All policies are listed in policy number order.
- Policy 5110, Budget Planning and Development
- Policy 5120, School District Budget Hearing
- Policy 5130, Budget Adoption
- Policy 5140, Administration of the Budget
- Policy 5150, Contingency Budget
- Policy 5210, Revenues
- Policy 5220, District Investments
- Policy 5230, Acceptance of Gifts, Grants and Bequests to the School District
- Policy 5240, School Tax Assessment and Collection/Property Tax Exemptions
- Policy 5250, Sale and Disposal of School District Property
- Policy 5260, Use of School District Trademarks and Service Marks
- Policy 5310, Bonding of Employees and School Board Members
- Policy 5320, Expenditures of School District Funds
- Policy 5322, Use of District Cell Phones
- Policy 5323, Reimbursement for Meals/Refreshments
- Policy 5330, Budget Transfers
- Policy 5340, Borrowing of Funds
- Policy 5410, Purchasing: Competitive Bidding and Offering
- Policy 5411, Procurement of Goods and Services
- Policy 5412, Alternative Formats for Instructional Materials
Fiscal Accounting and Reporting
- Policy 5510, Accounting of Funds
- Policy 5511, Maintenance of Fund Balance
- Policy 5512, Reserve Funds
- Policy 5520, Extraclassroom Activity Fund
- Policy 5530, Petty Cash Funds and Cash in School Buildings
- Policy 5540, Publication of District’s Annual Financial Statement
- Policy 5550, Maintenance of Fiscal Effort (Title I Programs)
- Policy 5560, Use of Federal Funds for Political Expenditures
- Policy 5570, Financial Accountability
- Policy 5571, Allegations of Fraud
- Policy 5572, Audit Committee
- Policy 5573, Internal Audit Function
- Policy 5574, Medicaid Compliance Program Policy
- Policy 5610, Insurance
- Policy 5620, Fixed Asset Inventories, Accounting, and Tracking
- Policy 5630, Facilities: Inspection, Operation and Maintenance
- Policy 5631, Hazardous Waste and Handling of Toxic Substances by Employees
- Policy 5632, Pest Management and Pesticide Use
- Policy 5640, Smoking/Tobacco Use
- Policy 5650, Energy Conservation and Recycling in the Schools
- Policy 5660, School Food Service Program (Lunch and Breakfast)
- Policy 5661, Wellness
- Policy 5670, Records Management
- Policy 5671, Disposal of Consumer Report Information and Records
- Policy 5672, Information Security Breach and Notification
- Policy 5673, Employee Personal Identifying Information
- Policy 5674, Data Networks and Security Access
- Policy 5675, Student Grading Information Systems
- Policy 5680, Safety and Security
- Policy 5681, School Safety Plans
- Policy 5682, Cardiac Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) in Public School Facilities
- Policy 5683, Fire and Emergency Drills, Bomb Threats and Bus Emergency Drills
- Policy 5684, Use of Surveillance Cameras in the School District
- Policy 5690, Exposure Control Program
- Policy 5691, Communicable Diseases
- Policy 5692, Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Related Illnesses
- Policy 5710, Transportation Program
- Policy 5720, Transportation of Students
- Policy 5730, School Bus Safety Program
- Policy 5731, Idling School Buses on School Grounds
- Policy 5740, Qualifications of Bus Drivers
- Policy 5741, Drug and Alcohol Testing for School Bus Drivers and Other
Policy 5110, Budget Planning and Development
Budget planning and development for the District will be an integral part of program planning so that the annual operating budget may effectively express and implement programs and activities of the School System. Budget planning will be a year-round process involving participation of District-level administrators, Principals, Directors, Coordinators, teachers, and other personnel. The process of budget planning and development should allow for community input and contain numerous opportunities for public information and feedback.
The Superintendent will have overall responsibility for budget preparation, including the construction of and adherence to a budget calendar. Program managers will develop and submit budget requests for their particular areas of responsibility after seeking the advice and suggestions of staff members.
Principals will develop and submit budget requests for their particular schools in conjunction with the advice and suggestions of staff members and their own professional judgment. Each school’s budget request will be the Principal’s recommendation as to the most effective way to use available resources in achieving progress toward the approved educational objectives of the school. Program budgets and school budgets will reflect state and/or federal requirements, special sources of funding, and District objectives and priorities.
The Board will give consideration to budget requests, and will review allocations for appropriateness and for their consistency with the School System’s educational priorities.
All budget documents for distribution to the public shall be in plain language and organized in a manner which best promotes public comprehension of the contents. Documents shall be complete and accurate and contain sufficient detail to adequately inform the public regarding such data as estimated revenues, proposed expenditures, transfers to other funds, fund balance information, and changes in such information from the prior year’s submitted budget.
In accordance with Commissioner’s Regulations, the budget will be presented in three (3) components which are to be voted upon as one (1) proposition. The law prescribes the types of items to be included in each component and further prescribes that all relevant costs be included in the component.
a) A program component which shall include, but need not be limited to, all program expenditures of the School District, including the salaries and benefits of teachers and any school administrators or supervisors who spend a majority of their time performing teaching duties, and all transportation operating expenses;
b) A capital component which shall include, but need not be limited to, all transportation capital, debt service, and lease expenditures; costs resulting from judgments and tax certiorari proceedings or the payment of awards from court judgments, administrative orders or settled or compromised claims; and all facilities costs of the School District, including facilities lease expenditures, the annual debt service and total debt for all facilities financed by bonds and notes of the School District, and the costs of construction, acquisition, reconstruction, rehabilitation or improvement of school buildings, provided that such budget shall include a rental, operations and maintenance section that includes base rent costs, total rent costs, operation and maintenance charges, cost per square foot for each facility leased by the District, and any and all expenditures associated with custodial salaries and benefits, service contracts, supplies, utilities, and maintenance and repairs of school facilities; and
c) An administrative component which shall include, but need not be limited to, office and central administrative expenses, traveling expenses and salaries and benefits of all certified school administrators and supervisors who spend a majority of their time performing administrative or supervisory duties, any and all expenditures associated with the operation of the Office of the School Board, the Office of the Superintendent of Schools, General Administration, the School Business Office, consulting costs not directly related to direct student services and programs, planning and all other administrative activities.
Additionally, the Board of Education shall append to the proposed budget the following documents:
a) A detailed statement of the total compensation to be paid to the Superintendent of Schools, and any Assistant or Associate Superintendent of Schools in the ensuing school year, including a delineation of the salary, annualized cost of benefits and any in-kind or other form of remuneration;
b) A list of all other school administrators and supervisors, if any, whose annual salary for the coming school year will be at or above that designated in law for such reporting purposes, with the title of their positions and annual salary identified;
c) A School District Report Card, prepared pursuant to Commissioner’s Regulations, which includes measures of the academic performance of the School District, on a school by school basis, and measures of the fiscal performance of the District (see subheading School District Report Card);
d) A Property Tax Report Card prepared in accordance with law and Commissioner’s Regulations (see subheading Property Tax Report Card); and
e) A Tax Exemption Report prepared in accordance with law (see subheading Tax Exemption Report).
The Board shall attest that unexpended surplus funds (i.e., operating funds in excess of the current school year budget, not including funds properly retained under other sections of law) have been applied in determining the amount of the school tax levy. Surplus funds shall mean any operating funds in excess of four percent (4%).
The proposed budget for the ensuing school year shall be reviewed by the Board of Education and publicly disseminated, in accordance with law, prior to its submission to District voters for approval.
District funds may be expended to inform the public regarding the annual budget and to present the annual budget to District voters; however, such funds shall not be utilized to promote either a favorable or negative opinion of the proposed budget.
School District Report Card
Each year the District shall supply data as required by the State Education Department (SED) and will receive a School District Report Card, sometimes referred to as a New York State Report Card. The Report Cards provide enrollment, demographic, attendance, suspension, dropout, teacher, assessment, accountability, graduation rate, post-graduation plan, career and technical education, and fiscal data for public and charter schools, districts and the State. The Report Cards are generated from the supplied data and are in a format dictated by SED. The School District Report Cards consist of three (3) parts:
a) Accountability and Overview Report – shows District/school profile data, accountability statuses, data on accountability measures such as ELA, Math, and Science scores, and graduation rates.
b) Comprehensive Information Report – shows non-accountability data such as annual Regents examination results and post-graduate plans of students completing high school.
c) Fiscal Accountability Supplement – shows expenditures per pupil and some information about placement and classification of students with disabilities.
School District Report Cards are also available online at the SED website.
Property Tax Report Card
Each year, the Board of Education shall prepare a Property Tax Report Card, pursuant to Commissioner’s Regulations, and shall make it publicly available by transmitting it to local newspapers of general circulation, appending it to copies of the proposed budget made publicly available as required by law, making it available for distribution at the Annual Meeting, and otherwise disseminating it as required by the Commissioner.
The Property Tax Report Card shall include:
a) The amount of total spending and total estimated school tax levy that would result from adoption of the proposed budget, and the percentage increase or decrease in total spending and total school tax levy from the School District budget for the preceding school year; and
b) The projected enrollment growth for the school year for which the budget is prepared, and the percentage change in enrollment from the previous year; and
c) The percentage increase in the average of the Consumer Price Indexes from January first of the prior school year to January first of the current school year as defined in Education Law; and
d) The projected amount of the adjusted unrestricted fund balance that will be retained if the proposed budget is adopted; the projected amount of the adjusted restricted fund balance; the projected amount of the assigned appropriated fund balance; the percentage of the proposed budget that the adjusted unrestricted fund balance represents; the actual adjusted unrestricted fund balance retained in the School District budget for the preceding school year; and the percentage of the School District budget for the preceding school year that the actual adjusted unrestricted fund balance represents; and
e) The District’s school tax levy limit calculation. The District will submit its school tax levy limit calculation to the Office of the State Comptroller, NYSED and the Office of Taxation and Finance by March 1 annually. If a voter override of the tax levy limit is necessary, the budget vote must be approved by sixty percent (60%) of the District’s qualified voters present and voting.
A copy of the Property Tax Report Card prepared for the Annual District Meeting shall be submitted to the State Education Department in the manner prescribed by the Department by the end of the business day next following approval of the Property Tax Report Card by the Board of Education, but no later than twenty-four (24) days prior to the statewide uniform voting day (i.e., the third Tuesday in May).
The State Education Department shall compile such data for all school districts whose budgets are subject to a vote of the qualified voters, and shall make such compilation available electronically at least ten (10) days prior to the statewide uniform voting day. For more information about the New York State Property Tax Report Card, visit the NYSED website.
Tax Exemption Report
A Tax Exemption Report shall be annexed to any tentative or preliminary budget and shall become part of the final budget. This report shall be on the form as prescribed by the State Board of Real Property Services and shall show the following:
a) How much of the total assessed value of the final assessment roll(s) used in the budgetary process is exempt from taxation;
b) Every type of exemption granted as identified by statutory authority;
c) The cumulative impact of each type of exemption expressed either as a dollar amount of assessed value or as a percentage of the total assessed value on the roll;
d) The cumulative amount expected to be received from recipients of each type of exemption as payments in lieu of taxes or other payments for municipal services; however, individual recipients are not to be named; and
e) The cumulative impact of all exemptions granted.
Notice of this report shall be included in any notice of the preparation of the budget required by law and shall be posted on any bulletin board maintained by the District for public notices as well as on any website maintained by the District.
Education Law Sections 1608(3)-(7), 1716(3)-(7), 2022(2-a), 2023-a, 2601-a(3) and 2601-a(7)
General Municipal Law Section 36
Real Property Tax Law Sections 495 and 1318(l)
8 NYCRR Sections 170.8, 170.9 and 170.11
State Education Department Handbook No. 3 on Budget
Policy 5120, School District Budget Hearing
The Board of Education will hold an Annual Budget Hearing, in accordance with law, so as to inform and present to District residents a detailed written statement regarding the District’s estimated expenditures and revenue for the upcoming school year prior to the budget vote which is taken at the Annual District Meeting and Election.
The Budget Hearing will be held not less than seven (7) nor more than fourteen (14) days prior to the Annual District Meeting and Election or Special District Meeting at which the budget vote will occur. The proposed budget will be completed at least seven (7) days prior to the budget hearing at which it is to be presented.
Notice of the date, time and place of the annual budget hearing will be included in the notice of the Annual Meeting and Election and/or Special District Meeting as required by law.
All School District budgets which are submitted for voter approval shall be presented in three (3) components: a program component, an administrative component, and a capital component; and each component will be separately delineated in accordance with law and/or regulation.
The Board of Education will also prepare and append to copies of the proposed budget a School District Report Card, pursuant to the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education, referencing measures of academic and fiscal performance. Additionally, the Board of Education shall also append to copies of the proposed budget a detailed statement of the total compensation to be paid to various administrators as enumerated in law and/or regulation, and a Property Tax Report Card prepared in accordance with law and Commissioner’s Regulations.
All budget documents for distribution to the public will be written in plain language and organized in a manner which best promotes public comprehension of the contents. New York School District Report Cards and Property Tax Report Cards are also available online from the State Education Department.
Dissemination of Budget Information
Copies of the proposed annual operating budget for the succeeding year and all required attachments may be obtained by any District resident, on request, in each District school building during certain designated hours on each day other than a Saturday, Sunday or holiday during the fourteen (14) days immediately preceding the Annual District Meeting and Election or Special District Meeting at which the budget vote will occur. The availability of this budget information shall be included in the legal notice of the Annual and/or Special District Meeting; and copies of the proposed budget will also be available to District residents at the time of the Annual and/or Special District Meeting. Additionally, the Board will include notice of the availability of copies of the budget at least once during the school year in any District-wide mailing.
The School District Clerk shall mail a School Budget Notice to all qualified voters of the School District after the date of the Budget Hearing, but no later than six (6) days prior to the Annual Meeting and Election or Special District Meeting at which a school budget vote will occur. The School Budget Notice shall compare the percentage increase or decrease in total spending under the proposed budget over total spending under the School District budget adopted for the current school year, with the percentage increase or decrease in the Consumer Price Index from January first of the prior school year to January first of the current school year.
Beginning with the budget notice for the 2012-2013 proposed budget, the District will also include in the notice:
a) The school tax levy limit;
b) The proposed school year tax levy (without permissible exclusions to the school tax levy limit);
c) The total permissible exclusions; and
d) The proposed school year tax levy (including permissible exclusions to the school tax levy limit).
The Notice shall also include, in a manner and format prescribed by the Commissioner of Education, a comparison of the tax savings under the basic school tax relief (STAR) exemption and the increase or decrease in school taxes from the prior year, and the resulting net taxpayer savings for a hypothetical home within the District with a full value of one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) under the existing School District budget as compared with such savings under the proposed budget.
The Notice shall also set forth the date, time and place of the school budget vote in the same manner as in the Notice of the Annual Meeting. The School Budget Notice shall be in a form prescribed by the Commissioner of Education.
Notice of Budget Hearing/Availability of Budget Statement:
Education Law Sections 1608(2), 1716(2), 2003(1), 2004(1), 2023-a and 2601-a(2)
Election and Budget Vote:
Education Law Sections 1804(4), 1906(1), 2002(1), 2017(5), 2017(6), 2022(1), 2023-a and 2601-a(2)
Budget Development and Attachments:
Education Law Sections 1608(3), 1608(4), 1608(5), 1608(6), 1608(7), 1716(3), 1716(4), 1716(5), 1716(6),
1716(7), 2022(2-a), 2023-a and 2601-a(3)
8 NYCRR Sections 100.2(bb), 170.8 and 170.9
Policy 5130, Budget Adoption
The Board of Education shall review the recommended budget of the Superintendent of Schools and shall seek public input and feedback regarding the recommended budget including, but not limited to, holding a public budget hearing not less than seven (7) nor more than fourteen (14) days prior to the Annual District Meeting and Election at which the budget vote is to occur. The Board may modify the recommended budget of the Superintendent prior to its submission to District voters. Final authorization of the proposed budget is dependent upon voter approval unless a contingency budget is adopted by the Board.
In the event the original proposed budget is not approved at the Annual District Meeting and Election, the Board may resubmit the original proposed budget or a revised budget for voter approval, or individual propositions may be placed before District voters, at a special meeting held on the third Tuesday of June. If the voters fail to approve the second budget submittal, or budget proposition(s) or if the Board elects not to put the proposed budget to a public vote a second time, the Board must adopt a contingency budget with a tax levy that is no greater than the prior year’s levy.
The School District budget for any school year, or any part of such budget, or any proposition(s) involving the expenditure of money for that school year, shall not be submitted for a vote of the qualified District voters more than twice.
The School District budget, once adopted, becomes the basis for establishing the tax levy on real property within the District.
Education Law Sections 1608, 1716, 1804(4), 1906(1), 2002(1), 2003(1), 2004(1), 2022, 2023, 2023-a and
8 NYCRR Sections 100.2(bb), 170.8 and 170.9
Policy 5140, Administration of the Budget
The Superintendent of Schools, working in conjunction with the administrative staff, is responsible to the Board for the administration of the budget.
a) He/she shall acquaint District employees with the final provisions of the program budget and guide them in planning to operate efficiently and economically within these provisions.
b) Under his/her direction the District shall maintain such records of accounting control as are required by the New York State Uniform System of Accounts for School Districts, the Board of Education, and such other procedures as are deemed necessary and shall keep the various operational units informed through periodic reports as to the status of their individual budgets.
c) Board approval is required prior to the expenditure of District funds.
Policy 5150, Contingency Budget
The School District budget for any school year or any part of such budget, or any proposition involving the expenditure of money for such school year, shall not be submitted for a vote of the qualified voters of the District more than twice in any school year.
If the original proposed budget is not approved by District voters at the Annual District Meeting and Election, the Board has the option of either resubmitting the original or revised budget for voter approval at a special meeting held at a later date; or the Board may, at that point, adopt a contingency budget. If the Board decides to submit either the original or a revised budget to the voters for a second time, and the voters do not approve the second budget submittal, the Board must adopt a contingency budget and the tax levy cannot exceed the total tax levy of the prior year (0% levy growth).
The administrative component of the contingency budget shall not comprise a greater percentage of the contingency budget exclusive of the capital component than the lesser of:
a) The percentage the administrative component had comprised in the prior year budget exclusive of the capital component; or
b) The percentage the administrative component had comprised in the last proposed defeated budget exclusive of the capital component.
Education Law Sections 2002, 2023, 2023-a, 2024 and 2601-a
Policy 5210, Revenues
The School District Treasurer will have custody of all District funds in accordance with the provisions of state law. The Treasurer will be authorized and directed by the Board to invest the balances available in various District funds in accordance with regulations set forth in state law.
Education Law Sections 1604(a) and 1723(a)
Policy 5220, District Investments
Whenever the District has funds (including operating funds, reserve funds and proceeds of obligations) that exceed those necessary to meet current expenses, the Board of Education shall authorize the School Business Manager to invest such funds in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations and in conformity with the guidelines established by this policy.
The objectives of this investment policy are four-fold:
a) Investments shall be made in a manner so as to safeguard the funds of the School District.
b) Bank deposits shall be made in a manner so as to safeguard the funds of the School District.
c) Investments shall be sufficiently liquid so as to allow funds to be available as needed to meet the obligations of the School District.
d) Funds shall be invested in such a way as to earn the maximum yield possible given the first three (3) investment objectives.
The authority to deposit and invest funds is delegated to the School Business Manager. These functions shall be performed in accordance with the applicable sections of the General Municipal Law and the Local Finance Law of the State of New York.
The School Business Official may invest funds in the following eligible investments:
a) Obligations of the State of New York.
b) Obligations of the United States Government, or any obligations for which principal and interest are fully guaranteed by the United States Government.
c) Time Deposit Accounts placed in a commercial bank authorized to do business in the State of New York, providing the account is collateralized as required by law. (Banking Law Section 237(2) prohibits a savings bank from accepting a deposit from a local government. This also applies to savings and loan associations.)
d) Transaction accounts (demand deposits) both interest bearing and non-interest bearing that do not require notice of withdrawal placed in a commercial bank authorized to do business in the State of New York, providing the account is collateralized as required by law.
e) Certificates of Deposits placed in a commercial bank authorized to do business in the State of New York providing the Certificates are collateralized as required by law.
1. Deposits in excess of the amount insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation will be secured in accordance with subdivision 3 of the General Municipal Law Section 10.
