Students (Section 7000)

Table of Contents

Comprehensive Student Attendance  Policy (Policy 7110)

School attendance is one of the key building blocks necessary for a student to achieve academic success. Without  consistent  attendance,  students  cannot  receive  the  full  benefit  of  the  educational  process being provided by the Schoharie Central School District.

In  defining  “Compulsory  Education”,  Education  Law  3205  Section  (1)  states  that  minors  who  turn 6 years old after December 1 of a school year must receive full-time instruction from the first day of school in the following September. All children must remain in attendance until the last day of the
school  year  in  which  they  reach  the  age  of  16.  A  Board  of  Education  may  require  as  part  of  its  Comprehensive  Attendance  Policy  that  minors  between  the  ages  of  16  through  17  who  are  not 
employed  full  time,  to  attend  school  until  the  last  day  of  the  school  year  in  which  they  become  17  years of age (Education Law 3205 Section (3). It is the policy of the Schoharie Board of Education, in accordance with Education Law 3205(3), that students who reach the age of 17 during the school year, remain in attendance until the last day of the school year in which they reach the age of 17.

Objectives
The objectives of the Comprehensive Attendance Policy are:
a) To  track  accurately  the  attendance,  absences,  tardiness,  and  early  departure  of  students  to  and from the school;
b) To ensure sufficient pupil attendance of classes so that pupils may achieve New York State mandated education standards;
c) To track student location for safety reasons and to account to parents regarding the location of children during school hours.

Definitions
Whenever used within the Comprehensive Attendance Policy, the following terms shall mean:
a) Scheduled  instruction:  Every period that a pupil is scheduled to attend  instructional or supervised study activities during the course of a school day during the school year.

b) Absences:  The pupil  is not present for the entire  period of the pupil’s  scheduled instruction.
1. Excused: Absences for illness, religious holidays, sickness or death in the family, court ordered appearance, college visitations, attendance at health clinics or other medical visits, military obligations, other instruction as approved by the Superintendent.
2. Unexcused: Any  absence, tardiness or early departure for which the pupil has no valid school approved excuse. Such unexcused non  appearance  shall  include shopping trips to the local mall, family vacation, oversleeping, skipping class, and any other absence that is not excused as determined by the Principal, Superintendent, and the Commissioner of Education.
3.  Truancy: Absent from school without consent of parent or guardian.

c) Tardy: The pupil arrives later than the starting time of the pupil’s scheduled instruction.
1. Excused: When a student is late to class or to school for a legitimate reason, that student will present a pass to the classroom teacher signed by another teacher or a note from a parent.
2. Unexcused: When a student is late to class or school and fails to provide a pass or a note.

d) Early departure: The pupil leaves prior to the end of the pupil’s scheduled instruction.
e) Students more than 15 minutes late to a class will be considered absent from that class.
f) An absence (regardless of “excused” or “unexcused”) will be calculated and used in determining eligibility for course credits for grades 9-12; retention in grades 7-8.

Coding System
The following coding system shall be used to indicate the nature and reason for a pupil’s missing all or part of scheduled instruction:
8  ENTER/LEFT
A  ABSENT
P  PRESENT
D  EARLY DEPARTURE
E  EXCUSED
U  UNEXCUSED
R  TARDY UNEXCUSED
T  TARDY EXCUSED
I  SUSPENDED-INTERNAL
S  SUSPENDED-EXTERNAL
F  FIELD TRIP
L  LESSONS
M  MEDICAL
O  OTHER

Student Attendance Record Keeping/Data Collection
The record of each student’s presence, absence  tardiness and early departure shall be kept in a register of attendance in a manner consistent with Commissioner’s Regulations.  An absence, tardiness  or early departure will be entered as “excused” or “unexcused” along with the District code for the reason.
Commencing July 1, 2003, attendance shall be taken and recorded in accordance with the following:
a) For students in kindergarten through grade six (i.e., self-contained classrooms and supervised group movement to other scheduled school activities such as physical education in the gym, assembly, etc.), such student’s presence or absence shall be recorded after the taking of attendance once per school day.
b) For students in grades seven through twelve or in departmentalized schools at any grade level (i.e., students pass individually to different classes throughout the day), each student’s presence or absence shall be recorded after the taking of attendance in each period of scheduled instruction except that where students do not change classrooms for each period of scheduled instruction, attendance shall be taken in accordance with paragraph “a” above.
c) Any absence for a school day or portion thereof shall be recorded as excused or unexcused in accordance with the standards articulated in this policy.
d) In the event that a student at any instructional level from kindergarten through grade twelve arrives  late  for or departs early from scheduled instruction, such  tardiness  or  early  departure shall be recorded as excused or unexcused in accordance with the standards articulated in this policy.

A record shall be kept of each scheduled day of instruction during which the school is closed for all or part of the day because of extraordinary circumstances including adverse weather conditions,  impairment of heating facilities, insufficiency of water supply, shortage of fuel, destruction of or damage to a school building, or such other cause as may be found satisfactory to the Commissioner of Education.
Attendance records shall also indicate the date when a student withdraws from enrollment or is dropped from enrollment in accordance with Education Law Section 3202(1-a).
At the conclusion of each class period or school day, all attendance information shall be compiled and provided to the designated school personnel who are responsible for attendance. The nature of the absence, tardiness or early departure shall be coded on a student’s record in accordance with the established District/building procedures.

Strategies and Incentives to Encourage Student Attendance:
Minimum Attendance for Course Credits in grades 9-12/Promotion in grades 7-8
a) A student must be noted as present 85% of a course’s scheduled classes  in order to earn credit. This equates to 153 days present and 27 absences for a full year course. For a half-year course, this would be 76 days present and 14 days absent.
b) Students of compulsory attendance age suspended from school instruction may not be marked as absent unless they fail to attend scheduled alternative education on that day.
c) Students over the compulsory attendance age suspended from school instruction will be marked absent unless they have been assigned alternative education. If alternative education has been assigned, only failure to attend scheduled alternative education shall count as an absence.
d) In cases of medical emergency or extended illness requiring extended absence from school, it is the responsibility of the parent or guardian to notify the school that such a condition exists. The failure to do this in a timely fashion may jeopardize the student’s ability to receive course credit. 
Students and their families must make arrangements with the school for a supervised program of home study as soon as possible.  After receiving medical documentation that a student’s medical condition requires home tutoring, the District will provide a tutor for the student. 

Minimum Attendance Requirements for Participation in Extra-Curricular Activities
a) Students are expected to be in school no later than 8:20 a.m. and during the entire school day. Students who are tardy to or absent from school without an excuse may not attend or participate in extra-curricular activities on the date of tardiness or absence, nor the following day if the tardiness or absence occurs on a Friday, without the permission of the Principal or Superintendent. A student with a valid excuse (as defined above) for such tardiness or absence does not require the permission of the Principal or the Superintendent to attend or participate in extra-curricular activities.
b) A student may not attend or participate  in extra-curricular activities while  suspended from school, whether such suspension is “in-school” or “out-of-school.”

Notice of Absences
The pupil’s parent(s) or person in parental relation shall be notified of a pupil’s unexcused absence, tardiness or early departure according to the following:
a) If a student is to be absent on a school day, parents should call the Nurse’s Office (295-8151) at the school to inform the school. If a pupil is marked as absent from school and if the school has not been notified of a pupil’s absence, the District shall attempt to contact the pupil’s parent(s) or person in parental relation to learn the nature of the pupil’s absence and notify the parent that the pupil has not arrived at school.
b) The student must present a written excuse, signed by parent/legal guardian, within 3 days of returning to school following each absence. An absence will be considered unexcused unless school authorities are informed otherwise.
c) If a student accumulates 18 absences for any full year course, and 9 absences for a half-year course (that have been deemed as “unexcused”), a hearing will be held  with  the Principal. The purpose of this hearing will be to review attendance records, to give students and parents the opportunity to verify absences, to assess the underlying causes of absences, to develop a remedial plan to improve attendance and to establish an attendance contract which will prevent a loss of credit. The emphasis of this hearing will be helping the student to correct the problems leading to absences. This may include referral to an appropriate social service agency, referral to counseling, participation in a dropout prevention program, etc.
d) Each marking period, teachers will mark the number of absences a student has accumulated in their classes on the student’s report card. The report card will serve as notification to students, parents and/or guardians of the student’s attendance status.
e) At the end of each marking period, the high school principal’s office will review the total number of absences that a student has accumulated in each class. When a student reaches or surpasses 6 absences for a full year classes or 3 absences for half-year classes, the high school principal will  notify students and parents or guardians by letter of the dangers of credit loss. Students and parents or guardians may request a meeting at the time if they wish.
f) At the end of the marking period in which the student exceeds the maximum number of yearly absences allowed (27 for a full year course and 14 for a half year or every other day course), a  denial of credit hearing will  be  held.  This hearing will be conducted by the Superintendent, who will determine the appropriate course of action suited to the individual circumstances of the student. The consequences may include full or partial credit loss.

Academic Consequences of Absences and Tardies
a) All students are encouraged to obtain and to complete make-up assignments to compensate for their  absences. Compensation in this context refers only to a student’s academic average. However, the  absence  will still count as an absence in a loss of credit hearing should the student’s yearly attendance rate drop below the 85% minimum level of attendance required for course credit.
b) In order to compensate academically for an absence, students must request make-up work from their teachers on the next day the class meets when the student returns to school after an absence. Individual teachers will determine the makeup work required and establish both the procedures
and the time guidelines. (Ordinarily, a student will have one day for each day absent to make up work.) Students who fail to follow these procedures and time guidelines will forfeit the right to make up work.
c) Excessive absences (in other words, attendance that falls below the 85% level) may  seriously compromise the student’s ability to pass and/or to receive credit for a course.
d) Tardiness is disruptive to the education of both the tardy student and to the other students in the class. In cases of repeated tardiness, students fail to demonstrate the appropriate learning behaviors required of students in a classroom. Teachers have both the right and the responsibility to factor a student’s tardiness into the class participation grades that a student receives as part of their academic grade.

Disciplinary Consequences of Absences and Tardies
The pupil may be subject do disciplinary procedures for unexcused absence, tardiness, or early departure, including verbal and written warnings, detentions, in-school suspensions, and loss of extra-curricular privileges, as described in the Code of Conduct.
a) Whenever a student is absent from school for either the whole day or part of the day, the student is required to provide a written note from a parent or guardian explaining the reason for the absence. This note must be given to the school nurse within 3 days of returning to school from an absence. The failure to provide a note within this period of time will cause the absence to be classified as unexcused.
b) Attendance code violations (unexcused absences, truancies, class skips, and unexcused tardies) are disciplinary infractions that violate both the educational laws of New York  State  and  the  discipline  and  attendance policies of the School District. Consequences for  such violations will be determined individually according to the school’s Code of Conduct.
c) Students who accumulate a total of 12 unexcused class absences in a year shall be deemed chronic attendance code violators. For purposes of this definition, 4 tardies to school equals 1 unexcused absence.
d) For the purpose of disciplinary hearings, students classified as chronic attendance code violators will be deemed to have committed serious infractions of the school’s disciplinary code and such infractions will warrant more severe penalties. Subsequent attendance code violations will be dealt  with  progressively within the context of the school’s disciplinary code.

Incentives
District Administration/staff will work together to create incentives/programs for excellent attendance. This may include classroom based incentives as well as additional privileges (Permanent/
Honor/Gold/Senior Pass System) and other recognition programs.

Intervention Strategy Development
a) The Building Principal shall meet as needed with the Attendance Supervision Officer and other administrators and teachers as the Principal determines necessary to review student attendance records, address identified patterns of unexcused pupil absences, tardiness and early departure, and review current intervention methods.
b) Where the Principal determines that existing intervention policies or practices are insufficient, the Principal shall notify the Board of Education prior to its annual review of the building’s attendance records, of both insufficient practices and any proposed changes needing Board approval to implement.

Counseling
The District shall provide counseling to students with chronic attendance problems to determine the best course of action for that student.

Attendance Supervision Officer
The Board shall designate a person as the Attendance Supervision Officer. The  Attendance  Supervision Officer is responsible for reviewing pupil attendance records and initiating appropriate action to address unexcused pupil absence, tardiness and early departure consistent with the Comprehensive Attendance Policy.

Education Law Sections 3024, 3025, 3202, 3205,  3206, 3210, 3211, and 3213  8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Sections 104.1, 109.2 and 175.6
Adopted: 6/2/04
Revised: 10/19/05
Revised: 11/3/10

[Back to Top]

Released Time of Students (Policy 7111)

Written requests from the parent/guardian for the release of students generally will be honored. The appropriate time and reason for absence shall be recorded on the attendance record, using the procedures mandated by the state. 
The building principal shall assume this responsibility or shall designate an individual to review and approve all requests. 
8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Section 109.2
Adopted 4/25/05

[Back to Top]

Age of Entrance (Policy 7120)

Kindergarten
Students who are legal residents of the School District and who reside with parents or guardians within the School District at the time of the opening day of school must be five (5) years of age or more on December 1 in order to register for Kindergarten.

A child who transfers into the School District at any time during the school year may be considered for admission to Kindergarten by the Superintendent provided:
a) The parents were not legal residents of the School District on the opening day of school, and
b) The child has been registered and enrolled in kindergarten in the district in which his/her parents were legal residents. 

Other Grades
Admission of children to other grades shall involve a consideration of both chronological age and the readiness of the children to do the work of those grades. 

Proof of Age
A student’s birth certificate or other satisfactory evidence of age shall be presented at the time of initial registration. The child shall be entered under his/her legal name. 
Education Law Sections 1712, 3202 and 3212
NOTE: Refer also to Policy #7131 — Education of Homeless Children and Youth
Adopted:  4/25/05

[Back to Top]

Screening of New School Entrants (Policy 7121)

The Board of Education shall provide for the screening of every new entrant to school to determine which students may have disabilities, may be gifted or may be of limited English proficiency.  A new entrant means a pupil entering the New York State public school system for the first time, or re-entering a New York State public school with no available record of a prior screening. Such diagnostic screening shall be conducted:

a) By persons appropriately trained or qualified;
b) In the student’s native language if the language of the home is other than English;
c) In the case of new entrants, prior to the school year, if possible, but no later than December 1 of the school year of entry or within fifteen (15) days of transfer of a student into a New York State public school should the entry take place after December 1 of the school year;
d) In the case of students who score below the state reference point on New York State assessment tests, within thirty (30) days of the availability of the test scores.

Such screening shall include, but not be limited to the following:
a) A physical examination by a physician/nurse practitioner or submission of a health certificate in accordance with Sections 901, 903, and 904 of the Education Law, including proof of immunization as required by Section 2164 of the Public Health Law.  Vision screening services will be provided to all new admissions within six (6) months of enrollment or by such other date prescribed by the Commissioner of Education;
b) An assessment of motor development, of receptive and expressive language development, articulation skills, and cognitive ability in the student’s native language, if the language of the home is not English. 
No screening examination for vision, hearing or scoliosis condition is required where a student, parent or person in parental relation objects on the grounds that such examination conflicts with their genuine and sincere religious beliefs.
If such screening indicates a possible disability, a referral shall be made to the Committee on Special Education (CSE) no later than fifteen (15) calendar days after completion of such diagnostic screening.
If such screening indicates a possibly gifted child, the name and finding shall be reported to the Superintendent of Schools and to the parents/guardians no later than fifteen (15) calendar days after completion of such screening. 

If such screening indicates a child identified as possibly being of limited English proficiency, such child shall be referred for further evaluation in accordance with the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education to determine eligibility for appropriate transitional bilingual or free-standing ESL programs.

Reporting to Parents
Parents/guardians of children to be screened shall receive information in advance regarding the purpose of screening, the areas to be screened and the referral process.  The information shall be communicated either orally or in writing in the parents’ primary language(s).  This information will be provided during the registration interview. 
Parents/guardians have the right to request information regarding their child’s performance during screening.  They shall have access to the screening results and obtain copies upon request. 

Confidentiality of Information
The Board of Education’s policy and administrative regulations in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 shall apply to all information collected about a child through the screening program. In accordance with the policy and regulations, parents shall be informed of their right to privacy, their right to access to the records and their right to challenge those records should they be inaccurate, misleading or otherwise inappropriate. 

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974
20 United States Code (USC) Section 1232(g)
Education Law Sections 901, 903, 904, 905, 914 and
3208(5)
Public Health Law Section 2164
8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Parts 117, 142.2 and 154
NOTE: Refer also to Policies #7131 — Education of Homeless Children and Youth #7512 — Student Physicals #8240 — Instructional Programs: Driver Education, Gifted and Talented Education and Physical Education
Adopted:  4/25/05

[Back to Top]

Entitlement to Attend — Age and Residency (Policy 7130)

Ages of Attendance/Compulsory Attendance Age
According to Education Law, a student who becomes six (6) years of age on or before the first of December in any school year shall be required to attend full-time instruction from the first day that the District schools are in session in September of such school year, and a student who becomes six (6) years of age after the first of December in any school year shall be required to attend full-time instruction from the first day of session in the following September. Except as otherwise provided in Education Law Section 3205(3), a student shall be required to remain in attendance until the last day of session in the school year in which the student becomes sixteen (16) years of age.

However, in accordance with Education Law Section 3205(3), the Board of Education in any school district shall have the power to require minors from sixteen (16) to seventeen (17) years of age who are not employed to attend full-time instruction until the end of the school year in which the student turns seventeen (17) years of age.

All persons dwelling within the District who are between the ages of five (5) years and twenty-one (21) years and who have not received a high school diploma shall be entitled to enroll in the District.

Undocumented children, like U.S. citizen children, have the right to attend school full-time as long as they meet the age and residency requirements established by state law.

Proof of Age
The State Education Department does not require districts to collect students’ social security numbers for any purpose. While school districts may need to collect certain data pursuant to State and/or federal laws, they should do so after a student has enrolled in school so as not to inadvertently give the impression that information related to immigration status will be used in making registration/enrollment determinations. 
In accordance with Education Law, where a birth certificate or record of baptism is not available, a passport (including foreign passport) may be used to determine a child’s age for purposes of enrollment/registration in school. Should none of these be available, the District may consider certain other documentary or recorded evidence to determine a child’s age.
The following are examples of documentation that may be used to establish a student’s age. This list is not intended to be exhaustive, nor is it a list of required documentation.
a) School photo ID with date of birth;
b) Hospital or health records;
c) State or other government-issued ID;
d) Military dependent ID card;
e) Native American Tribal document;
f) Record(s) from non-profit international aid agencies and voluntary agencies (VOLAGs);
g) Consulate identification card; and
h) Official driver’s license.

Determination of Student Residency
The residence of children dwelling within the District boundaries shall be established in a manner consistent with State Law and the Regulations of the Commissioner. The Board of Education or its designee shall determine whether a child is entitled to attend a District school. Any adverse residency decision by a school official, other than the Board or its designee, shall include written notice to the parent/person in parental relation of the procedures for obtaining review of the decision within the District.
A child’s residence is presumed to be that of his/her parents or legal guardians. However, the District may encounter students, particularly from other countries, who reside with persons other than their parents or legal guardians. In order to determine residency in these cases, the District may request information regarding such student’s custody to establish residency and to ensure the health, safety and welfare of the child.

Children Living With Noncustodial Parents
A child’s residence is usually determined by the residence of the custodial parent. However, a noncustodial parent who resides in the District may enroll his/her child in a District school if he/she shares the day-to-day responsibilities for the child and the custodial parent designates the child’s residence with the noncustodial parent.

Homeless Children
The parent/person in parental relation to a homeless child; or the homeless child, together with the homeless liaison designated by the School District in the case of an unaccompanied youth; or the director of a residential program for runaway and homeless youth established pursuant to Executive Law Article 19-H, in consultation with the homeless child, where such homeless child is living in such program, may designate either the school district of current location, the school district of origin, or a school district participating in a regional placement plan as the district the homeless child shall attend.

Children of Activated Reserve Military Personnel
Students temporarily residing outside the boundaries of the District, due to relocation necessitated by the call to active military duty of the student’s parent or person in parental relation, will be allowed to attend the public school that they attended prior to the relocation. However, the District is not required to provide transportation between a temporary residence located outside the District and the school the child attends.

Emancipated Minors
A determination of whether a student is to be designated as an emancipated minor in the Base School District will be based on evidence that the student is no longer under custody, control and support of his/her parents/persons in parental relation. To establish emancipation, a minor may submit documentation of his/her means of support, proof of residency and an explanation of the circumstances surrounding the student’s emancipation, including a description of the student’s relationship with his/her parents/persons in parental relation.
These statements are renewable each school year. If at any time the above information is changed without prompt notification or proven to be false, the parent/person in parental relation and/or student may be subject to legal action.

Children Living With Persons Not Their Parents — Guardianship or Custody
In accordance with the Family Court Act and Domestic Relations Law, a person possessing a lawful order of guardianship or custody of a minor child who is not the parent of such child may enroll the child in public school in the school district where he/she and the child reside.
Therefore, upon application for enrollment by the guardian or custodian, the District shall enroll such a child for such time as the child resides with the guardian or custodian in the District upon verification that the guardian or custodian possess a lawful order of guardianship or custody for the child and that the guardian or custodian and the child properly reside in the same household within the District.

McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act, Section 722, as reauthorized by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001
Domestic Relations Law Section 74
Education Law Sections 2045, 3202, 3205, 3209, 3212(4), and 3218(1)(b), 3218(1)(d)
Family Court Act Section 657
8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Sections 100.2(x) and (y)
NOTE: Refer also to Policy #7131 — Education of Homeless Children and Youth
Adopted: 4/25/05, Revised:  8/23/12

[Back to Top]

Education of Homeless Children and Youth (Policy 7131)

The parent/person in parental relation to a homeless child; or the homeless child, together with the homeless liaison designated by the School District in the case of an unaccompanied youth; or the director of a residential program for runaway and homeless youth established pursuant to Article 19-H of the Executive Law, in consultation with the homeless child, where such homeless child is living in such program, may designate either the school district of current location, the school district of origin, or a school district participating in a regional placement plan as the district the homeless child shall attend.

Pursuant to Commissioner’s Regulations, a “homeless child” means a child or youth who lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence, including a child who is:
a) Sharing the housing of other persons due to a loss of housing, economic hardship or a similar reason;
b) Living in motels, hotels, trailer parks or camping grounds due to the lack of alternative adequate accommodations;
c) Abandoned in hospitals;
d) Awaiting foster care placement; or
e) A migratory child who qualifies as homeless in accordance with Commissioner’s Regulations.  As defined in the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, the term “migratory child” includes a child who is, or whose parent or spouse is, a migratory agricultural worker, including a migratory dairy worker, or a migratory fisher, and who has moved from one school district to another in the preceding 36 months, in order to obtain, or accompanies such parent or spouse in order to obtain, temporary or seasonal employment in agricultural or fishing work. 
f) A child or youth who has a primary nighttime location that is:
1. A supervised, publicly or privately operated shelter designed to provide temporary living accommodations including, but not limited to, shelters operated or approved by the state or local department of social services, and residential programs for runaway and homeless youth established pursuant to Article 19-H of the Executive Law; or
2. A public or private place not designed for, or ordinarily used as, a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings; including a child or youth who is living in a car, park, public space, abandoned building, substandard housing, bus or train station or similar setting.

The term “homeless child” shall not include a child in foster care or receiving educational services pursuant to Education Law Section 3202(4), (5), (6), (6a) or (7) or pursuant to Articles 81, 85, 87 or 88. For example, a child in a family home at board, a school for the mentally retarded, a hospital or other institution for the care, custody and treatment of children; youths under the direction of the Division for Youth incarcerated in county correctional facilities or youth shelters; or children residing in child care institutions or schools for the deaf or blind would not be considered “homeless.”

Enrollment, Retention and Participation in the Educational Program
Enrollment of homeless children shall not be delayed and their ability to continue or participate in the educational program shall not be restricted due to issues such as:
a) Transportation;
b) Immunization requirements;
c) Residency requirements;
d) Birth certificates, medical records, IEPs, school records and other documentation;
e) Guardianship issues;
f) Comprehensive assessment and advocacy referral processes;
g) Resolution of disputes regarding school selection;
h) Proof of social security numbers;
i) Attendance requirements;
j) Sports participation rules;
k) Inability to pay fees associated with extracurricular activities such as club dues and sports uniforms; or
l) Other enrollment issues.

Educational Programs and Services
The School District shall provide homeless children and youth with access to all of its programs, activities and services to the same extent that they are provided to resident students.

Homeless children and youth shall be educated as part of the school’s regular academic program. Services must be provided to homeless children and youth through programs and mechanisms that integrate homeless children and youth with their non-homeless counterparts, including programs for special education, vocational and technical education, gifted and talented students, before and after school, English language learners/limited English proficiency, Head Start, Even Start, and school nutrition.  Services provided with McKinney-Vento funds must expand upon or improve services provided as part of the regular school program.  Consequently, the School District shall ensure that homeless children and youth are not segregated in a separate school, or in a separate program within the school, based on their status as homeless; and to the extent feasible consistent with the requirements of  Commissioner’s Regulations, keep a  homeless  child or youth in the  school of origin except when doing so is contrary to the wishes of the child’s or youth’s parent or guardian.  Further, the School District shall review and revise policies and practices, including transportation guidelines, that may act as barriers to the enrollment, attendance, school success, and retention of homeless children and youth in the School District.

All homeless children and youth are automatically eligible for Title I Part A services whether or not they meet the academic standards or live in a Title I school attendance area.  Homeless students may receive Title I educational or support services from school-wide and targeted-assistance school programs.

Transportation
If the local social service district or the Office of Children and Family Services is not required to provide transportation, the designated district is responsible for providing the student’s transportation.  However, the school district of origin is responsible for the cost of transportation provided by the designated district. Transportation responsibilities apply to all school districts regardless of whether or not they receive McKinney-Vento funds.  Where a homeless student designates the school district of current location as the district the student will attend, that district shall provide transportation to the student on the same basis as a resident student.  Where the homeless student designates the school district of origin, the district of current location, at the request of a parent/guardian, shall provide or arrange for transportation to and from the school of origin in accordance with law and/or regulation even if the district does not provide transportation to non-homeless students (except for preschoolers). Transportation must be provided during the pendency of enrollment disputes.  If the designated district provides transportation for non-homeless preschool children, it must also provide comparable transportation services for homeless preschool children.  If the student in temporary housing designates Schoharie Central School District as the school district of origin or a district participating in a regional placement plan, transportation will not exceed 50 miles each way, unless the Commissioner of the State Education Department determines that it is in the best interest of the student.

School District Liaison for Homeless Children and Youth
The School District shall designate an appropriate staff person, who may also be a coordinator for other federal programs, as the local educational agency liaison for homeless children and youth to carry out the duties as enumerated in law, Commissioner’s Regulations and applicable guidance issued by the U.S. and New York State Education Departments.  The District will inform school personnel, local service providers and advocates of the office and duties of the local homeless liaison.

Training
The District will train all school enrollment staff, secretaries, school counselors, school social workers, and principals on the legal requirements for enrollment.  School nutrition staff, school nurses, teachers, and bus drivers will receive training on homelessness that is specific to their field.

Outreach
The District will make every effort to inform the parents or guardians of homeless children and youth of the education, transportation and related opportunities available to their children including transportation to the school of origin. The parent(s)/guardian(s) will be assisted in accessing transportation to the school they select, and will be provided with meaningful opportunities to participate in the education of their children.  Public notice of educational rights of homeless children and youth will be disseminated by the District in places where families and youth are likely to be present (e.g., schools, shelters, soup kitchens), and in comprehensible formats (e.g., geared for low literacy or other community needs).

Dispute Resolution
The District shall establish guidelines for the prompt resolution of disputes regarding school selection or enrollment of a homeless student and provide a written explanation, including a statement regarding the right to appeal to the parent or guardian if the School District sends the student to a school other than the school of origin or the school requested by the parent or guardian.
If there is a factual dispute over whether a student is homeless, the District will immediately enroll the student and then provide the parent/guardian the opportunity to submit verification of homelessness.  The student will remain enrolled until a final determination is made by the District and for a minimum of thirty (30) days after the final determination to allow the parent/guardian opportunity to appeal to the Commissioner of Education.  If the student files an appeal that contains a request for a stay within thirty (30) days of such final determination, the District must continue to enroll the student until the Commissioner rules on the stay request.

