Students (Section 7000)

All policies are listed in policy number order.

Attendance

Student Progress

Student Conduct

School Conduct and Discipline

Student Activities

Student Welfare

Students with Disabilities

Appointment and Training of CSE and CPSE Members

Policy 7110, Comprehensive Student Attendance Policy

Local Objectives

Educational Opportunities
Every student has the right to educational opportunities that will enable the student to develop to the student’s full potential. Regular school attendance maximizes the student’s interaction with teachers and peers and is a major component of academic success.

Application of Policy
This policy shall apply to regular sessions and summer sessions of all academic instruction. For purposes of calculating the applicable dates required for course credit of a summer school course, such dates shall be pro rata to that of the regular session.

Objectives
This policy addresses the following objectives:
a) To identify student attendance problems and root causes for poor attendance;
b) To promote collaboration among all members of the Educational Community to improve student attendance;
c) To maximize the achievement of academic standards and increase school completion;
d) To determine eligibility for course credit; and
e) To know the whereabouts of every student for safety and other reasons.

Definitions
For purposes of this policy:
a) The term “Classroom Participation” shall mean that the student is in class, prepared with materials and completed assignments, ready and willing to work, and actively engaged in the activities directed by the teacher.
b) In grades K through 6, tardies will be handled on a case-by-case basis by the Building Administrator. In grades 7 through 12, arrival to class late without a pass shall constitute a Tardy.
1. Five (5) tardies for a course shall constitute one (1) Unexcused Absence for the course.
2. Arrival to class twenty (20) minutes late without a pass shall constitute one (1) Unexcused Absence for the course.
3. The term “Educational Community” shall mean the District’s students, each student’s parent or person in parental relation, teachers, coaches and other advisors, administrators and support staff.
4. The term “Register of Attendance” shall mean any District written or electronic record maintained for the purpose of recording each student’s attendance, absence, tardiness or early departure from school.
5. The term “Attendance” shall mean a student’s attendance in school or at school-sponsored events where instruction is substantially equivalent to the instruction that was missed. Examples include, but are not limited to, District-approved field trips, instrumental music lessons, District-provided related or remedial services, District-provided homebound instruction due to illness or extended discipline, and District-sponsored extracurricular activities including sporting competitions. For purposes of this Policy, all absences, whether an Excused Absence or an Unexcused Absence, shall be countable in determining eligibility for course credit.
6. The term “Excused Absence” shall mean any absence, tardiness and early departure for which the student has provided the appropriate written documentation to the attendance office within three (3) school days of the absence for the following reasons:
(a) Personal illness;
(b) Death in the family;
(c) Religious observance;
(d) Quarantine;
(e) Required court appearances;
(f) Medical or dental appointments;
(g) College visits pre-approved by the applicable administrator;
(h) Road test appointment;
(i) Approved cooperative work programs;
(j) Military obligations;
(k) Suspension; provided that the student attends all tutoring;
(l) School sponsored or school authorized activities; or
(m) Other reasons as may be approved by the Commissioner of Education.
7. The term “Unexcused Absence” shall mean any absence, tardiness and early departure other than such an absence, tardiness or early departure that is not an Excused Absence (as previously defined), including but not limited to:
(a) The lack of a written of a written excuse, within three (3) school days of the absence, for instances that would otherwise be defined as an Excused Absence;
(b) Visiting;
(c) Impassable roads or weather;
(d) Away/Vacation;
(e) Overslept;
(f) Helping at home;
(g) Missed the bus;
(h) Truant;
(i) Need to retrieve a personal item from another location;
(j) Suspension; provided that the student does not attend all tutoring;
(k) Babysitting;
(l) Hair or nail appointments; or
(m) Any reason that is not approved as an Excused Absence by the Commissioner of Education.

Reporting System

Register of Attendance

Each student’s Register of Attendance shall include:
a) Name;
b) Date of birth;
c) Full name(s) of parent(s) or person(s) in parental relation;
d) Address where the student resides;
e) Phone number(s) to contact the parent(s) or person(s) in parental relation;
f) Date of student’s enrollment;
g) Record of student’s attendance on each day of scheduled instruction, including period by period data, where applicable;
h) Date the student withdraws or is dropped from enrollment, where applicable.

Recording Attendance Data
For purposes of recording each student’s attendance on such student’s Register of Attendance:
a) For students enrolled in kindergarten through grade 6, the teacher shall send the attendance card of any absent or tardy student to the attendance clerk by the teacher at least once per day. The presence or absence of each student shall be recorded by the attendance clerk.
b) For students enrolled in grades 7 through 12, the presence or absence of each student in each period shall be recorded by the teacher after the taking of attendance in each period of scheduled instruction.
c) Any absence for the school day or portion thereof shall be recorded in the student’s Register of Attendance as an Excused Absence or Unexcused Absence in accordance with this Policy. If a student arrives late for, or departs early from, scheduled instruction, such tardiness or early departure shall also be recorded in the student’s Register of Attendance as an Excused Tardy or Unexcused Tardy or Excused Early Departure or Unexcused Early Departure.
d) All entries in the Register of Attendance must be made by a teacher or an employee designated by the Board and must be verified by oath or affirmation.
e) The District must also maintain a record of each scheduled day of instruction during which the school is closed for all or part of the day due to adverse weather conditions, impairment of heating facilities, insufficiency of water supply, shortage of fuel, destruction of or damage to school building, or such other cause approved by the Commissioner of Education.
f) If a student will be absent from school, the student’s parent or person in parental relation is requested to telephone the attendance office before 9 a.m. on that day and provide the reason for the absence.
g) Upon returning to school, the student must present to the attendance office a note from the student’s parent or person in parental relation explaining the student’s absence. If this written excuse is not provided within three (3) school days of the student’s absence, then the absence will be deemed unexcused.

Attendance and Course Credit

Classroom Participation
Studies have shown the importance of the relationship between attendance at school and achievement. Daily attendance creates an environment fostering subject competency, continuity of learning and responsibility, all of which are integral to the educational process. The District believes that Classroom Participation is related to and affects a student’s performance and grasp of subject matter and, as such, must be properly reflected in a student’s grade. For these reasons, this Policy takes into consideration Classroom Participation as a component of the student’s grade in kindergarten through grade 6 and in all courses for grades 7 through 12. It is the philosophy of the District that active Classroom Participation is an integral part of every course offered. Classroom Participation shall be evaluated according to each teacher’s guidelines, which will be clearly stated to students and parents by such teacher at the beginning of each course or academic year.

Calculation of Students’ Grades
When calculating students’ grades, teachers shall take Classroom Participation into account, as follows:
a) 2005 – 2006 Academic Year
For all grades and courses, Classroom Participation shall constitute at least ten percent (10%) of the student’s grade for such grade or course.
b) 2006 – 2007 Academic Year
For all grades and courses, Classroom Participation shall constitute at least 15% of the student’s grade for such grade or course.
c) 2007 – 2008 and Forward
For all grades and courses, Classroom Participation shall constitute at least 20% of the student’s grade for such grade or course.
Classroom Participation Requirements for Course Credit
When determining a student’s eligibility for promotion in kindergarten through grade 6 or a student’s eligibility for course credit in grades 7 through 12, the following shall apply:
a) Grades K through 6
Any student absent more than fifteen percent (15%) of the time for any reason, including Excused Absences and Unexcused Absences, shall not be promoted.
b) Grades 7 through 8
Any student absent more than fifteen percent (15%) of the time in any unit for any reason, including Excused Absences and Unexcused Absences, shall not receive credit for the unit.
c) Grades 9 through 12
Any student absent more than fifteen percent (15%) of the time in any course for any reason, including Excused Absences and Unexcused Absences, shall not receive credit for the course.

Make-up Opportunities
a) For kindergarten through grade 6, the teacher shall inform the student and parent or person in parental relation through the agenda book of make up assignments and due dates.
b) For grades 7 through 12, it is the student’s responsibility to request all make up assignments due to Excused Absences from subject teacher within five (5) days of the student’s return to class, to be completed and returned to the teacher no later than fourteen (14) days from the request. Students are ineligible for make up work due to Unexcused Absences.
c) Students whose misconduct is indirectly related to the student’s academic performance (e.g., plagiarism or cheating) shall be denied the opportunity to make up work.
d) In grades 9, 10 and 11, if a student fails a required course and does not successfully complete that course during duly authorized summer school, the student must retake the same course the following academic year before taking the next level of that course.

Students Terminating Enrollment
A student who terminates enrollment in the District and thereafter re-enrolls within the same academic year shall be subject to this Policy and such student’s attendance shall be based upon the total academic dates of enrollment for the entire academic year and not merely the number of dates in such separate period of enrollment.

Transfer Students
a) If a student transfers into this District, the number of days present and absent from the previous district shall be included for purposes of calculating the student’s attendance and course credit while enrolled in this District. The number of days absent for the student will be compared to the tables in Section H and the appropriate Stage notifications made. If the student is identified at Stage III and was not restricted by the previous district’s policy or the previous district has no equivalent policy then the student will be treated as if he or she has completed a Stage III Activities Form Project.
b) This District shall honor the previous district’s attendance and discipline policies. For example, if the other district’s policy does not permit a student who has been absent more than forty (40) days to attend summer school and the student arrives with forty-one (41) absences, the student will not be permitted to attend summer school in this District.

Notification of Absenteeism for Academic Year
To ensure that each student’s attendance is accurately reflected in the Student’s Register of Attendance and student’s academic grade in each grade or course, the personnel, as designated by the Building Principal, must monitor attendance on a weekly basis and complete the following notifications in a timely manner, as follows:
a) Stage I
When a student is identified according to the following table, personnel, as shall be designated by the Building Administrator, will complete a Stage I letter on the appropriate form. A copy will be sent to the student’s parent or person in parental relation, school counselor and attendance officer. The school counselor with the attendance officer will determine the need to meet with the student to review reasons for the absences and to determine with which students to initiate strategies to improve class attendance. Strategies may include, but are not limited to, individual counseling sessions, group counseling, psychological referral and the PINS diversion program.

Course Type, Number of Absences
Full Year, eight
Semester, four
Quarter, two
Science Class with Lab, 12

b) Stage II
When a student is identified according to the following table, personnel as shall be designated by the Building Administrator will complete a Stage II letter. A copy will be sent to the student’s parent or person in parental relation, school counselor and attendance officer. The school counselor and attendance officer will determine the need to meet with the student to review reasons for the absences and to determine with which students to initiate strategies to improve class attendance. Strategies may include, but are not limited to, individual counseling sessions, group counseling, psychological referral, the PINS diversion program and parent meeting.

Course Type, Number of Absences
Full Year, 16
Semester, eight
Quarter, four
Science Class with Lab, 24

c) Stage III
When a student is identified according to the following table, personnel as shall be designated by the Building Administrator will complete a Stage III letter. A copy will be sent to the student’s parent or person in parental relation, school counselor and attendance officer. The school counselor and attendance officer will determine the need to meet with the student to review reasons for the absences and to determine with which students to initiate strategies to improve class attendance. Strategies may include, but are not limited to, individual counseling sessions, group counseling, psychological referral, the PINS diversion program and parent meeting. This Stage III letter is the notification that the student is in danger of failing to meet the requirements of a particular course.

Course Type, Number of Absences
Full Year, 24
Semester, 12
Quarter, six
Science Class with Lab, 36

d) Stage IV
When a student is identified according to the following table, personnel as shall be designated by the Building Administrator will complete a Stage IV letter. A copy will be sent to the student’s parent or person in parental relation, school counselor and attendance officer. The school counselor and attendance officer will determine the need to meet with the student to review reasons for the absences and to determine with which students to initiate strategies to improve class attendance. Strategies may include, but are not limited to, individual counseling sessions, group counseling, psychological referral, the PINS diversion program and parent meeting. This Stage IV letter is a notification that the student is not eligible for promotion, unit credit or course credit.

1. If the student wishes to be eligible to retake the course in summer school, the student must remain in that course and satisfactorily participate for the duration of time during the school year when that class is scheduled to meet. During this time, the teacher will no longer grade student work, but will continue to monitor class work. A grade of Drop Due to Attendance (DA) will appear on the student’s report card for the quarter that the (DA) occurs as well as any subsequent quarters. It will be calculated into the quarterly average at the rate of fifteen percent (15%) points below failing (i.e., 50 for HS and 55 for MS).
2. For purposes of determining whether the student is eligible for summer school in grades 7 through 12, the student must remain in attendance for the remaining academic year and have less than the following number of absences for the academic year:

Course Type, Number of Absences
Full Year, 27
Semester, 14
Quarter, seven
Science Class with Lab, 41

For purposes of determining whether the student is eligible for summer school in grades 7 through 12, the student must remain in attendance for the remaining academic year and may not exceed the following number of absences for the academic year:

Course Type, Number of Absences
Full Year, 48
Semester, 24
Quarter, 12
Science Class with Lab, 72

e) If a student goes over the number of days allowed in stage IV, a loss of summer school notice will be mailed by the personnel designated by the Building Administrator to the student’s parent or person in parental relation.
Strategies

Strategies to Improve Attendance
To meet the District’s objectives as identified in Section 1.C above, the following strategies shall be implemented:
a) Attendance data will be analyzed daily by the attendance officer and/or his/her designee. Where applicable, the attendance officer will conduct a parent/student conference to discuss attendance issues.
b) Attendance data will be analyzed periodically by the District’s attendance committee to identify patterns or trends in attendance.
c) Upon registration, the Guidance Office will inform the attendance office of any student who has a poor attendance record.
d) Teachers will use the STAGE letters to identify chronic absentees and communicate the issues to parents.
e) The District will provide counseling, including but not limited to, guidance counseling, student assistance counseling or nurse’s counseling, as appropriate to improve student attendance.
f) The expectations that are defined within this Policy will be clearly articulated to the educational community.
g) Where consistent with other District practices, teachers and staff shall detain students in the hallways who are absent from a class period without excuse and direct that student back to class.
h) Periodic “hall sweeps” will be conducted by hall monitors, administrators, teachers and staff to identify students who are cutting class or constantly in the hallways.
i) Faculty and staff will be present at classroom doorways between classes.

Attendance Incentives
The District will design and offer incentives to acknowledge a student’s efforts to maintain or improve school attendance, including but not limited to the following:
a) At Watervliet Elementary School, awards will be presented quarterly to those who have maintained perfect attendance.
b) At Watervliet Jr./Sr. High School, incentives shall include an annual perfect attendance award; quarterly incentive for prizes; and recognition receptions/assemblies.

Incremental Interventions and Sanctions
Disciplinary sanctions for unexcused student absences, tardies, truancies, class cuts and early departures may include, but are not limited to parent conference, before, during or after school detention, in school suspension, out of school suspension, Saturday detention, restricted activities list, PINS (Persons In Need of Supervision) petitions and possible revocation of working papers. Actions taken after specific numbers of class cuts, unexcused absences, tardies, truancies or early departures are described in the Watervliet Jr./Sr. High School Discipline Code.

Notification to the Educational Community
Effective implementation of any attendance policy requires that the educational community be informed and fully understand its purpose, procedures, and the consequences of non-compliance. To ensure that students, parents, teachers and administrators are notified of and understand this policy, the following procedures shall be implemented. The District shall:
a) Provide each student with a copy of the Attendance Policy and hold an orientation session at the beginning of each academic year;
b) Provide each faculty and staff member with a copy of the Attendance Policy at the beginning of the school year;
c) Provide a plain language summary of the Attendance Policy to parents or persons in parental relation to students at the beginning of each academic year;
d) Provide copies of the Attendance Policy to any other member of the community upon request; and
e) Include periodic reminders of the components of the Attendance Policy in the school newsletter, Happenings, the school calendar and other District publications.

Review of Attendance Records
a) The Building Principal shall review the students’ Register of Attendance to identify problems and trends in Unexcused Absences, tardiness and early departures.
b) Principals, administrators and other persons designated by the Board of Education will then be required to take corrective action consistent with this Attendance Policy.
c) The Board of Education will review annually building and District level student attendance records. The Board, in cooperation with the Superintendent, Building Principals and administrators, will make revisions to the comprehensive student attendance policy and plan deemed necessary to improve student attendance.

Adopted: 6/19/12

Policy 7120, Age of Entrance

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

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

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

Proof of Age
A student’s birth certificate or other satisfactory evidence of age shall be presented at the time of initial registration. The child shall be entered under his/her legal name.

Education Law Sections 1712, 3202, 3212, and 3218
NOTE: Refer also to Policies #7130 — Entitlement to Attend — Age and Residency; #7131 — Education of Homeless Children and Youth

Adopted: 6/19/12

Policy 7121, Diagnostic Screening of Students

The School District has developed a plan for the diagnostic screening of all new entrants and students with low test scores.

A new entrant means a student entering the New York State public school system, pre-kindergarten through grade 12, for the first time, or re-entering a New York State public school with no available record of a prior screening.
Students with low test scores are students who score below level two on either the third grade English language arts or mathematics assessment for New York State elementary schools.

Such diagnostic screening will be utilized to determine which students:
a) Have or are suspected of having a disability;
b) Are possibly gifted; or
c) Are possibly limited English proficient.
Such diagnostic screening shall be conducted:
a) By persons appropriately trained or qualified;
b) By persons appropriately trained or qualified in the student’s native language if the language of the home is other than English;
c) In the case of new entrants, prior to the school year, if possible, but no later than December 1 of the school year of entry or within fifteen (15) days of transfer of a student into a New York State public school should the entry take place after December 1 of the school year;
d) In the case of students with low test scores, within thirty (30) days of the availability of the test scores.

New Entrants
For new entrants, diagnostic screening shall include, but not be limited to the following:
a) A health examination by a physician/physician’s assistant or nurse practitioner or submission of a health certificate in accordance with Education Law Sections 901, 903, and 904;
b) Certificates of immunization or referral for immunization in accordance with Section 2164 of the Public Health Law;
c) Vision, hearing and scoliosis screenings as required by Section 136.3 of Commissioner’s Regulations;
d) A determination of development in oral expression, listening comprehension, written expression, basic reading skills and reading fluency and comprehension, mathematical calculation and problem solving, motor development, articulation skills, and cognitive development using recognized and validated screening tools; and
e) A determination whether the student is of foreign birth or ancestry and comes from a home where a language other than English is spoken as determined by the results of a home language questionnaire and an informal interview in English and the native language.

