for the benefit of the greater District community, community-based groups and organizations (that is, groups which are located within the geographic area covered by the District) are given priority consideration for use of District facilities.
  3. Use of school facilities will be permitted only where the applicant agrees to pay the District a use fee according to a schedule adopted by the District to cover the costs of heat, electricity, maintenance, custodial services and any other expenses associated with the requested use. Use is further conditioned upon the applicant’s agreement to pay additional fees associated with the use of any additional services or equipment. The District retains  the right to condition use upon an applicant depositing with the District a sum equaling the estimated costs and fees associated with the proposed use 10 days in advance of the requested use. The District retains the further right to waive use fees for groups that are associated with or sponsored by the District.
  4. Where, in the judgment of the District, the requested use of school facilities requires  special equipment or supervision, the District reserves the right to deny such use, or in the alternative, to condition such use upon the applicant’s payment of additional fees in accordance with paragraph c) above. Only authorized personnel shall operate District equipment.
  5. Use of school facilities will only be permitted where the organization provides the District 15 days prior of adequate insurance coverage ($1,000,000 minimum) to save the District harmless from all liability, property damage, personal injuries and/or medical expenses.  The District will exercise complete and unreviewable discretion regarding what constitutes adequate insurance coverage for each proposed use.
  6. The Board reserves the discretion to deny use of school facilities described above, or to terminate use of District facilities:
    1. By an applicant who has previously misused or abused school facilities or property or who has violated this policy;
    2. For any use which could have the effect of violating the Establishment Clause of the United States Constitution or other provisions of the United States or New York State Constitutions;
    3. For any use which, in the estimation of the Board, could reasonably be expected to or actually does give rise to a riot or public disturbance;
    4. For any use which the Board deems inconsistent with this policy;
    5. For any use by a private for-profit entity that has the direct or indirect effect of promoting the products or services of such entity;
    6. In any instance where alcoholic beverages, tobacco products, unlawful drugs or misuse of legal drugs including steroids are sold, distributed, consumed, promoted or possessed;
    7. For any use prohibited by law.

Application Procedure for Use of School Facilities

  1. All applications for use of school facilities shall be made in writing and submitted to the Building Principal or Director of Physical Education or designee at least 15 days prior to the date of the requested use.  A use permit application is available in all school buildings.
  2. The applicant must clearly and completely describe the intended use of the District facility in the application.
  3. All applicants must review this policy prior to submitting the application. All applications must be signed by an authorized agent of the group or organization requesting use. The applicant’s signature on the application shall attest to the group or organization’s intent to comply with all Board policies and regulations and to use District facilities strictly in accordance with the use described in the application.
  4. All applicants must agree to assume responsibility for all damages resulting from its use of District facilities.  Proof of adequate insurance must be provided by the applicant at least  15 days before the date of the requested use.
  5. Permits shall be valid only for the facility, use, dates and time specified in the permit. No adjustment to the permit is allowed except with the prior written approval of the Superintendent or designee.  Permits shall not be transferable.
  6. The Board of Education is authorized to alter or cancel any permit if it becomes necessary to use the facility for school purposes or for other justifiable reason.
  7. With regard to scheduling activities, the District retains the right to give preference to groups and organizations which are associated with or sponsored by the District.
  8. Issuance of a permit shall not limit the right of access to the facility by District staff.

Education Law Section 414

34 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 108

NOTE:      Refer also to Policies #3410 — Code of Conduct on School Property
#5640 — Smoking/Tobacco Use
#7310 — School Conduct and Discipline
#7320 — Alcohol, Tobacco, Drugs and Other Substances (Students)

District Code of Conduct on School Property

Adopted: 6/16/04
Revised:  4/24/06; 10/18/06

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Use of School-Owned Materials and Equipment (Policy 3281)

Except when used in connection with or when rented under provisions of Education Law Section 414, school-owned materials or equipment may be used by members of the community or by District employees and/or students for school related purposes only. Private and/or personal use of school- owned materials and equipment is strictly prohibited.

The Board will permit school materials and equipment to be loaned to staff members when such use is directly or peripherally related to their employment and loaned to students when the material and equipment is to be used in connection with their studies or extracurricular activities. Community members will be allowed to use school-owned materials and equipment only for educational purposes that relate to school operations.

Administrative regulations will be developed to assure the lender’s responsibility for, and return of, all such materials and equipment.