Record and Reporting Requirements
If the District, as the school district of origin, receives a request to forward student records to a receiving district, the records must be forwarded within five days.
The School District shall maintain documentation regarding all aspects of the District’s contact with and services provided to homeless students and youth for possible on-site monitoring by the State Education Department.
The District shall collect and transmit to the Commissioner of Education, at such time and in the manner as the Commissioner may require, a report containing such information as the Commissioner determines is necessary to assess the educational needs of homeless children and youths within the state.
McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act,
as reauthorized by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001
42 United States Code (USC) Section 11431 et seq.
Education Law Section 3209
8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR)
Section 100.2(x)
Adopted: 6/1/05
Revised: 6/16/16

[Back to Top]

Non-Resident Pupils (Policy 7132)

Students whose parents or legal guardian do not maintain a residency in the Schoharie School District will be considered non-resident.
The Schoharie Central School District will enroll and invoice pupils who are not legal residents of the District in the following manner:
a) Enrollment of non-resident pupils shall be permitted if there is room and only if there is no additional cost to the District;
b) The computation of tuition charges shall be based on the latest formula from the State Education Department;
c) All tuition must be paid in advance, by semester, unless other arrangements are made with the Business Office;
d) Any non-resident student whose family moves into the District during the year will be refunded tuition paid for that semester of instruction;
e) Any student who moves or whose family moves its residence from Schoharie Central School District after June 30 of their Junior year may continue their Senior year of instruction at Schoharie without a tuition charge;
f) Non-resident families must provide their own transportation;
g) Foreign students participating in a recognized Student Exchange Program may attend District schools. The administration is authorized to file with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services the forms necessary for the monitoring of non-immigrant foreign students during the course of their stay in the District in accordance with the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS);
h) In all cases described above and any unusual circumstances not covered above, a written request must be submitted to the Superintendent.
8 United States Code (USC) Chapter 12
Education Law Sections 1709(13), 2045 and 3202
8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations
(NYCRR) Section 174.2
Adopted:  3/15/06

[Back to Top]

Involuntary Transfer of Students (Policy 7140)

Involuntary transfer of a student from regular classroom instruction to an appropriate educational setting in another school shall be in accordance with Education Law.
Education Law Sections 1709(3) and 3214(5)
Adopted:  4/25/05

[Back to Top]

Educational Services for Married/Pregnant Students (Policy 7150)

Married Students
The Board of Education will comply with state law in reference to married students attending school.

Pregnant Students
New York State Education Law provides that resident students over five (5) and under twenty-one (21) who have not received a high school diploma are entitled to attend school in the district in which they reside.  The law further requires that a school district provide for this instruction and also to provide for home instruction for those students of legal age who are unable to profit from instruction in school.

In view of the above, administrative regulations will be developed to implement the terms of this policy to provide instruction as required by the New York State Education Law for students who become pregnant. The Superintendent, or his/her designee, is directed to consult with the school physician and the student’s personal physician in determining the form of instruction.
The form of instruction may be any of the following or a combination of the following:
a) Remain in school with provisions for special instruction, scheduling, and counseling where needed.
b) Receive home instruction.
c) Attend BOCES programs.
Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972
20 United States Code (USC) Section 1681
Education Law Sections 1604(20), 3202-1, 3205-1,
4401-1 and 4402-2
Adopted: 4/25/05

[Back to Top]

School Census (Policy 7160)

The School District is authorized, but not obligated, to take a census of all children from birth to eighteen (18) years of age.
The census must indicate the names of all children between birth and eighteen (18) years of age, and of children with disabilities between birth and twenty-one (21) years of age; their respective residences by street and number; the day of the month and the year of their birth; the names of the persons in parental relation to them; such information relating to physical or mental disabilities, to illiteracy, to employment and to the enforcement of the law relating to child labor and compulsory education as the State Education Department and the Board of Education shall require; and also such further information as the Board shall require.
On written request and in such form as prescribed by the Commissioner of Education, the Board shall provide to the Commissioner a report containing the names, ages and addresses of those children who are blind or deaf, and those children having serious physical or mental disabilities.  Additionally, such report shall further indicate whether such children are being educated within the public schools of the District or, if they are not, where such education is being furnished to them.
Persons in parental relation to those children within the prescribed census age ranges are to make such reports as the Board of Education shall require, including, but not limited to, providing two (2) weeks before the child reaches compulsory school age, the name of the child; the child’s residence; the name of the person or persons in parental relation to the child; the name and location of the school to which the child shall have been or shall be sent as a student; and such other information as required by law or as the Board may require.
A parent, guardian or other person having under his/her control or charge a child between birth and eighteen (18) years of age who withholds or refuses to give information in his/her possession relating to such census data as required by law pertaining to the child; or, in the alternative, gives false information in relation to such census data, shall be liable to and punished by a fine or imprisonment as established by law.
Census data shall be reported as required by law.
Education Law Sections 3240-3243 and 4402(1)(a)
8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations
(NYCRR) Section 200.2(a)
NOTE: Refer also to Policy #7650 — Identification and Register of Children With Disabilities (Child Find)
Adopted:  4/25/05

[Back to Top]

Student Evaluation (Policy 7210)

Placement
Placement within the system, with respect to building, teacher, and grade or special class, shall be at the discretion of the school administration and shall be subject to review and change at any time. In making such decisions, the administrator will be guided by performance in class, past records, parent/guardian and teacher recommendations, standardized test scores, and any other appropriate sources of information, but the final decision shall rest with the school administration. 

Promotion and Retention
The procedures to be followed by the staff regarding promotion and retention will be developed by the Superintendent and will be continually evaluated in the light of School District policy.  Building principals may establish written standards for promotion or retention within the school units to which the students are assigned, subject to the guidelines of the Superintendent and the approval of the Board of Education.

Testing Program
The Board of Education endorses and supports the use of ability, achievement, diagnostic, readiness, interest and guidance tests as part of the total educational process to the degree to which tests help the District to serve its students.

Alternative Testing Procedures
The use of alternative testing procedures shall be limited to:
a) Students identified by the Committee on Special Education and/or Section 504 Team as having a disability.  Alternative testing procedures shall be specified in a student’s Individualized Education Program or Section 504 Accommodation Plan; and
b) Students whose native language is other than English (i.e., English language learners) in accordance with State Education Department Guidelines.
The alternative testing procedures employed shall be based upon a student’s individual needs and the type of test administered.
The District shall report the use of alternative testing procedures to the State Education Department on a form and at a time prescribed by the Commissioner.

Reporting to Parents/Legal Guardians 
Parents/guardians shall receive an appropriate report of student progress at regular intervals.  Report cards shall be used as a standard vehicle for the periodic reporting of student progress and appropriate school related data.  Report cards, however, are not intended to exclude other means of reporting progress, such as conferences, phone conversations, etc.
When necessary, attempts will be made to provide interpreters for non-English speaking parents/guardians.

Education Law Section 1709(3)
8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations
(NYCRR) Sections 100.2(g), 117 and 154
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973,
29 United States Code (USC) Section 794 et seq.

[Back to Top]

Provision of Interpreter Services to Parents Who are Hearing Impaired (Policy 7211)

The Board of Education assures parents or persons in parental relation who are hearing impaired the right to meaningful access to school initiated meetings or activities pertaining to the academic and/or disciplinary aspects of their children’s education. School initiated meetings or activities are defined to include, but are not limited to, parent-teacher conferences, child study or building-level team meetings, planning meetings with school counselors regarding educational progress and career planning, suspension hearings or any conferences with school officials relating to disciplinary actions.  The term “hearing impaired” shall include any hearing impairment, whether permanent or fluctuating, which prevents meaningful participation in School District meetings or activities.

Parents or persons in parental relation shall be notified of the availability of interpreter services to be provided at no charge, provided that a written request is made to the School District within fourteen (14) days of the scheduled event.  Exceptions to the time frame request may be made for unanticipated circumstances as determined by the principal/designee. The District shall also notify appropriate school personnel as to the terms and implementation of this policy.

If interpreter services are requested, the District shall appoint an interpreter for the hearing impaired to interpret during the meeting or activity.  The District will arrange for interpreters through a District-created list or through an interpreter referral service.  The District shall also develop interagency agreements, as appropriate, to ensure that sign language interpreters are provided for eligible parents or persons in parental relation when District students attend out-of-District schools or programs.

In the event that an interpreter is unavailable, the School District shall make other reasonable accommodations which are satisfactory to the parents or persons in parental relationship.  Examples of what constitutes reasonable accommodations in the event an interpreter cannot be located may include, but are not limited to, the use of:
a) Written communications, transcripts, note takers, etc; and
b) Technology, such as: a decoder or telecommunication device for the deaf, assistive listening devices, and closed or open captioning.
Education Law Section 3230
8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations
(NYCRR) Section 100.2(aa)
Adopted:  4/25/05

[Back to Top]

Graduation Requirements (Policy 7220)

In order to graduate from Schoharie Central School District, a student must complete or may exceed the requirements set forth in Part 100 of the Commissioner’s Regulations.  The Board of Education reserves the right to establish requirements for graduation which exceed the minimum standards as defined by the New York State Regents.
8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations
(NYCRR) Sections 100.1(i) and 100.5
Adopted:  4/25/05

[Back to Top]

Early Graduation (Policy 7221)

A student shall be eligible for early graduation in fewer than eight (8) semesters upon completion of all requirements for graduation, excluding physical education, as mandated by Commissioner’s Regulations.  A student shall not be required to continue enrollment for the sole purpose of completing physical education requirements.  The District, upon request from the student’s parent/guardian, may choose to grant the student a high school diploma prior to his/her completion of the eighth (8th) semester. 
8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations
(NYCRR) Section 100.5(a) and (e)
Adopted:  4/25/05

[Back to Top]

Diploma and/or Credential Options for Students with Disabilities (Policy 7222)

The District is committed to ensuring that students with disabilities are provided appropriate opportunities to earn a Regents or Local Diploma or other exiting Commencement Credential in accordance with the Commissioner’s Regulations. To this end, graduation and transition plans shall take into account the various pathways available to these students.
In addition to all graduation options afforded to general education students, including the Regents Diploma and various honors and/or designations, the following diplomas and/or credentials are also available for students with disabilities.

Local Diploma
To earn a Local Diploma, students with disabilities must:
a) Complete the same twenty-two (22) units of credit required for a Regents Diploma; and
b) Achieve a score of 55 or higher on one or more of the five (5) examinations required for a Regents Diploma.
Note: Students with disabilities entering Grade 9 prior to September 2011: A passing grade on a Regents Competency Test (RCT) may be used in lieu of a passing grade on a Regents examination. The school may administer the RCT before or after the corresponding Regents exam, however the student must take the required Regents exam. The RCT option remains available until the applicable student graduates or turns twenty-one (21) years old.

Local Diploma Compensatory Option (Safety Net)
To earn a Local Diploma using the compensatory option, students with disabilities must:
a) Complete the same twenty-two (22) units of credit required for a Regents Diploma;
b) Achieve a score of at least 55 on both the English (ELA) and Math Regents exams;
c) Achieve a score between 45-54 on one or more of the other required Regents exams (US History and Government, Global History, and a Science), in which case each score of 65 or higher on any other Regents exam may compensate for a single 45-54 required exam;
d) Obtain a passing grade for the course in the subject area of the Regents exam in which he or she received a score of 45-54;
e) Have a satisfactory attendance rate in accordance with the District’s or school’s attendance policy for the school year; and
f) Not already be using a passing score on any RCTs, if such exam is available to the student (entered Grade 9 prior to September 2011).

Career Development and Occupational Studies (CDOS) Commencement Credential
The Career Development and Occupational Studies (CDOS) Commencement Credential may be earned by a student with a disability to document his or her preparation for entry-level employment after high school. This credential can be awarded in conjunction with a Regents or Local Diploma, or may be issued by itself.
When awarding the CDOS Commencement Credential using option one, the student shall demonstrate evidence of the following requirements, which shall be verified by the District:
a) The student has a developed, annually reviewed and, as appropriate, revised Career Plan to assure the student is actively engaged in career exploration;
b) The student has demonstrated commencement level knowledge and skills of the CDOS learning standards. To evidence this level of knowledge and skill, a student must demonstrate: career development, integrated learning, and universal foundation skills. In addition a student may also, but is not required to, demonstrate additional career skills by completing a career-specific major;
c) The student has successfully completed at least two (2) units of study (216 hours) in Career and Technical Education (CTE) courses, including a minimum of 54 hours of documented school supervised work-based learning experiences, which may, but is not required to, be completed in conjunction with the CTE courses; and
d) Within one year prior to a student’s exit from school, at least one Employability Profile must be completed by designated school staff or other individuals knowledgeable about the student’s employment skills and experiences.
A student’s CTE courses and supervised work-based learning experiences must be documented on his or her transcript and the Career Plan and Employability Profile must be placed in a student’s permanent record. The State Education Department (SED) has provided models of the Career Plan and Employability Profile forms as well as charts of work-based learning programs and nationally-recognized work-readiness credentials, located at:

Instead of the above (a-d) requirements, a District may utilize option two by awarding a CDOS Commencement Credential to a student who has completed a nationally-recognized work-readiness program or certification. Districts cannot exclusively offer option two and must still provide opportunities for students to fulfill the CDOS Commencement Credential through option one’s requirements.

Skills and Achievement (SA) Commencement Credential
To issue the Skills and Achievement (SA) Commencement Credential the District must ensure that the student:
a) Meets the definition of a student with a severe disability;
b) Has been recommended by the Committee of Special Education (CSE) to take the New York State Alternative Assessment (NYSAA) for students with severe disabilities;
c) Has been given appropriate opportunities to participate in community experiences and development of employment and other instructional activities to prepare the student for post-secondary living, learning and employment; and
d) Has been issued a summary of the student’s academic achievement and functional performance. A model summary form developed by SED is located at:

Awarding the SA or CDOS Commencement Credentials
The SA and CDOS Commencement Credentials may be issued at any time after such student has attended school for at least twelve (12) years, or at the end of the school year in which the student turns twenty one (21) years old. When a student is under twenty-one (21) and is issued SA Commencement Credential or the CDOS Commencement Credential without the Regents or Local Diploma, the credential award must be accompanied by a written statement of assurance. This statement must indicate that the student remains eligible to attend the public school within the District, without payment of tuition, until the student has either earned a diploma or until he/she turns twenty-one (21), whichever occurs first.
The CDOS and SA Commencement Credentials must be similar in form to the diplomas issued by the District, except that they shall not use the term “diploma” on them. The SA Commencement Credential must contain a clear annotation that it is based on alternate academic achievement standards. The CDOS Commencement Credential shall indicate that it has been endorsed by the New York State Board of Regents as a certificate of readiness for entry-level employment.
Education Law Sections 3202 and 4402
8 NYCRR Sections 100.1, 100.2, 100.5, 100.6, 200.4 and 200.5
NOTE: Refer also to Policy #7220 — Graduation Requirements/Early Graduation/Accelerated
Programs
Adopted: 9/18/13

[Back to Top]

Valedictorian and Salutatorian (Policy 7223)

The Valedictorian shall be the top-ranked student, residing in the 12th Grade Class, after the first semester grades of Grade 12 have been computed into the rankings.  Such a student would have, therefore, resided in the class for a total of seven semesters not including any Grade 8 or Grade 7 high school acceleration.
The Salutatorian shall be the second-ranked student under the same conditions as elaborated above.
The Valedictorian and Salutatorian will be entitled to:
a) declare themselves as “first” or “second” in their “class” to college admissions or employment agents upon the principal’s written approval;
b) confirmation of their status at graduation, including the invitation to be among the senior speakers;
c) any emblems or cash awards which the school or community offers.
The Valedictorian and the Salutatorian at Schoharie must have attended Schoharie for three (3) semesters, not including any Grade 7 or 8 acceleration.  Accepted senior year external school programs qualify for this requirement.
Grades contributing to the rankings are to all be unweighted, from 0 to 100. External school program grades would have to be converted to 0 to 100 equivalents using an acceptable formula.
There can be situations in which a junior of only five high school semesters, beginning in Grade 9 makes the decision to graduate early. If, at the same time, the accelerating junior establishes himself or herself as the first or second ranked student, they will be considered the “Junior Valedictorian” or “Junior Salutatorian” as appropriate.

The Junior Valedictorian or the Junior Salutatorian will be entitled to:
a) declare themselves as “first” or “second” in their applications to college admissions or employment agents, upon the principal’s written approval irrespective of the likelihood that Grade 12 students also will refer to their status as “first” or “second” in their class;
b) participation, with the Senior Class, in all school-sponsored graduation ceremonies or activities;
c) confirmation of their status as “Junior Valedictorian” or “Junior Salutatorian” at graduation;
d) equivalent-value emblems or cash awards which the school or community offers to the Valedictorian or Salutatorian;
e) eligibility for faculty elections to be recipient of any of the awards or honors confirmed at any Senior Awards assembly or at the graduation ceremony.
Adopted:  4/25/05

[Back to Top]

Phase In Graduation Standard of 65 on Required Regents Examinations (Policy 7224)

The Board of Education supports the higher academic achievement standards established in accordance with Commissioner’s Regulations that sets 65 as the passing grade on all five Regents examinations required for high school graduation (i.e., the Regents comprehensive examination in English, a Regents examination in mathematics, the Regents examination in United States history and government, a Regents examination in science, and the Regents examination in global studies). However, the Board recognizes that additional time may be necessary for students to transition to these higher standards. Therefore, it is the policy of this District that the following phase in schedule of the 65 graduation standard on required Regents exams is established.
In order to obtain a local diploma, students who first enter grade 9 in September 2005, 2006 and 2007 must attain the following scores on the five required Regents examinations:
Students Entering Grade 9 in September 2005
Unless otherwise authorized pursuant to law and/or regulations, students who first enter grade 9 in September 2005 must attain a score of 65 or above on two of the five required Regents examinations and a score of 55 or above on the remaining three required Regents examinations.
Students Entering Grade 9 in September 2006
Unless  otherwise authorized pursuant to law and/or regulations, students who first enter grade 9 in September 2006 must attain a score of 65 or above on three of the five required Regents examinations and a score of 55 or above on the remaining two required Regents examinations.
Students Entering Grade 9 in September 2007
Unless otherwise authorized pursuant to law and/or regulations, students who first enter grade 9 in September 2007 must attain a score of 65 or above on four of the five required Regents examinations and a score of 55 or above on the one remaining required Regents examination.
Students entering Grade 9 in 2008
Unless otherwise authorized pursuant to law and/or regulations, students must pass all five required Regents examinations at a score of 65 or above.

Regents Diplomas
Students who score 65 or above on all five required Regents examinations receive a Regents-endorsed diploma. Students who score 65 or above on eight Regents examinations will receive an Advanced Regents diploma.
Students with disabilities will still have the safety net option of taking and passing the Regents Competency Test if they have not been successful on the corresponding Regents exam in order to earn a local diploma. This provision will continue for students with disabilities entering grade 9 prior to September 2010.
For students with disabilities who first enter grade 9 in September 2005 and thereafter, a score by the student of 55-64 may be considered as a passing score on any Regents examination required for graduation; and, in such event, the District may issue a local diploma to such student. This provision shall apply only to students with disabilities who are entitled to attend school pursuant to Education Law Section 3202 or 4402(5).

Appeals Process on Regents Examinations Passing Score to Meet Regents Diploma Requirements
The District has established an appeals process in which students who score within three points of 65 and have met other criteria enumerated in Commissioner’s Regulations that demonstrate they have achieved the State learning standards would be eligible to appeal.
Education Law Sections 3202 and 4402(5)
8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR)
Section 100.5
Adopted:  2/15/06

[Back to Top]

Dual Credit for College Courses (Policy 7230)

All students who have successfully fulfilled the requirements to enter into their senior year and have demonstrated intellectual and social maturity may choose to matriculate at any one (1) of the colleges that have a cooperative agreement with our School District.  Such opportunities may include early admission to college, collegiate-level work offered in the high school, or other means of providing advanced work. Review and approval by the administration are necessary before any college courses may be taken during the school day.
The Board shall not be required to pay tuition and other related costs for those high school students enrolled in college courses.  Students who wish to enroll in college level coursework shall meet all academic, grade level and coursework requirements as set forth by administrative guidelines.
Adopted: 4/25/05

[Back to Top]

Student Records:  Confidentiality, Access and Challenge (Policy 7240)

Confidentiality of Student Records
a) School District personnel shall develop and maintain only those pupil personnel records necessary for the educational welfare of pupils, for the orderly and efficient operation of the school, for attendance and other information as may be required by law or the Commissioner of Education’s Regulations.
Student records, and any material contained therein which is personally identifiable, are confidential and may not be released or made available to persons other than parents or students without the written consent of parents of students under 18 years of age or of students 18 years of age or older. Such records and material may be made available without the written consent of parents’ or students only in, the following cases:
1) Student directory information specified in Policy 7242 if no refusal to release has been made in the specified time period;
2) Records made available to Schoharie school officials, including teachers within the educational institution who have legitimate educational interests;
3) Records made available to officials of another school in which the student intends to enroll, if the parents or student are notified of the transfer of records, are given a copy if they desire one, and have an opportunity for a hearing to challenge the content of the record;
4) Records made available to authorized representatives of certain designated Federal and State agencies, including State Educational authorities, for the purpose of the audit and evaluation of Federal or State supported programs, or in connection with the enforcement of Federal or State legal requirements;
5) Records made available in connection with a student application for or receipt of financial aid;
6) Records made available pursuant of court order or subpoena, with notification to the parents or student.
b) Whenever a student record or any material contained therein is to be made available to a third person, other than those covered by the exceptions indicated in a) hereof, the parent of a student under 18 years of age or a student 18 years of age or older must file a written consent to such action.
c) All persons requesting access to such records, except for those persons provided for in a)2) hereof, state agencies provided for in a)4) hereof and those persons provided for in a)6) hereof shall be required to sign a written form which indicates a legitimate educational or other interest that such person has in inspecting the records.  Such form shall be kept with the student’s file.

Access to Student Records
The Schoharie Central School District shall comply with the provisions of the “Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974.”  Under its provisions, “parents/guardians and noncustodial parent(s), whose rights are not limited by court order or formal agreement, of a student under eighteen (18), or a student who is eighteen (18) years of age or older or who is attending an institution of post-secondary education, have a right to inspect and review any and all official records, files, and data, including all material that is incorporated into each student’s cumulative record folder and intended for school use or to be available to parties outside the school or School System and specifically including, but not necessarily limited to, identifying data; academic work completed; level of achievement (grades, standardized achievement test scores); attendance data; scores on standardized intelligence, aptitude, and psychological tests; interest inventory results; health data; family background information; teacher or counselor ratings and observations; and verified reports of serious or recurrent behavior patterns.”

The Board directs that administrative regulations and procedures be formulated to comply with the provisions of federal law relating to the availability of student records.  The purpose of such regulations and procedures shall be to make available to the parents/guardians of students and noncustodial parent(s) whose rights are not limited by court order or formal agreement, or students who are eighteen (18) years of age or older or who are attending an institution of post-secondary education, student records, and files on students, and to ensure the confidentiality of such records with respect to third parties. 
Under FERPA, unless otherwise exempted in accordance with law and regulation, the District may release personally identifiable information contained in student records only if it has received a “signed and dated written consent” from a parent or eligible student.  Signed and dated written consent may include a record and signature in electronic form provided that such signature:
a) Identifies and authenticates a particular person as the source of the electronic consent; and
b) Indicates such person’s approval of the information contained in the electronic consent.

Challenge to Student Records
Parents/guardians of a student under the age of eighteen (18), or a student who is eighteen (18) years of age or older or who is attending an institution of post-secondary education, shall have an opportunity for a hearing to challenge the content of the school records, to ensure that the records are not inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the privacy or other rights of students, and to provide an opportunity for the correction or deletion of any such inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise inappropriate data contained therein.
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974
20 United States Code (USC) Section 1232(g)
34 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 99
8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations
(NYCRR) Section 200.2(b)(6)
Adopted:  4/25/05

[Back to Top]

Release of Information to the Noncustodial Parent (Policy 7241) 

The School District shall comply with the provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA). Under its provisions, “parents/guardians and noncustodial parent(s), whose rights are not limited by court order or formal agreement, of a student under eighteen (18), or a student who is eighteen (18) years of age or older or who is attending an institution of post-secondary education, have a right to inspect and review any and all education records maintained by the School District.

Education Records
The term “education records” is defined as all records, files, documents and other materials containing information directly related to a student; and maintained by the education agency or institution, or by a person acting for such agency or institution (34 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Section 99.3). This includes all records regardless of medium, including, but not limited to, handwriting, videotape or audiotape, electronic or computer files, film, print, microfilm, and microfiche.
In addition, for students who attend a public school district, all records pertaining to services provided under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) are considered “education records” under FERPA. As such, they are subject to the confidentiality provisions of both Acts.
Personal notes made by teachers or other staff, on the other hand, are not considered education records if they are:
a) Kept in the sole possession of the maker;
b) Not accessible or revealed to any other person except a temporary substitute; and
c) Used only as a memory aid.

Additionally FERPA does not prohibit a school official from disclosing information about a student if the information is obtained through the school official’s personal knowledge or observation and not from the student’s education records.
Records created and maintained by a law enforcement unit for law enforcement purposes are also excluded.

Access to Student Records
The Board directs that administrative regulations and procedures be formulated to comply with the provisions of federal law relating to the availability of student records. The purpose of such regulations and procedures shall be to make available to the parents/guardians of students and noncustodial parent(s) whose rights are not limited by court order or formal agreement, or students who are eighteen (18) years of age or older or who are attending an institution of post-secondary education, student records, and files on students, and to ensure the confidentiality of such records with respect to third parties.
Under FERPA, unless otherwise exempted in accordance with law and regulation, the District may release personally identifiable information contained in student records only if it has received a “signed and dated written consent” from a parent or eligible student. Signed and dated written consent may include a record and signature in electronic form provided that such signature:
a) Identifies and authenticates a particular person as the source of the electronic consent; and
b) Indicates such person’s approval of the information contained in the electronic consent.

Health and Safety Emergency Exception
School districts must balance the need to protect students’ personally identifiable information with the need to address issues of school safety and emergency preparedness. Under FERPA, if an educational agency or institution determines that there is an articulable and significant threat to the health or safety of a student or other individuals, it may disclose information from education records, without consent, to any person whose knowledge of the information is necessary to protect the health and safety of the student or other individuals during the period of the health or safety emergency.  School districts may release information from records to appropriate parties including, but not limited to, parents, law enforcement officials and medical personnel. A school district’s determination that there is an articulable and significant threat to the health or safety of a student or other individuals shall be based upon a totality of the circumstances, including the information available, at the time the determination is made. The school district must record the articulable and significant threat that formed the basis for the disclosure and maintain this record for as long as the student’s education records are maintained.

Challenge to Student Records
Parents/guardians of a student under the age of eighteen (18), or a student who is eighteen (18) years of age or older or who is attending an institution of post-secondary education, shall have an opportunity for a hearing to challenge the content of the school records, to ensure that the records are not  inaccurate,  misleading,  or  otherwise  in violation  of  the  privacy of students, and  to provide  an opportunity for the correction or deletion of any such inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise inappropriate data contained therein.

Disclosures to Parents of Eligible Students
Even after a student has become an “eligible student” under FERPA (which is defined as a student who is eighteen (18) years of age or older or who is attending an institution of post-secondary education) an educational agency or institution may disclose education records to an eligible student’s parents, without the student’s consent:
a) If the student is claimed as a dependent for Federal income tax purposes by either parent;
b) In connection with a health or safety emergency;
c) If the student is under twenty-one (21) years of age and has violated an institutional rule or policy governing the use of alcohol or a controlled substance; or
d) If the disclosure falls within any other exception to the consent requirements under FERPA or its Regulations, such as the disclosure of directory information or in compliance with a court order or lawfully issued subpoena.

Release of Information to the Noncustodial Parent
The District may presume that the noncustodial parent has the authority to request information concerning his/her child and release such information upon request. If the custodial parent wishes to limit the noncustodial parent’s access to the records, it would be his/her responsibility to obtain and present to the school a legally binding instrument that prevents the release of said information.

Release of Information to Another Educational Institution
The District may disclose any and all educational records, including disciplinary records and records that were created as a result of a student receiving special education services under Part B of IDEA, to another school or postsecondary institution at which the student seeks or intends to enroll, or after the student has enrolled or transferred, so long as the disclosure is for purposes related to the student’s enrollment or transfer. Parental consent is not required for transferring education records if the school’s annual FERPA notification indicates that such disclosures may be made. In the absence of information about disclosures in the annual FERPA notification, school officials must make a reasonable attempt to notify the parent about the disclosure, unless the parent initiated the disclosure. Additionally, upon request, schools must provide a copy of the information disclosed and an opportunity for a hearing.
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, 20 United States Code (USC) Section 1232g
34 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 99
NOTE: Refer also to Policy #7643 — Transfer Students with Disabilities
Adopted: 3/4/09

[Back to Top]

Student Directory Information (Policy 7242)

The District shall publish an annual public notice informing parents or eligible students (i.e., a student eighteen (18) years of age or older or who is attending an institution of post-secondary education) of the District’s definition of directory information, the parent/eligible student’s right to refuse the release of student directory information and indication of the time period for their response. (Directory information is information contained in an education record of a student that would not generally be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed.) Following such public notice and a reasonable response period, the District may release such information to an outside group without individual consent.

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) defines student directory information as any of the following: name; address; telephone listing; date and place of birth; major field of study; grade level; participation in officially recognized activities and sports; weight and height (if members of athletic teams); dates of attendance; honors, degrees and awards received; electronic mail address; photograph; and the name of the educational agency or institution most recently previously attended by the student. The District will release only the following defined directory information on students in grades 7 through 12:
a) Student name
b) Student address
c) Grade level of the student
d) Participation in officially recognized sports and activities
e) Dates of attendance at Schoharie Central School District
f) Honors, degrees, and awards received
g) Telephone numbers as required by law to military recruiters

Directory information does not include:
a) A student’s social security number; or
b) A student’s identification (ID) number, except as provided below.

