Instruction (Section 8000)

Table of Contents

Curriculum Development, Resources and Evaluation  (Policy 8110)

The Board of Education supports and encourages development of a District-wide, articulated curriculum that conforms to state mandates and is responsive to the needs of children in a rapidly changing society.  The principals of the elementary and secondary schools shall be responsible to the Superintendent for developing District-wide efforts toward the short and long-range improvement of curriculum and instruction.

Curriculum Resources
There are many resources for curriculum development that exist in our School District, and the instructional staff, under the guidance of the administration, is expected to delve into those resources for possible improvement of the instructional program. Each teacher has the privilege of being an initiator of improvement, as well as a reactor to changing conditions, and the principals shall be involved in curriculum development.
From the staff, the Superintendent may appoint curriculum study committees; and their findings, as well as the collective judgments of the staff about the pertinence of various possible changes, shall be submitted by the Superintendent to the Board of Education for consideration in the forming of curriculum policy.

Curriculum Evaluation
The Board of Education shall direct a continuing evaluation of the curriculum as part of a program of instructional improvement.
All aspects of the curriculum shall be subjected to a searching and critical analysis in an attempt to improve the learning and growth of students.
The administrative staff shall evaluate the curriculum in a systematic manner, involving school personnel and others as appropriate.
The administrative staff shall make periodic recommendations for action by the Board. The Board of Education from time to time may invite teachers or others to discuss the curriculum.

Education Law Sections 1604, 1709 and 3204
Adopted:  10/19/05

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Request for Part 100 Variance or Part 200 Innovative Program Waiver From Commissioner’s Regulations (Policy 8120)

Consistent with the purposes of A New Compact for Learning, the Board of Education encourages collaboration by teachers, administrators, parents and students of the District in developing innovative educational programs and practices that will lead to greater achievement for all students.

Requests for a variance or waiver from the requirements in Part 100 and Sections 200.1/200.6, respectively, of the Commissioner’s Regulations must be approved by the local Board of Education and signed by the Superintendent of Schools.  An application may also be submitted by several districts, or a combination of districts, BOCES and/or private schools, applying as a consortium. Consortium applications must be approved by each participating local Board of Education and Superintendent of Schools.

Subsequent to Board of Education approval, all applications must be forwarded to the District Superintendent of Schools of which the local district is a part for review, consultation, and recommendation prior to submission to the State Education Department.  The District Superintendent may provide technical assistance to the applicant and make recommendations to the State Education Department. Interested applicants may also request technical assistance through their Regional Education Coordinator.

8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Sections 100.2(n) and 200.6(k)
Adopted:  10/19/05

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Equal Educational Opportunities (Policy 8130)

It is the policy of this District that each student attending its public schools shall have equal educational opportunities and will not be excluded or prevented from participating in or having admittance to the educational courses, programs or activities; school services; and extracurricular events on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, political affiliation, sex, sexual orientation, age, marital status, military status, or disability. Sexual orientation is defined as heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality, or asexuality, whether actual or perceived.

Administration shall establish grievance procedures that provide for the prompt and equitable resolution of complaints pertaining to discrimination on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, political affiliation, sex, sexual orientation, age, marital status, military status, or disability.

Age Discrimination in Employment Act, 29 United States Code Section 621, Americans With Disabilities Act, 42 United States Code (USC) Section 12101 et seq. Prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 United States Code (USC) Section 794 et seq. Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 United States Code (USC) Section 2000d, et seq. Prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color or national origin. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 United States Code (USC) Section 2000e, et seq. Prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin. Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 United States Code (USC) Section 1681 et seq. Prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex. Civil Rights Law Section 40-c Prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, creed, color, national origin, sex, marital status, sexual orientation or disability. 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.
Adopted:  10/19/05

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Student Use of Personal Technology (Policy 8135)

*Due to the need for districts to determine their own beliefs and practices relating to student use of personal technology, this policy is not intended to be adopted “as is”. This Update is meant to be utilized as a resource and framework for developing your own district standards for student use of personal technology.

The Board of Education seeks to maintain a safe and secure environment for students and staff. Advances in technology have made it possible to expand the learning environment beyond traditional classroom boundaries. Using personal electronic devices during instructional time can enable students to explore new concepts, personalize their learning experience and expand their global learning opportunities. Additionally, the use of personal technology devices is ubiquitous in today’s society and standards for student use during non-instructional time should adapt to this change. This policy defines the use of personal technology during instructional and non-instructional times and reinforces the standard that all use, regardless of its purpose, must follow the guidelines outlined in the Student Acceptable Use Policy (AUP), the District’s Code of Conduct, and the Dignity for All Students Act.

Personal technology includes all existing and emerging technology devices that can take photographs; record audio or video; input text; upload and download media; and transmit or receive messages or images. Examples of personal technology includes, but are not limited to, iPods and MP3 players; iPad, Nook, Kindle, and other tablet PCs; laptop and netbook computers; personal digital assistants (PDAs), cell phones and smart phones such as BlackBerry, iPhone, or Droid, as well as any device with similar capabilities. Unacceptable devices shall include, but are not limited to, gaming devices or consoles, laser pointers, modems or routers, and televisions.

Instructional purposes include, but are not limited to, approved classroom activities, research, college admissions activities, career development, communication with experts, homework and other activities as deemed appropriate by school staff.

Personal technology use by students is permitted during the school day for educational purposes and/or in approved locations only. Teachers will indicate when and if classroom use is acceptable. Students are expected to act responsibly and thoughtfully when using technology resources. Students bear the burden of responsibility to inquire with school administrators and/or teachers when they are unsure of the permissibility of a particular use of technology prior to engaging in such use.

Appropriate use of personal technology during non-instructional time is also allowed if students follow the guidelines in the AUP and Code of Conduct. Non-instructional use includes texting, calling and otherwise communicating with others during free periods and in common areas of the school building such as the hallways, cafeteria, study halls, buses and student lounges. Other non-instructional uses may include such things as Internet searches, reading, listening to music, and watching videos. This use during non-instructional time must be conducted in a safe and unobtrusive manner. Devices must be in silent mode to avoid disrupting others.

The District shall not be liable for the loss, damage, misuse, or theft of any personal technology brought to School. The District reserves the right to monitor, inspect, and/or confiscate personal technology when administration has reasonable suspicion to believe that a violation of school policy or criminal law has occurred.

The Board expressly prohibits use of personal technology in locker rooms, restrooms, Health Offices and any other areas where a person would reasonably expect some degree of personal privacy.
In addition, students may not under any circumstances use personal technology devices for the recording of audio and/or video in the school without the prior permission of a teacher or school administrator.
Students will not be permitted to use personal technology devices in school or at school functions until they have reviewed the AUP, the applicable sections of the Code of Conduct and associated technology guidelines, and signed the Student Use of Personal Technology (#7000F) Permission Form with their parents. The District reserves the right to restrict student use of District-owned technologies and personal technology on school property or at school-sponsored events, at the discretion of the administration.
Students must follow the guidelines for use set out in the District Code of Conduct and the Acceptable Use Policy at all times. Consequences for misuse will follow guidelines in the District’s Code of Conduct. The District will develop regulations for the implementation of this policy that shall include, but are not limited to, instructional use, non-instructional use, liability, bullying and cyberbullying, and privacy issues.