2. The District may, in its discretion, authorize the bank designated for the deposit of District funds to arrange for the redeposit of such funds in one (1) or more banking institutions, for the account of the District, through a deposit placement that meets the conditions set forth in General Municipal Law Section 10(2)(a)(ii).
f) Securities purchased pursuant to a Repurchase Agreement whereby one party purchases securities from a second party and the second party agrees to repurchase those same securities on a specific future date at an agreed rate of return (the interest rate).
Using the policy as a framework, regulations and procedures shall be developed which reflect:
a) A list of authorized investments;
b) Procedures including a signed agreement to ensure the School District’s financial interest in investments;
c) Standards for written agreements consistent with legal requirements;
d) Procedures for the monitoring, control, deposit and retention of investments and collateral which shall be done at least once a month;
e) Standards for security agreements and custodial agreements consistent with legal requirements;
f) Standards for diversification of investments including diversification as to type of investments, and firms and banks with whom the School District transacts business; and
g) Standards for qualification of investment agents which transact business with the School District including, at minimum, the Annual Report of the Trading Partner.
This policy shall be reviewed and re-adopted at least annually or whenever new investment legislation becomes law, as staff capabilities change, or whenever external or internal issues warrant modification.
Education Law Sections 1604-a, 1723(a), 2503(1) and 3652
General Municipal Law Sections 10 and 39
Local Finance Law Section 165
Policy 5230, Acceptance of Gifts, Grants and Bequests to the School District
The Board may accept gifts, grants and/or bequests of money, real or personal property, as well as other merchandise which, in view of the Board, add to the overall welfare of the School District, provided that such acceptance is in accordance with existing laws and regulations. However, the Board is not required to accept any gift, grant or bequest and does so at its discretion, basing its judgment on the best interests of the District. Furthermore, the Board will not accept any gift, grant or bequest which constitutes a conflict of interest and/or gives an appearance of impropriety.
At the same time, the Board will safeguard the District, the staff and students from commercial exploitation, from special interest groups, and the like.
The Board will not accept any gifts or grants which will place encumbrances on future Boards, or result in unreasonable additional or hidden costs to the District.
The Board of Education will not formally consider the acceptance of gifts or grants until and unless it receives the offer in writing from the donor/grantor. Any such gifts or grants donated to the Board and accepted on behalf of the School District must be by official action and resolution passed by Board majority. The Board would prefer the gift or grant to be a general offer rather than a specific one. Consequently, the Board would suggest that the donor/grantor work first with the school administrators in determining the nature of the gift or grant prior to formal consideration for acceptance by the Board. However, the Board, in its discretion, may direct the Superintendent of Schools to apply such gift or grant for the benefit of a specific school or school program.
The Board is prohibited, in accordance with the New York State Constitution, from making gifts/charitable contributions with School District funds.
Gifts and/or grants of money to the District shall be annually accounted for under the trust and agency account in the bank designated by the Board of Education.
All gifts, grants and/or bequests shall become School District property. A letter of appreciation, signed by the President of the Board and the Superintendent, may be sent to a donor/grantor in recognition of his/her contribution to the School District.
The Board of Education recognizes that gift giving, especially during the holiday season, may be a common practice for many District employees. While the giving or exchanging of gifts may be acceptable among staff members, the Board strongly encourages District employees and students to show appreciation through written notes or greeting cards.
Additionally, all business contacts will be informed that gifts exceeding seventy-five dollars ($75) to District employees will be returned or donated to charity.
New York State Constitution Article 8, Section 1
Education Law Sections 1709(12), 1709(12-a) and 1718(2)
General Municipal Law Section 805-a(1)
Policy 5240, School Tax Assessment and Collection/Property Tax Exemptions
A tax collection plan giving dates of warrant and other pertinent data shall be prepared annually and submitted for review and consideration by the School Business Manager to the Board of Education. Tax collection shall occur by mail or by direct payment to the place designated by the Board of Education.
Unless specifically exempted by law, real property used exclusively for residential purposes and owned by one (1) or more persons, each of whom is sixty-five (65) years of age or over, or real property owned by husband and wife or by siblings, one of whom is sixty-five (65) years of age or over, shall be exempt from taxation to the extent of percentum of the assessed valuation determined by the Board if the owners meet the criteria established annually by the Board.
The real property tax exemption of real property owned by husband and wife, when one of them is sixty-five (65) years of age or over, once granted, shall not be rescinded solely because of the death of the older spouse so long as the surviving spouse is at least sixty-two (62) years of age.
Education Law Section 2130
Public Health Law Section 2801
Real Property Tax Law Sections 459-c, 466-c, 466-f, 466-g, 466-i, 467, 1300-1342
Policy 5250, Sale and Disposal of School District Property
Sale of School Property
No school property shall be sold without prior approval of the Board of Education. However, the responsibility for such sales may be delegated. The net proceeds from the sale of school property shall be deposited in the General Fund.
Disposal of District Personal Property
School District equipment that is obsolete, surplus, or unusable by the District shall be disposed of in such a manner that is advantageous to the District.
The Superintendent will be responsible for selling the equipment in such a way so as to maximize the net proceeds of sale which may include a bona fide public sale preceded by adequate public notice. If it is determined that reasonable attempts to dispose of the equipment have been made and such attempts have not produced an adequate return, the Superintendent or his/her designee may dispose of the equipment in any manner which he/she deems appropriate.
Textbooks may lose their value to the educational program because of changes in the curriculum or they contain outdated material and/or are in poor condition.
If textbooks are no longer useful or usable, the procedures for disposal shall adhere to the following order of preference:
a) Sale of textbooks. If reasonable attempts to dispose of surplus textbooks fail to produce monetary return to the School District; then
b) Donation to charitable organizations; or
c) Disposal as trash.
Education Law Sections 1604(4), 1604(30), 1604(36), 1709(9), 1709(11), 2503, 2511 and 2512
General Municipal Law Sections 51 and 800 et seq.
Policy 5260, Use of School District Trademarks and Service Marks
The names, logos, symbols, and mottos of the Watervliet City School District are trademarks or service marks of the Watervliet City School District. Such marks may only be used in conformance with state and federal law and the provisions of this policy.
Faculty, staff, and students of the District may use the above-mentioned names, logos, symbols, or mottos on internal documents or materials for internal business or educational purposes only. Any such use will be in accordance with applicable Board policies, administrative regulations, handbooks, and Codes of Conduct.
Use of the District’s trademarks and/or service marks for any retail or commercial purpose, for endorsements, promotions, or similar endeavors requires the express written permission of the Watervliet City School District. Requests for such use will be made through submission of the District’s trademark and service mark consent form to the Board of Education or its designee. If granted, use of the District’s trademarks and/or service marks will be in accordance with any terms agreed upon by the Board of Education or its designee and the individual or entity authorized to use such marks.
Use of the above-mentioned names, logos, symbols, or mottos does not constitute permission to act as the District’s agent, official, or representative.
Policy 5310, Bonding of Employees and School Board Members
In accordance with New York State Education Law and the Commissioner’s Regulations, the Board of Education directs that the Treasurer of the Board of Education, the Tax Collector and the Claims Auditor be bonded prior to assuming their duties. Such bonds shall be in the amounts as determined and approved by the Board of Education.
Other school personnel and members of the Board of Education authorized or required to handle School District revenues may be covered by a blanket undertaking provided by the District in such amounts as approved by the Board of Education based upon the recommendations of the Superintendent or his/her designee.
Education Law Sections 1709(20-a), 1720, 2130(5), 2526 and 2527
Public Officers Law Section 11(2)
8 NYCRR Section 170.2(d)
Policy 5320, Expenditures of School District Funds
The Board of Education authorizes the Purchasing Agent to expend school funds as appropriated by approved operational and capital budgets, and by the adoption of special resolutions. He/she will make expenditures in accordance with applicable law and in a manner that will achieve the maximum benefit from each dollar expended.
All claims shall be properly audited before payment by the Claims Auditor who shall attest to the existence of evidence of indebtedness to support the claim.
Complete records of all expenditures shall be maintained for future analysis and reporting within the time frame required by the Records Disposition Law or regulation.
Arts and Cultural Affairs Law Section 57.19
Education Law Sections 1720 and 2523
8 NYCRR Section 185
NOTE: Refer also to Policies #5322 — Use of District Cell Phones; #5323 — Reimbursement for Meals/Refreshments; #6161 — Conference/Travel Expense Reimbursement
Policy 5322, Use of District Cell Phones
The Board of Education recognizes that certain District employees will be required to carry District-owned cell phones in order to meet their job responsibilities. Such phones should be provided only when a less costly alternative (e.g., pager, radio) is not available or is not appropriate in the circumstances.
A list of job titles requiring District-owned cell phones shall be maintained in the Business Office and reported to the Board for its approval each year at its reorganizational meeting in July. All cellular telephone contracts shall be secured through the appropriate purchasing process (e.g., competitive bid, RFP process) and shall be subject to review and approval by the Board.
Cell phones are to be used for School District business purposes only and anything other than incidental private use is prohibited. Failure to follow these guidelines may result in revocation of the phone and discipline of the employee.
As with any District-owned equipment, employees must take proper care of cell phones and take all reasonable precautions against damage, loss, or theft. Any damage, loss, or theft must be reported immediately to the Business Office. Since employees are responsible for the safe return of District-owned cell phones, employees who use District-owned cell phones may be liable for damages or loss which occur during the period of its use.
At least once per year, the Business Office shall evaluate and report to the Board on the cost and effectiveness of the District’s cellular telephone plan.
Policy 5323, Reimbursement for Meals/Refreshments
Travel Outside of District/Emergency Meetings
School District officials and employees are entitled to reimbursement for necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their official duties. However, it is the position of the New York State Comptroller’s Office that meals of public officers and employees generally should not be reimbursed or paid by the District unless the officer or employee is traveling outside his/her regular work area on official business for an extended period of time, or where events prevent them from taking off during mealtime for food consumption because of a pressing need to complete business. All requests for reimbursement must document who attended the meetings and how the meetings fit these conditions.
Staff/Board Meetings and District Events
However, the Board of Education recognizes that at certain times it may be appropriate to provide meals and/or refreshments at District meetings and/or events which are being held for an educational purpose. Prior approval of the Superintendent/designee must be obtained for food and beverages provided at meetings or activities which will be charged to the District.
Any such expenditures must be appropriately documented with an itemized receipt and information showing the date and purpose of the meeting, food served, who attended the meetings and why the attendees needed food and/or refreshments to conduct School District business. These requirements must be met for meals/refreshments provided by the school lunch fund or local vendors, charged to District credit cards and/or reimbursed to a School District official.
In no case will the costs for meals exceed the current Federal per diem meal rates for the geographic area.
NOTE: Refer also to Policy #6161 — Conference/Travel Expense Reimbursement
Policy 5330, Budget Transfers
Within monetary limits as established by the Board, the Superintendent is authorized to transfer funds within the budget. Whenever changes are made, they are to be incorporated in the next Board agenda for information only.
Education Law Section 1718
8 NYCRR Section 170.2(l)
Policy 5340, Borrowing of Funds
The School District may borrow money only by means of serial bonds, bond anticipation notes, capital notes, tax anticipation notes, revenue anticipation notes and budget notes.
Local Finance Law Article 2
Policy 5410, Purchasing: Competitive Bidding and Offering
Except as otherwise provided by law, all contracts for public work involving an expenditure of more than thirty-five thousand dollars ($35,000) and all purchase contracts involving an expenditure of more than twenty thousand dollars ($20,000) shall be awarded by the District to the lowest responsible bidder furnishing the required security after advertisement for sealed bids. However, the District may, in its discretion, award purchase contracts on the basis of “best value” to a responsive and responsible bidder or offerer, provided the Board of Education has authorized such action by rule, regulation or resolution adopted at a public meeting.
No bid or offer shall be accepted that does not conform to specifications furnished unless such specifications are waived by Board action. The District may, in its discretion, reject all bids or offers and re-advertise for new bids or offers in a manner consistent with New York State law.
All contracts requiring public advertising and competitive bidding or offering will be awarded by resolution of the Board.
Except as authorized by law, no Board member or employee of the School District shall have an interest in any contract entered into by the School District.
Upon the adoption of a standardization resolution by a vote of at least three-fifths (3/5) of all Board members, purchase contracts for a particular type or kind of equipment, materials or supplies of more than twenty thousand dollars ($20,000) may be awarded by the Board to the lowest responsible bidder or offerer furnishing the required security after advertisement for sealed bids in the manner provided in law. Such resolution must state that, for reasons of efficiency or economy, there is a need for standardization and must contain a full explanation of those reasons. Upon the adoption of a valid standardization resolution, the District may provide in its specifications for a particular make or brand to the exclusion of others.
“Piggybacking” Exception to Competitive Bidding
The District may, in its discretion, purchase certain goods and services (apparatus, materials, equipment and supplies) at costs beyond the above-referenced thresholds through the use of contracts let by the United States or any agency thereof, any state, and any county, political subdivision or district of any state.
This method of procurement is permitted on contracts issued by other governmental entities, provided that the original contract:
a) Has been let by the United States or any agency thereof, any state (including New York State) or any other political subdivision or district therein;
b) Was made available for use by other governmental entities and agreeable with the contract holder; and
c) Was let in a manner that constitutes competitive bidding consistent with New York State law, or was awarded on the basis of best value, and is not in conflict with other New York State laws.
Comments concerning the District’s bidding and purchasing policies and procedures will be solicited from those District employees involved in the procurement process from time to time.
The Board of Education will annually review its bidding and purchasing policies and procedures. The School Business Official will be responsible for conducting an annual review of such policies and for an evaluation of the internal control structure established to ensure compliance with the procurement policy.
General Municipal Law Articles 5-A and 18
State Finance Law Sections 162, 163 and 163-b
NOTE: Refer also to Policies #5411 — Procurement of Goods and Services; #5412 — Alternative Formats for Instructional Materials
Revised: 6/18/13; 7/1/15
Policy 5411, Procurement of Goods and Services
The District’s purchasing activities will be part of the responsibilities of the Business Office, under the general supervision of the Purchasing Agent designated by the Board of Education. The Purchasing Agent is authorized to enter into cooperative bidding and cooperative purchasing arrangements to meet the various needs of the District. No contracts for goods and services shall be made by individuals or organizations in the school that involve expenditures without first securing approval for such contract from the Purchasing Agent.
Except as authorized by law, no Board member or employee of the School District shall have an interest in any contract entered into by the School District.
The Board of Education recognizes its responsibility to ensure the development of procedures for the procurement of goods and services not required by law to be made pursuant to competitive bidding requirements. These goods and services will be procured in a manner so as to:
a) Assure the prudent and economical use of public moneys in the best interest of the taxpayer;
b) Facilitate the acquisition of goods and services of maximum quality at the lowest possible cost under the circumstances; and
c) Guard against favoritism, improvidence, extravagance, fraud and corruption.
These procedures shall contain, at a minimum, provisions which:
a) Prescribe a process for determining whether a procurement of goods and services is subject to competitive bidding and if it is not, documenting the basis for such determination;
b) With certain exceptions, provide that alternative proposals or quotations for goods and services shall be secured by use of written request for proposals, written quotations, verbal quotations or any other method of procurement which furthers the purposes of General Municipal Law Section 104-b;
c) Set forth when each method of procurement will be utilized;
d) Require adequate documentation of actions taken with each method of procurement;
e) Require justification and documentation of any contract awarded to other than the lowest responsible dollar offer, stating the reasons;
f) Set forth any circumstances when, or the types of procurement for which, the solicitation of alternative proposals or quotations will not be in the best interest of the District; and
g) Identify the individual or individuals responsible for purchasing and their respective titles. Such information shall be updated biennially.
Any unintentional failure to fully comply with these provisions shall not be grounds to void action taken or give rise to a cause of action against the District or any District employee.
The District will develop administrative regulations to establish procedures for the procurement of goods and services.
Education Law Sections 1604, 1709, 1950, 2503, 2554 and 3602
General Municipal Law Articles 5-A and 18
General Municipal Law Section 119-o
NOTE: Refer also to Policies #5410 — Purchasing: Competitive Bidding and Offering; #5412 — Alternative Formats for Instructional Materials
Policy 5412, Alternative Formats for Instructional Materials
Preference in the purchase of instructional materials will be given to vendors who agree to provide materials in a usable alternative format (i.e., any medium or format, other than a traditional print textbook, for presentation of instructional materials that is needed as an accommodation for each student with a disability, including students requiring Section 504 Accommodation Plans, enrolled in the School District). Alternative formats include, but are not limited to, Braille, large print, open and closed captioned, audio, or an electronic file in an approved format as defined in Commissioner’s Regulations.
The District has adopted the National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard (NIMAS) to ensure that curriculum materials are available in a usable alternative format for students with disabilities. The District will be responsible to ensure that each student who requires instructional materials in an alternate format will receive it in a timely manner and in a format that meets NIMAS standards.
The District will establish a plan to ensure that instructional materials in a usable alternative format for each student with a disability (including students requiring Section 504 Accommodation Plans) are based upon the student’s educational needs and course selections, and will be available at the same time as such instructional materials are available to non-disabled students.
Such Plan will:
a) Ensure that the District gives a preference in the purchase of instructional materials it has selected for its students to those vendors who agree to provide such instructional materials in alternative formats;
b) Specify when an electronic file is provided, how the format will be accessed by students and/or how the District will convert to an accessible format;
c) Specify the process to be used when ordering materials to identify the needs of students with disabilities residing in the District for alternative format materials;
d) Specify ordering timelines to ensure that alternative format materials are available at the same time as regular format materials are available; and
e) Include procedures so that when students with disabilities move into the School District during the school year, the process to obtain needed materials in alternative formats for such students is initiated without delay.
20 USC Section 1474(e)(3)(B)
8 NYCRR Sections 200.2(b)(10), 200.2(c)(2) and 200.2(i)
Policy 5510, Accounting of Funds
Accounting and reporting procedures shall be developed to facilitate analysis and evaluation of the District’s financial status and fixed assets. The District will use the Uniform System of Accounts for School Districts.
Books and records of the District shall be maintained in accordance with statutory requirements.
Provision shall be made for the adequate storage, security, and disposition of all financial and inventory records.
The Board has entered into a written agreement with designated banks and trust companies for online banking and electronic or wire transfers, which includes the implementation of a security procedure for all transactions. Online transactions must be authorized by the District’s Business Official. The District Treasurer, with a separate established user name and password, will have the authority to process online banking transactions. The Business Office Clerk or Deputy Treasurer, with a separate established user name and password, will be responsible for online banking transactions in the event the District Treasurer is not available, or as a job responsibility delegated to him/her by the District Treasurer. A monthly report of all online banking activity will be reviewed by staff independent of the online banking process and reconciled with the bank statement. Online banking will only take place on secure District computers located inside the Treasurer’s or Business Office.
Electronic Transactions and Wire Transfers
Procedures will be implemented specifying who is authorized to initiate, approve, transmit, record, review and reconcile electronic transactions. At least two individuals will be involved in each transaction. Authorization and transmitting functions will be segregated and whenever possible the recording function will be delegated to a third individual.
The District will enter into written wire transfer security agreements for District bank accounts which will include established procedures for authenticating wire transfer orders.
All wire transfers must be authorized by the District Treasurer or his/her designee. Dual approval controls will be established for non-routine wire transfer orders.
The Internal Auditor will periodically confirm that wire transfers have appropriate signatures, verification and authorization of proper personnel.
Education Law Section 2116-a
General Municipal Law Article 2 Section 5, 5-a, 5-b, 99-b
N.Y. UCC Section 4-A-201
Policy 5511, Maintenance of Fund Balance
The Board of Education recognizes that the maintenance of a fund balance is essential to the financial integrity of the District insofar as it helps mitigate current and future risks and assists in ensuring stable tax rates. Consistent with this understanding, the Board adopts the following standards and practices.
Classification of Funds
The District will ensure that funds are classified consistent with Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) Statement Number 54, Fund Balance Reporting and Governmental Fund Type Definitions. Consequently, fund balance amounts will be categorized as non-spendable, restricted, committed, assigned, or unassigned.
Unassigned Fund Balance
Minimum Unassigned Fund Balance
In order to maintain financial stability and protect against cash flow shortfalls, the Board of Education will strive to maintain an unassigned fund balance of at least 2% of the current year’s budgeted expenses. In the event such balance falls below the 2% floor, the District will seek to replenish deficiencies through reducing expenses and/or increasing revenue.
