- Budget Planning and Development (Policy 5110)
- School District Budget Hearing (Policy 5120)
- Budget Adoption (Policy 5130)
- Administration of the Budget (Policy 5140)
- Contingency Budget (Policy 5150)
- Revenues (Policy 5210)
- District Investments (Policy 5220)
- Acceptance of Gifts, Grants and Bequests to the School District (Policy 5230)
- Corporate Sponsorship (Policy 5231)
- School Tax Assessment and Collection (Policy 5240)
- Property Tax Exemption for Senior Citizens (Policy 5241)
- Sale and Disposal of School District Property (Policy 5250)
- Bonding of Employees and School Board Members (Policy 5310)
- Expenditures of School District Funds (Policy 5320)
- Use of the District Credit Card (Policy 5321)
- Use of the District Cell Phone (Policy 5322)
- Reimbursement for Meals/Refreshments (Policy 5323)
- Budget Transfers (Policy 5330)
- Borrowing of Funds (Policy 5340)
- Purchasing (Policy 5410)
- Accounting of Funds (Policy 5510)
- Reserve Funds (Policy 5511)
- Fund Balance Policy (Policy 5512)
- Maintenance of Fund Balance (Policy 5513)
- Extraclassroom Activities Funds (Policy 5520)
- Petty Cash Funds and Cash in School Buildings (Policy 5530)
- Publication of District’s Annual Financial Statement (Policy 5540)
- Maintenance of Fiscal Effort (Title I Programs) (Policy 5550)
- Use of Federal Funds For Political Expenditures (Policy 5560)
- Financial Accountability (Policy 5570)
- Allegations of Fraud (Policy 5571)
- Audit Committee (Policy 5572)
- Internal Audit Function (Policy 5573)
- Insurance (Policy 5610)
- Inventories (Policy 5620)
- Accounting of Fixed Assets (Policy 5621)
- Facilities: Inspection, Operation and Maintenance (Policy 5630)
- Hazardous Waste and Handling of Toxic Substances by Employees (Policy 5631)
- Pest Management and Pesticide Use (Policy 5632)
- Smoking/Tobacco Use (Policy 5640)
- Energy/Water Conservation and Recycling of Solid Waste (Policy 5650)
- Energy Management Conservation Policy (Policy 5651)
- School Food Service Program (Lunch and Breakfast)/School District Nutrition Advisory Committee (Policy 5660)
- Vending Machines (Policy 5661)
- Wellness Policy (Policy 5662)
- Records Management (Policy 5670)
- HIPAA Compliance Policy and Procedures (Policy 5671)
- Information Security Breach and Notification (Policy 5672)
- Data Network and Security Access (Policy 5674)
- Safety and Security (Policy 5680)
- School Safety Plans (Policy 5681)
- Crisis Response (Post Incident Response) (Policy 5682)
- Fire Drills, Bomb Threats and Bus Emergency Drills (Policy 5683)
- Cardiac Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) in Public School Facilities (Policy 5685)
- Exposure Control Program (Policy 5690)
- Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Related Illnesses (Policy 5692)
- Transportation Program (Policy 5710)
- Scheduling and Routing (Policy 5720)
- Transportation in Child Safety Zones (Policy 5721)
- Transportation of Students (Policy 5730)
- Adult Transportation to Vo-Tech Center (Policy 5731)
- School Bus Safety Program (Policy 5750)
- Use of Seat Belts on Buses (Policy 5751)
- School Bus Idling (Policy 5752)
- Qualifications of Bus Drivers (Policy 5760)
- Drug and Alcohol Testing for School Bus Drivers and Other Safety-Sensitive Employees (Policy 5761)
Budget Planning and Development (Policy 5110)
Budget planning and development for the District will be an integral part of program planning so that the annual operating budget may effectively express and implement programs and activities of the School System. Budget planning will be a year-round process involving participation of District-level administrators, Principals, Directors, Coordinators, teachers, and other personnel. The process of budget planning and development should allow for community input and contain numerous opportunities for public information and feedback.
The Superintendent will have overall responsibility for budget preparation, including the construction of and adherence to a budget calendar. Program managers will develop and submit budget requests for their particular areas of responsibility after seeking the advice and suggestions of staff members.
Principals will develop and submit budget requests for their particular schools in conjunction with the advice and suggestions of staff members and their own professional judgment. Each school’s budget request will be the Principal’s recommendation as to the most effective way to use available resources in achieving progress toward the approved educational objectives of the school. Program budgets and school budgets will reflect state and/or federal requirements, special sources of funding, and District objectives and priorities.
The Board will give consideration to budget requests, and will review allocations for appropriateness and for their consistency with the School System’s educational priorities.
All budget documents for distribution to the public shall be in plain language and organized in a manner which best promotes public comprehension of the contents. Documents shall be complete and accurate and contain sufficient detail to adequately inform the public regarding such data as estimated revenues, proposed expenditures, transfers to other funds, fund balance information, and changes in such information from the prior year’s submitted budget.
In accordance with Commissioner’s Regulations, the budget will be presented in three (3) components which are to be voted upon as one (1) proposition. The law prescribes the types of items to be included in each component and further prescribes that all relevant costs be included in the component.
- A program component which shall include, but need not be limited to, all program expenditures of the School District, including the salaries and benefits of teachers and any school administrators or supervisors who spend a majority of their time performing teaching duties, and all transportation operating expenses;
- A capital component which shall include, but need not be limited to, all transportation capital, debt service, and lease expenditures; costs resulting from judgments and tax certiorari proceedings or the payment of awards from court judgments, administrative orders or settled or compromised claims; and all facilities costs of the School District, including facilities lease expenditures, the annual debt service and total debt for all facilities financed by bonds and notes of the School District, and the costs of construction, acquisition, reconstruction, rehabilitation or improvement of school buildings, provided that such budget shall include a rental, operations and maintenance section that includes base rent costs, total rent costs, operation and maintenance charges, cost per square foot for each facility leased by the District, and any and all expenditures associated with custodial salaries and benefits, service contracts, supplies, utilities, and maintenance and repairs of school facilities; and
- An administrative component which shall include, but need not be limited to, office and central administrative expenses, traveling expenses and all compensation, including salaries and benefits of all school administration and supervisors, business administrators, superintendents of schools and deputy, assistant, associate or other superintendents under all existing employment contracts or collective bargaining, any and all expenditures associated with the operation of the Office of the School Board, the Office of the Superintendent of Schools, General Administration, the School Business Office, consulting costs not directly related to direct student services and programs, planning and all other administrative activities.
Additionally, the Board of Education shall append to the proposed budget the following documents:
- A detailed statement of the total compensation to be paid to the Superintendent of Schools, and any Assistant or Associate Superintendent of Schools in the ensuing school year, including a delineation of the salary, annualized cost of benefits and any in-kind or other form of remuneration;
- A list of all other school administrators and supervisors, if any, whose annual salary for the coming school year will be at or above that designated in law for such reporting purposes, with the title of their positions and annual salary identified;
- A School District Report Card, prepared pursuant to Commissioner’s Regulations, which includes measures of the academic performance of the School District, on a school by school basis, and measures of the fiscal performance of the District;
- A Property Tax Report Card prepared in accordance with law and Commissioner’s Regulations (see subheading Property Tax Report Card); and
- A Tax Exemption Report prepared in accordance with law (see subheading Tax Exemption Report).
The Board shall attest that unexpended surplus funds (i.e., operating funds in excess of the current school year budget, not including funds properly retained under other sections of law) have been applied in determining the amount of the school tax levy. Surplus funds shall mean any operating funds in excess of four percent (4%).
The proposed budget for the ensuing school year shall be reviewed by the Board of Education and publicly disseminated, in accordance with law, prior to its submission to District voters for approval.
District funds may be expended to inform the public regarding the annual budget and to present the annual budget to District voters; however, such funds shall not be utilized to promote either a favorable or negative opinion of the proposed budget.
Property Tax Report Card
Each year, the Board of Education shall prepare a Property Tax Report Card, pursuant to Commissioner’s Regulations, and shall make it publicly available by transmitting it to local newspapers of general circulation, appending it to copies of the proposed budget made publicly available as required by law, making it available for distribution at the Annual Meeting, and otherwise disseminating it as required by the Commissioner.
The Property Tax Report Card shall include:
- The amount of total spending and total estimated school tax levy that would result from adoption of the proposed budget, and the percentage increase or decrease in total spending and total school tax levy from the School District budget for the preceding school year; and
- The projected enrollment growth for the school year for which the budget is prepared, and the percentage change in enrollment from the previous year; and
- The percentage increase in the average of the Consumer Price Indexes from January first of the prior school year to January first of the current school year as defined in Education Law; and
- The projected amount of the adjusted unrestricted fund balance that will be retained if the proposed budget is adopted; the projected amount of the adjusted restricted fund balance; the projected amount of the assigned appropriated fund balance; the percentage of the proposed budget that the adjusted unrestricted fund balance represents; the actual adjusted unrestricted fund balance retained in the School District budget for the preceding school year; and the percentage of the School District budget for the preceding school year that the actual adjusted unrestricted fund balance represents; and
- The District’s school tax levy limit calculation. The District will submit its school tax levy limit calculation to the Office of the State Comptroller, NYSED and the Office of Taxation and Finance by March 1 annually. If a voter override of the tax levy limit is necessary, the budget vote must be approved by sixty percent (60%) of the District’s qualified voters present and voting.
A copy of the Property Tax Report Card prepared for the Annual District Meeting shall be submitted to the State Education Department in the manner prescribed by the Department by the end of the business day next following approval of the Property Tax Report Card by the Board of Education, but no later than twenty-four (24) days prior to the statewide uniform voting day (i.e., the third Tuesday in May).
The State Education Department shall compile such data for all school districts whose budgets are subject to a vote of the qualified voters, and shall make such compilation available electronically at least ten (10) days prior to the statewide uniform voting day.
Tax Exemption Report
A Tax Exemption Report shall be annexed to any tentative or preliminary budget and shall become part of the final budget. This report shall be on the form as prescribed by the State Board of Real Property Services and shall show the following:
- How much of the total assessed value of the final assessment roll(s) used in the budgetary process is exempt from taxation;
- Every type of exemption granted as identified by statutory authority;
- The cumulative impact of each type of exemption expressed either as a dollar amount of assessed value or as a percentage of the total assessed value on the roll;
- The cumulative amount expected to be received from recipients of each type of exemption as payments in lieu of taxes or other payments for municipal services; however, individual recipients are not to be named; and
- The cumulative impact of all exemptions granted.
Notice of this report shall be included in any notice of the preparation of the budget required by law and shall be posted on any bulletin board maintained by the District for public notices as well as on any website maintained by the District.
Education Law Sections 1608(3)-(7), 1716(3)-(7), 2022(2-a), 2023-a, 2601-a(3) and 2601-a(7)
General Municipal Law Section 36
Real Property Tax Law Sections 495 and 1318(l)
8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Sections 170.8, 170.9 and 170.11 State Education Department Handbook No. 3 on Budget
School District Budget Hearing (Policy 5120)
The Board of Education will hold an Annual Budget Hearing, in accordance with law, so as to inform and present to District residents a detailed written statement regarding the District’s estimated expenditures and revenue for the upcoming school year prior to the budget vote which is taken at the Annual District Meeting and Election.
The Budget Hearing will be held not less than seven (7) nor more than fourteen (14) days prior to the Annual District Meeting and Election or Special District Meeting at which the budget vote will occur. The proposed budget will be completed at least seven (7) days prior to the budget hearing at which it is to be presented.
Notice of the date, time and place of the annual budget hearing will be included in the notice of the Annual Meeting and Election and/or Special District Meeting as required by law.
All School District budgets which are submitted for voter approval shall be presented in three (3) components: a program component, an administrative component, and a capital component; and each component will be separately delineated in accordance with law and/or regulation.
The Board of Education will also prepare and append to copies of the proposed budget a School District Report Card, pursuant to the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education, referencing measures of academic and fiscal performance. Additionally, the Board of Education shall also append to copies of the proposed budget a detailed statement of the total compensation to be paid to various administrators as enumerated in law and/or regulation, and a Property Tax Report Card prepared in accordance with law and Commissioner’s Regulations.
All budget documents for distribution to the public will be written in plain language and organized in a manner which best promotes public comprehension of the contents.
Dissemination of Budget Information
Copies of the proposed annual operating budget for the succeeding year may be obtained by any District resident. Requests for copies of the proposed budget should be made at least seven (7) days before the budget hearing. Copies shall be prepared and made available at the school district office, public or associate libraries within the district and on the district website, if one exists. Copies will be available to district residents during the fourteen (14) day period immediately preceding the Annual Meeting and Election or Special District Meeting at which the budget vote will occur. Additionally, the Board will include notice of the availability of copies of the budget at least once during the school year in any District-wide mailing.
The School District Clerk shall mail a School Budget Notice to all qualified voters of the School District after the date of the Budget Hearing, but no later than six (6) days prior to the Annual Meeting and Election or Special District Meeting at which a school budget vote will occur. The School Budget Notice shall compare the percentage increase or decrease in total spending under the proposed budget over total spending under the School District budget adopted for the current school year, with the percentage increase or decrease in the Consumer Price Index from January first of the prior school year to January first of the current school year.
Beginning with the budget notice for the 2012-2013 proposed budget, the District will also include in the notice:
- The school tax levy limit;
- The proposed school year tax levy (without permissible exclusions to the school tax levy limit);
- The total permissible exclusions; and
- The proposed school year tax levy (including permissible exclusions to the school tax levy limit).
The Notice shall also include, in a manner and format prescribed by the Commissioner of Education, a comparison of the tax savings under the basic school tax relief (STAR) exemption and the increase or decrease in school taxes from the prior year, and the resulting net taxpayer savings for a hypothetical home within the District with a full value of one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) under the existing School District budget as compared with such savings under the proposed budget.
The Notice shall also set forth the date, time and place of the school budget vote in the same manner as in the Notice of the Annual Meeting. The School Budget Notice shall be in a form prescribed by the Commissioner of Education.
Notice of Budget Hearing/Availability of Budget Statement:
Education Law Sections 1608(2), 1716(2), 2003(1), 2004(1), 2023-a and 2601-a(2) Election and Budget Vote:
Education Law Sections 1804(4), 1906(1), 2002(1), 2017(5), 2017(6), 2022(1), 2023-a and 2601-a(2)
Budget Development and Attachments:
Education Law Sections 1608(3), 1608(4), 1608(5), 1608(6), 1608(7), 1716(3), 1716(4), 1716(5), 1716(6), 1716(7), 2022(2-a), 2023-a and 2601-a(3)
8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Sections 100.2(bb), 170.8 and 170.9
Budget Adoption (Policy 5130)
The Board of Education shall review the recommended budget of the Superintendent of Schools and shall seek public input and feedback regarding the recommended budget including, but not limited to, holding a public budget hearing not less than seven (7) nor more than fourteen (14) days prior to the Annual District Meeting and Election at which the budget vote is to occur. The Board may modify the recommended budget of the Superintendent prior to its submission to District voters. Final authorization of the proposed budget is dependent upon voter approval unless a contingency budget is adopted by the Board.
In the event the original proposed budget is not approved at the Annual District Meeting and Election, the Board may resubmit the original proposed budget or a revised budget for voter approval, or individual propositions may be placed before District voters, at a special meeting held on the third Tuesday of June. If the voters fail to approve the second budget submittal, or budget proposition(s), or if the Board elects not to put the proposed budget to a public vote a second time, the Board must adopt a contingency budget with a tax levy that is no greater than the prior year’s levy.
The School District budget for any school year, or any part of such budget, or any proposition(s) involving the expenditure of money for that school year, shall not be submitted for a vote of the qualified District voters more than twice.
The School District budget, once adopted, becomes the basis for establishing the tax levy on real property within the District.
Education Law Sections 1608, 1716, 1804(4), 1906(1), 2002(1), 2003(1), 2004(1), 2007(3)(b), 2022, 2023,
2023-a and 2601-a
Administration of the Budget (Policy 5140)
The Superintendent of Schools, working in conjunction with the administrative staff, is responsible to the Board for the administration of the budget.
- He/she shall acquaint District employees with the final provisions of the program budget and guide them in planning to operate efficiently and economically within these provisions.
- Under his/her direction the District shall maintain such records of accounting control as are required by the New York State Uniform System of Accounts for School Districts, the Board of Education, and such other procedures as are deemed necessary and shall keep the various operational units informed through periodic reports as to the status of their individual budgets.
- Board approval is required prior to the expenditure of District funds.
Contingency Budget (Policy 5150)
The School District budget for any school year or any part of such budget, or any proposition involving the expenditure of money for such school year, shall not be submitted for a vote of the qualified voters of the District more than twice in any school year.
If the original proposed budget is not approved by District voters at the Annual District Meeting and Election, the Board has the option of either resubmitting the original or revised budget for voter approval at a special meeting held at a later date; or the Board may, at that point, adopt a contingency budget. If the Board decides to submit either the original or a revised budget to the voters for a second time, and the voters do not approve the second budget submittal, the Board must adopt a contingency budget and the tax levy cannot exceed the total tax levy of the prior year (0% levy growth).
The administrative component of the contingency budget shall not comprise a greater percentage of the contingency budget exclusive of the capital component than the lesser of:
- The percentage the administrative component had comprised in the prior year budget exclusive of the capital component; or
- The percentage the administrative component had comprised in the last proposed defeated budget exclusive of the capital component.
Education Law Sections 2002, 2023, 2023-a, 2024 and 2601-a
Revenues (Policy 5210)
The School District treasurer will have custody of all District funds in accordance with the provisions of state law. The treasurer will be authorized and directed by the Board to invest the balances available in various District funds in accordance with regulations set forth in state law.
District Investments (Policy 5220)
Whenever the District has funds (including operating funds, reserve funds and proceeds of obligations) that exceed those necessary to meet current expenses, the Board of Education shall authorize the School Business Official to invest such funds in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations and in conformity with the guidelines established by this policy.
The objectives of this investment policy are four-fold:
- Investments shall be made in a manner so as to safeguard the funds of the School District; and
- Bank deposits shall be made in a manner so as to safeguard the funds of the School District.
- Investments shall be sufficiently liquid so as to allow funds to be available as needed to meet the obligations of the School District.
- Funds shall be invested in such a way as to earn the maximum yield possible given the first three (3) investment objectives.
The authority to deposit and invest funds is delegated to the School Business Official. These functions shall be performed in accordance with the applicable sections of the General Municipal Law and the Local Finance Law of the State of New York.
The School Business Official may invest funds in the following eligible investments:
- Obligations of the State of New York.
- Obligations of the United States Government, or any obligations for which principal and interest are fully guaranteed by the United States Government.
- Time Deposit Accounts placed in a commercial bank authorized to do business in the State of New York, providing the account is collateralized as required by law. [Banking Law Section 237(2) prohibits a savings bank from accepting a deposit from a local government. This also applies to savings and loan associations.]
- Transaction accounts (demand deposits) both interest bearing and non-interest bearing that do not require notice of withdrawal placed in a commercial bank authorized to do business in the State of New York, providing the account is collateralized as required by law.