Directory information includes a student ID number, user ID, or other unique personal identifier used by the student for purposes of accessing or communicating in electronic systems, but only if the identifier cannot be used to gain access to education records except when used in conjunction with one or more factors that authenticate the user’s identity, such as a personal identification number (PIN), password, or other factor known or possessed only by the authorized user.
The release of student directory information is not to be confused with the release of names, addresses and telephone listings of eligible students (i.e., a student seventeen (17) years of age or older or in the eleventh grade (or its equivalent) or higher) to Military Recruiters. In compliance with the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965, as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB), and the National Defense Authorization Act, the School District shall notify parents that by law it routinely releases this information to Military Recruiters upon request subject to a parents’/eligible students’ request not to disclose such information with written parental verification of such request.
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, 20 United States Code (USC) Section 1232(g); 34 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 99; NOTE: Refer also to Policy #7242 — Military Recruiters’ Access To Secondary School Students and Information on Students

[Back to Top]

Military Recruiters’ Access to Secondary School Students and Information on Students (Policy 7243)

In compliance with the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB); and the National Defense Authorization Act, and in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), the School District shall comply with a request by a military recruiter for secondary students’ names, addresses, and telephone listings, unless a parent has “opted out” of providing such information.
Further, in compliance with the NCLB, the District shall give military recruiters the same access to secondary school students as they provide to postsecondary institutions or to prospective employers.
Under FERPA, the School District must provide notice to parents of the types of student information that it releases publicly.  This type of information, commonly referred to as “directory information,” which is released by the District includes – but is not limited to – such items as students’ names, addresses, and telephone listings.  The notice must include an explanation of a parent’s right to request that the information not be disclosed without prior written parental consent; and further requires that parents be notified that the School District routinely discloses students’ names, addresses, and telephone listings to military recruiters upon request, subject to a parent’s request not to disclose such information without written parental consent.
A single notice provided through a mailing, student handbook, or other method that is reasonably calculated to inform parents of the above information is sufficient to satisfy the parental notification requirements of both FERPA and the NCLB.  The notification shall advise the parent of how to opt out of the public, nonconsensual disclosure of directory information and the method and timeline within which to do so.
If a parent opts out of providing directory information (or any subset of such information) to third parties, the opt-out relating to their child’s name, address, or telephone listing applies to request for military recruiters as well.  For example, if the opt-out states that telephone numbers will not be disclosed to the public, the District may not disclose telephone numbers to military recruiters.
The Superintendent/designee shall ensure that appropriate notification is provided to parents informing them of their right to opt-out of the release of designated directory information without prior written parental consent.
Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, Section 9528
20 United States Code (USC) Section 7908 as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001; National Defense Authorization Act Section 544;10 United States Code (USC) Section 503;Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974; 20 United States Code (USC) Section 1232(g);34 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Section 300.571; Education Law Section 2-a
8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Section 3.33

[Back to Top]

Bill of Rights (Policy 7245)

Pursuant to New York State Education Law 2-d, Parents, Legal Guardians and persons in parental relation to a student are entitled to certain rights with regard to their child’s personally identifiable information, as defined by Education Law 2-d.  This document contains a plain-English summary of such rights. 
1. A student’s personally identifiable information cannot be sold or released for any commercial purposes. 
2. Parents have the right to inspect and review the complete contents of their child’s educational records maintained by the Schoharie Central School District.
3. State and Federal Laws protect the confidentiality of personally identifiable student information, and safeguards associated with industry standards and best practices, including, but not limited to, encryption, firewalls, and password protection must be in place when data is stored or transferred. 
4. A complete list of all student data elements collected by New York State is available for review at the following website: 
http://www.p12.nysed.gov/irs/sirs/documentation/NYSEDstudentData.xlsx
The list may also be made available by writing to:
Office of Information & Reporting Services
New York State Education Department
Room 863 EBA,
89 Washington Avenue
Albany, NY 12234

5. Parents have the right to have complaints about possible breaches of student data addressed.  Complaints should be directed to:
Superintendent of Schools
Schoharie Central School District
PO Box 430,  136 Academy Drive
Schoharie, New York 12157
OR
Chief Privacy Officer
New York State Education Department
89 Washington Avenue
Albany, NY 12234
Email: CPO@mail.nysed.gov

6. Each contract with a third-party contractor which will receive student data, or teacher or principal data will include information addressing the following:
a. The exclusive purposes for which the student data or teacher or principal data will be used.
b. How the third-party contractor will ensure that the subcontractors, persons or entities that the third-party contractor will share the student data or teacher or principal data with, if any, will abide by data protection and security requirements.
c. When the agreement expires and what happens to the student data or teacher and principal data upon expiration of the agreement.
d. If and how a parent, student, a student over eighteen years of age, teacher or principal may challenge the accuracy of the student data or teacher or principal data that is collected; and
e. Where the student data or teacher or principal data will be stored, and the security protections taken to ensure such data will be protected, including whether such data will be encrypted. 

7. Third-party contractors are also required to:
a. Provide training on federal and state law governing confidentiality to any officers, employees, or assignees who have access to student date or teacher or principal data;
b. Limit internal access to education records to those individuals who have a legitimate educational interest in such records.
c. Not use educational records for any other purpose than those explicitly authorized in the contract;
d. Not disclose personally identifiable information to any other party without the prior written consent of the parent or eligible student; or (ii) unless required by statute or court order and the third-party contractor provides a notice of the disclosure to the New York State Education Department, board of education, or institution that provided the information no later than the time the information is disclosed, unless providing notice of the disclosure is expressly prohibited by the statute or court order;
e. Maintain reasonable administrative, technical and physical safeguards to protect the security, confidentiality and integrity of personally identifiable student information in its custody;
f. Use encryption technology to protect data while in motion or in its custody from unauthorized disclosure as specified in Education Law 2-d;
g. Notify the Schoharie Central School District of any breach of security resulting in an unauthorized release of student data, in the most expedient way possible and without unreasonable delay;
h. Provide a data security and privacy plan outlining how all state, federal and local data security and privacy contract requirements will be implemented over the life of the contract;
i. Provide a signed copy of this Bill of Rights to the Schoharie Central School District thereby acknowledging that they aware of and agree to abide by this Bill of Rights.

8. This Bill of Rights is subject to change based on regulations of the Commissioner of Education and the New York State Education Department Chief Privacy Officer, as well as emerging guidance documents. 
Adopted:  8/19/14

[Back to Top]

Student Privacy, Parental Access to Information, and Administration of Certain Physical Examinations to Minors (Policy 7250)

U.S. Department of Education-Funded Surveys
In compliance with the Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA), the School District is committed to protecting the rights and privacy interests of parents/guardians and students with regard to surveys funded in whole or part by any program administered by the U.S. Department of Education (DOE).
The District shall make instructional materials available for inspection by parents/guardians if those materials will be used in connection with a DOE-funded survey, analysis, or evaluation in which their children participate.  In addition, the School District shall obtain prior written parental/guardian consent before minor students are required to participate in any DOE-funded survey, analysis, or evaluation that reveals information concerning:
a) Political affiliations or beliefs of the student or the student’s parent/guardian;
b) Mental or psychological problems of the student or the student’s family;
c) Sex behavior or attitudes;
d) Illegal, anti-social, self-incriminating, or demeaning behavior;
e) Critical appraisals of other individuals with whom respondents have close family relationships;
f) Legally recognized privileged or analogous relationships, such as those of lawyers, physicians, and ministers;
g) Religious practices, affiliations, or beliefs of the student or student’s parent/guardian; or
h) Income (other than that required by law to determine eligibility for participation in a program or for receiving financial assistance under such program).

Surveys Funded by Sources Other than U.S. Department of Education
The School District has developed and adopted this Board policy, in consultation with parents/guardians, regarding the following:
a) The right of the parent/guardian to inspect, upon request, a survey created by a third party (i.e., by a party other than the DOE) before the  survey is administered or distributed by the school to a student.  Requests by parents/guardians to inspect such surveys are to be submitted to, in writing, to the building principal at least 10 days prior to the administration or distribution of any survey.  Further, the District shall grant a request by the parent/guardian for reasonable access to such survey within a reasonable period of time after the request is received by the District.
b) Arrangements shall be provided by the District to protect student privacy in the event of the administration or distribution of a survey to a student containing one or more of the following items (including the right of the parent/guardian of the student to inspect, upon request, any survey containing one or more of such items):
1. Political affiliations or beliefs of student toward the student’s parent/guardian;
2. Mental or psychological problems of the student or the student’s family;
3. Sex behavior or attitudes;
4. Illegal, anti-social, self-incriminating or demeaning behavior;
5. Critical appraisals of other individuals with whom respondents have close family relationships;
6. Legally recognized privileged or analogous relationships, such as those of lawyers, physicians, and ministers;
7. Religious practices, affiliations, or beliefs of the student or the student’s parent/ guardian;
8. Income (other than that required by law to determine eligibility for participation in a program or for receiving financial assistance under such program).Parents/guardians have the right to inspect, upon request, any survey containing one or more of such items.  Such requests must be submitted by the parent/guardian, in writing, to the building principal at least 10 days prior to the administration or distribution of any survey.
c) Parents/guardians shall be granted, upon request, reasonable access and the right to inspect instructional materials used as part of the educational curriculum for the student within a reasonable period of time (defined by the School District, for the purposes of this policy, as 30 days) after such request is received by the District. Requests shall be submitted by parents/guardians, in writing, to the building principal.  The term “instructional material” means instructional content that is provided to a student, regardless of its format, including printed or representational materials, audiovisual materials, and materials in electronic or digital formats (such as materials accessible through the Internet).  The term does not include academic tests or academic assessments.
d) The administration of physical examinations or screenings that the School District may administer to a student. Further, this law does not apply to any physical examination or screening that is permitted or required by State law, including physical examinations or screenings that are permitted without parental notification.
In the implementation of this provision regarding the administration of physical examinations or screenings that the school may administer to the student, the School District incorporates by reference Board policies that address student health services, as applicable, including but not limited to policies regarding the administration of medication, immunization of students, and student physicals.
e) Unless mandated/authorized in accordance with Federal or State law and/or regulation, it is policy of the Board of Education, to not permit the collection, disclosure, or use of personal information (the term “personal information” is defined as individually identifiable information including a student’s or parent/guardian’s first and last name; home address; telephone number; or Social Security number) collected from students for the purpose of marketing or for selling that information (or otherwise providing that information to others for that purpose), unless otherwise exempted pursuant to law as noted below.  Questions regarding the collection, disclosure, or use of personal information collected from students for such marketing purposes may be referred to the school attorney as deemed necessary by the Superintendent/designee.

This law is not intended to preempt applicable provisions of State Law that require parental/guardian notification.  These requirements do not apply to the collection, disclosure, or use of personal information collected from students for the exclusive purpose of developing, evaluating, or providing educational products or services for, or to, students or educational institutions, such as the following:
a) College or other postsecondary education recruitment, or *military recruitment;
b) Book clubs, magazines, and programs providing access to low-cost literary products;
c) Curriculum and instructional materials used by elementary schools and secondary schools;
*Military recruiter access to student information is governed by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) and the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2002.
d) Tests and assessments used by elementary schools and secondary schools to provide cognitive, evaluative, diagnostic, clinical, aptitude, or achievement information about students (or to generate others statistically useful data for the purpose of securing such tests and assessments) and the subsequent analysis and public release of the aggregate data from such tests and assessments;
e) The sale by students of products or services to raise funds for school-related or education-related activities;
f) Student recognition programs.

Notification of Policies/”Opt Out” Provisions
The School District shall provide for reasonable notice of the adoption or continued use of this policy directly to the parents/guardians of students enrolled in the District.  At a minimum, the District shall provide such notice at least annually, at the beginning of the school year, and within a reasonable period of time after any substantive change in this policy.
Further, in the notification, the District shall offer an opportunity for parents/guardians to opt their child out of participation in the following activities:
a) Activities involving the collection, disclosure, or use of personal information collected from students for the purpose of marketing or for selling that information (or otherwise providing that information to others for that purpose).
b) The administration of any survey containing one or more of the eight items of information listed above in the subheadings referencing DOE-funded surveys as well as non-DOE-funded surveys.
c) Any non-emergency, invasive physical examination or screening that is required as a condition of attendance; administered by the school and scheduled by the school in advance; and not necessary to protect the immediate health and safety of the student, or of other students.  The term “invasive physical examination” means any medical examination that involves the exposure of private body parts, or any act during such examination that includes incision, insertion, or injection into the body, but does not include a hearing, vision or scoliosis screening.

Notification of Specific Events
In the notification, the School District shall directly notify parents/guardians, at least annually at the beginning of the school year, of the specific or approximate dates during the school year when the above activities are scheduled or expected to be scheduled.

General Provisions
The requirements of PPRA do not apply to a survey administered to a student in accordance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).  Further, PPRA does not supersede any of the requirements of FERPA.
The rights provided to parents/guardians under PPRA transfer from the parent/guardian to the student when the student turns 18 years old or is an emancipated minor under applicable State law.
The School District may use funds provided under Part A of Title V of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 to enhance parental/guardian involvement in areas affecting the in-school privacy of students.
20 United States Code (USC) Section 1232h(b) and (c),as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001; 34 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 98; NOTE: Refer also to Policies #7121 — Screening of New School Entrants
#7243 — Military Recruiters’ Access to Secondary School Students and Information on Students; #7511 — Immunization of Students; #7512 — Student Physicals; #7513 — Administration of Medication
Adopted: 4/25/05

[Back to Top]

Designation of Person in Parental Relation (Policy 7260)

In accordance with General Obligations Law Title 15-A, a parent of a minor or incapacitated person may designate another person as a person in parental relation to such minor or incapacitated person for certain health care and educational decisions for a period not exceeding six (6) months. However, such parental designation is conditioned upon there being no prior order of any court in any jurisdiction currently in effect that would prohibit the parent from himself/herself exercising the same or similar authority; and provided further that, in the case where a court has ordered that both parents must agree on education or health decisions regarding the child, a designation pursuant to this law shall not be valid unless both parents have given their consent.
If no time period is specified in the designation, it shall be valid until the earlier of revocation; or
a) The expiration of thirty (30) days from the date of signature if the designation does not meet the requirements for designations of more than thirty (30) days, or
b) Six (6) months from the date of commencement specified in the designation if the designation meets the requirements for designations of more than thirty (30) days.

Scope of Designation
A designation made pursuant to this law may specify:
a) The treatment, diagnosis or activities for which consent is authorized;
b) Any treatment, diagnosis or activity for which consent is not authorized; or
c) Any other limitation on the duties and responsibilities conveyed by the designation.

Revocation of Designation
A parent may revoke a designation by notifying, either orally or in writing, the designee or a school to which the designation has been presented, or by any other act evidencing a specific intent to revoke  the  designation.  A designation  shall also  be revoked  upon  the execution  by the  parent of a
subsequent designation.  Revocation by one parent authorized to execute such a designation shall be deemed effective and complete revocation of a designation pursuant to law.
A designee who receives notification from a parent of any such revocation shall immediately notify any school to which a designation has been presented.  A parent may directly notify any such school of the revocation, in which case the failure of the designee to notify the school of such revocation shall not make revocation ineffective.

Effect of Designation
a) A designee shall possess all the powers and duties of a person in parental relation pursuant to Public Health Law Sections 2164 and 2504 and Education Law Sections 2 and 3212, unless otherwise specified in the designation.
b) A designation shall not impose upon a designee a duty to support pursuant to Family Court Act Section 413.
c) A designation shall not cause a change in the school district of residence of the child for purposes of the Education Law, and during the period of validity of the designation, the child shall be presumed to be a resident of the school district in which the parent resided at the time the designation was made.
d) A designation shall terminate and be revoked upon the death or incapacity of the parent who signed the designation.
e) The decision of a designee shall be superseded by a contravening decision of a parent.

A person who acts based upon the consent of a designee reasonably and in the good faith belief that the parent has in fact authorized the designee to provide such consent may not be deemed to have acted negligently, unreasonably or improperly in accepting the designation and acting upon such consent.  However, any such person may be deemed to have acted negligently, unreasonably or improperly if he/she has knowledge of facts indicating that the designation was never given, or did not extend to an act or acts in question, or was revoked.
No provision of Title 15-A of the General Obligations Law shall be construed to require designation of a person in parental relation as provided within the statute where such designation is not otherwise required by law, rule or regulation.
General Obligations Law Title 15-A; Education Law Sections 2 and 3212; Public Health Law Sections 2164 and 2504; Family Court Act Section 413; Mental Hygiene Law Section 80.03
Adopted:  2/15/05

[Back to Top]

School Conduct and Discipline (Policy 7310)

The Board of Education acknowledges its responsibility to protect the educational climate of the District and to promote responsible student behavior.  Accordingly, the Board delegates to the Superintendent the responsibility for assuring the implementation of a Code of Conduct for the Maintenance of Order on School Property, including school functions, which shall govern the conduct of students as well as teachers, other school personnel, and visitors. The Board shall further provide for the enforcement of such Code of Conduct.  The District Code of Conduct shall be developed in collaboration with student, teacher, administrator, and parent organizations, school safety personnel and other personnel and shall incorporate, at a minimum, those components addressed in law and enumerated in Policy #3410 — Code of Conduct on School Property.  Specific components may vary as appropriate to student age, building levels, and educational needs.
In accordance with the Code of Conduct on School Property, areas addressing student conduct and behavior will further utilize the following strategies in promoting acceptable student behavior:
a) A bill of rights and responsibilities of students that focuses upon positive student behavior, and is publicized and explained to all students on an annual basis;
b) A Code of Conduct for student behavior setting forth prohibited student conduct and the range of penalties that may be imposed for violation of such Code, that is publicized and disseminated to all students and parents/guardians on an annual basis pursuant to law;
c) Strategies and procedures for the maintenance and enforcement of public order on school property that shall govern the conduct of all persons on school premises, in accordance with Section 2801 of the Education Law and accepted principles of due process of law;
d) Procedures within each building to involve student service personnel, administrators, teachers, parents/guardians and students in the early identification and resolution of discipline problems. For students identified as having disabilities, procedures are included for determining when a student’s conduct shall constitute a reason for referral to the Committee on Special Education for review and modification, if appropriate, of the student’s individualized education program;
e) Alternative educational programs appropriate to individual student needs;
f) Disciplinary measures for violation of the school policies developed in accordance with subparagraphs b) and c) of this paragraph. Such measures shall be appropriate to the seriousness of the offense and, where applicable, to the previous disciplinary record of the student. Any suspension from attendance upon instruction may be imposed only in accordance with Section 3214 of the Education Law; and
g) Guidelines and programs for in-service education for all District staff to ensure effective implementation of school policy on school conduct and discipline.
Education Law Sections 2801 and 3214
8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations
(NYCRR) Section 100.2(l)(2); NOTE: Refer also to Policy #3410 — Code of Conduct on School Property District Code of Conduct on School Property
Adopted:  3/15/06

[Back to Top]

Loss or Destruction of District Property or Resources (Policy 7311)

The District is authorized to seek restitution, through civil action when necessary, from the parent or guardian of an unemancipated student over the age of ten (10) and under the age of eighteen (18) where such student:
a) Has willfully, maliciously, or unlawfully damaged, defaced or destroyed real or personal property in the care, custody and/or ownership of the District; or
b) Has knowingly entered or remained in a District building, and wrongfully taken, obtained or withheld personal property owned or maintained by the District.
In instances where the District has sought and obtained a judgment from a court of competent jurisdiction, parent/guardian liability for civil damages shall not exceed five thousand dollars ($5,000).  Under certain circumstances, prior to the entering of a judgment in the sum total of five hundred dollars ($500) or more, a court may consider the parent’s or guardian’s financial inability to pay any portion or all of the amount of damages which are in excess of five hundred dollars ($500), and enter a judgment in an amount within the financial capacity of the parent or guardian. However, no such judgment shall be entered for an amount which is less than five hundred dollars ($500).

False Reporting of an Incident and/or Placing a False Bomb
A School District is also authorized to seek restitution, as described in law, from a parent or guardian of an unemancipated student over the age of ten (10) and under the age of eighteen (18) where such student:
a) Has falsely reported an incident; or
b) Has placed a false bomb as defined in the New York State Penal Law.
Damages for falsely reporting an incident or placing a false bomb shall mean the funds reasonably expended by the School District in responding to such false report of an incident or false bomb, less the amount of any funds which have been or will be recovered from any other source as enumerated in law.
In seeking restitution, the School District shall file with the court, district attorney and defense counsel an affidavit stating that the funds reasonably expended for which restitution is being sought have not been and will not be recovered from any other source or in any other civil or criminal proceeding, except as provided for pursuant to General Obligations Law Section 3-112.
General Obligations Law Section 3-112; Penal Law Sections 60.27, 240.50, 240.55, 240.60 and 240.61
Adopted: 4/25/05

[Back to Top]

Student Dress Code (Policy 7312)

The responsibility for the dress and appearance of students shall rest with individual students and parents. They have the right to determine how the student shall dress, provided that such attire does not interfere with the operation of the school or infringe upon the general health, safety and welfare of District students or employees.  Student dress and appearance must be in accordance with the District Code of Conduct.  The administration is authorized to take action in instances where individual dress does not meet these stated requirements. 
While the school administration may require students participating in physical education classes to wear certain types of clothing such as sneakers, socks, shorts, and tee shirts, they may not prescribe a specific brand which students must wear. 
This policy does not mean that student, faculty, or parent groups may not recommend appropriate dress for school or special occasions.  It means that a student shall not be prevented from attending school or a school function, or otherwise be discriminated against, so long as his/her dress and appearance meet the above requirements. 

Graduation Attire
Graduation is a ceremony provided by the Board of Education to celebrate the achievement of an academic milepost.  This event will be conducted in a manner that reflects the happiness and dignity such an occasion warrants.  We invite participants to help to make this experience positive and memorable by adhering to the following guidelines for dress:
Ladies: Dress shoes or sandals, dress, skirt and blouse, or pants and blouse.  Skorts are permitted, shorts will not be allowed.
Gentlemen: Dress or dress athletic shoes (no work boots, sneakers or sandals), socks, dress pants, dress shirt.  Shorts will not be allowed.
All students participating in graduation must wear caps and gowns representing our school colors, (blue and white,) and conduct themselves in a manner befitting the occasion in the judgment of advisors, administrators, and the Board of Education.  These caps and gowns may not be altered in any way unless prior approval is granted by the school administration.  Questions regarding dress or behavior should be addressed to school personnel well in advance of graduation to prevent embarrassment.
Any graduation candidates who do not comply with guidelines of dress or conduct will not be allowed to participate in this ceremony, and may pick up their diplomas at the high school main office during school hours the week following graduation.
*This Graduation Attire policy was developed in cooperation with representatives of the Class of 1998. NOTE: Refer also to District Code of Conduct on School Property
Adopted:  4/25/05; Revised:  6/1/05

[Back to Top]

Suspension of Students (Policy 7313)

The Superintendent and/or the Principal may suspend the following students from required attendance upon instruction:
a) A student who is insubordinate or disorderly; or
b) A student who is violent or disruptive; or
c) A student whose conduct otherwise endangers the safety, morals, health or welfare of others.
When a student has been suspended and is of compulsory attendance age, immediate steps shall be taken to provide alternative instruction which is of an equivalent nature to that provided in the student’s regularly scheduled classes.

Suspension Five Days or Less
The Superintendent and/or the Principal of the school where the student attends shall have the power to suspend a student for a period not to exceed five (5) school days. In the absence of the Principal, the designated “Acting Principal” may then suspend a student for a period of five (5) school days or less.
When the Superintendent or the Principal (the “suspending authority”) proposes to suspend a student for five (5) school days or less, the suspending authority shall provide the student with notice of the charged misconduct. If the student denies the misconduct, the suspending authority shall provide an explanation of the basis for the suspension.
When suspension of a student for a period of five (5) school days or less is proposed, administration shall also notify the parent/person in parental relation in writing that the student  is being suspended from school.
Written notice shall be provided by personal delivery, priority mail delivery, or equivalent means reasonably calculated to assure receipt of such notice within twenty-four (24) hours of the decision to suspend at the last known address or addresses of the parents/persons in parental relation. Where possible, notification shall also be provided by telephone if the school has been provided with a telephone number(s) for the purpose of contacting parents/persons in parental relation.
The notice shall provide a description of the incident(s) for which suspension is proposed and shall inform the student and the parent/person in parental relation of their right to request an immediate informal conference with the Principal in accordance with the provisions of Education Law Section 3214(3)(b). Both the notice and the informal conference shall be in the dominant language or mode of communication used by the parents/persons in parental relation. At the informal conference, the parent/person in parental relation shall be able to ask questions of the complaining witnesses.
Teachers shall immediately report or refer a violent student to the Principal or Superintendent for a violation of the District’s Code of Conduct and a minimum suspension period.

More Than Five School Days
In situations where the Superintendent determines that a suspension in excess of five (5) school days may be warranted, the student and parent/person in parental relation, upon reasonable notice, shall have had an opportunity for a fair hearing. At the hearing, the student shall have the right of representation by counsel, with the right to question witnesses against him/her, and the right to present witnesses and other evidence on his/her behalf.
Where the basis for the suspension is, in whole or in part, the possession on school grounds or school property by the student of any firearm, rifle, shotgun, dagger, dangerous knife, dirk, razor, stiletto or any of the weapons, instruments or appliances specified in Penal Law Section 265.01, the hearing officer or Superintendent shall not be barred from considering the admissibility of such weapon, instrument or appliance as evidence, notwithstanding a determination by a court in a criminal or juvenile delinquency proceeding that the recovery of such weapon, instrument or appliance was the result of an unlawful search or seizure.

Minimum Periods of Suspension
Pursuant to law, Commissioner’s Regulations and the District’s Code of Conduct, minimum periods of suspension shall be provided for the following prohibited conduct, subject to the requirements of federal and state law and regulations:
a) Consistent with the federal Gun-Free Schools Act, any student who is determined to have brought a weapon to school or possessed a weapon on school premises shall be suspended for a period of not less than one (1) calendar year. However, the Superintendent has the authority to modify this suspension requirement on a case-by-case basis.
b) A minimum suspension period for students who repeatedly are substantially disruptive of the educational process or substantially interfere with the teacher’s authority over the classroom, provided that the suspending authority may reduce such period on a case-by-case basis to be consistent with any other state and federal law. The definition of “repeatedly is substantially disruptive of the educational process or substantially interferes with the teacher’s authority” shall be determined in accordance with the Regulations of the Commissioner.
c) A minimum suspension period for acts that would qualify the student to be defined as a violent student pursuant to Education Law Section 3214(2-a)(a), provided that the suspending authority may reduce such period on a case-by-case basis to be consistent with any other state and federal law.

Suspension of Students with Disabilities
Generally, should a student with a disability infringe upon the established rules of the schools, disciplinary action shall be in accordance with procedures set forth in the District’s Code of Conduct and in conjunction with applicable law and the determination of the Committee on Special Education (CSE).
For suspensions or removals up to ten (10) school days in a school year that do not constitute a disciplinary change in placement, students with disabilities must be provided with alternative instruction or services on the same basis as non-disabled students of the same age.
If suspension or removal from the current educational placement constitutes a disciplinary change in placement because it is for more than ten (10) consecutive school days or constitutes a pattern because the suspensions or removals cumulate to more than ten school days in a school year, a manifestation determination must be made.

Manifestation Determinations
a) By the Superintendent to change the placement to an interim alternative educational setting (IAES);
b) By an Impartial Hearing Officer (IHO) to place the student in an IAES; or
c) By the Board, District Superintendent, Superintendent or building principal to impose a suspension that constitutes a disciplinary change of placement.
The manifestation team shall include a representative of the District knowledgeable about the student and the interpretation of information about child behavior, the parent and relevant members of the CSE as determined by the District. The parent must receive written notice prior to the meeting to ensure  that the   parent  has  an  opportunity  to attend.  This notice  must include   the  purpose of  the meeting, the names of those expected to attend and notice of the parent’s right to have relevant members of the CSE participate at the parent’s request.
The manifestation team shall review all relevant information in the student’s file including the student’s individualized education program (IEP), any teacher observations, and any relevant information provided by the parents to determine if: the conduct in question was caused by or had a direct and substantial relationship to the student’s disability; or the conduct in question was the direct result of the District’s failure to implement the IEP.

Finding of Manifestation
If it is determined, as a result of this review, that the student’s behavior is a manifestation of his/her disability the CSE shall conduct a functional behavioral assessment and implement or modify a behavioral intervention plan. Unless the change in placement was due to behavior involving serious bodily injury, weapons, illegal drugs or controlled substances, the student must be returned to the placement from which the student was removed unless the parent and the District agree to a change of placement as part of the modification of the behavioral intervention plan.

No Finding of Manifestation
If it is determined that the student’s behavior is not a manifestation of his/her disability, the relevant disciplinary procedures applicable to students without disabilities may be applied to the student in the same manner and for the same duration for which they would be applied to students without disabilities, subject to the right of the parent/person in parental relation to request a hearing objecting to the manifestation determination and the District’s obligation to provide a free, appropriate public education to such student.

Provision of Services Regardless of the Manifestation Determination
Regardless of the manifestation determination, for subsequent suspensions or removals for ten (10) consecutive school days or less that in the aggregate total more than ten (10) school days in a school year but do not constitute a disciplinary change of placement, and for suspensions or other disciplinary removals in excess of ten (10) school days in a school year which do constitute a disciplinary change in placement for behavior, the CSE shall determine the services to be provided to students with a disability necessary for them to continue to participate in the general education curriculum and progress toward meeting the goals set out in their IEP, and shall conduct or provide, as appropriate, a functional behavioral assessment, behavioral intervention services and modifications that are designed to address the behavior violation so it does not recur.