NOTE: Refer also to Policies #7315 — Student Use of Computerized Information Resources
#7550 — Dignity for All Students
#7551 — Bullying in the Schools
#8271 — Internet Safety/Internet Content Filtering Policy
Adopted: 9/17/14

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Safety Conditions and Programs (Policy 8210)

The practice of safety will be considered an integral part of the instructional program through fire prevention, emergency procedures and drills, driver education, and traffic and pedestrian safety.

Each principal will be responsible for the supervision of a safety program for his/her school.

The safety program may include, but not be limited to, in-service training, plant inspection, fire prevention, accident record keeping, driver and vehicle safety programs, emergency procedures and drills, and traffic safety programs relevant to students, employees and the community.

It shall be the duty of the Board of Education to provide inspections and supervision of the health and safety aspects of the school facilities.

Eye Safety/Student Use of Hand-Held Laser Pointers

Eye safety devices are to be provided by the School District for the protection of employees, students and visitors, and worn in the technology education classes and labs when activities present a potential eye hazard. The Superintendent or his/her designee will ensure that these devices are properly repaired, cleaned and stored to prevent the spread of germs or diseases after individuals use them.

Each classroom teacher is responsible for the safe and proper use of all instructional materials and equipment by students in his/her classroom.  Laser pointers are to be used by students only when such use is approved and supervised by the classroom instructor.

Students will be advised not to stare directly into the beam from a laser pointer or direct the beam at the eyes of another individual.  Students are not to aim the pointer into the audience.  Students are to be made aware of the hazards associated with the particular type of laser pointer used.

Education Law Sections 409 and -a, 807-a, and 906; 8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Part 136 and Section 141.10
Adopted:  10/19/05

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Prevention Instruction (Policy 8211)

AIDS Instruction in Health Education
The Board of Education shall provide a health education program that will include appropriate instruction for all students concerning Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS).  Accurate information concerning the nature of the disease, methods of transmission, and means of prevention shall be provided in an age-appropriate manner and shall be consistent with community values and will stress that abstinence is the most appropriate and effective premarital protection against AIDS.
Students will also be instructed with respect to confidentiality, its meaning, its practice, and its legal, moral and educational implications.
A representative community advisory group consisting of appropriate school personnel, School Board members, parents, religious representatives, and other community members shall be established in order to make recommendations for curriculum content, implementation, and evaluation of an AIDS instructional program. Appropriate training will be provided for instructional staff. 
No student shall be required to receive instruction concerning the methods of prevention of AIDS if the parent or legal guardian has filed with the school principal a written request that the student not participate in such instruction, with an assurance that the student will receive this instruction at home.

Sex Education
The Board of Education recognizes the importance of establishing a fully coordinated District wide comprehensive health education curriculum which includes instruction in sex education.
An “ad hoc” committee on sex education, chaired by the high school principal and composed of members of the teaching and support staffs, students, board members, school physician/nurse practitioner, a representative of a religious organization, parents and district residents, will make recommendations concerning such education at appropriate grade levels in consideration of the needs of the students, the mandates of the state, and the desires of the community.
It is the responsibility of the high school principal, as chair, to convene this committee at those times when significant changes in curriculum or method of presentation are anticipated, when a review of educational materials is recommended, or at other such times as he/she feels to be appropriate.

Substance Abuse-Prevention Instruction
The Board of Education recognizes the need to educate students on the hazards of alcohol, tobacco and/or drug abuse. An educationally sequential health prevention program, utilizing as appropriate community, staff and student input, will be developed to inform students of:
a) Causes for substance abuse;
b) Physical and psychological damage associated with substance abuse;
c) Avoidance of alcohol, tobacco and drugs;
d) Dangers of driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Environmental Conservation Instruction
The Board of Education supports and encourages the development of a District-wide, articulated curriculum of environmental conservation integrated into other program disciplines. 

Fire and Arson Prevention Instruction
The Board of Education directs the administration to provide instruction in fire and arson prevention for all students in each school for a period of not less than forty-five (45) minutes each month that school is in session. 

Student Safety
Instruction in courses in technology education, science, home and career skills, art and physical education, health, and safety shall include and emphasize safety and accident prevention. 

Safety instruction shall precede the use of materials and equipment by students in applicable units of work in the courses listed above, and instructors shall teach and enforce all safety procedures relating to the particular courses. These shall include the wearing of protective eye devices in appropriate activities. 

Emergency Planning 
The School District shall maintain updated plans and operating procedures to be followed in the event of natural or manmade disasters or enemy attack.  Students shall be provided instruction to respond effectively in emergency situations. 

Instruction on Prevention of Child Abduction
All students in grades K through 8 in District schools shall receive instruction designed to prevent the abduction of children. Such instruction shall be provided by or under the direct supervision of regular classroom teachers and the Board of Education shall provide appropriate training and curriculum materials for the regular classroom teachers who provide such instruction.  However, at the Board’s discretion, such instruction may be provided by any other public or private agency.

The Commissioner of Education will provide technical assistance to assist in the development of curricula for such courses of study which must be age appropriate and developed according to the needs and abilities of students at successive grade levels in order to provide awareness skills, information, self-confidence, and support to aid in the prevention of child abduction.

For purposes of developing such courses of study, the Board of Education may establish local advisory councils or utilize the school-based shared decision making and planning committee established pursuant to the Regulations of the Commissioner to make recommendations concerning the content and implementation of such courses.  Alternatively, the District may utilize courses of instruction developed by consortia of school districts, boards of cooperative educational services, other school districts, or any other public or private agency.  Such advisory council shall consist of, but not be limited to, parents, school trustees and Board members, appropriate school personnel, business and community representatives, and law enforcement personnel having experience in the prevention of child abduction.

AIDS Instruction: 8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Sections 135.3(b)(2) and (c)(2) Civil Preparedness:  New York State Office of Disaster Preparedness; Fire and Arson: Education Law Section 808; Prevention of Child Abduction: Education Law Section 803-a; Student Safety: Education Law Section 808; 8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Sections 107 and 155; Substance Abuse: Education Law Section 804; 8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Section 135.3(a)NOTE: Refer also to Policies #3410 – Code of Conduct on School Property
#5640 — Smoking/Tobacco Use
#7320 — Alcohol, Tobacco, Drugs and Other Substances (Students)
District Code of Conduct on School Property
Adopted:  10/19/05

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Career and Technical (Occupational) Education (Policy 8220)

The Board of Education recognizes the need for career and technical education and reaffirms its policy of strengthening the local high school career and technical education program through utilization of any available federal and state funds for that purpose and of supporting the BOCES program.

Equal Opportunity
The Board of Education prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, race, color, creed, religion, national origin, political affiliation, age, marital status, military status or disability in any career and technical education program or activity of this District.
The career and technical education program and/or activities shall be readily accessible to students with disabilities.

Public Notification
Prior to the beginning of each school year or academic semester, the District shall issue an appropriate public announcement which advises students, parents, employees and the general public that career and technical education opportunities will be offered without regard to sex, sexual orientation, race, color, creed, religion, national origin, political affiliation, age, marital status, military status or disability.  Included in such announcement will be the name, address, and telephone number of the person designated to coordinate Title IX/Section 504/ADA activities.