Maximum Unassigned Fund Balance
In order to support normal operating costs and provide fiscal stability for the District, the Board of Education will also strive to ensure that the unassigned fund balance does not exceed 4% of the current year’s budgeted expenditures. If it is anticipated that such balance will exceed the 4% ceiling, the Board of Education will evaluate current commitments and assignments in order to determine the final distribution of fund balance in any fiscal year. The District will ensure unexpended surplus funds are used to reduce taxpayer liability in conformance with Real Property Tax Law Section 1318.
Fund Balance and Budget Development
The District’s ability to maintain its unassigned fund balance within the limits articulated above is contingent upon the development of a reasonable budget. Consequently, the District will develop and adopt budgets that, to the extent possible, reflect the anticipated revenues and expenditures.
Likewise, the District will ensure that appropriate reserve funds are established and utilized, consistent with applicable law and District policy, to ensure the fund balance is sufficient to meet District needs.
The District will adhere to the reporting requirements of Article 3 of the General Municipal Law of the State of New York, and the practices set forth in GASB Statement Number 54.
NOTE: Refer also to Policies #5110 — Budget Planning and Development; #5512 — Reserve Funds
Policy 5512, Reserve Funds
Reserve funds (essentially a legally authorized savings account designated for a specific purpose) are an important component in the District’s financial planning for future projects, acquisitions and other lawful purposes. To this end, the District may establish and maintain reserve funds in accordance with New York State Laws, Commissioner’s Regulations and the rules and/or opinions issued by the Office of the New York State Comptroller, as applicable. The District shall comply with the reporting requirements of Article 3 of the General Municipal Law of the State of New York and the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) issued GASB Statement Number 54, Fund Balance Reporting and Governmental Fund Type Definitions.
Any and all District reserve funds shall be properly established and maintained to promote the goals of creating an open, transparent and accountable use of public funds. The District may engage independent experts and professionals, including but not limited to, auditors, accountants and other financial and legal counsel, as necessary, to monitor all reserve fund activity and prepare any and all reports that the Board may require.
Periodic Review and Annual Report
The Board of Education will periodically review all reserve funds. The District will also prepare and submit an annual report of all reserve funds to the Board of Education. The annual report shall include the following information for each reserve fund:
a) The type and description of the reserve fund;
b) The date the reserve fund was established and the amount of each sum paid into the fund;
c) The interest earned by the reserve fund;
d) Capital gains or losses resulting from the sale of investments of the reserve fund;
e) The total amount and date of each withdrawal from the reserve fund;
f) The total assets of the reserve fund showing cash balance and a schedule of investments; and
g) An analysis of the projected needs for the reserve fund in the upcoming fiscal year and a recommendation regarding funding those projected needs.
The Board shall utilize the information in the annual report to make necessary decisions to adequately maintain and manage the District’s reserve fund balances while mindful of its role and responsibility as a fiduciary of public funds.
The Superintendent shall develop any necessary and/or appropriate regulations to implement the terms of the Board’s policy.
Policy 5520, Extra-classroom Activity Fund
An extra-classroom activity fund shall be established for activities conducted by students whose financial support is raised other than by taxation or through charges of the Board of Education.
All extra-classroom activities shall be approved by the Board of Education. The Building Principal shall maintain an up to date register of all extra classroom activities that are approved or discontinued. Each extra-classroom activity shall have a faculty advisor appointed by the Building Principal. A Central Treasurer and a Faculty Auditor shall oversee all financial aspects of extra-classroom activities. The annual District audit will include all extra-classroom activity funds.
All extra-classroom activity funds shall be handled in accordance with the financial procedures set forth in Safeguarding, Accounting and Auditing of Extra-classroom Activity Funds, published by the New York State Education Department. All commitments and contracts shall be the sole responsibility of the extra-classroom activity club giving rise to the transaction, regardless of a change in advisors, membership or officers.
Proper books will be kept and all moneys deposited in appropriate accounts as set up by the Board of Education. These accounts shall be subject to audit. All transactions involving extra-classroom funds shall be on a cash basis and no accounts shall remain unpaid at the end of the school year. Funds shall be invested in accordance with the Board of Education’s Fiscal Management Policy on the “Investment of District Funds”.
The extra-classroom activities of the District are not included in the exemption granted to the School District from New York State sales tax. Without exception, clubs and activities are prohibited from using the school’s tax exemption. The Central Treasurer shall be responsible for filing the periodic sales tax returns for the extra-classroom activity funds.
Funds of discontinued extra-classroom activities, those inactive for one (1) year and of graduating classes shall revert to the account of the general student organization or student council and shall be expended in accordance with the organization’s constitution.
The Building Principals, with approval of the Superintendent of Schools, shall set up procedures for receipt and payment from the extra-classroom activity fund in their respective schools.
8 NYCRR Part 172
NOTE: Refer also to Policy #5620 — Fixed Asset Inventories, Accounting, and Tracking
Policy 5530, Petty Cash Funds and Cash in School Buildings
Petty Cash Funds
A petty cash fund of not more than one hundred dollars ($100) shall be maintained in the District Office and in each school building in a secure location. Payments from petty cash funds may be made for materials, supplies or services only when payment is required upon delivery. At the time of reimbursement, an itemized statement of expenditures, together with substantiating receipts, shall be submitted. Such accounts shall be authorized by Board resolution at their annual meeting.
Appropriate regulations shall be developed for implementation of this policy.
Cash in School Buildings
Not more than two hundred fifty dollars ($250), whether District or extra classroom funds, shall be held in the vault in the Main Office of each District school building. Under no circumstances shall cash be left in classroom areas or desks. The District will not be responsible for funds left unprotected.
All funds, whether District or extra classroom funds, shall be deposited prior to close of school each week. Only authorized personnel designated by the building administrator shall be allowed in the Main Office vault.
Education Law Sections 1604(26), 1709(29) and 2503(1)
8 NYCRR Section 170.4
Policy 5540, Publication of District’s Annual Financial Statement
In compliance with Education Law, as a Small City School District, the Board of Education is required to annually publish a financial report within three (3) months of the close of the fiscal year. This financial report must include the specifics of all moneys received and expended and also include a full and complete statement of any bonds issued the preceding year for school purposes and the disposition made or to be made of the proceeds of such bonds.
The law requires that this statement be published in one newspaper, or two if available, having general circulation in the School District, or in pamphlet form for general distribution, as prescribed by the Commissioner. However, if the report is published in pamphlet form, then the Board is required to publish notice in a newspaper or newspapers having general circulation in the District, indicating when and where the pamphlets will be made available.
Education Law Sections 1610, 1721, 2117, 2528 and 2577
8 NYCRR Section 170
Policy 5550, Maintenance of Fiscal Effort (Title I Programs)
A Local Educational Agency (LEA) may receive its full allocation of Title I funds if the combined fiscal effort per student or the aggregate expenditures of state and local funds with respect to the provision of free public education in the LEA for the preceding fiscal year was not less than ninety percent (90%) of the combined fiscal effort per student or the aggregate expenditures for the second preceding fiscal year.
In determining an LEA’s compliance with the maintenance of effort requirement, the State Educational Agency (SEA) shall consider the LEA’s expenditures from state and local funds for free public education. These include expenditures for administration, instruction, attendance, health services, student transportation services, plant operation and maintenance, fixed charges, and net expenditures to cover deficits for food services and student body activities.
The SEA shall not consider the following expenditures in determining an LEA’s compliance with the maintenance of effort requirements:
a) Any expenditures for community services, capital outlay, and debt service;
b) Any expenditures made from funds provided by the federal government for which the LEA is required to account to the federal government directly or through the SEA.
The Board of Education assigns the School Business Manager the responsibility of reviewing, as part of the budgeting process, combined fiscal effort so that expenditures of state and local funds with respect to the provision of free public education per student and in the aggregate for any fiscal year are not budgeted at less than ninety percent (90%) of the combined fiscal effort per student or the aggregate of expenditures for the preceding fiscal year.
Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001
34 CFR Part 200
Policy 5560, Use of Federal Funds for Political Expenditures
The Board of Education prohibits the use of any federal funds for partisan political purposes or expenditures of any kind by any person or organization involved in the administration of federally-assisted programs.
This policy refers generally, but is not limited to, lobbying activities, publications, or other materials intended for influencing legislation or other partisan political activities.
In recognition of this stricture, the Board of Education assigns the Purchasing Agent the responsibility of monitoring expenditures of federal funds so that said funds are not used for partisan political purposes by any person or organization involved in the administration of any federally-assisted programs.
OMB Circular A-87 Cost Principles for State, Local and Indian Tribal Governments (revised May 10, 2004); Compliance Supplement for Single Audit of State and Local Governments (revised June 27, 2003) supplementing OMB Circular A133
NOTE: Refer also to Policy #6430 — Employee Activities
Policy 5570, Financial Accountability
School districts must have internal controls in place to ensure that the goals and objectives of the District are accomplished; laws, regulations, policies, and good business practices are complied with; audit recommendations are considered and implemented; operations are efficient and effective; assets are safeguarded; and accurate, timely and reliable data are maintained.
The Watervliet City School District’s governance and control environment will include the following:
a) The District’s code of ethics addresses conflict of interest transactions with Board members and employees. Transactions that are less-than-arm’s length are prohibited. Less-than-arm’s length is a relationship between the District and employees or vendors who are related to District officials or Board members.
b) The Board requires corrective action for issues reported in the Certified Public Accountant’s (CPA’s) management letter, audit reports, the Single Audit, and consultant reports.
c) The Board has established the required policies and procedures concerning District operations.
d) The Board routinely receives and discusses the necessary fiscal reports including the:
1. Treasurer’s cash reports,
2. Budget status reports,
3. Revenue status reports,
4. Monthly extra-classroom activity fund reports, and
5. Fund balance projections (usually starting in January).
e) The District has a long-term (three to five years) financial plan for both capital projects and operating expenses.
f) The District requires attendance at training programs for Board members, business officials, treasurers, claims auditors, and others to ensure they understand their duties and responsibilities and the data provided to them.
g) The Board has an audit committee to assist in carrying out its fiscal oversight responsibilities.
h) The District’s information systems are economical, efficient, current, and up-to-date.
i) All computer files are secured with passwords or other controls, backed up on a regular basis, and stored at an offsite or in a secure fireproof location.
j) The District periodically verifies that its controls are working efficiently.
k) The District requires all staff to take leave time during which time another staff member performs the duties of the staff on leave. Staff may also schedule transactions and other responsibilities to occur electronically before taking a leave.
Periodically, the District receives audit reports from the External (Independent) Auditor and/or the Office of the New York State Comptroller. The Board will review all audit recommendations in consultation with the Audit Committee and respond appropriately. Independent and Comptroller audit reports and the accompanying management letters will be made available for public inspection. Notice of the availability of independent and Comptroller audit reports will be published in the District’s official newspaper or one having general circulation in the District. If there is no newspaper, notice must be placed in ten (10) public places within the District. Additionally, final audit reports from the Office of the NYS Comptroller should be posted on the District website, if one is available, for a period of five (5) years.
8 NYCRR Section 170.12
General Municipal Law Section 33(2)(e) and 35 (1)(2)
Revised: 6/18/13; 5/13/14
Policy 5571, Allegations of Fraud
Reporting and Investigations of Allegations of Fraud
All Board members and officers, District employees and third party consultants are required to abide by the District’s policies, administrative regulations and procedures in the conduct of their duties. Further, all applicable federal and/or state laws and regulations must be adhered to in the course of District operations and practices. Any individual who has reason to believe that financial improprieties or wrongful conduct is occurring within the School System is to disclose such information according to the reporting procedures established by the District. The reporting procedures will follow the chain of command as established within the department or school building or as enumerated in the District’s Organizational Chart. In the event that the allegations of financial improprieties/fraud and/or wrongful conduct concern the investigating official, the report shall be made to the next level of supervisory authority. If the chain of supervisory command is not sufficient to ensure impartial, independent investigation, allegations of financial improprieties/fraud and/or wrongful conduct will be reported as applicable, to the Internal Auditor (if available), or the Independent (External) Auditor, or the School Attorney, or the Board of Education. The District’s prohibition of wrongful conduct, including fraud, will be publicized within the District as deemed appropriate; and written notification will be provided to all employees with fiscal accounting/oversight and/or financial duties including the handling of money.
Upon receipt of an allegation of financial improprieties/fraud and/or wrongful conduct, the Board or designated employee(s) will conduct a thorough investigation of the charges. However, even in the absence of a report of suspected wrongful conduct, if the District has knowledge of, or reason to know of, any occurrence of financial improprieties/fraud and/or wrongful conduct, the District will investigate such conduct promptly and thoroughly. To the extent possible, within legal constraints, all reports will be treated as confidentially and privately as possible. However, disclosure may be necessary to complete a thorough investigation of the charges and/or to notify law enforcement officials as warranted, and any disclosure will be provided on a “need to know” basis. Written records of the allegation, and resulting investigation and outcome will be maintained in accordance with law.
Based upon the results of this investigation, if the District determines that a school official has engaged in financial improprieties/fraudulent and/or wrongful actions, appropriate disciplinary measures will be applied, up to and including termination of employment, in accordance with legal guidelines, District policy and regulation, and any applicable collective bargaining agreement. Third parties who are found to have engaged in financial improprieties/fraud and/or wrongful conduct will be subject to appropriate sanctions as warranted and in compliance with law. The application of such disciplinary measures by the District does not preclude the filing of civil and/or criminal charges as may be warranted. Rather, when school officials receive a complaint or report of alleged financial improprieties/fraud and/or wrongful conduct that may be criminal in nature, law authorities should be immediately notified.
An appeal procedure will also be provided, as applicable, to address any unresolved complaints and/or unsatisfactory prior determinations by the applicable investigating officer(s).
Protection of School Employees who Report Information Regarding Illegal or Inappropriate Financial Practices
Any employee of the School District who has reasonable cause to believe that the fiscal practices or actions of an employee or officer of the District violates any local, state, federal law or rule and regulation relating to the financial practices of the District, and who in good faith reports such information to an official of the District, or to the Office of the State Comptroller, the Commissioner of Education, or to law enforcement authorities, shall have immunity from any civil liability that may arise from the making of such report. Further, neither the School District, nor employee or officer thereof, shall take, request, or cause a retaliatory action against any such employee who makes such a report.
The Board also prohibits any retaliatory behavior directed against any witnesses and/or any other individuals who participate in the investigation of an allegation of illegal or inappropriate fiscal practices or actions. Follow-up inquiries shall be made to ensure that no reprisals or retaliatory behavior has occurred to those involved in the investigation. Any act of retaliation is prohibited and subject to appropriate disciplinary action by the District.
Knowingly Makes False Accusations
Any individual who knowingly makes false accusations against another individual as to allegations of financial improprieties/fraud may also face appropriate disciplinary action.
Education Law Section 3028-d
Policy 5572, Audit Committee
An Audit Committee has been established by Board resolution. The Audit Committee may consist of:
a) The Board of Education as a whole;
b) A subcommittee of the Board of Education; or
c) An Advisory Committee that may include, or be composed entirely of persons other than Board members if, in the opinion of the Board, such membership is advisable to provide accounting and auditing expertise.
Persons other than Board members who serve on the advisory committee shall be independent and shall not:
1. Be employed by the District;
2. Be an individual who within the last two (2) years provided, or currently provides, services or goods to the District;
3. Be the owner of or have a direct and material interest in a company providing goods or services to the District; or
4. Be a close or immediate family member of an employee, officer, or contractor providing services to the District. A “close family member” is defined as a parent, sibling or non-dependent child; an “immediate family member” is a spouse, spouse equivalent, or dependent (whether or not related).
The Audit Committee shall consist of at least three (3) members who should collectively possess knowledge in accounting, auditing, financial reporting, and School District finances. They shall serve without compensation, but shall be reimbursed for any actual and necessary expenditure incurred in relation to attendance at meetings. Employees of the District are prohibited from serving on the Audit Committee. Members of the Audit Committee shall be deemed School District Officers, but shall not be required to be residents of the School District.
The role of the Audit Committee shall be advisory unless the Audit Committee consists of at least a quorum of Board members, and any recommendations it provides to the Board shall not substitute for any required review and acceptance by the Board of Education.
The Audit Committee shall develop and submit to the Board for approval a formal, written charter which includes, but is not limited to, provisions regarding the committee’s purpose, mission, duties, responsibilities and membership requirements.
The Audit Committee shall hold regularly scheduled meetings and report to the Board on the activities of the Committee on an as needed basis, but not less than annually. The report will address or include at a minimum:
a) The activities of the Audit Committee;
b) A summary of the minutes of the meeting;
c) Significant findings brought to the attention of the Audit Committee;
d) Any indications of suspected fraud, waste, or abuse;
e) Significant internal control findings; and
f) Activities of the internal audit function.
The responsibilities of the Audit Committee include the following:
a) Provide recommendations regarding the appointment of the External (Independent) Auditor for the District;
b) Meet with the External (Independent) Auditor prior to commencement of the audit;
c) Review and discuss with the External (Independent) Auditor any risk assessment of the District’s fiscal operations developed as part of the Auditor’s responsibilities under governmental auditing standards for a financial statement audit and federal single audit standards if applicable;
d) Receive and review the draft annual audit report and accompanying draft management letter and, working directly with the External (Independent) Auditor, assist the Board of Education in interpreting such documents;
e) Make a recommendation to the Board on accepting the annual audit report; and
f) Review every corrective action plan developed by the School District and assist the Board in its implementation.
Corrective Action Plan
Within ninety (90) days of receipt of the report or management letter, the Superintendent shall prepare a corrective action plan approved by the Board in response to any findings contained in:
a) The annual external audit report or management letter;
b) A final audit report issued by the District’s internal auditor;
c) A final report issued by the State Comptroller;
d) A final audit report issued by the State Education Department; or
e) A final audit report issued by the United States or an office, agency or department thereof.
The corrective action plan must be filed with the State Education Department, and if appropriate, must include the expected date(s) of implementation. To the extent practicable, implementation of the corrective action plan should begin no later than the end of the next fiscal year.
Additional responsibilities of the Audit Committee include: assisting in the oversight of the Internal Audit Function including, but not limited to, providing recommendations regarding the appointment of the Internal Auditor; reviewing significant findings and recommendations of the Internal Auditor; monitoring the School District’s implementation of such recommendations; and participating in the evaluation of the performance of the Internal Audit Function.
The Audit Committee may conduct an Executive Session pursuant to Public Officers Law Section 105 pertaining to the following matters:
a) To meet with the External (Independent) Auditor prior to commencement of the audit;
b) To review and discuss with the External (Independent) Auditor any risk assessment of the District’s fiscal operations developed as part of the Auditor’s responsibilities under governmental auditing standards for a financial statement audit and federal single audit standards if applicable; and
c) To receive and review the draft annual audit report and accompanying draft management letter and, working directly with the External (Independent) Auditor, assist the Board of Education in interpreting such documents;
Any Board member who is not a member of the Audit Committee may be allowed to attend an Audit Committee Meeting, including an executive session of the Audit Committee, if authorized by a Board resolution. However, if such Board member’s attendance results in a meeting of a quorum of the full Board, any action taken by formal vote may constitute official Board action.
Education Law Sections 2116-c, and 3811-3813
Public Officers Law Sections 105(b), 105(c) and 105(d)
8 NYCRR Section 170.12(d)
Policy 5573, Internal Audit Function
The District has established an Internal Audit Function which includes:
a) Development of a risk assessment of District operations including, but not limited to, a review of financial policies, procedures and practices;
b) An annual review and update of such risk assessment;
c) Annual testing and evaluation of one or more of the District’s internal controls, taking into account risk, control weaknesses, size, and complexity of operations;
d) Preparation of reports, at least annually or more frequently as the Board may direct, which analyze significant risk assessment findings, recommend changes for strengthening controls and reducing identified risks, and specify timeframes for implementation of such recommendations.
The District is permitted to utilize existing District personnel to fulfill the Internal Audit Function, but such persons shall not have any responsibility for other business operations of the District while performing Internal Audit Functions. The District shall also be permitted to use inter-municipal cooperative agreements, shared services to the extent authorized by Education Law Section 1950 or independent contractors to fulfill the Internal Audit Function as long as the personnel or entities performing this function comply with any Regulations issued by the Commissioner of Education and meet professional auditing standards for independence between the auditor and the District.
Personnel or entities serving as the Internal Auditor and performing the Internal Audit Function shall report directly to the Board of Education. The Audit Committee shall assist in the oversight of the Internal Audit Function on behalf of the Board.