Education Law Section 414

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Operation of Motor-Driven Vehicles and Recreational Equipment on District Property (Policy 3290)

The use of motor-driven vehicles, including cars, snowmobiles, mini-bikes, motorcycles, all- terrain vehicles (ATV’s) and other such vehicles is prohibited on any school grounds or areas except for authorized school functions or purposes.

All student vehicles are to be registered with the high school principal and parked in authorized areas only.

The use of skateboards, inline skates, scooters, etc. is prohibited on any school grounds or areas except for authorized school functions or purposes.

Vehicle and Traffic Law Section 1670

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Public Access to Records (Policy 3310)

Access to records of the District shall be consistent with the rules and regulations established by the State Committee on Open Government and shall comply with all the requirements of the New  York State Public Officers Law Section 87.

A records access officer shall be designated by the Superintendent, subject to the approval of the Board of Education, who shall have the duty of coordinating the School District’s response to public request for access to records.

Regulations and procedures pertaining to accessing District records shall be as indicated in the School District Administrative Manual.

Education Law Section 2116 Public Officers Law Section 87

21 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Part 9760

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Confidentiality of Computerized Information (Policy 3320)

The development of centralized computer banks of educational data gives rise to the question of the maintenance of confidentiality of such data while still conforming to the New York State Freedom of Information Law. The safeguarding of confidential data from inappropriate use is essential to the success of the District’s operation. Access to confidential computerized data shall be limited only to authorized personnel of the School District.

It shall be a violation of the District’s policy to release confidential computerized data to any unauthorized person or agency. Any employee who releases or otherwise makes improper use of such computerized data shall be subject to disciplinary action.

However, if the computerized information sought is available under the Freedom of Information Law and can be retrieved by means of existing computer programs, the District is required to disclose such information.

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 20 United States Code (USC) 1232(g)

34 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 99 Public Officers Law Section 84 et seq.

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Code of Conduct on School Property (Policy 3410)

The District has developed and will amend, as appropriate, a written Code of Conduct for the Maintenance of Order on School Property, including school functions, which shall govern the conduct of students, teachers and other school personnel, as well as visitors. The Board of Education shall further provide for the enforcement of such Code of Conduct.

For purposes of this policy, and the implemented Code of Conduct, school property means in or within any building, structure, athletic playing field, playground, parking lot or land contained within the real property boundary line of the District’s elementary or secondary schools, or in or on a school bus; and a school function shall mean a school-sponsored extracurricular event or activity.

The District Code of Conduct has been developed in collaboration with student, teacher, administrator, and parent organizations, school safety personnel and other school personnel.

The Code of Conduct shall include, at a minimum, the following:

  1. Provisions regarding conduct, dress and language deemed appropriate and acceptable on school property and at school functions, and conduct, dress and language deemed unacceptable and inappropriate on school property; provisions regarding acceptable civil and respectful treatment of teachers, school administrators, other school personnel, students and visitors on school property and at school functions; the appropriate range of disciplinary measures which may be imposed for violation of such Code; and the roles of teachers, administrators, other school personnel, the Board of Education and parents/ persons in parental relation to the student;
  2. Standards and procedures to assure security and safety of students and school personnel;
  3. Provisions for the removal from the classroom and from school property, including a school function, of students and other persons who violate the Code;
  4. Provisions prescribing the period for which a disruptive student may be removed from the classroom for each incident, provided that no such student shall return to the classroom  until the principal (or his/her designated School District administrator) makes a final determination pursuant to Education Law Section 3214(3-a)(c) or the period of removal expires, whichever is less;
  5. Disciplinary measures to be taken for incidents involving the possession or use of illegal substances or weapons, the use of physical force, vandalism, violation of another student’s civil rights, harassment and threats of violence;
  6. Provisions for detention, suspension and removal from the classroom of students,  consistent with Education Law Section 3214 and other applicable federal, state and local laws, including provisions for school authorities to establish procedures to ensure the provision of continued educational programming and activities for students removed from the classroom, placed in detention, or suspended from school, which shall include alternative educational programs appropriate to individual student needs;
  7. Procedures by which violations are reported and determined, and the disciplinary measures imposed and carried out;
  8. Provisions ensuring the Code of Conduct and its enforcement are in compliance with state and federal laws relating to students with disabilities;
  9. Provisions setting forth the procedures by which local law enforcement agencies shall be notified of Code violations which constitute a crime;
  10. Provisions setting forth the circumstances under and procedures by which parents/persons in parental relation to the student shall be notified of Code violations;
  11. Provisions setting forth the circumstances under and procedures by which a complaint in criminal court, a juvenile delinquency petition or person in need of supervision (“PINS”) petition will be filed;
  12. Circumstances under and procedures by which referral to appropriate human service agencies shall be made;
  13. A minimum suspension period for students who repeatedly are substantially disruptive of the educational process or substantially interfere with the teacher’s authority over the classroom, provided that the suspending authority may reduce such period on a case-by- case basis to be consistent with any other state and federal law. For purposes of this requirement, as defined in Commissioner’s Regulations, “repeatedly is substantially disruptive of the educational process or substantially interferes with the teacher’s authority over the classroom” shall mean engaging in conduct which results in the removal of the student from the classroom by teacher(s) pursuant to the provisions of Education Law Section 3214(3-a) and the provisions set forth in the Code of Conduct on four (4) or more occasions during a semester, or three or more occasions during a trimester, as applicable;
  14. A minimum suspension period for acts that would qualify the student to be defined as a violent student pursuant to Education Law Section 3214(2-a)(a). However, the suspending authority may reduce the suspension period on a case-by-case basis consistent with any other state and federal law;
  15. A Bill of Rights and Responsibilities of Students which focuses upon positive student behavior, and which shall be publicized and explained to all students on an annual basis; and
  16. Guidelines and programs for in-service education programs for all District staff members to ensure effective implementation of school policy on school conduct and discipline.