Students with Low Test Scores
For students with low test scores, diagnostic screening shall include, but not be limited to:
a) Vision and hearing screenings to determine whether a vision or hearing impairment is impacting the student’s ability to learn; and
b) A review of the instructional programs in reading and mathematics to ensure that explicit and research validated instruction is being provided in reading and mathematics.

No screening examination for vision, hearing or scoliosis condition is required where a student, parent, or person in parental relation objects on the grounds that such examination conflicts with their genuine and sincere religious beliefs.

Results and Reports
The results of the diagnostic screening shall be reviewed and a written report of each student screened shall be prepared by appropriately qualified School District staff. The report shall include a description of diagnostic screening devices used, the student’s performance on those devices and, if required, the appropriate referral.

If such screening indicates a possible disability, a referral, with a report of the screening, shall be made to the Committee on Special Education (CSE) or the Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE) no later than fifteen (15) calendar days after completion of such diagnostic screening.

If such screening indicates a possibly gifted child, the name and finding shall be reported to the Superintendent of Schools and to the parents/legal guardians no later than fifteen (15) calendar days after completion of such screening. The term gifted child is defined as a child who shows evidence of high performance capability and exceptional potential in areas such as general intellectual ability, special academic aptitude and outstanding ability in visual and performing arts. Such definition shall include those children who require educational programs or services beyond those normally provided by the regular school program in order to realize their full potential.

If such screening indicates a child identified as possibly being of limited English proficiency, such child shall be referred for further evaluation in accordance with Part 154 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education to determine eligibility for appropriate transitional bilingual or free-standing English as a Second Language (ESL) programs.

Reporting to Parents
Parents/guardians of children to be screened shall receive information in advance regarding the purpose of screening, the areas to be screened and the referral process. The information shall be communicated either orally or in writing in the parents’ primary language(s). This information will be provided during the registration interview.

Parents/guardians have the right to request information regarding their child’s performance on screenings. They shall have access to the screening results and obtain copies upon request. The results of all mandated screening examinations shall be in writing and shall be provided to the child’s parent/guardian and to any teacher of the child within the school while the child is enrolled in the school. A letter will be sent to the parent/guardian of any child failing a screening.

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

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, 20 USC Section 1232(g)
Education Law Sections 901, 903, 904, 905, 914 and 3208(5)
Public Health Law Section 2164
8 NYCRR Parts 117, 136, 142.2 and 154

NOTE: Refer also to Policies #7131 — Education of Homeless Children and Youth; #7512 — Student Physicals; #8240 — Instructional Programs: Driver Education, Gifted and Talented Education and Physical Education

Adopted: 6/19/12

Policy 7130, Entitlement to Attend — Age and Residency 

Entitlement to Attend
All persons residing within the District who are between the ages of five (5) years and twenty-one (21) years and who have not obtained a high school diploma are entitled to enroll in the District.

A student who becomes six (6) years of age on or before the first of December in any school year shall be required to attend full-time instruction from the first day that the District schools are in session in September of such school year, and a student who becomes six (6) years of age after the first of December in any school year shall be required to attend full-time instruction from the first day of session in the following September. Each student shall be required to remain in attendance until the last day of session in the school year in which the student becomes sixteen (16) years of age.

Evidence of a prospective student’s age and residency must be presented in such form as is permitted by state and federal law and regulation.

Determination of Student Residency
“Residence,” for purposes of this policy, is established by a child’s physical presence as an inhabitant within the District and his/her intent to reside in the District.

A child’s residence is presumed to be that of his/her parents or legal guardians. Where a child’s parents live apart, the child can have only one legal residence. In cases where parents have joint custody, the child’s time is essentially divided between two (2) households, and both parents assume responsibility for the child, the decision regarding the child’s residency lies ultimately with the family. Where parents claim joint custody, but do not produce proof of the child’s time being divided between both households, residency will be determined on the basis of the child’s physical presence and intent to remain within the District.

The presumption that a child resides with his/her parents or legal guardians may be rebutted upon demonstration that custody of such child has been totally and permanently transferred to another individual. The District will not acknowledge living arrangements with persons other than a child’s parents or legal guardians which are made for the sole purpose of taking advantage of the District’s schools.

The presumption that a child resides with his/her parents or legal guardians may also be rebutted upon demonstration that such child is an emancipated minor. To establish emancipation, a minor may submit documentation of his/her means of support, proof of residency, and an explanation of the circumstances surrounding the student’s emancipation, including a description of the student’s relationship with his/her parents or persons in parental relation.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, all determinations of student residency will be made consistent with applicable state and federal laws and regulations.

Undocumented Children
The District is mindful that undocumented children are entitled to attend the District’s schools, provided they meet the age and residency requirements established by state law. Consequently, the District will not request or require on any enrollment or registration form, in any meeting, or in any other form of communication, any documentation and/or information regarding or tending to reveal the immigration status of a child, a child’s parent(s) or the person(s) in parental relation. In the event the District is required to collect such information, the District will do so after the child has been enrolled. In no instance will such information be required as a condition of enrollment or continued attendance.

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

Homeless Children
Determinations regarding whether a child is entitled to attend the District’s schools as a homeless child or youth will be made in accordance with Section 100.2(x) of the Commissioner’s Regulations, as well as applicable District policy and regulation.

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, 20 USC § 1232g
Education Law §§ 310, 906, 3202, 3205, 3214, and 3218
Family Court Act § 657
8 NYCRR § 100.2(x) and (y)

NOTE: Refer also to Policies #7131 — Education of Homeless Children and Youth; #7132 — Non-Resident Students

Adopted: 6/19/12
Revised: 3/19/15

Policy 7131, Education of Homeless Children and Youth 

The Board recognizes the unique challenges that face homeless students and will provide these students with access to the same free, appropriate public education, including public preschool education, as other children and youth and access to educational and other services necessary to be successful in school, and will ensure that they are not separated from the mainstream school environment. The Board is also committed to eliminating barriers to the identification, enrollment, attendance, or success of homeless students.

As defined in Commissioner’s regulations, a “homeless child” means a child or youth who lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence, including a child who is:
a) Sharing the housing of other persons due to a loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason;
b) Living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to the lack of alternative adequate accommodations;
c) Abandoned in hospitals; or
d) A migratory child who qualifies as homeless in accordance with Commissioner’s regulations. The term “migratory child” includes a child who is, or whose parent or spouse is, a migratory agricultural worker, including a migratory dairy worker, or a migratory fisher, and who has moved from one school district to another in the preceding 36 months, in order to obtain, or accompanies his or her parent or spouse in order to obtain, temporary, or seasonal employment in agricultural or fishing work; or
e) A child or youth who has a primary nighttime location that is:
1. A supervised, publicly, or privately operated shelter designed to provide temporary living accommodations, including, but not limited to, shelters operated or approved by the state or local department of social services, and residential programs for runaway and homeless youth established in accordance with Executive Law Article 19-H; or
2. A public or private place not designed for, or ordinarily used as, a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings; including a child or youth who is living in a car, park, public space, abandoned building, substandard housing, bus or train station, or similar setting.

An “unaccompanied youth” means a homeless child not in the physical custody of a parent or legal guardian. This term does not include a child or youth who is residing with someone other than a parent or legal guardian for the sole reason of taking advantage of the schools of the District.
A designator will decide which school district a homeless child or unaccompanied youth will attend. A designator is:
a) The parent or person in parental relation to a homeless child; or
b) The homeless child, together with the homeless liaison designated by the District, in the case of an unaccompanied youth; or
c) The director of a residential program for runaway and homeless youth, in consultation with the homeless child, where the homeless child is living in that program.

The designator may select either the school district of current location, the school district of origin, or a school district participating in a regional placement plan as the district the homeless child will attend. However, the designated school district must determine whether the designation made by the parent, guardian, or youth, in the case of an unaccompanied youth, is consistent with the best interest of the child by considering certain student-centered factors, including factors related to the impact on education and the health and safety of the child or youth.

A homeless child is entitled to attend the school district of origin for the duration of his or her homelessness and also through the remainder of the school year in which he or she locates permanent housing in accordance with his or her best interest.

The term “school district of origin” includes preschool and feeder schools as defined by applicable law.

Enrollment, Retention, and Participation in the Educational Program
The District will immediately enroll children and youth who are homeless even if the child missed any relevant application or enrollment deadlines during any period of homelessness. The ability of a homeless child or youth to continue or participate in the educational program will similarly not be restricted due to issues such as:
a) Transportation;
b) Immunization requirements;
c) Residency requirements;
d) Birth certificates, medical records, individualized education programs (IEPs), school records, and other documentation;
e) Guardianship issues;
f) Comprehensive assessment and advocacy referral processes;
g) Resolution of disputes regarding school selection;
h) Proof of social security numbers;
i) Attendance requirements;
j) Sports participation rules;
k) Inability to pay fees associated with extracurricular activities such as club dues and sports uniforms; or
l) Other enrollment issues.

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

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

Transportation
In order to ensure immediate enrollment, and so as not to create barriers to the attendance, retention, and success of homeless students, transportation must be promptly provided. If the local social service district or the Office of Children and Family Services is not required to provide transportation, the designated district is responsible for the provision and the cost of the student’s transportation through the remainder of the school year in which the homeless student becomes permanently housed.

Where a homeless student designates the school district of current location as the district the student will attend, then that district will provide transportation to the student on the same basis as a resident student. Where the homeless student designates the school district of origin or a school district participating in a regional placement plan, then that district must provide transportation to and from the homeless child’s temporary housing and school, not to exceed 50 miles each way unless the Commissioner certifies that the transportation is in the best interests of the child.

Transportation is required even if the school of origin is located in another local educational agency (LEA) as long as attendance at the school of origin is in the best interest of the child or youth, even if it requires students to cross district lines. If two school districts are involved, the districts must agree on a method to apportion the cost and responsibility of transportation, or they must split it equally.

Transportation responsibilities apply to all school districts regardless of whether or not they receive McKinney-Vento funds. Transportation must be provided pending final resolution of any enrollment disputes, including any available appeals. If the designated district provides transportation for non-homeless preschool children, it must also provide comparable transportation services for homeless preschool children.

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

Training
All school enrollment staff, secretaries, school counselors, school social workers, and principals will be trained on the requirements for enrollment of homeless students. Other staff members including school nutrition staff, school registered professional nurses, teachers, and bus drivers will receive training on homelessness that is specific to their field.

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

Dispute Resolution
The District will establish procedures for the prompt resolution of disputes regarding school selection or enrollment of a homeless child or youth and provide a written explanation, including a statement regarding the right to appeal to the parent or guardian if the District sends the student to a school other than the school of origin or the school requested by the parent or guardian. These disputes will include, but are not limited to, disputes regarding transportation and/or a child’s or youth’s status as a homeless child or unaccompanied youth.

In the event of a dispute regarding eligibility, school selection, or enrollment, the homeless child or youth will be entitled to immediate or continued enrollment and transportation pending final resolution of the dispute, including all available appeals.

Record and Reporting Requirements
If the District, as the school district of origin, receives a request to forward student records to a receiving district, the records must be forwarded within five days of receipt of the request.

The District will maintain documentation regarding all aspects of the District’s contact with and services provided to homeless students and youth for possible on-site monitoring by the State Education Department.

The District will collect and transmit to the Commissioner of Education, at the time and in the manner as the Commissioner may require, a report containing information as the Commissioner determines is necessary to assess the educational needs of homeless children and youths within the state.

Student Privacy
Any information pertaining to the living situation of a homeless student, such as his or her homeless status or temporary address, is considered a student educational record and is not subject to disclosure as directory information under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act, as reauthorized by the Every Student Succeeds Act
(ESSA) of 2015, 42 USC § 11431, et seq.
Education Law §§ 902(b) and 3209
Executive Law Article 19-H
8 NYCRR § 100.2(x)
NOTE: Refer also to Policy #7511 — Immunization of Students

Adopted: 6/19/12
Revised: 2/9/17

Policy 7132, Non-Resident Students (Admission of)

The Board of Education affirms that its primary responsibility is to provide the best possible educational opportunities for the children who are legal District residents and who are of legal age to attend school.

A non-resident student may be admitted if the home school district does not maintain a school which he or she is eligible to attend and/or the Board of the home school district contracts for instructional services with the Watervliet City School District. The non-resident student shall not be admitted if he/she is seeking admission due to suspension from the former school for the illegal sale, use or abuse of alcohol or drugs, activities and/or social behaviors that are an endangerment to the health, welfare and safety of self or others. A non-resident student may be admitted to District schools upon payment to the District of the Board-adopted tuition charge, if and only if, in the judgment of the Superintendent of Schools:
a) There is sufficient space to accommodate the non-resident student;
b) The non-resident student meets the District’s criteria for admission; and
c) The admission of such non-resident student is and continues during the enrollment period to be in the best interests of the District.

A student’s legal residence for school purpose shall be the legal residence of the student’s parents or legal guardian. The payment of school taxes alone does not make a person a legal resident of the District. The following shall be used to determine residency:
a) Did the parent register and vote from the residence listed?
b) Residence listed on income tax return.
c) Any other method/procedure such as valid driver’s license, which may substantiate the individual’s address.
Students may attend Watervliet City Schools without tuition charge under the following conditions:
a) Parent is a full-time staff member, employed by the District as a member of the certificated staff or support staff.
b) A student in grade twelve, whose parents move during his/her Senior year in school, shall be allowed to complete the twelfth grade, with approval of the Superintendent of Schools.
c) A student, whose parent/guardian moves on or after June 1 of any given year, may be allowed to complete that year with approval of the Superintendent.

Future Residents
The children of families who have signed a contract to buy or build a residence in the School District may be enrolled during the semester in which they expect to become residents, without payment of tuition. Documentation of completed transaction must be provided to the District prior to the end of the first semester.

Former Residents
If a student moves out of the School District before June 1 in a given year, that student must transfer to his/her new school. If the move occurs June 1 or later, then that student will be allowed to complete the current school year without paying tuition. However, the student must transfer to the new school during the following summer.

A senior who moves anytime during the senior year shall be allowed to complete his/her senior year without paying tuition only if he/she was a resident during the previous year.

Foreign Exchange Students/Visitor Students
The Board of Education recognizes the cultural enrichment derived from welcoming foreign students into the educational program and encourages District participation in a foreign student program. Foreign students covered by this policy are generally in the District for a one-year academic program.
The District retains the sole discretion to deny admission to any student not meeting all the requirements set forth in this policy and regulation. It may also terminate any approval of a foreign student program when the Board of Education believes that it would be in the best interest of the District.
a) The District recognizes only those organizations designated as “Exchange-Visitor Programs” by the United States Information Agency, pursuant to federal regulations, as sponsoring organizations for the exchange of students. Any such organization must supply proof of designation prior to recognition.
b) No foreign students subject to this policy and regulation shall be brought into the District by a foreign student program unless he/she has been accepted in writing as a student by the Building Principal of the school or a designee.
c) Foreign students will be allowed to attend school and will be provided bus transportation per school policy. When a foreign student is accepted for admission the letter of acceptance shall include a statement that tuition shall be waived for the student.
d) The District will accept no more than four (4) foreign students per program, or more than two (2) of the same nationality in a single school.

Proof of Residency
Such documentary or sworn proof as shall be required by the administration or Board of Education must be furnished prior to the admission of any child residing in the District with a person not his parent or who is the child of a non-resident. The admission of homeless children and youth will be in accordance with law.

Reservation of Claims
Should a material misstatement of fact be made and relied upon by any administrator or the Board of Education in admitting a non-resident student without tuition, the Board shall be entitled to recover the cost of instruction for the time the student was not authorized to attend a school in the District from the person having made the misstatement or from a person in parental relation to the student.

8 USC Chapter 12
Education Law Sections 1709(13), 2045 and 3202
8 NYCRR Section 174.2

NOTE: Refer also to Policy #7131 — Education of Homeless Children and Youth

Adopted: 6/19/12

Policy 7140, School Census

In small city school districts, the Board of Education shall constitute a permanent census board in each such city. The Board shall, under its regulations, cause a census of the children in its city to be taken and to be amended from day to day, as changes of residence shall occur among children within the prescribed census age ranges and as other children come within such prescribed age ranges. The census will also account for other children within the prescribed age ranges as they become residents of the city, so that there shall always be on file with the Board of Education a complete census giving the facts and information required pursuant to law. Census data shall be reported as required by law.

The census must indicate the names of all children between birth and eighteen (18) years of age, and of children with disabilities between birth and twenty-one (21) years of age; their respective residences by street and number; the day of the month and the year of their birth; the names of the parents/persons in parental relation to them; such information relating to physical or mental disabilities, to illiteracy, to employment and to the enforcement of the law relating to child labor and compulsory education as the State Education Department and the Board of Education shall require; and also such further information as the Board shall require.

On written request and in such form as prescribed by the Commissioner of Education, the Board shall provide to the Commissioner a report containing the names, ages and addresses of those children who are blind or deaf, and those children having serious physical or mental disabilities. Additionally, such report shall further indicate whether such children are being educated within the public schools of the District or, if they are not, where such education is being furnished to them.

Parents/persons in parental relation to those children within the prescribed census age ranges are to make such reports as the Board of Education shall require, including, but not limited to, providing two (2) weeks before the child reaches compulsory school age, the name of the child; the child’s residence; the name of the person or persons in parental relation to the child; the name and location of the school to which the child shall have been or shall be sent as a student; and such other information as required by law or as the Board may require.

A parent, guardian or other person having under his/her control or charge a child between birth and eighteen (18) years of age who withholds or refuses to give information in his/her possession relating to such census data as required by law pertaining to the child; or, in the alternative, gives false information in relation to such census data, shall be liable to and punished by a fine or imprisonment as established by law.

Count of Immigrant Children and Youth
As a provision of the federal Title III Part A – English Language Acquisition, Language Enhancement, and Academic Achievement Act under the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, the U.S. Secretary of Education requires that all local educational agencies (LEAs) count the number of “immigrant children and youth” enrolled in the public and nonpublic schools in the geographic area under the jurisdiction of, or served by, the LEA. The results of this count have important implications for the receipt of supplemental federal funds to eligible LEAs in New York State for services to recently arrived immigrant children and youth.