Education Law Sections 1950, 2116-b and 2116-c
8 NYCRR Section 170.12(d)
NOTE: Refer also to Policy #1339 — Duties of the Internal Auditor
Policy 5574, Medicaid Compliance Program Policy
The School District shall comply with New York State and federal laws and regulations related to the School District’s participation as a provider of care, services or supplies under the Medicaid program.
The School District as a provider receiving or submitting Medicaid claims of at least $500,000 in any consecutive twelve-month period, has established and implemented a Medicaid Compliance Program designed to detect and prevent fraud, waste and abuse.
As required by the New York State Office of the Medicaid Inspector General (hereinafter referred to as the OMIG), the School District’s Medicaid Compliance Program is comprised of the following core elements:
a) Written policies and procedures that describe compliance expectations as embodied in a code of ethics applicable to all School District personnel, including Board members. Such compliance expectations or standards of conduct shall include provisions designed to: implement the operation of the Medicaid Compliance Programs; provide guidance to employees and others on dealing with potential compliance issues; identify how to communicate compliance issues to appropriate personnel; and describe how issues are investigated and resolved;
b) A designated employee who will be responsible for the day-to-day operation of the Medicaid Compliance Program. This employee’s job duties may be exclusively related to Medicaid compliance issues or may be combined with other duties, provided that the Medicaid compliance portions of the employee’s duties are satisfactorily fulfilled. The designated employee shall report directly to the School District Superintendent or the Superintendent’s designee and shall also periodically report directly to the Board of Education on the School District’s Medicaid Compliance Program activities;
c) Training and education of all affected School District employees and other persons associated with the School District’s Medicaid Compliance Program, including, but not limited to, members of the District’s Board of Education. Such training shall occur periodically and shall be made a part of any required training or orientation for new employees, Board members, volunteers and/or others on dealing with the School District’s Medicaid Compliance Program;
d) Communication lines and processes directed to the School District’s designated employee who will be responsible for the day-to-day operation of the Medicaid Compliance Program. Such communication lines and processes shall be accessible to all School District employees, Board members, volunteers and others associated with the School District’s Medicaid Compliance Program. The communication lines and processes are designed to allow employees to report compliance issues, including the anonymous and confidential good faith reporting of any practice or procedure related to Medicaid reimbursement of school or preschool supportive health services, that an employee believes is inappropriate;
e) Disciplinary procedures that encourage good faith and fair dealing in the School District’s Medicaid Compliance Program by all affected individuals. Such disciplinary procedures shall include procedures that articulate expectations for reporting and assisting with the resolution of compliance issues and also provide sanctions for the failure to report suspected problems and participating (either actively or passively) in non-compliant behavior;
f) A system for the routine identification of Medicaid compliance risk areas in the School District’s Medicaid Compliance Program. Self-evaluation of such risk areas may be accomplished by, but not necessarily limited to, internal audits and external audits, as appropriate;
g) A system for responding to, investigating, correcting and reporting compliance issues as they are raised, including the development of procedures and systems to reduce the potential for recurrence, identifying and reporting compliance issues to the OMIG and refunding overpayments; and
h) A policy of non-intimidation and non-retaliation against any person for the good faith participation in any aspect of the administration of the School District’s Medicaid Compliance Program including, but not limited to, the reporting of potential issues, assisting as a witness with any investigation, evaluation, audit, remedial actions or reporting to appropriate officials as provided in Sections 740 and 741 of the New York State Labor Law.
Retention of Medicaid Records
On March 10, 2010, the State Education Department, Special Aids and Medicaid Unit, notified districts of a Settlement and Compliance Agreement between New York State and the federal agencies. This Agreement states that the January 2002 record retention directive is no longer in effect and districts may return to the normal retention policy.
The following records require a minimum six (6) year retention period from the date services were paid:
a) All documents relating in any manner to Medicaid reimbursement for services;
b) All documents relating in any manner to referrals, prescriptions or orders for these services;
c) All documents relating in any manner to the provision of these services including, but not limited to, the following:
1. The dates that services were provided;
2. The identification and qualifications of the professional who provided the services or under whose direction the services were provided;
3. Progress and other notes, memoranda, correspondence, reports and other documents relating to services rendered; and
d) All Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) for Medicaid-eligible students.
Questions related to the School Supportive Health Services Program (SSHSP) or the Preschool Supportive Health Services Program (PSHSP) retention policy should be directed to the STAC, Special Aids and Medicaid Unit within the New York State Education Department.
Social Services Law Section 363-d
18 NYCRR Part 521
NOTE: Refer also to Policies #5570 — Financial Accountability; #5571 — Allegations of Fraud; #5572 — Audit Committee; #5573 — Internal Audit Function; #6110 — Code of Ethics for Board Members and All District Personnel; District Medicaid Compliance Program
Policy 5610, Insurance
The objective of the Board of Education is to obtain the best possible insurance at the lowest possible cost, and to seek advice from an Insurance Appraisal Service to determine that adequate coverage is being provided regarding fire, boiler, general liability, bus and student accident insurance.
The Board shall carry insurance to protect the District’s real and personal property against loss or damage. This property shall include school buildings, the contents of such buildings, school grounds and vehicles.
The Board may also purchase liability insurance to pay damages assessed against Board members and District employees acting in the discharge of their respective duties, within the scope of their employment and/or under the direction of the Board.
All insurance policies, along with an inventory of the contents of the building, should be kept in a fireproof depository or with the appropriate insurance agent for safekeeping and referral purposes. The Superintendent shall review the District’s insurance program annually and make recommendations to the Board if more suitable coverage is required.
Education Law Sections 1709(8), 1709(26), 1709(34-b), 2503(10), 2503(10-a), 2503(10-b), 3023, 3028 and 3811
General Municipal Law Sections 6-n and 52
Public Officers Law Section 18
Policy 5620, Fixed Asset Inventories, Accounting, and Tracking
The Superintendent or designee will maintain a continuous and accurate inventory of fixed assets owned by the District in accordance with applicable rules, standards, procedures, and best practices. Fixed assets are, generally, long-term, tangible resources intended to be continuously held or used, and may include land, buildings, improvements, machinery, and equipment.
All fixed assets purchased and received by the District will be checked, logged, and stored through an established procedure.
The School Business Official will account for assets on an annual basis according to applicable rules, standards, procedures, and best practices. These accounts will serve to:
a) Maintain an inventory of assets;
b) Establish accountability;
c) Determine replacement costs; and
d) Determine and provide appropriate insurance coverage.
The Board will establish a dollar threshold as a basis for considering which fixed assets are to be depreciated. This threshold will ensure that at least 80% of the value of these assets is reported. The threshold will not be greater than $5,000. Standard methods and averaging conventions will be used in assessing, capitalizing, and depreciating fixed assets.
Fixed assets will be recorded at initial cost or, if not available, at estimated initial cost; gifts of fixed assets will be recorded at estimated fair value at the time of the gift. A property record will be maintained for each fixed asset and will contain, where possible, the following information:
a) Date of acquisition;
c) Serial or other identification number;
d) Any funding source and percentage contributed by the source;
f) Cost or value;
g) Location and use;
h) Asset type;
i) Condition and estimated useful life;
j) Replacement cost;
k) Current value;
l) Salvage value;
m) Sale price and date and method of disposition; and
n) Responsible official.
All fixed assets will be labeled. Any discrepancies between an inventory and the District’s property records should be traced, explained, and documented.
Management of Assets Acquired Under a Federal Government Grant or Subgrant
Inventories will be maintained for assets acquired with funds obtained through federal grant programs. A separate inventory will be maintained for each program. Each inventory will record assets in the same manner as the District’s fixed asset inventory. Assets will be labeled to specify the source of funds used to purchase the item. All Title I assets will include “Title I” on the label. These inventories will track assets for at least five years from the date of receipt.
When original or replacement assets acquired under a federal grant or subgrant are no longer needed for the original project or for other activities currently or previously supported by a federal agency, the District will dispose of the assets as follows:
a) Assets with a current per-unit fair market value of less than $5,000 may be retained, sold, or otherwise disposed of with no further obligation to the awarding agency.
b) Assets with a current per-unit fair market value of greater than $5,000 may be retained or sold and the awarding agency will have a right to an amount calculated by multiplying the current market value or proceeds from sale by the awarding agency’s share of the assets.
c) No federal approval is necessary to dispose of an asset costing over $5,000 but approval from the New York State Education Department (SED) is necessary. Once SED has determined that it has no other need for the use of the asset, the District may proceed with selling it.
The School District will comply with the U.S. Department of Education regulations governing the use, management, and disposition of all equipment acquired through a federal government grant.
Equipment Purchased with Extraclassroom Funds
Title to all equipment acquired with extraclassroom activity funds will reside with the District and be carried as an insurable asset on its list of insurable values. This equipment will be tagged as District property but is available for exclusive use by the extraclassroom activity club acquiring it.
34 CFR Parts 74-99, 200
SED Finance Pamphlet, The Safeguarding, Accounting, and Auditing of Extraclassroom Activity Funds, 2015
Uniform System of Accounts for School Districts (Fiscal Section)
Policy 5630, Facilities: Inspection, Operation and Maintenance
Operation and Maintenance
The Superintendent is charged with the responsibility for administering plant operations in the most efficient and economical manner possible, while placing high priority on health and safety of students and conservation of natural resources.
The Board, through the Superintendent and his/her staff, has the responsibility of protecting the District investment in plant and facilities through a systematic maintenance program.
It is expected that the program shall include periodic preventive maintenance activities, long-range maintenance schedules and emergency repair procedures. It is further expected that all maintenance work will be carried out in a manner that will cause the least interference with the educational program.
Construction and Remodeling of School Facilities
All capital projects and maintenance must assure compliance with the requirements of the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code, the Manual of Planning Standards and the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education. Relevant documentation regarding all new buildings must be formally submitted to the State Education Department no matter the size or cost. The New York State Education Department Office of Facilities Planning has provided an Instruction Guide on their official website.
Plans and specifications for the erection, enlargement, repair or remodeling of facilities of the School District shall be submitted to the Commissioner consistent with applicable law.
Plans and specifications submitted to the Commissioner shall bear the signature and seal of an architect or engineer licensed to practice in the State of New York. The architect or engineer who sealed the plans and specifications shall also certify that the plans and specifications conform to the standards set forth in the State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code and the State Energy Conservation Construction Code.
For remodeling or construction projects the District will ensure compliance with the requirements of the State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code and Commissioner’s Regulations. The District will also retain the services of an architect or engineer licensed to practice in New York State as required by law or regulation, or as necessary given the scope and cost of the project.
The District is mindful of the health and safety of its students, staff, and visitors and, as such, the District administration will cooperate with appropriate officials conducting health, fire, asbestos, bus, and boiler inspections. In addition, the administration shall keep the Board of Education informed of the results of such inspections in a timely fashion.
In accordance with the requirements of the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA), the District at least once each school year inform all employees and building occupants (or their legal guardians) about all asbestos inspections, response actions, post-response action activities, as well as triennial re-inspection activities and surveillance activities that are either planned or in progress. The District will provide yearly notification to parent, teacher, and employee organizations on the availability of the District’s asbestos management plan and any asbestos-related actions taken or planned in the school.
Comprehensive Public School Building Safety Program (Rescue)
To ensure that all school facilities are properly maintained and preserved and provide suitable educational settings, the Board of Education requires that all occupied school facilities which are owned, operated or leased by the District comply with the provisions of the Comprehensive Public School Safety Program and the Uniform Code of Public School Building Inspections, Safety Rating and Monitoring as prescribed in Commissioner’s Regulations. For this reason, the School District shall develop a Comprehensive Public School Building Safety Program in accordance with Commissioner’s Regulations.
The program shall be reevaluated and made current at least annually, and shall include the following:
a) A five year capital facilities plan which will include an appraisal of the following: the educational philosophy of the District, with resulting administrative organization and program requirements; present and projected student enrollments; space use and State-rated student capacity of existing facilities; the allocation of instructional space to meet the current and future education program and service needs, and to serve students with disabilities in settings with non-disabled peers; priority of need of maintenance, repair or modernization of existing facilities, including consideration of the obsolescence and retirement of certain facilities; and the provision of additional facilities.
b) A District-wide building inventory, which will include information pertaining to each building including, but not limited to:
1. Type of building, age of building, size of building;
2. Rated capacity, current enrollment;
3. List of energy sources and major systems (lighting, plumbing, electrical, heating); and
4. Summary of triennial Asbestos Inspection reports.
c) A building condition survey shall be conducted for all occupied school buildings once every five years by a team that includes at least one licensed architect or engineer.
d) A District-wide monitoring system which includes:
1. Establishing a Health and Safety Committee;
2. Development of detailed plans and a review process of all inspections;
3. Procedures for a response in writing to all inquiries about building health and safety concerns, a copy of which will be sent to the District’s Health and Safety Committee for oversight, and a copy kept on permanent file.
e) Procedures to ensure the safety of the building occupants while a construction/renovation project is taking place. These procedures will include:
1. Notification to parents, staff and the community at least two months in advance of a construction project of $10,000 or more to be conducted in a school building while the building is occupied; provided, however, that in the case of emergency construction projects, such notice shall be provided as far in advance of the start of construction as is practicable;
2. A plan to ensure that all contractors comply with all health and safety issues and regulations, and wear photo identification badges;
3. An opportunity for the District’s Health and Safety Committee to conduct a walk-through inspection of newly renovated or constructed areas to confirm that the area is ready to be reopened for use; and
4. An emergency plan which will address potential concerns with the capital project including, but not limited to, evacuation procedures, fire drills, and structural failures.
Asbestos Inspection: 40 CFR Part 763, Subpart E
15 USC Sections 2641-2656
Fire Inspection: Education Law Section 807-a
8 NYCRR Section 155.4
Health and Safety Committee: 8 NYCRR Section 155. 4(d)(1)
Plans and Specifications: Education Law Sections 408, 408-a and 409
8 NYCRR Sections 155.1 and 155.2
19 NYCRR Sections 1221-1240
Structural Safety Inspections: Education Law Sections 409-d, 409-e, 3602 and 3641(4)
8 NYCRR Sections 155.1, 155.3, and 155.4(b)(1)
Revised: 6/18/13; 5/10/16
Policy 5631, Hazardous Waste and Handling of Toxic Substances by Employees
The Board of Education recognizes the need to protect human health and the environment from damage resulting from the improper handling of hazardous wastes.
The management of hazardous waste from its point of generation to the ultimate disposal is regulated through specific Federal and State laws.
The Board directs the Superintendent to adopt rules to ensure District implementation of applicable Federal and State laws pertaining to the identification, transportation, treatment, storage, and disposal of hazardous wastes.
Hazard Communication Standard
All personnel shall be provided with applicable training to comply with the New York State “Right-to-Know” Law and the Hazard Communication Standard.
The Superintendent/designee shall maintain a current record of the name, address and social security number of every employee who handles or uses toxic substances and which substance(s) were handled or used by the employee.
Rules and regulations will be developed to ensure District implementation of this policy which shall include awareness information, employee training and record keeping.
Environmental Protection Agency, 40 CFR Parts 261 and 262
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), 29 CFR Section 1910.1200
Labor Law Sections 875-883
Public Health Law Sections 4800-4808
6 NYCRR Part 371
9 NYCRR Part 1174
Policy 5632, Pest Management and Pesticide Use
The Board of Education is committed to maintaining the integrity of school buildings and grounds while protecting the health and safety of students and staff and maintaining a productive learning environment.
Structural and landscape pests can pose significant problems for people and property. Weeds and infestations can destroy playing fields and playgrounds and more importantly, cause severe allergic reactions. Pesticides can pose risks to people, property, and the environment. It is therefore the policy of the School District to incorporate Integrated Pest Management (IPM) procedures for control of weeds, structural and landscape pests. The objective of this program is to provide necessary pest control while using the least toxic approach to all pests, weeds and infestations.
Pest/Pesticide Management Plan
The District will manage weeds and pests to:
a) Reduce any potential human health hazard or threat to public safety.
b) Prevent loss or damage to school structures or property.
c) Prevent pests from spreading into the community, or to plant and animal populations beyond the site.
d) Enhance the quality of life for students, staff, and others.
Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Coordinator
An IPM Coordinator will be appointed by the Superintendent of schools. The Coordinator will be responsible for implementing the IPM policy and plan. The Coordinator’s responsibilities will include the following:
a) Recording all pest sightings by school staff and students.
b) Recording all pesticide use and utilizing the least toxic approach.
c) Meeting with a local pest control expert, such as a pesticide contractor to share information on what pest problems are present in the school.
d) Assuring that all of the expert’s recommendations on maintenance and sanitation are carried out where feasible.
e) Assuring that pesticide use is done when school is not in session or when the area can be completely secured against access by school staff and students for a standard seventy-two (72) hours, or as required by the pesticide being used.
f) Evaluating the school’s progress in the IPM plan.
g) Notifying parents, staff and neighbors of any applications of pesticides forty-eight (48) hours before they occur. The IPM Coordinator will serve as the District’s Pesticide Representative.
Pesticide Use on Common Areas
Pesticides will not be used on playgrounds, turf, athletic or playing fields, in effect, all lawn areas of the school. In these common areas where children gather and play, pesticide alternatives will be used whenever possible and effective. The prohibition does not apply to indoor use or the application to building structures.
An exception may be made for emergency applications of pesticide only when approved in advance by the School Board. The Board may consult with the local Health Department on public health related emergency determinations. They may also consult with the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) for environmental emergency determinations. Emergency determinations should only be sought for one-time pesticide application in a specific situation, which presents a true emergency. The guidance document from DEC provides clarification on emergency determinations.
Some types of pesticides and alternatives, those deemed safe in federal regulation, may be allowable on playing fields and playgrounds in certain circumstances. The District will develop regulations governing the use of pesticides and their alternatives on school grounds.
New requirements and restrictions regarding the use of phosphorus fertilizers on school grounds have been developed. Chapter 205 of the Laws of 2010 dictates the requirements which must be adhered to regarding grounds maintenance starting on January 1, 2012.
a) Fertilizer use is prohibited between December 1 and April 1 annually.
b) The use of fertilizers is prohibited within twenty (20) feet of any surface water except:
1. Where a continuous natural vegetation buffer, at least ten (10) feet wide, separates lawn and water.
2. Where a spreader guard, deflector shield or drop spreader is used, then the application may not occur within three feet of any surface water.
c) The use of phosphorus fertilizers are prohibited on lawns or other non-agricultural turf with the following exceptions:
1. The use of phosphorus fertilizers are needed to establish a new lawn; or
2. A soil test shows that phosphorus fertilizers are needed for growth.
d) Fertilizer cannot be used on any impervious surfaces and if such an application occurs, it must be cleaned immediately and legally applied or placed in an appropriate container.
The District’s IPM Coordinator or designated Pesticide Representative will give prior written notice of all pesticide applications to anyone who has asked to receive such notice. The District will also notify parents, students and staff of periodic pesticide applications. The District will maintain a list of those people who wish to receive forty-eight (48) hour notice before pesticide applications and will ensure that a system is developed to deliver such notice in a timely fashion to all affected. The notification system may be by mail or email, and will ensure that a back-up method is available to notify those for whom the regular system is unworkable. The name and contact information for the District Pesticide Representative will be made available to all requesting it. Sample forms for forty-eight (48) hour prior notification.
The District must also provide additional written notification to all parents and staff three (3) times per year to inform them of any pesticide applications that have occurred: within ten (10) days of the end of the school year, within two (2) school days of the end of winter recess and within two (2) days of the end of spring recess.
Records of pesticide use will be maintained on site for three (3) years. Records will be completed on the day of pesticide use. In addition, pest surveillance records will be maintained to help verify the need for pesticide treatments. Annual reports of any applications must be sent to DEC.
Education Law Sections 409-k, 409-h
Environmental Conservation Law Sections 17-2103, 33-0303
40 CFR Part 152.25
7 United States Code Section 136(mm), 136q(h)(2) (FIFRA)
8 NYCRR Part 155.4(d)(2)
Policy 5640, Smoking/Tobacco Use
Tobacco use shall not be permitted and no person shall use tobacco on school grounds or within one hundred (100) feet of the entrances, exits, or outdoor areas of any public or private elementary or secondary schools. However, this shall not apply to smoking in a residence, or within the real property boundary lines of such residential real property. For purposes of this policy, “school grounds” means any building, structure, and surrounding outdoor grounds, including entrances or exits, contained within the District’s preschool, nursery school, elementary or secondary school’s legally defined property boundaries as registered in the County Clerk’s Office; as well as all District vehicles, including vehicles used to transport children or school personnel.