Interim Alternative Educational Setting (IAES)
Students with disabilities who have been suspended or removed from their current placement for more than ten (10) school days may, as determined by the CSE, be placed in an IAES which is a temporary educational setting other than the student’s current placement at the time the behavior precipitating the IAES placement occurred.
Additionally, the District may seek an order from a hearing officer for a change in placement of a student with a disability to an appropriate IAES for up to forty-five (45) school days if the District establishes, in accordance with law, that such student is substantially likely to injure himself/herself or others.

There are three (3) specific instances when a student with a disability may be placed in an IAES for up to forty-five (45) school days without regard to a manifestation determination:
a) Where the student carries or possesses a weapon to or at school, on school premises, or to or at a school function under the jurisdiction of the District; or
b) Where a student knowingly possesses or uses illegal drugs or sells or solicits the sale of a controlled substance while at school, on school premises, or at a school function under the jurisdiction of the District; or
c) Where a student has inflicted serious bodily injury upon another person while at school, on school premises, or at a school function under the jurisdiction of the District. Serious bodily harm has been defined in law to refer to one of the following:
1. Substantial risk of death;
2. Extreme physical pain; or
3. Protracted and obvious disfigurement or protracted loss or impairment of the function of a bodily member, organ or mental faculty.
A school function shall mean a school-sponsored or school-authorized extracurricular event or activity regardless of where such event or activity takes place, including any event or activity that may take place in another state.

School personnel may consider any unique circumstances on a case-by-case basis when determining whether to order a change in placement for a student with a disability who violates a code of student conduct.
In all cases, the student placed in an IAES shall:
a) Continue to receive educational services so as to enable the student to continue to participate in the general education curriculum, although in another setting, and to progress towards the goals set out in the student’s IEP, and
b) Receive, as appropriate, a functional behavioral assessment and behavioral intervention services and modifications that are designed to address the behavior violation so that it does not recur.
The period of suspension or removal may not exceed the amount of time a non-disabled student would be suspended for the same behavior.

Suspension From BOCES
The BOCES Principal may suspend School District students from BOCES classes for a period not to exceed five (5) school days when student behavior warrants such action.

In-School Suspension
In-school suspension will be used as a lesser discipline to avoid an out-of-school suspension. The student shall be considered present for attendance purposes. The program is used to keep each student current with his/her class work while attempting to reinforce acceptable behavior, attitudes and personal interaction.

BOCES Activities
BOCES activities, such as field trips and other activities outside the building itself, are considered an extension of the school program. Therefore, an infraction handled at BOCES is to be considered as an act within the School District itself.
A student who is ineligible to attend a District school on a given day may also be ineligible to attend BOCES classes. The decision rests with the Superintendent or his/her designee.

Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies
If a parent/person in parental relation wishes to appeal the decision of the Building Principal and/or Superintendent to suspend a student from school, regardless of the length of the student’s suspension, the parent/person in parental relation must appeal to the Board of Education prior to commencing an appeal to the Commissioner of Education.

Procedure After Suspension
When a student has been suspended and is of compulsory attendance age, immediate steps shall be taken to provide alternative instruction which is of an equivalent nature to that provided in the student’s regularly scheduled classes.
When a student has been suspended, the suspension may be revoked by the Board of Education whenever it appears to be for the best interest of the school and the student to do so.  The Board of Education may also condition a student’s early return to school and suspension revocation on the student’s voluntary participation in counseling or specialized classes, including anger management or dispute resolution, where applicable.

Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 [Public Law 108-446 Section 615(k)(l)];18 United States Code (USC) Section 921; Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA); 20 United States Code (USC) Sections 1400 et seq.; 20 United States Code (USC) Section 7151, as reauthorized by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001; 34 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 300; Education Law Sections 2801(1), 3214 and 4402; Penal Law Section 265.01; 8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Section 100.2(l)(2) and Part 201
Adopted:  4/25/05; Revised:  6/7/06; 10/4/06

[Back to Top]

Students Presumed to Have a Disability for Discipline Purposes (Policy 7314)

The parent of a student who has violated any rule or code of conduct of the School District and  who was not identified as a student with a disability at the time of such behavior may assert several protections provided for under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and State regulations if the School District is deemed to have had knowledge (as determined in accordance with law and/or regulations and referenced below) that the student was a student with a disability before the behavior that  precipitated the disciplinary action occurred.
Basis of Knowledge
The School District shall be deemed to have knowledge that the student had a disability if prior to the time the behavior occurred:
a) The parent of the student has expressed concern in writing to supervisory or administrative personnel, or to a teacher of the student, that the student is in need of special education and related services.  However, expressions of concern may be oral if the parent does not know how to write or has a disability that prevents a written statement;
b) The parent of the student has requested an evaluation of the student; or
c) A teacher of the student, or other District personnel, has expressed specific concerns about a pattern of behavior demonstrated by the student, directly to the Director of Special Education or to other supervisory personnel in accordance with the District’s established child find or special education referral system.
Exception
A student is not a student presumed to have a disability for discipline purposes if, as a result of receiving the information specified above (i.e., subheading “Basis of Knowledge”):
b) The parent of the student has refused services under law and/or regulations; or
c) The student has been evaluated and it was determined that the student is not a student with a disability.
Responsibility for Determining Whether a Student is a Student Presumed to Have a Disability
If it is claimed by the parent of the student or by School District personnel that the District had a basis for knowledge, in accordance with law and/or regulation, that the student was a student with a disability prior to the time the behavior subject to disciplinary action occurred, it shall be the responsibility of the Superintendent of Schools, Building Principal or other school official imposing the suspension or removal to determine whether the student is a student presumed to have a disability.

Conditions That Apply if There is No Basis of Knowledge
If it is determined that there is no basis for knowledge that the student is a student with a disability prior to taking disciplinary measures against the student, the student may be subjected to the same disciplinary measures as any other nondisabled student who engaged in comparable behaviors.
However, if a request for an individual evaluation is made during the time period in which such nondisabled student is subjected to a disciplinary removal, an expedited evaluation shall be conducted in accordance with law and/or regulations.  Pending the results of the evaluation, the student shall remain in the educational placement determined by school authorities.
If the student is determined to be a student with a disability, taking into consideration information from the evaluation and information provided by the parents, the District shall provide special education and related services in accordance with law and/or regulations.

Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 [Public Law 108-446, Section 615(k)(5)]; Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) ; 20 United States Code (USC) Section 1400 et seq.; 34 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 300
8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Section 201.5; NOTE: Refer also to Policy #7313 — Suspension of Students
Adopted:  2/15/06

[Back to Top]

Student Use of Computerized Information Resources (Policy 7315)

The Board of Education will provide access to various computerized information resources through the District’s computer system (“DCS” hereafter) consisting of software, hardware, computer networks and electronic communications systems.  This may include access to electronic mail, so-called “on-line services” and the “Internet.”  It may include the opportunity for some students to have independent access to the DCS from their home or other remote locations.  All use of the DCS, including independent use off school premises, shall be subject to this policy and accompanying regulations.  Further, all such use must be in support of education and/or research and consistent with the goals and purposes of the School District.

One purpose of this policy is to provide notice to students and parents/guardians that, unlike most traditional instructional or library media materials, the DCS will allow student access to external computer networks not controlled by the School District where it is impossible for the District to screen or review all of the available materials.  Some of the available materials may be deemed unsuitable by parents/guardians for student use or access.  This policy is intended to establish general guidelines for acceptable student use.  However, despite the existence of such District policy and accompanying guidelines and regulations, it will not be possible to completely prevent access to computerized information that is inappropriate for students. Furthermore, students may have the ability to access such information from their home or other locations off school premises. Parents/guardians of students must be willing to set and convey standards for appropriate and acceptable use to their children when using the DCS or any other electronic media or communications.  The District respects the right of each family to decide whether or not to apply for independent computer access.
Student use of the DCS is conditioned upon written agreement by all students and their parents/guardians that student use of the DCS will conform to the requirements of this policy and any regulations adopted to ensure acceptable use of the DCS. All such agreements shall be kept on file in the District Office.

Standards of Acceptable Use
Generally, the same standards of acceptable student conduct which apply to any school activity shall apply to use of the DCS.  This policy does not attempt to articulate all required and/or acceptable uses of the DCS; nor is it the intention of this policy to define all inappropriate usage.  Administrative regulations will further define general guidelines of appropriate student conduct and use as well as proscribed behavior.
District students shall also adhere to the laws, policies and rules governing computers including, but not limited to, copyright laws, rights of software publishers, license agreements, and student rights of privacy created by federal and state law.
Students who engage in unacceptable use will lose access to the DCS in accordance with applicable due process procedures, and will be subject to further discipline under the District’s school conduct and discipline policy and the District Code of Conduct.  The District reserves the right to pursue legal action against a student who willfully, maliciously or unlawfully damages or destroys property of the District.  Further, the District may bring suit in civil court against the parents/guardians of any student who willfully, maliciously or unlawfully damages or destroys District property pursuant to General Obligations Law Section 3-112.
Student data files and other electronic storage areas will be treated like school lockers.  This means that such areas shall be considered to be School District property subject to control and inspection.  The computer coordinator may access all such files and communications to ensure system integrity and that users are complying with the requirements of this policy and accompanying regulations.  Students should NOT expect that information stored on the DCS will be private.
Regulations will be established as necessary to implement the terms of this policy.
NOTE: Refer also to Policy #8271 — The Children’s Internet Protection Act: Internet Content Filtering/Safety Policy
Adopted:  6/1/05

[Back to Top]

Student Cell Phone Use and Possession (Policy 7316)

The Board recognizes that while carrying cell phones can be a safety measure for staff and students alike, problems arise when the inappropriate use of cell phones and/or camera phones interfere with the school’s ability to maintain control in the school environment, giving rise to security as well as educational concerns.  Inappropriate or unauthorized use of cell phones can undermine (if not render inoperable due to system overload) the communication system in place per the school safety plans, impede evacuation plans if parents or other individuals are summoned to the school by non-designated persons, and potentially restrict the access of community emergency service providers to the site.
The Schoharie Central School Board of Education adopts the following policy:
a) Student possessed cell phones must be turned off and be out of sight from the beginning of the school day up until the end of the school day.
b) Cell phones are never to be used and must be kept out of sight at all times in any area in which an individual has a reasonable expectation of privacy including, but not limited to rest rooms, locker rooms and showers.  This prohibition applies at all times during school and non-school hours.
c) Students may never use a cell phone to interfere with instructional activities or to inappropriately message.
d) In the event a student violates this policy, the school may take the phone and make it available in a reasonable amount of time. Further, in the event a student violates the policy, discipline can be imposed upon the student.
Adopted:  9/21/05

[Back to Top]

Alcohol, Tobacco, Drugs and Other Substances (Policy 7320)

The Board of Education recognizes that the misuse of drugs, alcohol and/or tobacco is a serious problem with legal, physical, emotional and social implications for the entire community.  Therefore, the consumption, sharing and/or selling, use and/or possession of alcoholic beverages, tobacco products, illegal drugs, counterfeit and designer drugs, or paraphernalia for the use of such drugs is prohibited at any school-sponsored event or on school property at all times.  The inappropriate use of prescription and over-the-counter drugs shall also be disallowed. Persons shall be banned from entering school grounds or school-sponsored events when exhibiting behavioral, personal or physical characteristics indicative of having used or consumed alcohol or other substances.
Through the collaborative efforts of staff, students, parents/guardians and the community as a whole, a comprehensive program shall be developed addressing alcohol, tobacco, drugs, and other substances to include the following elements:

Primary Prevention
Preventing or delaying alcohol, tobacco, drugs, and other substance use/abuse by students shall be the major focus of a comprehensive K through 12 program in which proactive measures of prevention and early intervention are emphasized.  This program shall include:
a) A sequential K through 12 curriculum based on recognized principles of effectiveness that is developed and incorporated into the total educational process. This curriculum shall be concerned with education and prevention in all areas of alcohol, tobacco, drugs, and other substances use/abuse;
b) Training school personnel and parents/guardians to reinforce the components of the policy through in-service and community education programs with up-to-date factual information and materials.
c) An effort to provide positive alternatives to alcohol, tobacco, drugs, and other substances use/abuse through the promotion of drug/tobacco/alcohol-free special events, service projects and extracurricular activities that will develop and support a positive peer influence.
d) Contact Sheriff’s Department to obtain certified drug dog to be used quarterly to sweep entire grounds, lockers, locker rooms, etc.

Intervention
School-based intervention services shall be made available to all students, grades K through 12, and provided by prevention professionals who are appropriately trained in this area.  The purpose of intervention is to eliminate any existing use/abuse of alcohol, tobacco, drugs, and other substances and to identify students considered to be at risk for use/abuse. Intervention programming shall include:
a) Counseling of students in groups and as individuals on alcohol, tobacco, drugs, and other substance use/abuse. Counselors shall be appropriately trained and skilled school staff assigned for this purpose.
b) Referring students to community or other outside agencies when their use/abuse of alcohol, tobacco, drugs, and other substances requires additional counseling or treatment.  Referral is a key link in school and community efforts and the process is basic to the dissemination of information regarding available counseling and health services;c) Providing a supportive school environment designed to continue the recovery process for students returning from treatment.  A re-entry program may include continuing student and/or family counseling and emphasizing positive alternatives to alcohol, tobacco, drugs, and other substance use/abuse.
d) Developing a parent network to serve as a support group and provide a vehicle of communication for parent education;
e) Ensuring confidentiality as required by state and federal law.

Disciplinary Measures
Disciplinary measures for students consuming, sharing and/or selling, using and/or possessing alcoholic beverages, tobacco products, illegal drugs, counterfeit and designer drugs, or paraphernalia for the use of such drugs shall be outlined in the District’s Code of Conduct on School Property.

Staff Development
There shall be ongoing training of District staff about the components of an effective alcohol, tobacco and other substances program.  Training shall include, but not be limited to, District policies and regulations and the staff’s role in implementing such policies and regulations.  Teachers shall be trained to implement the District’s K through 12 alcohol, tobacco, drugs and other substance prevention curricula; intervention staff shall be suitably trained to carry out appropriate services.

Implementation, Dissemination and Monitoring
It shall be the responsibility of the Superintendent to implement the alcohol, tobacco, drugs, and other substances Board policy by collaboration with school personnel, students, parents/guardians and the community at large.
Additionally, copies of Board policy shall be disseminated to District staff, parents/guardians and community members.  The Superintendent/designee shall periodically review the tobacco, drugs and alcohol abuse prevention program to determine its effectiveness and support appropriate modifications, as needed.
Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act, as reauthorized by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001; 20 United States Code (USC) Section 7101 et seq.; NOTE: Refer also to Policies #3280 — Community Use of School Facilities; #3410 — Code of Conduct on School Property; #5640 — Smoking/Tobacco Use; #7310 — School Conduct and Discipline; #8211 — Prevention Instruction; District Code of Conduct on School Property
Adopted:  6/1/05

[Back to Top]

Searches and Interrogations (Policy 7330)

Students are protected by the Constitution from unreasonable searches and seizures. A student may be searched and contraband/prohibited items seized on school grounds or in a school building by an authorized School District official (as designated below) only when the School District official has reasonable suspicion to believe the student has engaged in or is engaging in proscribed activity which is in violation of the law and/or the rules of the school (i.e., the District Code of Conduct).

Factors to be considered in determining whether reasonable suspicion exists to search a student include:
a) The age of the student;
b) The student’s school record and past history;
c) The predominance and seriousness of the problem in the school where the search is directed;
d) The probative value and reliability of the information used as a justification for the search;
e) The school official’s prior knowledge of and experience with the student; and
f) The urgency to conduct the search without delay.
The Superintendent, Building Principals, Assistant Principals, and School Nurse are authorized to conduct searches of students and their belongings if the authorized school official has reasonable suspicion to believe that the search will produce evidence that the student has violated or is violating the law and/or the Code of Conduct.
If reasonable suspicion exists to believe that a student has violated or is violating the law and/or school rules, it is permissible for an authorized school official to search that student’s outer clothing, pockets, or property. The search may include, but is not limited to, the student’s outer clothing such as a jacket or coat, pockets, backpack, and/or purse. Searches will be conducted by a staff member of the same gender as the student. Whenever possible, another staff member, also of the same gender, will be present as a witness.

Strip Searches
A strip search is a search that requires a student to remove any or all of his or her clothing, other than an outer coat or jacket. Strip searches are intrusive in nature and are not permissible. If school authorities believe there is an emergency situation that could threaten the safety of others, the student shall, to the extent practicable, be isolated and secured. Police and parents will be contacted immediately.

Searches and Seizure of School Property
Student desks, lockers, textbooks, computers, and other materials, supplies or storage spaces loaned by the school to students remain the property of the school, and may be opened and inspected by school employees at any time. Students have no reasonable expectation of privacy with respect to school property; and school officials retain complete control over such property. This means that student desks, lockers, textbooks, computers, and other materials, supplies or storage spaces may be subject to search and/or seizure of contraband/prohibited items at any time by school officials, without prior notice to students and without their consent.

Questioning of Students by School Officials
School officials have the right to question students regarding any violations of school rules and/or illegal activity. In general, administration may conduct investigations concerning reports of misconduct which may include, but are not limited to, questioning students, staff, parents/guardians, or other individuals as may be appropriate and, when necessary, determining disciplinary action in accordance with applicable due process rights.
Should the questioning of students by school officials focus on the actions of one particular student, the student will be questioned, if possible, in private by the appropriate school administrator. The student’s parent/guardian may be contacted; the degree, if any, of parental/guardian involvement will vary depending upon the nature and the reason for questioning, and the necessity for further action which may occur as a result.
The questioning of students by school officials does not preclude subsequent questioning/interrogations by police authorities as otherwise permitted by law. Similarly, the questioning of students by school officials does not negate the right/responsibility of school officials to contact appropriate law enforcement agencies, as may be necessary, with regard to such statements given by students to school officials.
School officials acting alone and on their own authority, without the involvement of or on behalf of law enforcement officials (at least until after the questioning of students by school authorities has been conducted) are not required to give the so-called “Miranda warnings” (i.e., advising a person, prior to any custodial interrogations as defined in law, of the right to remain silent; that any statement made by the individual may be used as evidence against him/her; and that the individual has the right to the presence of an attorney, either retained or appointed) prior to the questioning of students.
If deemed appropriate and/or necessary, the Superintendent/designee may also review the circumstances with School District legal counsel so as to address concerns and the course of action, if any, which may pertain to and/or result from the questioning of students by school officials.

Law Enforcement Officials
It shall be the policy of the School District that a cooperative effort shall be maintained between the school administration and law enforcement agencies. Law enforcement officials may be summoned in order to conduct an investigation of alleged criminal conduct on school premises or during a school-sponsored activity, or to maintain the educational environment. They may also be summoned for the purpose of maintaining or restoring order when the presence of such officers is necessary to prevent injury to persons or property.
Administrators have the responsibility and the authority to determine when the assistance of law enforcement officers is necessary within their respective jurisdictions.

Interrogation of Students by Law Enforcement Officials
If police are involved in the questioning of students on school premises, whether or not at the request of school authorities, it will be in accordance with applicable law and due process rights afforded students. Generally, police authorities may only interview students on school premises without the permission of the parent/guardian in situations where a warrant has been issued for the student’s arrest (or removal). Police authorities may also question students for general investigations or general questions regarding crimes committed on school property. In all other situations, unless an immediate health or safety risk exists, if the police wish to speak to a student without a warrant they should take the matter up directly with the student’s parent/guardian.
Whenever police wish to question a student on school premises, administration will attempt to notify the student’s parent/guardian.
If possible, questioning of a student by police should take place in private and in the presence of the Building Principal/designee.

Child Protective Services’ Investigations
From time to time, Child Protective Services may desire to conduct interviews of students on school property. Such interviews generally pertain to allegations of suspected child abuse and/or neglect. The Board encourages cooperation with Child Protective Services in accordance with applicable Social Services Law.
Education Law Sections 1604(9), 1604(30), 1709(2), 1709(33) and 2801; Family Court Act Section 1024; Social Services Law Sections 411-428; 8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Section 100.2(l)
Adopted: 8/12/10

[Back to Top]

Bus Rules and Regulations (Policy 7340)

The Schoharie Central School District furnishes transportation to those students whose disability or distance from the school make the service essential.  Except as otherwise mandated in a student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP), riding these buses is a privilege and may be withdrawn if the student does not comply with the rules and regulations set forth in this District.
Once a child boards the bus–and only at that time–does he become the responsibility of the School District.  Such responsibility will end when the child is delivered to the regular bus stop at the close of the school day.
Students riding school buses are expected to conform to the rules of conduct in order to permit the bus driver to transport his/her passengers safely. 
The Board of Education, the Superintendent and/or his/her designee has the authority to suspend the transportation privileges of children who are disorderly and insubordinate on buses.  In these cases, the parents/guardians of the children involved become responsible for seeing that their children get to and from school safely. 
Bus drivers shall be held responsible for reasonable and acceptable behavior of students while riding the school bus. 
The Board directs the administration to establish rules and regulations for student conduct on buses, including applicable due process rights to be afforded students suspended from transportation privileges. These rules and regulations shall be promulgated to all concerned, including the non-public schools to which students are transported. 
8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Section 156; 20 United States Code (USC) Sections 1400-1485, Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

[Back to Top]

Use of Video Cameras on School Buses (Policy 7341)

All school buses will have the capability to be equipped with video cameras in order to monitor student behavior. Violations of the school code of conduct, as well as participation in any illegal activities, will be dealt with in accordance with applicable laws and school regulations.
All tapes used in relation to this policy shall be the sole property of the District, and the Superintendent or his/her designee shall be the custodian of such tape. Requests for viewing a tape must be made in writing to the Superintendent or his/her designee; and, if the request is granted, such viewing must occur in the presence of the District’s designated custodian of the tape. Under no circumstances will the District’s tape be duplicated and/or removed from District premises unless in accordance with a court order and/or subpoena.
8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Section 156.9(d)(i)
Adopted:  6/1/05

[Back to Top]

Corporal Punishment (Policy 7350)

Corporal punishment as a means of discipline shall not be used against a student by any teacher, administrator, officer, employee or agent of this School District. 
However, if alternative procedures and methods which would not involve physical force do not work, then the use of reasonable physical force is not prohibited for the following reasons:
a) Self-protection;
b) Protection of others;
c) Protection of property; or
d) Restraining/removing a disruptive student. 
Whenever a school employee uses physical force against a student, the school employee shall, within the same school day, make a report to the Superintendent describing in detail the circumstances and the nature of the action taken. 
The Superintendent of Schools shall submit a written report semi-annually to the Commissioner of Education, with copies to the Board of Education, by January 15 and July 15 of each year, setting forth the substance of each written complaint about the use of corporal punishment received by the Schoharie Central School District authorities during the reporting period, the results of each investigation, and the action, if any, taken by the school authorities in each case. 
Rules of the Board of Regents Section 19.5; 8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Section 100.2(l)(3)
Adopted:  6/1/05

[Back to Top]

Weapons in School and the Gun-Free Schools Act (Policy 7360) 

The possession of a weapon on school property by students, staff members, teachers, administrators and visitors in District vehicles, in school buildings, or at school sponsored activities or settings under the control and supervision of the District regardless of location, is strictly prohibited, except by law enforcement personnel.  Any person possessing a weapon for educational purposes in any school building must have written authorization of the Superintendent of Schools and the Board of Education.
The Penal Code of the State of New York shall also be used to determine what is considered a weapon. 
Penal Law Sections 265.01-265.06; NOTE: Refer also to Policies #3411 — Unlawful Possession of a Weapon Upon School Grounds; #7361 — Gun-Free Schools
Adopted:  6/1/05

[Back to Top]

Gun-Free Schools (Policy 7361)

No student, staff member, teacher, administrator or visitor shall bring or possess any “firearm” as defined in federal law on school premises (including school buildings and grounds, District vehicles, school settings and/or school sponsored activities under the control and supervision of the District regardless of location). For purposes of this policy, the term “firearm” includes any weapon (including a starter gun) which will or is designed to or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive; the frame or receiver of such weapon; any firearm muffler or silencer; or any “destructive device” (e.g., any explosive, incendiary, or poison gas, including bombs, grenades, rockets or other similar devices). The term does not include a rifle which the owner intends to use solely for sporting, recreational or cultural purposes; antique firearms; or Class C common fireworks.
In accordance with the Gun-Free Schools Act Section 3214(3)(d) of the Education Law, any student who brings or possesses a firearm, as defined in federal law, on school property, will be referred by the Superintendent to the appropriate agency or authority for a juvenile delinquency proceeding in accordance with Article 3 of the Family Court Act when the student is under the age of sixteen (16) except for a student fourteen (14) or fifteen (15) years of age who qualifies for juvenile offender status under the Criminal Procedure Law, and will be referred by the Superintendent to the appropriate law enforcement officials when the student is sixteen (16) years of age or older or when the student is fourteen (14) or fifteen (15) years of age and qualifies for juvenile offender status under the Criminal Procedure Law.
In addition, any student attending a District school who has been found guilty of bringing a firearm to or possessing a firearm on school property, after a hearing has been provided pursuant to Section 3214 of the Education Law, shall be suspended for a period of not less than one (1) calendar year and any student attending a non-district school who participates in a program operated by the School District using funds from the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 who is determined to have brought a firearm to or possessed a firearm at a District school or on other premises used by the School District to provide such programs shall be suspended for a period of not less than one (1) calendar year from participation in such program.  The procedures of Education Law Section 3214(3) shall apply to such a suspension of a student attending a non-district school. Further, after the imposition of the one (1) year penalty has been determined, the Superintendent of Schools has the authority to modify this suspension requirement for each student on a case-by-case basis. In reviewing the student’s one (1) year suspension penalty, the Superintendent may modify the penalty based on factors as set forth in Section 100.2 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education and in Commissioner’s Decisions.  The determination of the Superintendent shall be subject to review by the Board of Education in accordance with Education Law Section 3214(3)(c) and by the Commissioner of Education in accordance with Education Law Section 310. 