For purposes of this count, the term “immigrant children and youth” shall include those individuals who:
a) Are ages three (3) through twenty-one (21);
b) Were NOT born in any state or from the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia, Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Northern Mariana Islands, or the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands; and
c) Have NOT been attending schools in any one or more States for more than three (3) full academic years.

Each nonpublic school shall report its data to the public school district in which it is located. It is the responsibility of each public school district to report its immigrant count as well as the counts for all nonpublic schools within its jurisdiction.

In accordance with law, the District shall conduct its survey and submit the information electronically to the New York State Education Department by the specified deadline date. LEAs must also maintain on file a list of the immigrant students counted, their countries of origin, dates of arrival, and the public or nonpublic school in which they are registered as well as copies of the letter to each of the nonpublic schools in its jurisdiction regarding the count.

20 USC Section 6811
Education Law Sections 3240-3243 and 4402(1)(a)
8 NYCRR Section 200.2(a)

NOTE: Refer also to Policy #7650 — Identification and Register of Children With Disabilities (Child Find)

Adopted: 6/19/12

Policy 7210, Student Evaluation, Promotion and Placement

Grade Promotion and Placement
Grade promotion and the placement of students within the District’s instructional system shall be at the discretion of the school administration and shall be subject to review at any time. In making such decisions, the administrator or Building Principal will be guided by performance in class, past records, including various measures of student growth; parent and teacher recommendations, and any other appropriate sources of information. With regard to student placement decisions, parents may submit written requests for teacher attributes that would best serve their child’s learning needs; however, requests for specific teachers will not be honored.

Grading Systems
The Board of Education recognizes that the classroom teacher has the primary responsibility to evaluate students and determine student grades. Grading is considered a positive tool to indicate achievement and development in each class or subject area in which a student is enrolled.
It is to be recognized that a student is an individual with his/her own abilities and capabilities. It is also recognized that an individual is part of a society which is achievement-oriented and competitive in nature. Hence, when a student’s achievement is evaluated, attention should be given to his/her unique characteristics and to accepted standards of performance in the educational setting.

All students are expected to complete the assigned class work and homework as directed. Students are also expected to participate meaningfully in class discussions and activities in order to receive course credit. If work is missed due to an excused absence, the student is expected to make up the work.
The professional judgment of the teacher should be respected. Once a grade is assigned to a student by a teacher, the grade may only be changed by a building-level Principal or the Superintendent after notification to the teacher of the reason for such change.

Testing Program
The Watervliet City School District utilizes various ability, achievement, diagnostic, readiness, interest and guidance tests for the purpose of complying with state and federal law and/or aiding the implementation of quality educational services. The District will not make any student promotion or placement decisions based solely or primarily on student performance on the state administered English language arts and mathematics assessments for grades 3 through 8. The District may, however, consider student performance on such state assessments in making student promotion and placement decisions provided that multiple measures be used in addition to such assessments and that such assessments do not constitute the major factor in such determinations.

Alternative Testing Procedures
The use of alternative testing procedures shall be limited to:
a) Students identified by the Committee on Special Education and/or Section 504 Team as having a disability. Alternative testing procedures shall be specified in a student’s Individualized Education Program or Section 504 Accommodation Plan; and
b) Students whose native language is other than English (i.e., English language learners) in accordance with State Education Department Guidelines.
Reporting to Parents and Persons in Parental Relation to Students
Parents, guardians, and/or persons in parental relation to District students shall receive an appropriate report of student progress at regular intervals.
The District will not place or include on a student’s official transcript or maintain in a student’s permanent record any individual student score on a state administered standardized English language arts or mathematics assessment for grades 3 through 8. However, the District will comply with state and federal requirements regarding the maintenance and transfer of student test scores. Any test results on a state administered standardized English language arts or mathematics assessment for grades 3 through 8 sent to parents or persons in parental relation to a student shall include a clear and conspicuous notice that such results will not be included on the student’s official transcript or in the student’s permanent record and are being provided to the student and parents for diagnostic purposes.

In accordance with the provisions of Title I and Academic Intervention Services (AIS), parents/guardians shall be provided with reports on their child’s progress. Copies of letters sent to parents/guardians relating to a particular situation or problem will be kept in the student’s folder.

Each student who receives Title I or AIS services will be monitored and evaluated frequently for academic progress.

The District’s formal reporting system includes report cards and/or forms developed by the professional staff and issued periodically, scheduled conferences between parents and teachers, and interim reports issued as needed or required. Parents are urged to visit the school and to confer with guidance counselors and teachers as deemed necessary.

Staff members are urged to maintain informal contact with parents through telephone calls, email, and notes.

When necessary, attempts will be made to provide interpreters for non-English speaking parents and/or persons in parental relation to District students.

Report Cards (Grades K through 6)
Students in grades K through 6 are regularly assessed on their understanding of the core academic areas. Each academic area is defined with a set of skills based on the NYS Standards. Performance levels, aligned to the NYS Standards, are used to reflect the level of student understanding. This level is determined by student performance on formal assessments, informal assessments, class activities, and projects. Students in K through 6 are also assessed on their work habits and social skills. This includes homework, class participation, and effort.
The four (4) levels are defined as follows:
Four = Exceeding New York State and District standards.
Three = Meeting New York State and District standards.
Two = Working toward New York State and District standards.
One = Not meeting New York State and District standards.
N/A = Not Assessed. 

 In addition, students in grade 6 will receive a trimester average percentage in the core areas reflecting their achievement. An average of seventy percent (70%) is considered successful in passing a subject.

Report cards will be issued three (3) times per year at thirteen (13) week intervals, inclusive of vacation weeks. Interim progress reports will also be issued three (3) times per year.

Retention/Promotion Policy
Students in grades K through 6 are expected to demonstrate adequate progress in the core subject areas.

Report Cards (Grades 7 through 12)
The District will utilize a uniform grading system. Classroom teachers evaluate students and assign grades according to the established system.
a) Quarterly mark encompasses general effort, participation/attendance in class (at least 20% of quarterly grade), assignments, tests, quizzes, and projects.
b) Computing course grades:
1. Full year course grade computation – Quarterly marks equal twenty percent (20%) of final average. Midterm exam equals five (5%) of final average. Final exam equals 15% of final average. Minimum mark for quarterly grade is fifty percent (50%) for first quarter. Actual grade is assigned for remaining three quarters. Midterm exams are required at the end of the second quarter and shall be based on the first twenty (20) weeks of school. Final exam marks are to be the exact mark received. There is no minimum mark. Students with an overall course average of ninety-five percent (95%) or better will have the option to be exempt from the final exam. Students cannot be exempt from a Regents exam; however, they will have the option to exempt out of a final exam in a Regents level course.
20% (1st quarter) + 20% (2nd quarter) + 5% (MT) + 20% (3rd quarter) + 20% (4th quarter) + 15% (Final) = 100% Final course mark
2. Semester course grade computation – Each quarter will be counted as forty percent (40%) of the grade. The final exam will count as twenty percent (20%). Final exam marks are to be the exact mark received. There is no minimum mark. Students with an overall course average of 95% or better will have an option to be exempt from the final exam.
40% (quarter) + 40% (quarter) + 20% (Final) = 100% Semester course mark
c) Passing grade is sixty-five percent (65%) in grades 7 through 12.
d) Course Withdrawal – Students wishing to drop a course after the first three (3) full weeks of the beginning of the course may do so only following a student/parent/counselor/teacher/ administrator conference. If a student still wishes to drop, with parent permission, he/she may do so. In such a case, the dropped course remains on his/her record, followed by a grade of WF (withdrew-failure). The administrator will make the final decision in situations with extenuating circumstances.
e) Promotion
In grades 7 and 8, if a student receives a final failing grade in any three (3) of the following: English, Social Studies, Science or Mathematics, he/she may not be promoted to the next grade. Promotion is based on an average of sixty-five percent (65%) in each 7th and 8th grade subject area.

Promotion in all instances will be determined by the Principal with the advice of the guidance department. If a parent and/or guardian feels that the Principal’s decision was arbitrary or unreasonable, an appeal may be made, in writing and within ten (10) business days, to the Superintendent.

Promotion in grades 9 through 12 will depend on the number of units of credit the student earns. A 9th grade student is determined by the preceding formula. A 10th grade student shall have earned five (5) units of credit. An 11th grade student shall have earned ten (10) units of credit. A 12th grade student shall have earned fifteen (15) units of credit and be able to be scheduled for completion of the requirement for graduation.
f) Report cards will be issued four (4) times per year at ten (10) week intervals.

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

Adopted: 6/19/12
Revised: 6/18/13; 11/20/14

Policy 7211, Provision of Interpreter Services to Parents Who Are Hearing Impaired

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

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

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

In the event that an interpreter is unavailable, the School District shall make other reasonable accommodations which are satisfactory to the parents or persons in parental relation. Examples of what constitutes reasonable accommodations in the event an interpreter cannot be located may include, but are not limited to, the use of:
a) Written communications, transcripts, note takers, etc.; and
b) Technology, such as: a decoder or telecommunication device for the deaf, assistive listening devices, and closed or open captioning.

Education Law Section 3230
8 NYCRR Section 100.2(aa)

Adopted: 6/19/12

Policy 7220, Graduation Options/Early Graduation/Accelerated Programs 

To graduate from the District, a student must meet or exceed the requirements set forth in Part 100 of the Commissioner’s regulations. The Board may establish graduation requirements that exceed the minimum standards set by the Board of Regents. The District will award the appropriate diploma, credential, or both to students.

Pathways to Graduation
Students must pass the required number of Regents examinations or approved alternative exams and meet any further graduation requirements; these requirements may include passing an approved pathways assessment, other assessment, or an additional exam that measure an equivalent level of knowledge and skill. Students who fail certain Regents examinations may appeal the result in accordance with Commissioner’s regulations.

Early Graduation
A student may be eligible for early graduation (fewer than eight semesters) if the student completes all requirements for graduation, excluding physical education. The District will consult with appropriate personnel, the student, and persons in parental relation, and consider factors such as the student’s grades, performance in school, future plans, and benefits to graduation early in making its decision.

Accelerated Programs

Eighth Grade Acceleration for Diploma Credits
Eighth grade students may take appropriate high school courses. The Superintendent or designee will determine whether an eighth grade student is eligible to take high school courses using criteria that examines each student’s readiness. By the end of seventh grade, accelerated students must receive instruction designed to facilitate their attainment of the state intermediate learning standards in each subject area in which they are accelerated.

Advanced Placement (AP)
Advanced Placement examinations afford students the opportunity to earn credit or advanced standing in many colleges and universities. The College Board administers a variety of AP examinations in May of each year. The District will determine a student’s readiness for enrollment in any AP class.

Dual Credit for College Courses
Students who have demonstrated intellectual and social maturity may choose to matriculate at any one of the colleges that have a cooperative agreement with the District. Students who wish to enroll in college-level coursework must meet all academic, grade level, and coursework requirements.

These opportunities may include early admission to college, collegiate-level work offered in the high school, or other means of providing advanced work. The administration will review and approve any college courses before they are taken during the school day. The Board will not pay tuition and other related costs for those high school students enrolled in college courses.

Online Coursework
The District may offer students the ability to complete general education and diploma requirements for a specific subject through online instruction or blended coursework that combines online and classroom-based instruction.

To receive credit for online coursework, students must successfully complete an online or blended course and demonstrate mastery of the learning outcomes for the subject by passing the Regents exam or other assessment in the subject area.

8 NYCRR §§ 100.1(i), 100.2(f), 100.4(d), 100.5, 100.6, and 200.5
NOTE: Refer also to Policy #7222 — Diploma or Credential Options for Students with Disabilities

Adopted: 6/19/12
Revised: 5/13/14; 1/12/17

Policy 7222, Diploma or Credential Options for Students with Disabilities 

The District will provide students with disabilities appropriate opportunities to earn a diploma or other exiting commencement credential in accordance with Commissioner’s regulations. During the student’s annual review, the District will evaluate graduation opportunities and identify the means to achieve them.

As part of this process, the District:
a) Will coordinate activities with guidance personnel and BOCES staff to ensure that students meet credit and sequence requirements and to consider them for vocational opportunities.
b) May modify instructional techniques and materials. Any modifications will be included on a student’s Individual Education Plan (IEP) so that they can be implemented consistently throughout the student’s program.
c) Will review special education instructional programs to ensure equivalency with the same courses taught in the general education program.
d) Will coordinate communication between special and general education staff so that all staff members understand required skills and competencies, and to establish equivalency of instruction in special education classes.

Graduation and transition plans will take into account the various pathways available to these students. For students with IEPs, the District will plan transition services for post-secondary life as early as possible, but no later than the school year in which the student turns age 15. The transition activities will be focused on improving both the student’s academic and functional achievement. The plan will explore post-secondary opportunities and employment options and, if applicable, connection with adult service agencies that may provide the student with services after exiting school.

The District may award these diplomas or credentials, or both:
a) Local diploma: available to students with an IEP or a Section 504 accommodation plan that specifies a local diploma. Students must comply with credit requirements. The available assessments to earn a local diploma include:
1. Low-pass safety net option: students must achieve a score of 55 or higher on five required Regents exams.
2. Low-pass safety net and appeal: available to students who score 52-54 on a Regents exam, successfully appeal that score, and meet all appeal conditions.
3. Regents Competency Test (RCT) safety net option: a student who enters grade 9 before September 2011 must pass a corresponding RCT if he or she does not attain a score of 55 or higher on the Regents examination.
4. Compensatory safety net option: except for scores on ELA and math exams, students may use one Regents exam score of 65 or above to compensate for a Regents exam score of 45-54. Students must score at least 55 (or successfully appeal a score of 52-54) on both the ELA and a math exam.
5. Superintendent’s determination: students who are unable to demonstrate their proficiency on standard state assessments because of one or more disabilities may be able to graduate upon the Superintendent’s review and written certification of their eligibility. The Superintendent will make a determination after receiving a written request from an eligible student’s parent or guardian.
b) Career Development and Occupational Studies commencement credential (CDOS): any student who is not assessed using the New York State Alternate Assessment (NYSAA) may earn the CDOS commencement credential as a supplement to a Regents or local diploma or as his or her only exiting credential if the student attended school for at least 12 years, excluding kindergarten. The student must meet criteria specified by the State Education Department (SED) confirming that he or she has attained the standards-based knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary for entry-level employment.
c) Skills and Achievement commencement credential: students with severe disabilities who are assessed using the NYSAA may earn the SA commencement credential. They must attend school for at least 12 years, excluding kindergarten. The District must document the student’s skills, strengths, and levels of independence in academic, career development, and foundation skills needed for post-secondary life.

Education Law §§ 3202 and 4402
8 NYCRR §§ 100.1, 100.2, 100.5, 100.6, 200.4, and 200.5

NOTE: Refer also to Policy #7220 — Graduation Options/Early Graduation/Accelerated Programs

Adopted: 6/19/12
Revised: 7/2/13; 5/13/14; 7/1/15; 1/12/17

Policy 7230, Dual Credit for College Courses 

Students who wish to enroll in college level coursework shall meet all academic, grade level and coursework requirements as set forth by administrative guidelines. Students who have demonstrated intellectual and social maturity may choose to matriculate at any one (1) of the colleges that have a cooperative agreement with our School District. Such opportunities may include early admission to college, collegiate-level work offered in the high school, or other means of providing advanced work. Review and approval by the administration are necessary before any college courses may be taken during the school day.

The Board shall not be required to pay tuition and other related costs for those high school students enrolled in college courses.

Adopted: 6/19/12

Policy 7240, Student Records: Access and Challenge 

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

Education Records
The term “education records” is defined as all records, files, documents and other materials containing information directly related to a student; and maintained by the education agency or institution, or by a person acting for such agency or institution (34 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Section 99.3). This includes all records regardless of medium, including, but not limited to, handwriting, videotape or audiotape, electronic or computer files, film, print, microfilm, and microfiche.

In addition, for students who attend a public school district, all records pertaining to services provided under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) are considered “education records” under FERPA. As such, they are subject to the confidentiality provisions of both Acts.
Personal notes made by teachers or other staff, on the other hand, are not considered education records if they are:
a) Kept in the sole possession of the maker;
b) Not accessible or revealed to any other person except a temporary substitute; and
c) Used only as a memory aid.

Additionally FERPA does not prohibit a school official from disclosing information about a student if the information is obtained through the school official’s personal knowledge or observation and not from the student’s education records.

Records created and maintained by a law enforcement unit for law enforcement purposes are also excluded.

Access to Student Records
The Board directs that administrative regulations and procedures be formulated to comply with the provisions of federal law relating to the availability of student records. The purpose of such regulations and procedures shall be to make available to the parents/guardians of students and noncustodial parent(s) whose rights are not limited by court order or formal agreement, or students who are 18 years of age or older or who are attending an institution of post-secondary education, student records, and files on students, and to ensure the confidentiality of such records with respect to third parties.

Under FERPA, unless otherwise exempted in accordance with law and regulation, the District may release personally identifiable information (PII) contained in student education records only if it has received a “signed and dated written consent” from a parent or eligible student. Signed and dated written consent may include a record and signature in electronic form provided that such signature:
a) Identifies and authenticates a particular person as the source of the electronic consent; and
b) Indicates such person’s approval of the information contained in the electronic consent.