Grievance Procedure
Grievance procedures for resolving complaints regarding discrimination shall be disseminated to adequately inform students, parents and employees of the existence of these procedures.

BOCES Advisory Council
In accordance with Education Law, the Advisory Council of the BOCES is designated as the local Advisory Council for career and technical education in the School District.

Civil Rights Law Section 40-c
Education Law Article 93
8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations
(NYCRR) Sections 100.2(h) and 141 et seq.
Executive Law Section 290 et seq.
Adopted:  10/19/05

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Guidance Program (Policy 8230)

A District plan for the K through 12 guidance program shall be filed in the District office and made available for public review.  This plan shall be subject to annual review and revised as necessary in the following areas:
a) Identification of guidance program objectives;
b) Activities to accomplish the objectives;
c) Identification of staff members and other resources to accomplish the objectives;
d) Provisions for the annual assessment of program results.

Guidance Program (K through 6)
A coordinated guidance program in grades K through 6 shall be developed and implemented to:
a) Prepare students to participate effectively in their current and future educational programs;
b) Help those students exhibiting any attendance, academic, behavioral or adjustment problems;
c) Educate students concerning avoidance of child sexual abuse; and
d) Encourage parental involvement.

Guidance Program (7 through 12)
A coordinated guidance program in grades 7 through 12 shall be developed and implemented including the following activities and services:
a) Each student’s educational progress and career plans will be reviewed annually;
b) Instruction at each grade level to help students learn about various careers and career planning skills;
c) Other advisory and counseling assistance which will benefit students such as: helping students develop and implement postsecondary education and career plans; helping those students exhibiting any behavioral or adjustment problems; and encouraging parental involvement;
d) Employment of personnel certified or licensed as school counselors.

8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Section 100.2(j)
Adopted:  10/19/05

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Instructional Programs:  Driver Education, Gifted and Talented Education and Physical Education (Policy 8240)

Driver Education
A driver education course may be offered under the conditions set forth by the New York State Education Department and Commissioner’s Regulations.
Education Law Section 806-a
8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations
(NYCRR) Section 107.2

Gifted and Talented Students
The Board of Education will provide appropriate educational programs for students identified as being gifted and talented.
Education Law Article 90 and Section 3204(2)(b)
8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations
(NYCRR) Section 142

Physical Education Class
All students, except those with medical excuses, shall participate in physical education in accordance with the Commissioner’s Regulations.  Any student whose condition precludes participation in a regular program shall be provided with adaptive physical education approved by the Commissioner of Education. 
Education Law Sections 803 and 3204; 8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Section 135.4
Adopted:  10/19/05

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Patriotism, Citizenship and Human Rights Education (Policy 8241)

In order to promote a spirit of patriotic and civil service and obligation, as well as to foster in students of the District moral and intellectual qualities which are essential in preparing them to meet the obligations of citizenship, the Board requires students attending District schools, over the age of eight (8) years, to attend instructional courses in patriotism, citizenship, and human rights issues, with particular attention to the study of the inhumanity of genocide, slavery, the Holocaust, and the mass starvation in Ireland from 1845 to 1850 (the “Irish Potato Famine”).
The Board also directs that all students attending District schools in grades 8 through 12 receive instruction in the history, meaning, significance and effect of the United States Constitution, the New York State Constitution, and the Declaration of Independence.
The curricula for such courses must include the subjects specified by the Board of Regents and be for the period of instruction, as mandated by the Regents, which is necessary in these subjects in each of the appropriate grades.
One (1) week during each school year a uniform course of exercises shall be provided to teach students, in an age appropriate manner, the purpose, meaning and importance of the Bill of Rights Articles in the United States and New York State Constitutions.  These exercises shall be in addition to the above required courses.
The Board directs that the above named subjects, as mandated by law, be addressed in the instructional curricula provided by the District.
Education Law Section 801
NOTE: Refer also to Policy #8242 — Civility, Citizenship and Character Education/Interpersonal Violence Prevention Education
Adopted:  10/19/05

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Civility, Citizenship and Character Education/Interpersonal Violence Prevention Education (Policy 8242)

Civility, Citizenship and Character Education
The Board of Education recognizes that teaching students respect, civility and understanding toward others, as well as the practice and reinforcement of appropriate behavior and values of our society, is an important function of the School System.
The School District wishes to foster an environment where students exhibit behavior that promotes positive educational practices, allows students to grow socially and academically, and encourages healthy dialogue in respectful ways.  By presenting teachers and staff as positive role models, the District stresses positive communication and discourages disrespectful treatment. This policy is not intended to deprive and/or restrict any student of his/her right to freedom of expression but, rather, seeks to maintain, to the extent possible and reasonable, a safe, harassment free and educationally conducive environment for our students and staff.
Furthermore, the District shall ensure that the course of instruction in grades K through 12 includes a component on civility, citizenship and character education in accordance with Education Law. Character education is the deliberate effort to help students understand, care about, and act upon core ethical values.
Character education shall instruct students on the principles of:
a) Honesty,
b) Tolerance,
c) Personal responsibility,
d) Respect for others,
e) Observance of laws and rules,
f) Courtesy,
g) Dignity, and other traits which will enhance the quality of students’ experiences in, and contributions to, the community.

 As determined by the Board of Regents, and as further enumerated in Commissioner’s Regulations, the components of character education shall be incorporated in existing School District curricula as applicable.
The District encourages the involvement of staff, students, parents and community members in the implementation and reinforcement of character education in the schools.
Education Law Sections 801 and -a

Interpersonal Violence Prevention Education
The Commissioner of Education, pursuant to law, shall make available to the District an interpersonal violence prevention education package for students in grades K through 12; and the use of such material will be incorporated as part of the health or other related curricula or programs.
As modified by the Board of Regents, the health curriculum requirements shall provide greater focus on the development of skills, by no later than middle school, that are needed to recognize, cope with and address potentially violent incidents, including an understanding of the student’s roles in emergency situations, what to do when confronted with another student who is experiencing a mental health problem, and other related skills designed to reduce the threat of violence in the schools. 
Education Law Section 804(4)
Adopted:  10/19/05

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Animals in the School (Instructional Purposes) (Policy 8243)

Observation and experimentation with living organisms and animals gives students unique perspectives of life processes. Animals and animal materials should be used respectfully and for the purpose of meeting course objectives.
The Board of Education, in recognizing the educational uses of animals in the classroom, requires that permission be obtained from the Building Principal before animals are brought into the school or classrooms. It is the Principal’s responsibility to ensure that there is an appropriate educational purpose if any animal is housed in a classroom. Animals are not to be transported on school buses with the exception of animals certified to assist persons with disabilities.

Study and Care of Live Animals
It shall be the responsibility of the Principal or his/her designee to develop a plan of care for those animals housed in school in the event of an emergency school closing or in the event the animals remain in the classroom on days when school is not in session.