For purposes of this policy, tobacco is defined to include any lighted or unlighted cigarette, cigar, cigarillo, pipe, bidi, clove cigarette, spit/spitless tobacco and any other smoking or tobacco product, (smokeless, dip, chew, snus and/or snuff) in any form.
The use of e-cigarettes and any other products containing nicotine, except for current FDA-approved smoking cessation products, are also prohibited.
Tobacco use is prohibited by students at any school-sponsored event or activity off school grounds.
Posting/Notification of Policy
In compliance with the New York State Clean Indoor Air Act, the District will prominently post its Smoking/Tobacco Use policy and signs prohibiting all forms of tobacco products in District buildings and other appropriate locations; and will supply a copy upon request to any current or prospective employee. The District will also designate a school official to tell individuals who smoke in a non-smoking area that they are in violation of the New York State Public Health Law, Education Law, the federal Pro-Children Act of 1994 and District policy.
The District shall also ensure that this policy is communicated to staff, students, parents/ guardians, volunteers, and visitors as deemed appropriate in order to orient all persons to the District’s “No Smoking” Policy and environment.
Prohibition of Tobacco Promotional Items/Tobacco Advertising
Tobacco promotional items (e.g., brand names, logos and other identifiers) are prohibited:
a) On school grounds;
b) In school vehicles;
c) At school-sponsored events, including those that take place off school premises and in another state;
d) In school publications;
e) On clothing, shoes, accessories, gear, and school supplies in accordance with the District Code of Conduct and applicable collective bargaining agreements.
This prohibition of tobacco promotional items shall be implemented in accordance with the Code of Conduct and applicable collective bargaining agreements.
In addition, tobacco advertising is also prohibited in all school-sponsored publications and at all school sponsored events. The District will request, whenever possible, tobacco free editions of periodical publications for school libraries and classroom use.
Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act, 20 USC Section 7101 et seq.
Pro-Children Act of 2001, as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, 20 USC Sections 7181-7184
Education Law Sections 409, 2801(1) and 3020-a
Public Health Law Article 13-E
NOTE: Refer also to Policies #3280 — Use of School Facilities, Materials and Equipment; #3410 — Code of Conduct on School Property; #7320 — Alcohol, Tobacco, Drugs, and Other Substances (Students); #8211 — Prevention Instruction
District Code of Conduct on School Property
Policy 5650, Energy Conservation and Recycling in the Schools
The Board of Education recognizes the importance of energy conservation and is committed to the analysis, development, and initiation of conservation measures throughout the District for the purpose of reducing energy consumption, particularly in these times of declining levels of natural energy resources and increasing cost of these resources. The Board maintains an aggressive and responsible program to reduce consumption of energy by its facilities and to provide education to both staff and students on the conservation of energy.
The District is committed to an energy conservation program that addresses not only capital-related energy projects but ongoing, day-to-day energy related issues as well. All staff are urged to participate actively in a program of energy conservation by assisting in the efforts to eliminate the wasteful use of energy in the operation of the District’s buildings. Cooperation will be required of each employee and each student to achieve a meaningful energy conservation program that results in a more efficient use of energy resources. Involvement of staff and students is essential to a successful program of energy conservation.
The Director of Facilities and Operations is designated as the Energy Manager of the District and he/she shall report directly to the Board of Education and the Superintendent, or their designee, on matters pertaining to energy conservation.
Energy Conservation Task Force
The Board of Education further directs the Superintendent to establish an energy conservation task force consisting of at least two Board members, the Superintendent, the School Business Official, the Director of Facilities and Operations, and such other individual(s) as may be deemed necessary. The duties of this task force will include, but are not limited to, the following:
a) Analyzing the District’s energy consumption patterns and cost data;
b) Selecting and recommending to the Board an energy audit or technical assistance study to determine where the District can save;
c) Consider financing energy improvements with an energy performance contract. A technical assistance study can evaluate a proposed performance contract before the District enters into an agreement;
d) Consider cost savings from cooperative purchasing arrangements with other municipalities and school districts.
e) Work with outside consultants and/or staff members to recommend and evaluate energy saving ideas including, but not limited to, technology power management, lighting changes, HVAC changes; and
f) Evaluate and make recommendations about the energy efficiency of District buildings through periodic building inspections and surveys.
Progress reports on the implementation of energy conservation measures will be made to the Board at least annually.
Minimum Indoor Air Temperature
The District will comply with the Property Maintenance Code of New York State, part of the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code, which requires that indoor occupiable work spaces be maintained at a minimum temperature of sixty-five (65) degrees from September 14 to May 31 during the period the spaces are occupied. There are exceptions for areas of vigorous physical activities such as gymnasiums as well as processing spaces such as coolers or freezers. However, by law, code or regulation there is no maximum temperature specified. Ventilation requirements only require fresh air, not cool air-conditioning.
The energy conservation program is an important factor to be considered in planning effective use of school facilities, new construction, remodeling or rehabilitation programs, and modernization projects.
The Board is committed to protecting and improving the environment by recycling commonly used materials, waste prevention strategies and purchasing recycled products when feasible. The Superintendent will create a task force charged with developing a program for the source separation and segregation of recyclable or reusable materials in the District. This District-wide recycling plan shall include:
a) A conservation education program to teach students about their social responsibility for preserving our resources, and involvement of all students and personnel in a comprehensive effort to reduce, reuse and recycle waste materials;
b) A concerted effort to purchase recycled and biodegradable items;
c) Separation of waste into appropriate categories for the purposes of recycling; and
d) A cooperative effort with community recycling programs.
Environmental Conservation Law Sections 27-2101- 27-2117
General Municipal Law Section 120-aa
19 NYCRR Sections 1221-1228 and Section 1240
Energy Conservation Code of New York State 2007
Policy 5660, School Food Service Program (Lunch and Breakfast)
School Food Service Program (Lunch and Breakfast)
The Board has entered into an agreement with the New York State Education Department to participate in the National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program and/or Special Milk Program to receive commodities donated by the Department of Agriculture and to accept responsibility for providing free and reduced price meals to elementary and secondary students in the schools of the District.
The Superintendent or his/her designee shall have the responsibility to carry out the rules of the School Lunch and Breakfast Programs. The determination of which students are eligible is the responsibility of the Reviewing Official and Verification Official or of the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance of the Department of Social Services. Appeals regarding eligibility should be submitted to the Hearing Official of the District.
Free or reduced price meals may be allowed for qualifying students attending District schools upon receipt of a written application from the student’s parent or guardian or a “Direct Certification” letter from the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA). Applications will be provided by the School District to all families.
School officials must also determine eligibility for free/reduced meals and milk by using the Direct Certification Matching Process, a dataset supplied by the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, and made available by the State Education Department. Any student receiving federal assistance through Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) is automatically eligible for free meals and milk. There is no need for families to complete further applications. School Districts shall notify parents or guardians of such eligibility, giving them the opportunity to decline free meals and milk if they so choose.
Procedures for the administration of the free and reduced price meal program of this School District will be the same as those prescribed in current state and federal laws and regulations.
Meal Charge Policy
The Board of Education recognizes that on occasion, students may forget to bring meal money to school. To ensure that students do not go hungry, but also to promote responsible student behavior and minimize the fiscal burden to the District, the Board will allow students who may forget meal money to “charge” the cost of meals to be paid back at a later date subject to the terms in this policy. To comply with State guidelines and maintain a system for accounting for charged meals, regarding both full and reduced-price meals, the Board shall:
a) Allow only regular meals, meaning what is on the menu, excluding extras and snacks, to be charged;
b) Limit the number of charges to three (3) per student;
c) Use a computer-generated point of sale system, which identifies and records all meals as well as collects repayments;
d) Until the charges are paid in full, the student shall receive a full meal alternative consisting of a peanut butter and jelly or cheese sandwich, milk, fruit and vegetable.
Charged meals must be counted and claimed for reimbursement on the day that the student charged (received) the meal, not the day the charge is paid back. When charges are paid, these monies are not to be considered “a la carte” transactions, as a section on the daily cash report or deposit summary reads “charges paid.”
Before denying any student a meal for abusing the policy, school food authorities (SFAs) shall carefully consider the negative consequences of such an action. Refusing very young children or students with disabilities is prohibited by the Board.
The Food Service Manager will make contact with the parent as prescribed in the Meal Charge Procedure developed by the Business Administrator.
If SFAs suspect that a student may be abusing this policy, written notice will be provided to the parent that if he/she continues to abuse this policy, the privilege of charging meals will be refused.
Restriction of Sweetened Foods in School
The sale of sweetened foods will be prohibited from the beginning of the school day until the end of the last scheduled meal period.
Sweetened foods consist of sweetened soda water, chewing gum, candy, including hard candy, jellies, gum, marshmallow candies, fondant, licorice, spun candy, candy coated popcorn, and water ices except those which contain fruit or fruit juices.
Restrictions on Sale of Milk Prohibited
Schools that participate in the National School Lunch Program may not directly or indirectly restrict the sale or marketing of fluid milk products at any time or in any place on school premises or at school-sponsored events.
Food Substitutions for Children with Disabilities
Federal regulations governing the operation of Child Nutrition Programs, Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 require that children with disabilities be offered the opportunity to participate in all academic and nonacademic activities including the school nutrition programs. The District will make reasonable accommodations to those children with disabilities whose disabilities restrict their diets, such as providing substitutions and/or modifications in the regular meal patterns. Such meal substitutions for students with disabilities will be offered at no extra charge. A student with a disability must be provided substitutions in food when that need is supported by a statement signed by a physician attesting to the need for the substitutions and recommending alternate foods.
However, the school food service is not required to provide meal services (for example, School Breakfast Program) to students with disabilities when the meal service is not normally available to the general student body, unless a meal service is required under the student’s individualized education program (IEP) or Section 504 Accommodation Plan as mandated by a physician’s written instructions.
Food Substitutions for Nondisabled Children
Though not required, the District will also allow substitutions for non-disabled children who are unable to consume the regular meal because of medical or other special dietary needs if the request is supported by a statement signed by a recognized medical authority.
The District may also allow substitutions for fluid milk with a non-dairy beverage that is nutritionally equivalent (as established by the Secretary of Agriculture) to fluid milk and meets nutritional standards for students who are unable to consume fluid milk because of medical or other special dietary needs if the request is supported by a statement signed by a recognized medical authority or by the student’s parent/legal guardian.
Prohibition Against Adults Charging Meals
Adults should pay for their meals at the time of service or set up pre-paid accounts.
HACCP-Based Food Safety Program
Schools participating in the National School Lunch and/or School Breakfast programs are required to implement a food safety program based on Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) principles. The District will ensure that a written school food safety plan is in place which: includes methods for documenting menu items in the appropriate HACCP process category; documenting critical control points of food production; monitoring; establishing and documenting corrective actions; recordkeeping; and reviewing and revising the overall food safety program.
Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004, PL 108-265
Child Nutrition Act 1966, 42 USC Section 1771 et seq.
Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act 1946, 42 USC Section 1751 et seq.
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 USC Section 794 et seq.
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), 20 USC Sections 1400-1485
7 CFR Parts 15B, 210 and 220
Education Law Sections 902(b), 915, 918, 1604(28), 1709(22), 1709(23) and 2503(9)(a)
8 NYCRR Sections 200.2(b)(1) and 200.2(b)(2)
Social Services Law Section 95
Policy 5661, Wellness
The Watervliet City School District recognizes that the present and future health and well-being of our school aged children are profoundly affected by dietary intake and the maintenance of a healthy weight throughout life. We know that schools contribute to current and life-long healthy decisions and dietary patterns and schools are able to model and reinforce healthy eating behaviors in partnership with parents, teachers, and the community at large. Therefore, because all foods and beverages available at school represent significant caloric intake, the menus should be designed to meet nutritional standards. Encouraging exercise, lifelong physical activity and commitment to healthy eating habits begin while at a young age. The Watervliet City School District acknowledges that a comprehensive and coordinated School Wellness Policy will serve to foster better nutrition, exercise and ultimately healthier students and community members.
The Watervliet City School District Wellness Policy is required by Section 204 of the Child Nutrition and Women, Infants and Children Reauthorization Act of 2004 (PL 108-265) and by the “National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program: Nutrition Standards for All Foods Sold in Schools as required by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010” (Final Rule 80 FR11077 3-2-2015). These laws stipulate that local education agency (LEA, otherwise known for the purposes of this document as the Watervliet City School District) participating in the National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program, Special Milk Program and Summer Food Service Program shall establish a wellness policy no later than the first day of the school year beginning after June 30, 2006; Revised 2010; Revised 2015.
The District has established a Wellness Committee to develop the District’s proposed local wellness policy, making such policy recommendations for review and adoption by the Board of Education. The District Wellness Committee includes, but is not limited to, representatives from each of the following groups:
c) Health/Science/Physical Education teachers;
d) School health professionals;
e) The District’s food service program;
f) School Board;
g) School administrators; and
h) Members of the public.
The District Wellness Committee will also be responsible for assessing current activities, programs and policies available in the District, and providing mechanisms for implementation, evaluation, and revision of the policy. In so doing, the Wellness Committee will evaluate and make recommendations which reflect the specific needs of the District and its students.
Whereas Children need access to healthful foods and opportunities to be physically active in order to grow learn, and thrive;
Whereas, good health fosters student attendance and education;
Whereas, obesity rates have doubled in children and tripled in adolescents over the last two decades and physical activity and excessive calorie intake are the predominant causes of obesity;
Whereas, heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes are responsible for two-thirds of deaths in the United States and major risk factors for those diseases, including unhealthy eating habits, physical inactivity, and obesity, often are established in childhood;
Whereas, 33% of high school students do not participate in sufficient vigorous physical activity and 72% of high school students do not attend daily physical education;
Whereas, only 2% of children (2 to 19 years) eat a healthy diet consistent with the five main recommendations from the Chose MyPlate.gov;
Whereas, nationally, the items most commonly sold from school vending machines, school stores, and snack bars include low- nutrition foods and beverages, such as soda, sports drink, imitation fruit juices, chips, candy, cookies, and snack cakes;
Whereas, school districts around the country are facing significant fiscal and scheduling constraints;
Whereas, community participation is essential to the development and implementation of successful school wellness policies;
Thus, the Watervliet City School District is committed to providing school environments that promote and protect children’s health, well-being and ability to learn by supporting eating and physical activity.
The goals of the Watervliet City School District Wellness Policy are:
a) To ensure that students in pre-kindergarten through grade 12 receive nutrition education that provides the knowledge they need to adopt healthy lifestyles. The School District will work towards implementing nutritional education that will be integrated within a comprehensive school health education program and will include instruction that helps students learn more about the importance of various food groups (Chose MyPlate.gov); caloric, sugar and fat intake, portion size; the recognition of the role of media play in marketing and advertising foods and beverages; and the relationship of a balanced diet and regular exercise to a lifelong healthy lifestyle. Grades K-6 uses the Great Body Shop health curriculum. Grades 7-12 health curriculum is based on the NYSED health requirements at each level. Additionally, both programs supplement their lessons with outside speakers as well as groups such as “Food Play” from Hannaford, Cornell Cooperative Extension (Eat Smart New York Program) and the Scotia Glenville traveling museum.
b) To reinforce nutrition concepts by all school personnel and integrate into various subject areas. Examples include: 7-12 Science classes, Foods, Gourmet Foods and 7/8th grade Home and Careers all discuss nutrition. Nutrition education will include reinforcement of the importance of physical activity and the health benefits associated with a healthy lifestyle. In UPK – 12 grade physical education classes teach and reinforce life time sports, nutrition, and physical fitness.
c) To utilize the services of nutrition professionals that include NYS Healthy Schools, Food Service Management, the Home and Careers Education Department, the Health Education Department, Cornell Cooperative Extension; the District Health Coordinator will lead the effort to plan, implement and evaluate comprehensive nutrition education and promotion of the programs.
d) To recognize that students, their families and community members need to be involved in order to succeed in teaching children about health and nutrition. Therefore, it shall be the policy of the District to promote the Watervliet Health and Wellness/SAVE committees on the District website, hold meetings open to the public and to recruit community members, parents, students, District staff and faculty to serve on the committee. Additionally, Super Kids Nutrition Link is on our website for parents to get more information about healthy eating.
e) To implement nutritional and dietary guidelines as required by the “National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program: Nutrition Standards for All Foods Sold in Schools as required by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010” (Final Rule 80 FR11077 3-2-2015) as well as incorporate the recommendations from the “Smart Snacks in Schools” standards, the NYSED Child Nutrition Knowledge Center, The U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015, U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, and USDA.
f) To implement a plan for measuring the effectiveness of the wellness policy. The District will use WellSAT yearly to measure progress. District officials will review the wellness policy to ensure that the policy is being followed. Additional surveys to faculty, staff and families may also be used.
g) To provide activities consistent with health and wellness messages and themes that are conducive to healthy eating habits and physical activity. The goals are to provide a clean, safe, enjoyable meal environment, provide adequate time for students to enjoy eating with friends, schedule as close to the middle of the day as possible, prohibit use of food as reward or punishment, provide enough space and serving areas to ensure student access to meals with minimum waiting time, provide clean drinking water, prohibit denial of student participation in recess or other physical activity as a form of discipline or cancellation of recess or other physical activity time for instructional make-up time, provide staff development for the food service staff and teachers in the areas of nutrition and physical education and have teachers be a role model for healthy eating.
Foods and Beverages Served/Sold During the School Day and at School Sponsored Events
a) Foods and beverages available during the school day will include a variety of healthy choices that are of excellent quality, appealing to students, and handled in a manner consistent with state and local health department standards. The Watervliet City School District will offer a National School Breakfast and Lunch Program that follows the regulations and guidelines set forth by the USDA and will be implementing the comments eligibility next year, The Dietary Guidelines for Americans (2015). Food and beverages will be provided in an environment and manner consistent with local, state, and national guidelines. Increased signage and new menu items will also be implemented to help increase our lunch and breakfast consumers.
b) Foods and beverages available during the day shall minimize use of trans and saturated fats, sodium and sugar as defined by the above stated regulations and guidelines.
c) Food and beverages available shall offer modest portion sizes that are age-appropriate for elementary, middle and high school students respectively.
d) Products sold or offered at school functions/events shall also offer a variety of healthy choices. The above stated regulations and guidelines shall be used for guidance in this area. At events where food and beverages are sold, 50% of items sold must meet the USDA Healthy, Hunger- Free Kids Act “Smart Snacks in Schools” Standards.
e) Schools will encourage and educate students to bring healthy choices for individual student classroom snacks.
f) Classroom celebrations, especially in elementary schools, shall encourage healthy choices and portion control. All celebrations should take place after lunch. Parents and families can request a list of healthy snacks from the principal that are appropriate for such celebrations. All other snacks brought or made from home will be returned home. Additionally, parents are encouraged to instead choose non-food items to celebrate their child’s birthdays including: pencils, small toys, book marks, etc. The Watervliet Cafeteria will also provide a list of available food and beverage items for purchase which meet the “Smart Snacks in Schools” standards. This includes fruit and vegetable platters.
g) All Watervliet City School District facilities shall promote positive health habits through such means as the sale of non-food and nutritious food items during fundraisers, and fully support physical activity events.
h) Meals served through the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs will:
1. Be appealing and attractive to children;
2. Be served in clean and pleasant settings;
3. Meet, a minimum, nutrition requirements established by local, state, and federal statutes and regulations;
4. Offer a variety of fruits and vegetables;
5. Serve only low-fat (1%) and fat free milk and nutritionally-equivalent nondairy alternatives (to be defined by the USDA);
6. 100% of the grains are whole grains.
i) Foods and Beverages Sold Individually (i.e., foods sold outside of reimbursable school meals, such as through vending machines, cafeteria a la carte (snack) lines, fundraisers, school stores, etc.) will:
1. Elementary School: The school food service program will approve and provide all food and beverage sales to students in the elementary school. Given young children’s limited nutrition skills, food in the elementary schools should be sold as balanced meals. If available, foods and beverages sold individually should be limited to low-fat milk, fruits and non-fried vegetables.
2. Junior/Senior High School: In the junior/senior high school all foods and beverages sold individually outside the reimbursable school meal programs (including those sold through a la carte (snack) lines, vending machines, student stores or fundraising activities) during the school day, or through programs for students after the school day, will meet the nutrition and portion size standards.