Exceptions
Without the consent of a parent or eligible student, a district may release a student’s information or records when it is:
a) Directory Information and Limited Directory Information
Directory information is information contained in an education record of a student that would not generally be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed. Limited Directory Information Disclosure means that the District may limit disclosure of its designated directory information to specific parties, for specific purposes, or both. The intent is to allow schools the option to implement policies that allow for the disclosure of student information for uses such as yearbooks, but restrict disclosure for more potentially dangerous purposes. The District shall limit disclosure of its designated directory information as otherwise specified in its public notice to parents of students in attendance and eligible students in attendance.
b) To School Officials who have a Legitimate Educational Interest
To other school officials, including teachers, within the educational agency or institution whom the school has determined to have legitimate educational interests. An educational interest includes the behavior of a student and disciplinary action taken against such student for conduct that posed a significant risk to the safety or well-being of the student, other students or other members of the school community. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his/her professional responsibility.
c) To Another Educational Institution
The District may disclose any and all educational records, including disciplinary records and records that were created as a result of a student receiving special education services under Part B of IDEA, to another school or postsecondary institution at which the student seeks or intends to enroll, or after the student has enrolled or transferred, so long as the disclosure is for purposes related to the student’s enrollment or transfer. Parental consent is not required for transferring education records if the school’s annual FERPA notification indicates that such disclosures may be made. In the absence of information about disclosures in the annual FERPA notification, school officials must make a reasonable attempt to notify the parent about the disclosure, unless the parent initiated the disclosure. Additionally, upon request, schools must provide a copy of the information disclosed and an opportunity for a hearing.
d) Health and Safety Emergency Reasons
School districts must balance the need to protect students’ personally identifiable information with the need to address issues of school safety and emergency preparedness. Under FERPA, if an educational agency or institution determines that there is an articulable and significant threat to the health or safety of a student or other individuals, it may disclose information from education records, without consent, to any person whose knowledge of the information is necessary to protect the health and safety of the student or other individuals during the period of the health or safety emergency. School districts may release information from records to appropriate parties including, but not limited to, parents, law enforcement officials and medical personnel. A school district’s determination that there is an articulable and significant threat to the health or safety of a student or other individuals shall be based upon a totality of the circumstances, including the information available, at the time the determination is made. The school district must record the articulable and significant threat that formed the basis for the disclosure and maintain this record for as long as the student’s education records are maintained.
e) To Juvenile Justice Systems
Information may be disclosed to state and local officials or authorities to whom information is specifically allowed to be reported or disclosed by a state statute that concerns the juvenile justice system and the system’s ability to effectively serve, prior to adjudication, the student whose records were released. In such cases the official or authority must certify in writing that the information will not be disclosed to any other party except as provided under law without prior written consent.
f) To Foster Care Agencies
A district may release records to an agency caseworker or other representative of a state or local child welfare agency, who has the right to access a student’s case plan, when the agency or organization is legally responsible, for the care and protection of the student. This does not give a child welfare agency the right to look into any non-foster care student’s records, without parental consent, when there has been a mere allegation of abuse or neglect, absent an order or subpoena (see below).
g) Pursuant to a Subpoena or Court Order
When a district receives a subpoena or court order for the release of records the District must make a reasonable effort to notify the parent/guardian or eligible student of the order or subpoena in advance of compliance. This allows the parent/guardian or eligible student to seek protective action against the subpoena or order before the release of the records.

Districts may disclose a student’s records without first notifying parents/guardians or eligible students if the disclosure is:
1. Based on a subpoena in which the court orders, for good cause shown, not to reveal to any person the existence or contents of the subpoena or any information furnished pursuant to the subpoena;
2. Pursuant to a judicial order in cases where the parents are a party to a court proceeding involving child abuse or neglect or dependency matters, and the order is issued in the context of that proceeding; or
3. Made to a court (with or without an order or subpoena) when a District is involved in a legal action against a parent or student and the records are relevant to the matter.
h) For Financial Aid Purposes
Pertinent information may be released in connection with the determination of eligibility, amount, conditions and enforcement of terms of a student’s financial aid.
i) To Accrediting Organizations
Disclosure of a student’s records may be made to an organization in which that student seeks accreditation, in order to carry out their accrediting function.
j) To Parents of a Dependent Student
Even when a student turns 18 years of age or older a District may disclose education records to that student’s parents, without the student’s consent, if the student is claimed as a dependent for federal income tax purposes by either parent.
k) For Audit/Evaluation Purposes
The audit or evaluation exception allows for the disclosure of PII from education records without consent to authorized representatives of the Comptroller General of the U.S., the Attorney General, the Secretary of Education, federal, state or local educational authorities (“FERPA permitted” entities). Under this exception, PII from education records must be used to audit or evaluate a Federal or State supported education program, or to enforce or comply with Federal legal requirements that relate to those education programs (audit, evaluation, or enforcement or compliance activity).

The District may, from time to time, disclose PII from education records without consent to authorized representatives of the entities listed above. The District may also, from time to time, designate its own authorized representative who may access PII without consent in connection with an audit or evaluation of an education program within the District. As an example, the District might designate a university as its authorized representative in order to disclose, without consent, PII from education records on its former students to the university. The university could then disclose, without consent, transcript data on those former students attending the university to allow the District to evaluate how effectively the District prepared its students for success in postsecondary education.
l) For Conducting Studies
This exception allows for the disclosure of PII from education records without consent to organizations conducting studies for, or on behalf of, schools, school districts or postsecondary institutions. Studies can be for the purpose of developing, validating, or administering predictive tests; administering student aid programs; or improving instruction.

The District may, from time to time, disclose PII from education records without consent to such organizations conducting studies for the District, in accordance with its obligations under FERPA.

In addition, other entities outside of the District may, from time to time, disclose PII from education records that the District has previously shared with that entity, to organizations conducting studies on behalf of the District. For example, a State Education Agency (SEA) may disclose PII from education records provided by the District without consent to an organization for the purpose of conducting a study that compares program outcomes across school districts to further assess the effectiveness of such programs with the goal of providing the best instruction.

Required Agreements for the Studies or Audit/Evaluation Exceptions (see items k and l)
To the extent required by law, the District shall enter into a written agreement with organizations conducting studies for the District, or, with its designated authorized representatives in connection with audits or evaluations of education programs within the District. In the event that the District discloses PII from education records to its own designated authorized representative in connection with an audit or evaluation of an educational program within the District, it shall use reasonable methods to ensure to the greatest extent practicable that its designated authorized representative complies with FERPA and its regulations.

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

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

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, 20 USC Section 1232g
34 CFR Part 99
8 NYCRR Section 80-1.5(b)

NOTE: Refer also to Policies #7241 — Student Directory Information; #7242 — Military Recruiters’ Access to Secondary School Students and Information on Students; #7643 — Transfer Students with Disabilities

Adopted: 6/19/12
Revised: 5/13/14; 3/9/17

Policy 7241, Student Directory Information

Directory information is information contained in an education record of a student that would not generally be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed.

The District shall publish an annual public notice informing parents or eligible students (i.e., a student eighteen (18) years of age or older or who is attending an institution of post-secondary education) of the District’s definition of directory information, the parent/eligible student’s right to refuse the release of student directory information and indication of the time period for their response. Following such public notice and a reasonable response period, the District may release such information to an outside group without individual consent.

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) defines student directory information as any of the items as indicated in the following list. The Watervliet City School District will release the following defined directory information as checked below:

X – name
X – address
X – telephone listing
X – date and place of birth
major field of study
X – grade level
X – participation in sports and activities
X – weight and height (for members of athletic teams)
X – dates of attendance
X – honors, degrees and awards
email address
X – photograph
name of educational institution previously attended

Directory information does not include:
a) A student’s social security number; or
b) A student’s identification (ID) number, except as provided below.
Directory information includes a student ID number, user ID, or other unique personal identifier used by the student for purposes of accessing or communicating in electronic systems, or that is displayed on a student ID card or badge, but only if the identifier cannot be used to gain access to education records except when used in conjunction with one or more factors that authenticate the user’s identity, such as a personal identification number (PIN), password, or other factor known or possessed only by the authorized user. Parents and eligible students may not, by opting out of disclosure of directory information, prevent a school from requiring a student to wear or present a student identification card or a badge that displays information that may be directory information.

Limited Directory Information Disclosure
Limited Directory Information Disclosure means that that the District may limit disclosure of its designated directory information to specific parties, for specific purposes, or both. Allowing limited directory information disclosure may permit the District to use student directory information for such limited purposes as school yearbooks, honor roll lists, graduation programs, playbills and other similar uses, without obtaining individual consent. Limiting the disclosure of such information may be beneficial when the District perceives such disclosure as putting students at risk of becoming targets of marketing campaigns, news media or possible victims of criminal acts. The District shall limit its disclosure of its designated directory information as specified in its public notice to parents and eligible students.

Military Recruiter Access
The release of student directory information is not to be confused with the release of names, addresses and telephone listings of eligible students (i.e., a student seventeen (17) years of age or older or in the eleventh grade (or its equivalent) or higher) to Military Recruiters. In compliance with the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965, as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB), and the National Defense Authorization Act, the School District shall notify parents that by law it routinely releases this information to Military Recruiters upon request subject to a parents’/eligible students’ written request not to disclose such information.

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, 20 USC Section 1232(g)
34 CFR Part 99
NOTE: Refer also to Policies #7240 — Student Records: Access and Challenge;
#7242 — Military Recruiters’ Access to Secondary School Students
and Information on Students

Adopted: 6/19/12

Policy 7242, Military Recruiters’ Access to Secondary School Students and Information on Students

In compliance with the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965, as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB); and the National Defense Authorization Act, and in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), the School District shall comply with a request by a Military Recruiter for names, addresses, and telephone listings of eligible students. Eligible student under ESEA and the National Defense Authorization Act is defined as a secondary student who is seventeen (17) years of age or older or in the eleventh grade (or its equivalent) or higher. Under ESEA and the National Defense Authorization Act, parents must be notified that the School District by law routinely discloses students’ names, addresses, and telephone listings to Military Recruiters upon request, subject to a parent’s/eligible student’s request not to disclose such information with written parental verification of such request.

Under FERPA, the School District must provide notice to parents/eligible students of the types of student information that it releases publicly. This type of information, commonly referred to as “directory information,” which is released by the District includes – but is not limited to – such items as students’ names, addresses, and telephone listings. The notice must include an explanation of a parent’s/eligible student’s right to request that “directory information” not be disclosed without prior written consent of the parent/eligible student. Eligible student under FERPA is defined as a student eighteen (18) years of age or older or who is attending an institution of post-secondary education.

A single notice provided through a mailing, student handbook, or other method that is reasonably calculated to inform parents/eligible students of the above information is sufficient to satisfy the notification requirements of both FERPA, ESEA and the National Defense Authorization Act. The notification shall advise the parent/eligible student of how to opt out of the public, nonconsensual disclosure of directory information and the disclosure of name, address and telephone listing to Military Recruiters; and shall state the method and timeline within which to do so.

Further, in compliance with the ESEA and the National Defense Authorization Act, the District shall give Military Recruiters the same access to secondary school students as they provide to postsecondary institutions or to prospective employers.

If a parent/eligible student opts out of providing directory information (or any subset of such information) to third parties, the opt-out relating to the student’s name, address, or telephone listing applies to requests from Military Recruiters as well. For example, if the opt-out states that telephone numbers will not be disclosed to the public, the District may not disclose telephone numbers to Military Recruiters.

The Superintendent/designee shall ensure that appropriate notification is provided regarding the opt-out rights prohibiting release of directory information and/or release of name, address and telephone listing to Military Recruiters.

Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, Section 9528, 20 USC Section 7908 as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, 20 USC Section 1232(g)
National Defense Authorization Act Section 544, 10 USC Section 503
34 CFR Section 300.571
Education Law Section 2-a
8 NYCRR Section 3.33

Adopted: 6/19/12

Policy 7243, Student Data Breaches

A student data breach is defined as any instance in which there is an unauthorized release of or access to personally identifiable information (PII) or other protected information of students not suitable for public release.

School districts have a legal responsibility to protect the privacy of education data, including personally identifiable information (PII) of its students. The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, commonly known as FERPA, protects the privacy of student education records. Although FERPA does not include specific data breach notification requirements, it does protect the confidentiality of education records and requires districts to record each incident of data disclosure in accordance with 34 CFR 99.32 (a)(1). In addition, under state law, direct notification of parents and/or affected students may be warranted depending on the type of data compromised, such as student social security numbers and/or other identifying information that could lead to identity theft.

The District has implemented privacy and security measures designed to protect student data stored in its student data management systems. These measures include reviewing information systems and data to identify where personally identifiable information is stored and used; monitoring data systems to detect potential breaches; and conducting privacy and security awareness training for appropriate staff. In the event of an alleged breach, the District will promptly take steps to validate the breach, mitigate any loss or damage, and notify law enforcement if necessary.

The Superintendent will develop and implement regulations for prevention, response and notification regarding student data breaches.

34 CFR 99.32 (a)(1)
Technology Law Sections 202 and 208

NOTE: Refer also to Policies #5672 — Information Security Breach and Notification; #7240 — Student Records: Access and Challenge

Adopted: 5/13/14

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

The Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA) governs the administration to students of a survey, analysis, or evaluation that concerns one or more of the following eight protected areas:
a) Political affiliations or beliefs of the student or the student’s parent/guardian;
b) Mental or psychological problems of the student or the student’s family;
c) Sex behavior or attitudes;
d) Illegal, anti-social, self-incriminating, or demeaning behavior;
e) Critical appraisals of other individuals with whom respondents have close family relationships;
f) Legally recognized privileged or analogous relationships, such as those of lawyers, physicians, and ministers;
g) Religious practices, affiliations, or beliefs of the student or student’s parent/guardian; or
h) Income (other than that required by law to determine eligibility for participation in a program or for receiving financial assistance under such program).

PPRA also concerns marketing surveys and other areas of student privacy, parental access to information, and the administration of certain physical examinations to minors.

General Provisions
The requirements of PPRA do not apply to a survey administered to a student in accordance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Further, PPRA does not supersede any of the requirements of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

The rights provided to parents/guardians under PPRA transfer from the parent/guardian to the student when the student turns eighteen (18) years old or is an emancipated minor under applicable State law.

The School District may use funds provided under Part A of Title V of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 to enhance parental/guardian involvement in areas affecting the in-school privacy of students.

Annual Parental Notification of Policies/Prior Written Consent/”Opt Out” Provisions
The School District shall provide for reasonable notice of the adoption or continued use of this policy directly to parents/guardians and eligible students enrolled in the District. At a minimum, the District shall provide such notice at least annually, at the beginning of the school year, and within a reasonable period of time after any substantive change in this policy.

Further, in the notification, the District shall offer an opportunity for parents/guardians to provide written consent or opt their child out of participation in the following activities in accordance with law and the surveys conducted:
a) The administration of any survey containing one or more of the eight protected areas.
1. U.S. Department of Education-Funded Surveys: Prior written consent from parents must be obtained before students are required to submit to the survey.
2. Surveys funded by sources other than U.S. Department of Education: Notification may indicate the specific or approximate dates during the school year when surveys will be administered and provide an opportunity for the parent to opt his/her child out of participating upon receipt of the notification.
b) Activities involving the collection, disclosure, or use of personal information collected from students for the purpose of marketing or for selling that information (or otherwise providing that information to others for that purpose).
c) Any non-emergency, invasive physical examination or screening that is required as a condition of attendance; administered by the school and scheduled by the school in advance; and not necessary to protect the immediate health and safety of the student, or of other students. The term “invasive physical examination” means any medical examination that involves the exposure of private body parts, or any act during such examination that includes incision, insertion, or injection into the body, but does not include a hearing, vision or scoliosis screening.

Specific Notification
In the event that the District does not identify the specific or approximate dates of the activities or surveys to be administered in the general annual notification, it shall “directly” notify, such as through U.S. Mail or email, the parents of students who are scheduled to participate in the specific activities or surveys prior to participation and provide an opportunity for the parent to provide written consent or opt his/her child out of participation in accordance with law and the surveys conducted.

U.S. Department of Education-Funded Surveys
In compliance with the Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA), the School District is committed to protecting the rights and privacy interests of parents/guardians and students with regard to surveys funded in whole or part by any program administered by the U.S. Department of Education (DOE).

The District shall make instructional materials available for inspection by parents/guardians if those materials will be used in connection with a DOE-funded survey, analysis, or evaluation in which their children participate. In addition, the School District shall obtain prior written parental/guardian consent before minor students are required to participate in any DOE-funded survey, analysis, or evaluation that reveals information concerning any of the eight protected areas.

Surveys Funded by Sources Other than U.S. Department of Education
The School District has developed and adopted this Board policy, in consultation with parents/guardians, regarding the following:
a) The right of the parent/person in parental relation to inspect, upon request, a survey created by a third party (i.e., by a party other than the DOE) before the survey is administered or distributed by the school to a student. Requests by parents/guardians to inspect such surveys are to be submitted, in writing, to the Building Principal at least ten (10) days prior to the administration or distribution of any survey. Further, the District shall grant a request by the parent/guardian for reasonable access to such survey within a reasonable period of time after the request is received by the District.
b) Arrangements shall be provided by the District to protect student privacy in the event of the administration or distribution of a survey to a student containing one or more of the eight protected areas, including the right of the parent/guardian of the student to inspect, upon request, any survey containing one or more of the eight protected areas. Such requests must be submitted by the parent/guardian, in writing, to the Building Principal at least ten (10) days prior to the administration or distribution of any survey.
c) Parents/guardians shall be granted, upon request, reasonable access and the right to inspect instructional materials used as part of the educational curriculum for the student within a reasonable period of time (*defined by the School District, for the purposes of this policy, as thirty [30] days) after such request is received by the District. Requests shall be submitted by parents/guardians, in writing, to the Building Principal. The term “instructional material” means instructional content that is provided to a student, regardless of its format, including printed or representational materials, audiovisual materials, and materials in electronic or digital formats (such as materials accessible through the Internet). The term does not include academic tests or academic assessments.
d) The administration of physical examinations or screenings that the School District may administer to a student.
Further, this law does not apply to any physical examination or screening that is permitted or required by State law, including physical examinations or screenings that are permitted without parental notification.
In the implementation of this provision regarding the administration of physical examinations or screenings that the school may administer to the student, the School District incorporates by reference Board policies that address student health services, as applicable, including but not limited to policies regarding the administration of medication, immunization of students, and student physicals.
e) Unless mandated/authorized in accordance with Federal or State law and/or regulation, it is policy of the Board of Education, to not permit the collection, disclosure, or use of personal information (the term “personal information” is defined as individually identifiable information including a student’s or parent/guardian’s first and last name; home address; telephone number; or Social Security number) collected from students for the purpose of marketing or for selling that information (or otherwise providing that information to others for that purpose), unless otherwise exempted pursuant to law as noted below. Questions regarding the collection, disclosure, or use of personal information collected from students for such marketing purposes may be referred to the school attorney as deemed necessary by the Superintendent/designee.