- Certificates of Deposits placed in a commercial bank authorized to do business in the State of New York providing the Certificates are collateralized as required by law.
- Securities purchased pursuant to a Repurchase Agreement whereby one party purchases securities from a second party and the second party agrees to repurchase those same securities on a specific future date at an agreed rate of return (the interest rate).
Using the policy as a framework, regulations and procedures shall be developed which reflect:
- A list of authorized investments;
- Procedures including a signed agreement to insure the School District’s financial interest in investments;
- Standards for written agreements consistent with legal requirements;
- Procedures for the monitoring, control, deposit and retention of investments and collateral which shall be done at least once a month;
- Standards for security agreements and custodial agreements consistent with legal requirements;
- Standards for diversification of investments including diversification as to type of investments, and firms and banks with whom the School District transacts business; and
- Standards for qualification of investment agents which transact business with the School District including, at minimum, the Annual Report of the Trading Partner.
This policy shall be reviewed and re-adopted at least annually or whenever new investment legislation becomes law, as staff capabilities change, or whenever external or internal issues warrant modification.
Acceptance of Gifts, Grants and Bequests to the School District (Policy 5230)
The Board may accept gifts, grants and/or bequests of money, real or personal property, as well as other merchandise which, in view of the Board, add to the overall welfare of the School District, provided that such acceptance is in accordance with existing laws and regulations. However, the Board is not required to accept any gift, grant or bequest and does so at its discretion, basing its judgment on the best interests of the District. Furthermore, the Board will not accept any gift, grant or bequest which constitutes a conflict of interest and/or gives an appearance of impropriety.
At the same time, the Board will safeguard the District, the staff and students from commercial exploitation, from special interest groups, and the like.
The Board will not accept any gifts or grants which will place encumbrances on future Boards, or result in unreasonable additional or hidden costs to the District.
The Board is prohibited, in accordance with the New York State Constitution, from making gifts/ charitable contributions with School District funds.
Gifts and/or grants of money to the District shall be annually accounted for under the trust and agency account in the bank designated by the Board of Education.
All gifts, grants and/or bequests shall become School District property. A letter of appreciation, signed by the President of the Board and the Superintendent, shall be sent to a donor/grantor in recognition of his/her contribution to the School District.
The Board of Education recognizes that gift giving, especially during the holiday season, may be a common practice for many District employees. While the giving or exchanging of gifts may be acceptable among staff members, the Board strongly encourages District employees and students to show appreciation through written notes or greeting cards.
Additionally, all business contacts will be informed that gifts exceeding seventy-five dollars ($75) to District employees will be returned or donated to charity.
New York State Constitution Article 8, Section 1 Education Law Sections 1709(12) and (12-a) and 1718(2)
Corporate Sponsorship (Policy 5231)
The Board of Education recognizes the benefits that may be obtained by entering into agreements with a “corporate sponsor.” A “corporate sponsor,” for the purposes of this policy, is defined in accordance with Commissioner Regulations as “the sponsorship or the underwriting of an activity on school premises which does not involve the commercial promotion of a particular product or service.”
Corporate sponsorships may be recommended by the Superintendent of Schools and, depending on the dollar value of the corporate contribution, may be subject to approval by the Board of Education in accordance with the District procurement policy. Corporate sponsorships are evaluated on a case by case basis in accordance with the principles established by the Board of Education.
The Board of Education will carefully consider whether the commercial aspects of a corporate sponsorship are an acceptable influence on students. The School Board recognizes and understands its fiduciary responsibility to weigh all considerations and decide whether such arrangements are in the best interests of the children they are obligated to educate, nurture and protect.
Any agreement entered into by the District and a corporate sponsor should be in accordance with the following principles:
- Consistency with district academic standards and goals.
- Consistency with district non-discrimination policies and age-appropriateness.
- No corporate support or activity will be permitted in the District that:
- Promotes gambling, illicit drugs, alcohol, tobacco, or firearms;
- Promotes hostility, disorder, or violence;
- Attacks or demeans any ethnic, racial, religious group or sexual orientation;
- Is libelous;
- Contains adult content, including nudity, sexual terms and/or images of people in positions or activities that are excessively suggestive or sexual, or provocative images in violation of community standards;
- Promotes any specific religion;
- Promotes or opposes any political candidate or ballot proposition;
- Inhibits the functioning of any school; or
- Any other item deemed to be inappropriate for students.
- Students shall not be required to view commercial promotional activity as required by Commissioner Regulations.
- The collection of personal information from students by corporate sponsors in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is prohibited.
- Sponsorship permitted pursuant to this policy shall not be considered as an endorsement or approval by the Board of any particular group, organization or company, nor of any purposes, programs, activities, products or services of any such group.
- To ensure equal opportunity to participate among commercial competitors, solicitations for corporate sponsors should be done in accordance with the District procurement policy.
8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Section 23
NOTE: Refer also to Policies #5000 — Purchasing
School Tax Assessment and Collection (Policy 5240)
Sufficient local tax revenue shall be raised to meet the requirements of the total School District budget, less an amount equal to other income sources available to the School District.
Between August 1 and September 14, and following receipt of equalization rates and assessment rolls, a tax levy shall be set which will generate that portion of the School District budget revenue to be provided by the local level. The Board of Education shall approve the tax levy and shall issue a warrant for the collection of taxes. Tax bills will be mailed out within seven (7) days of the Board approving the warrant.
The Board of Education shall set the tax collection location and dates for the District. Taxes will be collected during the first thirty (30) days without penalty and during the second thirty (30) days with a two (2) percent penalty. After this period and upon approved resolution by the Board of Education, all unpaid taxes shall be returned to the County Treasurer no later than November 15.
The tax collection shall be accomplished by mail or by direct payment at the place designated.
Property Tax Exemption for Senior Citizens (Policy 5241)
Unless specifically exempted by law, real property used exclusively for residential purposes and owned by one (1) or more persons, each of whom is sixty-five (65) years of age or over, or real property owned by husband and wife or by siblings, one of whom is sixty-five (65) years of age or over, shall be exempt from taxation to the extent of percentum of the assessed valuation determined by the Board if the owners meet the criteria established annually by the Board.
The real property tax exemption of real property owned by husband and wife, when one of them is sixty-five (65) years of age or over, once granted, shall not be rescinded solely because of the death of the older spouse so long as the surviving spouse is at least sixty-two (62) years of age.
The District may permit a property tax exemption to an otherwise eligible senior citizen even if a child who attends a public school resides at that address. The Board must adopt a resolution allowing such an exemption following a public hearing on this specific issue.
Real Property Tax Law Section 467
Sale and Disposal of School District Property (Policy 5250)
Sale of School Property
No school property shall be sold without prior approval of the Board of Education. However, the responsibility for such sales may be delegated. The net proceeds from the sale of school property shall be deposited in the General Fund.
Disposal of District Personal Property
School District equipment that is obsolete, surplus, or unusable by the District shall be disposed of in such a manner that is advantageous to the District.
The Superintendent will be responsible for selling the equipment in such a way so as to maximize the net proceeds of sale which may include a bona fide public sale preceded by adequate public notice. If it is determined that reasonable attempts to dispose of the equipment have been made and such attempts have not produced an adequate return, the Superintendent or his/her designee may dispose of the equipment in any manner which he/she deems appropriate.
Textbooks may lose their value to the educational program because of changes in the curriculum or they contain outdated material and/or are in poor condition.
If textbooks are no longer useful or usable, the procedures for disposal shall adhere to the following order of preference:
- Sale of textbooks. If reasonable attempts to dispose of surplus textbooks fail to produce monetary return to the School District; then
- Donation to charitable organizations; or
- Disposal as trash.
Education Law Sections 1604(4), (30) and (36), 1709(9) and (11)
Bonding of Employees and School Board Members (Policy 5310)
In accordance with New York State Education Law and the Commissioner’s Regulations, the Board of Education directs that the Treasurer of the Board of Education, the tax collector and the internal auditor be bonded prior to assuming their duties. Such bonds shall be in the amounts as determined and approved by the Board of Education.
Other school personnel and members of the Board of Education authorized or required to handle School District revenues may be covered by a blanket undertaking provided by the District in such amounts as approved by the Board of Education based upon the recommendations of the Superintendent or his/her designee.
Education Law Sections 1709(20-a), 1720, 2130(5),
2526, and 2527
Public Officers Law Section 11(2)
Expenditures of School District Funds (Policy 5320)
The Board of Education authorizes the Purchasing Agent to expend school funds as appropriated by approved operational and capital budgets, and by the adoption of special resolutions. He/she will make expenditures in accordance with applicable law and in a manner that will achieve the maximum benefit from each dollar expended.
Complete records of all expenditures shall be maintained for future analysis and reporting within the time frame required by the Records Disposition Law or regulation.
Arts and Cultural Affairs Law Section 57.19 Education Law Section 1720
Use of the District Credit Card (Policy 5321)
The School District may issue a credit card or cards in its name for the use of its officers and designated employees for authorized, reimbursable, school business related expenses. The maximum credit limit on each card shall be as designated by the Board of Education. However, authorized personnel must submit purchase orders for those school business related expenses, such as tuition charges for attendance at conference, travel expenses, and lodging, where costs may be fairly and accurately estimated prior to the actual incurring of expenses.
Only those officers and District personnel designated by the Board of Education shall be authorized for the use of a District credit card.
Expenses incurred on each credit card shall not exceed a balance of $2,000 and will be paid in such a manner as to avoid interest charges. The credit card(s) shall be locked in a secure place in the Superintendent’s office.
Use of the District Cell Phone (Policy 5322)
A School District-owned cell phone will be issued to a District employee when required by that employee’s job duties and as determined by the Superintendent or designee.
Additionally, the following rules shall apply regarding the use of a District-owned cell phone:
- An annual amount will be paid by each employee who is issued a District-owned cell phone. This amount covers the use of this cell phone for personal phone calls made by the employee. Personal use of phone charges are paid by individual employees directly and not with the payroll deductions.
- The cell phone may not be used by anyone other than the School District employee.
Reimbursement for Meals/Refreshments (Policy 5323)
Travel Outside of District/Emergency Meetings
School District officials and employees are entitled to reimbursement for necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their official duties. However, it is the position of the New York State Comptroller’s Office that meals of public officers and employees generally should not be reimbursed or paid by the municipal entity unless the officer or employee is traveling outside his/her regular work area on official business for an extended period of time, or where events prevent them from taking off during mealtime for food consumption because of a pressing need to complete business. All requests for reimbursement must document who attended the meetings and how the meetings fit these conditions.
Staff/Board Meetings and District Events
However, the Board of Education recognizes that at certain times it may be appropriate to provide meals and/or refreshments at District meetings and/or events which are being held for an educational purpose. Prior approval of the Superintendent/designee must be obtained for food and beverages provided at meetings or activities which will be charged to the District.
Any such expenditures must be appropriately documented with an itemized receipt and information showing the date and purpose of the meeting, food served, who attended the meetings and why the attendees needed food and/or refreshments to conduct School District business. These requirements must be met for meals/refreshments provided by the school lunch fund or local vendors, charged to District credit cards and/or reimbursed to a School District official.
In no case will the costs for meals exceed the current Federal per diem meal rates for the geographic area.
Budget Transfers (Policy 5330)
Within monetary limits as established by the Board, the Superintendent is authorized to transfer funds within the budget. Whenever changes are made, they are to be incorporated in the next Board agenda for information only.
Education Law Section 1718
Borrowing of Funds (Policy 5340)
Local Finance Law Article 2
Purchasing (Policy 5410)
The District’s purchasing activities will be part of the responsibilities of the Business Office, under the general supervision of the Purchasing Agent designated by the Board of Education. The purchasing process should enhance school operations and educational programs through the procurement of goods and services deemed necessary to meet District needs.
Competitive Bids and Quotations
As required by law, the Superintendent will follow normal bidding procedures in all cases where needed quantities of like items will total the maximum level allowed by law during the fiscal year, (similarly for public works-construction, repair, etc.) and in such other cases that seem to be to the financial advantage of the School District.
A bid bond may be required if considered advisable.
No bid for supplies shall be accepted that does not conform to specifications furnished unless specifications are waived by Board action. Contracts shall be awarded to the lowest responsible bidder who meets specifications. However, the Board may choose to reject any bid.
Rules shall be developed by the administration for the competitive purchasing of goods and services.
The Superintendent may authorize purchases within the approved budget without bidding if required by emergencies and are legally permitted.
The Superintendent is authorized to enter into cooperative bidding for various needs of the School District.
Request for Proposal Process for the Independent Auditor
In accordance with law, no audit engagement shall be for a term longer than five (5) consecutive years. The District may, however, permit an independent auditor engaged under an existing contract for such services to submit a proposal for such services in response to a request for competitive proposals or be awarded a contract to provide such services under a request for proposal process.
Procurement of Goods and Services
The Board of Education recognizes its responsibility to ensure the development of procedures for the procurement of goods and services not required by law to be made pursuant to competitive bidding requirements. These goods and services must be procured in a manner so as to:
- Assure the prudent and economical use of public moneys in the best interest of the taxpayer;
- Facilitate the acquisition of goods and services of maximum quality at the lowest possible cost under the circumstances; and
- Guard against favoritism, improvidence, extravagance, fraud and corruption. These procedures shall contain, at a minimum, provisions which:
- Prescribe a process for determining whether a procurement of goods and services is subject to competitive bidding and if it is not, documenting the basis for such determination;
- With certain exceptions (purchases pursuant to General Municipal Law, Article 5-A; State Finance Law, Section 162; State Correction Law, Section 184; or those circumstances or types of procurements set forth in (f) of this section), provide that alternative proposals or quotations for goods and services shall be secured by use of written request for proposals, written quotations, verbal quotations or any other method of procurement which furthers the purposes of General Municipal Law Section 104-b;
- Set forth when each method of procurement will be utilized;
- Require adequate documentation of actions taken with each method of procurement;
- Require justification and documentation of any contract awarded to other than the lowest responsible dollar offer, stating the reasons;
- Set forth any circumstances when, or the types of procurement for which, the solicitation of alternative proposals or quotations will not be in the best interest of the District; and
- Identify the individual or individuals responsible for purchasing and their respective titles. Such information shall be updated biennially.
Any unintentional failure to fully comply with these provisions shall not be grounds to void action taken or give rise to a cause of action against the District or any District employee.
The Board of Education shall solicit comments concerning the District’s policies and procedures from those employees involved in the procurement process. All policies and procedures regarding the procurement of goods and services shall be reviewed annually by the Board.
Effective January 27, 2012, General Municipal Law (GML) Section 103 was amended to permit a school district or BOCES to award purchase contracts in excess of $20,000 on the basis of “best value”, rather than on the basis of the lowest responsible bid. The Board of Education must adopt a resolution at a public meeting authorizing the award of bids based on “best value.” The Board of Education may also approve “best value” bid award recommendations on an individual bid basis at a scheduled public meeting. A best value award is one that optimizes quality, cost and efficiency, typically applies to complex services and technology contracts, and is quantifiable whenever possible.
“Piggybacking” Law – Exception to Competitive Bidding
On August 1, 2012, General Municipal Law (GML) Section 103 was amended to allow school districts to purchase certain goods and services (apparatus, materials, equipment and supplies) through the use of contracts let by the United States or any agency thereof, any state, and any county, political subdivision or district of any state. The amendment authorizes school districts and BOCES to “piggyback” on contracts let by outside governmental agencies in a manner that constitutes competitive bidding “consistent with state law.”
This “piggybacking” is permitted on contracts issued by other governmental entities, provided that the original contract:
- Has been let by the United States or any agency thereof, any state (including New York State) or any other political subdivision or district therein;
- Was made available for use by other governmental entities and agreeable with the contract holder; and
- Was let in a manner that constitutes competitive bidding consistent with New York State law and is not in conflict with other New York State laws.
The “piggybacking” amendment and the “best value” amendment may not be combined to authorize a municipality to “piggyback” onto a cooperative contract which was awarded on the basis of “best value.” In other words, while a school district or BOCES may authorize the award of contracts on the basis of “best value”, it may not “piggyback” onto a purchasing contract awarded by another agency on the basis of “best value.”
Alternative Formats for Instructional Materials
Preference in the purchase of instructional materials will be given to vendors who agree to provide materials in a usable alternative format (i.e., any medium or format, other than a traditional print textbook, for presentation of instructional materials that is needed as an accommodation for each student with a disability, including students requiring Section 504 Accommodation Plans, enrolled in the School District). Alternative formats include, but are not limited to, Braille, large print, open and closed captioned, audio, or an electronic file in an approved format as defined in Commissioner’s Regulations.
As required by federal law and New York State Regulations, the District has adopted the National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard (NIMAS) to ensure that curriculum materials are available in a usable alternative format for students with disabilities. Each school district has the option of participating in the National Instructional Materials Access Center (NIMAC). Whether a district does or does not participate in NIMAC, the district will be responsible to ensure that each student who requires instructional materials in an alternate format will receive it in a timely manner and in a format that meets NIMAS standards. The New York State Education Department (NYSED) recommends that school districts choose to participate in NIMAC, because this national effort to centralize the distribution of instructional materials in alternate formats will help guarantee timely provision of such materials to students.
For school districts, Boards of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES), State-operated schools, State-supported schools and approved private schools that choose to participate in NIMAC, contracts with publishers executed on and after December 3, 2006 for textbooks and other printed core materials must include a provision that requires the publisher to produce NIMAS files and send them to the NIMAC (this will not add any cost to the contract).
For more information regarding NIMAC including model contract language, Steps for Coordinating with NIMAC and an IDEA Part B Assurances Application, see website: http://www.p12.nysed.gov/specialed/publications/persprep/NIMAS.pdf
Geographic Preference in Procuring Local Agricultural Products
Schools participating in Child Nutrition Programs such as the National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program and/or Special Milk Program are encouraged to purchase unprocessed locally grown and locally raised agricultural products. A school district may apply an optional geographic preference in the procurement of such products by defining the local area where this option will be applied. The intent of this preference is to supply wholesome unprocessed agricultural products that are fresh and delivered close to the source.
A geographic preference established for a specific area adds additional points or credits to bids received in response to a solicitation, but does not provide a set-aside for bidders located in a specific area, nor does it preclude a bidder from outside a specific geographic area from competing for and possibly being awarded a specific contract.
Computer Software Purchases
Software programs designated for use by students in conjunction with computers of the District shall meet the following criteria:
- A computer program which a student is required to use as a learning aid in a particular class; and
- Any content-based instructional materials in an electronic format that are aligned with State Standards which are accessed or delivered through the internet and based on a subscription model. Such electronic format materials may include a variety of media assets and learning tools including video, audio, images, teacher guides, and student access capabilities as such terms are defined in Commissioner’s Regulations.
Environmentally Sensitive Cleaning and Maintenance Products
In accordance with Commissioner’s Regulations, State Finance Law and Education Law, effective with the 2006-2007 school year, the District shall follow guidelines, specifications and sample lists when purchasing cleaning and maintenance products for use in its facilities. Such facilities include any building or facility used for instructional purposes and the surrounding grounds or other sites used for playgrounds, athletics or other instruction.