3. Beverages Allowed: water or seltzer water without added caloric sweeteners; fruit and vegetable juices and fruit based drinks that contain at least 50% fruit juice and that do not contain additional caloric sweeteners; unflavored or flavored low-fat or fat-free fluid milk and nutritionally-equivalent nondairy beverages.
4. Beverages Not Allowed: soft drinks containing caloric sweeteners; sports drinks (allowed only during an athletic event); energy drinks, iced teas; fruit based drinks that contain less than 50% real fruit juice or that contain additional caloric sweeteners.
a) Students shall be encouraged to start each day with a healthy breakfast.
b) All students will have the opportunity to obtain breakfast.
c) Staff and students shall be reminded to wash their hands after bathroom, toileting activities and before meals (to prevent the spread of germs and reduce the risk of illness).
d) Lunch periods shall be scheduled as near the middle of the day as possible.
e) Drinking water and hand-washing facilities shall be conveniently available for students. Hand washing education shall be encouraged and incorporated into the District’s school health education program.
f) Students shall be provided sufficient time to eat during meal periods in compliance with applicable local, state and federal guidelines.
g) Students should be discouraged from sharing their foods or beverages with one another during meal or snack time, given concerns about allergies and other restrictions on some children’s diets.
Food Service Operations
a) Watervliet City School District will maintain a coordinated and comprehensive outreach, promotion and pricing plan (District webpage, letters home via Homeroom 1st Period teachers and “Home-Base) to ensure maximum participation in the school meal program.
b) Watervliet City School District will ensure that students eligible to receive free or reduced-priced meals are not treated differently from other students or easily identified by their peers.
c) Guidelines for the reimbursable meals served will not be less restrictive than local, state, federal and guidance issued by the Secretary of Agriculture. All students shall receive the same level of service and meal provisions, regardless of funding source.
d) Watervliet City School District will continue to train and develop Food service employees. The Food Service Director will administer the school food service program, according to professional standards and will satisfy reporting requirements.
e) All food service personnel will receive adequate training and be encouraged to participate in ongoing professional development as required by law.
f) Watervliet City School District will plan menus that, over the course of the week, will meet the standards recommended in the U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
g) Watervliet City School District will involve families and community members, and community organizations in the development of policies and programs to ensure that school meal options are culturally sensitive and meet special dietary needs. The District will offer vegetarian options.
h) Watervliet City School District will ensure that required and effective NYS Department of Health and County standard practices are applied to all foods prepared by the Food Service Department, sold or served at school-sponsored events.
Physical Education and Physical Activity
a) The Watervliet City School District will have a board approved physical education plan on file with NYSED that indicates:
1. Program goals and objectives;
2. The way in which students are scheduled for PE and the length of classes;
3. Program activities offered at each grade level or each year of instruction;
4. Assessment activities for determining the student’s performance, goals and objectives of the program.
b) Watervliet City School District will ensure that every student from Kindergarten through 12th grade receives regular, age-appropriate quality physical education in accordance with NYS standards. Age-appropriate physical education is activity that utilizes movement concepts, motor skills, cognitive skills and intensity appropriate for a child’s state of development.
c) All Physical Education classes shall be taught by NYS Certified Physical Education Teachers.
d) Physical Education will be designed to build interest and proficiency in the skills, knowledge and attitudes essential to a lifelong physically active lifestyle. It will include providing information, fostering a positive atmosphere, encouraging self-discipline, developing motor skills, and promoting activities that can be carried out over the course of students’ lives.
e) The physical education curriculum will be coordinated with the health education curriculum and both meet NYS Education Standards.
f) Physical Education will provide safe and satisfying physical activity for all students, including those with special needs.
g) Weather permitting, elementary schools will provide daily recess.
h) Watervliet City School District-sponsored, after-school programs will offer supervised, age-appropriate physical activities that appeal to a variety of interests, including workouts in the weight room and an exercise club.
i) Watervliet City School District shall ensure that students have adequate space and equipment to participate in structured physical activity. Facilities on school grounds will be kept safe and well maintained.
j) Watervliet City School District shall provide information to parents and the community at large (Watervliet City School District Web Page) in order to promote and incorporate physical activity and healthy eating habits into their children’s lives.
a) In an effort to encourage healthy life-long eating habits by providing foods that are high in nutrients, low in fat and added sugars, and of moderate portion size, the District Wellness Committee will recommend nutrition standards to be set for all foods and beverages available on school campus. For purposes of this section, the school day is defined as the period from the midnight before, to 30 minutes after the end of the official school day.
b) School meals will, at a minimum, meet the program requirements and nutrition standards of the School Breakfast and National School Lunch Programs.
1. All food and beverages sold as a fundraiser during the school day will meet the nutritional requirements listed in the USDA Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act “Smart Snacks in Schools” Rule.
2. School-sponsored fundraisers conducted outside of the school day will be encouraged to support the goals of this policy by promoting the sale of healthy food items (fresh fruit and produce) and/or non-food items, such as water bottles, plants, t-shirts, etc., and by promoting events involving physical activity.
3. School administrators, with the assistance of the District Wellness/SAVE Committee, will create and promote a list of approved fundraising activities. All fundraisers taking place during the school day must be approved by the appropriate Building Principal prior to their being conducted.
Local Wellness Committee
a) The Watervliet City School District has a diverse Local Wellness Committee that is comprised of the major stakeholder groups: administrators, teachers, faculty, food service staff and management, parents, students and community members.
b) The Watervliet City School District will recruit (via School District Web Page/site) community members for the local wellness committee who are involved in efforts to improve the overall health and well-being of children and youth.
c) The local wellness committee will monitor and evaluate the School District’s policies annually to ensure they are properly implemented and progress is made in improving and maintaining students’ nutrition and physical activity patterns.
d) The Watervliet City School District will attempt to supplement its efforts by seeking nutrition and physical activity partnerships with relevant community and corporate citizens.
e) Whereas school staff and support personnel serve as role models, the Watervliet City School District encourages activities and creates programs that support healthy lifestyles for all School District employees. This includes the use of the school track and the fitness center.
Implementation, Monitoring and Evaluation of Wellness Policy
a) The District will annually report on the progress each of its schools has made toward meeting the goals of this policy. Such report will include:
1. The website address for the wellness policy and/or information on how the public can access a copy;
2. A description of each school’s progress in meeting the wellness policy goals;
3. A summary of each school’s local school wellness events or activities;
4. Contact information for the leader(s) of the Wellness Committee; and
5. Information on how individuals can get involved in the Wellness Committee’s work.
6. The Food service manager will report to the Watervliet City School Board of Education annually; a formal assessment which will consist of exemplar menus, 5-day menu evaluation (Nutrikids), and State Education Department(SED)/School Meals Initiative(SMI) evaluations (including production records, standardized recipes and nutritional labels), and the results of county audits when available.
b) Assessments of the District’s wellness policy and implementation efforts will be repeated on a triennial basis. This will include:
1. Compliance with the wellness policy;
2. How the wellness policy compares to model wellness policies; and
3. Progress made in attaining the goals of the wellness policy;
c) The District will, as necessary, revise this wellness policy and develop work plans to facilitate its implementation.
42 USC Section 1758b
7 CFR Section 210.11
79 FR 10693
Education Law Section 915
8 NYCRR Section 135.4
Policy 5670, Records Management
A Records Management Officer shall be designated by the Superintendent, subject to the approval of the Board of Education. Such Records Management Officer shall coordinate the development of and oversee a program for the orderly and efficient management of records, including the legal disposition or destruction of obsolete records, and shall be given the authority and responsibility to work with other local officials at all levels in the development and maintenance of the records management program.
In addition, a Records Advisory Board may be created to assist in establishing and supporting the records management program. The District’s legal counsel, the fiscal officer, and the Superintendent/designee may comprise the Advisory Board.
Retention and Disposition of Records
The Superintendent shall retain records for such a period and dispose of them in the manner described in Records Retention and Disposition Schedule ED-1, established pursuant to Part 185, Title VIII of the Official Compilation of Codes, Rules and Regulations of the State of New York and Article 57-A of the Arts and Cultural Affairs Law.
Special Approvals for Disposition of Records Not Included in Schedule/Records Damaged by Natural or Manmade Disasters
Records not listed on a records retention and disposition schedule shall not be disposed of without the approval of the Commissioner of Education.
Records that have been damaged by natural or manmade disaster and constitute a human health or safety risk also require the Commissioner’s prior approval before disposition.
Replacing Original Records with Microforms or Electronic Images
Digital images of public records may be stored on electronic media, and such electronic records may replace paper originals or micrographic copies of these records. To ensure accessibility and intelligibility for the life of these records, the School District shall follow the procedures prescribed by the Commissioner of Education.
Retention and Preservation of Electronic Records
The District shall ensure that records retention requirements are incorporated into any plan and process for design, redesign, or substantial enhancement of an information system that stores electronic records.
Arts and Cultural Affairs Law Section 57.19
8 NYCRR Part 185
Policy 5671, Disposal of Consumer Report Information and Records
In accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) “Disposal Rule,” and in an effort to protect the privacy of consumer information, reduce the risk of fraud and identity theft, and guard against unauthorized access to or use of the information, the School District will take appropriate measures to properly dispose of sensitive information (i.e., personal identifiers) contained in or derived from consumer reports and records. Any employer who uses or possesses consumer information for a business purpose is subject to the Disposal Rule. According to the FTC, the standard for proper disposal of information derived from a consumer report is flexible, and allows the District to determine what measures are reasonable based on the sensitivity of the information, the costs and benefits of different disposal methods, and changes in technology.
The term “consumer report” shall include information obtained from a consumer reporting company that is used – or expected to be used – in establishing a consumer’s eligibility for employment or insurance, among other purposes. The term “employment purposes” when used in connection with a consumer report means a report used for the purpose of evaluating a consumer for employment, promotion, reassignment or retention as an employee.
The FTC Disposal Rule defines “consumer information” as “any record about an individual, whether in paper, electronic, or other form, that is a consumer report or is derived from a consumer report. Consumer information also means a compilation of such records. Consumer information does not include information that does not identify individuals, such as aggregate information or blind data.”
Information Covered by the Disposal Rule
The FTC has not included a rigid definition of the kinds of information that would be considered to identify particular individuals. In accordance with FTC guidance, there are a variety of personal identifiers beyond simply a person’s name that would bring information within the scope of the Disposal Rule, including, but not limited to, a social security number, driver’s license number, phone number, physical address, and email address. Depending upon the circumstances, data elements that are not inherently identifying can, in combination, identify particular individuals.
The FTC Disposal Rule defines “dispose,” “disposing,” or “disposal,” as:
a) “The discarding or abandonment of consumer information,” or
b) “The sale, donation, or transfer of any medium, including computer equipment, upon which consumer information is stored.”
The District will utilize disposal practices that are reasonable and appropriate to prevent the unauthorized access to – or use of – information contained in or derived from consumer reports and records. Reasonable measures to protect against unauthorized access to or use of consumer information in connection with District disposal include the following examples. These examples are not exclusive or exhaustive methods for complying with the Disposal Rule.
a) Burning, pulverizing, or shredding of papers containing consumer information so that the information cannot practicably be read or reconstructed.
b) Destroying or erasing electronic media containing consumer information so that the information cannot practicably be read or reconstructed.
c) After due diligence, entering into and monitoring compliance with a contract with another party engaged in the business of record destruction to dispose of material, specifically identified as consumer information, in a manner consistent with the Disposal Rule. In this context, due diligence could include:
1. Reviewing an independent audit of the disposal company’s operations and/or its compliance with the Disposal Rule;
2. Obtaining information about the disposal company from several references or other reliable sources;
3. Requiring that the disposal company be certified by a recognized trade association or similar third party;
4. Reviewing and evaluating the disposal company’s information security policies or procedures;
5. Taking other appropriate measures to determine the competency and integrity of the potential disposal company; or
6. Requiring that the disposal company have a certificate of registration from the New York Department of State issued on or after October 1, 2008.
d) For persons (as defined in accordance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act) or entities who maintain or otherwise possess consumer information through their provision of services directly to a person subject to the Disposal Rule, monitoring compliance with policies and procedures that protect against unauthorized or unintentional disposal of consumer information, and disposing of such information in accordance with examples a) and b) above.
Implementation of Practices and Procedures
The Board delegates to the Superintendent/designee(s) the authority and responsibility to review current practices regarding the disposal of consumer information; and to implement such further reasonable and appropriate procedures, including staff training as necessary, to ensure compliance with the FTC’s Disposal Rule.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act, 15 USC Section 1681 et seq.
The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003, Public Law 108-159
Federal Trade Commission Disposal of Consumer Report Information and Records, 16 CFR Part 682
General Business Law Article 39-G
19 NYCRR Section 199
Policy 5672, Information Security Breach and Notification
The School District values the protection of private information of individuals in accordance with applicable law and regulations. Further, the District is required to notify affected individuals when there has been or is reasonably believed to have been a compromise of the individual’s private information in compliance with the Information Security Breach and Notification Act and Board policy.
a) “Private information” shall mean **personal information in combination with any one or more of the following data elements, when either the personal information or the data element is not encrypted or encrypted with an encryption key that has also been acquired:
1. Social security number;
2. Driver’s license number or non-driver identification card number; or
3. Account number, credit or debit card number, in combination with any required security code, access code, or password which would permit access to an individual’s financial account.
“Private information” does not include publicly available information that is lawfully made available to the general public from federal, state or local government records.
**”Personal information” shall mean any information concerning a person which, because of name, number, symbol, mark or other identifier, can be used to identify that person.
b) “Breach of the security of the system,” shall mean unauthorized acquisition or acquisition without valid authorization of computerized data which compromises the security, confidentiality, or integrity of personal information maintained by the District. Good faith acquisition of personal information by an employee or agent of the District for the purposes of the District is not a breach of the security of the system, provided that private information is not used or subject to unauthorized disclosure.
Examples of Determining Factors
In determining whether information has been acquired, or is reasonably believed to have been acquired, by an unauthorized person or person without valid authorization, the District may consider the following factors, among others:
a) Indications that the information is in the physical possession and control of an unauthorized person, such as a lost or stolen computer or other device containing information; or
b) Indications that the information has been downloaded or copied; or
c) Indications that the information was used by an unauthorized person, such as fraudulent accounts opened or instances of identity theft reported.
a) For any computerized data owned or licensed by the School District that includes private information, the District shall disclose any breach of the security of the system following discovery or notification of the breach to any New York State resident whose private information was, or is reasonably believed to have been, acquired by a person without valid authorization. The disclosure to affected individuals shall be made in the most expedient time possible and without unreasonable delay, consistent with the legitimate needs of law enforcement, or any measures necessary to determine the scope of the breach and restore the reasonable integrity of the data system. The District shall consult with the State Office of Information Technology Services to determine the scope of the breach and restoration measures.
b) For any computerized data maintained by the District that includes private information which the District does not own, the District shall notify the owner or licensee of the information of any breach of the security of the system immediately following discovery, if the private information was, or is reasonably believed to have been, acquired by a person without valid authorization.
The notification requirement may be delayed if a law enforcement agency determines that such notification impedes a criminal investigation. The required notification shall be made after the law enforcement agency determines that such notification does not compromise the investigation.
Methods of Notification
The required notice shall be directly provided to the affected persons by one of the following methods:
a) Written notice;
b) Electronic notice, provided that the person to whom notice is required has expressly consented to receiving the notice in electronic form; and a log of each such notification is kept by the District when notifying affected persons in electronic form. However, in no case shall the District require a person to consent to accepting such notice in electronic form as a condition of establishing any business relationship or engaging in any transaction;
c) Telephone notification, provided that a log of each such notification is kept by the District when notifying affected persons by phone; or
d) Substitute notice, if the District demonstrates to the State Attorney General that the cost of providing notice would exceed $250,000, or that the affected class of subject persons to be notified exceeds 500,000, or that the District does not have sufficient contact information. Substitute notice shall consist of all of the following:
1. Email notice when the District has an email address for the subject persons;
2. Conspicuous posting of the notice on the District’s website page, if the District maintains one; and
3. Notification to major statewide media.
Regardless of the method by which notice is provided, the notice shall include contact information for the notifying District and a description of the categories of information that were, or are reasonably believed to have been, acquired by a person without valid authorization, including specification of which of the elements of personal information and private information were, or are reasonably believed to have been, so acquired.
In the event that any New York State residents are to be notified, the District shall notify the New York State Attorney General, the New York State Department of State, and the New York State Office of Information Technology Services. Such notice shall be made without delaying notice to affected New York State residents.
In the event that more than five thousand (5,000) New York State residents are to be notified at one time, the District shall also notify consumer reporting agencies, as defined pursuant to State Technology Law Section 208, as to the timing, content and distribution of the notices and approximate number of affected persons. Such notice shall be made without delaying notice to affected New York State residents. A list of consumer reporting agencies shall be compiled by the State Attorney General and furnished upon request to school districts required to make a notification in accordance with State Technology Law Section 208(2), regarding notification of breach of security of the system for any computerized data owned or licensed by the District that includes private information.
State Technology Law Sections 202 and 208
Policy 5673, Employee Personal Identifying Information
In accordance with Section 203-d of the New York State Labor Law, the District shall restrict the use and access to employee personal identifying information. As enumerated in law, “personal identifying information” shall include social security number, home address or telephone number, personal electronic mail address, Internet identification name or password, parent’s surname prior to marriage, or driver’s license number.
The District shall not unless otherwise required by law:
a) Publicly post or display an employee’s social security number;
b) Visibly print a social security number on any identification badge or card, including any time card;
c) Place a social security number in files with unrestricted access; or
d) Communicate an employee’s personal identifying information to the general public.
A social security number shall not be used as an identification number for purposes of any occupational licensing.
District staff shall have access to this policy, informing them of their rights and responsibilities in accordance with Labor Law Section 203-d. District procedures for safeguarding employee “personal identifying information” shall be evaluated; and employees who have access to such information as part of their job responsibilities shall be advised as to the restrictions on release of such information in accordance with law.
Labor Law Section 203-d
Policy 5674, Data Networks and Security Access
The District values the protection of private information of individuals in accordance with applicable law, regulations, and best practice. Accordingly, District officials and Information Technology (IT) staff will plan, implement, and monitor IT security mechanisms, procedures, and technologies necessary to prevent improper or illegal disclosure, modification, or denial of sensitive information in the District Computer System (DCS). Similarly, such IT mechanisms and procedures will also be implemented in order to safeguard District technology resources, including computer hardware and software. District network administrators may review District computers to maintain system integrity and to ensure that individuals are using the system responsibly. Users should not expect that anything stored on school computers or networks will be private.
In order to achieve the objectives of this policy, the Board of Education entrusts the Superintendent, or his/her designee, to:
a) Inventory and classify personal, private, and sensitive Information on the DCS to protect the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information;
b) Develop password standards for all users including, but not limited to, how to create passwords and how often such passwords should be changed by users to ensure security of the DCS;
c) Ensure that the “audit trail” function is enabled within the District’s network operating system, which will allow the District to determine on a constant basis who is accessing the DCS, and establish procedures for periodically reviewing such audit trails;
d) Develop procedures to control physical access to computer facilities, data rooms, systems, networks, and data to only authorized individuals; such procedures may include ensuring that server rooms remain locked at all times;
e) Establish procedures for tagging new purchases as they occur, relocating assets, updating the inventory list, performing periodic physical inventories, and investigating any differences in an effort to prevent unauthorized and/or malicious access to these assets;
f) Periodically grant, change, and terminate user access rights to the overall networked computer system and to specific software applications and ensure that users are given access based on, and necessary for, their job duties;
g) Determine how, and to whom, remote access should be granted, obtain written agreements with remote access users to establish the District’s needs and expectations, as appropriate, and monitor and control such remote access;
h) Verify that laptop computer systems assigned to teachers and administrators use full-disk encryption software to protect against loss of sensitive data;
i) Deploy software to servers and workstations to identify and eradicate malicious software attacks such as viruses and malware;
j) Develop a disaster recovery plan appropriate for the size and complexity of District IT operations to ensure continuous critical IT services in the event of any sudden, catastrophic event, including, but not limited to fire, computer virus or deliberate or inadvertent employee action.
Policy 5675, Student Grading Information Systems
Student performance is assessed in many ways, but primarily through assigned grades. The District will help ensure the integrity of student grades by controlling access to its grading information system and by approving modifications to grades where warranted.