This law is not intended to preempt applicable provisions of State law that require parental/guardian notification.

These requirements do not apply to the collection, disclosure, or use of personal information collected from students for the exclusive purpose of developing, evaluating, or providing educational products or services for, or to, students or educational institutions, such as the following:
a) College or other postsecondary education recruitment, or military recruitment*;

*Military Recruiter access to student information is governed by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) and the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2002.
b) Book clubs, magazines, and programs providing access to low-cost literary products;
c) Curriculum and instructional materials used by elementary schools and secondary schools;
d) Tests and assessments used by elementary schools and secondary schools to provide cognitive, evaluative, diagnostic, clinical, aptitude, or achievement information about students (or to generate other statistically useful data for the purpose of securing such tests and assessments) and the subsequent analysis and public release of the aggregate data from such tests and assessments;
e) The sale by students of products or services to raise funds for school-related or education-related activities;
f) Student recognition programs.

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001,
20 USC Sections 1232h(b) and 1232h(c)
34 CFR Part 98

NOTE: Refer also to Policies #7121 — Diagnostic Screening of Students
#7242 — Military Recruiters’ Access to Secondary School Students and Information on Students; #7511 — Immunization of Students; #7512 — Student Physicals; #7513 — Administration of Medication

Adopted: 6/19/12

Policy 7260, Designation of Person in Parental Relation 

In accordance with General Obligations Law Title 15-A, a parent of a minor or incapacitated person may designate another person as a person in parental relation to such minor or incapacitated person for certain health care and educational decisions for a period not exceeding six (6) months. However, such parental designation is conditioned upon there being no prior order of any court in any jurisdiction currently in effect that would prohibit the parent from himself/herself exercising the same or similar authority; and provided further that, in the case where a court has ordered that both parents must agree on education or health decisions regarding the child, a designation pursuant to this law shall not be valid unless both parents have given their consent.

The designation of a person in parental relation must be in writing in the form prescribed by General Obligations Law Title 15-A, and shall include specified information as enumerated in law for designations of thirty (30) days or less, as well as additional information required for designations of more than thirty (30) days. The designation of a person in parental relation may be presented to any school that requires such designation by either the parent or designee. The designation may specify a period of time less than six (6) months for which such designation shall be valid unless earlier revoked by the parent in accordance with law. However, a designation specifying a period of more than thirty (30) days shall be notarized.
If no time period is specified in the designation, it shall be valid until the earlier of:
a) Revocation; or
b) The expiration of thirty (30) days from the date of signature if the designation does not meet the requirements for designations of more than thirty (30) days, or
c) Six (6) months from the date of commencement specified in the designation if the designation meets the requirements for designations of more than thirty (30) days.

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

Revocation of Designation
A parent may revoke a designation by notifying, either orally or in writing, the designee or a school to which the designation has been presented, or by any other act evidencing a specific intent to revoke the designation. A designation shall also be revoked upon the execution by the parent of a subsequent designation. Revocation by one parent authorized to execute such a designation shall be deemed effective and complete revocation of a designation pursuant to law.

A designee who receives notification from a parent of any such revocation shall immediately notify any school to which a designation has been presented. A parent may directly notify any such school of the revocation, in which case the failure of the designee to notify the school of such revocation shall not make revocation ineffective.

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

A person who acts based upon the consent of a designee reasonably and in the good faith belief that the parent has in fact authorized the designee to provide such consent may not be deemed to have acted negligently, unreasonably or improperly in accepting the designation and acting upon such consent. However, any such person may be deemed to have acted negligently, unreasonably or improperly if he/she has knowledge of facts indicating that the designation was never given, or did not extend to an act or acts in question, or was revoked.

No provision of General Obligations Law Title 15-A shall be construed to require designation of a person in parental relation as provided within the statute where such designation is not otherwise required by law, rule or regulation.

Education Law Sections 2 and 3212
Family Court Act Section 413
General Obligations Law Title 15-A
Mental Hygiene Law Section 80.03
Public Health Law Sections 2164 and 2504

Adopted: 6/19/12

Policy 7311, Loss or Destruction of District Property or Resources 

The District is authorized to seek restitution, through civil action when necessary, from the parent or guardian of an unemancipated student over the age of ten (10) and under the age of eighteen (18) where such student:
a) Has willfully, maliciously, or unlawfully damaged, defaced or destroyed real or personal property in the care, custody and/or ownership of the District; or
b) Has knowingly entered or remained in a District building, and wrongfully taken, obtained or withheld personal property owned or maintained by the District.

In instances where the District has sought and obtained a judgment from a court of competent jurisdiction, parent/guardian liability for civil damages shall not exceed five thousand dollars ($5,000). Under certain circumstances, prior to the entering of a judgment in the sum total of five hundred dollars ($500) or more, a court may consider the parent’s or guardian’s financial inability to pay any portion or all of the amount of damages which are in excess of five hundred dollars ($500), and enter a judgment in an amount within the financial capacity of the parent or guardian. However, no such judgment shall be entered for an amount which is less than five hundred dollars ($500).

False Reporting of an Incident and/or Placing a False Bomb
A School District is also authorized to seek restitution, as described in law, from a parent or guardian of an unemancipated student over the age of ten (10) and under the age of eighteen (18) where such student:
a) Has falsely reported an incident; or
b) Has placed a false bomb as defined in the New York State Penal Law.

Damages for falsely reporting an incident or placing a false bomb shall mean the funds reasonably expended by the School District in responding to such false report of an incident or false bomb, less the amount of any funds which have been or will be recovered from any other source as enumerated in law.
In seeking restitution, the School District shall file with the court, the County District Attorney and defense counsel an affidavit stating that the funds reasonably expended for which restitution is being sought have not been and will not be recovered from any other source or in any other civil or criminal proceeding, except as provided for pursuant to General Obligations Law Section 3-112.

General Obligations Law Section 3-112
Penal Law Sections 60.27, 240.50, 240.55, 240.60 and 240.61

Adopted: 6/19/12

Policy 7312, Student Dress Code 

The Board of Education requires students to attend school in attire that meets health and safety standards and does not interfere with the learning process of other students. The Board also requires students to wear appropriate protective gear in certain classes (e.g., home and careers, technology, physical education).

Unless otherwise required for medical or religious purposes, the Board bans: all inappropriate attire including clothing or accessories which disrupt the educational process. This includes, but is not limited to items that are vulgar, obscene, libelous, or denigrate others on account of race, color, religion, creed, national origin, gender, sexual orientation or disability and do not promote and/or endorse the use of alcohol, tobacco or illegal drugs and/or encourage other illegal or violent activities.

Also prohibited:

  • revealing attire: showing underwear, midriff/stomach, buttocks or cleavage. (i.e. tube tops, net tops, halter tops, plunging necklines, and sheer/see through garment), no pants worn below the waist, “sagging”, or visible undergarments; any skirts/shorts that are revealing in nature
  • gang paraphernalia
  • sunglasses

Also note:

  • At the discretion of the administration, students may wear coats (outerwear) inside school buildings during the school day.
  • Students must wear footwear at all times. Footwear that is a safety hazard will not be allowed.
  • Hats/head gear: Students may wear a hat or other form of head covering in school (except hoods in the hallways), unless it is disruptive to the educational process or creates a safety hazard; students must remove it in class if, in the teacher’s determination, it blocks the teacher’s (or other students’) view of the student’s face or prevents the student from obtaining a clear and unobstructed view of the teacher and classroom (e.g., hats with brims).
  • wearing both earbuds in the hallways (students can only wear one earbud in the hallways); Note: it is at the teacher’s discretion if and when a student may use earbuds in the classroom. Otherwise no earbuds should be visible in classroom settings.

The Superintendent of Schools, administrative personnel, as well as faculty and staff, have the authority to require a student to change his/her attire should it be deemed inappropriate according to the above guidelines. Any student who refuses to do so shall be subject to discipline, according to the school discipline code. Any student who repeatedly fails to comply with the dress code shall be subject to further discipline, according to the school discipline code.

Education Law Section 2801(1) — definition of school function
NOTE: Refer also to District Code of Conduct on School Property

Adopted: 6/19/12
Revised: 8/5/19

Policy 7313, Suspension of Students

The Superintendent and/or the Principal may suspend the following students from required attendance upon instruction:
a) A student who is insubordinate or disorderly; or
b) A student who is violent or disruptive; or
c) A student whose conduct otherwise endangers the safety, morals, health or welfare of others.

Suspension
Five (5) School Days or Less
The Superintendent and/or the Principal of the school where the student attends shall have the power to suspend a student for a period not to exceed five (5) school days. In the absence of the Principal, the designated “Acting Principal” may then suspend a student for a period of five (5) school days or less.

When the Superintendent or the Principal (the “suspending authority”) proposes to suspend a student for five (5) school days or less, the suspending authority shall provide the student with notice of the charged misconduct. If the student denies the misconduct, the suspending authority shall provide an explanation of the basis for the suspension.

When suspension of a student for a period of five (5) school days or less is proposed, administration shall also immediately notify the parent/person in parental relation in writing that the student may be suspended from school.
Written notice shall be provided by personal delivery, express mail delivery, or equivalent means reasonably calculated to assure receipt of such notice within twenty-four (24) hours of the decision to propose suspension at the last known address or addresses of the parents/persons in parental relation. Where possible, notification shall also be provided by telephone if the school has been provided with a telephone number(s) for the purpose of contacting parents/persons in parental relation.

The notice shall provide a description of the incident(s) for which suspension is proposed and shall inform the student and the parent/person in parental relation of their right to request an immediate informal conference with the Principal in accordance with the provisions of Education Law Section 3214(3)(b). Both the notice and the informal conference shall be in the dominant language or mode of communication used by the parents/persons in parental relation. At the informal conference, the student and/or parent/person in parental relation shall be authorized to present the student’s version of the event and to ask questions of the complaining witnesses.

The notice and opportunity for informal conference shall take place prior to suspension of the student unless the student’s presence in the school poses a continuing danger to persons or property or an ongoing threat of disruption to the academic process, in which case the notice and opportunity for an informal conference shall take place as soon after the suspension as is reasonably practical.

Teachers shall immediately report or refer a violent student to the Principal or Superintendent for a violation of the District’s Code of Conduct and a minimum suspension period.

More Than Five (5) School Days
In situations where the Superintendent determines that a suspension in excess of five (5) school days may be warranted, the student and parent/person in parental relation, upon reasonable notice, shall have had an opportunity for a fair hearing. At the hearing, the student shall have the right of representation by counsel, with the right to question witnesses against him/her, and the right to present witnesses and other evidence on his/her behalf.

Where the basis for the suspension is, in whole or in part, the possession on school grounds or school property by the student of any firearm, rifle, shotgun, dagger, dangerous knife, dirk, razor, stiletto or any of the weapons, instruments or appliances specified in Penal Law Section 265.01, the hearing officer or Superintendent shall not be barred from considering the admissibility of such weapon, instrument or appliance as evidence, notwithstanding a determination by a court in a criminal or juvenile delinquency proceeding that the recovery of such weapon, instrument or appliance was the result of an unlawful search or seizure.

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

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

If suspension or removal from the current educational placement constitutes a disciplinary change in placement because it is for more than ten (10) consecutive school days or constitutes a pattern, a manifestation determination must be made. The District determines on a case-by-case basis whether a pattern of removals constitutes a change of placement. This determination is subject to review through due process and judicial proceedings.

Manifestation Determinations
A review of the relationship between the student’s disability and the behavior subject to disciplinary action to determine if the conduct is a manifestation of the disability must be made by a manifestation team immediately, if possible, but in no case later than ten (10) school days after a decision is made:
a) By the Superintendent to change the placement to an interim alternative educational setting (IAES);
b) By an Impartial Hearing Officer (IHO) to place the student in an IAES; or
c) By the Board, District Superintendent, Superintendent or Building Principal to impose a suspension that constitutes a disciplinary change of placement.
The manifestation team shall include a representative of the District knowledgeable about the student and the interpretation of information about child behavior, the parent and relevant members of the CSE as determined by the parent and the District. The parent must receive written notice prior to the meeting to ensure that the parent has an opportunity to attend. This notice must include the purpose of the meeting, the names of those expected to attend and notice of the parent’s right to have relevant members of the CSE participate at the parent’s request.

The manifestation team shall review all relevant information in the student’s file including the student’s individualized education program (IEP), any teacher observations, and any relevant information provided by the parents to determine if: the conduct in question was caused by or had a direct and substantial relationship to the student’s disability; or the conduct in question was the direct result of the District’s failure to implement the IEP. If the team determines the conduct in question was the direct result of failure to implement the IEP, the District must take immediate steps to remedy those deficiencies.

Finding of Manifestation
If it is determined, as a result of this review, that the student’s behavior is a manifestation of his/her disability the CSE shall conduct a functional behavioral assessment, if one has not yet been conducted, and implement or modify a behavioral intervention plan.

Functional behavioral assessment (FBA) means the process of determining why the student engages in behaviors that impede learning and how the student’s behavior relates to the environment. FBA must be developed consistent with the requirements of Commissioner’s Regulations Section 200.22(a) and shall include, but not be limited to, the identification of the problem behavior, the definition of the behavior in concrete terms, the identification of the contextual factors that contribute to the behavior (including cognitive and affective factors) and the formulation of a hypothesis regarding the general conditions under which a behavior usually occurs and probable consequences that serve to maintain it.

Behavioral intervention plan (BIP) means a plan that is based on the results of a functional behavioral assessment and, at a minimum, includes a description of the problem behavior, global and specific hypotheses as to why the problem behavior occurs and intervention strategies that include positive behavioral supports and services to address the behavior.

Unless the change in placement was due to behavior involving serious bodily injury, weapons, illegal drugs or controlled substances, the student must be returned to the placement from which the student was removed unless the parent and the District agree to a change of placement as part of the modification of the behavioral intervention plan.

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

Provision of Services Regardless of the Manifestation Determination
Regardless of the manifestation determination, students with a disability shall be provided the services necessary for them to continue to participate in the general education curriculum and progress toward meeting the goals set out in their IEP as delineated below:
a) During suspensions or removals for periods of up to ten (10) school days in a school year that do not constitute a disciplinary change in placement, students with disabilities of compulsory attendance age shall be provided with alternative instruction on the same basis as nondisabled students. Students with disabilities who are not of compulsory attendance age shall be entitled to receive services during such suspensions only to the extent that services are provided to nondisabled students of the same age who have been similarly suspended.
b) During subsequent suspensions or removals for periods of ten (10) consecutive school days or less that in the aggregate total more than ten (10) school days in a school year but do not constitute a disciplinary change in placement, students with disabilities shall be provided with services necessary to enable the student to continue to participate in the general education curriculum and to progress toward meeting the goals set out in the student’s IEP and to receive, as appropriate, a functional behavioral assessment, behavioral intervention services and modifications that are designed to address the behavior violation so it does not recur. School personnel, in consultation with at least one (1) of the student’s teachers, shall determine the extent to which services are needed, so as to enable the student to continue to participate in the general education curriculum, although in another setting, and to progress in meeting the goals set out in the student’s IEP.
c) During suspensions or other disciplinary removals, for periods in excess of ten (10) school days in a school year which constitute a disciplinary change in placement, students with disabilities shall be provided with services necessary to enable the student to continue to participate in the general education curriculum, to progress toward meeting the goals set out in the student’s IEP, and to receive, as appropriate, a functional behavioral assessment, behavioral intervention services and modifications that are designed to address the behavior violation so it does not recur. The IAES and services shall be determined by the CSE.

Interim Alternative Educational Setting (IAES)
Students with disabilities who have been suspended or removed from their current placement for more than ten (10) school days may be placed in an IAES which is a temporary educational setting other than the student’s current placement at the time the behavior precipitating the IAES placement occurred.

Additionally, an Impartial Hearing Officer in an expedited due process hearing may order a change in placement of a student with a disability to an appropriate IAES for up to forty-five (45) school days if the Hearing Officer determines that maintaining the current placement is substantially likely to result in injury to the students or others.

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

A school function shall mean a school-sponsored or school-authorized extracurricular event or activity regardless of where such event or activity takes place, including any event or activity that may take place in another state.

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

The period of suspension or removal may not exceed the amount of time a non-disabled student would be suspended for the same behavior.

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

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

BOCES Activities
BOCES activities, such as field trips and other activities outside the building itself, are considered an extension of the school program. Therefore, an infraction handled at BOCES is to be considered as an act within the School District itself.

A student who is ineligible to attend a District school on a given day may also be ineligible to attend BOCES classes. The decision rests with the Superintendent or his/her designee.

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

Procedure after Suspension
When a student has been suspended and is of compulsory attendance age, immediate steps shall be taken to provide alternative instruction which is of an equivalent nature to that provided in the student’s regularly scheduled classes.

When a student has been suspended, the suspension may be revoked by the Board of Education whenever it appears to be for the best interest of the school and the student to do so. The Board of Education may also condition a student’s early return to school and suspension revocation on the student’s voluntary participation in counseling or specialized classes, including anger management or dispute resolution, where applicable.

Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 [Public Law 108-446 Section 615(k)(l)]
18 USC Section 921
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), 20 USC Section 1400 et seq.
20 USC Section 7151, as reauthorized by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001
34 CFR Part 300
Education Law Sections 2801(1), 3214 and 4402
Penal Law Section 265.01
8 NYCRR Sections 100.2(l)(2), 200.4(d)(3)(i), 200.22 and Part 201

NOTE: Refer also to Policy #7360 — Weapons in School and the Gun-Free Schools Act

Adopted: 6/19/12
Revised: 5/13/14

Policy 7314, Students Presumed to Have a Disability for Discipline Purposes 

The parent of a student who has violated any rule or code of conduct of the School District and who was not identified as a student with a disability at the time of such behavior may assert several protections provided for under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and State regulations if the School District is deemed to have had knowledge (as determined in accordance with law and/or regulations and referenced below) that the student was a student with a disability before the behavior that precipitated the disciplinary action occurred.