The Code of Conduct has been adopted by the Board of Education only after at least one public hearing that provided for the participation of school personnel, parents/persons in parental relation, students, and any other interested parties. Copies of the Code of Conduct shall be disseminated pursuant to law and Commissioner’s Regulations.

The District’s Code of Conduct shall be reviewed on an annual basis, and updated as necessary in accordance with law. The School Board shall approve any updated Code of Conduct or adopt revisions only after at least one (1) public hearing that provides for the participation of school personnel, parents/persons in parental relation, students, and any other interested parties.

The District shall file a copy of its Code of Conduct and all amendments to the Code with the Commissioner of Education no later than thirty (30) days after their respective adoptions.

Education Law Sections 2801 and 3214 Family Court Act Articles 3 and 7 Vehicle and Traffic Law Section 142

8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Section 100.2(l)(2)

NOTE:  Refer also to Policy #7310 — School Conduct and Discipline

District Code of Conduct on School Property

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Prohibition of Weapons on School Grounds (Policy 3411)

It shall be unlawful for any person to knowingly possess any air-gun, spring-gun or other instrument or weapon in which the propelling force is a spring, air, piston or CO2 cartridge upon school grounds or in any District building without the express written authorization of the Superintendent or his/her designee.

Additionally, the possession of any weapon, as defined in the New York State Penal Code, on school property or in school buildings is prohibited, except by law enforcement personnel or upon written authorization of the Superintendent/designee.

Unlawful possession of a weapon upon school grounds may be a violation of the New York State Penal Law, and is a violation of School District policy and the Code of Conduct.

Penal Law Sections 265.01-265.06

NOTE:      Refer also to Policies #7360 — Weapons in School

#7361 — Gun-Free Schools

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Threats of Violence in School (Policy 3412)

The School District is committed to the prevention of violence against any individual or property in the schools or at school activities whether such acts and/or threats of violence are made by students, staff, or others. Threats of violence against students, school personnel and/or school property will not be tolerated whether or not such threats occur on school grounds or during the school day.

Any acts and/or threats of violence, including bomb threats, whether made orally, in writing, or by e-mail, shall be subject to appropriate discipline in accordance with applicable law, District policies and regulations, as well as the Code of Conduct for the Maintenance of Order on School Property and collective bargaining agreements, as may be necessary.

While acknowledging an individual’s constitutional rights, including applicable due process rights, the District refuses to condone acts and/or threats of violence which threaten the safety and well being of staff, students and the school environment. Employees and students shall refrain from engaging threats or physical actions which create a safety hazard for others.

All staff who are made aware of physical acts and/or threats of violence directed to students or staff are to report such incidents to the building principal/designee, who shall report such occurrences to the Superintendent. Additionally, the building principal/designee will also report occurrences of violence, whether involving an actual confrontation or threat of potential violence, to the school psychologist and/or school social worker, and/or guidance counselor, and/or Director of Special Education if applicable. Local law enforcement agencies may be called as necessary upon the determination of the Superintendent/designee.