The District utilizes an electronic software system that contains a record of student performance, credit accumulation, report cards, and a transcript. More specifically, the system includes class rosters where teachers enter student grades and track their students’ academic progress. The system is used to generate student report cards and transcripts, and to maintain all student grading records.
To protect student data in the system, the District will first establish who has the authority to grant, change, or terminate user access. The personnel with this authority will be very limited. Further, if the grading system has a feature that allows one user or account to assume the identity of another user or account, the District will restrict that feature.
The District will create categories of system users and assign appropriate system permissions to each. Users’ permissions will be compatible with and restricted by their roles and job duties; their access will be as restrictive as possible. Typically, teachers will have the ability to enter, update, and modify grades each marking period before a pre-determined lockout date. The lockout function will be consistently used throughout the school year to help prevent grade modifications without authorization after a marking period closes. Through increased system permissions, other individuals—such as non-classroom teachers, guidance counselors, information technology (IT) staff, clerical staff, and support staff—may be able to view or modify grades.
The District will work with its IT, Curriculum Office and other appropriate departments to determine how best to timely establish access rights, add users, deactivate or modify user accounts, and monitor user accounts. The District will develop further IT controls to protect against improper access, if needed.
Once the lockout period begins, only authorized users identified by the District may change grades, and only under certain circumstances. The system will recognize when grades change, and a log of modified grades may then be viewed and printed. Any grade mismatches will be reconciled before the next marking period closes or before the end of the school year, whichever is earlier.
The staff member seeking to change a grade will submit a grade-change form signed by the requesting party, the teacher who assigned the original grade, and the appropriate administrator. This form and all other documents supporting a grade modification will be electronically filed in the grading
system or filed in a non-electronic system—if electronic filing is impossible or impractical—and maintained for six years. The personnel seeking the modification should specify one or more reasonable grounds for the grade change on the form. There must be reasonable grounds to alter a grade. The reasons may include:
a) Data entry error;
b) Computational error;
c) A modification based on work submitted or considered after the lockout date;
d) Changing an incomplete grade to a regular grade because a student completed course requirements;
e) Credit recovery coursework;
f) Administrative change; or
g) Other acceptable justifications.
Audit Log and Monitoring
The District’s grading system will have if at all possible, an audit log or grade-change report function that records certain system activities, including modifications to grades. This log will be kept on paper if not available electronically. The District will periodically monitor audit logs or grade-change reports to confirm the integrity of the system, to ensure proper access by personnel, and to confirm that modifications within the system are appropriate and completed in a timely manner. The District will also periodically monitor user accounts and rights so that the permissions granted are proper and the minimum necessary for each user or user group. To the extent feasible, the District will make sure that user accounts are current and updated regularly. The District will be able to print user information, logs, reports, and other documents from the student grading information system, as needed.
Student transcripts may show all credit-bearing classes; final grades; test scores; grade-point average; class rank; diploma type; SAT, ACT, and other standardized test scores; and graduation date. The same controls, protections, and monitoring applicable to student grading information apply equally to student transcripts.
Policy 5680, Safety and Security
The Board of Education of the Watervliet City School District hereby declares that it is the policy of this School District to provide a safe and secure environment to all those persons, students, staff and visitors, who lawfully enter upon District property or who travel in District vehicles for the purposes of the District.
It shall be the responsibility of the Superintendent to establish and carry out written regulations that will:
a) Identify those staff members who will be responsible for the effective administration of the regulations;
b) Provide staff time and other necessary resources for the effective administration of the regulations;
c) Establish periodic written review of the activities of the staff to ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations;
d) Provide an on-going mechanism for the effective review of safety and security concerns of the staff, students and affected public;
e) Provide for reports to the Board of Education regarding the significant aspects of safety and security of the District.
Labor Law Section 27-a
12 NYCRR Part 820, Article 28
NOTE: Refer also to Policy #5681 — School Safety Plans
Policy 5681, School Safety Plans
The District considers the safety of its students and staff to be of the utmost importance and is keenly aware of the evolving nature of threats to schools. As such, it will address those threats accordingly through appropriate emergency response planning. The District-wide school safety plan and the building-level emergency response plan will be designed to prevent or minimize the effects of serious violent incidents and emergencies and to facilitate the coordination of schools and the District with local and county resources in the event of these incidents or emergencies.
These plans will be reviewed by the appropriate team on at least an annual basis and updated as needed by September 1. Specifically, the Board will make each District-wide school safety plan available for public comment at least 30 days prior to its adoption. The District-wide school safety plans may only be adopted by the Board after at least one public hearing that provides for the participation of school personnel, parents, students, and any other interested parties. Additionally, the District-wide school safety plan will designate the Superintendent or designee as the chief emergency officer responsible for coordinating communication between school staff and law enforcement and first responders, and for ensuring staff understanding of this plan. Similarly, the Superintendent will be responsible for ensuring the completion and yearly updating of building-level emergency response plans.
District-Wide School Safety Plan
District-wide school safety plan means a comprehensive, multi-hazard school safety plan that covers all school buildings of the District, addresses crisis intervention, emergency response and management at the District level, and has the contents as prescribed in Education Law and Commissioner’s regulations.
The District-wide school safety plan will be developed by the District-wide school safety team appointed by the Board. The District-wide team will include, but not be limited to, representatives of the Board, teacher, administrator, and parent organizations, school safety personnel, and other school personnel.
The plan will further address, among other items as set forth in Education Law and Commissioner’s regulations, how the District will respond to implied or direct threats of violence by students, teachers, other school personnel as well as visitors to the school, including threats by students against themselves (e.g. suicide).
Building-Level Emergency Response Plan
Building-level emergency response plan means a plan that addresses crisis intervention, emergency response and management at the building level and has the contents as prescribed in Education Law and Commissioner’s regulations. As part of this plan, the District will define the chain of command in a manner consistent with the National Incident Management System (NIMS)/Incident Command System (ICS).
The building-level emergency response plan will be developed by the building-level emergency response team. The building-level emergency response team is a building-specific team appointed by the building principal, in accordance with regulations or guidelines prescribed by the Board. The building-level team will include, but not be limited to, representatives of teacher, administrator, and parent organizations, school safety personnel and other school personnel, community members, law enforcement officials, fire officials, or other emergency response agencies, and any other representatives the Board deems appropriate.
The District will submit certification to the New York State Education Department that all District and school staff have received annual training on the emergency response plan, and that this training included components on violence prevention and mental health. New employees hired after the start of the school year will receive training within 30 days of hire, or as part of the District’s existing new hire training program, whichever is sooner.
The District will file a copy of its District-wide school safety plan and any amendments with the Commissioner of Education no later than 30 days after its adoption. A copy of each building-level emergency response plan and any amendments will be filed with the appropriate local law enforcement agency and with the state police within 30 days of its adoption. Building-level emergency response plans will be kept confidential and are not subject to disclosure under the Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) or any other provision of law.
Homeland Security Presidential Directives – HSPD-5, HSPD-8
Homeland Security Act of 2002, 6 USC § 101
Education Law §§ 807, 2801-a
Public Officers Law Article 6
8 NYCRR § 155.17
Policy 5682, Cardiac Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) in Public School Facilities
The School District shall provide and maintain on-site in each instructional school facility functional cardiac automated external defibrillator (AED) equipment as defined in Public Health Law Section 3000-b for use during emergencies. Each such facility shall have sufficient automated external defibrillator equipment available to ensure ready and appropriate access for use during emergencies in quantities and types as deemed by the Commissioner of Education, in consultation with the Commissioner of Health. Determination of the quantity and placement of AEDs must be made with consideration of at least the factors enumerated in Commissioner’s Regulations. An instructional school facility means a building or other facility maintained by the School District where instruction is provided to students pursuant to its curriculum.
Whenever an instructional School District facility is used for a school-sponsored or school-approved curricular or extracurricular event or activity and whenever a school-sponsored athletic contest is held at any location, the public school officials and administrators responsible for such school facility or athletic contest shall ensure that AED equipment is provided on-site and that there is present during such event, activity or contest at least one staff person who is trained in accordance with Public Health Law in the operation and use of an AED. School-sponsored or school-approved curricular or extracurricular events or activities mean events or activities of the School District that are, respectively, associated with its instructional curriculum or otherwise offered to its students. A school-sponsored athletic contest means an extraclass intramural athletic activity of instruction, practice and competition for students in grades 4 through 12 consistent with Commissioner’s Regulations Section 135.4.
Where a school-sponsored competitive athletic event is held at a site other than a School District facility, School District officials shall assure that AED equipment is provided on-site by the sponsoring or host district and that at least one staff person who is trained, in accordance with Public Health Law, in the operation and use of the AED is present during such athletic event. A school-sponsored competitive athletic event means an extraclass interscholastic athletic activity of instruction, practice and competition for students in grades 7 through 12 consistent with Commissioner’s Regulations Section 135.4.
School District facilities and District staff responsible for carrying out the duties enumerated in Education Law Section 917 are deemed a “public access defibrillation provider” as defined pursuant to Public Health Law Section 3000-b and subject to the Public Health Law requirements and limitations.
Therefore, it is the policy of our School District to provide proper training requirements for District AED users, to ensure the immediate calling of 911 and/or the community equivalent ambulance dispatch entity whenever the AED is used, to ensure ready identification of the location of the AED units as enumerated in the District’s Public Access Defibrillation Collaborative Agreement.
The District will provide for regular maintenance and checkout procedures of the AED unit(s) which meet or exceed manufacturer’s recommendations. Appropriate documentation will be maintained in accordance with law and/or regulation. Further, the District will participate in the required Quality Improvement Program as determined by the Regional Emergency Medical Services Council.
The District shall post a sign or notice at the main entrance to the facility or building in which the AED unit(s) is stored, indicating the exact location where the unit(s) is stored or maintained on a regular basis.
Pursuant to Public Health Law Sections 3000-a and 3000-b, the School District (as a public access defibrillation provider), or any employee or other agent of the School District who, in accordance with the provisions of law, voluntarily and without expectation of monetary compensation renders emergency medical or first aid treatment using an AED to a person who is unconscious, ill or injured, shall not be liable for damages for injury or death unless caused by gross negligence.
Education Law Section 917
Public Health Law Sections 3000-a and 3000-b
8 NYCRR Sections 135.4 and 136.4
Policy 5683, Fire and Emergency Drills, Bomb Threats and Bus Emergency Drills
Fire and Emergency Drills
The administration of each school building will instruct and train students on appropriate emergency responses, through fire and emergency drills, in the event of a sudden emergency.
Fire and emergency drills will be held at least 12 times in each school year; eight of these will be completed by December 31. Eight of all drills will be evacuation drills, four will be through use of the fire escapes on buildings where fire escapes are provided or identified secondary exits. The other four drills will be lock-down drills. Drills will be conducted at different times of the school day. Students will also be instructed in the procedures to be followed in the event that a fire occurs during the regular school lunch period or assembly, however, this additional instruction may be waived if a drill is held during the regular lunch period or assembly.
At least two additional drills will be held during summer school in buildings where summer school is held, and one of these drills will be held during the first week of summer school.
After-School Programs, Events, or Performances
The building principal or designee will require those in charge of after-school programs, events, or performances attended by any individuals unfamiliar with that school building, to announce at the beginning of these programs the procedures to be followed in the event of an emergency.
School Bomb Threats
A bomb threat, even if later determined to be a hoax, is a criminal act. No bomb threat should be treated as a hoax when it is first received. Upon receiving any bomb threat, the school has an obligation and responsibility to ensure the safety and protection of the students and other occupants of the school. This obligation takes precedence over a search for a suspect object. Prudent action is dependent upon known information about the bomb threat-location, if any; time of detonation; etc. Specific procedures as to appropriate responses as a result of a bomb threat can be located in the building-level emergency response plan, as required by relevant law and regulation.
Police Notification and Investigation
Appropriate law enforcement agencies must be notified by the building administrator or designee of any bomb threat as soon as possible after receiving the threat. Law enforcement officials will contact, as the situation requires, fire and/or county emergency coordinators according to the county emergency plan.
The Superintendent or designee will develop written procedures to implement the terms of this policy. Additionally, these procedures will be incorporated in the District-wide school safety plan and the building-level emergency response plan, with provisions to provide written information to all staff and students regarding emergency procedures by October 1 of each school year, an annual drill to test the emergency response procedures under each of its building-level emergency response plans; and the annual review of the District-wide and building-level emergency response plans, along with updates as necessary, by September 1, as mandated by law or regulation.
Bus Emergency Drills
The administration will conduct a minimum of three emergency drills to be held on each school bus during the school year. The first drill will be conducted during the first seven days of school, the second drill between November 1 and December 31, and the third drill between March 1 and April 30. No drills will be conducted when buses are on routes.
Students who ordinarily walk to school will also be included in the drills. Students attending public and nonpublic schools who do not participate in regularly scheduled drills will also be provided drills on school buses, or as an alternative, will be provided classroom instruction covering the content of these drills.
Each drill will include practice and instruction in the location, use, and operation of the emergency door, fire extinguishers, first-aid equipment, and windows as a means of escape in the event of fire or accident. Similarly, students will be instructed on all topics mandated by relevant sections of the Education Law and Commissioner’s regulations, including, but not limited to, the following:
a) Safe boarding and exiting procedures with specific emphasis on when and how to approach, board, disembark, and move away from the bus after disembarking;
b) Advancing at least ten feet in front of the bus before crossing the highway after disembarking; and
c) Orderly conduct as bus passengers.
Instruction on Use of Seat Belts
When students are transported on school buses equipped with seat safety belts, the District will ensure that all students who are transported on any school bus owned, leased, or contracted for by the District will receive instruction on the use of seat safety belts. This instruction will be provided at least three times each year to both public and nonpublic school students who are so transported and will include, but not be limited to:
a) Proper fastening and release of seat safety belts;
b) Acceptable placement of seat safety belts on students;
c) Times at which the seat safety belts should be fastened and released; and
d) Acceptable placement of the seat safety belts when not in use.
Education Law §§ 807, 2801-a and 3623
Penal Law §§ 240.55, 240.60 and 240.62
8 NYCRR §§ 155.17, 156.3(f), 156.3(g), and 156.3(h)(2)
Revised: 7/2/13; 1/12/17
Policy 5684, Use of Surveillance Cameras in the School District
The Board of Education recognizes its responsibility to promote and foster school safety and ensure a safe and effective learning environment. After having carefully considered and balanced the rights of privacy with the District’s duty to promote discipline, health, welfare and safety of staff and students, as well as that of the general public who has occasion to use school facilities, the Board supports the use of surveillance cameras when necessary in its schools, its buses and/or on school grounds. District surveillance cameras will only be utilized in public areas where there is no “reasonable expectation of privacy.” Audio recordings shall not be utilized by the School District officials; such prohibition does not preclude the use of audio recordings by law enforcement officials in accordance with their official duties and/or as otherwise authorized by law.
To further the Board’s objective, the School District’s District-wide Safety Team shall meet as appropriate and/or deemed necessary to develop, implement and review District and building level safety practices. The Team shall also make recommendations to the Superintendent regarding the implementation and use of surveillance cameras as authorized by the Board of Education. The Superintendent shall retain final decision-making authority regarding the recommendations of the Safety Team; and he/she shall notify the Board as to the procedures to be implemented with regard to the use of surveillance cameras by the School District.
In determining the most appropriate use and implementation of surveillance cameras in the schools, school buses and/or on school grounds, the District-wide Safety Team’s recommendation will be guided by, at a minimum, the following considerations:
a) Demonstrated need for the device at designated locations;
b) Appropriateness and effectiveness of proposed protocol;
c) The use of additional, less intrusive, means to further address the issue of school safety (e.g., restricted access to buildings, use of pass cards or identification badges, increased lighting, alarms);
d) Right to privacy and other legal considerations (which should be referred to the School Attorney for review and compliance with applicable laws and regulations); and
e) Expense involved to install and maintain the use of surveillance cameras at designated locations, including school buses and/or on school grounds.
Any camera recording used for surveillance purposes in school buildings, school buses and/or on school property, shall be the sole property of the District; and the Superintendent or his/her designee will be the custodian of such recordings. All camera surveillance recordings will be stored in their original form and secured to avoid tampering and ensure confidentiality in accordance with applicable laws and regulations.
Requests for viewing a camera surveillance recording 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 recording. Under no circumstances will the District’s camera surveillance recording be duplicated and/or removed from District premises unless in accordance with a court order and/or subpoena.
Signage/Notification Regarding Use of Surveillance Cameras in School Buildings, School Buses and/or on School Grounds
Appropriate signage will be posted at entrances to the school campus and/or at major entrances into school buildings notifying students, staff and the general public of the District’s use of surveillance cameras.
Students and staff will receive additional notification, as appropriate, regarding the use of surveillance cameras in the schools, school buses and/or on school grounds. Such notification may include, but is not limited to, publication in the District calendar, employee handbook, and student handbook. Such notification does not preclude, as deemed appropriate by administration, the discussion of the use of surveillance cameras with staff and students to heighten awareness and help foster a sense of security.
Policy 5690, Exposure Control Program
The District shall establish an exposure control program designed to prevent and control exposure to bloodborne pathogens. According to the New York State Department of Labor’s Division of Safety and Health and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards, the program shall consist of:
a) Guidelines for maintaining a safe, healthy school environment to be followed by staff and students alike.
b) Written standard operating procedures for blood/body fluid clean-up.
c) Appropriate staff education/training.
d) Evaluation of training objectives.
e) Documentation of training and any incident of exposure to blood/body fluids.
f) A program of medical management to prevent or reduce the risk of pathogens, specifically hepatitis B and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).
g) Written procedures for the disposal of medical waste.
h) Provision of protective materials and equipment for all employees who perform job-related tasks involving exposure or potential exposure to blood, body fluids or tissues.
29 CFR Section 1910.1030
Policy 5691, Communicable Diseases
Whenever, upon investigation and evaluation by the Director of School Health Services or other health professionals acting upon direction or referral of the director, a student in the public schools shows symptoms of any communicable or infectious disease reportable under the public health law that imposes a significant risk of infection of others in the school, he/she shall be excluded from the school and sent home immediately, in a safe and proper conveyance. The Director of School Health Services shall immediately notify a local public health agency of any disease reportable under the public health law.
Following absence on account of illness or from unknown cause, the Director of School Health Services may examine each student returning to a school without a certificate from a local public Health Officer, a duly licensed physician, physician assistant, or nurse practitioner.
The Director of School Health Services, or other health professionals acting upon direction or referral of the director, may make evaluations of teachers and any other school employees, school buildings and premises as, in their discretion, they may deem necessary to protect the health of the students and staff.
Regulations and procedures will be developed for dealing with communicable diseases (including, but not limited to, pandemic flu) in ways that protect the health of both students and staff while minimizing the disruption of the education process.
Education Law Section 906
8 NYCRR Sections 136.3(h) and 136.3(i)
Policy 5692, Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Related Illnesses
The Board of Education contends that a student shall not be denied the right to attend school or continue his/her education nor shall an employee be denied the right to continue his/her employment who has been diagnosed or identified as having a positive blood test for the antibodies to the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). The Board further contends that under current law and regulations, the disclosure of confidential HIV-related information shall be strictly limited.
Administrative regulations and procedures shall be developed and implemented by the administration based on recommendations from the New York State Education Department and from consultation with appropriate professional and medical staff in the District.
The Superintendent shall also establish protocols for routine sanitary procedures for dealing with the cleaning and handling of body fluids in school, with special emphasis placed on staff awareness.
Public Health Law Article 27-F
Policy 5710, Transportation Program
It is the intent of the Board of Education to comply with the letter and spirit of the New York State Education Law; with the regulations of the Department of Motor Vehicles and of the Department of Transportation and with the Commissioner of Education’s regulations and decisions pertinent to student transportation, and these shall govern any questions not covered by specific declaration of policy herein.
The purposes of the transportation program are to transport students to and from school, to transport them for extracurricular activities, to transport them on field trips, and to transport those requiring special services.
The Board of Education recognizes and assumes the responsibility for all aspects of the transportation of children wherein the health and safety of students are involved, for the Board of Education has a legal obligation to safeguard the welfare of bus-riding children.
Scheduling and Routing
Bus routes are authorized by the Board of Education and any requests for a change must be submitted to the Superintendent or his/her designee.
Transportation services shall be provided to meet the needs of the students of the District within specified limits and areas established by the Board of Education.