Environmentally sensitive cleaning and maintenance products are those which minimize adverse impacts on health and the environment. Such products reduce as much as possible exposures of children and school staff to potentially harmful chemicals and substances used in the cleaning and maintenance of school facilities. The District shall identify and procure environmentally sensitive cleaning and maintenance products which are available in the form, function and utility generally used. Coordinated procurement of such products as specified by the Office of General Services (OGS) may be done through central state purchasing contracts to ensure that the District can procure these products on a competitive basis.
The District shall notify their personnel of the availability of such guidelines, specifications and sample product lists.
*Apparel and Sports Equipment Purchases
Competitive Bidding Purchases
The Board of Education will only accept bids from “responsible bidders.” A determination that a bidder on a contract for the purchase of apparel or sports equipment, is not a “responsible bidder” shall be based upon either or both of the following considerations:
- The labor standards applicable to the manufacture of the apparel or sports equipment including, but not limited to, employee compensation, working conditions, employee rights to form unions, and the use of child labor; or
- The bidder’s failure to provide information sufficient for the Board of Education to determine the labor standards applicable to the manufacture of the apparel or sports equipment.
Non-Competitive Bidding Purchases
The Board’s internal policies and procedures governing procurement of apparel or sports equipment, where such procurement is not required to be made pursuant to competitive bidding requirements, shall prohibit the purchase of apparel or sports equipment, from any vendor based upon either or both of the following considerations:
- The labor standards applicable to the manufacture of the apparel or sports equipment including, but not limited to, employee compensation, working conditions, employee rights to form unions, and the use of child labor; or
- The bidder’s failure to provide information sufficient for the Board of Education to determine the labor standards applicable to the manufacture of the apparel or sports equipment.
Contracts for Goods and Services
No contracts for goods and services shall be made by individuals or organizations in the school that involve expenditures without first securing approval for such contract from the Purchasing Agent.
No Board member or employee of the School District shall have an interest in any contract entered into by the Board or the School District.
Upon the adoption of a resolution by a vote of at least three-fifths (3/5) of all Board members stating that for reasons of efficiency or economy there is need for standardization, purchase contracts for a particular type or kind of equipment, materials or supplies of more than twenty thousand ($20,000) dollars may be awarded by the Board to the lowest responsible bidder furnishing the required security after advertisement for sealed bids in the manner provided in law.
7 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 210.21, 215.14(a) and 220.16 20 United States Code (USC) Section 1474(e)(3)(B)
Education Law Sections 305(14), 409-I, 701, 751(2)(b), 1604, 1709, 1950, 2503, 2554 and 3602
General Municipal Law Articles 5-A and 18 State Finance Law Sections 162 and 163-b
8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Sections 155, 170.2, 200.2(b)(10), 200.2(c)(2) and 200.2(i)
Accounting of Funds (Policy 5510)
Accounting and reporting procedures shall be developed to facilitate analysis and evaluation of the District’s financial status and fixed assets. The District will use the Uniform System of Accounts for School Districts.
Books and records of the District shall be maintained in accordance with statutory requirements.
Provision shall be made for the adequate storage, security, and disposition of all financial and inventory records.
The Board has entered into a written agreement with designated banks and trust companies for online banking and electronic or wire transfers, which includes the implementation of a security procedure for all transactions. The District Treasurer, with a separate established user name and password, will have the authority to process online banking transactions. The Deputy Treasurer, with a separate established user name and password, will be responsible for online banking transactions in the event the District Treasurer is not available.
Electronic or Wire Transfers
Procedures will be implemented specifying who is authorized to initiate, approve, transmit, record, review and reconcile electronic transactions. At least two (2) individuals will be involved in each transaction. Authorization and transmitting functions will be segregated and whenever possible the recording function will be delegated to a third individual.
The District will enter into written wire transfer security agreements for District bank accounts which will include established procedures for authenticating wire transfer orders.
All wire transfers must be authorized by the District Treasurer. Dual approval controls will be established for non-routine wire transfer orders.
The Internal Auditor will periodically confirm that wire transfers have appropriate signatures, verification and authorization of proper personnel.
Reserve Funds (Policy 5511)
Reserve funds (essentially a legally authorized savings account designated for a specific purpose) are an important component in the District’s financial planning for future projects, acquisitions and other lawful purposes. To this end, the District may establish and maintain reserve funds in accordance with New York State Laws, Commissioner’s Regulations and the rules and/or opinions issued by the Office of the New York State Comptroller, as applicable. The District shall comply with the reporting requirements of Article 3 of the General Municipal Law of the State of New York and the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) issued GASB Statement Number 54, Fund Balance Reporting and Governmental Fund Type Definitions.
Any and all District reserve funds shall be properly established and maintained to promote the goals of creating an open, transparent and accountable use of public funds. The District may engage independent experts and professionals, including but not limited to, auditors, accountants and other financial and legal counsel, as necessary, to monitor all reserve fund activity and prepare any and all reports that the Board may require.
Periodic Review and Annual Report
The Board of Education will periodically review all reserve funds. The District will also prepare and submit an annual report of all reserve funds to the Board of Education. The annual report shall include the following information for each reserve fund:
- The type and description of the reserve fund;
- The date the reserve fund was established and the amount of each sum paid into the fund;
- The interest earned by the reserve fund;
- Capital gains or losses resulting from the sale of investments of the reserve fund;
- The total amount and date of each withdrawal from the reserve fund;
- The total assets of the reserve fund showing cash balance and a schedule of investments; and
- An analysis of the projected needs for the reserve fund in the upcoming fiscal year and a recommendation regarding funding those projected needs.
The Board shall utilize the information in the annual report to make necessary decisions to adequately maintain and manage the District’s reserve fund balances while mindful of its role and responsibility as a fiduciary of public funds.
Fund Balance Policy (Policy 5512)
The following policy has been adopted by the Board of Education of Schoharie Central School District in order to address the requirements of Governmental Accounting Standards Board (“GASB”) Statement No. 54: Fund Balance Reporting and Governmental Fund Definitions. This policy will assist the District to assess whether it is maintaining adequate fund balances and reserves in order to:
- Provide sufficient cash flow for daily financial needs;
- Secure and maintain investment grade bond ratings;
- Offset significant economic downturns or revenue shortfalls;
- Provide funds for unforeseen expenditures related to emergencies.
GASB Statement No. 54 changed the classifications of fund balance in order to bring greater clarity and consistency to fund balance reporting. Effective for financial statements for periods ending June 30, 2011, fund balance is now reportable in five categories, as follows:
Nonspendable Fund Balance
The nonspendable fund balance amount represents the portion of the fund balance that is not in a spendable format in the current period either because of its form or because it must be maintained intact. Examples include: inventories, prepaid items, and the principal of endowments.
Restricted Fund Balance
The restricted fund balance amount represents the portion of fund balance that is subject to an external and legally enforceable purpose. Restrictions are imposed by creditors, grantors, laws and regulations of other governments, or through constitutional provision or enabling legislation. Examples include: workers’ compensation, employee benefit accrued liability, and tax certiorari reserves (by virtue of the State Comptroller’s regulation of the establishment, funding and use of reserves).
Committed Fund Balance
The committed fund balance amount represents the portion of the fund balance that is constrained for a specific purpose by the school district, through the adoption of a formal resolution by the Board of Education. Committed funds also require the Board to take formal action to subsequently remove or change the constraints. Although the action to constrain the resources must occur prior to the end of the fiscal year, the amount may be determined in the ensuing period. The State Comptroller does not believe that school districts will typically have restrictions that will be accounted for in this category.
Assigned Fund Balance
The assigned fund balance amount represents amounts that are intended to be used for specific purposes, but are not restricted or committed. Examples include: appropriated fund balance and outstanding encumbrances.
Unassigned Fund Balance
Funds in this category represent funds that are not classified in any of the other four categories.
Typically, only the General Fund will contain unassigned fund balance.
The Board of Education recognizes that New York State Real Property Tax Law, Section 1318, limits the amount of unexpended surplus funds to no more than four percent (4%) of the next year’s budgeted appropriations. Under GASB Statement 54, the 4% limitation is interpreted to be applied to unrestricted fund balance (total of the committed, assigned, and unassigned classifications) minus appropriated fund balance, amounts reserved for insurance recovery, amounts reserved for tax reduction, and encumbrances included in committed and assigned fund balance.
The Board of Education affirms its authority to establish restricted, committed and assigned funds, by authorizing the purpose for which the funds will be used. However, the Board of Education delegates the authority to recommend amounts to be used for specific purposes to the Superintendent of Schools and the Business Administrator. The amount of the assignments made by the Board of Education shall be determined based upon the Superintendent’s and Business Administrator’s review of detailed supporting calculations, and such detail will be presented for approval by the Board of Education.
In situations where both restricted and unrestricted resources are available for expenditure (within the five categories of fund balance), the District’s policy is to authorize the Superintendent and Business Administrator to determine the order of the expenditure of funds, on an annual basis, first to restricted fund balance; next to assigned fund balance; then to unassigned fund balance.
Maintenance of Fund Balance (Policy 5513)
The Board of Education recognizes that the maintenance of a fund balance is essential to the financial integrity of the District insofar as it helps mitigate current and future risks and assists in ensuring stable tax rates. Consistent with this understanding, the Board adopts the following standards and practices.
Classification of Funds
The District will ensure that funds are classified consistent with Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) Statement Number 54, Fund Balance Reporting and Governmental Fund Type Definitions. Consequently, fund balance amounts will be categorized as non-spendable, restricted, committed, assigned, or unassigned.
Unassigned Fund Balance
Minimum Unassigned Fund Balance
In order to maintain financial stability and protect against cash flow shortfalls, the Board of Education will strive to maintain an unassigned fund balance of at least 4% of the current year’s budgeted expenses. In the event such balance falls below the 4% floor, the District will seek to replenish deficiencies through reducing expenses and/or increasing revenue.
Maximum Unassigned Fund Balance
In order to support normal operating costs and provide fiscal stability for the District, the Board of Education will also strive to ensure that the unassigned fund balance does not exceed 4% of the current year’s budgeted expenditures. If it is anticipated that such balance will exceed the 4% ceiling, the Board of Education will evaluate current commitments and assignments in order to determine the final distribution of fund balance in any fiscal year. The District will ensure unexpended surplus funds are used to reduce taxpayer liability in conformance with Real Property Tax Law Section 1318.
Fund Balance and Budget Development
The District’s ability to maintain its unassigned fund balance within the limits articulated above is contingent upon the development of a reasonable budget. Consequently, the District will develop and adopt budgets that, to the extent possible, reflect the anticipated revenues and expenditures.
Likewise, the District will ensure that appropriate reserve funds are established and utilized, consistent with applicable law and District policy, to ensure the fund balance is sufficient to meet District needs.
The District will adhere to the reporting requirements of Article 3 of the General Municipal Law of the State of New York, and the practices set forth in GASB Statement Number 54.
Extraclassroom Activities Funds (Policy 5520)
An extraclassroom activity fund shall be established for activities conducted by students whose financial support is raised other than by taxation or through charges of the Board of Education.
All extraclassroom activities shall be approved by the Board of Education. The Building Principal shall maintain an up to date register of all extraclassroom activities that are approved or discontinued. Each extraclassroom activity shall have a faculty advisor appointed by the Building Principal. A Central Treasurer and a Faculty Auditor shall oversee all financial aspects of extraclassroom activities. The annual District audit will include all extraclassroom activity funds.
All extraclassroom activity funds shall be handled in accordance with the financial procedures illustrated by Finance Pamphlet No. 2, the Safeguarding, Accounting and Auditing of Extraclassroom Activity Funds, 2008, published by the New York State Education Department. All commitments and contracts shall be the sole responsibility of the extraclassroom activity club giving rise to the transaction, regardless of a change in advisors, membership or officers.
Proper books will be kept and all moneys deposited in appropriate accounts as set up by the Board of Education. These accounts shall be subject to audit. All transactions involving extraclassroom funds shall be on a cash basis and no accounts shall remain unpaid at the end of the school year. Funds shall be invested in accordance with the Board of Education’s Fiscal Management Policy on the “Investment of District Funds”.
The extraclassroom activities of the District are not included in the exemption granted to the School District from New York State sales tax. Without exception, clubs and activities are prohibited from using the school’s tax exemption. The Central Treasurer shall be responsible for filing the periodic sales tax returns for the extraclassroom activity funds.
Funds of discontinued extraclassroom activities, those inactive for one (1) year and of graduating classes shall revert to the account of the general student organization or student council and shall be expended in accordance with the organization’s constitution.
The Building Principals, with approval of the Superintendent of Schools, shall set up procedures for receipt and payment from the extraclassroom activity fund in their respective schools.
8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Part 172
Petty Cash Funds and Cash in School Buildings (Policy 5530)
Petty Cash Funds
A petty cash fund of not more than one hundred dollars ($100) shall be maintained in the District Office and in each school building. At the time of reimbursement, an itemized statement of expenditures, together with substantiating receipts, shall be submitted. Such accounts shall be authorized by Board resolution at their annual meeting.
Appropriate regulations shall be developed for implementation of this policy.
Cash in School Buildings
Not more than two hundred fifty dollars ($250), whether District or extra classroom funds, shall be held in the vault in the main office of each District school building. Under no circumstances shall cash be left in classroom areas or desks. The District will not be responsible for funds left unprotected.
All funds, whether District or extra classroom funds, shall be deposited prior to close of school each week. Only authorized personnel designated by the building administrator shall be allowed in the main office vault.
Publication of District’s Annual Financial Statement (Policy 5540)
In compliance with Education Law, the Board of Education shall direct the District Clerk to annually publish a full and detailed account of all moneys received by the Board or the Treasurer of the District for its account and use, and all of the money expended therefore, giving the items of expenditure in full.
This account must be published during the months of July or August. The written account must be presented at its annual meeting.
The account shall be published in the official District newspaper once each year.
Education Law Sections 1610, 1721, 2117, 2528 and 2577
Maintenance of Fiscal Effort (Title I Programs) (Policy 5550)
A Local Educational Agency (LEA) may receive its full allocation of Title I funds if the combined fiscal effort per student or the aggregate expenditures of state and local funds with respect to the provision of free public education in the (LEA) for the preceding fiscal year was not less than ninety percent (90%) of the combined fiscal effort per student or the aggregate expenditures for the second preceding fiscal year.
In determining an LEA’s compliance with the maintenance of effort requirement, the State Educational Agency (SEA) shall consider the LEA’s expenditures from state and local funds for free public education. These include expenditures for administration, instruction, attendance, health services, student transportation services, plant operation and maintenance, fixed charges, and net expenditures to cover deficits for food services and student body activities.
The SEA shall not consider the following expenditures in determining an LEA’s compliance with the maintenance of effort requirements:
- Any expenditures for community services, capital outlay, and debt service;
- Any expenditures made from funds provided by the federal government for which the LEA is required to account to the federal government directly or through the SEA.
The Board of Education assigns the School Business Official the responsibility of reviewing, as part of the budgeting process, combined fiscal effort so that expenditures of state and local funds with respect to the provision of free public education per student and in the aggregate for any fiscal year are not budgeted at less than ninety percent (90%) of the combined fiscal effort per student or the aggregate of expenditures for the preceding fiscal year.
Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001
Use of Federal Funds For Political Expenditures (Policy 5560)
The Board of Education prohibits the use of any federal funds for partisan political purposes or expenditures of any kind by any person or organization involved in the administration of federally- assisted programs.
This policy refers generally, but is not limited to, lobbying activities, publications, or other materials intended for influencing legislation or other partisan political activities.
In recognition of this structure, the Board of Education assigns the Purchasing Agent the responsibility of monitoring expenditures of federal funds so that said funds are not used for partisan political purposes by any person or organization involved in the administration of any federally- assisted programs.
OMB Circular A-87 Cost Principles for State, Local and Indian Tribal Governments (revised May 10, 2004)
Compliance Supplement for Single Audit of State and Local Governments (revised June 27, 2003) supplementing OMB Circular A-133
Financial Accountability (Policy 5570)
School districts must have internal controls in place to ensure that the goals and objectives of the District are accomplished; laws, regulations, policies, and good business practices are complied with; operations are efficient and effective; assets are safeguarded; and accurate, timely and reliable data are maintained.
The Schoharie Central School District’s governance and control environment will include the following:
- The District’s code of ethics addresses conflict of interest transactions with Board members and employees. Transactions that are less-than-arm’s length are prohibited. Less-than-arm’s length is a relationship between the District and employees or vendors who are related to District officials or Board members.
- The Board requires corrective action for issues reported in the CPA’s management letter, audit reports, the Single Audit, and consultant reports.
- The Board has established the required policies and procedures concerning District operations.
- The Board routinely receives and discusses the necessary fiscal reports including the:
- Treasurer’s cash reports,
- Budget status reports,
- Revenue status reports,
- Monthly extra-classroom activity fund reports, and
- Fund balance projections (usually starting in January).
- The District has a long-term (three to five years) financial plan for both capital projects and operating expenses.
- The District requires attendance at training programs for Board members, business officials, treasurers, claims auditors, and others to ensure they understand their duties and responsibilities and the data provided to them.
- The Board has an audit committee to assist in carrying out its fiscal oversight responsibilities.
- The District’s information systems are economical, efficient, current, and up-to-date.
- All computer files are secured with passwords or other controls, backed up on a regular basis, and stored at an off site location.
- The District periodically verifies that its controls are working efficiently.
- The District requires all staff to take vacations during which time another staff member performs the duties of the staff on vacation.
8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Section 170.12
Allegations of Fraud (Policy 5571)
Reporting and Investigations of Allegations of Fraud
All Board members and officers, District employees and third party consultants are required to abide by the District’s policies, administrative regulations and procedures in the conduct of their duties. Further, all applicable federal and/or state laws and regulations must be adhered to in the course of District operations and practices. Any individual who has reason to believe that financial improprieties or wrongful conduct is occurring within the School System is to disclose such information according to the reporting procedures established by the District. The reporting procedures will follow the chain of command as established within the department or school building or as enumerated in the District’s Organizational Chart. In the event that the allegations of financial improprieties/fraud and/or wrongful conduct concern the investigating official, the report shall be made to the next level of supervisory authority. If the chain of supervisory command is not sufficient to ensure impartial, independent investigation, allegations of financial improprieties/fraud and/or wrongful conduct will be reported as applicable, to the Internal Auditor (if available), or the Independent (External) Auditor, or the School Attorney, or the Board of Education. The District’s prohibition of wrongful conduct, including fraud, will be publicized within the District as deemed appropriate; and written notification will be provided to all employees with fiscal accounting/oversight and/or financial duties including the handling of money.
Upon receipt of an allegation of financial improprieties/fraud and/or wrongful conduct, the Board or designated employee(s) will conduct a thorough investigation of the charges. However, even in the absence of a report of suspected wrongful conduct, if the District has knowledge of, or reason to know of, any occurrence of financial improprieties/fraud and/or wrongful conduct, the District will investigate such conduct promptly and thoroughly. To the extent possible, within legal constraints, all reports 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. Written records of the allegation, and resulting investigation and outcome will be maintained in accordance with law.