Basis of Knowledge
The School District shall be deemed to have knowledge that the student had a disability if prior to the time the behavior occurred:
a) The parent of the student has expressed concern in writing to supervisory or administrative personnel, or to a teacher of the student, that the student is in need of special education and related services. However, expressions of concern may be oral if the parent does not know how to write or has a disability that prevents a written statement;
b) The parent of the student has requested an evaluation of the student in writing; or
c) A teacher of the student, or other District personnel, has expressed specific concerns about a pattern of behavior demonstrated by the student, directly to the Director of Special Education or to other supervisory personnel.

Exception
A student is not a student presumed to have a disability for discipline purposes if, as a result of receiving the information specified above (i.e., subheading “Basis of Knowledge”):
a) The parent of the student has not allowed an evaluation of the student pursuant to law and/or regulations;
b) The parent of the student has refused services under law and/or regulations; or
c) The student has been evaluated and it was determined that the student is not a student with a disability.

Responsibility for Determining Whether a Student is a Student Presumed to Have a Disability
If it is claimed by the parent of the student or by School District personnel that the District had a basis for knowledge, in accordance with law and/or regulation, that the student was a student with a disability prior to the time the behavior subject to disciplinary action occurred, it shall be the responsibility of the Superintendent of Schools, Building Principal or other school official imposing the suspension or removal to determine whether the student is a student presumed to have a disability.

Conditions That Apply if There is No Basis of Knowledge
If it is determined that there is no basis for knowledge that the student is a student with a disability prior to taking disciplinary measures against the student, the student may be subjected to the same disciplinary measures as any other nondisabled student who engaged in comparable behaviors.

However, if a request for an individual evaluation is made during the time period in which such nondisabled student is subjected to a disciplinary removal, an expedited evaluation shall be conducted in accordance with law and/or regulations. Pending the results of the evaluation, the student shall remain in the educational placement determined by school authorities.

If the student is determined to be a student with a disability, taking into consideration information from the evaluation and information provided by the parents, the District shall provide special education and related services in accordance with law and/or regulations.

Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 [Public Law 108-446, Section 615(k)(5)]
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), 20 USC Section 1400 et seq.
34 CFR Part 300
8 NYCRR Section 201.5
NOTE: Refer also to Policy #7313 — Suspension of Students

Adopted: 6/19/12

Policy 7315, Student Use of Computerized Information Resources (Acceptable Use Policy)

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

Access to Inappropriate Content/Material and Use of Personal Technology or Electronic Devices
The policy is intended to establish general guidelines for acceptable student use of the DCS and also to give students and parents/guardians notice that student use of the DCS will provide student access to external computer networks not controlled by the School District. The district cannot screen or review all of the available content or materials on these external computer networks. Thus some of the available content or materials on these external networks may be deemed unsuitable for student use or access by parents/guardians.

Despite the existence of District policy, regulations and guidelines, it is virtually impossible to completely prevent access to content or material that may be considered inappropriate for students. Students may have the ability to access such content or material from their home, other locations offs school premises and/or with a student’s own personal technology or electronic device on school grounds or at school events. Parents and guardians must be willing to establish boundaries and standards for the appropriate and acceptable use of technology and communicate these boundaries and standards to their children. The appropriate/acceptable use standards outlined in this policy apply to student use of technology via the DCS or any other electronic media or communications, including by means of a student’s own personal technology or electronic device on school grounds or at school events.

Standards of Acceptable Use
Generally, the same standards of acceptable student conduct which apply to any school activity shall apply to use of the DCS. This policy does not attempt to articulate all required and/or acceptable uses of the DCS; nor is it the intention of this policy to define all inappropriate usage. Administrative regulations will further define general guidelines of appropriate student conduct and use as well as proscribed behavior.

The following types of conduct are not permitted:
a) Using another’s password/account and/or sharing a password/account
b) Sending or displaying offensive messages or pictures
c) Using obscene language
d) Harassing, insulting or attacking others
e) Damaging computers, computer system or networks
f) Violating copyright laws
g) Trespassing in another’s folder, work or files
h) Intentionally wasting limited resources
i) Employing the network for commercial purposes
This is not intended to be comprehensive, but to illustrate the expectations set for the by the District.

District students shall also adhere to the laws, policies and rules governing computers including, but not limited to, copyright laws, rights of software publishers, license agreements, and student rights of privacy created by federal and state law.

Students who engage in unacceptable use may lose access to the DCS in accordance with applicable due process procedures, and may be subject to further discipline under the District’s school conduct and discipline policy and the District Code of Conduct. The District reserves the right to pursue legal action against a student who willfully, maliciously or unlawfully damages or destroys property of the District. Further, the District may bring suit in civil court against the parents/guardians of any student who willfully, maliciously or unlawfully damages or destroys District property pursuant to General Obligations Law Section 3-112.

Student data files and other electronic storage areas will be treated like school lockers. This means that such areas shall be considered to be School District property subject to control and inspection. The District Network Administrator may access all such files and communications without prior notice to ensure system integrity and that users are complying with the requirements of this policy and accompanying regulations. Students should NOT expect that information stored on the DCS will be private.

Notification/Authorization
The District’s Acceptable Use Policy and Regulations will be disseminated to parents and students in order to provide notice of the school’s requirements, expectations, and students’ obligations when accessing the DCS.
Regulations will be established as necessary to implement the terms of this policy.

NOTE: Refer also to Policies #3121 — Use of Social Media Policy; #8271 — Internet Safety/Internet Content Filtering Policy; District Code of Conduct on School Property

Adopted: 6/19/12

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

The Board of Education recognizes that the misuse of drugs, alcohol, tobacco, and other illegal substances is a serious problem with legal, physical, emotional and social implications for our students, as well as the entire community. Therefore, the consumption, sharing and/or selling, use and/or possession of alcoholic beverages, tobacco products, illegal drugs, counterfeit and designer drugs, or paraphernalia for the use of such drugs is prohibited at any school-sponsored function, on school grounds and on school buses at all times. The inappropriate use of prescription and over-the-counter drugs shall also be disallowed.

Students shall not be under the influence of alcohol or other prohibited substances on school grounds or at school-sponsored events. A school-sponsored function shall include a school-sponsored or school-authorized extracurricular event or activity regardless of where such event or activity takes place.

Smoking
Smoking shall not be permitted and no person shall smoke within one hundred (100) feet of the entrance, 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.

Non-medical Use of Prescription Drugs
Non-medical use of prescription drugs is prohibited. Should a student be found in possession of any such substance, he/she shall be dealt with in accordance with the Code of Conduct.

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

Education Law Sections 409 and 2801(1)
Public Health Law 1399-o

NOTE: Refer also to Policies #3280 — Use of School Facilities, Materials and Equipment; #3410 — Code of Conduct on School Property; #5640 — Smoking/Tobacco Use; #8211 — Prevention Instruction
District Code of Conduct on School Property

Adopted: 6/19/12
Revised: 7/2/13; 7/1/15

Policy 7330, Searches and Interrogations 

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

Factors to be considered in determining whether reasonable suspicion exists to search a student include:
a) The age of the student;
b) The student’s school record and past history;
c) The predominance and seriousness of the problem in the school where the search is directed;
d) The probative value and reliability of the information used as a justification for the search;
e) The school official’s prior knowledge of and experience with the student; and
f) The urgency to conduct the search without delay.

The Superintendent, Building Principals, Assistant Principals, and School Nurse are authorized to conduct searches of students and their belongings if the authorized school official has reasonable suspicion to believe that the search will produce evidence that the student has violated or is violating the law and/or the Code of Conduct.

If reasonable suspicion exists to believe that a student has violated or is violating the law and/or school rules, it is permissible for an authorized school official to search that student’s outer clothing, pockets, or property. The search may include, but is not limited to, the student’s outer clothing such as a jacket or coat, pockets, backpack, and/or purse. Searches will be conducted by a staff member of the same sex as the student. Whenever possible, another staff member, also of the same sex, will be present as a witness.

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

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

Questioning of Students by School Officials
School officials have the right to question students regarding any violations of school rules and/or illegal activity. In general, administration may conduct investigations concerning reports of misconduct which may include, but are not limited to, questioning students, staff, parents/guardians, or other individuals as may be appropriate and, when necessary, determining disciplinary action in accordance with applicable due process rights.
Should the questioning of students by school officials focus on the actions of one particular student, the student will be questioned, if possible, in private by the appropriate school administrator. The student’s parent/guardian may be contacted; the degree, if any, of parental/guardian involvement will vary depending upon the nature and the reason for questioning, and the necessity for further action which may occur as a result.

The questioning of students by school officials does not preclude subsequent questioning/ interrogations by police authorities as otherwise permitted by law. Similarly, the questioning of students by school officials does not negate the right/responsibility of school officials to contact appropriate law enforcement agencies, as may be necessary, with regard to such statements given by students to school officials.

School officials acting alone and on their own authority, without the involvement of or on behalf of law enforcement officials (at least until after the questioning of students by school authorities has been conducted) are not required to give the so-called “Miranda warnings” (i.e., advising a person, prior to any custodial interrogations as defined in law, of the right to remain silent; that any statement made by the individual may be used as evidence against him/her; and that the individual has the right to the presence of an attorney, either retained or appointed) prior to the questioning of students.

If deemed appropriate and/or necessary, the Superintendent/designee may also review the circumstances with School District legal counsel so as to address concerns and the course of action, if any, which may pertain to and/or result from the questioning of students by school officials.

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

Administrators have the responsibility and the authority to determine when the assistance of law enforcement officers is necessary within their respective jurisdictions.

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

Whenever police wish to question a student on school premises, administration will attempt to notify the student’s parent/guardian.
If possible, questioning of a student by police should take place in private and in the presence of the Building Principal/designee.

Child Protective Services’ Investigations
From time to time, Child Protective Services may desire to conduct interviews of students on school property. Such interviews generally pertain to allegations of suspected child abuse and/or neglect. The Board encourages cooperation with Child Protective Services in accordance with applicable Social Services Law.

Education Law Sections 1604(9), 1604(30), 1709(2), 1709(33) and 2801
Family Court Act Section 1024
Social Services Law Sections 411-428
8 NYCRR Section 100.2(l)

Adopted: 6/19/12

Policy 7340, Bus Rules and Regulations 

The Watervliet City School District furnishes transportation to those students whose disability or distance from the school make the service essential. Except as otherwise mandated in a student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP), riding these buses is a privilege and may be withdrawn if the student does not comply with the rules and regulations set forth in this District.

Bus drivers shall be held responsible for reasonable and acceptable behavior of students while riding the school bus. Students riding school buses are expected to conform to the rules of conduct in order to permit the bus driver to transport his/her passengers safely.

The Board of Education, the Superintendent and/or his/her designee has the authority to suspend the transportation privileges of children who are disorderly and insubordinate on buses. Generally, parent(s)/guardian(s) will be required to make alternative transportation arrangements for their children who have been suspended from riding the bus. However, the effect of a suspension from transportation on the student’s ability to attend school will be considered. If a suspension from transportation effectively results in a suspension from attendance because of the distance between the home and the school and the absence of alternative public or private means of transportation, the District shall make appropriate arrangements to provide for the student’s education.

If a student with a disability who receives transportation as a related service as part of his/her Individualized Education Program is being considered for suspension from transportation, and that suspension would effectively result in a change in placement, the student shall be referred to the Committee on Special Education.

The Board directs the administration to establish rules and regulations for student conduct on buses, including applicable due process rights to be afforded students suspended from transportation privileges. These rules and regulations shall be promulgated to all concerned, including the nonpublic schools to which students are transported.

Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA), 20 USC Sections 1400-1485
8 NYCRR Section 156

Adopted: 6/19/12

Policy 7350, Corporal Punishment/Emergency Interventions 

Corporal Punishment
Corporal punishment as a means of discipline shall not be used against a student by any teacher, administrator, officer, employee or agent of this School District.

Whenever a school employee uses physical force against a student, the school employee shall immediately report the situation to his/her Principal/Supervisor. The Principal/Supervisor shall, within the same school day, make a report to the Superintendent describing in detail the circumstances and the nature of the action taken.

The Superintendent of Schools shall submit a written report semi-annually to the Commissioner of Education, with copies to the Board of Education, by January 15 and July 15 of each year, setting forth the substance of each written complaint about the use of corporal punishment received by the Watervliet City School District authorities during the reporting period, the results of each investigation, and the action, if any, taken by the school authorities in each case.

Emergency Interventions
However, if alternative procedures and methods which would not involve physical force do not work, then the use of reasonable physical force is not prohibited for the following reasons:
a) Self-protection;
b) Protection of others;
c) Protection of property; or
d) Restraining/removing a disruptive student.

Such emergency interventions shall only be used in situations where alternative procedures and methods not involving the use of reasonable physical force cannot reasonably be employed. Emergency interventions shall not be used as a punishment or as a substitute for systematic behavioral interventions that are designed to change, replace, modify or eliminate a targeted behavior.

Staff who may be called upon to implement emergency interventions will be provided appropriate training in safe and effective restraint procedures. The parent(s) of the student shall be notified whenever an emergency intervention is utilized.

The District will maintain documentation on the use of emergency interventions for each student including:
a) Name and date of birth of student;
b) Setting and location of the incident;
c) Name of staff or other persons involved;
d) Description of the incident and emergency intervention used, including duration;
e) A statement as to whether the student has a current behavioral intervention plan; and
f) Details of any injuries sustained by the student or others, including staff, as a result of the incident.

This documentation will be reviewed by District supervisory personnel and, if necessary, by the school nurse or other medical personnel.

8 NYCRR Sections 19.5, 100.2(l)(3), 200.15(f)(1) and 200.22(d)

NOTE: Refer also to Policy #7313 — Suspension of Students

Adopted: 6/19/12

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

With the exception of those students who receive prior written permission from the Board of Education or its designee, no student may bring in or possess any “firearm” or “weapon” on school property, on a school bus or District vehicle, in school buildings, or at school sponsored activities or settings under the control or supervision of the District regardless of location.

Any student who has been found guilty of bringing in or possessing a firearm or weapon in violation of this policy will be disciplined in a manner consistent with State and Federal law and the District’s Code of Conduct. Such discipline may include a mandatory suspension for a period of not less than one (1) calendar year for a student who is determined to have violated the Federal Gun-Free Schools Act and its implementing provisions in the New York State Education Law, provided that the Superintendent may modify the suspension requirement on a case-by-case basis.

Students who have brought a “weapon” or “firearm” to school will be referred by the Superintendent to either a presentment agency (the agency or authority responsible for presenting a juvenile delinquency proceeding) or to appropriate law enforcement officials. Such referrals will be made as follows: a student who is under the age of sixteen (16) and who is not a fourteen (14) or fifteen (15) year-old who qualifies for juvenile offender status under the Criminal Procedure Law will be referred to a presentment agency for juvenile delinquency proceedings; a student who is sixteen (16) years old or older, or who is fourteen (14) or fifteen (15) and qualifies for juvenile offender status, will be referred to the appropriate law enforcement authorities.

For the purposes of this policy, the term “weapon” will be as defined in 18 USC 930(g)(2).

For the purposes of this policy, the term “firearm” will be as defined in 18 USC 921(a).

Students with disabilities continue to be entitled to all rights enumerated in the Individuals with Disabilities Act and Education Law Article 89. This policy shall not be deemed to authorize suspension of students with disabilities in violation of those authorities.

This policy does not diminish the authority of the Board of Education to offer courses in instruction in the safe use of firearms pursuant to Education Law Section 809-a.

Gun-Free Schools Act as reauthorized by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001
18 USC Sections 921(a) and 930
Criminal Procedure Law Section 1.20(42)
Education Law Sections 809-a and 3214

NOTE: Refer also to Policies #3411 — Prohibition of Weapons on School Grounds; #7313 — Suspension of Students; District Code of Conduct

Adopted: 6/19/12
Revised: 7/1/14

Policy 7410, Extracurricular Activities 

The Board of Education considers extracurricular activities to be a valuable part of the program of the school and shall support these activities within the financial means of the District.

Limited Open Forum
The Board of Education maintains a limited open forum where secondary students may meet for voluntary student-initiated activities unrelated directly to the instructional program, regardless of religious, political or philosophical content.

To provide “a fair opportunity” to students who wish to conduct a meeting, the Board of Education, in accordance with the provisions of the Equal Access Act, shall ensure that:
a) The meeting is voluntary and student-initiated;
b) There is no sponsorship of the meeting by the school, the government, or its agents or employees;
c) Employees or agents of the school or government are present at religious meetings only in a nonparticipatory capacity;
d) The meeting does not materially and substantially interfere with the orderly conduct of educational activities within the school; and
e) Nonschool persons may not direct, conduct, control, or regularly attend activities of student groups (20 USC Section 4071[c]).

The Board prohibits student organizations whose activities may be unlawful or may cause disruption or interference with the orderly conduct of the educational process.

Administration is responsible for establishing regulations governing the use of school facilities by student organizations.

Eligibility for Attendance
a) Students who are suspended from school on a day of an athletic game or practice session, party, school dance, or other school affair scheduled after regular school hours are not eligible for participation or attendance at such events.
b) In order for students to attend a school-sponsored function, it is necessary that students attend classes for at least one-half (1/2) of the school day on the day of the activity, unless otherwise excused by the building administrator. One-half (1/2) of the school day is defined as follows: from 8:30 a.m. until noon or from noon until the end of the school day.

Equal Access Act, 20 USC Sections 4071-4074
Education Law Sections 1709 and 1709-a, 2503-a and 2554-a
Vehicle and Traffic Law Section 142
8 NYCRR Part 172

Adopted: 6/19/12

Policy 7411, Censorship of School Sponsored Student Publications and Activities

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

Adopted: 6/19/12

Policy 7412, Extracurricular Activities/Athletic – Code of Conduct 

Participation on a Watervliet City School District’s athletic team or participation in an extracurricular club is a privilege, which should elicit great pride, in both the student and his/her family. It is also a responsibility, which requires an extra commitment, both academic and otherwise, by those who wear our school colors and represent their teammates, coaches, classmates, school, and community. Standards of behavior are necessarily high and a willingness to meet these standards is a condition for participating as a member of one of Watervliet’s extracurricular teams or clubs. All students participating in extracurricular activities will be bound by the guidelines of the District’s Code of Conduct in addition to the Extracurricular Code of Conduct.
As a continuing condition of eligibility, students who participate in extracurricular activities including sports are required to formally acknowledge their acceptance of these standards by signing a statement of personal commitment.