Posting of School Bus Schedules
While posting of school bus schedules online is certainly convenient, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) warns that doing so can pose risks of child abductions, terrorist attacks and other unwanted scenarios. Online school bus schedules are accessible to anyone, thus raising the following risks:
a) Enabling a non-custodial parent to illegally take custody of a child once they have easy access to the child’s unsupervised whereabouts;
b) Enabling a sexual predator to take advantage of the same situation. Also, such information would reduce the need for predators to target victims at schools, where they are more likely to be noticed; and
c) Enabling an act of terrorism or school assault by allowing for multiple targets and optimal hostage situations.
The District shall either mail schedules directly to parents or have parents pick up schedules at school. Should the District wish to post school bus schedules online, access to the schedules shall be password protected.
Education Law Sections 1501-b, 3602(7), 3620-3628, 3635 and 3636
NOTE: Refer also to Policy #7131 — Education of Homeless Children and Youth
Policy 5720, Transportation of Students
Transportation shall be provided to eligible students, as authorized by the Board of Education.
Secondary Students (Grades 7 through 12)
The following applies to students attending Watervliet Junior-Senior High School, as well as parochial/private schools.
a) The Board will provide round-trip transportation for all children living in the Enlarged City School District who are enrolled in grades 7 through 12 and who attend schools located more than 1.2 miles distance from their homes.
b) Such transportation is restricted and provided by District buses and must be requested in writing for each qualified Junior/Senior student on or before April 1 to the: Director of Transportation, 1245 Hillside Drive, Watervliet, NY 12189.
c) Students will be required to walk to and from designated bus stops (pick-up points) up to 1.2 miles distance from their homes.
Elementary Students (Grades K through 6)
The Board will provide round-trip transportation for all children in the City of Watervliet who attend schools located .56 of a mile or more distance from their home. Transportation for K through 6 students residing within the city limits shall be restricted to the schools within the city limits. The students’ transportation pick-up and drop-off stops are determined annually by the Director of Transportation. Day-to-day bus change requests are not able to be accommodated. Parent(s)/Guardian must submit transportation requests for each child in writing on or before April 1 to the: Director of Transportation, 1245 Hillside Drive, Watervliet, NY 12189.
For those students residing in the Enlarged (Mannsville Section of the District), the provisions of Section 3635 of the Education Law shall prevail (i.e., if they live between .56 or more miles), they shall be eligible for transportation.
a) Transportation is viewed as a privilege, not a right.
b) Bus drivers are responsible for reasonable behavior of students in transit. (Commissioner’s Regulations Section 156)
c) Students who are disorderly or insubordinate may have their riding privilege suspended by the Superintendent of Schools or Building Principal. In such cases, the parents of children involved become responsible for seeing that their children get to and from school safely.
The major objectives in the management of the student transportation program shall include the following:
a) To provide efficient, effective and safe service;
b) To ensure that all students whose disability or distance from school requires them to receive necessary transportation do, in fact, receive it;
c) To adapt the system to the demands of the instructional program;
d) To maintain transportation vehicles in the best possible condition;
e) To review, at least once a year, school bus schedules and routing plans to ensure that maximum efficiency and safety are maintained; and
f) To review, at least once a year, the eligibility for transportation of students residing in the District, to ensure that all entitled to the services receive them.
The Director of Transportation shall be responsible for administering the transportation program. The program shall comply with all applicable laws, regulations and policies established by federal, state and local authorities.
Requests for Transportation to and from Nonpublic Schools
The parent or person in parental relation of a parochial or private school child residing in the School District who desires that the child be transported to a parochial or private school outside of the School District during the next school year should submit a written request to the Board of Education no later than April 1 of the preceding year, or within thirty (30) days of moving into the District. No late request of a parent or person in parental relation shall be denied where a reasonable explanation is provided for the delay.
Transportation to Nonpublic Schools on Holidays
When a holiday falls on a Saturday or Sunday, the Board of Education may choose to close on Friday or Monday in observance of the holiday. Schools that close may provide pupil transportation. However, if the District has not shared its calendar and informed nonpublic schools that it will not transport on the optional holiday, the District is required to provide pupil transportation services on that day to nonpublic schools that are open.
Transportation for Nonpublic School Students with Disabilities who are Parentally Placed
For students with disabilities (ages 5 through 21) who are parentally placed in nonpublic schools outside their district of residency, if special education services are to be provided to a student at a site other than the nonpublic school, the school district of location is responsible for providing the special education services, including, as applicable, arranging and providing transportation necessary for the student to receive special education services. The proportionate share of IDEA Part B dollars could be used for such purpose.
The school district of residence remains responsible to provide transportation to parentally placed nonpublic school students from the student’s home to the nonpublic school.
Transportation of Students with Disabilities
Students with disabilities in the District shall be transported up to fifty (50) miles (one way) from their home to the appropriate special service or program, unless the Commissioner certifies that no appropriate nonresidential special service or program is available within fifty (50) miles. The Commissioner may then establish transportation arrangements.
Any mode of transportation used on a regular basis to transport students with a disability on a regularly scheduled route shall, upon written consent of the parent or person in parental relation, have maintained on such mode of transportation the following information about each student being transported:
a) Student’s name;
b) Nature of the student’s disability;
c) Name of the student’s parent, guardian or person in a position of loco parentis (person in parental relation) and one or more telephone numbers where such person can be reached in an emergency; and/or
d) Name and telephone number of any other person designated by such parent, guardian or person in a position of loco parentis as a person who can be contacted in an emergency.
Such information shall be used solely for the purpose of contacting such student’s parent, guardian, person in a position of loco parentis, or designee in the event of an emergency involving the student, shall be kept in a manner which retains the privacy of the student, and shall not be accessible to any person other than the driver or a teacher acting in a supervisory capacity. In the event that the driver or teacher is incapacitated, such information may be accessed by any emergency service provider for such purpose.
Such information shall be updated as needed, but at least once each school year and shall be destroyed if parental consent is revoked, the student no longer attends such school, or the disability no longer exists.
Herein the term “disability” shall mean a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of the student, whether of a temporary or permanent nature.
Transportation of Non-Resident Students
Non-resident families must provide their own transportation.
Transportation to School Sponsored Events
Where the District has provided transportation to students enrolled in the District to a school sponsored field trip, extracurricular activity or any other similar event, it shall provide transportation back to either the point of departure or to the appropriate school in the District unless the parent or legal guardian of a student participating in such event has provided the District with written notice, consistent with District policy, authorizing an alternative form of return transportation for such student or unless intervening circumstances make such transportation impractical. In cases where intervening circumstances make transportation of a student back to the point of departure or to the appropriate school in the District impractical, a representative of the School District shall remain with the student until such student’s parent or legal guardian has been contacted and informed of the intervening circumstances which make such transportation impractical; and the student has been delivered to his/her parent or legal guardian.
Transportation in Personal Vehicles
Personal cars of teachers and staff shall not be used to transport students except in the event of extenuating circumstances and authorized by the administration.
Education Law Sections 1604, 1709, 1804, 1903, 1950, 2503, 2554, 2590-e, 3242, 3602-c, 3621(15),
3623-a(2c), 3635, 4401-a, 4401(4), 4402, 4404, 4405, and 4410-6
Vehicle and Traffic Law Section 375(20)(1) and 375(21-i)
NOTE: Refer also to Policy #7131 — Education of Homeless Children and Youth
Policy 5730, School Bus Safety Program
The safe transportation of students to and from school is of primary concern in the administration of the school bus program. All state laws and regulations pertaining to the safe use of school buses shall be observed by drivers, students and school personnel.
To assure the safety and security of students boarding or exiting school buses on school property, it shall be unlawful for a driver of a vehicle to pass a stopped school bus when the red bus signal is in operation.
Use of Cell Phones and Portable Electronic Devices Prohibited
Use of portable electronic devices by a school bus driver at times the vehicle is in operation on the roadway poses a potential safety risk. All school bus drivers are prohibited from using portable electronic devices while the bus is in operation and students are on the bus.
Personal cell phones are to be placed in the “off” position when in the possession of the school bus driver while the bus is in operation. Cell phones may be used in case of emergency.
The following terms are defined as:
a) “Portable electronic device” shall mean any mobile telephone (hand held or “hands free”), personal digital assistant (PDA), portable device with mobile data access, laptop computer, pager, broadband personal communication device, two-way messaging device, electronic game, or portable computing device.
b) “Using” shall mean holding a portable electronic device while viewing, taking or transmitting images, playing games, or composing, sending, reading, viewing, accessing, browsing, transmitting, saving or retrieving email, text messages, or other electronic data.
c) “In operation” shall mean that the bus engine is running, whether in motion or not.
The Transportation Supervisor, in cooperation with the Principals, has the responsibility of developing and publishing safety rules to be followed by drivers and passengers, including rules of student conduct. In order to ensure maximum safety to those riding school buses, it is necessary that students and drivers cooperate in this effort. There is no substitute for training to develop safe habits in pedestrian and vehicular traffic.
All buses and other vehicles owned and operated by the School District will have frequent safety inspections, and will be serviced regularly. The Transportation Supervisor will maintain a comprehensive record of all maintenance performed on each vehicle.
Every bus driver is required to report promptly any school bus accident involving death, injury, or property damage. All accidents, regardless of damage involved, must be reported at once to the Transportation Supervisor.
All buses and other vehicles owned by vendors/contract bus companies with whom the District contracts will have frequent safety inspections and be serviced regularly. The Transportation Supervisor will maintain a comprehensive record of all maintenance performed on each vehicle.
Every bus driver is required to report promptly any school bus accident involving death, injury, or property damage. All accidents, regardless of damage involved, must be reported at once to the Transportation Supervisor by the vendors/contract bus companies.
Education Law Section 3623
Vehicle and Traffic Law Sections 509-a(7), 509-1(1-b), 1174(a), 1174(b), and 1225-c
8 NYCRR Section 156.3
NOTE: Refer also to Policies #5683 — Fire and Emergency Drills, Bomb Threats and Bus Emergency Drills; #5741 — Drug and Alcohol Testing for School Bus Drivers and Other Safety-Sensitive Employees
Policy 5731, Idling School Buses on School Grounds
The Board of Education recognizes the need to promote the health and safety of District students and staff and to protect the environment from harmful emissions found in bus and vehicle exhaust. In accordance with Education Law and Commissioner’s Regulations, the District will minimize, to the extent practicable, the idling of all school buses and other vehicles owned or leased by the District while such bus or vehicle is parked or standing on school grounds or in the front of any school. This policy also applies to contractor owned and operated school buses under contract with the District.
The District shall ensure that each driver of a school bus or other vehicle owned, leased or contracted for by the District turn off the engine of the bus or vehicle while waiting for passengers to load or off load on school grounds, or while such vehicle is parked or standing on school grounds or in front of or adjacent to any school.
Unless otherwise required by State or local law, the idling of a school bus or vehicle engine may be permitted to the extent necessary to achieve the following purposes:
a) For mechanical work; or
b) To maintain an appropriate temperature for passenger comfort; or
c) In emergency evacuations where necessary to operate wheelchair lifts.
Private Vendor Transportation Contracts
All contracts for pupil transportation services between the School District and a private vendor that are entered into on or after August 21, 2008, shall include a provision requiring such vendor’s compliance with the provisions of reducing idling in accordance with Commissioner’s Regulations Section 156.3(h).
Education Law Section 3637
Vehicle and Traffic Law Section 142
8 NYCRR Section 156.3(h)
Policy 5740, Qualifications of Bus Drivers
A person shall be qualified to operate a bus only if such person:
a) Is at least twenty-one (21) years of age;
b) Has been issued a currently valid operator’s or commercial driver’s license which is valid for the operation of a bus in New York State;
c) Has passed the annual bus driver physical examination administered pursuant to Regulations of the Commissioner of Education and the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles. In no case shall the interval between physical examinations exceed a thirteen-month (13) period;
d) Is not disqualified to drive a motor vehicle under Vehicle and Traffic Law Sections 509-c and 509-cc and any other provisions of Article 19-A;
e) Has on file at least three (3) statements from three (3) different persons who are not related to the driver/applicant pertaining to the moral character and to the reliability of such driver/applicant;
f) Has completed, or is scheduled to complete, State Education Department safety programs as required by law;
g) Is in compliance with federal law and regulations, as well as District policy and/or regulations, as it pertains to meeting the standards governing alcohol and controlled substance testing of bus drivers if and when applicable;
h) Has taken and passed a physical performance test at least once every two (2) years and/or following an absence from service of sixty (60) or more consecutive days from his/her scheduled work duties; and
i) Is in compliance with all other laws and regulations for operating a school bus, including licensing and training requirements.
Special Requirements For New Bus Drivers
Before the District employs a new bus driver or before a vendor/contract bus company employs a new bus driver, the Superintendent or his/her designee shall be entitled to:
a) Require such person to pass a physical examination within four (4) weeks prior to the beginning of service;
b) Obtain a driving record from the appropriate agency in every state in which the person resided, worked, and/or held a driver’s license or learner’s permit during the preceding three (3) years;
c) Investigate the person’s employment record during the preceding three (3) years;
d) Require such person to submit to the mandated fingerprinting procedures/criminal history background check;
e) Request the Department of Motor Vehicles to initiate a driving record abstract check; and
f) Require that newly hired bus drivers take and pass the physical performance test, as mandated by Commissioner’s Regulations, before they transport students.
Under Commissioner’s Regulations, an occasional driver is defined as a certified teacher employed by a school district or Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) who is not primarily employed as a school bus driver or substitute bus driver on either a full-time or part-time basis. Occasional drivers used for other than regular routes are not required to fulfill the training required for regular school bus drivers.
Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act of 1991, (Public Law 102-143)
49 USC Section 521(b)
49 CFR Parts 40, 382, 391, 392 and 395
Education Law Section 3624
Vehicle and Traffic Law Sections 509-c, 509-cc and Article 19-A
8 NYCRR Section 156.3
15 NYCRR Part 6
NOTE: Refer also to Policy #5741 — Drug and Alcohol Testing For School Bus Drivers and Other Safety-Sensitive Employees
Policy 5741, Drug and Alcohol Testing for School Bus Drivers and Other Safety-Sensitive Employees
In accordance with federal regulations, employees in safety-sensitive positions as defined in regulations who are required to have and use a commercial drivers license (CDL), are subject to random testing for alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, opiates (including heroin), and phencyclidine (PCP). The District shall adhere to federal law and regulations requiring the implementation of a drug and alcohol testing program for such employees in safety-sensitive positions.
The District shall either establish and manage its own program, by contract, or through a consortium for the provision of alcohol and drug testing of employees in safety-sensitive positions, or shall ensure that its vendor/contractor bus companies conduct alcohol and drug testing of such employees. Safety-sensitive employees (SSEs), including school bus drivers and other employees, who drive a vehicle which is designed to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver), shall be subject to this requirement.
Federal regulations require that school bus drivers and other SSEs be tested for alcohol and drugs at the following times:
a) Drug testing will be conducted after an offer to hire, but before actually performing safety-sensitive functions for the first time. Such pre-employment testing will also be required when employees transfer to a safety-sensitive position.
b) Safety-sensitive employees are also subject to a random drug and/or alcohol test on an unannounced basis just before, during or just after performance of safety-sensitive functions.
c) In addition, testing will be ordered if a trained supervisor has a “reasonable suspicion” that an employee has engaged in prohibited use of drugs and/or alcohol.
d) There will also be post-accident testing conducted after accidents on employees whose performance could have contributed to the accidents.
e) Finally, return-to-duty and follow-up testing will be conducted when an individual who has violated the prohibited alcohol and/or drug conduct standards returns to performing safety-sensitive duties. Follow-up tests are unannounced and at least six tests must be conducted in the first 12 months after an employee returns to duty. Follow-up testing may be extended for up to 60 months following return-to-duty.
All employee drug and alcohol testing will be kept confidential and shall only be revealed without the driver’s consent to the employer, a substance abuse professional, drug testing laboratory, medical review officer and any other individual designated by law.
The following alcohol and controlled substance-related activities are prohibited by the Federal Highway Administration’s drug use and alcohol misuse rules for drivers of commercial motor vehicles and other SSEs:
a) Reporting for duty or remaining on duty to perform safety-sensitive functions while having an alcohol concentration of 0.04 or greater. If testing shows an alcohol concentration of 0.02 or greater but less than 0.04, the employee must be removed from performing safety-sensitive activities for 24 hours, but no punitive action will be taken by the employer.
b) Being on duty or operating a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) while the driver possesses alcohol, unless the alcohol is manifested and transported as part of a shipment. This includes the possession of medicines containing alcohol (prescription or over-the-counter), unless the packaging seal is unbroken.
c) Using alcohol while performing safety-sensitive functions.
d) Using alcohol six hours or less before duty.
e) When required to take a post-accident alcohol test, using alcohol within eight hours following the accident or prior to undergoing a post-accident alcohol test, whichever comes first.
f) Refusing to submit to an alcohol or controlled substance test required by post-accident, random, reasonable suspicion or follow-up testing requirements.
g) Reporting for duty or remaining on duty, requiring the performance of safety-sensitive functions, when the SSE uses any controlled substance. This prohibition does not apply when instructed by a physician who has advised the SSE that the substance does not adversely affect the SSE’s ability to safely operate a CMV.
h) Reporting for duty, remaining on duty or performing a safety-sensitive function, if the SSE tests positive for controlled substances.
Drivers and other SSEs who are known to have engaged in prohibited behavior with regard to alcohol misuse or use of controlled substances are subject to disciplinary action and penalties pursuant to District policy and/or the vendors’/contract bus companies’ policies and collective bargaining agreements, as well as the sanctions provided for in federal law. SSEs who have engaged in such prohibited behavior shall not be allowed to perform safety-sensitive functions until they are:
a) Evaluated by a substance abuse professional (SAP).
b) Complete any requirements for rehabilitation as set by the District and the SAP.
c) Pass a return-to-duty test with the result below 0.02 if the conduct involved alcohol, or a controlled substance test with a verified negative result if the conduct involved controlled substance use.
d) The SSE shall also be subject to unannounced follow-up alcohol and controlled substance testing. The number and frequency of such follow-up testing shall be as directed by the SAP, and consist of at least six tests in the first 12 months.
For the District-owned Buses Providing Student Transportation
The Superintendent of Schools shall ensure that each SSE receives a copy of District policy, educational materials that explain the requirements of the alcohol and drug testing regulations, and any regulations and/or procedures developed by the District with respect to meeting those requirements. The Superintendent or his/her designee shall ensure that a copy of these materials is distributed to each SSE, who shall sign for receipt of all of the above documents, as well as other appropriate personnel, prior to the start of alcohol and controlled substance testing as well as at the beginning of each school year or at the time of hire for any safety-sensitive employees. Representatives of applicable collective bargaining units shall be notified of the availability of this information.
The Superintendent or his/her designee shall arrange for training of all supervisors who may be utilized to determine whether “reasonable suspicion” exists to test a driver for prohibited conduct involving alcohol or controlled substance use/abuse.
Any violation of this policy and/or District procedures, and applicable federal and state laws by a covered employee shall be grounds for disciplinary action including, but not limited to, fines, suspension, and/or discharge in a manner consistent with District policy, collective bargaining agreements and applicable law.
For Buses that are Provided by Outside Vendors/Contractors to Transport Students
The Superintendent of Schools shall ensure that each vendor/contract bus company receives a copy of District policy, educational materials that explain the requirements of the alcohol and drug testing regulations, and any regulations and/or procedures developed by the District with respect to meeting those requirements. The Superintendent or his/her designee shall ensure that a copy of these materials is distributed to each vendor/contract bus company, and the vendor/bus company shall sign for receipt of all of the above documents, as well as other appropriate personnel, prior to the start of alcohol and controlled substance testing as well as at the beginning of each school year or at the time of hire for any safety-sensitive employees.
The Superintendent or his/her designee can assist vendors/contract bus companies with arrangements for training of all supervisors who may be utilized to determine whether “reasonable suspicion” exists to test a driver for prohibited conduct involving alcohol or controlled substance use/abuse.
Any significant violation of this policy and/or District procedures, and applicable federal and state laws by vendors/contract bus companies and other employees shall result in revocation of their contract for the transportation of students.
Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act of 1991 (Public Law 102-143) 49 USC Sections 31136 and
49 CFR Parts 40, 172, 382, 383, 391, 392 and 395
Vehicle and Traffic Law Section 509-L