Students are to report all acts and/or threats of violence, including threats of suicide, of which they are aware by reporting such incidents to the school hotline, a faculty member, or the building principal.

The District reserves the right to seek restitution, in accordance with law, from the parent/guardian and/or student for any costs or damages which had been incurred by the District as a result of the threats or acts of violence in the schools.

This policy will be enforced in accordance with applicable laws and regulations, as well as collective bargaining agreements and the Code of Conduct as may be necessary. Additionally, this policy will be disseminated, as appropriate, to students, staff, and parents and will be available to the general public upon request.

Regulations will be developed to address safety concerns in the schools, and appropriate sanctions for violations of this policy by students will be addressed in the Code of Conduct.

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Anti-Harassment in the School District (Policy 3420)

The Board of Education affirms its commitment to nondiscrimination and recognizes its responsibility to provide an environment that is free of harassment and intimidation. Harassment is a violation of law and stands in direct opposition to District policy. Therefore, the Board prohibits and condemns all forms of harassment on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, political affiliation, sex, sexual orientation, age, marital status, military status, veteran status, or disability by employees, school volunteers, students, and non-employees such as contractors and vendors as well as any third parties who are participating in, observing, or otherwise engaging in activities subject to the supervision and control of the District.

Sexual orientation is defined as heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality, or asexuality, whether actual or perceived.

The Board also prohibits harassment based on an individual’s opposition to discrimination or participation in a related investigation or complaint proceeding under the anti-discrimination statutes. This policy of nondiscrimination and anti-harassment will be enforced on School District premises and in school buildings; and at all school-sponsored events, programs and activities, including those that take place at locations off school premises.

It is intended that this policy apply to the dealings between or among employees with employees; employees with students; students with students; employees/students with vendors/contractors and others who do business with the School District, as well as school volunteers, visitors, guests and other third parties.  All of these persons are hereinafter referred to collectively as “the named group.”

For purposes of this policy, harassment shall mean communication (verbal, written or graphic) and/or physical conduct based on an individual’s actual or perceived race, color, creed, religion, national origin, political affiliation, sex, sexual orientation, age, marital status, military status, veteran status, or disability that:

  1. Has the purpose or effect of substantially or unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or is used as a basis for employment decisions (including terms and conditions of employment) affecting such individual; and/or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment;
  2. Has the purpose or effect of substantially or unreasonably interfering with a student’s academic performance or participation in an educational or extracurricular activity, or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive learning environment; and/or effectively bars the student’s access to an educational opportunity or benefit;
  3. Otherwise adversely affects the employment and/or educational opportunities and benefits provided by the District.

The School District will act to promptly investigate all complaints, either verbal or written, formal or informal, of allegations of harassment based on any of the characteristics described above; and will promptly take appropriate action to protect individuals from further harassment.

In order for the Board to enforce this policy, and to take corrective measures as may be necessary, it is essential that any employee, student, or other member of the above named group who believes he/she has been a victim of harassment in the school environment and/or at programs, activities and events under the control and supervision of the District, as well as any individual who is aware of and/or who has knowledge of, or witnesses any possible occurrence of harassment, immediately report such alleged harassment; such report shall be directed to or forwarded to the District’s designated complaint officer(s) through informal and/or formal complaint procedures as developed by the District. Such complaints are recommended to be in writing, although verbal complaints of alleged harassment will also be promptly investigated in accordance with the terms of this policy. In the event that the complaint officer is the alleged offender, the report will be directed to the next level of supervisory authority.

Upon receipt of an informal/formal complaint, the District will conduct a thorough investigation of the charges. However, even in the absence of an informal/formal complaint, if the District has knowledge of any occurrence of harassment, the District will investigate such conduct promptly and thoroughly. To the extent possible, within legal constraints, all complaints will be treated as confidentially and privately as possible. However, disclosure may be necessary to complete  a  thorough investigation of the charges and/or to notify law enforcement officials as warranted, and any disclosure will be provided on a “need to know” basis.

Based upon the results of this investigation, if the District determines that an employee and/or student has violated the terms of this policy and/or accompanying regulations, immediate corrective action will be taken as warranted. Should the offending individual be a student, appropriate disciplinary measures will be applied, up to and including suspension, in accordance with applicable laws and/or regulations, District policy and regulation, and the District Code of Conduct. Should the offending individual be a school employee, appropriate disciplinary measures will be applied, up to and including termination of the offender’s employment, in accordance with legal guidelines, District policy and regulation, and the applicable collective bargaining agreement(s). Third parties (such as school volunteers, vendors, etc.) who are found to have violated this policy and/or accompanying regulations and/or the Code of Conduct, will be subject to appropriate sanctions as warranted and in compliance with law. The application of such disciplinary measures by the District does not preclude the filing of civil and/or criminal charges as may be warranted.