Dissection of Animals
Any student expressing a moral or religious objection to the performance or witnessing of the dissection of an animal, either wholly or in part, shall be provided the opportunity to undertake and complete an alternative project approved by the student’s teacher; provided, however, that such objection is substantiated in writing by the student’s parent or legal guardian. An alternate activity clearly related to and of comparable rigor will be assigned in lieu of laboratory dissection. Some examples of alternate activities include the use of computer simulations or research. Students who perform alternative projects shall not be penalized.
Effective July 1, 2011, the District will give reasonable notice to all students enrolled in a course that includes the dissection of an animal and students’ parent(s)/legal guardian(s) about their rights to seek an alternate project to dissection. Such notice shall be made available upon request at the school and distributed to parents and students enrolled in a course that includes dissection at least once at the beginning of the school year.

Instruction in the Humane Treatment of Animals
Students in elementary school must receive instruction in the humane treatment and protection of animals and the importance of the part they play in the economy of nature as well as the necessity of controlling the proliferation of animals that are subsequently abandoned and caused to suffer extreme cruelty. Such instruction shall be for a period of time as specified by the Board of Regents and may be joined with work in literature, reading, language, nature study, or ethnology.

Americans with Disabilities Act,
42 United States Code (USC) Section 12101 et. seq.
Education Law Section 809
8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Section 100.2(c)(8)
Adopted: 4/25/11

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Evaluation of the Instructional Program (Policy 8250)

Evaluation may be concerned with the extent to which: 
a) Each student achieves in accordance with his/her ability;
b) Each staff member performs at full potential;
c) The total learning environment, including instructional processes, physical facilities, and the educational program, remains consistent with the needs of students and the larger society and contributes to the accomplishment of the goals of the school. 

The Board of Education expects staff members to maintain a continual program of evaluation at every level to determine the extent of progress toward the schools’ objectives.  The Board of Education will periodically request the Superintendent to present factual information that it considers necessary to evaluate the effectiveness of the School System.
8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Section 100.2(m)
Adopted:  11/16/05

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Programs and Projects Funded by Title I (Policy 8260)

Parental Involvement
The Board of Education recognizes the rights of parent/guardians to be fully informed of all information relevant to their children who participate in programs and projects funded by Title I.  The District shall ensure parental involvement in these programs and projects by:
a) Providing such support for parental involvement activities as required by law;
b) Convening an annual meeting to which all parents/guardians of participating children shall be invited;
c) Providing parents/guardians with reports on their children’s progress;
d) Providing opportunities for regular meetings of parents/guardians.
In addition to the above, the District shall, jointly and in agreement with parents of students receiving Title I services, establish expectations for parent involvement in Title I programs in accordance with Section 1118(a) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.  Similarly, each Title I school within the District shall establish building level school/parent involvement policies in accordance with Section 1118(b).  Such school/parent policies shall include, where applicable, school-parent compacts outlining how parents, the entire school staff, and students will share the responsibility for improved student achievement and the means by which the school and parents will build and develop a partnership to help students achieve the state’s high standards.

Comparability of Services
The School District shall ensure equivalence among the schools in the District of the same grade span and levels of instruction with regard to teachers, administrators and auxiliary personnel as well as equivalence in the provision of curriculum materials and instructional supplies in Title I programs.
Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001
20 United States Code (USC) Section 6301 et seq.
34 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 75
Adopted:  11/16/05

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Title I Parent Involvement Policy (Policy 8261)

The Board of Education recognizes the rights of parents/persons in parental relation to be fully informed of all information relevant to their children, including children who participate in programs and projects funded by Title I.  Therefore, the Board of Education encourages the participation of parents of students eligible for Title I services in all aspects of their child’s education, including the development and implementation of district programs, as well as activities and procedures that are designed to carry out No Child Left Behind (NCLB) parent involvement goals. 
District-Wide Parent Involvement Policy
In order to facilitate parental participation, in accordance with NCLB requirements, as outlined in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act Section 6318(B), the District will:
a) Involve parents in the joint development of the Title I Plan.  If the plan is not satisfactory to the parents of children participating in Title I programs, the District will submit any parent comments to the State Education Department along with the District’s plan;
b) Provide the coordination, technical assistance, and support necessary to assist participating schools in planning and implementing  effective parent involvement  activities to improve student academic achievement and school performance;
c) Build the schools’ and parents’ capacity for strong parental involvement through implementing and encouraging participation in appropriate parental involvement activities:
Enhance communication with parents through newsletter, district web site and open houses
Encourage  more direct  involvement  through volunteer  work in the classroom and providing strategies for providing direct help with homework and projects at home
Directly involve the EPTSO in planning assembly programs with the Principals;
d) Coordinate and integrate  parental involvement  strategies under Title I with those of other programs including, but not limited to, the Head Start Program, Parent Resource Centers and other programs:
PARP-Parents as Reading Partners – provides for volunteers to read to students in the elementary school
Scholastic Book Club involves teachers in the elementary school to engage students and parents to purchase books for outside reading
Two Book Fairs organized by the Elementary Librarian is open to students and parents in the community
Summer Reading Project outlines summer reading options recommended by the English
Summer School  support for ELA  development provided  in the Junior  High School
Wee Read/Wee Count evenings-four a year. Parents and children share an evening of food and learning activities
Guest Readers–Parents and community members are invited to read to elementary students
1000 Book Club–Parents are encouraged to read 1000 books with their children by the end of grade 2.  Books are provided by the elementary school.  The program is coordinated by a parent volunteer.
Activity packets are provided to parents for use over the summer.
Parent education information is provided on the back of the menu. 
Parents will be also allowed and encouraged to participate in these events at the Jr,/Sr. High School; Career Fair, College Fair, Parent-Teacher-Student-Advisory Council and Ice Cream social 
Transition Program for 6th graders entering 7th grade and for 8th graders entering 9th grade, on distance learning.  Both programs assist with study skills and are a resource to parents and students in order to meet the challenges of moving on to the next grade. 6th grade transition program spans the second half of 6th grade into 7th;
e) Conduct, with the involvement of parents, an annual evaluation of the content and effectiveness of the parental involvement policy in improving the academic quality of the Title I schools.  The evaluation shall include identifying barriers to greater participation by parents in activities under the policy and use the findings of the evaluation to design strategies for more effective parental involvement and, to revise, if necessary, the parental involvement policies at the District and school levels:
Parents participate on site based committees at the respective levels – elementary, middle and high school, and are informed about AIS progress and brainstorm with teachers, counselors and administration regarding strategies for continued success. Programs are adjusted to reflect additional AIS strategies; 
f) Involve parents in the activities of the Title I school:
Encourage parent participation in school activities through the EPTSO
Provide support for teachers through the EPTSO Grants for Teachers
Invite parents to be reading partners in the classroom;
g) Involve parents of children in Title I programs in decisions regarding how funds reserved for parental involvement activities are spent:
Involve parents to sit on the district budget committee to ensure appropriate funding
Invite parents to sit on site-based committees to advocate for budget equity; 
h) Provide parents with frequent reports on their child’s progress:
Five week progress reports sent home
Phone calls when necessary
Report cards every ten weeks
Weekly reports to parents upon request
Parent portal to access students assignments, grades and attendance; 
i) Provide parents reasonable access to staff.  Staff will be available for consultation with parents in the following ways:
Phone calls
Open House
Parent/Teacher conferences
Student/Teacher conferences