The Extracurricular Code of Conduct describes academic and other eligibility requirements, the application of the code, penalties, due process, and the appeal procedure. Nothing in the Extracurricular Code of Conduct will preclude the District from instituting appropriate penalties under the Student Code of Conduct with respect to violations of that Code.

Extracurricular Code of Conduct
The Extracurricular Code of Conduct consists of both academic and behavioral requirements. Participation on any extracurricular team or club is contingent upon the student’s willingness to commit to its provisions as evidenced by his/her completing and signing an official letter of commitment.

Academic Eligibility
Students are eligible to participate as long as they stay academically eligible as described in the Watervliet Extracurricular Eligibility Policy.

Other Eligibility Requirements
In addition to the academic requirements outlined in the Extracurricular Eligibility Policy, and as a further requirement for participation on any interscholastic team or club, students are required to avoid any action(s) or participation in any activity, which might bring any unfavorable view on the student, his/her teammates, coaches, family, school or community. Alleged violation(s) of this policy will be subject to review and action under the code. The following list includes examples of behaviors which would be considered violations of the Extracurricular Code of Conduct. This list is intended to be illustrative and not exhaustive:
a) Watervliet Student Code of Conduct Violations – Violations of the Watervliet Student Code of Conduct resulting in an internal or an out-of-school suspension could result in progressive levels of discipline under this Code.
b) Possession and/or Use of Drugs or Alcohol – The possession or use of drugs, drug paraphernalia, or alcohol or the consumption of drugs or alcohol at any time is strictly prohibited.
c) Possession and/or Use of Tobacco Products – The possession or use of tobacco products is strictly prohibited.
d) Attendance and/or Hosting of Drinking/Drug Parties – Extracurricular participants are prohibited from hosting/attending a party that involves drugs (such as alcohol, marijuana or other controlled substances).
e) Hazing/Initiation Ceremony – Watervliet students will not stage any type of “initiation ceremony” or hazing any time and on any level.
f) Poor sportsmanship – Students, whether participants or spectators, will observe courteous behavior during all events. Name calling, obscene gestures, fighting or arguing will not be tolerated.
g) Stealing – Stealing of any kind will not be tolerated.
h) Vandalism or Property Destruction – Vandalism or property destruction will not be tolerated.

Application of the Code
All students in grades 7 through 12 must sign the Extracurricular Code of Conduct at the beginning of each year, or upon enrollment in the District. The Code will apply to each student for one (1) calendar year (including summer) from the date of his/her most recent signature and will be in effect at all times, in all locations, including non-school activities. Violations of the Code will result in penalties as determined by the policy and enforced by the Principal.

Penalties
The penalties are as follows:
a) First Offense
If a first offense occurs, the student shall be removed from participation in all activities for thirty (30) school calendar days beginning on the date the penalty for the first offense is imposed.
b) Second Offense
If a second offense occurs, the student shall be removed from participation in all activities for an additional sixty (60) school calendar days beginning on the date the penalty for the second offense is imposed.
c) Third Offense
If a third offense occurs, the student shall be removed from participation in all activities for one (1) calendar year beginning on the date the penalty for the third offense is imposed.

Due Process
Prior to imposition of any penalty under the Code, the Principal will notify the student and parent/guardian of the nature of the infraction. The student and parent/guardian will be given an opportunity to appear informally before the Principal to explain his/her side of the story.

Appeal Procedure
The student and/or parent/guardian have the right to appeal penalties imposed under the Code to the School Principal. Appeals must be made in writing within three (3) days of assignment of a penalty for a code violation. Within three (3) school days after receipt of the letter, the Principal will respond to the appeal.

Adopted: 6/19/12

Policy 7413, Extracurricular Activities Eligibility Policy

Introduction
The Board of Education recognizes the educational values inherent in student participation in Extracurricular Activities for such purposes as participating in athletics, building social relationships, developing interests in an academic area, and gaining an understanding of the responsibilities of good citizenship.

The Board believes it is important for students to have support and intervention from parents, teachers and administration when it becomes apparent that academic achievement or behavioral standards cannot be maintained. This cooperative effort is designed to encourage and motivate students to continue to perform at their potential academically, athletically and in all areas of interest and endeavor.

In order to promote the highest standards of scholarship, achievement and integrity, the Board advocates that every student who wishes to participate in Extracurricular Activities uphold a satisfactory level of academic and behavioral achievement. Attendance in school is an important part of participation in Extracurricular Activities. The Board recommends that all appointments be made after the school day or during school vacations (i.e., doctor or dentist appointment, driving test, etc.).

The Principal or his/her designee shall generate and distribute the Academic Probation List/restricted list to all faculty, coaches and advisors within five (5) days of each 5-week marking period. The probation/restriction begins the day the interim reports/reports cards are released. It is the student’s responsibility to check the eSchool Portal so they know if they are eligible to play/participate in extracurricular activities.  The Principal or his/her designee shall also send a letter to each student’s parent or guardian indicating that the student is on the Academic Probation or restricted list stating that any parent or guardian wishing to have a parent/student/teacher meeting should call the school counselors office to schedule an appointment.

This Extracurricular Activities Eligibility Policy shall apply to all students in grades 7 through 12.

Eligibility Standards

a) Attendance
On time and continuous attendance is expected of all students participating  in extracurricular activities for the day.
1. Any student arriving late or leaving early due to a medical, dental, funeral or court date must provide written verification to the attendance office upon arrival to school in order to participate in an Extracurricular Activity for that day.
2. Any student leaving early due to illness or injury is not eligible to participate in an Extracurricular Activity that day.
3. A student must be in attendance by 8:20 a.m. in order to be eligible to participate in any extracurricular activity that day. If a student arrives after 8:20 a.m., they can attend practice/activity per coach/advisor but cannot participate in games, performances, competitions, etc.
4. The advisors/coaches of Extracurricular Activities must check the daily attendance sheet to determine eligibility.

b) Academics
To participate in extracurricular activities, a student must have a minimum sixty-five (65) average and no more than one (1)course/ failing grade. *
1. Report card and interim report grades determine eligibility.
If a student fails to meet the 65 average and/or is failing more than one (1) subject, they are eligible to use an “improvement period called Academic Probation.” The “improvement period” will allow students to contact teachers, stay after school for study tables or other homework help and work towards making significant academic improvement during that time period. 

A. If after each five-week interim/report card period a student is no longer failing more than one (1) course or has an incomplete in one (1) subject and has an overall average of 65, they will be removed from the “Academic Probation” list or “restricted list.” They will be able to continue to play and participate in all extracurricular activities.
B. If after each five-week interim/report card period a student who is on Academic Probation continues to be or has incompletes in two (2) or more subjects, they will be placed on the “restricted list.” Students can continue to practice and attend all extracurricular activities but will be restricted from playing/participating in all extracurricular activities any games, performances, dances or any other events deemed “special activities” by administration that are not part of a classroom grade until they become academic eligible.

2. Eligibility for fall extracurricular activities is based on fourth (4th) quarter grades from the previous year. If a student raises his or her grades to passing by attending summer school and has no more than one (1) fourth (4th) quarter or year failure remaining, the student will not be placed on the Academic Probation List.

Examples:
(a) Student, Suzy Q., has greater than a sixty (65) average; she can play or participate in all activities.
(b) Student, Suzy Q., is failing one (1) class, but has greater than a sixty-five (65) average; she can play or participate in all activities.
(c) Student, Suzy Q.’s, interim report or report card shows two (2) failures/incompletes: She is placed on “Academic Probation”; she can practice, play and attend events during that five-week time period. If at the next interim/report card period she continues to fail two (2) or more courses, she is moved to the “restricted list.”

*Note: If a student is on the “restricted list” and an athletic tryout is prior to the next probation period, they will be eilgible to try out.

Appeal
A student who believes an error has occurred with a grade may appeal to the School Principal.

Definitions
a) The “Academic Probation List” means a list of all students failing more than one (1) course or failing one (1) course and with less than a sixty-five (65) overall average as of the 5-week interim progress report or quarterly report card.
b) The “restricted list” means a list of students failing more than one (1) course or failing one (1) course with less than a 65 overall average as of the five-week interim progress report or quarterly report card after being on “Academic Probation”  the previous five-week period.
c) The term “Extracurricular Activities” means any school function not grade dependent, e.g., athletics, intramurals and all club/group meetings, activities, dances, performances, contests or games, as a participant.
d) Classes means all enrolled classes including CORE Classes, Specials (PE, Art, Music, Home and Careers, Business, AIS, Reading, Curriculum Support, etc.), BOCES, etc.

Adopted: 6/19/12
Updated: 10/26/18

Policy 7420, Sports and the Athletic Program 

General Principles and Eligibility
Athletics are an integral part of a well-balanced educational program. The District’s interscholastic athletic program will conform with the Commissioner’s regulations, as well as the established rules of the New York State Public High School Athletic Association and the State Education Department.

Athletic eligibility requires that the student:
a) Provide written parental/guardian consent. The consent form must contain information regarding mild traumatic brain injuries (concussions) as specified in the Commissioner’s regulations.
b) Obtain medical clearance from the school physician/nurse practitioner or the student’s personal physician. The school physician/nurse practitioner retains final approval on any physicals performed by a student’s personal physician.
c) Meet the requirements for interscholastic competition as set forth by the Commissioner’s regulations and the New York State Public High School Athletic Association.
d) Comply with all District rules, codes, and standards applicable to athletic participation.
Title IX Compliance
The Board supports equal athletic opportunities for members of both sexes through interscholastic and intramural activities. To ensure equal athletic opportunities for its students, the District will consider:
a) Its accommodation of athletic interests and abilities (the nature and extent of sports offered, including levels of competition, team competition, and team performance);
b) Equipment and supplies;
c) Scheduling of games and practice time;
d) Travel costs and opportunities for travel;
e) Assignment and compensation of coaches;
f) Locker rooms, practice, and competitive facilities;
g) Available medical and training facilities and services; and
h) The nature and extent of support, publicity, and promotion, including cheerleading, bands, programs distributed at games, and booster club activities.

The District may consider other pertinent factors as well. Each of the factors will be assessed by comparing availability, quality, type of benefits, kind of opportunities, and form of treatment. Identical benefits, opportunities, or treatment are not required.

The District’s Civil Rights Compliance Officer will coordinate the District’s efforts to comply with and carry out its responsibilities under Title IX. This person will be appropriately trained and possess comprehensive knowledge about applicable federal and state laws, regulations, and policies. To the extent possible, the District will not designate an employee whose other job duties may create a conflict of interest, such as the athletic director.

Booster Clubs
The District has a responsibility under Title IX to ensure that boys’ and girls’ programs are provided with equivalent benefits, treatment, services, and opportunities regardless of their source. When determining equivalency, therefore, benefits, services, and opportunities attained through private funds-including donations, fundraising, and booster clubs-must be considered in combination with all benefits, services, and opportunities.

Athletic Placement Process for Interschool Athletic Programs (APP)
The APP is a method for evaluating students who want to participate in sports at higher or lower levels, consistent with their physical and emotional maturity, size, fitness level, and skills. The Board approves the use of the APP for all secondary school interscholastic team members. The Superintendent will implement procedures for the APP, and will direct the athletic director to maintain records of students who have successfully completed the APP.

Student Athletic Injuries
No injured student will be allowed to practice or play in an athletic contest. An appropriate medical professional should diagnose and treat an athlete’s injuries. The coach should ensure that any player injured while under his or her care receives prompt and appropriate medical attention, and that all of the medical professional’s treatment instructions are followed. The injured student has an obligation to promptly inform his or her coach of all injuries. No student will be allowed to practice or compete if there is a question whether he/she is in adequate physical condition. A physician’s certification may be required before an athlete is permitted to return to practice or competition.

Athletic Program-Safety
The District will take reasonable steps to minimize physical risks posed to students participating in the interscholastic athletic program by:
a) Requiring timely medical examinations of participants;
b) Employing certified or licensed staff to coach all varsity, junior varsity, and modified practices and games;
c) Providing or requiring certified or licensed officials to officiate all competitions;
d) Ensuring that its players’ equipment is safe and operates within the applicable manufacturers’ guidelines;
e) Ensuring that all home fields, courts, pools, tracks, and other areas where athletes practice, warm-up, or compete are safe and appropriate for use; and
f) Providing professional development and training opportunities for all coaching staff.

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 USC Section 1681 et seq.
45 CFR Part 86
8 NYCRR Sections 135 and 136

NOTE: Refer also to Policies #3420 — Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment in the School District; #7522 — Concussion Management

Adopted: 6/19/12
Revised: 7/2/13; 8/18/15

Policy 7430, Student Contests, Awards, Scholarships and Honor Rolls 

Contests for Students
Distribution of educational material, essay contests, and poster contests must be approved in advance by the Building Principals if the sponsoring organization wishes to involve students in the project on school time. Samples of informational material should accompany the request. Upon the judgment of the Principal, the request may be forwarded to the Superintendent and the Board of Education for approval.

Student Awards and Scholarships
The School District may obtain and award to its students awards and scholarships. The Board of Education, having been entrusted by law, will hold in trust gifts, grants, bequests and legacies given or bequeathed to the Watervliet City School District and shall apply the same and/or their interest and proceeds according to the instruction of the donors and according to the procedures established by the administration.

Honor Rolls
The development of student intellectual ability, desirable traits of character and qualities of leadership are all achievements the School System desires to encourage and foster. In recognition of outstanding student achievement far in excess of the minimum requirements, the Board of Education supports academic recognition programs. These programs may include honor rolls, honor societies, and special awards.

The Board shall encourage the certified staff to develop criteria and procedures for these recognition programs. In all cases, the relationship between the honor and the relevant goal of the school shall be made explicitly clear.

Education Law Sections 1604(30), 1709(12-a) and 2503(1)

Adopted: 6/19/12

Policy 7450, Fund Raising by Students 

Fund raising projects in which students sell merchandise, provide services, or in other ways solicit money for school activities may be sponsored by school organizations with the express approval of the Building Principal. Any such plan shall have a clearly defined purpose and, in general, shall contribute to the educational experience of students and shall not conflict with instructional programs or state mandates. Fund raising activities away from school property shall be held to a minimum. All participation shall be voluntary.

Door to door sales projects undertaken by any organization using the Watervliet City School District name shall require previous approval of the Board of Education. Profits shall be used to enhance school programs by providing money for expenditures not normally funded by the District.

Employees are cautioned against giving the impression to students that the purpose of selling items (e.g., “scratch off” cards, holiday wrappings, etc.) or paying a fee is to defray a portion of the District’s educational program. At no time should a student’s participation in an educational activity include such sales or fees. In addition, it is imperative that employees not deposit the proceeds of any legitimate sales activity in their own personal accounts.
These activities may jeopardize a student’s right to participate in the educational program on a tuition and/or fee-free basis. Further, employees engaged in such activities may be held personally liable.

New York State Constitution, Article 8, Section 1
Education Law Section 414
8 NYCRR Section 19.6

NOTE: Refer also to Policy #3271 — Solicitation of Charitable Donations From School Children

Adopted: 6/19/12

Policy 7460, Constitutionally Protected Prayer in the Public Schools 

The Board of Education affirms in writing to the NYS Education Department, the responsibilities of the School District, consistent with applicable statutory/case law pertaining to the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, to allow students and staff to engage in constitutionally protected prayer within the District schools.

Accordingly, no Board of Education policy shall prevent, or otherwise deny participation in, constitutionally protected prayer in District schools, consistent with the federal law.

The Board rescinds any other policy that may be inconsistent with the mandates of this policy, which shall supersede any and all Board policies to the contrary.

United States Constitution, First Amendment
Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, Section 9524
Equal Access Act, 20 USC Sections 4071-4074

NOTE: Refer also to Policy #8360 — Religious Expression in the Instructional Program

Adopted: 6/19/12
Revised: 7/5/16

Policy 7510, School Health Services 

All districts must provide and maintain a continuous program of health services which includes, but is not limited to:
a) Providing medical examinations, and health screenings designed to determine the health status of the student;
b) Informing parents or other persons in parental relation to the student, pupils and teachers of the individual student’s health condition subject to federal and state confidentiality laws. The District will provide this notice in writing if the District becomes aware that the student has defective sight or hearing or a physical disability, including sickle cell anemia, or other condition which may require professional attention with regard to health;
c) Where the exigencies warrant (where the parents/persons in parental relation are unable or unwilling to provide the necessary relief and treatment), providing relief in situations where the student would otherwise be deprived of the full benefit of education through inability to follow the instruction offered;
d) Guiding parents, students and teachers in procedures for preventing and correcting defects and diseases and for the general improvement of the health of students;
e) Instructing school personnel in procedures to take in case of accident or illness;
f) Maintaining a program of education to inform school personnel, parents, non-school health agencies, welfare agencies and the general public regarding school health conditions, services and factors relating to the health of students;
g) Providing inspections and supervision of the health and safety aspects of the school plant;
h) Providing health examinations before participation in strenuous physical activity and periodically throughout the season as necessary;
i) Providing health examinations necessary for the issuance of employment certificates, vacation work permits, newspaper carrier certificates and street trades badges; and
j) Surveying and making necessary recommendations concerning the health and safety aspects of school facilities and the provision of health information.

Education Law Article 19
8 NYCRR Part 136

Adopted: 6/19/12
Revised: 7/1/15

Policy 7511, Immunization of Students

Every child entering or attending a District school must present proof of immunization or proof of immunity by serology (blood test) if applicable in accordance with Public Health Law Section 2164 and the New York State Department of Health Regulations unless:
a) A New York State licensed physician certifies that such immunization is detrimental to the child’s health. The requirement for that immunization is waived until such immunization is no longer detrimental to the child’s health; or
b) The student’s parent, parents, or persons in parental relation hold genuine and sincere religious beliefs which are contrary to the requirement. In such cases, the Building Principal will make a case-by-case determination whether a parent/guardian is entitled to invoke this religious exemption from required immunizations after receiving a written and signed statement from the parent(s) or persons in parental relation to such child. New York State Law does not recognize exemptions based on a parent(s) or guardian(s) personal or philosophical beliefs.