Based upon the results of this investigation, if the District determines that a school official has engaged in financial improprieties/fraudulent and/or wrongful actions, appropriate disciplinary measures will be applied, up to and including termination of employment, in accordance with legal guidelines, District policy and regulation, and any applicable collective bargaining agreement. Third parties who are found to have engaged in financial improprieties/fraud and/or wrongful 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. Rather, when school officials receive a complaint or report of alleged financial improprieties/fraud and/or wrongful conduct that may be criminal in nature, law authorities should be immediately notified.
An appeal procedure will also be provided, as applicable, to address any unresolved complaints and/or unsatisfactory prior determinations by the applicable investigating officer(s).
Protection of School Employees who Report Information Regarding Illegal or Inappropriate Financial Practices
Any employee of the School District who has reasonable cause to believe that the fiscal practices or actions of an employee or officer of the District violates any local, state, federal law or rule and regulation relating to the financial practices of the District, and who in good faith reports such information to an official of the District, or to the Office of the State Comptroller, the Commissioner of Education, or to law enforcement authorities, shall have immunity from any civil liability that may arise from the making of such report. Further, neither the School District, nor employee or officer thereof, shall take, request, or cause a retaliatory action against any such employee who makes such a report.
The Board also prohibits any retaliatory behavior directed against any witnesses and/or any other individuals who participate in the investigation of an allegation of illegal or inappropriate fiscal practices or actions. Follow-up inquiries shall be made to ensure that no reprisals or retaliatory behavior has occurred to those involved in the investigation. Any act of retaliation is prohibited and subject to appropriate disciplinary action by the District.
Knowingly Makes False Accusations
Any individual who knowingly makes false accusations against another individual as to allegations of financial improprieties/fraud may also face appropriate disciplinary action.
Education Law Section 3028-d
Audit Committee (Policy 5572)
No later than January 1, 2006, an Audit Committee shall be established by Board resolution.
The Audit Committee may consist of:
- The Board of Education as a whole;
- A subcommittee of the Board of Education; or
- An Advisory Committee that may include, or be composed entirely of persons other than Board members if, in the opinion of the Board, such membership is advisable to provide accounting and auditing expertise.
The Audit Committee shall consist of at least three (3) members who shall serve without compensation, but shall be reimbursed for any actual and necessary expenditure incurred in relation to attendance at meetings. Employees of the District are prohibited from serving on the Audit Committee. Members of the Audit Committee shall be deemed School District Officers, but shall not be required to be residents of the School District.
The role of the Audit Committee shall be advisory unless the Audit Committee consists of at least a quorum of Board members, and any recommendations it provides to the Board shall not substitute for any required review and acceptance by the Board of Education.
The responsibilities of the Audit Committee include the following:
- Provide recommendations regarding the appointment of the External (Independent) Auditor for the District;
- Meet with the External (Independent) Auditor prior to commencement of the audit;
- Review and discuss with the External (Independent) Auditor any risk assessment of the District’s fiscal operations developed as part of the Auditor’s responsibilities under governmental auditing standards for a financial statement audit and federal single audit standards if applicable;
- Receive and review the draft annual audit report and accompanying draft management letter and, working directly with the External (Independent) Auditor, assist the Board of Education in interpreting such documents;
- Make a recommendation to the Board on accepting the annual audit report; and
- Review every corrective action plan developed by the School District and assist the Board in its implementation.
Additional responsibilities of the Audit Committee include: assisting in the oversight of the Internal Audit Function including, but not limited to, providing recommendations regarding the appointment of the Internal Auditor; reviewing significant findings and recommendations of the Internal Auditor; monitoring the School District’s implementation of such recommendations; and evaluating the performance of the Internal Audit Function.
The Audit Committee may conduct an Executive Session pursuant to Public Officers Law Section 105 pertaining to the following matters:
- To meet with the External (Independent) Auditor prior to commencement of the audit;
- To review and discuss with the External (Independent) Auditor any risk assessment of the District’s fiscal operations developed as part of the Auditor’s responsibilities under governmental auditing standards for a financial statement audit and federal single audit standards if applicable; and
- To receive and review the draft annual audit report and accompanying draft management letter and, working directly with the External (Independent) Auditor, assist the Board of Education in interpreting such documents;
Any Board member who is not a member of the Audit Committee may be allowed to attend an Audit Committee meeting if authorized by a Board resolution. However, if such Board member’s attendance results in a meeting of a quorum of the full Board, any action taken by formal vote may constitute official Board action.
Education Law Sections 2116-c, and 3811-3813 Public Officers Law Sections 105(b), 105(c) and 105(d)
Internal Audit Function (Policy 5573)
No later than July 1, 2006, the District shall establish an Internal Audit Function to be in operation no later than December 31, 2006. The Internal Audit Function shall include:
- Development of a risk assessment of District operations including, but not limited to, a review of financial policies and procedures and the testing and evaluation of District internal controls;
- An annual review and update of such risk assessment;
- Preparation of reports, at least annually or more frequently as the Board may direct, which analyze significant risk assessment findings; and
- Recommendation of changes for strengthening controls and reducing identified risks, and the specification of timeframes for implementation of such recommendations.
The District is permitted to utilize existing District personnel to fulfill the Internal Audit Function, but such persons shall not have any responsibility for other business operations of the District while performing Internal Audit Functions. The District shall also be permitted to use inter- municipal cooperative agreements, shared services to the extent authorized by Education Law Section 1950 or independent contractors to fulfill the Internal Audit Function as long as the personnel or entities performing this Function comply with any Regulations issued by the Commissioner of Education and meet professional auditing standards for independence between the auditor and the District.
Personnel or entities performing the Internal Audit Function shall report directly to the Board of Education. The Audit Committee shall assist in the oversight of the Internal Audit Function on behalf of the Board.
Education Law Sections 1950, 2116-b and 2116-c
Medicaid Compliance Program Policy (Policy 5574)
Schoharie Central School District shall comply with New York State and federal laws and regulations related to the School District’s participation as a provider of care, services or supplies under the Medicaid program.
The School District as a provider receiving or submitting Medicaid claims has established and implemented a Medicaid Compliance Program designed to detect and prevent fraud, waste and abuse.
As required by the New York State Office of the Medicaid Inspector General (hereinafter referred to as the OMIG), the School District’s Medicaid Compliance Program is comprised of the following core elements:
- Written policies and procedures that describe compliance expectations as embodied in a code of ethics applicable to all School District personnel, including Board members. Such compliance expectations or standards of conduct shall include provisions designed to: implement the operation of the Medicaid Compliance Programs; provide guidance to employees and others on dealing with potential compliance issues; identify how to communicate compliance issues to appropriate personnel; and describe how issues are investigated and resolved;
- A designated employee who will be responsible for the day-to-day operation of the Medicaid Compliance Program. This employee’s job duties may be exclusively related to Medicaid compliance issues or may be combined with other duties, provided that the Medicaid compliance portions of the employee’s duties are satisfactorily fulfilled. The designated employee shall report directly to the School District Superintendent or the Superintendent’s designee and shall also periodically report directly to the Board of Education on the School District’s Medicaid Compliance Program activities;
- Training and education of all affected School District employees and other persons associated with the School District’s Medicaid Compliance Program, including, but not limited to, members of the District’s Board of Education. Such training shall occur periodically and shall be made a part of any required training or orientation for new employees, Board members, volunteers and/or others on dealing with the School District’s Medicaid Compliance Program;
- Communication lines and processes directed to the School District’s designated employee who will be responsible for the day-to-day operation of the Medicaid Compliance Program. Such communication lines and processes shall be accessible to all School District employees, Board members, volunteers and others associated with the School District’s Medicaid Compliance Program. The communication lines and processes are designed to allow employees to report compliance issues, including the anonymous and confidential good faith reporting of any practice or procedure related to Medicaid reimbursement of school or preschool supportive health services, that an employee believes is inappropriate;
- Disciplinary procedures that encourage good faith and fair dealing in the School District’s Medicaid Compliance Program by all affected individuals. Such disciplinary procedures shall include procedures that articulate expectations for reporting and assisting with the resolution of compliance issues and also provide sanctions for the failure to report suspected problems and participating (either actively or passively) in non-compliant behavior;
- A system for the routine identification of Medicaid compliance risk areas in the School District’s Medicaid Compliance Program. Self-evaluation of such risk areas may be accomplished by, but not necessarily limited to, internal audits and external audits, as appropriate;
- A system for responding to, investigating, correcting and reporting compliance issues as they are raised, including the development of procedures and systems to reduce the potential for recurrence, identifying and reporting compliance issues to the OMIG and refunding overpayments; and
- A policy of non-intimidation and non-retaliation against any person for the good faith participation in any aspect of the administration of the School District’s Medicaid Compliance Program including, but not limited to, the reporting of potential issues, assisting as a witness with any investigation, evaluation, audit, remedial actions or reporting to appropriate officials as provided in Sections 740 and 741 of the New York State Labor Law.
Social Services Law Section 363-d 18 NYCRR Part 521
NOTE: Refer also to Policies #5570 – Financial Accountability
Insurance (Policy 5610)
Schoharie Central School shall purchase insurance coverage necessary to protect the District to an appropriate extent from loss of property and judgments and awards arising out of liability claims. Records of all insurance policies shall be kept in the business office. The Board of Education shall select a broker who shall advise it in the administration of the insurance program. All actions involving the purchase of insurance shall be subject to Board approval.
The Superintendent shall have general knowledge of the provisions of all insurance policies carried by the District. At time of accident or loss, he/she shall see that necessary action is taken to protect the interests of the School District.
The Board of Education shall purchase with District funds the type and amount of insurance to protect itself as a corporate body, its individual members, its appointed officers, and its employees from financial loss arising out of any claim, demand, suit or judgment by reason of alleged negligence or other act resulting in accidental bodily injury to any person or accidental damage to the property of a person within or outside of the school buildings while the above-named insured are acting in the discharge of the duties within the scope of their employment and/or under the direction of the Board. Such purchase will take into account the price of insurance, appropriate deductible and other relevant factors.
Premiums for such accident insurance as is deemed appropriate for students in grades pre- kindergarten through twelve participating in interscholastic, intramural, and physical education sports activities, or while engaged in practice preparation for such games, sports, or contests will be paid from the General Fund.
The Superintendent of Schools and Business Official shall annually review the insurance program for the purpose of recommending to the Board adjustments in coverage resulting from, but not limited to, expansion of the District’s risks, relevant new laws, and superseding conditions which make changes in coverage appropriate.
All insurance policies, along with an inventory of the contents of the building, should be kept in a fireproof depository or with the appropriate insurance agent for safekeeping and referral purposes. The Superintendent shall review the District’s insurance program annually and make recommendations to the Board if more suitable coverage is required.
Public Officers Law Section 18
Inventories (Policy 5620)
The Superintendent or his/her designee shall be responsible for maintaining a continuous and accurate inventory of equipment owned by the District in accordance with “The Uniform System of Accounts for School Districts.”
All supplies and equipment purchased and received by the School District shall be checked, logged, and stored through an established procedure.
Accounting of Fixed Assets (Policy 5621)
The School Business Official shall be responsible for accounting for general fixed assets according to the procedures outlined by the Uniform System of Accounts for School Districts and GASB Statement 34 Regulations.
These accounts will serve to:
- Maintain a physical inventory of assets;
- Establish accountability;
- Determine replacement costs; and
- Provide appropriate insurance coverage.
Fixed assets with a minimum value established by the Board that have a useful life of one (1) year or more and physical characteristics not appreciably affected by use or consumption shall be inventoried and recorded on an annual basis. Fixed assets shall include land, buildings, equipment and materials.
The Board shall establish a dollar threshold as a basis for considering which fixed assets are to be depreciated. Such threshold shall ensure that at least 80 percent of the value of all assets is reported. However, it is recommended that such threshold shall not be greater than $5,000. A standardized depreciation method and averaging convention shall also be established for depreciation calculations.
Fixed assets acquired having a value equal to or greater than the established threshold are considered depreciable assets and shall be inventoried for the purposes of GASB 34 accounting practices and placed on a depreciation schedule according to its asset class and estimated useful life as stipulated by the NY State Comptroller’s Office or the IRS.
Assets shall be recorded at initial cost or, if not available, at estimated initial cost; gifts of fixed assets shall be recorded at estimated fair value at the time of the gift. A property record will be maintained for each asset and will contain, where possible, the following information:
- Date of acquisition;
- Cost or value;
- Asset type;
- Estimated useful life;
- Replacement cost;
- Current value;Salvage value;
- Date and method of disposition; and
- Responsible official.
The School Business Official shall arrange for the annual inventory and appraisal of School District property, equipment and material. Any discrepancies between an inventory and the District’s property records on file should be traced and explained.
Facilities: Inspection, Operation and Maintenance (Policy 5630)
Operation and Maintenance
The Board, through the Superintendent and his/her staff, has the responsibility of protecting the District’s facilities through a systematic maintenance program. The program shall include periodic preventive maintenance activities, long-range maintenance schedules, and emergency repair procedures. The District will make reasonable attempts to ensure that all maintenance work will be carried out in the least intrusive manner.
Construction and Remodeling of School Facilities
The District will ensure all capital projects and maintenance comply with the requirements of the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code, the Manual of Planning Standards, and the Commissioner’s regulations. Relevant documentation regarding all new buildings must be formally submitted to the State Education Department no matter the size or cost. The New York State Education Department Office of Facilities Planning has provided an Instruction Guide on their official website.
Plans and specifications for the erection, enlargement, repair, or remodeling of facilities of the District shall be submitted to the Commissioner consistent with applicable law.
Plans and specifications submitted to the Commissioner shall bear the signature and seal of an architect or engineer licensed to practice in the State of New York. The architect or engineer who sealed the plans and specifications shall also certify that the plans and specifications conform to the standards set forth in the State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code and the State Energy Conservation Construction Code.
For remodeling or construction projects, the District will ensure compliance with the requirements of the State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code and Commissioner’s regulations. The District will also retain the services of an architect or engineer licensed to practice in New York State as required by law or regulation, or as necessary given the scope and cost of the project.
Carbon Monoxide Detection Requirements
All new and existing District buildings that have appliances, devices, or systems that may emit carbon monoxide, and all attached garages, must have a means to detect carbon monoxide. Buildings include school buildings, administrative buildings, bus maintenance facilities, concession stands, and field houses. Carbon monoxide may be produced by fuel-fired heating systems (boilers, HVAC units, and makeup air units), emergency or standby electric generation within a building, fuel-fired kitchen equipment (ranges, ovens, steamers, dishwashers, and makeup air units serving hoods), fuel-fired domestic hot water heaters, laboratory/shop equipment (gas outlets, torches, gas-fired kilns, and stationary or portable engines), maintenance and storage areas with fuel-fired equipment, and in garages.
The District may use a self-contained carbon monoxide alarm, a carbon monoxide detection system, or both. The District will comply with all laws and regulations regarding alarms/detectors, including where they must be located, their power sources, and labeling requirements. The District should develop written standard operating procedures to follow when a carbon monoxide detector is activated.
The District is mindful of the health and safety of its students, staff, and visitors and, as such, the District administration will cooperate with appropriate officials conducting health, fire, asbestos, bus, and boiler inspections. In addition, the administration shall keep the Board of Education informed of the results of such inspections in a timely fashion.
In accordance with the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA), the District will inform all employees and building occupants (or their legal guardians) at least once each school year about all asbestos inspections, response actions, post-response action activities, as well as triennial re- inspection activities and surveillance activities that are either planned or in progress. The District will provide yearly notification to parent, teacher, and employee organizations on the availability of the District’s asbestos management plan and any asbestos-related actions taken or planned in the school.
To help protect staff, students, and visitors from contracting Legionnaires’ disease from Legionella bacteria, the District will register any cooling towers it owns with NYSED, providing the information in any form that the Department requires. The District will also adhere to the inspection, annual certification, and maintenance program and planning requirements mandated by NYSED. Further, the District will maintain records regarding all inspection results, corrective action, cleaning and disinfection, tests, and certifications for at least three years. The District will keep a copy of its required maintenance program and plan on the premises where the cooling tower is located.
Comprehensive Public School Building Safety Program (RESCUE)
To ensure that all District facilities are properly maintained and preserved and provide suitable educational settings, the Board of Education requires that all occupied school facilities which are owned, operated or leased by the District comply with the provisions of the Comprehensive Public School Building Safety Program, the Uniform Code of Public School Building Inspections, and the Safety Rating and Monitoring as prescribed in Commissioner’s regulations. For this reason, the District shall develop a Comprehensive Public School Building Safety Program in accordance with Commissioner’s regulations.
The program shall be reevaluated and made current at least annually, and shall include, at a minimum, the following:
- A five (5) year capital facilities plan which will include an appraisal of the following: the educational philosophy of the District, with resulting administrative organization and program requirements; present and projected student enrollments; space use and State-rated student capacity of existing facilities; the allocation of instructional space to meet the current and future education program and service needs, and to serve students with disabilities in settings with nondisabled peers; priority of need of maintenance, repair or modernization of existing facilities, including consideration of the obsolescence and retirement of certain facilities; and the provision of additional facilities.
- A District-wide building inventory, which will include information pertaining to each building including, but not limited to:
- Type of building, age of building, size of building;
- Rated capacity, current enrollment;
- List of energy sources and major systems (lighting, plumbing, electrical, heating); and
- Summary of triennial Asbestos Inspection reports.
- A building condition survey shall be conducted for all occupied school buildings once every five (5) years by a team that includes at least one (1) licensed architect or engineer.
- District-wide monitoring system which includes:
- Establishing a Health and Safety Committee;
- Development of detailed plans and a review process of all inspections;
- Procedures for a response in writing to all inquiries about building health and safety concerns, a copy of which will be sent to the District’s Health and Safety Committee for oversight, and a copy kept on permanent file.
- Procedures to ensure the safety of the building occupants while a construction/renovation project is taking place. These procedures will include:
- Notification to parents, staff and the community at least two (2) months in advance of a construction project of ten thousand dollars ($10,000) or more to be conducted in a school building while the building is occupied; provided, however, that in the case of emergency construction projects, such notice shall be provided as far in advance of the start of construction as is practicable;
- A plan to ensure that all contractors comply with all health and safety issues and regulations, and wear photo identification badges;
- An opportunity for the District’s Health and Safety Committee to conduct a walk- through inspection of newly renovated or constructed areas to confirm that the area is ready to be reopened for use; and
- An emergency plan which will address potential concerns with the capital project including, but not limited to, evacuation procedures, fire drills, and structural failures.
Asbestos Inspection: 40 CFR Part 763, Subpart E 15 USC §§ 2641-2656
Carbon Monoxide Detection: 19 NYCRR § 1228.4 Fire Inspection: Education Law § 807-a 8 NYCRR § 155.4
Health and Safety Committee: 8 NYCRR § 155. 4(d)(1) Legionella Protection: 10 NYCRR § 4.1, et seq.