School-Level Parent Involvement Policy
In accordance with Section 6318(c), the Board of Education directs each school receiving Title I funds to ensure that a building level parental involvement plan is developed with the participation of that school’s parents.  In addition to the goals stated above, each school building level plan will describe the details to:
a) Convene an  annual meeting,  at a  convenient  time,  to inform  parents  of  their  school’s participation in Title I programs and to explain Title I requirements and the right of the parents to be involved.  All parents of children participating in Title I programs will be invited and encouraged to attend the meeting.  These meetings are coordinated with annual open house nights; 
b) Offer a flexible number of meetings, such as meetings in the morning or evening; and may provide (with funds provided under this provision of law) transportation, child care, or home visits, as such services relate to parental involvement;
c) Involve  parents in an  organized, ongoing, and  timely way in the  planning,  review,  and improvement of Title I programs, including the planning, review, and improvement of the school parental involvement policy; 
d) Provide parents of participating children with timely information about programs, a description and explanation of the curriculum in use in Title I programs, the forms of academic assessment used to measure student progress, the proficiency levels students are expected to meet, and if requested by parents, opportunities for regular meetings to formulate suggestions and to participate, as appropriate, in decisions relating to the education of their children and respond to any such suggestions as soon as practically possible; and
e) Develop a school-parent compact jointly with parents that outlines how the parents, school staff and students will share the responsibility for improved student academic achievement and detail the means by which the school and parents will build and develop a partnership to help all children achieve the state’s standards.
f) The compact must include:
1. A description of the school’s responsibility to provide high-quality curriculum and instruction in a supportive and effective learning environment that enables the children served in Title I schools to meet the State’s student academic achievement standards;
2. A description of the ways in which each parent will be responsible for supporting their children’s learning, such as monitoring attendance, homework completion, television watching, volunteering in their child’s classroom and participating, as appropriate, in decisions relating to the education of their children and positive use of extracurricular time; and
3. Address the importance of communication between teachers and parents on an ongoing basis including, but not limited to:
(a) Parent-teacher conferences in elementary schools, at least annually, during which the compact shall be discussed as the compact relates to the individual child’s achievement;
(b) Frequent reports to parents on their children’s progress; and
(c) Reasonable access to staff, opportunities to volunteer and participate in their child’s class, and observation of classroom activities.
Parents may meet with teachers during grade level team times 10th period in the Jr/Sr school schedule and, during activity period or a mutually agreeable time.  Parents are made aware of opportunities to volunteer through open houses, PTSO and the school district website.

To ensure effective involvement of parents and to support a partnership among the school involved, parents, and the community in order to improve student academic achievement, the District and each school shall:
a) Provide assistance to parents of children served by the District or school, in understanding such topics as the State’s academic content standards and State student academic achievement standards, State and local academic assessments, the requirements of this part, and how to monitor a child’s progress and work with educators to improve the achievement of their children. The District can help parents understand topics through the district report card, open houses, school district web site, the right to know letters, progress reports and newsletters;
b) Provide materials and training to help parents to work with their children to improve their children’s achievement, such as literacy training and using technology, as appropriate, to foster parental involvement;               
b) Educate teachers, pupil services personnel, principals, and other staff, with the assistance of parents, in the value and utility of contribution of parents, and in how to reach out to, communicate with, and work with parents as equal partners, implement and coordinate parent programs, and build ties between parents and the school;
c) Coordinate and integrate to the extent feasible and appropriate, parent involvement programs and activities with Head Start, the Home Run Programs, Visions, 4-H After School Program and public preschool and other programs, and conduct other activities, such as parent resource centers, that encourage and support parents in more fully participating in the education of their children. The District encourages parent involvement in kindergarten screening, and primary school programming;
e) Ensure that information related to school and parent programs, meetings, and other activities is sent to the parents of participating children in a format and, to the extent practicable, in a language the parents can understand.

In addition to the above activities which are required for the District and each school, the District and each school:
a) May involve parents in the development of training for teachers, principals, and other educators to improve the effectiveness of such training;
b) May provide necessary literacy training from funds received under this part if the local educational agency has exhausted all other reasonably available sources of funding for such training;
c) May pay reasonable and necessary expenses associated with local parental involvement activities, including transportation and child care costs, to enable parents to participate in school-related meetings and training sessions;
d) May train parents to enhance the involvement of other parents;
e) May arrange school meetings at a variety of times, or conduct in-home conferences between teachers or other educators, who work directly with participating children, with parents who are unable to attend such conferences at school, in order to maximize parental involvement and participation;
f) May adopt and implement model approaches to improving parental involvement;
g) May establish a District-wide parent advisory council to provide advice on all matters related to parental involvement in programs supported under this section;
h) May develop appropriate roles for community-based organizations and businesses in parent involvement activities; and
i) Shall provide such other reasonable support for parental involvement activities under this section as parents may request.
In carrying out the parental involvement requirements, the District and schools, to the extent practicable, shall provide full opportunities for the participation of parents with limited English proficiency, parents with disabilities, and parents of migratory children, including providing information and school reports required under Section 6311 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act in a format and, to the extent practicable, in a language such parents understand.

Procedures for Filing Complaints/Appeals
The District will disseminate free of charge to parents of children in Title I programs, adequate information regarding the District’s written complaint procedures for resolving issues of violation(s) of a Federal statute or regulation that applies to Title I, Part A programs.

*Comparability of Services
The School District shall ensure equivalence among the schools in the District of the same grade span and levels of instruction with regard to teachers, administrators and auxiliary personnel as well as equivalence in the provision of curriculum materials and instructional supplies in Title I programs.

Educational Programs Funded by Title I
Remedial Reading
Extended Day Remedial Reading Program
Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001
20 United States Code (USC) Sections 6318 and 6321
34 Code of Federal Regulations (CPR) Parts 74-86 and 97-99, and 200
Adopted:  4/23/13

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Instructional Technology (Policy 8270)

The Board of Education recognizes its responsibility to further the District’s educational goals through the use of appropriate and high quality technological materials and equipment.  For the purpose of this policy, technology refers to computers, interactive videodiscs, Compact Disc-Read Only Memory (CD-ROM) devices, local area networks, satellite transmission and other telecommunications equipment.
Continuing advances in technology are bringing about changes that have an increasing impact on the way we obtain, process, evaluate and use information.  Therefore, the District is committed to:
a) A comprehensive staff development program to ensure appropriate and effective use of technology. 
b) The preparation of students to utilize multiple types of technology.
c) The integration of technology within and across all curriculum areas.
d) The equitable distribution and access to technological equipment and materials for all students.
e) The promotion of technology as an alternative to traditional methods of gathering, organizing and synthesizing information.
f) The provision of sufficient funds, within the budgetary constraints of the Board, for the implementation of technology instruction.