Student with a Disability
A student with a disability who is determined to have brought a firearm to school or possessed a firearm at school may be placed in an interim alternative educational setting, in accordance with federal and state law, for not more than forty-five (45) calendar days. If the parent or guardian requests an impartial hearing, the student must remain in the interim alternative placement until the completion of all proceedings, unless the parent or guardian and District can agree on a different placement.
A student with a disability may be given a long term suspension pursuant to the Gun-Free Schools Act only if a group of persons knowledgeable about the student, as defined in federal regulations implementing the IDEA, determines that the bringing of a firearm to school or possessing a firearm at school was not a manifestation of the student’s disability, subject to applicable procedural safeguards.
If it is determined that the student’s bringing of a firearm to school or possessing a firearm at school was a manifestation of the student’s disability, the Superintendent must exercise his/her authority under the Gun-Free Schools Act to modify the long term suspension requirement, and determine that the student may not be given a long term suspension for the behavior.  The Committee on Special Education may review the student’s current educational placement and initiate change in placement proceedings, if appropriate, subject to applicable procedural safeguards.
The District may offer home instruction as an interim alternative educational setting during the pendency of review proceedings only if the student’s placement in a less restrictive alternative educational setting is substantially likely to result in injury either to the student or to others.
The District may also seek a court order to immediately remove a student with a disability from school if the District believes that maintaining the student in the current educational placement is substantially likely to result in injury to the student or to others.
Students with disabilities continue to be entitled to all rights enumerated in the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act and Article 89 of the Education Law; and this policy shall not be deemed to authorize suspension of students with disabilities in violation of these laws.
This policy does not prohibit the District from utilizing other disciplinary measures including, but not limited to, out-of-school suspensions for a period of five days or less, or in-school suspensions, in responding to other types of student misconduct which infringe upon the established rules of the school. Additionally, this policy does not diminish the authority of the Board of Education to offer courses in instruction in the safe use of firearms pursuant to Education Law Section 809-a.
The District will continue to provide the suspended student who is of compulsory attendance age with appropriate alternative instruction during the period of the student’s suspension.
Gun-Free Schools Act as reauthorized by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001; 18 United States Code (USC) Section 921(a); Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA); 20 United States Code (USC) Sections 1400-1485 and 7151; Criminal Procedure Law Section 1.20(42); Education Law Sections 310, 809-a, 3214, and Article 89; Family Court Act Article 3; 8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Section 100.2 and Part 200;  NOTE: Refer also to Policies #3411 — Unlawful Possession of a Weapon Upon School Grounds; #7360 — Weapons in School
Adopted:  6/1/05

[Back to Top]

Extracurricular Activities (Policy 7410)

The Board of Education considers extracurricular activities to be a valuable part of the program of the school and shall support these activities within the financial means of the District.  Activities at Schoharie Central School District will be available to all students regardless of race, religion, color, creed, national origin, sex, gender, sexual orientation, military status, veteran status or marital status.
Limited Open Forum
The Board of Education maintains a limited open forum where secondary students may meet for voluntary student-initiated activities unrelated directly to the instructional program, regardless of religious, political or philosophical content. 
To provide “a fair opportunity” to students who wish to conduct a meeting, the Board of Education, in accordance with the provisions of the Equal Access Act, shall ensure that:
a) The meeting is voluntary and student-initiated;
b) There is no sponsorship of the meeting by the school, the government, or its agents or employees;
c) Employees or agents of the school or government are present at religious meetings only in a nonparticipatory capacity;
d) The meeting does not materially and substantially interfere with the orderly conduct of educational activities within the school; and
e) Nonschool persons may not direct, conduct, control, or regularly attend activities of student groups (20 USC Section 4071[c]).
The Board prohibits student organizations whose activities may be unlawful or may cause disruption or interference with the orderly conduct of the educational process.
Administration is responsible for establishing regulations governing the use of school facilities by student organizations.
Eligibility for Attendance
a) Students who are suspended out of school on a day of an athletic game or practice session, party, school dance, or other school affair scheduled after regular school hours may be eligible for participation or attendance at such events, after review by the Principal or his/her designee.
b) In order for students to attend a school-sponsored function, it is necessary that students attend classes for at least one half (1/2) of the school day on the day of the activity, unless otherwise excused by the building administrator.  One-half (1/2) of the school day is defined as follows:  from 8:30 a.m. until noon or from noon until the end of the school day.
8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Sections 172.1 and .2 Education Law Sections 1709 and -a, 2503-a, and 2554-a; Equal Access Act, 20 United States Code (USC) Sections 4071-4074
Adopted:  6/1/05

[Back to Top]

Censorship of School Sponsored Student Publications and Activities (Policy 7411)

The District may exercise editorial control over the style and content of student speech in school sponsored publications and activities that are part of the educational curriculum.
Adopted:  6/1/05

[Back to Top]

Sports and the Athletic Program (Policy 7420)

Athletics are an integral part of a well balanced educational program.  Therefore, the Board supports within its resources a broad sports program with equal access for both males and females, with emphasis on maximum participation, through interscholastic and intramural activity.
The interscholastic athletic program shall conform to the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education as well as the established rules of the New York State Public High Schools Athletic Association and the State Education Department.
Eligibility for interscholastic athletic competition requires that the students:
a) Provide written parental/guardian consent;
b) Pass satisfactorily the medical examination administered by the school physician/nurse practitioner or the student’s personal physician.  The school physician/nurse practitioner retains final approval on all physicals performed by the student’s personal physician; and
c) Meet the requirements for interscholastic competition as set forth by the Commissioner’s Regulations and the New York State Public High School Athletic Association.
Selection/Classification Process
The Board approves the use of the selection/classification process for all secondary school interscholastic team members.  The Board directs the Superintendent to implement the procedures and maintain a file of those students deemed eligible as a result of those procedures.
Student Athletic Injuries
No student should be allowed to practice or play in an athletic contest if he/she is suffering from an injury. The diagnosis of and prescription of treatment for injuries is strictly a medical matter and should under no circumstances be considered within the province of the coach. A coach’s responsibility is to see that injured players are given prompt and competent medical attention, and that all details of a doctor’s instructions concerning the student’s functioning as a team member are carried out. No student will be allowed to practice or compete if there is a question whether he/she is in adequate physical condition.
Sportsmanship
The Schoharie Central School District seeks to promote, enforce, and educate the various publics regarding the Sportsmanship Policy as listed by Section II of the New York State Public High School Athletic Association.
Athletic Program – Safety
The District will take reasonable steps to see that physical risks to students participating in the interscholastic athletic program shall be kept at a minimum by: 
a) Requiring medical examinations of participants;
b) Obtaining appropriately certified and/or licensed officials to coach all varsity, junior varsity, and modified games; and
c) Ensuring that equipment is both safe and operative within approved guidelines.
8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Section 135
Adopted:  6/1/05

[Back to Top]

Contests for Students, Student Awards and Scholarships (Policy 7430)

Contests for Students
Distribution of educational material, essay contests, and poster contests must be approved in advance by the building principals if the sponsoring organization wishes to involve students in the project on school time. Samples of informational material should accompany the request.  Upon the judgment of the principal, the request may be forwarded to the Superintendent and the Board of Education for approval.
Student Awards and Scholarships
The School District may obtain and award to its students awards and scholarships.  The Board of Education, having been entrusted by law, will hold in trust gifts, grants, bequests and legacies given or bequeathed to the Schoharie Central School District and shall apply the same and/or their interest and proceeds according to the instruction of the donors and according to the procedures established by the administration.
Awards and/or scholarships that are to be continued annually and are awards or scholarships of fifty dollars ($50) or more, may, at the request of the donating person or organization, be deposited in the School’s Trust and Agency Fund.  Prior to the establishment of such an account, it will be necessary for the donating person or organization to define the criteria for the selection of the recipient.
Education Law Sections 1604(30) and 1709(12-a)
Adopted:  6/1/05

[Back to Top]

Musical Instruments (Policy 7440)

a) All instrumental music students shall be expected to own or rent their instrument – particularly the common and less expensive instruments (flute, clarinet, trumpet, saxophone, etc.). 
b) Students will not be required to own or rent the less common and more expensive instruments. Instruments in this category are as follows:  oboe, bassoon, tuba, French horn, trombone, baritone horn, tenor and baritone saxophones, bass trombone and percussion instruments. School-owned instruments in this classification will be disbursed upon decisions by the instrumental music staff. Decisions will be dependent upon the individual student’s talent and merit and the need for a balanced instrumentation at each grade level. 
c) Students and parents/guardians will assume responsibility for proper care of school-owned instruments and will pay for damages to same. 
d) The District will only transport in its vehicles those instruments meeting certain safety standards as indicated in the New York State Department of Transportation Regulations.
17 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Section 720.22
Adopted:  6/1/05

[Back to Top]

Fund Raising by Students (Policy 7450)

Fund raising projects in which students sell merchandise, provide services, or in other ways solicit money for school activities may be sponsored by school organizations with the express approval of the building principal.  Any such plan shall have a clearly defined purpose and, in general, shall contribute to the educational experience of students and shall not conflict with instructional programs or state mandates.  Fund raising activities away from school property shall be held to a minimum.
Door to door sales projects undertaken by any organization using the Schoharie Central School District name shall require previous approval of the Board of Education. Profits shall be used to enhance school programs by providing money for expenditures not normally funded by the District.
All participation shall be voluntary, with written parent/legal guardian consent for children in grades K through 8.
8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Section 19.6; New York State Constitution, Article VIII, Section 1; Education Law Section 414; NOTE: Refer also to Policy #3271 — Solicitation of Charitable Donations From School Children
Adopted:  3/15/06

[Back to Top]

Constitutionally Protected Prayer in the Public Schools (Policy 7460)

In accordance with the most recent Guidance Document issued by the U.S. Department of Education implementing the requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, the Board of Education affirms the responsibilities of the School District, consistent with applicable statutory/case law pertaining to the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, to allow students and staff to engage in constitutionally protected prayer within the District schools.
Accordingly, no Board of Education policy shall prevent, or otherwise deny participation in, constitutionally protected prayer in District schools, consistent with the Guidance Document and applicable law as enumerated above.
The Board rescinds any other policy that may be inconsistent with the mandates of this policy, which shall supersede any and all Board policies to the contrary.
Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, Section 9524, as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001; United States Constitution, First Amendment; Equal Access Act;20 United States Code (USC) Sections 4071-4074; NOTE: Refer also to Policy #8360 — Religious Expression in the Instructional Program
Adopted:  6/1/05

[Back to Top]

Employment of Students of Minor Age (Policy 7470)

A minor’s work hours shall be in accordance with all applicable federal and state laws and regulations as well as requirements established by the School District.
Pursuant to Education Law, minors may be employed when attendance upon instruction is not required, provided they obtain a valid employment certificate or permit (if applicable); and provided such employment is not prohibited by and/or in violation of the Labor Law or other law.
However, students at least 14 years of age may be employed during the school lunch period in their school’s cafeteria if the minor presents a valid employment certificate issued in accordance with Education Law.
Before issuing a certificate of satisfactory academic standing, the District shall ensure that students and their parents/guardians are afforded all legal rights and protections, including the right of consent, in complying with requests for disclosure of student records and information from such records under the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.

Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA), as amended;29 United States Code (USC) Section 201 et seq.; 29 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Parts 570-580; Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA); 20 United States Code (USC) Section 1232(g); 34 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 99; Education Law Article 65; Labor Law Articles 4 and 4-A; Arts and Cultural Affairs Law Article 35; 8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR); Sections 141.8 and 141.9 and Part 190
Adopted:  10/4/06

[Back to Top]

Immunization of Students (Policy 7511)

The Board of Education recognizes its responsibility under the Public Health Law to ensure that the children under its charge are immunized against measles, polio, diphtheria, mumps, rubella, *Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), **hepatitis B, ***varicella, ****pertussis (commonly known as whooping cough) and tetanus.  The Board, therefore, requires that a physician’s certificate or some other acceptable evidence of immunization be submitted for all children entering and presently attending school.
The Board directs the administration not to permit any child lacking evidence of immunization to remain in school for more than fourteen (14) days, or thirty (30) days for an out-of-state transferee who can show an effort to obtain the necessary evidence or certification.  The administration should notify the local health authority of the name and address of the child, as well as to provide the parent/person in parental relation to the child who has been denied admission or attendance a statement of his/her duty regarding immunization and a consent form prescribed by the Commissioner of Health.  The school shall cooperate with the local health authorities to provide a time and place for the immunization of children lacking the same.
The only exceptions to this policy are as follows:
a) If a child whose parent, parents, or persons in parental relation hold genuine and sincere religious beliefs which are contrary to the practices required, no certificate shall be required as a prerequisite to such child being admitted or received into school or attending school;
**Shall apply to children born on or after January 1, 1993, beginning with their enrollment in any public, private or parochial kindergarten, elementary, intermediate or secondary school, and to children born on or after January 1, 1995, beginning with their enrollment in any school, as defined in Public Health Law Section 2164(1)(a).  Also, on or after September 1, 2000, all children are to be immunized against hepatitis B prior to enrollment in the seventh (7th) grade in any public, private or parochial intermediate or middle school.
***Shall apply to children born on or after January 1, 1998 who will enter grades kindergarten and above; all children born on or after January 1, 2000 and enrolled in any school; and effective January 1, 2005, all children born after January 1, 1994 and prior to January 1, 1998 upon such child’s initial promotion to, entry into or enrollment in sixth grade.
****Shall apply to all children born on or after January 1, 2005 beginning with their enrollment in any school for entry and attendance as defined by Public Health Law Section 2164.
b) If a physician will certify that administering a vaccine to a particular child is detrimental to the child’s health, the requirement may be waived by the Board.
A student denied entrance or attendance due to failure of meeting health immunization standards may appeal to the Commissioner of Education.
Education Law Section 914; Public Health Law Section 2164; 10 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Subpart 66-1;  NOTE: Refer also to Policy #7131 — Education of Homeless Children and Youth
Adopted:  6/1/05

[Back to Top]

Student Physicals (Policy 7512)

Health Examination
Each student enrolled in District schools must have a satisfactory health examination conducted by the student’s physician, physician assistant or nurse practitioner within twelve months prior to the commencement of the school year of:
a) The student’s entrance in a District school at any grade level;
b) Entrance to pre-kindergarten or kindergarten;
c) Entry into the 2nd, 4th, 7th and 10th grades.
The District may also require an examination and health history of a student when it is determined by the District that it would promote the educational interests of the student.
In addition, the District requires a certificate of physical fitness for:
a) All athletes prior to their first sport of the school year, then only those who were injured or ill during their first sport before participating in a second sport during the school year; and
b) All students who need work permits.
Health Certificate
Each student must submit a health certificate attesting to the health examination within thirty (30) days after his or her entrance into school and within thirty (30) days after his or her entry into the 2nd, 4th, 7th and 10th grades. The health certificate shall be filed in the student’s cumulative record. The health certificate must:
a) Describe the condition of the student when the examination was given;
b) State the results of any test conducted on the student for sickle cell anemia;
c) State whether the student is in a fit condition of health to permit his/her attendance at public school and, where applicable, whether the student has defective sight or hearing, or any other physical disability which may tend to prevent the student from receiving the full benefit of school work or from receiving the best educational results, or which may require a modification of such work to prevent injury to the student;
d) Be signed by a duly licensed physician, physician assistant, or nurse practitioner, who is authorized by law to practice in New York State consistent with any applicable written practice  agreement; or  authorized to practice in the  jurisdiction in which the  examination was given, provided that the Commissioner of Health has determined that such jurisdiction has standards of licensure and practice comparable to those of New York.
Examination by Health Appraisal
The Principal or the Principal’s designee will send a notice to the parents of, or person in parental relationship to, any student who does not present a health certificate, that if the required health certificate is not furnished within thirty (30) days from the date of such notice, an examination by health appraisal will be made of such student by the Director of School Health Services.
The Director of School Health Services shall cause such students to be separately and carefully examined and tested to ascertain whether any such student has defective sight or hearing, or any other physical disability which may tend to prevent the student from receiving the full benefit of school work or from receiving the best educational results, or which may require a modification of such work to prevent injury to the student.
The physician, physician assistant or nurse practitioner administering such examination shall determine whether a one-time test for sickle cell anemia is necessary or desirable and, if so determined, shall conduct such test and include the results in the health certificate.
Unless otherwise prohibited by law, if it is ascertained that any students have defective sight or hearing, or a physical disability or other condition, including sickle cell anemia which may require professional attention with regard to health, the Principal or Principal’s designee shall notify, in writing, the student’s parents or persons in parental relation as to the existence of such disability. If the parents or persons in parental relation are unable or unwilling to provide the necessary relief and treatment for such students, such fact shall be reported by the Principal or Principal’s designee to the Director of School Health Services, who then has the duty to provide relief for such students.
Health Screenings
The District will provide:
a) Scoliosis screening at least once each school year for all students in grades 5 through 9. The positive results of any such screening examinations for the presence of scoliosis shall be provided in writing to the student’s parent or person in parental relation within ninety (90) days after such finding;
b) Vision screening to all students who enroll in school including at a minimum color perception, distance acuity, near vision and hyperopia within six (6) months of admission to the school. In addition, all students shall be screened for distance acuity in grades Kindergarten, 1, 2, 3, 5, 7 and 10 and at any other time deemed necessary. The results of all such vision screening examinations shall be in provided in writing to the student’s parent orperson in parental relation and to any teacher of the student. The vision report will be kept in a permanent file of the school for at least as long as the minimum retention period for such records;
c) Hearing screening to all students within six months of admission to the school and in grades Kindergarten, 1, 3, 5, 7 and 10, as well as at any other time deemed necessary. Screening shall include, but not be limited to, pure tone and threshold air conduction screening. The results of any such hearing tests shall be provided in writing to the student’s parent or person in parental relation and to any teacher of the student.
The results of all health screenings (dental, hearing, vision and scoliosis) shall be recorded on appropriate forms signed by the health professional making the examination, include appropriate recommendations, and be kept on file in the school. The health records of individual students will be kept confidential in accordance with the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and any other applicable federal and State laws.
Accommodation for Religious Beliefs
No health examinations, health history, examinations for health appraisal, screening examinations for sickle cell anemia and/or other health screenings shall be required where a student or the parent or person in parental relation to such student objects thereto on the grounds that such examinations, health history and/or screenings conflict with their genuine and sincere religious beliefs. A written and signed statement from the student or the student’s parent or person in parental relation that such person holds such beliefs shall be submitted to the Principal or Principal’s designee, in which case the Principal or Principal’s designee may require supporting documents.

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA); 20 United States Code (USC) Section 1232(g); Education Law Sections 901-905, 912 and 3217; 8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Part 136
NOTE: Refer also to Policies #5690 — Exposure Control Program; #5691 — Communicable Diseases; #5692 — Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Related Illnesses; #7121 — Diagnostic Screening of Students; #7131 — Education of Homeless Children and Youth; #7511 — Immunization of Students
Adopted:  6/1/05; Revised:  6/7/06

[Back to Top]

Administration of Medication (Policy 7513)

Under certain circumstances, when it is necessary for a student to take medication during school hours, the school nurse may administer the medication if the parent or person in parental relation submits a written request accompanied by a written request from a physician indicating the frequency and dosage of prescribed medication.  The parent or person in parental relation must assume responsibility to have the medication delivered directly to the health office in a properly labeled original container.
Procedures for taking medications off school grounds or after school hours while participating in a school-sponsored activity will be in accordance with State Education Department Guidelines.
Emergency Medication
The administration of emergency medication (injectable, including “epi-pens,” and/or oral) to a student for extreme hypersensitivity may be performed by any school staff member responding to the emergency.  Such a response would fall under the Good Samaritan exemption for rendering emergency care during a life threatening situation.
Use Of Inhalers In Schools
The School District permits students who have been diagnosed by a physician or other duly authorized health care provider as having a severe asthmatic condition to carry and use a prescribed inhaler during the school day.  Prior to permitting such use, the school health office must receive the written permission of the prescribing physician or other duly authorized health care provider, and parental consent, based on such physician’s or provider’s determination that the student is subject to sudden asthmatic attacks severe enough to debilitate that student.
A record of such physician or health care provider/parental permission shall be maintained in the school health office.
Health office personnel will maintain regular parental contact in order to monitor the effectiveness of such self-medication procedures and to clarify parental responsibility as to the daily monitoring of their child to ensure that the medication is being utilized in accordance with the physician’s or provider’s instructions.  Additionally, the student will be required to report to the health office on a periodic basis as determined by health office personnel so as to maintain an ongoing evaluation of the student’s management of such self-medication techniques, and to work cooperatively with the parents and the student regarding such self-care management.
Students who self-administer medication without proper authorization, under any circumstances, will be referred for counseling by school nursing personnel.  Additionally, school administration and parents will be notified of such unauthorized use of medication by the student, and school administration may also be involved in determining the proper resolution of such student behavior.
Education Law Sections 916, 6527(4)(a) and 6908(1)(a)(iv); Public Health Law Section 3000-a
Adopted:  6/1/05

[Back to Top]

Health Records (Policy 7514)

The school shall keep a convenient, accurate, and up-to-date health record of every student.  Insofar as the health records include confidential disclosures or findings, they shall be kept confidential.  Individual records may be interpreted by the nurse to administrators, teachers, and counselors, consistent with law.
Education Law Section 905; 8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations(NYCRR) Part 136
Adopted:  6/1/05

[Back to Top]

Accidents and Medical Emergencies (Policy 7520)

Procedures shall be established and maintained by the Superintendent for the handling of student injuries and medical emergencies that occur on school property and during school activities.
Student Emergency Treatment
All staff members of the School District are responsible to obtain first aid care of students who are injured or become ill while under school supervision. 
In most instances first aid should be rendered, and then the parent should be contacted to come to school and transport the student to the family physician.  Beyond first aid, the medical care of the student is the parent’s responsibility.  However, the student’s welfare is always the primary concern, and it is the responsibility of school personnel to exercise good judgment and care under all circumstances. 
The Board of Education encourages all staff members to become qualified to give emergency treatment through instruction in first aid, Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and Automated External Defibrillators. 
Transporting an Ill or Injured Student
In the event of an illness or injury to a student, an ambulance may be called if warranted.  This solution will be used after other alternatives, including parent/person in parental relation contact, have been made. 
Insurance
The Board of Education shall approve provisions for all students to be covered by group insurance. Such student accident insurance policies are to be a co-insurance with family coverage(s) as primary. 
Education Law Sections 1604(7-a), 1604(7-b), 1709(8-a) and 1709(8-b)
Adopted:  6/1/05

[Back to Top]

Meeting the Needs of Students With Life-Threatening Health Conditions (7521)

Students come to school with diverse medical conditions which may impact their learning as well as their health. Some of these conditions are serious and may be life-threatening (well known examples include diabetes, asthma, and severe allergic reactions).
Students, parents, school personnel and health care providers must all work together to provide the necessary information and training to allow children with chronic health problems to participate as fully and safely as possible in the school experience.
All students within the District with known life-threatening conditions should have a comprehensive plan of care in place: an Emergency Care Plan (ECP) and/or Individualized Healthcare Plan (IHP), and if appropriate an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or Section 504 Plan.
School Health Team
The District has identified the following as important members of the School Health Team to ensure that health information is complete, appropriate accommodations are prepared, and any necessary medication and environmental protocols are in place for students with life-threatening health conditions:
a) Parents/Guardians and Students;
b) School District Administration;
c) School Medical Director;
d) School Nurse;
e) Teachers;
f) Guidance Counselor/Social Worker;
g) Teaching Assistants and Teacher Aides;
h) Food Service Personnel;
i) Custodial Staff;
j) Transportation Personnel;
k) Athletic Director and Coaches
Particularly for those students with chronic life-threatening conditions such as diabetes, seizure disorders, asthma and allergies (food, insect sting, latex, medications, etc.) which may result in severe, life-threatening reactions to various environmental triggers, it is necessary that the District work cooperatively with the parent(s) and the healthcare provider to:
a) Develop and file an Emergency Care Plan (ECP) / Individual Healthcare Plan for each at risk student to ensure that all appropriate personnel are aware of the student’s potential for a life-threatening reaction;
b) If the student is eligible for accommodations based upon the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 or the Americans with Disabilities Act, the appropriate procedures will be followed regarding evaluation and identification;
c) Provide training as appropriate by licensed medical personnel for all adults in a supervisory role in the recognition and emergency management of a specific medical condition for specific students;
d) Obtain specific legal documents duly executed in accordance with New York State law; appropriate health care provider authorization in writing for specific students that includes the frequency and conditions for any testing and/or treatment, symptoms, and treatment of any conditions associated with the health problem; and directions for emergencies;
e) Secure written parent permission and discuss parental responsibility that includes providing the health care provider’s orders, providing any necessary equipment, and participation in the education and co-management of the child as he/she works toward self-management;
f) Allow self-directed students, as assessed by the school nurse, to carry life saving medication with prior approval by the medical provider, and according to health practice and procedures, as long as duplicate life saving medication is also maintained in the health office in the event the self-carrying student misplaces their medication;
g) Assure appropriate and reasonable building accommodations are in place within a reasonable degree of medical certainty.
In addition, the District will:
a) Ensure that Building-level and District-wide safety procedures include appropriate accommodations for students with life-threatening health conditions;
b) Have standing emergency medical protocols for nursing staff;
c) Request the School Medical Director to write a non-patient specific order for anaphylaxis treatment agents for the school’s registered professional nurse(s) to administer in the event of an unanticipated anaphylactic episode;
d) As permitted by New York State law, maintain stock supplies of life saving emergency medications such as epinephrine and antihistamine in all health offices for use in first time emergencies;
e) Provide training for all staff in the recognition of an anaphylactic reaction;
f) Encourage families to obtain medic-alert bracelets for at risk students;
g) Educate students regarding the importance of immediately reporting symptoms of an allergic reaction.
Use of Epinephrine Auto-Injector Devices (Epi-Pens) in the School Setting
Although anaphylaxis can affect almost any part of the body and cause various symptoms, the most dangerous symptoms include breathing difficulties and a drop in blood pressure or shock which are potentially fatal. Treatment for anaphylaxis includes immediate removal of the allergen, and treating the rapidly progressing effects of histamine release in the body with epinephrine and antihistamines.
The administration of epinephrine by epi-pen to a student with a known severe allergy needing an anaphylactic treatment agent may be performed by a school staff member responding to an emergency situation when such use has been prescribed by a licensed prescriber. However, a registered medical professional must have trained the staff member to administer the epi-pen for that emergency situation and given him/her approval to assist the student in the event of an anaphylactic reaction.
Documentation of the necessary training should be maintained in the office of the appropriate school nurse for each affected student. The emergency response by non-licensed school staff members is permitted under the Medical Practice Act (Education Law Section 6527(4)(a)) and the Nurse Practice Act (Education Law Section 6908 (1)(a)(iv)) and is covered by the “Good Samaritan Law” (Public Health Law Section 3000-a).Use of a Glucagon Emergency Injector Kit in the School Setting
The administration of glucagon by injection using a glucagon emergency kit to a student with a known diabetic condition needing immediate emergency treatment (unconscious, unresponsive, convulsive, or unable to eat or drink) may be performed by a school staff member responding to the emergency situation when such use has been prescribed by a licensed prescriber. However, a registered medical professional must have trained the staff member to administer the glucagon for that emergency situation and given him/her approval to follow the authorizations included in the student’s DMMP.
Documentation of the necessary training will be maintained in the office of the appropriate school nurse for each affected student.
Medication Self-Management
The District will work toward assisting students in the self-management of their chronic health condition based upon the student’s knowledge level and skill by:
a) Adequately training all staff involved in the care of the child;
b) Assuring the availability of the necessary equipment and/or medications;
c) Providing appropriately trained licensed persons as required by law;
d) Providing additional appropriately trained adults to complete delegated tasks as allowed by law;
e) Developing an emergency plan for the student; and
f) Providing ongoing staff and student education.
Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 United States Code (USC) Section 12101 et seq.; Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), 20 United States Code (USC) Sections 1400-1485;  Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 United States Code (USC) Section 794 et seq.; 34 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 300; Education Law Sections 6527 and 6908 ; Public Health Law Sections 2500-h and 3000-a
Adopted: 1/21/09

[Back to Top]

Concussion Management (Policy 7522)

The Board of Education recognizes that concussions and head injuries are the most commonly reported injuries in children and adolescents who participate in sports and recreational activities.  The physical and mental well-being of our students is a primary concern.  Therefore, the Schoharie School District adopts the following Policy to support the proper evaluation and management of concussion injuries.
A concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI).  A concussion occurs when normal brain functioning is disrupted by a blow or jolt to the head or body that causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth.  Recovery from concussion and its symptoms will vary.  Avoiding re-injury and over-exertion until fully recovered are the cornerstones of proper concussion management.  Concussions can impact a student’s academics as well as their athletic pursuits.
Concussion Management Team (CMT)
In accordance with the Concussion Management and Awareness Act, the School District is authorized, at its discretion, to establish a Concussion Management Team (CMT) which may be composed of the certified athletic director, a school nurse, the school physician, a coach of an interscholastic team, a certified athletic trainer or such other appropriate personnel as designated by the School District.  The Concussion Management Team shall oversee and implement the School District’s concussion policy and regulations, including the requirement that all school coaches, physical education teachers, nurses and certified athletic trainers who work with and/or provide instruction to pupils engaged in school-sponsored athletic activities complete training relating to mild traumatic brain injuries.  Furthermore, every concussion management team may establish and implement a program which provides information on mild traumatic brain injuries to parents and persons in parental relation throughout each school year.
Staff Training/Course of Instruction
Each school coach, physical education teacher, school nurse and certified athletic trainer who works with and/or provides instruction to students in school-sponsored athletic activities (including physical education class and recess) shall complete a course of instruction every two (2) years relating to recognizing the symptoms of concussions or MTBIs and monitoring and seeking proper medical treatment for students who suffer from a concussion or MTBI.
Components of the training will include:
a) The definition of MTBI; 
b) Signs and symptoms of MTBI;
c) How MTBIs may occur;
d) Practices regarding prevention; and
e) Guidelines for the return to school and school activities for a student who has suffered an MTBI, even if the injury occurred outside of school.
The course can be completed by means of instruction approved by SED which include, but are not limited to, courses provided online and by teleconference.