Plans and Specifications: Education Law §§ 408, 408-a and 409 8 NYCRR §§ 155.1 and 155.2
19 NYCRR §§ 1221-1240
Structural Safety Inspections: Education Law §§ 409-d, 409-e, 3602 and 3641(4) 8 NYCRR §§ 155.1, 155.3, and 155.4(b)(1)
Hazardous Waste and Handling of Toxic Substances by Employees (Policy 5631)
The Board of Education recognizes the need to protect human health and the environment from damage resulting from the improper handling of hazardous wastes.
The management of hazardous waste from its point of generation to the ultimate disposal is regulated through specific Federal and State laws.
The Board directs the Superintendent to adopt rules to ensure District implementation of applicable Federal and State laws pertaining to the identification, transportation, treatment, storage, and disposal of hazardous wastes.
Environmental Protection Agency
40 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 261 and 262 6 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Part 371
Pest Management and Pesticide Use (Policy 5632)
The Board of Education is committed to maintaining the integrity of school buildings and grounds while protecting the health and safety of students and staff and maintaining a productive learning environment.
Structural and landscape pests can pose significant problems for people and property. Weeds and infestations can destroy playing fields and playgrounds and more importantly, cause severe allergic reactions. Pesticides can pose risks to people, property, and the environment. It is therefore the policy of the School District to incorporate Integrated Pest Management (IPM) procedures for control of weeds, structural and landscape pests. The objective of this program is to provide necessary pest control while using the least toxic approach to all pests, weeds and infestations.
Pest/Pesticide Management Plan
The District will manage weeds and pests to:
- Reduce any potential human health hazard or threat to public safety.
- Prevent loss or damage to school structures or property.
- Prevent pests from spreading into the community, or to plant and animal populations beyond the site.
- Enhance the quality of life for students, staff, and others.
Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Coordinator
An IPM Coordinator will be appointed by the Superintendent of schools. The Coordinator will be responsible for implementing the IPM policy and plan. The coordinator’s responsibilities will include the following:
- Recording all pest sightings by school staff and students.
- Recording all pesticide use and utilizing the least toxic approach.
- Meeting with a local pest control expert, such as a pesticide contractor to share information on what pest problems are present in the school.
- Assuring that all of the expert’s recommendations on maintenance and sanitation are carried out where feasible.
- Assuring that pesticide use is done when school is not in session or when the area can be completely secured against access by school staff and students for standard seventy-two (72) hours, or as required by the pesticide being used.
- Evaluating the school’s progress in the IPM plan.
- Notifying parents, staff and neighbors of any applications of pesticides forty-eight (48) hours before they occur. The IPM Coordinator will serve as the District’s Pesticide Representative.
Pesticide Use on Common Areas
Pesticides will not be used on playgrounds, turf, athletic or playing fields, in effect, all lawn areas of the school. In these common areas where children gather and play, pesticide alternatives will be used whenever possible and effective. The prohibition doe not apply to indoor use or the application to building structures.
An exception may be made for emergency applications of pesticide only when approved in advance by the School Board. The Board may consult with the local Health Department on public health related emergency determinations. They may also consult with the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) for environmental emergency determinations. Emergency determinations should only be sought for one-time pesticide application in a specific situation, which presents a true emergency. The guidance document from DEC provides clarification on emergency determinations. It can be found at:
Some types of pesticides and alternatives, those deemed safe in federal regulation, may be allowable on playing fields and playgrounds in certain circumstances. The District will develop regulations governing the use of pesticides and their alternatives on school grounds.
New requirements and restrictions regarding the use of phosphorus fertilizers on school grounds have been developed. Chapter 205 of the Laws of 2010 dictates the requirements which must be adhered to regarding grounds maintenance starting on January 1, 2012.
- Fertilizer use is prohibited between December 1 and April 1 annually.
- The use of fertilizers is prohibited within twenty (20) feet of any surface water except:
- Where a continuous natural vegetation buffer, at least ten (10) feet wide, separates lawn and water.
- Where a spreader guard, deflector shield or drop spreader is used, then the application may not occur within three feet of any surface water.
- The use of phosphorus fertilizers are prohibited on lawns or other non-agricultural turf with the following exceptions:
- The use of phosphorus fertilizers are needed to establish a new lawn; or
- A soil test shows that phosphorus fertilizers are needed for growth.
- Fertilizer cannot be used on any impervious surfaces and if such an application occurs, it must be cleaned immediately and legally applied or placed in an appropriate container.
The District’s IPM Coordinator or designated Pesticide Representative will give prior written notice of all pesticide applications to anyone who has asked to receive such notice. The District will also notify parents, students and staff of periodic pesticide applications. The District will maintain a list of those people who wish to receive forty-eight (48) hour notice before pesticide applications and will ensure that a system is developed to deliver such notice in a timely fashion to all affected. The notification system may be by mail or email, and will ensure that a back-up method is available to notify those for whom the regular system is unworkable. The name and contact information for the District Pesticide Representative will be made available to all requesting it.
Sample forms for forty-eight (48) hour prior notification can be obtained at:
The District must also provide additional written notification to all parents and staff three (3) times per year to inform them of any pesticide applications that have occurred: within ten (10) days of the end of the school year, within two (2) school days of the end of winter recess and within two (2) days of the end of spring recess.
Records of pesticide use will be maintained on site for three (3) years. Records will be completed on the day of pesticide use. In addition, pest surveillance records will be maintained to help verify the need for pesticide treatments. Annual reports of any applications must be sent to DEC.
Education Law Sections 409-k, 409-h
Environmental Conservation Law Sections 17-2103, 33-0303 40 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 152.25
7 United States Code Section 136(mm), 136q(h)(2) (FIFRA) NYCRR Part 155.4(d)(2)
Smoking/Tobacco Use (Policy 5640)
Tobacco use shall not be permitted and no person shall use tobacco on school grounds at any time. For purposes of this policy, “school grounds” means any building, structure, and surrounding outdoor grounds contained within the District’s preschool, nursery school, elementary or secondary school’s legally defined property boundaries as registered in the County Clerk’s Office; as well as all District vehicles, including vehicles used to transport children or school personnel.
For purposes of this policy, tobacco is defined to include any lighted or unlighted cigarette, cigar, cigarillo, pipe, bidi, clove cigarette, and any other smoking product, and spit tobacco (smokeless, dip, chew and/or snuff) in any form.
Posting/Notification of Policy
In compliance with the New York State Clean Indoor Air Act, the District will prominently post its Smoking/Tobacco Use policy and signs prohibiting all forms of tobacco products in District buildings and other appropriate locations; and will supply a copy upon request to any current or prospective employee. The District will also designate a school official to tell individuals who smoke in a non-smoking area that they are in violation of the New York State Public Health Law, Education Law, the federal Pro-Children Act of 1994 and District policy.
The District shall also ensure that this policy is communicated to staff, students, parents/guardians, volunteers, and visitors as deemed appropriate in order to orient all persons to the District’s “No Smoking” Policy and environment.
Prohibition of Tobacco Promotional Items/Tobacco Advertising
Tobacco promotional items (e.g., brand names, logos and other identifiers) are prohibited:
- On school grounds;
- In school vehicles;
- At school-sponsored events;
- In school publications;
- On clothing, shoes, accessories, gear, and school supplies in accordance with the District Code of Conduct and applicable collective bargaining agreements.
This prohibition of tobacco promotional items shall be implemented in accordance with the Code of Conduct and applicable collective bargaining agreements.
In addition, tobacco advertising is also prohibited in all school-sponsored publications and at all school sponsored events.
Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act 20 United States Code (USC) Section 7101 et seq. Pro-Children Act of 2001
20 United States Code (USC) Sections 7181-7184, as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 Public Health Law Article 13-E
Education Law Sections 409 and 3020-a
NOTE: Refer also to Policies #3280 — Community Use of School Facilities
#3410 — Code of Conduct on School Property
#7310 — School Conduct and Discipline
#7320 — Alcohol, Tobacco, Drugs, and Other Substances (Students)
#8211 — Prevention Instruction
Energy/Water Conservation and Recycling of Solid Waste (Policy 5650)
The Board of Education recognizes the importance of energy and water conservation and is committed to the analysis, development, and initiation of conservation measures throughout the District for the purpose of reducing energy consumption, particularly in these times of declining levels of natural energy resources and increasing cost of these resources. The Board will maintain an aggressive and responsible program to reduce consumption of energy by its facilities and to provide education on the conservation of energy.
However, the District will comply with the Property Maintenance Code of New York State, part of the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code, which requires that indoor occupiable work spaces be maintained at a minimum temperature of sixty five (65) degrees from September 14 to May 31 during the period the spaces are occupied. There are exceptions for areas of vigorous physical activities such as gymnasiums as well as processing spaces such as coolers or freezers.
The Superintendent will develop a program for the source separation and segregation of recyclable or reusable materials in the District. This District-wide recycling plan shall include:
- A conservation education program to teach students about their social responsibility for preserving our resources, and involvement of all students and personnel in a comprehensive effort to reduce, reuse and recycle waste materials;
- A concerted effort to purchase recycled items and biodegradable rather than non- biodegradable products;
- Separation of waste into appropriate categories for the purpose of recycling, including mercury-added consumer products; and
- A cooperative effort with community recycling programs.
Energy Management Conservation Policy (Policy 5651)
As the School Board of the Schoharie Central School District, we believe it to be our responsibility to ensure that every effort is made to conserve energy and natural resources while exercising sound fiscal management.
The implementation of this policy is the joint responsibility of the Board members, administrators, teachers, students and support personnel and its success is based on cooperation at all levels. The District will maintain accurate records of energy consumption and cost of energy and will provide information on the goals and progress of the energy conservation program.
The building administrator and Energy Educator/Manager will be accountable to the Superintendent for energy management within his or her building with energy audits being conducted and conservation program outlines being updated. Judicious use of the various energy systems in each building will be the joint responsibility of the building administrator and the Supervisor of Buildings and Grounds to ensure that an efficient energy posture is maintained on a daily basis.
To ensure the overall success of the energy management program, the following specific areas of emphasis will be adopted:
- All personnel will be expected to contribute to energy efficiency in our District. Every person will be expected to be an “energy saver” as well as an “energy consumer”.
- Energy management in his/her building will be made a part of the principal’s administrative responsibility.
- Within sixty (60) days, administrative Energy Guidelines will be adopted that will be the “rules of the game” in implementing our energy program.
Further, to maintain a safer and healthier learning environment and to complement the energy management program, the District shall develop and implement a preventive maintenance and monitoring plan for its facilities and systems, including HVAC, building envelope, and moisture management.
Whereas the School Board bears responsibility for the best use of tax dollars, and
Whereas public education can provide leadership in developing a realistic energy ethic and awareness of energy needs and costs,
Therefore, the School Board of Schoharie Central School District directs the administration to develop short and long range strategies in the areas of facilities management and preventive maintenance.
School Food Service Program (Lunch and Breakfast)/School District Nutrition Advisory Committee (Policy 5660)
School Food Service Program (Lunch and Breakfast)
The Board has entered into an agreement with the New York State Education Department to participate in the National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program and/or Special Milk Program to receive commodities donated by the Department of Agriculture and to accept responsibility for providing free and reduced price meals to elementary and secondary students in the schools of the District.
The Superintendent or his/her designee shall have the responsibility to carry out the rules of the School Lunch and Breakfast Programs. The determination of which students are eligible is the responsibility of the Superintendent or his/her designee. Appeals regarding eligibility should be submitted to the Hearing Official of the District.
Free or reduced price meals may be allowed for qualifying students attending District schools upon receipt of a written application from the student’s parent or guardian or a “Direct Certification” letter from the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA). Applications will be provided by the School District to all families.
Procedures for the administration of the free and reduced price meal program of this School District will be the same as those prescribed in current state and federal laws and regulations.
Child Nutrition Program/Charging Meals
Although not required by law, because of the District’s participation in the Child Nutrition Program, the Board of Education approves the establishment of a system to allow a student to charge a meal. The Board authorizes the Superintendent to develop rules which address:
- What can be charged;
- The limit on the number of charges per student;
- The system used for identifying and recording charged meals;
- The system used for collection of repayments; and
- Ongoing communication of the policy to parents and students.
Restriction of Sweetened Foods in School
The sale of sweetened foods will be prohibited from the beginning of the school day until the end of the last scheduled meal period.
Sweetened foods consist of sweetened soda water, chewing gum, candy, including hard candy, jellies, gum, marshmallow candies, fondant, licorice, spun candy, candy coated popcorn, and water ices except those which contain fruit or fruit juices.
Food Substitutions for Children with Disabilities
Federal regulations governing the operation of Child Nutrition Programs, Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 require that children with disabilities be offered the opportunity to participate in all academic and nonacademic activities including the school nutrition programs. The District will make reasonable accommodations to those children with disabilities whose disabilities restrict their diets, such as providing substitutions and/or modifications in the regular meal patterns. Such meal substitutions for students with disabilities will be offered at no extra charge. A student with a disability must be provided substitutions in food when that need is supported by a statement signed by a physician attesting to the need for the substitutions and recommending alternate foods.
However, the school food service is not required to provide meal services (for example, School Breakfast Program) to students with disabilities when the meal service is not normally available to the general student body, unless a meal service is required under the student’s individualized education program (IEP) or Section 504 Accommodation Plan as mandated by a physician’s written instructions.
Though not required, the District will also allow substitutions for non-disabled children who are unable to consume the regular meal because of medical or other special dietary needs if the request is supported by a statement signed by a recognized medical authority.
School District Nutrition Advisory Committee
In accordance with Education Law, the District will establish a Child Nutrition Advisory Committee. The Committee will include, but not be limited to, a representative of the School Board; the food preparation staff; the physical education departments; the school nurse or health staff; a registered dietitian, if available; the faculty of the District; the parent-teacher associations in the District; the students enrolled in the District; and the parents/guardians of students enrolled in the District. If, due to special circumstances, it is impossible or impracticable for all recommended groups to have members on the Committee for representation, the District may approve a Committee that, to the greatest extent possible, represents the interests of the aforementioned groups.
Prior to the start of school in the fall, the District will send in a newsletter written notice to all parents/guardians of enrolled students of the existence of the School District Nutrition Advisory Committee and supply information as to how interested parents/guardians may participate on the Committee. The District will also, to the extent practicable, give notice to all parents/guardians and students through its regular newsletters or other regular forms of written communication as to the scheduled dates of all meetings of the Advisory Committee.
The Committee will study all facets of the current nutritional policies of the District including, but not limited to:
- The goals of the District to promote health and proper nutrition;
- Vending machine sales;
- Menu criteria;
- Educational curriculum teaching healthy nutrition;
- Educational information provided to parents/guardians regarding healthy nutrition and the health risks associated with obesity;
- Opportunities offered to parents/guardians to encourage healthier eating habits to students; and
- The education provided to teachers and other staff as to the importance of healthy nutrition.
In addition, the Committee shall consider recommendations and practices of other districts and nutrition studies.
Child Nutrition Act 1966
42 United States Code (USC) Section 1771 et seq. Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act 1946 42 United States Code (USC) Section 1751 et seq. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
29 United States Code (USC) Section 794 et seq. Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) 20 United States Code (USC) Sections 1400-1485 7 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 15B
Education Law Sections 915, 918, 1604(28), 1709(22), 1709(23) and 2503(9)(a)
8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Sections 200.2(b)(1) and 200.2(b)(2)
Vending Machines (Policy 5661)
The Schoharie Central School District is aware of the important role that nutrition plays in maintaining good health.
Therefore, to afford all students of Schoharie Central School the opportunity to receive a Type A lunch of nutritional value, the school shall prohibit the installation of vending machines in both the high school and elementary school cafeterias, classrooms, gym areas and halls, as outlined below:
- Vending machines which dispense candy, soft drinks, ice cream, sandwiches, and similar products.
This section does not apply to the faculty rooms of the high school and elementary school, however, specific authorization by the administration is required prior to the installation of any dispensing machines.
Wellness Policy (Policy 5662)
The District is committed to providing a school environment that promotes and protects children’s health, well being, and the ability to learn by fostering healthy eating and physical activity. The District has established a wellness committee to develop the District’s proposed local wellness policy, making such policy recommendations for review and adoption by the Board of Education. The District’s wellness committee includes, but is not limited to, representatives from each of the following groups:
- The District’s food service program;
- The School Board;
- School administrators; and
- Members of the public.
Schoharie Central School is committed to providing a program that provides access to healthy foods and the opportunity to become physically fit in order to promote a healthy body and academic excellence. This philosophy is in accordance with Public law 108-265, The Child Wellness and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004. It is our belief that individuals who adopt a healthy lifestyle have better attendance, a better self-image and perform assigned duties more effectively. Since obesity rates are on the rise, adopting healthy life choices are now of great importance.
Section 204 of Public Law 108-265, the federal Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004, mandates that all school districts participating in a program authorized by the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act (42 United States Code Section 1751 et seq.) or the Child Nutrition Act of 1966 (42 United States Code Section 1771 et seq.) establish a local school wellness policy by July 1, 2006.
Goals to Promote Student Wellness
Taking into account the parameters of the School District (academic programs, annual budget, staffing issues, and available facilities) as well as the community in which the District is located (the general economy; socioeconomic status; local tax bases; social cultural and religious influences; geography; and legal, political and social institutions) the Wellness Committee recommends the following District goals relating to nutrition education, physical activity and other school-based activities:
The District will provide nutrition education to facilitate the voluntary adoption of healthy eating habits and other nutrition-related behaviors conducive to health and well being by establishing the following standards for:
- Classroom Teaching Standards: In compliance with New York State Health and Family and Consumer Science standards all students will be educated in the following elements of good nutrition:
- diet and technologies for safe and healthy food preparation
- how to select a variety of healthy foods
- how to read and comprehend food labels.
- risks associated with obesity.
- how to design and implement a healthy diet.
- understanding the metabolism concept and how to maintain a healthy weight during their lifetime.
- Education, marketing and promotion links outside the classroom: The Schoharie Central Community shall provide consistent nutrition messages school-wide. (i.e. in the cafeteria and district newsletter) that will promote healthy eating habits and behaviors. School- based marketing of brands promoting predominantly low-nutrition foods and beverages is discouraged. The promotion of healthy foods, including fruits and vegetables, whole grains and low- fat dairy products are encouraged.
- Fundraising activities:
All groups that engage in fundraising activities are encouraged to choose alternatives to food. Ideas include other activities such as the following:
- Flower sales, candles sales, magazines, Avon, Spirit Wear, etc. will be promoted.
- Activity based fundraisers (example; hop-a-thon, human chess, walk-a-thon, read-a-thon, marathon basketball, etc.) will also be promoted. If food fundraising activities are selected, groups are expected to include healthy food options that are within the “Choose Sensibly Guidelines” (See page 6 of 8) Examples of this are as follows:
- Cookie sales might include a fresh fruit option such as apples or oranges.
- Chocolate sales might include nuts as an option.
Fundraisers that do not meet these standards are discouraged for sale.