The Board directs the Superintendent or his/her designee to assess the technological needs of the District’s instructional program, research and review current materials and make recommendations to the Board.
Adopted:  11/16/05

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The Children’s Internet Protection Act: Internet Content Filtering/ Safety Policy (Policy 8271)

In compliance with the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) and Regulations of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the District has adopted and will enforce this Internet safety policy that ensures the use of technology protection measures (i.e., filtering or blocking of access to certain material on the Internet) on all District computers with Internet access. Such technology protection measures apply to Internet access by both adults and minors with regard to visual depictions that are obscene, child pornography, or, with respect to the use of computers by minors, considered harmful to such students. Further, appropriate monitoring of online activities of minors, as determined by the building/program supervisor, will also be enforced to ensure the safety of students when accessing the Internet.
Further, the Board of Education’s decision to utilize technology protection measures and other safety procedures for staff and students when accessing the Internet fosters the educational mission of the schools including the selection of appropriate teaching/instructional materials and activities to enhance the schools’ programs; and to help ensure the safety of personnel and students while online.
However, no filtering technology can guarantee that staff and students will be prevented from accessing all inappropriate locations. Proper safety procedures, as deemed appropriate by the applicable administrator/program supervisor, will be provided to ensure compliance with the CIPA.
In addition to the use of technology protection measures, the monitoring of online activities and access by minors to inappropriate matter on the Internet and World Wide Web may include, but shall not be limited to, the following guidelines:
a) Ensuring the presence of a teacher and/or other appropriate District personnel when students are accessing the Internet including, but not limited to, the supervision of minors when using electronic mail, chat rooms, and other forms of direct electronic communications. As determined by the appropriate building administrator, the use of email, chat rooms, may be blocked as deemed necessary to ensure the safety of such students;
b) Monitoring logs of access in order to keep track of the web sites visited by students as a measure to restrict access to materials harmful to minors;

a) The dissemination of the District’s Acceptable Use Policy and accompanying Regulations to parents and students in order to provide notice of the school’s requirements, expectations, and student’s obligations when accessing the Internet. Parental and/or student consent, as may be applicable, shall be required prior to authorization for student use of District computers. In compliance with this Internet Safety Policy as well as the District’s Acceptable Use Policy, unauthorized access (including so-called “hacking”) and other unlawful activities by minors are prohibited by the District; and student violations of such policies may result in disciplinary action; and
b) Appropriate supervision and notification to minors regarding the prohibition as to unauthorized disclosure, use and dissemination of personal information regarding such students.
c) Students will receive age appropriate instruction throughout the year on expected behaviors while using the district’s computer resources and internet, on internet safety, addressing appropriate procedures with regard to avoiding cyber-bullying (see Policy numbers 3420 and 7552 referencing anti-harassment and anti-bullying) and using proper social networking etiquette.
d) All students and staff with log-in accounts will sign and have placed on file with the district, verification of reading and agreeing to the District’s Acceptable Use Policy.

The determination of what is “inappropriate” for minors shall be determined by the District and/or designated school official(s). It is acknowledged that the determination of such “inappropriate” material may vary depending upon the circumstances of the situation and the age of the students involved in online research.
The terms “minor,” “child pornography,” “harmful to minors,” “obscene,” “technology protection measure,” “sexual act,” and “sexual contact” will be as defined in accordance with CIPA and other applicable laws/regulations as may be appropriate and implemented pursuant to the District’s educational mission.
Under certain specified circumstances, the blocking or filtering technology measure(s) may be disabled for adults engaged in bona fide research or other lawful purposes. The power to disable can only be exercised by an administrator, supervisor, or other person authorized by the School District.
The School District shall provide certification, pursuant to the requirements of CIPA, to document the District’s adoption and enforcement of its Internet Safety Policy, including the operation and enforcement of technology protection measures (i.e., blocking/filtering of access to certain material on the Internet) for all School District computers with Internet access.
The District has provided reasonable public notice and has held at least one (1) public hearing or meeting to address the proposed Internet Content Filtering/Safety Policy prior to Board adoption. Furthermore, appropriate actions will be taken to ensure the ready availability to the public of the District’s Internet Content Filtering/Safety Policy, as well as any other District policies relating to the use of technology.

47 United States Code (USC) Section 254(h) and (l) 47 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 54
Adopted: 11/16/05
Revised: 6/20/12

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Instruction for English Language Learners or Students with Limited English Proficiency (Policy 8280)

The Board of Education recognizes its responsibility to ensure that students of foreign birth or ancestry, who have limited English proficiency, are provided with an appropriate program of bilingual transitional education or a free-standing program of instruction composed of English as a Second Language component. Regulations and procedures shall be developed pursuant to the Regulations of the Commissioner to:
a) Identify those students who are English language learners or who have limited English proficiency by means of a diagnostic screening of new entrants and provide a program of bilingual education or English as a Second Language for eligible students.  A plan shall be developed to meet the educational needs of each student and proficiency will be measured annually by a language assessment instrument in order to determine further participation by a student.  The plan will include assessment of each student’s performance in content areas to measure the student’s academic progress. State mandated tests may be offered in a student’s native language.
b) Ensure that such students have access to appropriate instructional and support services, including guidance programs pursuant to Commissioner’s Regulations and the opportunity to participate in District educational programs, including all existing extracurricular programs and activities, which are available to all other students enrolled in the public schools of the District.
The instructional programs and services available to limited English proficient pupils to help them acquire English proficiency may include, pursuant to Commissioner’s Regulations, bilingual education programs, free-standing English as a second language programs, appropriate support services, transitional services, in-service training and parental notification.

A student whose score on an English language assessment instrument as specified in Section 154.2(a) of the Commissioner’s Regulations is a result of a disability shall be provided special education programs and services in accordance with the individualized education program (IEP) developed for such student and shall also be eligible for services pursuant to Part 154 of the Commissioner’s Regulations when these services are recommended in the IEP.
The parent/guardian of a student identified as an English language learner or as limited English proficient shall be informed in his/her native language, if necessary, of the student’s identification for and/or participation in an English language learner instructional program.
The Superintendent shall ensure that all data required by the Commissioner’s Regulations is submitted to the State Education Department in a timely manner.

Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, Sections 1112(g) and 3302(a)
Education Law Sections 207, 215, 2117, 3204(2)(2-a),
3602, and 3713; 8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Section 100.2(g) and Parts 117 and 154
Adopted:  11/16/05

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Purposes of Instructional Materials (Policy 8310)

The purpose of instructional materials shall be to implement, enrich, and support the educational program of the school.
Instructional materials should contribute to the development of positive social and intellectual values of the students.
The Board of Education shall provide the faculty and students in the District with such instructional materials as are educationally needed and financially feasible to make the instructional program meaningful to students of all levels of ability. 
Education Law Section 701
Adopted:  11/16/05

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Selection of Library and Audiovisual Materials (Policy 8320)

The primary objective of the school library media centers shall be to implement, enrich, and support the educational programs of the school.  More specifically the objectives of the school library programs shall be:
a) To provide materials that will enrich and support the curriculum, taking into consideration the varied interests, abilities, and maturity levels of the pupils served.
b) To provide materials that will stimulate growth in factual knowledge, literary appreciation, aesthetic values, ethical standards, and reading ability.
c) To provide materials on opposing sides of controversial issues so that young citizens may develop, under guidance, the practice of critical reading and thinking.
d) To provide resources and instruction which will help pupils develop their capabilities for intelligent decision-making.
e) To provide materials representative of world-wide religious, ethnic, and cultural groups and especially those which contributed to our American Heritage.
f) To place principle above personal opinion and reason above prejudice in the selection of materials of the highest quality in order to assure a comprehensive collection appropriate for the users of the library.