Information to Parents
The District shall include the following information on concussion in any permission or consent form or similar document that may be required from a parent/person in parental relation for a student’s participation in interscholastic sports.  Information will included:
a) The definition of MTBI;
b) Signs and symptoms of MTBI;
c) How MTBIs may occur;
d) Practices regarding prevention; and
e) Guidelines for the return to school and school activities for a student who has suffered an MTBI, even if the injury occurred outside of school.
The District will provide a link on its website, if one exists, to the above list of information on the State Education Department’s and Department of Health’s websites.
Identification of Concussion and Removal from Athletic Activities
The District shall require the immediate removal from all athletic activities of any student who has sustained, or is believed to have sustained, a mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI) or concussion.  Any student demonstrating signs, symptoms or behaviors consistent with a concussion while participating in a class, extracurricular activity, or interscholastic athletic activity shall be removed from the class, game or activity and must be evaluated as soon as possible by an appropriate health care professional.  Such removal must occur based on display of symptoms regardless of whether such injury occurred inside or outside of school.  If there is any doubt as to whether the student has sustained a concussion, it shall be presumed that the student has been injured until proven otherwise.  The District shall notify the student’s parents or guardians and recommend appropriate evaluation and monitoring.
The School District may choose to allow credentialed District staff to use validated Neurocognitive computerized testing as a concussion assessment tool to obtain baseline and post-concussion performance data.  These tools are not a replacement for a medical evaluation to diagnose and treat a concussion.
Return to School Activities and Athletics
The student shall not return to physical activity (including athletics, physical education class and recess) until he/she has been symptom-free for not less than twenty-four (24) hours, and has been evaluated and received written authorization from a licensed physician.  In accordance with Commissioner’s Regulations, the School District’s Medical Director will give final clearance on a return to activity for extra-class athletics. All such authorizations shall be kept on file in the student’s permanent health record.  The standards for return to athletic activity will also apply to injuries that occur outside of school.  School staff should be aware that students may exhibit concussion symptoms caused by injuries from outside activities and that these visible symptoms also indicate a removal from play.
The District shall follow any directives issued by the student’s treating physician with regard to limitations and restrictions on school and athletic activities for the student.  The District’s Medical Director may also formulate a standard protocol for treatment of students with concussions during the school day.
In accordance with NYSED guidelines, this Policy shall be reviewed periodically and updated as necessary in accordance with New York State Education Department guidelines.  The Superintendent, in consultation with the District’s Medical Director and other appropriate staff, may develop regulations and protocols for strategies to prevent concussions, the identification of concussions, and procedures for removal from and return to activities or academics.
Education Law Sections 207; 305(42), and 2854
8 NYCRR 135.4 AND 136.5
Guidelines for Concussion Management in the School Setting, SED Guidance Document, June 2012
Adopted:  8/23/12

[Back to Top]

Child Abuse (Policy 7530)

The Schoharie Central School District subscribes to all of the provisions of Title 6 – Child Protective Services of the Social Services Law (Sections 411-428).  Our purpose is to provide protective services to abused and maltreated children as described by the law, and to make all school personnel within the District aware of our legal responsibilities under this law.
Regulations shall be developed, maintained and disseminated by administration regarding the:
a) Mandatory reporting of suspected child abuse/neglect;
b) Reporting procedures and obligations of persons required to report;
c) Provisions for taking a child into protective custody;
d) Mandatory reporting of deaths;
e) Immunity from liability and penalties for failure to report; and
f) Obligations for provision of services and procedures necessary to safeguard the life of a child.
Additionally, an ongoing training program for all professional staff shall be established and implemented to enable such staff to carry out their reporting responsibilities.
Social Services Law Sections 411-428
Family Court Act Section 1012
Education Law Section 3209-a

Child Abuse in an Educational Setting
The School District is committed to the protection of students in educational settings from abuse and maltreatment by employees or volunteers as enumerated in law.
“Child abuse” shall mean any of the following acts committed in an educational setting by an employee or volunteer against a child:
a) Intentionally or recklessly inflicting physical injury, serious physical injury or death; or
b) Intentionally or recklessly engaging in conduct which creates a substantial risk of such physical injury, serious physical injury or death; or
c) Any child sexual abuse, defined as conduct prohibited by Article 130 or 263 of the Penal Law; or
d) The commission or attempted commission against a child of the crime of disseminating indecent materials to minors pursuant to Article 235 of the Penal Law.
“Educational setting” shall mean the building(s) and grounds of the School District; the vehicles provided by the School District for the transportation of students to and from school buildings, field trips, co-curricular and extracurricular activities both on and off School District grounds; all co-curricular and extracurricular activity sites; and any other location where direct contact between an employee or volunteer and a child has allegedly occurred.
In any case where an oral or written allegation is made to a teacher, school nurse, school guidance counselor, school psychologist, school social worker, school administrator, School Board member, or other school personnel required to hold a teaching or administrative license or certificate, that a child (defined in the law as a person under the age of twenty-one (21) years enrolled in a school district in this state) has been subjected to child abuse by an employee or volunteer in an educational setting, that person shall upon receipt of such allegation:
a) Promptly complete a written report of such allegation including the full name of the child alleged to be abused; the name of the child’s parent; the identity of the person making the allegation and their relationship to the alleged child victim; the name of the employee or volunteer against whom the allegation was made; and a listing of the specific allegations of child abuse in an educational setting.  Such written report shall be completed on a form as prescribed by the Commissioner of Education.
b) Except where the school administrator is the person receiving such an oral or written allegation, the employee completing the written report must promptly personally deliver a copy of that written report to the school administrator of the school in which the child abuse allegedly occurred (subject to the following paragraph).
In any case where it is alleged the child was abused by an employee or volunteer of a school other than a school within the school district of the child’s attendance, the report of such allegations shall be promptly forwarded to the Superintendent of Schools of the school district of the child’s attendance and the school district where the abuse allegedly occurred.
Any employee or volunteer who reasonably and in good faith makes a report of allegations of child abuse in an educational setting in accordance with the reporting requirements of the law shall have immunity from civil liability which might otherwise result by reason of such actions.
Upon receipt of a written report alleging child abuse in an educational setting, the school administrator or Superintendent must then determine whether there is “reasonable suspicion” to believe that such an act of child abuse has occurred.  Where there has been a determination as to the existence of such reasonable suspicion, the school administrator or Superintendent must follow the notification/reporting procedures mandated in law and further enumerated in administrative regulations including parental notification.  When the school administrator receives a written report, he/she shall promptly provide a copy of such report to the Superintendent.
Where the school administrator or Superintendent has forwarded a written report of child abuse in an educational setting to law enforcement authorities, the Superintendent shall also refer such report to the Commissioner of Education where the employee or volunteer alleged to have committed such an act of child abuse holds a certification or license issued by the State Education Department.
Any school administrator or Superintendent who reasonably and in good faith makes a report of allegations of child abuse in an educational setting, or reasonably and in good faith transmits such a report to a person or agency as required by law, shall have immunity from civil liability which might otherwise result by reason of such actions.
Reports and other written material submitted pursuant to law with regard to allegations of child abuse in an educational setting, and photographs taken concerning such reports that are in the possession of any person legally authorized to receive such information, shall be confidential and shall not be redisclosed except to law enforcement authorities involved in an investigation of child abuse in an educational setting or as expressly authorized by law or pursuant to a court-ordered subpoena. School administrators and the Superintendent shall exercise reasonable care in preventing such unauthorized disclosure.
Additionally, teachers and all other school officials shall be provided an annual written explanation concerning the reporting of child abuse in an educational setting, including the immunity provisions as enumerated in law.  Further, the Commissioner of Education shall furnish the District with required information, including rules and regulations for training necessary to implement  District/staff responsibilities under the law.

Prohibition of “Silent” (Unreported) Resignations
The Superintendent and other school administrators are prohibited from withholding from law enforcement authorities, the Superintendent or the Commissioner of Education, where appropriate, information concerning allegations of child abuse in an educational setting against an employee or volunteer in exchange for that individual’s resignation or voluntary suspension from his/her position.
Superintendents (or a designated administrator) who reasonably and in good faith report to law enforcement officials information regarding allegations of child abuse or a resignation as required pursuant to the law shall have immunity from any liability, civil or criminal, which might otherwise result by reason of such actions.

Education Law Article 23-B and Section 3028-b
Penal Law Articles 130, 235 and 263
8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations
(NYCRR) Part 83
Adopted:  6/1/05

[Back to Top]

Suicide (Policy 7540)

According to national statistics, suicide is the third leading cause of death among young people. It is the policy of the Board to enact clear guidelines for prevention, intervention and post-intervention of suicide, reflecting the District’s concern for this serious mental health issue.
The Board recognizes the need for suicide prevention and will instruct the Superintendent to establish a District crisis intervention team whose responsibility will be to develop a suicide response plan. This plan will be integrated into the existing school safety plan. The plan will include education and awareness of risk factors for youth suicide, procedures for intervening if a student exhibits risk factors, including referral services, and a post intervention plan to help the school and community cope with the aftermath of such a tragic event should it occur. 
Suicide prevention will be incorporated into the curriculum to educate students. This will be done in a manner so as not to sensationalize the matter, but to provide students with information and resources on this important mental health issue. The District will also foster interagency cooperation that will enable staff to identify and access appropriate community resources to aid students in times of crisis.
The administration is responsible for informing staff of regulations and procedures of suicide prevention, intervention and post-intervention that have been developed by the District. The District will actively respond to any situation where a student verbally or behaviorally indicates intent to attempt suicide or to do physical harm to himself/herself. Staff training and professional development on suicide and crisis intervention will be made available.
NOTE: Refer also to Policies:  #3410 — Anti-Harassment in the School District
#5681 — School Safety Plans
#7552 — Bullying: Peer Abuse in the Schools
#7553 — Hazing of Students
Adopted:  6/1/05
Revised:  8/23/12

[Back to Top]

Complaints and Grievances by Students (Policy 7550)

While students have the responsibility to abide by the policies and regulations of the District, they shall also be afforded opportunity to present complaints and grievances free from interference, coercion, restraint, discrimination or reprisal.  Administration shall be responsible for:
a) Establishing rules and regulations for the redress of complaints or grievances through proper administration channels;
b) Developing an appeals process;
c) Ensuring that students have full understanding and access to these regulations and procedure; and
d) Providing prompt consideration and determination of student complaints and grievances.

Complaints and Grievances Coordinator
Additionally, the Board shall ensure compliance with Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA).  The Superintendent shall designate a District employee as the Title IX/Section 504/ADA Coordinator; and regulations and procedures shall be implemented to resolve complaints of discrimination based on sex or disability.
Prior to the beginning of each school year, the District shall issue an appropriate public announcement which advises students, parents/guardians, employees and the general public of the District’s established grievance procedures for resolving complaints of discrimination based on sex or disability.  Included in such announcement will be the name, address and telephone number of the Title IX/Section 504/ADA Coordinator.
The Title IX/Section 504/ADA Coordinator shall also be responsible for handling complaints and grievances regarding discrimination based on race, color, creed, religion, national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, age, military status or marital status.

Age Discrimination in Employment Act,
29 United States Code Section 621
Americans With Disabilities Act,
42 United States Code (USC) Section 12101 et seq.
Prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability.
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973,
29 United States Code (USC) Section 794 et seq.
Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964,
42 United States Code (USC) Section 2000-d et seq.
Prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color or national origin.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964,
42 United States Code (USC) Section 2000-e et seq.
Prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin.
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972,
20 United States Code (USC) Section 1681 et seq.
Prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex.
Civil Rights Law Section 40-c
Prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, creed, color, national origin, sex, marital status, sexual orientation or disability.
Executive Law Section 290 et seq.
Prohibits discrimination on the basis of age, race, creed, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, disability, military status, or marital status.
NOTE: Refer also to Policy #3420 — Anti-Harassment in the School District
Adopted:  6/1/05

[Back to Top]

Sexual Harassment of Students (Policy 7551)

The Board of Education affirms its commitment to non-discrimination and recognizes its responsibility to provide for all District students an environment that is free of sexual harassment, including sexual violence. Sexual harassment including sexual violence is a violation of law and stands in direct opposition to District policy. Therefore, the Board prohibits and condemns all forms of sexual harassment by employees, school volunteers, students, and non-employees such as contractors and vendors which occur on school grounds and at all school-sponsored events, programs and activities including those that take place on a school bus at locations off school premises or those that take place in another state. Since sexual violence is a form of sexual harassment, the term, “sexual harassment” in this policy will implicitly include sexual violence even if it is not explicitly stated.
Sexual Harassment
Generally, sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct or communication of a sexual nature when:
a) Submission to or rejection of such sexually harassing conduct and/or communication by a student affects decisions regarding any aspect of the student’s education, including participation in school-sponsored activities;
b) Conditions exist within the school environment that allow or foster obscene pictures, lewd jokes, sexual advances, requests for sexual favors or other harassing activities of a sexual nature; and
c) Such conduct and/or communication has the purpose or effect of substantially or unreasonably interfering with a student’s academic performance or participation in an educational or extracurricular activity, or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive learning environment; and/or effectively bars the student’s access to an educational opportunity or benefit.
Sexual Violence
Sexual violence is defined by New York Penal Law as physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person’s will or where a person is incapable of giving consent. Sexual violence includes but is not limited to acts such as:
a) Rape;
b) Sexual assault;
c) Sexual battery;
d) Sexual coercion.
A person may be unable to consent to a sexual act due to his/her age, use of drugs or alcohol or due to intellectual or other disability. In order to encourage victims of sexual violence to come forward, a District must inform students that the District’s primary concern is with their safety. The school should assure victims that any broken rules or violations made by them will be addressed separately from the sexual harassment allegation. For example, victims need to know that their use of alcohol or drugs never makes them at fault for sexual violence.
The Board acknowledges that in determining whether sexual harassment has occurred the totality of the circumstances, expectations, and relationships should be evaluated including, but not limited to, the ages of the offender and the victim; the number of individuals involved; and the type, frequency and duration of the conduct. A single incident of sexual harassment may be sufficiently severe to create a hostile environment in the school and a student may experience the continuing effects from off-campus sexual harassment when in the school setting. The Board recognizes that sexual harassment can originate from a person of either sex against a person of the opposite or same sex, and from a third party such as a school visitor, volunteer, or vendor, or any other individual associated with the School District. Sexual harassment may occur from student-to-student, from staff-to-student, from student-to-staff, as well as staff-to-staff. The District will designate, at a minimum, two (2) Compliance Officers, one (1) of each gender.
In order for the Board to enforce this policy, and to take corrective measures as may be necessary, it is essential that any student who believes he/she has been a victim of sexual harassment, as well as any other person who is aware of and/or who has knowledge of or witnesses any possible occurrence of sexual harassment, should immediately report such alleged harassment. Such report shall be directed to or forwarded to the District’s designated Compliance Officers through informal and/or formal complaint procedures as developed by the District. Such complaints are recommended to be in writing, although verbal complaints of alleged sexual harassment will also be promptly investigated in accordance with the terms of this policy. In the event that the Compliance Officer is the alleged offender, the report will be directed to the next level of supervisory authority.
Upon receipt of an informal/formal complaint (even an anonymous complaint), the District will conduct a prompt, equitable, and thorough investigation of the charges. However, even in the absence of a complaint, if the District has knowledge of or has reason to know of or suspect any occurrence of sexual harassment, the District will investigate such conduct promptly, equitably, and thoroughly. To the extent possible, within legal constraints, all complaints will be treated as confidentially and privately as possible. However, disclosure may be necessary to complete a thorough investigation of the charges, and any disclosure will be provided on a “need to know” basis. The Superintendent will inform the Board of Education of investigations involving findings of harassment.
Based upon the results of the investigation, if the District determines that an employee and/or student has violated the terms of this policy and/or accompanying regulations, immediate corrective action will be taken as warranted. Should the offending individual be a student, appropriate disciplinary measures will be applied, up to and including suspension, in accordance with District policy and regulation, the Code of Conduct, and applicable laws and/or regulations. Should the offending individual be a school employee, appropriate disciplinary measures will be applied, up to and including termination of the offender’s employment, in accordance with legal guidelines, District policy and regulation, the Code of Conduct and the applicable collective bargaining agreement(s). Third parties (such as school volunteers, vendors, etc.) who are found to have violated this policy and/or accompanying regulations will be subject to appropriate sanctions as warranted and in compliance with law.
Prohibition of Retaliatory Behavior (Commonly Known as “Whistle-Blower” Protection)
The Board prohibits any retaliatory behavior directed against complainants, victims, witnesses, and/or any other individuals who participated in the investigation of a complaint of sexual harassment. Follow-up inquiries shall be made to ensure that sexual harassment has not resumed and that all those involved in the investigation of the sexual harassment complaint have not suffered retaliation.

Finding That Sexual Harassment Did Not Occur
At any level/stage of investigation of alleged harassment, if a determination is made that harassment did not occur, the Compliance Officer will so notify the complainant, the alleged offender and the Superintendent of this determination. Such a finding does not preclude the complainant from filing an appeal pursuant to District policy or regulation and/or pursuing other legal avenues of recourse.
However, even if a determination is made that harassment did not occur, the Superintendent/designee reserves the right to initiate staff awareness and training, as applicable, to help ensure that the school community is not conducive to fostering harassment in the workplace.
In all cases, the Superintendent will inform the Board of Education of the results of each investigation involving a finding that sexual harassment did not occur.

Knowingly Makes False Accusations
Employees and/or students who knowingly make false accusations against another individual as to allegations of harassment may also face appropriate disciplinary action.

Privacy Rights
As part of the investigation, the District has the right to search all school property and equipment including District computers. Although rooms, desks, cabinets, lockers, computers, etc. are provided by the District for the use of staff and students, the users do not have exclusive use of these locations or equipment and should not expect that materials stored therein will be private.

Development and Dissemination of Administrative Regulations
Regulations will be developed for reporting, investigating and remedying allegations of sexual harassment. An appeal procedure will also be provided to address any unresolved complaints and/or unsatisfactory prior determinations by the applicable Compliance Officer(s).
The Superintendent/designee(s) will affirmatively discuss the topic of sexual harassment with all employees and students, express the District’s condemnation of such conduct, and explain the sanctions for such harassment. Appropriate training and/or “awareness” programs will be established for staff and students to help ensure knowledge of and familiarity with the issues pertaining to sexual harassment in the schools, and to disseminate preventative measures to help reduce such incidents of prohibited conduct. Furthermore, special training will be provided for designated supervisors and managerial employees, as may be necessary, for training in the investigation of sexual harassment complaints.
A copy of this policy and its accompanying regulations will be available upon request and may be posted at various locations in each school building. The District’s policy and regulations on sexual harassment will be published in appropriate school publications such as teacher/employee handbooks, student handbooks, and/or school calendars.

Civil Rights Act of 1991, 42 United States Code (USC) Section 1981(a)
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 United States Code (USC) Section 2000e et seq.
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 United States Code (USC) Section 1681 et seq.
34 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Section 100 et seq.
29 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Section 1604.11(a)
Civil Service Law Section 75-B
Education Law Section 2801(1)
Executive Law Sections 296 and 297
Adopted:  6/1/05; Revised:   8/23/12

[Back to Top]

Bullying: Peer Abuse in the Schools (Policy 7552)

The Board of Education is committed to providing a safe and productive learning environment within its schools. Bullying of a student by another student is strictly prohibited on school property, in school buildings, on school buses, and at school sponsored events and/or activities whether occurring on or off campus. The Board of Education shall require the prohibition of bullying – along with the range of possible intervention activities and/or sanctions for such misconduct – to be included in the District Code of Conduct for all grade levels.
For the purposes of this policy and its implementation, “bullying” is defined as the repeated intimidation of others by the real or threatened infliction of physical, verbal, written, electronically transmitted, or emotional abuse, or through attacks on the property of another that takes place on school property, at any school-sponsored function, on a school bus, or that takes place off school grounds but is designed to or has the effect of interfering with one’s ability to be educated in a safe, non-hostile environment.
Bullying can take three forms:
a) Physical (including, but not limited to, hitting, kicking, spitting, pushing, taking personal belongings);
b) Verbal (including, but not limited to, taunting, malicious teasing, name calling, making threats); and
c) Psychological (including, but not limited to, spreading rumors; manipulating social relationships; or engaging in social exclusion, extortion, or intimidation).
As with other forms of bullying, cyber-bullying is an attempt to display power and control over someone perceived as weaker. Cyber-bullying involving District students may occur both on campus and off school grounds and may involve student use of the District Internet system or student use of personal digital devices, such as cell phones, digital cameras, and personal computers to engage in bullying.
Cyber-bullying includes, but is not limited to, the following misuses of technology: harassing, teasing, intimidating, threatening, or terrorizing another student by way of any technological tool, such as sending or posting inappropriate or derogatory e-mail messages, instant messages, text messages, digital pictures or images, or Web site postings (including blogs).
Cyber-bullying has the effect of:
a) Physically, emotionally or mentally harming a student;
b) Placing a student in reasonable fear of physical, emotional or mental harm;
c) Placing a student in reasonable fear of damage to or loss of personal property; and
d) Creating an intimidating or hostile environment that substantially interferes with a student’s educational opportunities.
Also, cyber-bullying that occurs off-campus, that causes or threatens to cause a material or substantial disruption in the school, could allow school officials to apply the “Tinker standard” where a student’s off-campus “speech” may be subject to formal discipline by school officials when it is determined that the off-campus speech did cause a substantial disruption or threat thereof within the school setting [Tinker v. Des Moines Indep. Sch. Dist. 393 U.S. 503 (1969)]. Such conduct could also be subject to appropriate disciplinary action in accordance with the District Code of Conduct and possible referral to local law enforcement authorities.

Reports of Allegations of Bullying/Cyber-bullying Behavior
Any student who believes that he/she is being subjected to bullying/cyber-bullying behavior, as well as any other person who has knowledge of or witnesses any possible occurrence of bullying/cyber-bullying, shall report the behavior to any staff member or the Building Principal. The staff member/Building Principal to whom the report is made (or the staff member/Building Principal who witnesses bullying/cyber-bullying behavior) shall investigate the complaint and take appropriate action to include, as necessary, referral to the next level of supervisory authority and/or other official designated by the District to investigate allegations of bullying/cyber-bullying. Investigation of allegations of bullying/cyber-bullying shall follow the procedures utilized for complaints of harassment within the School District. Allegations of bullying/cyber-bullying shall be promptly investigated and will be treated as confidential and private to the extent possible within legal constraints.

Prevention and Intervention
Personnel at all levels are responsible for taking corrective action to prevent bullying/cyber-bullying behavior of which they have been made aware at School District sites or activities and/or reporting such behavior to their immediate supervisor. Further, staff training shall be provided to raise awareness of the problem of bullying/cyber-bullying within the schools and to facilitate staff identification of and response to such bullying/cyber-bullying behavior among students.
Prevention and intervention techniques within the District to prevent against bullying/cyber-bullying behavior and to support and protect victims shall include building-level and classroom-level strategies and activities as determined by administration. Individual intervention will be provided by appropriate staff members to bullies, victims and their parents to help ensure that the bullying/cyber-bullying stops.
Prohibition of Retaliatory Behavior (Commonly Known as “Whistle-Blower” Protection)
The Board prohibits any retaliatory behavior directed against complainants, victims, witnesses, and/or any other individuals who participate in the investigation of allegations of bullying/cyber-bullying. Follow-up inquiries and/or appropriate monitoring of the alleged bully and victim shall be made to ensure that bullying/cyber-bullying behavior has not resumed and that all those involved in the investigation have not suffered retaliation.

Civil Service Law Section 75-b
NOTE: Refer also to Policies    #3000 — Code of Conduct on School Property
#3420 — Anti-Harassment in the School District
#7000 — Sexual Harassment of Students
#7000 — Hazing of Students
District Code of Conduct
Adopted:  7/7/10

[Back to Top]

Notification of Sex Offenders (Policy 7560)

In accordance with the Sex Offender Registration Act (“Megan’s Law”), the Board of Education supports the New York State Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) in its effort to inform the community in certain circumstances of the presence of individuals with a history of sex offenses, particularly against children, in the school locality.  This policy is enacted in order to minimize the possibility that the sex offender will come in contact with school-age children, and to assist law enforcement agencies in preventing further criminal activity from occurring.  Furthermore, the District shall cooperate with local police authorities and the local community in promoting and protecting the safety and well being of its students.
It is the policy of the Board of Education to disseminate all information which the District receives from local police authorities in conjunction with Megan’s Law to designated staff members who might have possible contact with the offender during the course of their school duties including, but not limited to, building principals, supervisors, teachers, office personnel, coaches, custodians, bus drivers, and security personnel.  The Superintendent reserves the right to automatically disseminate such information to additional members of the staff, designated supervisors of non-school groups that regularly use District facilities and have children in attendance, parents/guardians of District students, and other community residents who, in the opinion of the Superintendent, have an immediate need to be notified of such data in order to protect the safety of our students.
All staff members shall be informed of the availability of the information received by the District pursuant to Megan’s Law upon written request to the applicable building principal/designee or supervisor.  Community residents shall be notified of the availability of this information, with written requests directed to the District Office.
Staff members shall inform their immediate supervisor if they observe within the school building, on school grounds, at school activities, or at or near bus routes any individual whose description matches the information which was provided to the District by local law enforcement authorities.  Such law enforcement officials will be notified of this information by the District as appropriate.
Information that is disseminated to the School District pursuant to Megan’s Law may be disclosed or not disclosed by the District in its discretion.  Any information which the School District receives regarding a sex offender from a source other than the Sex Offender Registry, and which is maintained independent of the requirements of Megan’s Law, will be available from the District, upon written request, in accordance with the requirements of the Freedom of Information Law.

Implementation
Once notification is received from the Sheriff’s Office, information will be sent to the entire District.  At the beginning of each school year, notification will be sent to the entire District again.
Correction Law Article 6-, Public Officers Law Section 84 et seq.
Adopted:  6/1/05

[Back to Top]

Supervision of Students (Policy 7570)

Students working on any activity must be supervised by the teacher or staff member in charge of the activity.  This applies to all in school and extracurricular activities as well as sports activities and events.  Permission to hold practices or meetings must not be granted unless a teacher or staff member is definitely in charge. 
a) District personnel will be fully responsible for the supervision of all students in either their class or their after school activities.
b) Coaches will maintain supervision over the dressing rooms by personally being present during the dressing periods.  Coaches are responsible for the supervision of their athletes at the end of practice.  This may entail bus duty, or making sure students have transportation home.
c) Teachers and/or assigned school personnel in the elementary grades will be responsible for the playground supervision of all the children under their jurisdiction during the recess periods and before the regular afternoon sessions.  The principal will distribute the responsibility so that the playground situation will be properly controlled.
d) Students are not to be sent on any type of errand away from the building without the consent of the principal.
NOTE: Refer also to Policy #5730 — Transportation of Students:  Transportation to School Sponsored Events
Adopted:  6/1/05

[Back to Top]

Safe Public School Choice Option to Students who are Victims of a Violent Criminal Offense (Policy 7580)

Any District student who is a victim of a violent criminal offense, as defined pursuant to Education Law and Commissioner’s Regulations, that occurred on the grounds of the District elementary or secondary school that the student attends, shall be allowed to attend a safe public school within the School District to the extent required by the federal No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) and state law and regulations.
In accordance with Commissioner’s Regulations, a “safe public school shall mean a public school that has not been designated by the Commissioner [of Education] as a persistently dangerous public elementary or secondary school.”

Violent Criminal Offense
The superintendent shall determine if the student has been the victim of a “violent criminal offense.”  “Violent criminal offense” means a crime that:
a) Involves infliction of a serious physical injury upon another as defined in New York State Penal Law Section 10.00(10); or
b) A sex offense that involves forcible compulsion; or
c) Any other offense defined in State Penal Law Section 10.00(12) that involves the use or threatened use of a deadly weapon.

Determination Whether Student is a Victim
Procedures shall be established for determination by the Superintendent of whether a student is a victim of a violent criminal offense that occurred on school grounds of the school the student attends. The Superintendent shall, prior to making any such determination, consult with any law enforcement agency investigating the alleged violent criminal incident and consider any reports or records provided by such agency. However, a criminal conviction is not required prior to the Superintendent’s determination that a student has been a victim of a violent criminal offense.  The Superintendent may also consult with the School District’s attorney prior to making such determination.
The Superintendent’s determination may be appealed to the Board of Education. However, this determination will not preclude any student disciplinary proceeding brought against the alleged victim or perpetrator of such violent criminal offense.

Notice to Parents/Persons in Parental Relation
A school district that is required to provide school choice in accordance with applicable provisions of the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, Education Law and Commissioner’s Regulations, shall establish procedures for notification of parents of, or persons in parental relation to, students who are victims of violent criminal offenses of their right to transfer to a safe public school within the district and procedures for such transfer. Such notice shall be, to the extent practicable, provided in the dominant language or mode of communication used by the parents or persons in parental relation to such student. The School District shall so notify the parents of, or persons in parental relation to, such student within twenty-four (24) hours of the determination that the student has been the victim of a violent criminal offense on school grounds at the school he/she attends.
Written notice shall be provided by personal delivery, express mail delivery, or equivalent means reasonably calculated to assure receipt of such notice within twenty-four (24) hours of such determination at the last known address or addresses of the parents/persons in parental relation to the student. Where possible, notification shall also be provided by telephone if the school has been provided with a telephone number(s) for the purpose of contacting parents/persons in parental relation.
However, such notification shall not be required where there are no other public schools within the District at the same grade level or a transfer to a safe public school within the School District is otherwise impossible.  Similarly, procedures for such notification of parents/persons in parental relation to students who are victims of violent criminal offenses shall not be required where the School District has only one public school within the District or only one public school at each grade level.

Designation of Safe Public School
It shall be the responsibility of the School District, based on objective criteria, to designate a safe public school or schools within the District to which students may transfer.  However, the District is not required to designate a safe public school where there are no other public schools within the District at the same grade level or transfer to a safe public school within the District is otherwise impossible.  Similarly, if the District has only one public school within the School System or only one public school at each grade level, the School District shall not be required to designate a safe public school.
Any student who transfers to a safe public school, in accordance with the provisions of this policy and applicable law and regulation, shall be enrolled in the classes and other activities of the public school to which such student transfers in the same manner as all other students at the public school.  The receiving school shall be identified by the District and must be at the same grade level as the school from which the student is transferring. To the extent possible the School District shall allow transferring students to transfer to a school that is making adequate yearly progress and has not been identified as requiring school improvement, corrective action, or restructuring. The District shall provide transportation for any student permitted to transfer to the safe public school within the District designated by the School System within the transportation limits established pursuant to Education Law Sections 3635 and 4401(4). Any student who transfers to a safe public school shall be permitted to remain in such safe public school until the student has completed the highest grade level in the school transferred to, or for such other period prescribed by the U.S. Department of Education, whichever is less.
While the parents/persons in parental relation to the student must be offered the opportunity to transfer their child, they may elect to have the child remain at the school he/she currently attends.

Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965,
Section 9532, as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001
Education Law Section 2802(7)
8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations
(NYCRR) Section 120.5
Adopted:  6/1/05

[Back to Top]

Special Education:  District Plan (Policy 7610)

A District plan shall be developed and updated every two (2) years describing the Special Education program in the Schoharie Central School District.  The District plan shall include the following:
a) A description of the nature and scope of special education programs and services currently available to students residing in the District, including but not limited to descriptions of the District’s resource room programs and each special class program provided by the District in terms of group size and composition.
b) Identification of the number and age span of students (school age and preschool) to be served by type of disability and recommended setting.
c) The method to be used to evaluate the extent to which the objectives of the program have been achieved.
d) A description of the policies and practices of the Board of Education to ensure the allocation of appropriate space within the District for special education programs that meet the needs of students and preschool children with disabilities. 
e) A description of the policies and practices of the Board of Education to ensure that appropriate space will be continually available to meet the needs of resident students and preschool students with disabilities who attend special education programs provided by Boards of Cooperative Educational Services.
f) A description of how the District intends to ensure that all instructional materials to be used in the schools of the District will be made available in a usable alternative format for each student with a disability at the same time as such instructional materials are available to non-disabled students.
g) The estimated budget to support such plan.
h) The date on which such plan was adopted by the Board of Education.
i) A description of how the District plan is consistent with the special education space requirements plan for the region as developed by the Board of Cooperative Educational Services.
The District plan, with personally identifiable student information deleted, shall be filed and available for public inspection and review by the Commissioner.

8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations
(NYCRR) Part 155 and Section 200.2(c)
Adopted:  7/27/05

[Back to Top]

Children with Disabilities (Policy 7611)

The Board of Education recognizes the existence of individual differences in the intellectual, social, emotional and physical development of children attending school in the District.  In recognizing these differences the Board supports a system of services offered in the least restrictive environment for children with disabilities which includes: 
a) Education in regular classes with or without support services, education in a resource room, education for part of the day in a special class, full time education in a special class, home instruction and education in a residential setting. 
b) Providing for the education of students with disabilities with non-disabled peers to the extent appropriate. 
c) Consideration of the location of a school program(s) to a student’s residence, before placement into an educational program.
d) Adoption of written policies and procedures ensuring that students with disabilities are provided appropriate opportunities to earn a high school diploma in accordance with Commissioner’s Regulations. 
e) Allocation of appropriate space within the District for special education programs that meet the needs of students with disabilities.
f) Assurance that appropriate space will be available to meet the needs of resident students with disabilities who attend special education programs provided by BOCES.

20 United States Code (USC) Sections 1400-1485,
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
State Law – Education Law Sections 4401-4407
8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations
(NYCRR) Sections 100.5 and .9, 200.2(b)(3) and (c)(2)(v), and 200.6(a)(1)
NOTE: Refer also to Policy #7615 — Least Restrictive Environment
Adopted:  7/27/05

[Back to Top]

Grouping by Similarity of Needs (Policy 7612)

The Board of Education will provide appropriate special education and related services to students with disabilities. For those students for whom an appropriate education requires that they be placed together for purposes of special education, the following guidelines shall apply:
a) That each student with a disability shall be identified, evaluated and placed as determined by the Committee on Special Education (CSE).
b) The Committee shall determine written goals and corresponding short-term instructional objectives for each student with a disability by considering the special and individual needs of each student with a disability.
c) The Committee shall recommend to the Board of Education appropriate educational programs and services for each student with a disability based upon the CSE evaluation.
d) The CSE shall provide information to those teachers and professionals who arrange instructional groups for students with disabilities. Information shall include physical, psychological and social information as well as achievement test results.
e) The curriculum and instruction provided to students with disabilities who are grouped by similarity of needs shall be consistent with the individual needs of each student in the group.
f) Students with disabilities may be grouped according to:
1. Academic achievement, functional performance and learning characteristics;
2. Social needs;
3. Physical development; and
4. Management needs.
g) When grouping students by similarity of needs, the social needs or physical development of a student shall not be the sole determinant for placement of a student in a special education program.
h) The management needs of such students may vary, provided that environmental modifications, adaptations, or human or material resources required to meet the needs of any one student in the group are provided and do not consistently detract from the opportunities of other students in the group to benefit from instruction.

8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR)
Sections 200.2(b)(3) and 200.6(a)(3)
Adopted:  7/27/05
Revised:  8/9/06

[Back to Top]

The Role of the Board in Implementing a Student’s Individualized Education Program (Policy 7613)

The Board of Education shall establish at least one Committee on Special Education (CSE) and one Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE). The Board shall also establish, as necessary, Subcommittees on Special Education to ensure timely evaluation and placement of students with disabilities.
Committee on Special Education
The Board of Education shall, upon completion of its review of the recommendations of the CSE, arrange for the appropriate special education programs and services to be provided to a student with a disability. The Board shall notify the parent/guardian of its action in accordance with federal and state law and regulations.
For a student not previously identified as having a disability, the CSE shall provide a recommendation to the Board which shall arrange for the appropriate special education programs and services to be provided within sixty (60) school days of the date of receipt of consent to evaluate. For a student with a disability referred for review, a recommendation shall be provided to the Board which shall arrange for the appropriate special education programs and services to be provided within sixty (60) school days of the referral for review. However, if such recommendation of the CSE is for placement in an approved in-state or out-of-state private school, the Board shall arrange for such special education programs and services for students with disabilities within thirty (30) days of the Board’s receipt of the recommendation of the CSE.
If on review of the recommendation of the CSE, the Board of Education disagrees with such recommendation, the Board shall follow one of the following procedures:
a) The Board may remand the recommendation to the CSE with a statement of the Board’s objections or concerns and a request that a timely meeting be held to review and consider such objections or concerns. The CSE shall consider the Board’s objections or concerns, revise the individualized education program (IEP) where appropriate, and resubmit a recommendation to the Board. If the Board continues to disagree with the recommendation of the CSE, the Board may continue to remand the recommendation to the original committee for additional reviews of its objections or concerns, or establish a second CSE to develop a new recommendation in accordance with the following paragraph, provided that the Board arranges for the programs and services in accordance with the student’s IEP within the timelines as outlined above; or, in the alternative,
b) The Board may establish a second CSE to develop a new recommendation for the student. If the Board disagrees with such new recommendation, the Board may remand the recommendation to the second CSE with a statement of the Board’s objections or concerns and a request  that  a  timely  meeting  be held to  review  and  consider  such  objections orconcerns. The second CSE shall consider the Board’s objections or concerns, revise the IEP where appropriate, and resubmit a recommendation to the Board. If the Board continues to disagree with the recommendation of the second CSE, the Board may continue to remand the recommendation for additional reviews of its objections or concerns by the second CSE, provided that the Board arranges for the programs and services in accordance with the student’s IEP, as developed by the second CSE, within the timelines as outlined above.
Pursuant to Commissioner’s Regulations, the Board may not select the recommendation of the original CSE once it has established a second CSE.
The Board shall provide the student’s parents/guardians with written notice and a copy of the statement of its objections or concerns and notice of due process rights in accordance with Section 200.5 of the Regulations of the Commissioner.
Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE)
Upon receipt of the recommendation of the Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE), the Board of Education shall arrange for the preschool student with a disability to receive such appropriate programs and services in accordance with the student’s IEP, commencing with the July, September or January starting date for the approved program, unless such services are recommended by the CPSE less than thirty (30) school days prior to, or after, the appropriate starting date selected for the preschool student with a disability; in that case, such services shall be provided no later than thirty (30) days from the recommendation of the CPSE.
If the Board disagrees with the recommendation of the CPSE, the Board shall send the recommendation back to the CPSE with notice of the need to schedule a timely meeting to review the Board’s concerns and to revise the IEP as deemed appropriate. The Board of Education shall provide such notice as required by federal and state law and regulations.

Subcommittee on Special Education
The number of Subcommittees on Special Education will be determined by the CSE and the CSE will be responsible for the oversight and monitoring of the activities of each subcommittee to assure compliance with the requirements of applicable state and federal laws and regulations.
Each Subcommittee may perform the functions for which the CSE is responsible, except:
a) When a student is considered for initial placement in a special class; or
b) When a student is considered for initial placement in a special class outside of the student’s school of attendance; or
c) When a student is considered for placements in a school primarily serving students with disabilities or a school outside the District.
Subcommittees shall report annually to the CSE regarding the status of each student with a disability within its jurisdiction. Upon receipt of a written request from the parent or person in parental relation to a student, the Subcommittee shall refer to the CSE any matter in which the parent disagrees with the Subcommittee’s recommendation concerning a modification or change in the identification, evaluation, educational placement or provision of a free appropriate education to the student.

Education Law Sections 4402 and 4410
8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR)
Sections 200.2(d)(1), 200.4(c), 200.4(d), 200.5 and 200.16(e)
NOTE: Refer also to Policies  #7631 — Appointment and Training of Committee on Special Education (CSE)/Subcommittee on Special Education Members
 #7632 — Appointment and Training of Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE) Members
Adopted:  7/27/05
Revised:  8/9/06

[Back to Top]

Preschool Special Education Program (Policy 7614)

The Board recognizes the need for educational programs for three (3) and four (4) year old children with disabilities and directs that administrative practices and procedures be developed to:
a) Ensure the provision of special education services and programs for each preschool child with a disability residing in the District.
b) Establish a Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE) which shall be comprised in accordance with applicable federal and state law and regulation.
c) Ensure that parents have received and understand the request for consent for evaluation and re-evaluation of a preschool aged child.

Education Law Section 4410
20 United States Code (USC) Sections 1400-1485,
Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations
(NYCRR) Section 200.2(b)(5)
NOTE: Refer also to Policy #7632 — Appointment and Training of Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE) Members
Adopted:  7/27/05

[Back to Top]

Least Restrictive Environment (Policy 7615)

Least restrictive environment means that placement of students with disabilities in special classes, separate schools or other removal from the regular educational environment occurs only when the nature or severity of the disability is such that even with use of supplementary aids and services, education in regular classes cannot be satisfactorily achieved. The placement of an individual student with a disability in the least restrictive environment shall:
a) Provide the special education and related services, as well as supplementary aids and services, needed by the student. The term “related services” does not include a medical device that is implanted, or the replacement of such device;
b) Provide for education of the student to the maximum extent appropriate to the needs of the student with other students who do not have disabilities; and
c) Be as close as possible to the student’s home.

The District has an obligation, pursuant to law and regulation, to educate students with disabilities in the least restrictive environment. The School District shall ensure that:
a) Each student with a disability shall be educated with nondisabled students to the maximum extent appropriate;
b) Each student with a disability shall be removed from the regular educational environment only when the nature or severity of the student’s disability is such that education in regular classes with the use of supplementary aids and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily; and
c) To the maximum extent appropriate to the student’s needs, each student with a disability shall participate with nondisabled students in nonacademic and extracurricular services and activities.
The District shall ensure that a continuum of alternative placements, in accordance with law and/or regulation, will be available to meet the needs of students with disabilities for special education and related services. To enable students with disabilities to be educated with nondisabled students to the maximum extent appropriate, specially designed instruction and supplementary services may be provided in the regular class. Such services may include, but are not limited to, consultant teacher services and other group or individual supplemental or direct special education instruction.

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
20 United States Code (USC) Section 1400 et seq.
34 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 300
Education Law Sections 4401-4410-a
8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Sections 100.5, 100.9, 200.1(cc), 200.1(qq), 200.2(b), 200.4 and 200.6
Adopted:  7/27/05; Revised:  8/9/06

[Back to Top]

Prereferral Intervention Strategies (Policy 7616)

The District will implement school-wide approaches and prereferral interventions in order to remediate a student’s performance within the general education setting prior to referral to the Committee on Special Education (CSE) for special education. The determination of prevention and prereferral intervention strategies or services will take into consideration the student’s strengths, environment, social history, language, and cultural diversity, in addition to the teacher’s concerns. The District may also provide a Response to Intervention (RtI) program to eligible students that is developed in accordance with Commissioner’s regulations as part of its school-wide approach to improve a student’s academic performance prior to a referral for special education.
The provision of programs and/or services for students starts with consideration and implementation of instruction in the general education curriculum, with appropriate supports, or modifications as may be necessary. In implementing prereferral intervention strategies, the District may utilize resources or strategies already in place for qualified students including, but not limited to, services available through Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Academic Intervention Services (AIS) as defined in Education Law and/or Commissioner’s regulations. The District will ensure that there is a system in place, with qualified, appropriately certified personnel, for developing, implementing, and evaluating prereferral intervention strategies.
If a student is identified as needing additional instructional support, the District will establish formal Instructional Support Teams (ISTs) in accordance with law, regulations, and District guidelines, as may be applicable, to review information from the student’s work, screenings, and assessments. The IST will include representatives from general and special education as well as other disciplines and include individuals with classroom experience, who may then recommend which type of instructional support the student requires and the frequency with which he or she should receive these services or supports. The building administrator will further ensure that all staff are familiar with intervention procedures and procedures for operating an IST. Parents or persons in parental relation to students will be involved in developing prereferral strategies to address the educational needs of the child. Additionally, the District will seek collaboration between outside agencies and the school prior to a referral of the student to the CSE in order to address necessary student support services.
District administration will also ensure that opportunities exist for collaboration between general educators and special educators, and that consultation and support are available to teachers and other school personnel to assist parents or persons in parental relation to students and teachers in exploring alternative approaches for meeting the individual needs of any student prior to formal referral for special education.
Prereferral/Intervention Instructional Support Plans will be designed so as to set forth proactive strategies to meet the broad range of individual student needs and to improve student performance. Prereferral/Intervention strategies and/or Instructional Support Plans will be reviewed and evaluated to determine their effectiveness and modified as appropriate. Appropriate documentation of the prevention and/or intervention strategies implemented will be maintained.
If a referral is made to the CSE during the course of implementing prereferral/intervention instructional support services, the CSE is obligated to fulfill its duties and functions, and must meet mandatory time lines in evaluating the student for special education services and implementation of an individualized education program (IEP), if applicable.

Academic Intervention Services
The Board will provide to students at risk of not achieving state standards with AIS. AIS means additional instruction which supplements the instruction provided in the general education curriculum and assists students in meeting those state learning standards as defined in Commissioner’s regulations and/or student support services which may include guidance, counseling, attendance, and study skills which are needed to support improved academic performance. The District will identify students to receive AIS through a two-step identification process set forth in Commissioner’s regulations.
The District will provide AIS to students who are limited English proficient (LEP) and are determined, through uniformly applied District-developed procedures, to be at risk of not achieving state learning standards in English language arts, mathematics, social studies and/or science, through English or the student’s native language.
The District has developed a description of the AIS offered to grades K through 12 students in need of these services. The description includes any variations in services in schools within the District and specifically sets forth:
a) The District-wide procedure(s) used to determine the need for AIS;
b) Academic intervention instructional and/or student support services to be provided;
c) Whether instructional services and/or student support services are offered during the regular school day or during an extended school day or year; and
d) The criteria for ending services, including, if appropriate, performance levels that students must obtain on District-selected assessments.
The District will review and revise this description every two years based on student performance results.

Parental Notification
a) Commencement of Services:  Parents or persons in parental relation to a student who has been determined to need AIS will be notified in writing by the building principal. This notice will be provided in English and translated into the parent’s native language or mode of communication, as necessary. The notice will also include a summary of the AIS to be provided to the student, why the student requires these services, and the consequences of not achieving expected performance levels.
b) Ending of AIS:  Parents or persons in parental relation will be notified in writing when AIS is no longer needed. This notice will be provided in English and translated to the parent’s native language or mode of communication, as necessary.
Parents will be provided with ongoing opportunities to consult with the student’s teachers and other professional staff providing AIS, receive reports on the student’s progress, and information on ways to work with their child to improve achievement.

§ 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 USC § 794 et seq.
Education Law §§ 3602, 4401, and 4401-a
8 NYCRR §§ 100.1(g), 100.1(p), 100.1(r), 100.1(s), 100.1(t), 100.2(v), 100.2(dd)(4), 100.2(ee),
  200.2(b)(7), 200.4(a)(2), 200.4(a)(9); 200.4(c), and Part 154
NOTE: Refer also to Policy #7212 — Response to Intervention (RtI) Process
Adopted: 7/27/05
Revised: 8/9/06
Revised:    10/20/16

[Back to Top]

Declassification of Students with Disabilities (Policy 7617)

The School District shall establish and implement a plan for the appropriate declassification of students with disabilities which must include:
a) The regular consideration for declassifying students when appropriate;
b) A reevaluation of the student prior to declassification; and
c) The provision of educational and support services to the student upon declassification.

Eligibility Determinations
The School District must evaluate a student with a disability prior to determining that a student is no longer a student with a disability as defined in accordance with Commissioner’s Regulations, and the District shall provide a copy of the evaluation report and the documentation of eligibility to the student’s parent. The results of any reevaluations must be addressed by the Committee on Special Education (CSE) in a meeting to review and, as appropriate, revise the student’s IEP.
Prior to the reevaluation, the School District shall obtain informed written parental consent unless otherwise authorized pursuant to law and/or regulation. Parental consent need not be obtained if the District can demonstrate that it has taken reasonable measures to obtain that consent, and the student’s parents fail to respond. The District must have a record of its attempts to obtain parental consent. Should the student’s parents refuse consent for the reevaluation, the District may continue to pursue the reevaluation by using mediation and/or due process procedures.
The District shall take whatever action is necessary to ensure that the parent understands the proceedings at the meeting of the CSE, including arranging for an interpreter for parents with deafness or whose native language is other than English.

Graduation/Aging Out
The District is not required to conduct a reevaluation of a student before the termination of a student’s eligibility due to graduation with a local high school or Regents diploma or exceeding the age eligibility for a free appropriate public education. However, the District must provide the student with a summary (Student Exit Summary) of the student’s academic achievement and functional performance, including recommendations on how to assist the student in meeting his/her post secondary goals. Although not required to do so, the District will also provide this Student Exit Summary (www.vesid.nysed.gov/specialed/idea/studentexit.htm) to students exiting with a High School Equivalency Diploma.
In addition, the parent must receive prior written notice, in accordance with Commissioner’s Regulations, before the student’s graduation from high school with a local or Regents diploma or before he/she receives an Individualized Education Program (IEP) diploma. If the student will be graduating with an IEP diploma, this prior written notice must indicate that the student continues to be eligible for a free appropriate public education until the end of the school year in which the student turns twenty-one (21) or until receipt of a regular high school diploma.
Recommendation for Declassification
If the student has been receiving special education services, but it is determined by CSE that the student no longer needs special education services and can be placed in a regular educational program on a full-time basis, the recommendation shall:
a) Identify the declassification support services, if any, to be provided to the student; and/or the student’s teachers; and
b) Indicate the projected date of initiation of such services, the frequency of provision of such services, and the duration of these services, provided that such services shall not continue for more than one (1) year after the student enters the full-time regular education program.

Declassification Support Services
When appropriate, the District shall provide declassification support services to students who have moved from special education to a full-time regular educational program in accordance with the recommendation of the CSE.
Declassification support services means those services provided by persons appropriately certified pursuant to Part 80 of Commissioner’s Regulations, or holding a valid teaching license in the appropriate area of service, to a student or the student’s teacher to aid in the student’s move from special education to full-time regular education, including:
a) For the student, psychological services, social work services, speech and language improvement services, noncareer counseling, and other appropriate support services; and
b) For the student’s teacher, the assistance of a teacher aide or a teaching assistant, and consultation with appropriate personnel.

Procedural Safeguards Notice
The District shall use the procedural safeguards notice prescribed by the Commissioner of Education. The District will further ensure that the procedural safeguards notice is provided in the native language  of the parent or other mode of  communication used by the parent, unless it is  clearly
not feasible to do so. If the native language or other mode of communication of the parent is not a written language, the District shall take steps to ensure that the notice is translated orally or by other means to the parent in his/her native language or other mode of communication; that the parent understands the content of the notice; and that there is written evidence that all due process procedures, pursuant to law and/or regulation, have been met.

Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 [Public Law 108-446 Section 614(a)]
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
20 United States Code (USC) Section 1400 et seq.
34 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 300
Education Law Sections 4401-4410-a
8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR)
Sections 100.1(q), 100.2(u), 200.2(b)(8), 200.4(b)(4), 200.4(b)(5), 200.4(c)(3), 200.4(c)(4), 200.4(d)(1) and 200.5(a)
NOTE: Refer also to Policy #7641 — Transition Services
Adopted:  7/27/05
Revised:  8/9/06

[Back to Top]

Students with Disabilities Participating in School District Programs (Policy 7620)

All students with disabilities residing in the District, including those of preschool age, shall be provided with full access and opportunity to participate in School District programs, including extracurricular programs and activities, that are available to all other students enrolled in the public schools of the District. Parents/guardians of students with disabilities, including those students placed in out-of-District programs, shall receive timely notice of such District programs and activities.

8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations
(NYCRR) Section 200.2(b)(1) and (2)
Adopted:  7/27/05

[Back to Top]

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Policy 7621)

The Board of Education affirms its compliance with those sections of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 dealing with program accessibility. 
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act prohibits discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities in federally assisted programs or activities solely on the basis of disability.  The District shall make its program and facilities accessible to all its students with disabilities.   
The District shall also identify, evaluate and extend to every qualified student with a disability under Section 504 a free, appropriate public education, including modifications, accommodations, specialized instruction or related aids and services, as deemed necessary to meet their educational needs as adequately as the needs of non-disabled students are met.
The District official responsible for coordination of activities relating to compliance with Section 504 is the Superintendent of Schools.  This official shall provide information, including complaint procedures, to any person who feels his/her rights under Section 504 have been violated by the District or its officials. 

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973,
29 United States Code (USC) Section 794 et seq.
NOTE: Refer also to Policy #7550 — Complaints and Grievances by Students
Adopted:  7/27/05

[Back to Top]

Appointment and Training of Committee on Special Education (CSE)/ Subcommittee on Special Education Members (Policy 7631)

Committee on Special Education (CSE) Membership
The Board of Education shall appoint a Committee on Special Education (CSE) whose membership shall include, but not be limited to, the following members:
a) The parent(s) of the student. To ensure that one or both parents are present at each CSE meeting, the District and the parent(s) may agree to use alternative means of participation such as videoconferences or conference phone calls.
b) Not less than one (1) regular education teacher of such student (if the student is, or may be, participating in the regular education environment);
c) Not less than one (1) special education teacher of the student, or, where appropriate, at least one (1) special education provider (i.e., related service provider) of such student;
d) A representative of the School District who is qualified to provide or administer or supervise special education and who is knowledgeable about the general education curriculum and about the availability of resources of the District;
e) An individual who can interpret the instructional implications of evaluation results, who may be a CSE member selected from the regular education teacher, the special education teacher or provider, the school psychologist, or the School District representative described above, or a person having knowledge or special expertise regarding the student as determined by the District;
f) At the discretion of the parent or the District, other individuals who have knowledge or special expertise regarding the student, including related services personnel as appropriate. The determination of knowledge or special expertise shall be made by the party (parents or School District) who invited the individual to be a member of the committee;
g) Whenever appropriate, the student with a disability;
h) A school psychologist;
i) A school physician, if requested in writing at least seventy-two (72) hours prior to the meeting by the parents of the student or the School District; and
j) An additional parent residing in the District or a neighboring school district who is a parent of a student with a disability, a parent of a student who has been declassified and is no longer eligible for an individualized education program (IEP), or a parent of a disabled child who has graduated. This parent member may serve for a period of five years beyond the student’s declassification or graduation, provided that the parent shall not be employed by or under contract with the School District. Such parent is not a required member if the parents of the student request, in writing, that the additional parent member not participate in the meeting.

Subcommittee on Special Education Membership
The Board of Education shall appoint, as necessary, a Subcommittee on Special Education whose membership shall include, but not be limited to, the following members:
a) The parent(s) of the student;
b) Not less than one (1) regular education teacher of such student (if the student is, or may be, participating in the regular education environment);
c) Not less than one (1) special education teacher, of the student, or where appropriate, at least one (1) special education provider (i.e., related service provider) of such student;
d) A representative of the School District who is qualified to provide or administer or supervise special education and who is knowledgeable about the general education curriculum and about the availability of resources of the District;
e) A school psychologist, whenever a new psychological evaluation is reviewed or a change to a program option with a more intensive staff/student ratio, as set forth in Section 200.6(f)(4) of the Regulations of the Commissioner, is considered;
f) At the discretion of the parent or the Committee, other individuals who have knowledge or special expertise regarding the student, including related services personnel as appropriate. The determination of knowledge or special expertise shall be made by the party (parents or School District) who invited the individual to be a member of the subcommittee;
g) An individual who can interpret the instructional implications of evaluation results, who may be a member described in letters “b” through “f” of this subheading; and
h) Whenever appropriate, the student with a disability.

Training
The training of qualified personnel is essential to the effective implementation of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education regarding the education of all students with disabilities.
The Director of Special Education shall be responsible to the Superintendent for establishing administrative practices and procedures for training all District personnel responsible for carrying out the provisions of Part 200 of the Commissioner’s Regulations as well as members of the Committee on Special Education.

Alternative Means of Meeting
When conducting a meeting of the CSE, the parent and the representative of the District appointed to the CSE may agree to use alternative means of meeting participation, such as videoconferences and conference calls.

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
20 United States Code (USC) Section 1400 et seq.
34 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 300
Education Law Section 4402
8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR)
Sections 200.2(b)(3), 200.3, and 200.4(d)(4)(i)(d)
NOTE: Refer also to Policies  #7613 — The Role of the Board in Implementing a Student’s
Individualized Education Program
#7632 — Appointment and Training of Committee on Preschool
Special Education Members
Adopted:  7/27/05
Revised:  8/9/06

[Back to Top]

Special Education (CPSE) Members (Policy 7632)

Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE) Membership
The Board of Education shall appoint a Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE) whose membership shall include, but not be limited to, the following members:
a) The parent(s) of the preschool child;
b) Not less than one (1) regular education teacher of such child (if the child is, or may be, participating in the regular education environment);
c) Not less than one (1) special education teacher of the child or, where appropriate, at least one (1) special education provider (i.e., related service provider) of such child;
d) A representative of the School District who is qualified to provide, or supervise the provision of, special education and who is knowledgeable about the general education curriculum and about the availability of preschool special education programs and services and other resources of the District and the municipality (who shall serve as Chairperson of the CPSE);
e) An individual who can interpret the instructional implications of evaluation results, who may be a member of the team selected from the regular education teacher, the special education teacher or provider, the school psychologist, the School District representative described above, or a person having knowledge or special expertise regarding the student as determined by the District;
f) At the discretion of the parent or the District, other individuals who have knowledge or special expertise regarding the child, including related services personnel as appropriate. The determination of knowledge or special expertise shall be made by the party (parents or School District) who invited the individual to be a member of the committee;
g) An additional parent of a child with a disability who resides in the School District or a neighboring school district, and whose child is enrolled in a preschool or elementary level education program provided that such parent shall not be employed by or under contract with the School District or municipality; and provided further that such parent shall not be a required member if the parents of the child request, in writing, that the additional parent member not participate in the meeting;
h) For a child’s transition from early intervention programs and services (Infant and Toddler Programs), the appropriately licensed or certified professional from the County Early Intervention Program. This professional must attend all meetings of the CPSE conducted prior to the child’s initial receipt of services; and
i) A representative from the municipality of the preschool child’s residence. Attendance of the appointee of the municipality is not required for a quorum.

Training
The training of qualified personnel is essential to the effective implementation of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education regarding the education of all students with disabilities.
The Director of Special Education shall be responsible to the Superintendent for establishing administrative practices and procedures for training all District personnel responsible for carrying out the provisions of Part 200 of the Commissioner’s Regulations as well as members of the Committee on Preschool Special Education.

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
20 United States Code (USC) Section 1400 et seq.
34 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 300
Education Law Section 4410
8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR)
Sections 200.2(b)(3) and 200.3
NOTE: Refer also to Policies  #7613 — The Role of the Board in Implementing a Student’s
   Individualized Education Program
#7614 — Preschool Special Education Program
#7631 — Committee on Special Education/Subcommittee on Special
Education Members
Adopted:  7/27/05
Revised:  8/9/06

[Back to Top]

Student Individualized Education Program (IEP): Development and Provision (Policy 7640)

Development of Individualized Education Program
The Board of Education directs that the Committee on Special Education (CSE) or Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE) shall have prepared a written statement (program) for each child with a disability.
Such an Individualized Education Program (IEP) will be developed by the CSE or CPSE upon referral, and reviewed or revised, whichever is appropriate, for every child with a disability at least annually or in the event that the program no longer appears to be appropriate to meet the student’s needs and ability level.
The District shall ensure that each student with a disability has an IEP in effect at the beginning of each school year.

Individual Evaluations
Unless a referral is withdrawn, an individual evaluation at no cost to the parent will be completed by the CSE/CPSE within sixty (60) calendar days of receiving written parental consent, unless:
a) A student enrolls in the District after sixty (60) days and prior to a determination by the student’s previous school district as to whether the student has a disability, but only if the new school district is making sufficient progress to ensure a prompt completion of the evaluation and the parent and the new district agree to a specific timeframe for completion; or
b) The parent or student repeatedly fails or refuses to produce the student for evaluation.
No student shall be required to obtain a prescription for a drug or other substance identified as a controlled substance by the federal Controlled Substances Act as a condition of receiving an evaluation.
The individual evaluation will include a variety of assessment tools and strategies, including information provided by the parent. The purpose of the evaluation is to gather relevant functional, developmental and academic information that may assist in determining whether the student is a student with a disability and the content of the student’s IEP. This shall include information relating to enabling the student to participate and progress in the general education curriculum (or for a preschool child, to participate in appropriate activities.)
As part of any evaluation, a group that includes the CSE/CPSE and other qualified professionals, as appropriate, shall review existing evaluation data on the student including evaluations and information provided by the parents of the student, current classroom-based assessments, local or state assessments, classroom-based observations, and observations by teachers and related services providers.