Direct Donation Option: It is understood that fundraisers are a necessary component of many clubs and organizations. With this in mind, all groups are encouraged to provide a direct donation option in addition to the purchase of food. Alternative suggestions are as follows, depending on the product offered for sale:
The monetary donation would be accepted by the club and the club, in turn, donates the food product to a local food pantry.
The monetary donation would be accepted by the club and the club, in turn, would send the food product to our troops overseas.</s
Ultimately, we must remember that the key to healthy fundraising is to be creative and flexible.
Teacher training: Schoharie Central School supports staff professional development to educate staff in New York State Standards; health and nutrition laws and policy; healthy food choices for the classroom; fundraising; and promotion of fitness and wellness through the schools’ wellness day. For example: Schoolwide Wellness Day, Wellness Policy education, educating staff through “Choose Sensibly” guidelines, etc.
The District will provide opportunities for every student to develop the knowledge and skills for specific physical activities, to maintain physical fitness, to regularly participate in physical activity, and to understand the short-term and long-term benefits of a physically active and healthy lifestyle.
The Wellness Committee in conjunction with New York State has determined that the following standards are necessary to achieve this goal:
- Schoharie Central School Physical Education will meet all NYS standards.
- Students will be required to obtain two (2) credits in Senior High Physical Education, One (1) credit of Jr. High Physical Education and seven (7) years of Elementary Physical Education for graduation.
- Students will receive 120 minutes of Physical Education during the six-day cycle with a goal of achieving an accelerated heart rate during those classes.
- The school will provide activities and classes for special needs students.
- Schoharie Central School will provide staff training for teachers and coaches through the availability of CPR and First Aid training, clinics, conferences and coaching courses.
Schoharie Central School will encourage students to be active outside Physical Education classes through the use of intramurals, sports, recess, and after-school programs where students will be encouraged to meet the F.I.T. (frequency, intensity and time) Principle. The F.I.T. Principle is a program that requires students to exercise three times per week, reaching and maintaining their target heart rate for 20 minutes.
Students will be encouraged to walk/bike to school. To help facilitate this activity, SCS has provided crossing guards and new and improved sidewalks and bike racks.
Other School-based Activities
The District wishes to establish a school environment that presents consistent wellness messages and is conducive to healthy eating and physical activity for all. In order to present a coordinated school approach where District decision-making related to nutrition and physical activity encompasses all aspects of the school, the Wellness Committee has determined that the following standards are necessary to achieve this goal:
a. Federal School Meal Programs:
The District will participate to the maximum extent practicable in available federal school meal programs [School Breakfast Program and National School Lunch Program] Meals served through the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs will
- be appealing and attractive to children;
- be served in clean and pleasant settings;
- meet, at a minimum, nutrition requirements established by local, state, and federal statutes and regulations;
- offer a variety of fruits and vegetables;
- serve a variety of milk including low-fat (1%) and fat-free milk and nutritionally-equivalent non-dairy alternatives (when required, as defined by USDA); and
- ensure that half of the served grains are whole grain.
The District should engage students through taste-tests of new entrees and surveys, in selecting foods sold through the school meal programs in order to identify new, healthful, and appealing food choices. Information about meals and new food items will be made available on menus, the Schoharie Central School website, on cafeteria menu boards, or other point-of-purchase materials.
b. Access to school nutrition programs:
Breakfast: To ensure that all children have breakfast, either at home or at school, in order to meet their nutritional needs and enhance their ability to learn, the District will, to the extent possible:
- operate the School Breakfast Program.
- arrange bus schedules and utilize methods to serve school breakfasts that encourage participation, including “grab-and-go” breakfast, or breakfast during morning break or study hall.
- notify parents and students of the availability of the School Breakfast Program.
- encourage parents to provide a healthy breakfast for their children through newsletter articles, take-home materials, or other means.
- promote the eating of breakfast either at home or at school in Elementary Classrooms during the New York State Education Department’s annual Think Breakfast promotion.
Free and Reduced-priced Meals: The District will make every effort to eliminate any social stigma attached to, and prevent the overt identification of, students who are eligible for free and reduced- price school meals. Toward this end, schools will utilize electronic identification and payment systems and promote the availability of school meals to all students.
c. Meal environment:
- The District will provide students with at least 10 minutes to eat after sitting down for breakfast and 20 minutes after sitting down for lunch and schedule meal periods at appropriate times; e.g., lunch should be scheduled between 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Scheduling of tutoring, club, or organizational meetings or activities will not occur during mealtimes, unless students may eat during such activities.
- Lunch periods will follow recess whenever possible (in elementary school), and students will be provided hand washing or hand sanitizing before meals and snacks when possible. The School Nurse will take reasonable steps to accommodate tooth-brushing regimens of students with special oral health needs; (e.g. orthodontics or high tooth decay risk).
d. Classroom environment:
In an effort to model healthy behavior the District will provide students with the knowledge to make healthy lifestyle choices. Schoharie Central School faculty, staff and parents are encouraged to:
- Limit the use of snacks, treats, and party foods that do not promote wellness.
- Encourage appropriate portion control during student activities.
- Avoid the association of food with love, comfort, or value.
- Use alternative rewards as often as possible and avoiding withdrawal of “treats” as punishment. An appropriate use of food might be snacks that promote wellness offered as part of a party by the entire group.
The District will supply parents, faculty, and staff, with lists to help in the selection of healthy snacks for celebrations and parties, as well as suggestions for alternative rewards and fundraising.
e. After-school programs for students:
After school programs in the elementary building operate with wellness in mind. Programs like Tuesday Tutoring and 4-H include snacks like milk or juice with nuts and raisins for a treat. Activities that extend beyond a half-hour usually provide time for children to run and play.
Students that participate in after school activities in the Jr. / Sr. High School may have access to healthy snacks provided by school sponsored organizations.
f. Access to District facilities for physical activities and education (students, staff and community):
- SCS provides students, community, and parents with multiple venues for physical activities outside the school day. Some of these activities may include: dances, fun night, System Soccer, Varsity Club activities, after school 4-H Program, Little Indians Basketball, Pee Wee Wrestling, Little League Baseball, Alumni Basketball, Interscholastic Sports, and Intramural, to name a few.
- SCS faculty and staff have access to the gymnasium, track, and weight room to support activities.
- SCS offers adult education programs such as: coaching programs, CPR, and AED training. SCS staff wellness opportunities include Wellness Day, health screenings, and access to facilities
g. Community involvement:
Community members and parents are an integral part in devising and implementing the wellness policy. The SCS policy will be presented to students, staff and the community through venues such as: The district newsletter, district website, press release, classroom, bulletin boards, staff meeting, and classroom education.
h. Sustainable food practices:
The District will participate in Farm-to–School initiatives and programs whenever possible. Produce from local farms and orchards will be incorporated into menu and ala carte choice when available and affordable.
The District Wellness Committee will recommend which nutrition standards will be established for all foods available on school campus during the school day based upon the unique needs of the student body and the community. The goal is to encourage healthy lifelong eating habits by providing foods that are high in nutrients, low in fat and added sugars, and of moderate portion size.
Nutritional Values of Foods and Beverages
a. Reimbursable school meals served at school will meet the minimum program requirements and nutrition standards of the National School Lunch Program.
Ala carte snacks sold in the cafeteria, in vending machines, in student stores, snack bars, concession stands, parties, celebrations, food-related fundraising, and food rewards/punishments will include a variety of choices whenever possible. Items that meet the New York School Nutrition Association Choose Sensibly Guidelines will be available whenever possible.
b. The Choose sensibly Guidelines are as follows:
- 7 grams of fat or less.
- 2 grams of saturated fat, or less.
- 15 grams or less of sugar.
- 360 milligrams or less of sodium.
- Foods will contain one serving per package.
- Fruits and vegetables — a choice of at least two fruits and non-fried vegetables will be offered for sale at any location where foods are sold on campus. Such items could include, but are not limited to: (canned fruit, fresh fruit & vegetables, fruit-based drinks, frozen fruit juice bars or dried fruit or vegetables).
c. The Choose Sensibly requirements for beverages:
- All low fat milks, including low fat flavored milks are acceptable.
- Juice drinks must contain at least 25% real juice.
- Beverages with 10 milligrams or less of caffeine.
- Water or flavored water shall not contain added sugar, artificial sweeteners or caffeine.
d. Food and beverages sold individually (i.e. foods sold outside of the reimbursable school meals such as vending machines, cafeteria a la carte (snack lines), fundraising, school store, etc.) will meet and extend to the end of the school day, the New York State Education Law (Chapter 647 of Laws of 1987). The Law prohibits the sale of all candy and soda (including soda water, water ices (excluding water ices containing fruit or fruit juices), chewing gum, hard candies, jellies and marshmallow candies, fondants (soft mints and candy corn), licorice, spun candy (cotton candy) and candy coated popcorn), from the beginning of the school day until the end of the last scheduled meal period in all parts of the building, in all schools.
Guidelines for reimbursable school meals shall not be less restrictive than applicable federal regulations and guidance issued pursuant to the Child Nutrition Act and the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act, as those regulations and guidance apply to schools.
Implementation and Evaluation of the Wellness Policy
In accordance with law, the District’s wellness policy was established by July 1, 2006; and the District will ensure school and community awareness of this policy through various means such as publication in District newsletters and/or the District calendar. Further, professional development activities for staff and student awareness training will be provided, as appropriate, on the goals of the District’s wellness program, including activities/programs for the development of healthy eating habits and the incorporation of physical activity as part of a comprehensive healthy lifestyle.
The District shall establish an implementation and evaluation plan for the wellness policy in order to monitor the effectiveness of the policy and the possible need for further modification over time. Accordingly, the Superintendent shall designate one or more staff members within the District or at each school as appropriate to have operational responsibility for ensuring that the District meets the goals and mandates of its local wellness policy. Designated staff members may include, but are not limited to, the following personnel:
- School health personnel including the school nurse and the health and/or physical education teacher; and
- School Food Service Director.
These designated staff members shall periodically report to the Superintendent on the District’s compliance with the wellness policy (or, if done at the building level, to the School Principal) and the Superintendent shall inform the Board of such findings. The Superintendent/designee shall prepare a summary report on District-wide compliance with the District’s wellness policy based on input from schools within the District. That report will be provided to the School Board and also distributed to the wellness committee, parent-teacher organizations, building principals, and school health services personnel within the District. The report shall also be available to community residents upon request.
These designated school officials will also serve as a liaison with community agencies in providing outside resources to help in the development of nutrition education programs and physical activities.
Evaluation and feedback from interested parties, including an assessment of student, parent, teacher, and administration satisfaction with the wellness policy, is essential to the District’s evaluation program. Further, the District shall document the financial impact, if any, to the school food service program, school stores, or vending machine revenues based on the implementation of the wellness policy.
District schools will provide nutrition education and physical education, with an emphasis on establishing lifelong habits of healthy eating and physical activity, and will establish linkages between health education and school meal programs, and with related community services. Communication with and training for teachers, parents, students, and food service personnel will be an integral part of the District’s implementation plan.
To the extent practicable, students and parents shall be involved in the development of strategies designed to promote healthy food choices in the school environment; and the school cafeteria will provide a variety of nutritionally sound meal and beverage choices. The school will encourage students’ active, age appropriate participation in decisions regarding healthy lifestyles and choices. Positive reinforcement such as letters of recognition and acknowledgment will be utilized as a means to encourage healthy eating patterns among the student population. In addition, the school will share information about the nutritional content of foods with parents and students; such information may be made available on menus, a web site, or such other “point-of- purchase” materials.
Assessments of the District’s wellness policy and implementation efforts may be repeated on an annual basis, but it is recommended that such assessment occur no later than every three (3) years, to help review policy compliance, assess progress, and determine areas in need of improvement. The District, and individual schools within the District, will, as necessary, revise the wellness policy and develop work plans to facilitate its implementation.
Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004: https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/PLAW-108publ265/pdf/ PLAW-108publ265.pdf
Records Management (Policy 5670)
A Records Management Officer shall be designated by the Superintendent, subject to the approval of and appointment by the Board of Education. The Records Management Officer shall coordinate the development of and oversee a program for the orderly and efficient management of records, including the legal disposition or destruction of obsolete records, and shall be given the authority and responsibility to work with other local officials at all levels in the development and maintenance of the records management program.
In addition, a Records Advisory Board may be created to assist in establishing and supporting the records management program. The District’s legal counsel, the fiscal officer, and the Superintendent/designee may comprise the Advisory Board.
Retention and Disposition of Records
The District shall retain records for such a period and dispose of them in the manner described in Records Retention and Disposition Schedule ED-1, established pursuant to Part 185, Title VIII of the Official Compilation of Codes, Rules and Regulations of the State of New York and Article 57-A of the Arts and Cultural Affairs Law.
Special Approvals for Disposition of Records Not Included in Schedule/Records Damaged by Natural or Manmade Disasters
Records not listed on a records retention and disposition schedule shall not be disposed of without the approval of the Commissioner of Education.
Records that have been damaged by natural or manmade disaster and constitute a human health or safety risk also require the Commissioner’s prior approval before disposition.
Replacing Original Records with Microforms or Electronic Images
Digital images of public records may be stored on electronic media, and such electronic records may replace paper originals or micrographic copies of these records. To ensure accessibility and intelligibility for the life of these records, the School District shall follow the procedures prescribed by the Commissioner of Education.
Retention and Preservation of Electronic Records
The District shall ensure that records retention requirements are incorporated into any plan and process for design, redesign, or substantial enhancement of an information system that stores electronic records.
HIPAA Compliance Policy and Procedures (Policy 5671)
Schoharie Central School District, as a sponsor of a self-insured group health plan, is required under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) to implement policies and procedures relating to the privacy of individually identifiable health information of Plan enrollees.
This Policy applies to all District personnel who have access to Protected Health Information (PHI) in the course of their duties relating to District group health plans, including flexible spending plans for medical reimbursement, regardless of whether the employee is directly involved in the administration of health plan benefits or services.
This Policy does not pertain to information that the District may receive, create, or transmit in relation to Workers’ Compensation, FMLA, fitness for duty, ADA, OSHA, employee drug screening, life insurance, or disability insurance.
Protected Health Information
For purposes of this Policy, PHI is defined as individually identifiable health information, including demographic information, that is created, received, transmitted or maintained by the District in relation to a group health plan, regardless of form (oral, written, or electronic), if the information relates to:
- the past, present or future physical or mental health or condition of an individual;
- the provision of health care services to an individual; or
- the past, present, or future payment for the provision of health care to an individual.
PHI includes but is not limited to treatment records, billing records, consultant reports, and laboratory or other diagnostic testing results.
Confidentiality of PHI
Employees may not divulge, copy, transfer, alter or destroy any PHI, or remove any PHI from the premises, except as authorized by the Superintendent or by the individual who is the subject of the information. Employees must strictly comply with all applicable federal and state laws and regulations and all policies and procedures established by the District relating to the confidentiality and protection of PHI. An employee’s responsibility to safeguard the confidentiality of PHI continues after termination of his or her employment with the District.
The District has implemented appropriate administrative, technical, and physical safeguards to protect the privacy of PHI and to safeguard PHI from any uses and disclosures that would be in violation of HIPAA. The Notice(s) of Privacy Practices referenced in this Policy reflect the District’s procedures in relation to use and disclosure of PHI.
Files containing PHI, on paper or in electronic media, must be maintained in a manner which guards against unauthorized access and disclosure. Employees must hold in strictest confidence any and all access codes, passwords, and other authorizations that enable access to computer systems in which the District maintains PHI.
Minimum Necessary Disclosure
Employees may use PHI only as necessary to perform their duties in relation to the Plan, and for no other purpose whatsoever. When using, disclosing, or accessing PHI, employees may only use, disclose or access the minimum PHI necessary to perform their duties. When PHI must be shared with others, it must be shared in a manner consistent with the intended purpose, taking precautions to minimize the risk of disclosure beyond the minimum necessary for the intended recipient or purpose. All employees whose duties involve access to PHI are required to undergo training in safeguards concerning use and disclosure of PHI.
Mitigation of Harmful Effects
In the event of disclosure of PHI in violation of HIPAA, the District has a duty to mitigate any known harmful effect of that violation, to the extent practicable. Any employee who becomes aware of an activity that may jeopardize the confidentiality of PHI should promptly report that activity to the District’s Privacy Official.
Under HIPAA, an individual is entitled to certain rights concerning his or her protected health information. Those individual rights are described in and administered in accordance with a Notice of Privacy Practices. The Notice of Privacy Practices is applicable for Plan enrollees as of April 14, 2003, and thereafter to new enrollees upon initial enrollment. No less frequently than once every three years, enrollees then covered by the Plan will be informed that the Notice is available and how to obtain it.
Non-Retaliation and Non-Waiver of Rights
The District will not discriminate against, intimidate, threaten, coerce, or take any other retaliatory action against any employee or retiree for exercising the right to file a complaint with the Privacy Official, or with the United States Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, or for testifying, assisting or participating in an investigation, compliance review, proceeding, or hearing regarding an alleged violation under HIPAA. In addition, the District will not require an employee or retiree to waive his or her rights under HIPAA as a condition of the provision of treatment, payment, enrollment in a health plan, or eligibility for benefits.
Any violation of this policy or violation of any applicable federal or state law relating to the protection of PHI may subject an employee to disciplinary action, in accordance with the applicable policies and procedures and agreements with employee bargaining units of the District.
The District has a process by which individuals may make complaints concerning the policies and procedures of the Plan in relation to the confidentiality of PHI. Complaints regarding the inappropriate use or disclosure of PHI may be made in writing to the Privacy Official of the District. Complaints may also be made to the United States Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.
The Privacy Official may be contacted at the following office address: Schoharie Central School District
PO Box 430, 136 Academy Dr.
Schoharie, NY 12157
Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), Public Law 104-191 45 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Parts 160 and 164
Information Security Breach and Notification (Policy 5672)
The School District values the protection of private information of individuals in accordance with applicable laws and regulations. Further, the District is required to notify affected individuals when there has been or is reasonably believed to have been a compromise of the individual’s private information in compliance with the Information Security Breach and Notification Act and Board policy.
- “Private information” shall mean **personal information in combination with any one or more of the following data elements, when either the personal information or the data element is not encrypted or encrypted with an encryption key that has also been acquired:
- Social security number;
- Driver’s license number or non-driver identification card number; or
- Account number, credit or debit card number, in combination with any required security code, access code, or password which would permit access to an individual’s financial account.
“Private information” does not include publicly available information that is lawfully made available to the general public from federal, state or local government records.
**”Personal information” shall mean any information concerning a person which, because of name, number, symbol, mark or other identifier, can be used to identify that person.
- “Breach of the security of the system,” shall mean unauthorized acquisition or acquisition without valid authorization of computerized data which compromises the security, confidentiality, or integrity of personal information maintained by the District. Good faith acquisition of personal information by an employee or agent of the District for the purposes of the District is not a breach of the security of the system, provided that private information is not used or subject to unauthorized disclosure.