The Board prohibits any retaliatory behavior directed against complainants, victims, witnesses, and/or any other individuals who participated in the investigation of a complaint of harassment. Follow-up inquiries shall be made to ensure that harassment has not resumed and that all those involved in the investigation of the harassment complaint have not suffered retaliation.

Regulations will be developed for reporting, investigating, and remedying allegations of harassment based on the characteristics described above. An appeal procedure will also be provided to address any unresolved complaints and/or unsatisfactory prior determinations by the applicable complaint officer(s). Such regulations will be developed in accordance with federal and state law as well as any applicable collective bargaining agreement(s).

The Superintendent/designee(s) will affirmatively discuss the topic of harassment with all employees and students, express the District’s condemnation of such conduct, and explain the  sanctions for such harassment. Appropriate training and/or “awareness” programs will be established for staff and students to help ensure knowledge of and familiarity with the issues pertaining to harassment in the schools, and to disseminate preventative measures to help reduce such incidents of prohibited conduct. Furthermore, special training will be provided for designated supervisors and managerial employees, as may be necessary, for the investigation of harassment complaints.

A copy of this policy and its accompanying regulations will be available upon request and may be posted at various locations in each school building. The District’s policy and regulations on anti- harassment will be published in appropriate school publications such as teacher/employee handbooks, student handbooks, and/or school calendars.

This policy should not be read to abrogate other District policies and/or regulations or the  District Code of Conduct prohibiting other forms of unlawful discrimination, inappropriate behavior, and/or hate crimes within this District. It is the intent of the District that all such policies and/or regulations be read consistently to provide the highest level of protection from unlawful discrimination in the provision of employment/educational services and opportunities. However, different treatment  of any member of the above named group which has a legitimate, legal and nondiscriminatory reason shall not be considered a violation of District policy.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 United States Code (USC) Section 2000-e et seq. Prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin.

Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 United States Code (USC) Section 2000-d et seq. Prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color or national origin.

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 United States Code (USC) Section 794 et seq.

Prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability.

The Americans With Disabilities Act, 42 United States Code (USC) Section 12101 et seq. Prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability.

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 United States Code (USC) Section 1681 et seq. Prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex.

New York State Civil Rights Law Section 40-c Prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, creed, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, marital status or disability.

New York State Executive Law Section 290 et seq. Prohibits discrimination on the basis of age, race, creed, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, disability, military status, or marital status.

Age Discrimination in Employment Act, 29 United States Code (USC) Section 621.

Military Law Sections 242 and 243

NOTE:      Refer also to Policies #6121 — Sexual Harassment of District Personnel

#6122 — Complaints and Grievances by Employees

#7550 — Complaints and Grievances by Students

#7551 — Sexual Harassment of Students

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Statewide Uniform Violent Incident Reporting System (UVIRS) (Policy 3430)

In compliance with the Uniform Violent Incident Reporting System, the District will record each violent or disruptive incident that occurs on school property or at a school function. On or before September 30 of each year, the District will submit an annual report of violent or disruptive incidents to the Commissioner of Education in the manner prescribed.

The District will establish local procedures for the reporting of violent or disruptive incidents by each building and/or program under its jurisdiction. Copies of such incident reports will be retained  for the time prescribed by the Commissioner in the applicable records retention schedule. These  reports will be available for inspection by the State Education Department upon request.

All personally identifiable information included in a violent or disruptive incident report will be confidential and will not be disclosed to any person for any purpose other than that specified in  Section 2802 of the Education Law, except as otherwise authorized by law.

The District will include a summary of the District’s annual violent or disruptive incident report in its School District Report Card in the format prescribed by the Commissioner.

Education Law Section 2802

8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Section 100.2 (gg)

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Emergency Closings (Policy 3510)

In the event it is necessary to close school for the day due to inclement weather or other emergency reasons, announcement thereof shall be made over local radio stations designated by the Board of Education.

When school is closed, all related activities, including athletic events and student activities, will ordinarily be suspended for that day and evening.

The attendance of personnel shall be governed by their respective contracts.

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