Responsibility for Selection of Materials
The Board of Education of Schoharie Central School District, Schoharie, New York, is legally responsible for the selection of library materials.  The Board delegates to the professional staff the job of selecting the books and other materials to be placed on the shelves.

Criteria for Selection of Instructional Materials
Materials for purchase are considered on the basis of:  overall purpose, timeliness or permanence, importance of the subject matter, quality of the writing/production, readability and popular appeal, authoritativeness, reputation of the publisher/producer, reputation and significance of the author/artist/composer/producer, etc., and format and price.

Procedures for Selection
In selecting materials for purchase, the librarian evaluates the existing collection, consults reputable, unbiased, professionally prepared selection aids, and consults with faculty and students.
In specific areas the librarian follows these procedures:  Gift materials are judged by the basic selection criteria and are accepted or rejected by those criteria; multiple items of outstanding and much-in-demand media are purchased as needed; worn or missing standard items are replaced periodically; out-of-date or no longer useful materials are withdrawn from the collection; sets of materials and materials acquired by subscription are examined carefully, and are purchased only to fill a definite need.
Materials will not be excluded because of the race, color, creed, sexual orientation, or political views of its author.  Neither should the presence of profanity or a limited amount of sex disqualify a book where there is redeeming literary, social, or educational value.  Only books deemed as acceptable by one or more standard critical sources, recognized as responsible by professional library associations, will be considered for selection.  There shall be books which present all points of view concerning the problems of our times.  Various points of view on a controversial subject should be carefully balanced pro and con.

Procedure for Handling Criticism of a Book
Criticism of any book, printed material or audio-visual media that is in the library shall be submitted to the Elementary or High School Principal in writing using the proper form.  The Principal shall appoint a faculty and student committee whose members are concerned with the subject area of the challenged book or material.  They shall review the complaint, examine the subject matter of the book and evaluate its conformity to the book selection policy stated above.  The committee shall submit its decision in writing.

Makeup of the Faculty/Student Committee
The committee will include both building principals, library media specialists, department chairs and teachers in related areas, and a student or students.  (Committee minimum of 5, maximum of 9).
Complainants Not Satisfied with the Decision of the Faculty/Student Committee
Complainants may appeal to the Superintendent, and subsequently, to the Board of Education.

Disposal of Library Materials
The building library media specialist is authorized to conduct a continuous program of evaluation of existing library resources in accordance with Subsection “Procedures for Selection” above, and to dispose of materials in the following ways:
a) Offered to District classrooms;
b) Donation to non-profit schools or groups;
c) Offered to school and community members;
d) Discard.
Adopted:  11/20/75
Revised:  9/7/94
Readopted:  12/7/05

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Objection to Instructional Materials (Policy 8330)

Any criticism of instructional materials that are in the schools should be submitted in writing to the Superintendent. The Board of Education will be informed.  A committee, including the librarian and building principal, will be designated by the Superintendent to investigate and judge the challenged material according to the principles and qualitative standards stated in Policy #8320 — Selection of Library and Audiovisual Materials.
Curriculum Areas In Conflict With Religious Beliefs
In accordance with applicable law and regulation, a student may be excused from the study of specific materials relating to health and hygiene if these materials are in conflict with the religion of his/her parents or guardian.  Alternatives may be provided that are of comparable instructional value. 
Education Law Section 3204(5)
8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Section 135.3
NOTE: Refer also to Policies #8320 — Selection of Library and Audiovisual Materials
#8360 — Religious Expression in the Instructional Program
Adopted:  11/16/05

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Controversial Issues (Policy 8331)

Controversial issues may be studied as part of the curriculum and teachers shall present these issues in their classrooms in an impartial and objective manner. 
Teachers wishing to call upon outside speakers in the presentation of controversial issues are required to obtain the approval of the principal who shall keep in mind the obligation for presenting opposing views as well, and who shall inform the Superintendent prior to the presentation. 
It is recognized that parents and citizens of the community have a right to protest to the school administration when convinced that unfair and biased presentations are being made by the teacher.  In considering such protests, the Superintendent of Schools shall provide for a hearing so that both parties may fairly express their views.  If requested, the Superintendent’s decision may be appealed to the Board of Education.
Adopted:  11/16/05

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Textbooks/Workbooks (Policy 8340)

The term “textbook” shall refer to a book supplied to a student for a fixed period of time for his/her personal use and basic to the study of a subject.
The Board of Education shall make provision for funds to be budgeted for the purchase of textbooks and related instructional materials.
Upon the recommendation of the Superintendent of Schools, the Board of Education shall designate the textbooks to be used.
Students will be required to pay for lost books or for excessive damage to books.

Textbooks for Resident Students Attending Private Schools
Resident students attending private schools will be supplied non-sectarian textbooks in accordance with the requirements of Education Law.

The Board of Education shall approve the expenditure of funds for the purchase of workbooks and manuals.
The term “workbook” shall refer to the type of book that provides spaces to write in and is consumed each year. It is usually paper-covered and designed to be used in connection with a textbook.
Education Law Section 701 et seq.
Adopted:  11/16/05

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Use of Copyrighted Materials (Policy 8350)

It is the intent of the Board of Education to abide by the provisions of the United States Copyright Law (Title 17 United States Code Section 101 et seq.). 
All employees are prohibited from copying materials not specifically allowed by the copyright law, fair use guidelines, licenses or contractual agreements, or the permission of the copyright proprietor. 
Any employee who willfully disregards the copyright policy shall be in violation of Federal Copyright Laws and District policy and shall assume all liability. 
A copyright officer may be appointed by the Superintendent to provide information for all personnel regarding current copyright law and to maintain copyright records. 
Regulations and procedures shall be developed by the administration detailing what can and cannot be copied. Appropriate copyright notices will be placed on or near all equipment used for duplication. 
Title 17 United States Code (USC) Section 101 et seq.
Adopted:  11/16/05

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Religious Expression in the Instructional Program (Policy 8360)

The Board of Education acknowledges the importance of religion to the understanding of society and the richness of the human experience.  In approaching the teaching about religion in the school, the District will be guided by three concepts when making decisions about the appropriateness of activities for inclusion in the school program:  the activity should have a secular purpose; the activity should neither advance nor inhibit religion; and the activity must not foster an excessive entanglement of “government” with religion.
Nurturing the development of knowledge and respect for the rights of all cultural and religious groups is a continuing goal of the School District.  Students, faculty and administration are reminded of the pluralism of religious beliefs and are urged to be conscious of and respect the sensitivity of others.
Opportunities to learn about cultural and religious traditions should be provided within the framework of the curriculum.  Information about religious and cultural holidays and traditions focusing on how and when they are celebrated, their origins and histories should be part of this instruction.  This educational opportunity should be handled with great care, sensitivity and respect for the feelings and beliefs of individuals.
An environment should be created and encouraged where students of various ethnic backgrounds feel comfortable in sharing comments about their religious and cultural traditions.  No student should be singled out to share or participate in such discussions solely on the basis of that student’s identification with the cultural/religious heritage being addressed.  A student’s preference not to share or participate in such discussions should be honored and respected without penalty.