Determining if a Breach Has Occurred
In determining whether information has been acquired, or is reasonably believed to have been acquired, by an unauthorized person or person without valid authorization, the District may consider the following factors, among others:
- Indications that the information is in the physical possession and control of an unauthorized person, such as a lost or stolen computer or other device containing information; or
- Indications that the information has been downloaded or copied; or
- Indications that the information was used by an unauthorized person, such as fraudulent accounts opened or instances of identity theft reported; or
- System failures.
- For any computerized data owned or licensed by the School District that includes private information, the District shall disclose any breach of the security of the system following discovery or notification of the breach to any New York State resident whose private information was, or is reasonably believed to have been, acquired by a person without valid authorization. The disclosure to affected individuals shall be made in the most expedient time possible and without unreasonable delay, consistent with the legitimate needs of law enforcement, or any measures necessary to determine the scope of the breach and restore the reasonable integrity of the data system. The District shall consult with the State Office of Cyber Security and Critical Infrastructure Coordination (CSCIC) to determine the scope of the breach and restoration measures.
- For any computerized data maintained by the District that includes private information which the District does not own, the District shall notify the owner or licensee of the information of any breach of the security of the system immediately following discovery, if the private information was, or is reasonably believed to have been, acquired by a person without valid authorization.
The notification requirement may be delayed if a law enforcement agency determines that such notification impedes a criminal investigation. The required notification shall be made after the law enforcement agency determines that such notification does not compromise the investigation.
Methods of Notification
The required notice shall be directly provided to the affected persons by one of the following methods:
- Written notice;
- Electronic notice, provided that the person to whom notice is required has expressly consented to receiving the notice in electronic form; and a log of each such notification is kept by the District when notifying affected persons in electronic form. However, in no case shall the District require a person to consent to accepting such notice in electronic form as a condition of establishing any business relationship or engaging in any transaction;
- Telephone notification, provided that a log of each such notification is kept by the District when notifying affected persons by phone; or
- Substitute notice, if the District demonstrates to the State Attorney General that the cost of providing notice would exceed $250,000, or that the affected class of subject persons to be notified exceeds 500,000, or that the District does not have sufficient contact information. Substitute notice shall consist of all of the following:
- Email notice when the District has an email address for the subject persons:
- Conspicuous posting of the notice on the District’s website page, if the District maintains one; and
- Notification to major statewide media.
Regardless of the method by which notice is provided, the notice shall include contact information for the notifying District and a description of the categories of information that were, or are reasonably believed to have been, acquired by a person without valid authorization, including specification of which of the elements of personal information and private information were, or are reasonably believed to have been, so acquired.
In the event that any New York State residents are to be notified, the District shall notify the New York State Attorney General (AG), the New York State Department of Consumer Protection Board (CPB), and the New York State Office of Cyber Security (OCS) as to the timing, content and distribution of the notices and approximate number of affected persons.
In the event that more than five thousand (5,000) New York State residents are to be notified at one time, the District shall also notify consumer reporting agencies, as defined pursuant to State Technology Law Section 208, as to the timing, content and distribution of the notices and approximate number of affected persons. Such notice shall be made without delaying notice to affected New York State residents. A list of consumer reporting agencies shall be compiled by the State Attorney General and furnished upon request to school districts required to make a notification in accordance with State Technology Law Section 208(2), regarding notification of breach of security of the system for any computerized data owned or licensed by the District that includes private information.
State Technology Law Sections 202 and 208
Data Network and Security Access (Policy 5674)
The District values the protection of private information of individuals in accordance with applicable law, regulations, and best practice. Accordingly, District officials and Information Technology (IT) staff will plan, implement, and monitor IT security mechanisms, procedures, and technologies necessary to prevent improper or illegal disclosure, modification, or denial of sensitive information in the District Computer System (DCS). Similarly, such IT mechanisms and procedures will also be implemented in order to safeguard District technology resources, including computer hardware and software. District network administrators may review District computers to maintain system integrity and to ensure that individuals are using the system responsibly. Users should not expect that anything stored on school computers or networks will be private.
In order to achieve the objectives of this policy, the Board of Education entrusts the Superintendent, or his/her designee, to:
- Inventory and classify personal, private, and sensitive Information on the DCS to protect the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information;
- Develop password standards for all users including, but not limited to, how to create passwords and how often such passwords should be changed by users to ensure security of the DCS;
- Ensure that the “audit trail” function is enabled within the District’s network operating system, which will allow the District to determine on a constant basis who is accessing the DCS, and establish procedures for periodically reviewing such audit trails;
- Develop procedures to control physical access to computer facilities, data rooms, systems, networks, and data to only authorized individuals; such procedures may include ensuring that server rooms remain locked at all times and the recording of arrival and departure dates and times of employees and visitors to and from the server room;
- Establish procedures for tagging new purchases as they occur, relocating assets, updating the inventory list, performing periodic physical inventories, and investigating any differences in an effort to prevent unauthorized and/or malicious access to these assets;
- Periodically grant, change, and terminate user access rights to the overall networked computer system and to specific software applications and ensure that users are given access based on, and necessary for, their job duties;
- Limit user access to the vendor master file, which contains a list of vendors from which District employees are permitted to purchase goods and services, to only the individual who is responsible for making changes to such list, and ensure that all former employees’ access rights to the vendor master list are promptly removed;
- Determine how, and to whom, remote access should be granted, obtain written agreements with remote access users to establish the District’s needs and expectations, as appropriate, and monitor and control such remote access;
- Verify that laptop computer systems assigned to teachers and administrators use full-disk encryption software to protect against loss of sensitive data;
- Deploy software to servers and workstations to identify and eradicate malicious software attacks such as viruses and malware;
- Develop a disaster recovery plan appropriate for the size and complexity of District IT operations to ensure continuous critical IT services in the event of any sudden, catastrophic event, including, but not limited to fire, computer virus or deliberate or inadvertent employee action.
Safety and Security (Policy 5680)
The Board of Education of the Schoharie Central School District hereby declares that it is the policy of this School District to provide a safe and secure environment to all those persons, students, staff and visitors, who lawfully enter upon District property or who travel in District vehicles for the purposes of the District.
It shall be the responsibility of the Superintendent to establish and carry out written regulations that will:
- Identify those staff members who will be responsible for the effective administration of the regulations;
- Provide staff time and other necessary resources for the effective administration of the regulations;
- Establish periodic written review of the activities of the staff to ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations;
- Provide an on-going mechanism for the effective review of safety and security concerns of the staff, students and affected public;
- Provide for reports to the Board of Education regarding the significant aspects of safety and security of the District;
- Conduct a building walk-through with police, fire, ambulance/EMT, etc.
Labor Law Section 27-a
Student and Staff Safety
All staff who are made aware of physical and/or verbal threats to students must immediately report these threats against students in person and in writing to the next level of supervisory authority for prompt action. The immediate supervisor must then inform the Superintendent/designee, including any action taken, after learning of such threats to students.
The District shall disseminate this policy to all employees in order to ensure staff awareness.
Hazard Communication Standard
All personnel shall be provided with applicable training to comply with the New York State “Right-to-Know” Law and the Hazard Communication Standard.
The Superintendent/designee shall maintain a current record of the name, address and social security numbers of every employee who handles or uses toxic substances and which substance(s) were handled or used by the employee.
Rules and regulations will be developed to ensure District implementation of this policy which shall include awareness information, employee training and record keeping.
New York State Labor Law Sections 27-a and 879 12 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Part 820 Article 28
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
29 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 1910.1200
NOTE: Refer also to Policy #5681 — School Safety Plans
School Safety Plans (Policy 5681)
The District considers the safety of its students and staff to be of the utmost importance and is keenly aware of the evolving nature of threats to schools. As such, it will address those threats accordingly through appropriate emergency response planning. The District-wide school safety plan and the building-level emergency response plan will be designed to prevent or minimize the effects of serious violent incidents and emergencies and to facilitate the coordination of schools and the District with local and county resources in the event of these incidents or emergencies.
These plans will be reviewed by the appropriate team on at least an annual basis and updated as needed by September 1. Specifically, the Board will make each District-wide school safety plan available for public comment at least 30 days prior to its adoption. The District-wide school safety plans may only be adopted by the Board after at least one public hearing that provides for the participation of school personnel, parents, students, and any other interested parties. Additionally, the District-wide school safety plan will designate the Superintendent or designee as the chief emergency officer responsible for coordinating communication between school staff and law enforcement and first responders, and for ensuring staff understanding of this plan. Similarly, the Superintendent will be responsible for ensuring the completion and yearly updating of building-level emergency response plans.
Although the District has a single school building, in accordance with relevant law and regulation, it will develop separate district-wide and building-level plans as described above. The District may appeal to the Commissioner of Education in order to develop a single comprehensive plan.
District-Wide School Safety Plan
District-wide school safety plan means a comprehensive, multi-hazard school safety plan that covers all school buildings of the District, addresses crisis intervention, emergency response and management at the District level, and has the contents as prescribed in Education Law and Commissioner’s regulations.
The District-wide school safety plan will be developed by the District-wide school safety team appointed by the Board. The District-wide team will include, but not be limited to, representatives of the Board, student, teacher, administrator, and parent organizations, school safety personnel, and other school personnel.
The plan will further address, among other items as set forth in Education Law and Commissioner’s regulations, how the District will respond to implied or direct threats of violence by students, teachers, other school personnel as well as visitors to the school, including threats by students against themselves (e.g. suicide).
Building-Level Emergency Response Plan
Building-level emergency response plan means a plan that addresses crisis intervention, emergency response and management at the building level and has the contents as prescribed in Education Law and Commissioner’s regulations. As part of this plan, the District will define the chain of command in a manner consistent with the National Incident Management System (NIMS)/Incident Command System (ICS).
The building-level emergency response plan will be developed by the building-level emergency response team. The building-level emergency response team is a building-specific team appointed by the building principal, in accordance with regulations or guidelines prescribed by the Board. The building-level team will include, but not be limited to, representatives of teacher, administrator, and parent organizations, school safety personnel and other school personnel, community members, law enforcement officials, fire officials, or other emergency response agencies, and any other representatives the Board deems appropriate.
The District will submit certification to the New York State Education Department that all District and school staff have received annual training on the emergency response plan, and that this training included components on violence prevention and mental health. New employees hired after the start of the school year will receive training within 30 days of hire, or as part of the District’s existing new hire training program, whichever is sooner.
The District will file a copy of its District-wide school safety plan and any amendments with the Commissioner of Education no later than 30 days after its adoption. A copy of each building-level emergency response plan and any amendments will be filed with the appropriate local law enforcement agency and with the state police within 30 days of its adoption. Building-level emergency response plans will be kept confidential and are not subject to disclosure under the Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) or any other provision of law.
Homeland Security Presidential Directives – HSPD-5, HSPD-8 Homeland Security Act of 2002, 6 USC § 101
Education Law §§ 807, 2801-a Public Officers Law Article 6 8 NYCRR § 155.17
Crisis Response (Post Incident Response) (Policy 5682)
When a crisis arises no school system is immune to the negative, physical or mental effect on its students, staff and the local community. Immediate, effective and responsible management and communication can address the crisis and maintain a District’s integrity and credibility. Therefore, the District shall develop and maintain a unified position by:
- Identifying a crisis response team to develop a plan and maintain a strong, ongoing communications program in each school. This is the foundation for long range success.
- Identifying a media spokesperson who will be briefed on all details. This spokesperson shall be the Superintendent or his/her designee. Only this spokesperson shall talk to and maintain a timely flow of information to the media.
The Superintendent/designee shall be responsible for informing staff of the crisis plan that is to be developed by both administration and the crisis response team.
NOTE: Refer also to Policy #5681 — School Safety Plans
Fire Drills, Bomb Threats and Bus Emergency Drills (Policy 5683)
Fire and Emergency Drills
The administration of each school building will instruct and train students on appropriate emergency responses, through fire and emergency drills, in the event of a sudden emergency.
Fire and emergency drills will be held at least 12 times in each school year; eight of these will be evacuation drills and will be completed by December 31. Four of these eight required drills will be through use of the fire escapes on buildings where fire escapes are provided or identified secondary exits, and the other four drills will be lock-down drills. Drills will be conducted at different times of the school day. Students will also be instructed in the procedures to be followed in the event that a fire occurs during the regular school lunch period or assembly, however, this additional instruction may be waived if a drill is held during the regular lunch period or assembly.
At least two additional drills will be held during summer school in buildings where summer school is held, and one of these drills will be held during the first week of summer school.
After-School Programs, Events, or Performances
The building principal or designee will require those in charge of after-school programs, events, or performances attended by any individuals unfamiliar with that school building, to announce at the beginning of these programs the procedures to be followed in the event of an emergency.
School Bomb Threats
A bomb threat, even if later determined to be a hoax, is a criminal act. No bomb threat should be treated as a hoax when it is first received. Upon receiving any bomb threat, the school has an obligation and responsibility to ensure the safety and protection of the students and other occupants of the school. This obligation takes precedence over a search for a suspect object. Prudent action is dependent upon known information about the bomb threat-location, if any; time of detonation; etc. Specific procedures as to appropriate responses as a result of a bomb threat can be located in the building-level emergency response plan, as required by relevant law and regulation.
Police Notification and Investigation
Appropriate law enforcement agencies must be notified by the building administrator or designee of any bomb threat as soon as possible after receiving the threat. Law enforcement officials will contact, as the situation requires, fire and/or county emergency coordinators according to the county emergency plan.
The Superintendent or designee will develop written procedures to implement the terms of this policy. Additionally, these procedures will be incorporated in the District-wide school safety plan and the building-level emergency response plan, with provisions to provide written information to all staff and students regarding emergency procedures by October 1 of each school year, an annual drill to test the emergency response procedures under each of its building-level emergency response plans; and the annual review of the District-wide and building-level emergency response plans, along with updates as necessary, by September 1, as mandated by law or regulation.
Bus Emergency Drills
The administration will conduct a minimum of three emergency drills to be held on each school bus during the school year. The first drill will be conducted during the first seven days of school, the second drill between November 1 and December 31, and the third drill between March 1 and April 30. No drills will be conducted when buses are on routes.
Students who ordinarily walk to school will also be included in the drills. Students attending public and nonpublic schools who do not participate in regularly scheduled drills will also be provided drills on school buses, or as an alternative, will be provided classroom instruction covering the content of these drills.
Each drill will include practice and instruction in the location, use, and operation of the emergency door, fire extinguishers, first-aid equipment, and windows as a means of escape in the event of fire or accident. Similarly, students will be instructed on all topics mandated by relevant sections of the Education Law and Commissioner’s regulations, including, but not limited to, the following:
- Safe boarding and exiting procedures with specific emphasis on when and how to approach, board, disembark, and move away from the bus after disembarking;
- Advancing at least ten feet in front of the bus before crossing the highway after disembarking; and
- Orderly conduct as bus passengers.
Instruction on Use of Seat Belts
When students are transported on school buses equipped with seat safety belts, the District will ensure that all students who are transported on any school bus owned, leased, or contracted for by the District will receive instruction on the use of seat safety belts. This instruction will be provided at least three times each year to both public and nonpublic school students who are so transported and will include, but not be limited to:
- Proper fastening and release of seat safety belts;
- Acceptable placement of seat safety belts on students;
- Times at which the seat safety belts should be fastened and released; and
- Acceptable placement of the seat safety belts when not in use.
Education Law §§ 807, 2801-a and 3623 Penal Law §§ 240.55, 240.60 and 240.62
8 NYCRR §§ 155.17, 156.3(f), 156.3(g), and 156.3(h)(2)
Cardiac Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) in Public School Facilities (Policy 5685)
The School District shall provide and maintain on-site in each instructional school facility functional cardiac automated external defibrillator (AED) equipment as defined in Public Health Law Section 3000-b for use during emergencies. Each such facility shall have sufficient automated external defibrillator equipment available to ensure ready and appropriate access for use during emergencies in quantities and types as deemed by the Commissioner of Education, in consultation with the Commissioner of Health. Determination of the quantity and placement of AEDs must be made with consideration of at least the factors enumerated in Commissioner’s Regulations. An instructional school facility means a building or other facility maintained by the School District where instruction is provided to students pursuant to its curriculum.
Whenever an instructional School District facility is used for a school-sponsored or school- approved curricular or extracurricular event or activity and whenever a school-sponsored athletic contest is held at any location, the public school officials and administrators responsible for such school facility or athletic contest shall ensure that AED equipment is provided on-site and that there is present during such event, activity or contest at least one staff person who is trained in accordance with Public Health Law in the operation and use of an AED. School-sponsored or school-approved curricular or extracurricular events or activities means events or activities of the School District that are, respectively, associated with its instructional curriculum or otherwise offered to its students. A school-sponsored athletic contest means an extraclass intramural athletic activity of instruction, practice and competition for students in grades 4 through 12 consistent with Commissioner’s Regulations Section 135.4.
Where a school-sponsored competitive athletic event is held at a site other than a School District facility, School District officials shall assure that AED equipment is provided on-site by the sponsoring or host district and that at least one staff person who is trained, in accordance with Public Health Law, in the operation and use of the AED is present during such athletic event. A school- sponsored competitive athletic event means an extraclass interscholastic athletic activity of instruction, practice and competition for students in grades 7 through 12 consistent with Commissioner’s Regulations Section 135.4.
School District facilities and District staff responsible for carrying out the duties enumerated in Education Law Section 917 are deemed a “public access defibrillation provider” as defined pursuant to Public Health Law Section 3000-b and subject to the Public Health Law requirements and limitations.
Therefore, it is the policy of our School District to provide proper training requirements for District AED users, to ensure the immediate calling of 911 and/or the community equivalent ambulance dispatch entity whenever the AED is used, to ensure ready identification of the location of the AED units as enumerated in the District’s Public Access Defibrillation Collaborative Agreement.
The District will provide for regular maintenance and checkout procedures of the AED unit(s) which meet or exceed manufacturer’s recommendations. Appropriate documentation will be maintained in accordance with law and/or regulation. Further, the District will participate in the required Quality Improvement Program as determined by the Regional Emergency Medical Services Council.
Pursuant to Public Health Law Sections 3000-a and 3000-b, the School District (as a public access defibrillation provider), or any employee or other agent of the School District who, in accordance with the provisions of law, voluntarily and without expectation of monetary compensation renders emergency medical or first aid treatment using an AED to a person who is unconscious, ill or injured, shall not be liable for damages for injury or death unless caused by gross negligence.
Education Law Section 917
Public Health Law Sections 3000-a and -b 8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Sections 135.4 and 136.4
Exposure Control Program (Policy 5690)
The District shall establish an exposure control program designed to prevent and control exposure to bloodborne pathogens. According to the New York State Department of Labor’s Division of Safety and Health and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards, the program shall consist of:
- Provision of protective materials and equipment for all employees who perform job-related tasks involving exposure or potential exposure to blood, body fluids or tissues.
- Guidelines for maintaining a safe, healthy school environment to be followed by staff and students alike.
- Written standard operating procedures for blood/body fluid clean-up.
- Appropriate staff education/training.
- Evaluation of training objectives.
- Documentation of training and any incident of exposure to blood/body fluids.
- A program of medical management to prevent or reduce the risk of pathogens, specifically hepatitis B and HIV.
- Written procedures for the disposal of medical waste.