On the basis of that review, and input from the student’s parents, the group shall identify what additional data, if any, are needed to determine:
a) Whether the student has or continues to have a disability;
b) The present levels of academic achievement and related developmental needs of the student, including:
1. Academic achievement, functional performance, and learning characteristics;
2. Social development;
3. Physical development; and
4. Management needs.
c) In the case of a reevaluation of a student, whether the student continues to need special education; and
d) Whether any additions or modifications to the special education services are needed to enable the student to meet the measurable annual goals set out in the IEP of the student and to participate, as appropriate, in the general education curriculum.
If additional data are not needed, the District must notify the parents of that determination and the reasons for it and of the right of the parents to request an assessment to determine whether, for purposes of services provided in accordance with law and Commissioner’s Regulations, the student continues to be a student with a disability and to determine the student’s educational needs. The District is not required to conduct the assessment unless requested to do so by the student’s parents.

Individual Re-evaluations
A Committee on Special Education (CSE/CPSE) shall arrange for an appropriate re-evaluation of each student with a disability:
a) If the District determines that the educational or related services needs, including improved academic achievement and functional performance of the student warrant re-evaluation;
b) If the student’s parent or teacher request a re-evaluation;
c) At least once every three (3) years.
A re-evaluation shall not be conducted more frequently than once a year unless the parent and the District representative appointed to the CSE/CPSE agree otherwise.
The re-evaluation will be conducted by a multi-disciplinary team or group of persons, including at least one teacher or other specialist with knowledge in the area of the student’s disability. The re-evaluation shall be sufficient to determine the student’s individual needs, educational progress and achievement, the student’s ability to participate in instructional programs in regular education and the student’s continuing eligibility for special education. The results of any re-evaluations must be addressed by the CSE/CPSE in reviewing, and as appropriate, revising the student’s IEP.
To the extent possible, the District shall encourage the consolidation of re-evaluation meetings for the student and other CSE/CPSE meetings for the student.

Amendments to the IEP
Amendments to the IEP made after the annual review by the CSE may be made by rewriting the IEP or by developing a written document to amend or modify the student’s current IEP, provided that:
a) The parent receives a prior written notice of any changes to the IEP; and
b) The parent receives any documents that amend the IEP, or upon request, a revised copy of the entire IEP with the amendments incorporated.

Use of Recording Equipment at IEP Meetings
The Board of Education shall allow recording equipment to be used at meetings regarding individualized education programs for students with disabilities.

Provision of Individualized Education Program
The Board of Education directs that the Superintendent/designee(s) establish administrative practices and procedures to ensure that each regular education teacher, special education teacher, related service  provider and/or other service  provider who is responsible for the  implementation of a
student’s IEP is provided a paper or electronic copy of such student’s IEP (including amendments to the IEP) prior to the implementation of such program. For purposes of this policy, “other service provider” means a representative of another public school district, charter school, Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) or school enumerated in Articles 81, 85 or 89 of the Education Law where the student receives or will receive IEP services. Further, the District will designate at least one school official who shall be responsible for maintaining a record of the personnel who have received IEP copies for each student.
Any copy of a student’s IEP shall remain confidential in compliance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, and District policy regarding confidentiality of student records; and shall not be disclosed to any other person other than the parent of such student, except in accordance with federal and state laws and/or regulations. Appropriate training and information will be provided to designated school personnel, as applicable, to ensure the confidentiality of such information. Procedures will be established to ensure that copies of students’ IEPs are stored in secure locations and retrieved or destroyed when such professionals are no longer responsible for implementing a student’s IEP.
The Chairperson of the CSE, CSE subcommittee, or CPSE shall designate for each student one or, as appropriate, more than one professional employee of the School District with knowledge of the student’s disability and education program who will be responsible to, prior to the implementation of the IEP, inform each regular education teacher, special education teacher, related service provider, other service provider, supplementary school personnel (i.e., a teaching assistant or a teacher aide as defined in Commissioner’s Regulations), and other provider and support staff person of his/her responsibility to implement the recommendations on a student’s IEP, including the responsibility to provide specific accommodations, program modifications, supports and/or services for the student in accordance with the IEP. In selecting the professional staff person(s), the Chairperson could select him/herself for this responsibility, another administrator, or a teacher, related service provider or other professional based on the particular circumstances of the student’s disability and education program.
The School District shall also ensure that each teaching assistant, teacher aide and each other provider responsible for assisting in the implementation of a student’s IEP has the opportunity to review a copy of the student’s IEP (including amendments) prior to the implementation of such program. Further, each teaching assistant, teacher aide and such other provider responsible for assisting in the implementation of a student’s IEP shall have ongoing access to a copy of the IEP, which may be the copy provided to the student’s special education teacher or the teacher or related service provider under whose direction the supplementary school personnel or other provider works. However, the District may, at its discretion, provide a copy of the IEP to teaching assistants and/or teacher aides.
A copy of a student’s IEP shall be provided to the student’s parents at no cost to the student’s parents.

Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 [Public Law 108-446 Section 615(k)(l)]
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
20 United States Code (USC) Sections 1400 et seq.
21 United States Code (USC) 812(c)
Education Law Articles 81, 85 and 89
Education Law Sections 3208 and 4402(7)
8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR)
Sections 200.1(hh), 200.2(b)(11), 200.4(b)(4), 200.4(e)(3), 200.4(f) and 200.16(e)(6)
Adopted:  7/27/05
Revised:  8/9/06

[Back to Top]

Transition Services (Policy 7641)

Beginning not later than the first IEP to be in effect when the student is age 15 (and at a younger age, if determined appropriate), and updated annually, the student’s IEP must include:
a) A statement of the student’s needs taking into account the student’s strengths, preferences and interests as they relate to transition from school to post-school activities;
b) Appropriate measurable postsecondary goals based upon age appropriate transition assessments relating to training, education, employment and, where appropriate, independent living skills;
c) A statement of transition service needs that focuses on the student’s courses of study, such as participation in advanced-placement courses or a vocational educational program;
d) Needed activities to facilitate the student’s movement from school to post-school activities, including instruction, related services, community experiences, the development of employment and other post-school adult living objectives and, when appropriate, acquisition of daily living skills and functional vocational evaluation; and
e) A statement of the responsibilities of the District and participating agencies, when applicable, for the provision of such services and activities, before the student leaves the school setting, that promote movement from school to post-school opportunities.

As defined by the Commissioner’s Regulations, transition services means a coordinated set of activities for a student with a disability, designed within a results-oriented process that is focused on improving the academic and functional achievement of the child with a disability to facilitate movement from school to post-school activities. Post-school activities include, but are not limited to, post-secondary education, vocational training, integrated competitive employment (including supported employment), continuing and adult education, adult services, independent living, or community participation. The coordinated set of activities must be based on the individual student’s needs, taking into account the student’s strengths, preferences and interests and shall include needed activities in the following areas:
a) Instruction;
b) Related services (the term “related services” does not include a medical device that is implanted, or the replacement of such device);
c) Community experiences;
d) The development of employment and other post-school adult living objectives; and
e) When appropriate, acquisition of daily living skills and functional vocational evaluation.
Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 [Public Law 108-446 Section 614(a)]
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
20 United States Code (USC) Sections 1400 et seq.
34 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Sections 300.343, 300.347 and 300.348
Education Law Section 4401
8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR)
Sections 200.1(qq), 200.1(fff), 2004.(d)(2)(ix), and 200.5(c)(2)(vii)
NOTE: Refer also to Policy #7617 – Declassification of Students with Disabilities
Adopted:  7/27/05
Revised:  8/9/06

[Back to Top]

Twelve Month Special Services and/or Programs (Policy 7642)

The School District shall provide, directly or by contract, special services and/or programs during July and August to those students whose disabilities are severe enough to exhibit the need for a structured learning environment of twelve (12) months duration in order to prevent substantial regression as determined by the Committee on Special Education (CSE)/Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE). Written consent of the parent is required prior to initial provision of special education services in a twelve-month special service and/or program.
For students eligible for twelve (12) month service and/or program, the Individualized Education Program (IEP) shall indicate the identity of the provider of services during the months of July and August, and for preschool students determined by the CPSE to require a structured learning environment of twelve (12) months duration to prevent substantial regression, a statement of the reasons for such recommendation.

Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 [Public Law 108-446 Section 614(a)]
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
20 United States Code (USC) Sections 1400 et seq.
8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR)
Sections 200.1(qq), 200.4(d)(2)(x), 200.5(b)(1)(iii), 200.6(j) and 200.16(h)(3)(v)
Adopted:  7/27/05
Revised:  8/9/06

[Back to Top]

Transfer Students with Disabilities (Policy 7643)

To facilitate the transition of students with disabilities transferring into or out of the District the District shall:
a) As the district of origin take reasonable steps to promptly respond to all requests from the new school district.
b) As the new school district take reasonable steps to promptly obtain the student’s records from the previous school, including the Individualized Education Program (IEP), supporting documents and any other records relating to the provision of special education services.
c) Provide to a student with a disability (as defined in Section 200.1(zz) of Commissioner’s Regulations) who transfers school districts within the same academic year a free appropriate education including services comparable to those described in the student’s previous IEP.
1. For transfers within New York State, the previously held IEP will be followed in consultation with the parents until the District adopts the previously held IEP or develops, adopts and implements a new IEP consistent with federal and State law and regulation.
2. For transfers from outside New York State, in consultation with the parents the previously held IEP will be followed until the District conducts an evaluation and, if appropriate, develops a new IEP consistent with federal and State law and regulation.

Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 [Public Law 108-446 Section 614(a)]
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
20 United States Code (USC) Sections 1400 et seq.
8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR)
Sections 200.1(zz) and 200.4(e)(8)
Adopted:  2/15/06
Revised:  8/9/06

[Back to Top]

Identification and Register of Children with Disabilities (Child Find) (Policy 7650)

The School District is required to locate and identify all students with disabilities who reside in the District, including students who do not attend public school. Therefore, it is the policy of the Board of Education to conduct a census in order to have all children with disabilities within its jurisdiction under the age of twenty-one (21) identified, located and evaluated, including children of preschool age, homeless children, children who are wards of the State as defined in Commissioner’s Regulations and children in all public and private agencies and institutions.
Procedures must be established to locate, identify and evaluate all nonpublic elementary and secondary school students with disabilities, including religious-school children, to ensure the equitable participation of parentally placed private school students with disabilities and an accurate count of such students. The District will consult with representatives of private schools and representatives of parents of parentally placed private school students on the child find process. The District in which the nonpublic elementary or secondary school is located is responsible for child find, equitable provision of services and consultation requirements. Any such student suspected of having a disability is to be referred to the Committee on Special Education (CSE) of the student’s district of residence for evaluation and possible identification as a student with disability.
Census data shall be reported by October 1 to the Committee on Special Education (CSE)/Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE) as appropriate. The CSE/CPSE will maintain and revise annually a register and related summary reports containing the data requirements indicated in Commissioner’s Regulations including the number of students enrolled in private schools by their parents who are evaluated to determine if they are students with disabilities, the number of such students who are determined to have a disability and the number who received special education services.

Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 [Public Law 108-446 Section 612]
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
20 United States Code (USC) Section 1400 et seq.
34 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 300
Education Law Sections 3240-3242, 3602-c(2-a) and 4402(1)(a)
8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR)
Sections 200.2(a) and 200.4
NOTE: Refer also to Policy #7160 — School Census
Adopted:  7/27/05
Revised:  8/9/06

[Back to Top]

Parent Involvement for Children with Disabilities (Policy 7660)

The Board of Education recognizes the rights of the parent/guardian to be fully informed of all information relevant to the identification, or change in identification, evaluation and educational placement of a child with a disability.
All due process procedures for parents/guardians and children in the Commissioner’s Regulations shall be observed by the School District.

Definition of Parent
Parent means a birth or adoptive parent, a guardian, a person in parental relationship to the child as defined in Education Law section 3212, an individual designated as a person in parental relation pursuant to Title 15-A of the General Obligations Law including an individual so designated who is acting in the place of a birth or adoptive parent (including a grandparent, stepparent or other relative with whom the child resides), or a surrogate parent who has been appointed in accordance with section 200.5(n) of Commissioner’s Regulations. The term does not include the State if the student is a ward of the State.
A foster parent may act as a parent unless State law, regulations or contractual obligations with a State or local entity prohibit the foster parent from acting as a parent.
Unless a judicial decree identifies a specific person(s) to act as the parent or make educational decisions for the student, if one or more parties is qualified to act as a parent, the birth or adoptive parent is presumed to be the parent unless they do not have the legal authority to do so.

Surrogate Parents
It is the duty of the School District to determine whether a child needs a surrogate parent and to assign a surrogate parent in the manner permitted under New York State law. This determination shall be completed within a reasonable time following the receipt of a referral for an initial evaluation or re-evaluation.
In the event that no parent or guardian for a child with a disability can be identified; or after reasonable efforts the whereabouts of the parent or guardian cannot be determined; or the student is an unaccompanied homeless youth; or the child with a disability is a ward of the State and does not have a “parent” as defined above; or the rights of the parent to make educational decisions have been subrogated by a judge in accordance with State law; the Board shall assign an individual to act as a surrogate for the parents or guardians.
Alternatively, the surrogate parent may be appointed by a judge overseeing the child’s case.
The person selected as a surrogate shall have no interest that conflicts with the interest of the child he/she represents, and shall have knowledge and skills that ensure adequate representation of the child.

Prior Written Notice
Prior written notice must be given to parents of a student with a disability a reasonable time before the District proposes to, or refuses to, initiate or change the identification, evaluation, educational placement of the student or the provision of a free appropriate public education to the student. Prior written notice must also be provided informing the parents when no additional data is required to determine the student’s educational needs, the reasons for this determination and their right to request an assessment.
If the prior written notice relates to a proposed action that also requires parental consent, the District must give notice at the same time it requests parental consent. The prior written notice will contain all elements required by Commissioner’s Regulations.
A parent may elect to receive prior written notice and other required notifications by electronic mail (e-mail) communication if the District makes this option available.

Parental Consent
In accordance with due process, a parent or guardian of a special education student or a student suspected of having a disability must provide informed consent before the School District can take certain actions.

Consent for Evaluations
The parent or guardian must provide informed consent to the initial evaluation, or reevaluations in accordance with law and/or regulations. If a parent does not provide consent for an initial evaluation, the School District may pursue the evaluation by commencing a due process hearing to override the refusal to provide consent.
Parental consent for a reevaluation is not needed if the District can demonstrate that it has taken reasonable measures to obtain consent, but the parents or guardians have failed to respond.

Consent for the Initial Provision of Services
Parental consent is also required for the initial provision of special education services. Consent for an initial evaluation does not constitute consent for the initial provision of services. If a parent does not provide consent for the initial provision of services, the School District shall not provide the special education program and  services to the student  and shall not use the due  process procedures to
challenge the parent’s refusal to consent. The School District shall not be considered to be in violation of the requirements to provide a free appropriate public education (FAPE), shall not be required to convene a meeting of the committee on special education or develop an IEP.
Consent for Other Actions
Prior written consent must also be provided:
a) Prior to releasing any personally identifiable information; and
b) Prior to each time the District proposes to access a parent’s private insurance.

Consent for an Unaccompanied Homeless Youth
Consent may be provided by a surrogate parent. However, until a surrogate parent is appointed, consent may be provided on a temporary basis by an employee of a temporary housing facility operated or approved by a local social services district or a residential facility for runaway and homeless youth.
Consent for a Ward of the State
A ward of the State means a child or youth under the age of twenty-one (21):
a) Who has been placed or remanded pursuant to Social Services Law or the Family Court Act or freed for adoption pursuant to Social Services Law; or
b) Who is in the custody of the Commissioner of Social Services or the Office of Children and Family Services; or
c) Who is a destitute child under Social Services Law.
In the event that a child is a ward of the State, the School District shall make reasonable efforts to obtain the informed consent from the parent of the child for an initial evaluation to determine whether the child is a child with a disability.

The School District is not required to obtain informed consent if:
a) Despite reasonable efforts to do so, the School District cannot discover the whereabouts of the parent of the student, including consulting with the agency responsible for the care of the student; or
b) The rights of the parents of the student have been terminated in accordance with State law; or
c) The rights of the parent to make educational decisions have been subrogated by a judge in accordance with State law.

Procedural Safeguards Notice
The School District will provide the procedural safeguards notice prescribed by the Commissioner of Education to the parents of a student with a disability at least one time per year and also:
a) Upon initial referral or parental request for evaluation;
b) Upon the first filing of a due process complaint notice to request mediation or an impartial hearing; and
c) Upon request by a parent.

Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (Public Law 108-446) Section 614(a)
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
20 United States Code (USC) Section 1400 et seq.
34 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 300
Education Law Sections 3212, 4005, 4202, 4401 and 4402
8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Sections 200.1 and 200.5
Adopted:  7/27/05
Revised:  8/9/06

[Back to Top]

Impartial Due Process Hearings/Selection of Impartial Hearing Officers (Policy 7670)

The School District is committed to making every effort to amicably resolve differences involving the educational programs for students with disabilities. Mediation will be available to resolve disputes involving any matter, including matters arising prior to the filing of a request for an impartial hearing. In addition, the District may establish procedures providing the opportunity to meet with a disinterested party from a community dispute resolution center for an explanation of the benefits of the mediation process. For those exceptional circumstances where a more formal method is required, the impartial hearing process will be utilized. The Impartial Hearing Officer (IHO) renders a written decision after the parties present and refute evidence before him/her. The decision of the IHO is final and binding on both parties unless appealed to the State Review Officer (SRO).

Impartial Due Process Hearing Process
The request for an impartial due process hearing must be submitted within two (2) years of the date the parent or the District knew or should have known about the alleged action forming the basis of the complaint. However, the two (2) year timeline does not apply if the parent was prevented from requesting the hearing due to specific misrepresentations by the District that it had resolved the problem or the District’s withholding of information from the parent that is required by Commissioner’s Regulations.
The following is an overview of the impartial hearing process/prehearing conference:

Due Process Complaint Notification
a) The parent or the School District may request an impartial hearing by first submitting a due process complaint notice.
A hearing may not be held until a due process complaint notice is filed. Either the parent, the District, or the attorney representing either party may present a complaint with respect to any matter relating to the identification, evaluation or educational placement of a student with a disability or a student suspected of having a disability, or the provision of a free appropriate public education to such student.
This written due process complaint notice must include:
1. The name of the student;
2. The address of the student’s residence or, in the case of a homeless student, available contact information;
3. The name of the school the child is attending;
4. A description of the nature of the problem of the student relating to the proposed initiation or change, including facts relating to the problem; and
5. A proposed resolution of the problem to the extent known and available to the party at the time.
b) The due process complaint notice will be deemed sufficient unless the party receiving the notice notifies the other party and the IHO in writing within fifteen (15) days of receiving the notice that they believe the notice requirements have not been met.
c) Within five (5) days of the receipt of the notice of insufficiency, the IHO shall make a determination on the face of the notice of whether the notification meets the notice requirements and shall immediately notify the parties in writing of the determination.
d) If the District has not sent a prior written notice to the parent regarding the subject matter of the complaint notice, the District will send a response to the parent within ten (10) days of receiving the complaint which includes:
1. An explanation of why the District proposed or refused to take the action raised in the complaint;
2. A description of other options the Committee on Special Education (CSE)/Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE) considered and why those options were rejected;
3. A description of each evaluation procedure, assessment, record, or report the District used as a basis for the proposed or refused action; and
4. A description of the factors relevant to the District’s proposal or refusal.
e) Upon receipt or filing of the due process complaint notice, the District will provide the procedural safeguards notice to the parents. The District will also inform parents in writing of the availability of mediation and of any free or low-cost legal and other relevant services available in the area.
f) Within 10 days of receiving the complaint notice, the non-complaining party must send a response specifically addressing the issues raised in the notice.
g) A party may amend its due process complaint notice only if:
1. The other party consents in writing and is given the opportunity to resolve the complaint through a resolution session;
2. The IHO grants permission, but not later than five (5) days before the impartial due process hearing commences. Applicable timelines for the impartial due process hearing will recommence at the time of the filing of the amended notice.
h) No issues may be raised at the impartial due process hearing that were not raised in the due process complaint notice.

Resolution Session
a) Within fifteen (15) days of receiving the due process complaint notice from the parent and prior to the due process hearing itself, the District shall convene a meeting with the parents and relevant members of the CSE/CPSE who have specific knowledge of the facts identified in the complaint. A representative of the District who has decision-making authority must attend. The attorney for the District may not attend unless the parent is accompanied by an attorney. At this resolution meeting, the District has the opportunity to resolve the complaint after the parents discuss their complaint and the facts forming its basis.
b) When conducting meetings and carrying out administrative matters (such as scheduling), the parent and District may agree to use alternative means of meeting participation such as video conferences or conference calls.
c) The parent and District may agree in writing to waive the resolution session or agree to use the mediation process to resolve the dispute.
d) If a settlement is reached, the parties shall execute a legally binding agreement signed by the parent and the representative of the District who has authority to bind the District. This agreement is enforceable in court. However, either party may void the agreement within three (3) business days of the agreement’s execution.
e) If the District has not resolved the complaint to the satisfaction of the parents within thirty (30) days of receipt of the complaint notice, the impartial hearing process may begin and all applicable timelines commence.

Pre-Hearing Conference
A pre-hearing conference (which may take place via telephone) may be scheduled by the IHO to simplify or clarify issues; establish dates for the completion of the hearing; identify evidence to be entered into the record; identify witnesses expected to provide testimony; and/or address other administrative issues.

Impartial Due Process Hearing
In the event the complaint is not resolved in a resolution session, the Board will arrange for an impartial hearing to be conducted. When carrying out administrative matters relating to an impartial due process hearing, such as scheduling, exchange of witness lists and status conferences, the parent and District may agree to use alternative means of meeting participation such as video conferences or conference calls.
a) The District must immediately (but not later than two (2) business days after receipt of the due process complaint notice or mailing of the due process complaint notice to the parent) initiate the process to select an IHO. The District selects the IHO through a rotational selection process in accordance with regulatory timelines. The Superintendent’s Secretary/District Clerk will be responsible for contacting IHOs and maintaining appropriate records.
b) The IHO must be certified by the Commissioner of Education, be independent and have access to the support and equipment necessary to perform the duties of an IHO. When the selected IHO indicates availability, the Board of Education must immediately appoint him/her. To expedite this process, the Board may designate one (1) or more of its members to appoint the IHO on behalf of the Board.
c) The IHO may not accept appointment unless he/she is available to make a determination of sufficiency of a due process complaint notice within five (5) days of receiving such a request and (unless an extension is granted) to initiate the hearing within the first fourteen (14) days after (whichever of the following comes first):
1. The date the IHO receives the parties’ written waiver of the resolution session; or
2. The date the IHO receives the parties’ written confirmation that a resolution session was held but no agreement could be reached; or
3. The expiration of the thirty (30) day period beginning with the receipt of the due process complaint notice.
d) The hearing, or a prehearing conference, shall commence within the timeframe specified in c) above, unless an extension is granted pursuant to Commissioner’s Regulations.
e) Except in the case of expedited due process hearings, each party must disclose to all parties all evaluations completed by that date and recommendations based on the offering party’s evaluation that they intend to use at the hearing not less than five (5) days prior to the hearing. The IHO may bar any party that fails to comply with this requirement from introducing the relevant evaluation or recommendation at the hearing without the consent of the other party.
f) The hearing will be conducted at a time and location that is reasonable and convenient to the parent and the student involved. The hearing shall be closed to the public unless the parent requests an open hearing.
g) The role and responsibilities of the IHO will be as enumerated in Commissioner’s Regulations.
h) The student shall remain in his/her current placement during the pendency of the impartial hearing unless both parties agree or except as otherwise provided for expedited impartial hearings for certain disciplinary suspensions or removals of a student.
i) The IHO renders and forwards the finding of fact and decision to the parties and to the State Education Department in accordance with regulatory timelines but not later than forty-five (45) days after the date required for commencement of the impartial hearing specified in c) above. For expedited hearings the deadline is fifteen (15) business days from receipt of the request for a hearing; for preschool hearings the timeframe is thirty (30) days after the receipt by the Board of a request for a hearing or after the initiation of such hearing by the Board.
j) The decision of the IHO is final and binding on both parties unless appealed to the State Review Officer (SRO).

Recordkeeping and Reporting
The District will utilize the New York State Education Department’s Impartial Hearing Reporting System (IHRS) to access the alphabetical list of the names of each IHO who is certified in New York State and available to serve in the District. The District will record and report to the State Education Department required information relating to the selection of IHOs and the conduct of impartial   hearings   according  to  the  manner   and  schedule   specified   by   the   Department.  The
Superintendent shall designate a staff member(s) who will be responsible for reporting such information as required relating to the impartial hearing process into the State Education Department’s web-based reporting system.

Compensation of Impartial Hearing Officers
The District will be responsible for compensating the IHO for prehearing, hearing and post-hearing activities at the rate agreed upon at the time of the IHO’s appointment. The rate of compensation may not exceed the maximum rate approved by the Director of the Division of the Budget. The District will also reimburse the IHO for travel and other hearing-related expenses (e.g., duplication and telephone costs) pursuant to an annually determined schedule. On an annual basis, the District will forward a copy of its compensation rates to each IHO on the District’s rotational list.

Mediation
Mediation is voluntary and does not deny or delay a parent’s right to an impartial hearing. If mediation is initiated after a request for an impartial hearing has been received, the impartial hearing must continue unless the request for the impartial hearing is withdrawn. However, a party may request an extension to an impartial hearing in order to pursue mediation.

Guardians ad Litem at Impartial Hearings
Unless a surrogate parent has been previously appointed, the IHO must appoint a guardian ad litem when he/she determines that the interests of the parent(s) are opposed to or are inconsistent with those of the student or whenever the interests of the student would be best protected by such appointment.

Confidentiality
All issues relating to a request for and conduct of an impartial hearing must be kept confidential by all District staff.

Administrative Procedures
Administrative procedures will be developed for the selection and appointment of an IHO consistent with regulatory requirements.

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
20 United States Code (USC) Section 1400 et seq.
34 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 300
Education Law Sections 4005, 4202, 4404(1) and 4410(7)
8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR)
Sections 200.1, 200.2, 200.5, 200.16, 200.21 and 201.11
NOTE: Refer also to Policy #7690 — Special Education Mediation
Adopted:  7/27/05
Revised:  8/9/06

[Back to Top]

Independent Educational Evaluations (Policy 7680)

Parents of children with disabilities have the right under Federal and State regulations to obtain an independent evaluation at public expense under certain conditions. Regulatory standards are outlined in New York State Regulations of the Commissioner of Education Part 200.5(g). Additionally, the Federal Regulations (34 Code of Federal Regulations [CFR] 300.503) specify requirements for an independent evaluation.
Administrative regulations on independent evaluations will be developed in order to explain the rights of parents and the responsibilities of school districts with regard to independent evaluations, and also to avoid any misunderstandings.

8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations
(NYCRR) Sections 200.1(z) and 200.5(g)
34 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR)
Sections 300.12 and 300.503
Adopted:  7/27/05

[Back to Top]

 Special Education Mediation (Policy 7690)

The District will offer mediation to resolve any disputes involving any matter for which an impartial due process hearing may be brought, including matters arising prior to the filing of a request for an impartial hearing.
Such mediation shall be conducted by mediators furnished by a Community Dispute Resolution Center who are not employees of a State educational agency providing direct services to the student who is the subject of the mediation process or a school district or program serving students with disabilities. Mediators may not have a personal or professional interest which would conflict with their objectivity in the mediation process and should be knowledgeable in laws and regulations relating to the provision of special education services.
Parents or persons in parental relation to students suspected of or having disabilities will receive written notice of the availability of the mediation program each time they receive notice of their entitlement to the impartial hearing procedures in accordance with Federal and State law and regulations. If the parent and District agree, alternative means of meeting participation may be utilized, such as video conferences and conference calls.
Discussions during the mediation process must be confidential and may not be used as evidence in any subsequent due process hearing or civil proceedings. The parties may be required to sign a confidentiality pledge prior to the commencement of the process.
If resolution to the complaint is reached through mediation, the parent and the representative of the District who has the authority to bind the District will execute a legally binding written agreement specifying the resolution and stating that all discussions occurring during the mediation process are confidential and may not be used as evidence in any subsequent due process hearing or civil proceeding. If the written agreement is inconsistent with the student’s current individualized education programs (IEP), the IEP must be immediately amended to reflect the mediation agreement.
The mediation process is voluntary and will not operate to diminish or limit any rights provided for in law, including the right of the parent or person in parental relation to request an impartial hearing subsequent to mediation. Parents or persons in parental relation to students suspected of or having disabilities continue to have full access to all rights, including due process procedures, provided for in federal and state laws and regulations. Similarly, mediation shall not be construed to limit a parent or person in parental relation from requesting an impartial hearing without having first utilized mediation procedures set forth in Education Law.

Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (Public Law 108-446) Section 614(a)
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
20 United States Code (USC) Section 1400 et seq.
34 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 300
Education Law Sections 4005, 4202 and 4404-a
Judiciary Law Section 849a
8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR)
Sections 200.1 and 200.5
Adopted:  7/27/05
Revised:  8/9/06

[Back to Top]