School Activities Related to Religious Holidays or Themes
School activities related to the teaching about religious holidays or themes must be consistent with, representative of, and congruent with the District’s curriculum.
In planning school activities related to the teaching about religious holidays or themes, special effort must be made to ensure that the activity is not devotional and that students of all faiths can join without feeling they are betraying their own beliefs.
In planning school activities related to the teaching about religious holidays or themes, age appropriate activities are encouraged within the framework of the curriculum. Teaching about religious and cultural holidays may include such special activities as parties and special foods, if they reinforce educational goals.

Symbols in the Schools
The purpose of using religious symbols should be to teach about religious concepts and traditions, and to convey historical or cultural content, not to promote or celebrate religious concepts, events or holidays.

Music in the Schools
The purpose of  using religious music should be to teach musical concepts, to convey historical and cultural content, or to create aesthetic experiences in a setting which emphasizes artistic expression and educational value, not to promote or to celebrate a religious faith.

District Calendar
The days on which members of a religious group may be absent to observe a religious holiday (legal absence) will be noted on the school planning calendar and the District calendar distributed to parents/guardians.  Out of respect for a student’s observance of these holidays, teachers will be sensitive to the needs of the student by allowing them to make up all class work, homework, and tests without penalty.  Parents/guardians are encouraged to notify the school prior to the absence in order to assist the staff in instructional planning and in meeting the needs of the student.

Curriculum Areas In Conflict With Religious Beliefs
Students shall be given the option to be excused from participating in those parts of an activity, program, or area of instruction involving a religious theme which conflicts with their own religious beliefs or that of their parents/guardians in accordance with applicable law and regulations.  Alternatives may be provided that are of comparable instructional value.

Administrative regulations will be developed to implement the terms of this policy.  Further, the District shall vigorously publicize and disseminate this policy and accompanying regulations in order to ensure community, faculty, student, and parental/guardian awareness.

United States Constitution, First Amendment
Equal Access Act,
20 United States Code (USC) Sections 4071-4074
Elementary and Secondary Education Act, Section 9524, as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001
Education Law Sections 1609(9) and (10), 1709(1) and (3), 3204(5) and 3210
8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Sections 16.2 and 109.2
NOTE: Refer also to Policies #7460 — Constitutionally Protected Prayer in the Public Schools
#8330 — Objection to Instructional Materials
Adopted:  11/16/05

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School Calendar and School Day (Policy 8410)

School Calendar
The Superintendent shall be responsible for the preparation of a school calendar to be presented to the Board for adoption. 
School Day
The school day shall be set by the Superintendent with approval of the Board. 
Education Law Sections 3204(4) and 3604(7)(8)
8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Section 175.5
Adopted:  11/16/05

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Opening Exercises (Policy 8420)

The Board directs the administration to include the Pledge of Allegiance as part of the opening exercises in all the schools.  Under certain circumstances, such as religious conviction, individuals may be excused from this requirement as a protection of their Constitutional rights. 
Education Law Section 802
8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Section 108.5
Adopted:  11/16/05

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Independent Study (Policy 8430)

Independent study, for credit, will be available to meet special individual needs of students in grades 9 through 12.  Credit shall be granted only for courses in the approved curriculum.
8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Section 100.5(d)(1)
Adopted:  11/16/05

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Homework (Policy 8440)

The Board of Education acknowledges the educational value of homework as an adjunct to and extension of the instructional program of the schools.  For the purposes of this policy, “homework” shall refer to those assignments to be prepared by the student outside of the school or independently while in attendance at school.
Adopted:  11/16/05

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Home Tutoring (Temporary Instruction) (Policy 8450)

Resident children attending public or non-public schools who qualify for home tutoring due to a long-term illness shall be provided with such instruction in accordance with New York State Education Law and Commissioner’s Regulations.
Procedures for students requiring home tutoring shall be developed under the direction of the Superintendent or his/her designee.
Education Law Sections 1604(20), 1709(24), 3202,
and 4401; 8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Section 175.21
Adopted:  11/16/05

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Field Trips (Policy 8460)

The Board of Education recognizes that field trips are an educationally sound and important ingredient in the instructional program of the schools. 
For purposes of this policy, a field trip shall be defined as any journey by a group of students away from the school premises, under the supervision of a teacher, which is an integral part of an approved course of study and conducted for the purpose of affording a first-hand educational experience not available in the classroom. 
Field trips are a part of the curriculum of the schools, and student conduct and attendance on field trips are governed by the same rules that govern regular classroom activities.  The School System shall obtain written parental/guardian permission for students going on school-sponsored field trips.
The Superintendent shall prepare procedures for the operation of a field  trip activity.  Field trip support shall be determined annually by the Board during its budget deliberations.  Regardless of the fiscal support for field trips, the rules of the School District for approval and conduct of such trips shall apply.
NOTE: Refer also to Policies  #3410 — Code of Conduct on School Property
#5730 — Transportation of Students
#7310 — School Conduct and Discipline
District Code of Conduct on School Property
Adopted:  11/16/05

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Home Instruction (Home Schooling) (Policy 8470)

From time to time, parents will choose to instruct their children at home.  The School District will attempt to cooperate with parents who wish to provide home schooling for their children realizing that the child who is educated at home should receive an education in a manner consistent with an educational plan and at least substantially equivalent to that given to students of like age and attainments in the local public schools.  The required subjects should be taught in a competent, systematic, and sequential manner, specifically in relation to the required courses as enumerated in Commissioner’s Regulation Section 100.10.
Provision of Services to Home-Instructed Students
Regarding Home-Instructed Students:
They are not awarded a high school diploma.  A high school diploma may only be awarded to a student enrolled in a registered secondary school who has completed all program requirements set by the Board of Regents, the school or the District.
a) They are not eligible to participate in interscholastic sports.  Commissioner’s Regulations mandate that only students enrolled in the public school are allowed to participate in interscholastic sports. They may participate in intramural and other school-sponsored club activities.  The School District does permit home-instructed students to participate in such extracurricular activities.
b) The District is not required to loan available textbooks and other materials (e.g., library materials, microscopes, computer software, movie projectors). However, the District shall provide such textbooks and other materials to the extent available to home-instructed students.
c) The School District is not required to furnish health services.
d) The District is not responsible for providing remedial programs.
e) They may not participate in the instructional program of the School District except for dual enrollment opportunities the District may make available under the “Dual Enrollment Law” and for special education programs and services the District is required to offer (exceptions are listed below).
The District cannot make available to home-instructed students occupational and vocational education programs (career and technical education programs) and programs for the gifted in accordance with the provisions of the “Dual Enrollment Law.”
f) The District shall offer a home-instructed student with disabilities the special education services as addressed in the approved Individualized Education Program (IEP) by the Committee on Special Education.  However, there is no requirement that such services be provided in the student’s home.  Further, the District shall conduct a census and register of students with disabilities who reside in the District in accordance with Education Law and Commissioner’s Regulations.
g) Students instructed at home shall be allowed to use school facilities provided that there is mutual agreement on the part of all involved parties.
Primary responsibility for determining compliance with Commissioner’s Regulations addressing home instruction rests with the Superintendent of Schools of the school district in which a home-instructed student resides.

Education Law Sections 3204, 3205, 3210(2), 3212(2),
3240-42, 3602-c, and 4402; 8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Sections 100.10, 135.4(c)(7)(ii)(b)(2), and 200.2(a)
Adopted:  1/18/06

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