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Related Illnesses (Policy 5692)
The Board of Education contends that a student shall not be denied the right to attend school or continue his/her education nor shall an employee be denied the right to continue his/her employment who has been diagnosed or identified as having a positive blood test for the antibodies to the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). The Board further contends that under current law and regulations, the disclosure of confidential HIV-related information shall be strictly limited. Staff will be instructed with respect to confidentiality, its meaning, its practice, and its legal, moral, and educational implications.
Administrative regulations and procedures shall be developed and implemented by the administration based on recommendations from the New York State Education Department and from consultation with appropriate professional and medical staff in the District.
The Superintendent shall also establish protocols for routine sanitary procedures for dealing with the cleaning and handling of body fluids in school, with special emphasis placed on staff awareness.
Transportation Program (Policy 5710)
It is the intent of the Board of Education to comply with the letter and spirit of the New York State Education Law; with the regulations of the Department of Motor Vehicles and of the Department of Transportation and with the Commissioner of Education’s regulations and decisions pertinent to student transportation, and these shall govern any questions not covered by specific declaration of policy herein.
The purposes of the transportation program are to transport students to and from school, to transport them for extracurricular activities, to transport them on field trips, and to transport those requiring special services.
The Board of Education recognizes and assumes the responsibility for all aspects of the transportation of children wherein the health and safety of students are involved, for the Board of Education has a legal obligation to safeguard the welfare of bus-riding children.
Education Law Sections 3602(7) and 3635 et seq.
Scheduling and Routing (Policy 5720)
Bus routes are authorized by the Board of Education and any requests for a change must be submitted to the Superintendent or his/her designee.
Transportation services shall be provided to meet the needs of the students of the District within specified limits and areas established by the Board of Education.
Transportation in Child Safety Zones (Policy 5721)
In accordance with Education Law, the Board of Education is authorized to adopt a resolution providing for student transportation in child safety zones. Transportation in a child safety zone shall be available to resident students for the particular school year designated in the resolution. Such resolution shall continue in effect for subsequent school years until the Board adopts a resolution providing otherwise.
Transportation in child safety zones may be provided upon the determination by the Board that a hazardous zone exists which, in the opinion of the Board, would be reasonably alleviated by the establishment of a child safety zone. “Child safety zone” means a designated area of the School District, including at least one personal residence, within which children who reside at a lesser distance from the school they legally attend than the minimum transportation limit of the District will be provided transportation on the basis that their most direct walking route to school will traverse a hazardous zone. Transportation in child safety zones may be provided without regard to like circumstances, notwithstanding the provisions of Education Law Section 3635(l).
The Commissioner of Transportation has established regulations for determination of a hazardous zone. Such regulations shall be used by the Board of Education in determining whether a hazardous zone exists.
Designation of Child Safety Zones
Submission of Petitions/Requests
The Board of Education shall, upon written petition of a parent/person in parental relation of a child residing in the District, or of any representative authorized by such parent/person in parental relation, (signed by 25 qualified voters of the District or 5% of the number of voters who voted in the previous annual election of Board members, whichever is greater) make an investigation to determine whether a hazardous zone exists requiring the establishment of a child safety zone.
Petitions and/or additional written requests from individual parents/persons in parental relation requesting designation of an area as a child safety zone shall be in accordance with the procedures and time frames enumerated in Education Law Section 3635-b.
Determination by the Board as to the designation of a child safety zone shall be in accordance with law and/or regulations.
Investigation by Board of Education
The Board may directly, or by appointment of an advisory committee, make an investigation to determine if a hazardous zone exists within the District. Such investigation shall be made pursuant to the Regulations of the Commissioner of Transportation, and shall include consultation with state or local transportation authorities and the investigation of other, less costly, reasonable alternatives to the creation of a child safety zone.
In accordance with the State Education Department (SED), without having been petitioned, the Board may also conduct an investigation on its own initiative to determine whether a hazardous zone exists requiring the designation of a child safety zone.
Determination by the Board as to the designation of a child safety zone shall be in accordance with law and/or regulations.
Cost of Providing Transportation
The cost of providing transportation in child safety zones shall be an ordinary contingent expense and shall be included as an item of expense for purposes of determining the transportation quota of the District.
District Immunity from Liability
Education Law Section 3635-b does not impose a duty upon the School Board to provide transportation services pursuant to this Section of law; nor is the Board to be held liable for failure to provide such transportation.
A Board member, school officer or employee shall have immunity from any civil or criminal liability that might otherwise be incurred or imposed as a result of the provisions of Section 3635, provided that such person shall have acted in good faith. For the purpose of any proceeding, civil or criminal, the good faith of any such person shall be presumed.
Education Law Sections 3635 and 3635-b Transportation Law Section 14(30)
17 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Part 191
Transportation of Students (Policy 5730)
Requests for Transportation to and from Non-Public Schools
The parent or person in parental relation of a parochial or private school child residing in the School District who desires that the child be transported to a parochial or private school outside of the School District during the next school year should submit a written request to the Board of Education no later than April 1 of the preceding year, or within thirty (30) days of moving into the District. No late request of a parent or person in parental relation shall be denied where a reasonable explanation is provided for the delay.
Transportation of Students with Disabilities
Students with disabilities in the District shall be transported up to fifty (50) miles (one way) from their home to the appropriate special service or program, unless the Commissioner certifies that no appropriate nonresidential special service or program is available within fifty (50) miles. The Commissioner may then establish transportation arrangements.
Any mode of transportation used on a regular basis to transport students with a disability on a regularly scheduled route shall, upon written consent of the parent or person in parental relation, have maintained on such mode of transportation the following information about each student being transported:
- Student’s name;
- Nature of the student’s disability;
- Name of the student’s parent, guardian or person in a position of loco parentis (person in parental relation) and one or more telephone numbers where such person can be reached in an emergency; and/or
- Name and telephone number of any other person designated by such parent, guardian or person in a position of loco parentis as a person who can be contacted in an emergency.
Such information shall be used solely for the purpose of contacting such student’s parent, guardian, person in a position of loco parentis, or designee in the event of an emergency involving the student, shall be kept in a manner which retains the privacy of the student, and shall not be accessible to any person other than the driver or a teacher acting in a supervisory capacity. In the event that the driver or teacher is incapacitated, such information may be accessed by any emergency service provider for such purpose.
Such information shall be updated as needed, but at least once each school year and shall be destroyed if parental consent is revoked, the student no longer attends such school, or the disability no longer exists.
Herein the term “disability” shall mean a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of the student, whether of a temporary or permanent nature.
School buses manufactured on or after January 1, 1990 fueled with other than diesel fuel and used to transport three (3) or more students who use wheelchairs or other assistive mobility devices or with a total capacity of more than eight (8) passengers and used to transport such students shall be equipped with an automatic engine fire extinguishing system.
School buses manufactured on or after September 1, 2007 fueled with diesel fuel and used to transport three (3) or more students who use wheelchairs or other assistive mobility devices or with a total capacity of more than eight (8) passengers used to transport such students shall be equipped with an automatic engine fire extinguishing system.
The purchase of automatic engine fire extinguishing systems for school buses used to transport such students shall be deemed a proper school district expense.
Transportation of Non-Resident Students
Non-resident families must provide their own transportation.
Transportation to School Sponsored Events
Where the District has provided transportation to students enrolled in the District to a school sponsored field trip, extracurricular activity or any other similar event, it shall provide transportation back to either the point of departure or to the appropriate school in the District unless the parent or legal guardian of a student participating in such event has provided the District with written notice, consistent with District policy, authorizing an alternative form of return transportation for such student or unless intervening circumstances make such transportation impractical. In cases where intervening circumstances make transportation of a student back to the point of departure or to the appropriate school in the District impractical, a representative of the School District shall remain with the student until such student’s parent or legal guardian has been contacted and informed of the intervening circumstances which make such transportation impractical; and the student has been delivered to his/her parent or legal guardian.
Transportation in Personal Vehicles
Personal cars of teachers and staff shall not be used to transport students except in the event of extenuating circumstances and authorized by the administration.
Education Law Sections 1604, 1709, 1804, 1903, 1950,
2503, 2554, 2590-e, 3621(15), 3623-a(2c), 3635,
4401(4), 4404 and 4405
Vehicle and Traffic Law Section 375(20)(1) and 375(21-i)
NOTE: Refer also to Policy #7131 — Education of Homeless Children and Youth
Adult Transportation to Vo-Tech Center (Policy 5731)
The Schoharie Board of Education encourages adults who have not obtained a high school diploma to enroll in the BOCES GED and occupation program. In order to assist in this education, adults enrolled in the program will be provided District transportation from their homes to the Schoharie Vo-Tec Center and return, if there is space available on regularly scheduled bus runs.
If two or more adults request transportation on a bus with only one available seat, then that application with the earliest postmark will be considered for transportation.
If a seat occupied by an adult is needed by the addition of Schoharie Central School students on the respective run, then the adult’s right to ride the bus will be rescinded.
School Bus Safety Program (Policy 5750)
The safe transportation of students to and from school is of primary concern in the administration of the school bus program. All state laws and regulations pertaining to the safe use of school buses shall be observed by drivers, students and school personnel.
To assure the safety and security of students boarding or exiting school buses on school property, it shall be unlawful for a driver of any vehicle to pass a stopped school bus when the red bus signal is in operation.
The Transportation Supervisor, in cooperation with the principals, has the responsibility of developing and publishing safety rules to be followed by drivers and passengers, including rules of student conduct. In order to ensure maximum safety to those riding school buses, it is necessary that students and drivers cooperate in this effort. There is no substitute for training to develop safe habits in pedestrian and vehicular traffic.
All buses and other vehicles owned and operated by the School District will have frequent safety inspections, and will be serviced regularly. The Transportation Supervisor will maintain a comprehensive record of all maintenance performed on each vehicle.
Every bus driver is required to report promptly any school bus accident involving death, injury, or property damage. All accidents, regardless of damage involved, must be reported at once to the Transportation Supervisor.
Education Law Section 3623
8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Section 156.3
Vehicle and Traffic Law
Sections 509-a(7), 509-1(1-b) and 1174(a and b)
NOTE: Refer also to Policies #5683 — Fire Drills, Bomb Threats and Bus Emergency Drills
Use of Seat Belts on Buses (Policy 5751)
The Board of Education recognizes that seat belts may be helpful in the prevention of a serious injury in certain types of accidents. The Board encourages parents and guardians to discuss with their child the importance of seat belts and the role that seat belts can serve in the prevention of serious injury in certain cases.
The District will instruct students on the use of seat belts as prescribed by law.
School Bus Idling (Policy 5752)
The Board of Education recognizes the need to promote the health and safety of District students and staff and to protect the environment from harmful emissions found in bus and vehicle exhaust. In accordance with Education Law and Commissioner’s Regulations, the District will minimize, to the extent practicable, the idling of all school buses and other vehicles owned or leased by the District while such bus or vehicle is parked or standing on school grounds or in the front of any school. This policy also applies to contractor owned and operated school buses under contract with the District.
The District shall ensure that each driver of a school bus or other vehicle owned, leased or contracted for by the District turn off the engine of the bus or vehicle while waiting for passengers to load or off load on school grounds, or while such vehicle is parked or standing on school grounds or in front of or adjacent to any school.
Unless otherwise required by State or local law, the idling of a school bus or vehicle engine may be permitted to the extent necessary to achieve the following purposes:
- For mechanical work; or
- To maintain an appropriate temperature for passenger comfort; or
- In emergency evacuations where necessary to operate wheelchair lifts.
Private Vendor Transportation Contracts
All contracts for pupil transportation services between the School District and a private vendor that are entered into on or after August 21, 2008, shall include a provision requiring such vendor’s compliance with the provisions of reducing idling in accordance with Commissioner’s Regulations Section 156.3(h).
Education Law Section 3637 Vehicle and Traffic Law Section 142
Qualifications of Bus Drivers (Policy 5760)
A person shall be qualified to operate a bus only if such person:
- Is at least twenty-one (21) years of age;
- Has been issued a currently valid driver’s license or permit which is valid for the operation of a bus in New York State;
- Has passed the annual bus driver physical examination administered pursuant to Regulations of the Commissioner of Education and the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles. In no case shall the interval between physical examinations exceed a thirteen-month period;
- Is not disqualified to drive a motor vehicle under Sections 509-c and 509-cc and any other provisions of Article 19-A of the Vehicle and Traffic Law;
- Has on file at least three (3) statements from three (3) different persons who are not related to the driver/applicant pertaining to the moral character and to the reliability of such driver/applicant;
- Has completed, or is scheduled to complete, State Education Department safety programs as required by law;
- Is in compliance with federal law and regulations, as well as District policy and/or regulations, as it pertains to meeting the standards governing alcohol and controlled substance testing of bus drivers if and when applicable.
- Has taken and passed a physical performance test at least once every two (2) years and/or following an absence from service of sixty (60) or more consecutive days from his/her scheduled work duties;
- Is in compliance with all other laws and regulations for operating a school bus, including licensing and training requirements.
Special Requirements For New Bus Drivers
Before employing a new bus driver, the Superintendent or his/her designee shall:
- Require such person to pass a physical examination within four (4) weeks prior to the beginning of service;
- Obtain a driving record from the appropriate agency in every state in which the person resided, worked, and/or held a driver’s license or learner’s permit during the preceding three (3) years;
- Investigate the person’s employment record during the preceding three (3) years;
- Require such person to submit to the mandated fingerprinting procedures;
- Request the Department of Motor Vehicles to initiate a criminal history check;
- Require that newly hired bus drivers take and pass the physical performance test, as mandated by Commissioner’s Regulations, before they transport students.
Vehicle and Traffic Law
Sections 509-c, -cc, and Article 19-A of the Education Law Section 3624
15 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Part 6
8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Section 156.3
Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act of 1991 (Public Law 102-143)
49 United States Code (USC) Section 521(b) 49 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR)
Parts 40, 382, 391, 392, and 395
NOTE: Refer also to Policy #5761 — Drug and Alcohol Testing For School Bus Drivers and Other Safety-Sensitive Employees
Drug and Alcohol Testing for School Bus Drivers and Other Safety-Sensitive Employees (Policy 5761)
In accordance with federal regulations, employees in safety-sensitive positions as defined in regulations, including school bus drivers who are required to have and use a commercial drivers license (CDL), are subject to random testing for alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, opiates (including heroin), and phencyclidine (PCP). The District shall adhere to federal law and regulations requiring the implementation of a drug and alcohol testing program for such employees in safety- sensitive positions.
The District shall either establish and manage its own program, by contract, or through a consortium for the provision of alcohol and drug testing of employees in safety-sensitive positions. Safety-sensitive employees (SSE), including school bus drivers who drive a vehicle which is designed to transport sixteen (16) or more passengers (including the driver), shall be subject to this requirement.
Federal regulations require that the District test school bus drivers and other SSEs for alcohol and drugs at the following times:
- Drug testing will be conducted after an offer to hire, but before actually performing safety- sensitive functions for the first time. Such pre-employment testing will also be required when employees transfer to a safety-sensitive position.
- Safety-sensitive employees are also subject to a random drug and/or alcohol test on an unannounced basis just before, during or just after performance of safety-sensitive functions.
- In addition, testing will be ordered if a trained supervisor has a “reasonable suspicion” that an employee has engaged in prohibited use of drugs and/or alcohol.
- There will also be post accident testing conducted after accidents on employees whose performance could have contributed to the accidents.
- Finally, return-to-duty and follow-up testing will be conducted when an individual who has violated the prohibited alcohol and/or drug conduct standards returns to performing safety- sensitive duties. Follow-up tests are unannounced and at least six (6) tests must be conducted in the first twelve (12) months after an employee returns to duty. Follow-up testing may be extended for up to sixty (60) months following return-to-duty.
All employee drug and alcohol testing will be kept confidential and shall only be revealed without the driver’s consent to the employer, a substance abuse professional, drug testing laboratory, medical review officer and any other individual designated by law.
The following alcohol and controlled substance-related activities are prohibited by the Federal Highway Administration’s drug use and alcohol misuse rules for drivers of commercial motor vehicles and other SSEs:
- Reporting for duty or remaining on duty to perform safety-sensitive functions while having an alcohol concentration of 0.04 or greater.
- Being on duty or operating a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) while the driver possesses alcohol, unless the alcohol is manifested and transported as part of a shipment. This includes the possession of medicines containing alcohol (prescription or over-the-counter), unless the packaging seal is unbroken.
- Using alcohol while performing safety-sensitive functions.
- Using alcohol four (4) hours or less before duty.
- When required to take a post-accident alcohol test, using alcohol within eight (8) hours following the accident or prior to undergoing a post-accident alcohol test, whichever comes first.
- Refusing to submit to an alcohol or controlled substance test required by post-accident, random, reasonable suspicion or follow-up testing requirements.
- Reporting for duty or remaining on duty, requiring the performance of safety-sensitive functions, when the SSE uses any controlled substance. This prohibition does not apply when instructed by a physician who has advised the SSE that the substance does not adversely affect the SSE’s ability to safely operate a CMV.
- Reporting for duty, remaining on duty or performing a safety-sensitive function, if the SSE tests positive for controlled substances.
Drivers and other SSEs who are known to have engaged in prohibited behavior with regard to alcohol misuse or use of controlled substances are subject to disciplinary action and penalties pursuant to District policy and collective bargaining agreements, as well as the sanctions provided for in federal law. SSEs who have engaged in such prohibited behavior shall not be allowed to perform safety- sensitive functions until they are:
- Evaluated by a substance abuse professional (SAP).
- Complete any requirements for rehabilitation as set by the District and the SAP.
- Pass a return-to-duty test with the result below 0.02 if the conduct involved alcohol, or a controlled substance test with a verified negative result if the conduct involved controlled substance use.
- The SSE shall also be subject to unannounced follow-up alcohol and controlled substance testing. The number and frequency of such follow-up testing shall be as directed by the SAP, and consist of at least six (6) tests in the first twelve (12) months.
The Superintendent of Schools shall ensure that each SSE receives a copy of District policy, educational materials that explain the requirements of the alcohol and drug testing regulations, and any regulations and/or procedures developed by the District with respect to meeting those requirements. The Superintendent or his/her designee shall ensure that a copy of these materials is distributed to each SSE, who shall sign for receipt of all of the above documents, as well as other appropriate personnel, prior to the start of alcohol and controlled substance testing as well as at the beginning of each school year or at the time of hire for any safety-sensitive employees. Representatives of applicable collective bargaining units shall be notified of the availability of this information.
The Superintendent or his/her designee shall arrange for training of all supervisors who may be utilized to determine whether “reasonable suspicion” exists to test a driver for prohibited conduct involving alcohol or controlled substance use/abuse.
Any violation of this policy and/or District procedures, and applicable federal and state laws by a covered employee shall be grounds for disciplinary action including, but not limited to, fines, suspension, and/or discharge in a manner consistent with District policy, collective bargaining agreements and applicable law.
Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act of 1991 (Public Law 102-143)
49 United States Code (USC) Sections 31136 and 31306
49 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Parts 40, 172, 382, 383, 391, 392 and 395