Except for the above two exemptions, the District may not permit a student lacking evidence of immunization to remain in school for more than fourteen (14) days, or more than thirty (30) days for an out-of-state or out-of-country transferee who can show a good faith effort to get the necessary certification or other evidence of immunization.

For homeless children, the enrolling school must immediately refer the parent or guardian of the student to the District’s homeless liaison, who must assist them in obtaining the necessary immunizations, or immunization or medical records.

The administration will notify the local health authority of the name and address of excluded students and provide the parent/person in parental relation a statement of his/her duty regarding immunization as well as a consent form prescribed by the Commissioner of Health. The school shall cooperate with the local health authorities to provide a time and place for the immunization of these students.

Parents, guardians or other persons in parental relation may appeal to the Commissioner of Education if their child is denied school entrance or attendance for failing to meet health immunization standards.

The District will provide an annual summary of compliance with immunization requirements to the Commissioner of Health.

For current information regarding immunization requirements, refer to the New York State Center for School Health website.

For advice on a specialized immunization questions, contact the regional New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) office directly. A complete listing of regional offices can be found on the NYSDOH website.

All schools will post educational information on influenza and the benefits of influenza immunization. The information must be in plain view and available to parents. Schools can obtain the information to post on the NYSDOH Childhood and Adolescent Immunizations website

Education Law Sections 310 and 914
Public Health Law Section 2164
8 NYCRR Part 136
10 NYCRR Subpart 66-1

NOTE: Refer also to Policy #7131 — Education of Homeless Children and Youth

Adopted: 6/19/12
Revised: 7/2/13; 7/1/15

Policy 7512, Student Physicals 

Health Examination
Each student enrolled in District schools must have a satisfactory health examination conducted by the student’s physician, physician assistant or nurse practitioner within twelve (12) months prior to the commencement of the school year of:
a) The student’s entrance in a District school at any grade level;
b) Entrance to pre-kindergarten or kindergarten;
c) Entry into the 2nd, 4th, 7th and 10th grades.

The District may also require an examination and health history of a student when it is determined by the District that it would promote the educational interests of the student.

In addition, the District requires a certificate of physical fitness for:
a) All athletes prior to their first sport of the school year, then only those who were injured or ill during their first sport before participating in a second sport during the school year; and
b) All students who need work permits; and
c) All students either suspected of or sustaining a mild traumatic brain injury (concussion) must receive a written and signed authorization from a licensed physician before returning to athletic activities in school.

Health Certificate
Each student must submit a health certificate attesting to the health examination within thirty (30) days after his/her entrance into school and within thirty (30) days after his/her entry into pre-Kindergarten or Kindergarten, the 2nd, 4th, 7th and 10th grades. The health certificate shall be filed in the student’s cumulative record. The health certificate must:
a) Describe the condition of the student when the examination was given;
b) State the results of any test conducted on the student for sickle cell anemia;
c) State whether the student is in a fit condition of health to permit his/her attendance at public school and, where applicable, whether the student has defective sight or hearing, or any other physical disability which may tend to prevent the student from receiving the full benefit of school work or from receiving the best educational results, or which may require a modification of such work to prevent injury to the student;
d) Include a calculation of the student’s body mass index (BMI) and weight status category. BMI is computed as the weight in kilograms divided by the square of height in meters or the weight in pounds divided by the square of height in inches multiplied by a conversion factor of 703. Weight status categories for children and adolescents shall be defined by the Commissioner of Health. BMI collection and reporting is voluntary for 2007-2008 becoming effective September 2008;
e) Be signed by a duly licensed physician, physician assistant, or nurse practitioner, who is authorized by law to practice in New York State consistent with any applicable written practice agreement; or authorized to practice in the jurisdiction in which the examination was given, provided that the Commissioner of Health has determined that such jurisdiction has standards of licensure and practice comparable to those of New York. A certificate signed by a chiropractor is not acceptable except for a scoliosis evaluation.

Dental Certificate
The dental certificate law became effective on September 1, 2008. This law applies to new entrants in PreK, K, Grades 2, 4, 7 and 10. In accordance with this law, a notice of request for a dental health certificate shall be distributed at the same time that the parent/person in parental relation is notified of health examination requirements, such certificate to be furnished at the same time the health certificate is required. At this time, students will be permitted to attend school regardless of whether or not they have a dental certificate.
The dental certificate shall be signed by a duly licensed dentist, or a registered dental hygienist, authorized by law to practice in New York State or one who is authorized to practice in the jurisdiction in which the assessment was performed, provided that the Commissioner has determined that the jurisdiction has standards of licensure and practice comparable to New York State. The certificate shall describe the dental health condition of the student upon assessment, which shall not be more than twelve (12) months prior to the commencement of the school year in which the assessment is requested, and shall state whether the student is in fit condition of dental health to permit his/her attendance at the public schools.

Requests are not to be retroactive (i.e., any physical requested prior to September 1, 2008 does not need to have an additional notice sent requesting the dental certificate). Requests are not required when the student or parent/person in parental relation objects on the grounds of conflict with their genuine and sincere religious beliefs. Within thirty (30) days following the student’s entrance in the school or grade, the certificate, if obtained, shall be filed in the student’s cumulative health record.

Examination by Health Appraisal
The Principal or the Principal’s designee will send a notice to the parents of, or person in parental relation to, any student who does not present a health certificate, that if the required health certificate is not furnished within thirty (30) days from the date of such notice, an examination by health appraisal will be made of such student by the Director of School Health Services.

The Director of School Health Services shall cause such students to be separately and carefully examined and tested to ascertain whether any such student has defective sight or hearing, or any other physical disability which may tend to prevent the student from receiving the full benefit of school work or from receiving the best educational results, or which may require a modification of such work to prevent injury to the student.

The physician, physician assistant or nurse practitioner administering such examination shall determine whether a one-time test for sickle cell anemia is necessary or desirable and, if so determined, shall conduct such test and include the results in the health certificate.

Unless otherwise prohibited by law, if it is ascertained that any students have defective sight or hearing, or a physical disability or other condition, including sickle cell anemia which may require professional attention with regard to health, the Principal or Principal’s designee shall notify, in writing, the student’s parents or persons in parental relation as to the existence of such disability. If the parents or persons in parental relation are unable or unwilling to provide the necessary relief and treatment for such students, such fact shall be reported by the Principal or Principal’s designee to the Director of School Health Services, who then has the duty to provide relief for such students.

Health Screenings
The District will provide:
a) Scoliosis screening at least once each school year for all students in grades 5 through 9. The positive results of any such screening examinations for the presence of scoliosis shall be provided in writing to the student’s parent or person in parental relation within ninety (90) days after such finding;
b) Vision screening to all students who enroll in school including at a minimum color perception, distance acuity and near vision within six (6) months of admission to the school. In addition, all students shall be screened for distance acuity in grades Kindergarten, 1, 2, 3, 5, 7 and 10 and at any other time deemed necessary. The results of all such vision screening examinations shall be provided in writing to the student’s parent or person in parental relation and to any teacher of the student. The vision report will be kept in a permanent file of the school for at least as long as the minimum retention period for such records;
c) Hearing screening to all students within six (6) months of admission to the school and in grades Kindergarten, 1, 3, 5, 7 and 10, as well as at any other time deemed necessary. Screening shall include, but not be limited to, pure tone and threshold air conduction screening. The results of any such hearing tests shall be provided in writing to the student’s parent or person in parental relation and to any teacher of the student.

The results of all health screenings (dental, hearing, vision and scoliosis) shall be recorded on appropriate forms signed by the health professional making the examination, include appropriate recommendations, and be kept on file in the school. The health records of individual students will be kept confidential in accordance with the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and any other applicable federal and State laws.

Accommodation for Religious Beliefs
No health examinations, health history, examinations for health appraisal, screening examinations for sickle cell anemia and/or other health screenings shall be required where a student or the parent or person in parental relation to such student objects thereto on the grounds that such examinations, health history and/or screenings conflict with their genuine and sincere religious beliefs. A written and signed statement from the student or the student’s parent or person in parental relation that such person holds such beliefs shall be submitted to the Principal or Principal’s designee, in which case the Principal or Principal’s designee may require supporting documents.

Homeless Students
For homeless children, the enrolling school must immediately refer the parent or guardian of the student to the District’s homeless liaison, who must assist them in obtaining the necessary medical records.

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA)
20 USC Section 1232(g)
Education Law Sections 901-905, 912 and 3217
8 NYCRR Parts 135 and 136

NOTE: Refer also to Policies #5690 — Exposure Control Program; #5691 — Communicable Diseases; #5692 — Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Related Illnesses; #7121 — Diagnostic Screening of Students; #7131 — Education of Homeless Children and Youth; #7511 — Immunization of Students; #7510 — School Health Services; #7522 — Concussion Management

Adopted: 6/19/12
Revised: 7/2/13; 7/1/14

Policy 7513, Administration of Medication

The school’s registered professional nurse may administer medication to a student during the school day under certain conditions. For the purpose of this policy, the term “medication” includes both prescription and non-prescription medications. The school must receive the following before medication will be administered to a student:
a) The original written order from the student’s provider stating the name of the medication, precise dosage, frequency, and time of administration;
b) A written, signed consent from the student’s parent or person in parental relation requesting the administration of the medication, as prescribed by the physician, to the student in school; and
c) The medication, properly labeled in its original container, must be delivered to the school health office by the student’s parent or person in parental relation. The term “properly labeled,” in the context of this policy, means that the container must include the following information: the student’s name, name of medication, dosage, frequency, and prescribing physician. A student is not permitted to carry any medication on his/her person in school, or on the school bus, or keep any medication in his/her school locker(s). Exceptions may apply, however, for students diagnosed with asthma or other respiratory illnesses, diabetes, or allergies who will be permitted to carry and self-administer medication under certain conditions.

All medication orders must be reviewed annually by school health office personnel or whenever there is a change in dosage.

Students with Asthma or Other Respiratory Illnesses
The District will make a nebulizer available on-site in school buildings where full- or part-time nursing services are provided. Only students with a patient-specific order may have access to the nebulizer. School nursing personnel will clean and maintain the District nebulizer as appropriate.
Personal equipment used to deliver albuterol to a student will be cleaned and appropriately labeled with the student’s name and used solely by that individual student. (Examples of equipment to be cleaned and labeled are nebulizer tubing, facemask, mouthpiece, spacer, etc.)

Self-Administration of Medication

Generally
Each student who is permitted to self-administer medication should have an emergency care plan on file with the District. Further, the school will maintain a record of all written parental consents in the student’s cumulative health record.

School health office personnel will also maintain regular parental contact in order to monitor the effectiveness of such self-medication procedures and to clarify parental responsibility as to the daily monitoring of their child to ensure that the medication is being utilized in accordance with the physician’s or provider’s instructions. Additionally, the student will be required to report to the health office on a periodic basis as determined by health office personnel so as to maintain an ongoing evaluation of the student’s management of such self-medication techniques, and to work cooperatively with the parents and the student regarding such self-care management.

Students who self-administer medication without proper authorization will be referred for counseling by school nursing personnel, as appropriate. Additionally, school administration and parents will be notified of such unauthorized use of medication by the student, and school administration may determine the proper resolution of this behavior.

Students with asthma or another respiratory disease
A student will be permitted to carry and self-administer their prescribed inhaled rescue medication during the school day, on school property, and at any school function if the school health office has the following on file:
a) Written order/permission and an attestation from a duly authorized health care provider stating that the student has a diagnosis of asthma or other respiratory disease for which inhaled rescue medications are prescribed to alleviate respiratory symptoms or to prevent the onset of exercise induced asthma; the student has demonstrated that he/she can self-administer the prescribed medication effectively; and the expiration date of the order, the name of the prescribed medication, the dose the student is to self-administer, times when the medication is to be self-administered, and the circumstances which may warrant the use of the medication; and
b) Written consent from the student’s parent or person in parental relation.
Upon written request of the student’s parent or person in parental relation, the school will allow the student to maintain an extra inhaled rescue medication in the care and custody of the school’s registered professional nurse, nurse practitioner, physician assistant, or school physician.

Students with Allergies
A student will be permitted to carry and self-administer his/her prescribed EpiPen during the school day, on school property, and at any school function if the school health office has the following on file:
a) Written order/permission and an attestation from a duly authorized health care provider stating that the student has a diagnosis of an allergy for which an EpiPen is needed for the emergency treatment of allergic reactions; the student has demonstrated that he/she can self-administer the prescribed EpiPen effectively; and the expiration date of the order, the name of the medicine, the dose the student is to self-administer, and the circumstances which may warrant the use of the medication; and
b) Written consent from the student’s parent or person in parental relation.
Upon written request of the student’s parent or person in parental relation, the school will allow the student to maintain an extra EpiPen in the care and custody of a licensed nurse, nurse practitioner, physician assistant, or school physician.

Students with Diabetes
A student will be permitted to carry and self-administer his/her prescribed insulin through an appropriate medication delivery device, carry glucagon, and carry and use equipment and supplies necessary to check blood glucose and/or ketone levels during the school day, on school property, and at any school function if the school health office has the following on file:
a) Written order/permission and an attestation from a duly authorized health care provider stating that the student has a diagnosis of diabetes for which insulin and glucagon through appropriate medication delivery devices, and the use of equipment and supplies to check blood glucose and/or ketone levels are necessary; the student has demonstrated that he/she she can self-administer effectively, can self-check glucose or ketone levels independently, and can independently follow prescribed treatment orders; and the expiration date of the order, the name of the prescribed insulin or glucagon, the type of insulin delivery system, the dose of insulin and/or glucagon the student is to self-administer, times when the insulin and/or glucagon is to be self-administered, and the circumstances which may warrant administration by the student. The written permission must also identify the prescribed blood glucose and/or ketone test, the times testing is to be done, and any circumstances which warrant checking a blood glucose and/or ketone level.
b) Written consent from the student’s parent or person in parental relation.
Upon written request of the student’s parent or person in parental relation, the school will allow the student to maintain extra insulin, insulin delivery system, glucagon, blood glucose meter, and related supplies to treat the student’s diabetes in the care and custody of a licensed nurse, nurse practitioner, physician assistant, or school physician.

Students with diabetes will also be permitted to carry food, oral glucose, or other similar substances necessary to treat hypoglycemia in accordance with District policy.

Alcohol-Based Hand Sanitizers
The New York State Education Department (NYSED) permits the use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers in schools. The school medical director may approve and permit the use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers in the District’s schools without a physician’s order. Parents may provide written notification to the school in the event that they do not wish to have their child use this product.

Sunscreen
Students may carry and use FDA approved sunscreen products for over-the-counter use. The student’s parent or person in parental relation must provide written permission for the student to carry and use sunscreen. This written parental consent will be maintained by the school. A student who is unable to physically apply sunscreen may be assisted by unlicensed personnel when directed to do so by the student, if permitted by a parent or person in parental relation, and authorized by the school.

Storage and Disposal
The District will comply with relevant state laws, regulations, and guidelines governing the District’s receipt, storage, and disposal of medication.

Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 [Public Law 108-446 Section 614(a)]
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), 20 USC Sections 1400 et seq.
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 USC Section 794 et seq.
Education Law Sections 902(b), 907, 916, 916-a, 916-b, 919, 921, 6527, and 6908(1)(a)(iv), 6909
Public Health Law Section 3000-a, c, 3309
8 NYCRR 136.6, 136.7

NOTE: Refer also to Policy #7521 — Students with Life-Threatening Health Conditions

Adopted: 6/19/12
Revised: 7/2/13; 7/1/15; 1/21/16

Policy 7514, Health Records

The school shall keep a convenient, accurate, and up-to-date health record of every student. Insofar as the health records include confidential disclosures or findings, they shall be kept confidential.

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law that protects the privacy interests of students. For Pre-K through grade 12 students, health records maintained by the School District, including immunization records and school nurse records, generally are considered “education records” and subject to FERPA because they are:
a) Directly related to the student;
b) Maintained by an education agency or institution, or a party acting for the agency or institution; and
c) Not excluded from the definition of education records as treatment or sole-possession records, or on some other basis.

Health records and immunization records that are considered “education records” under FERPA are not subject to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) privacy requirements. In addition, school nurse or other health records maintained on students receiving services under the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) are considered “education records” and also subject to that Act’s confidentiality provisions. Consequently, these records are subject to FERPA and not the HIPAA Privacy Rule.

Parents have a right to inspect and review those health and medical records that are considered “education records” under FERPA. Individual records may be interpreted by the school’s registered professional nurse to administrators, teachers, and counselors, consistent with law.

34 CFR Section 99
Education Law Sections 902(b) and 905
8 NYCRR Part 136

NOTE: Refer also to Policy #7240 — Student Records: Access and Challenge

Adopted: 6/19/12

Policy 7515, Pediculosis (Head Lice)

In order to control infestations of head lice (Pediculosis), the Board of Education has adopted the following protocols:
a) Whenever there is a possibility that a student is infested, the school nurse (when available) will contact the student’s parents. An infested student will not return to school unless corrective treatment has been given and the student is free of active lice. Current treatment protocols make this possible in less than twenty-four (24) hours. Parents may be asked to have a physician prescribe medication for treatment.
b) A student who has been infested will be readmitted to school after successfully completing an examination by the school nurse.
c) School staff will work with parents to minimize student absence caused by exposure to head lice. Excessive and unnecessary absences affect a student’s educational progress.
d) School staff will protect student privacy and maintain confidentiality of medical information when infestations are detected.
e) Staff will take proper precautions to prevent further spread of the infestation.

Guidelines will be developed on the detection and treatment of head lice, as well as classroom procedures for dealing with affected students.

Adopted: 6/18/13

Policy 7520, Accidents and Medical Emergencies 

Procedures shall be established and maintained by the Superintendent for the handling of student injuries and medical emergencies that occur on school property and during school activities.

Student Emergency Treatment
All staff members of the School District are responsible to obtain first aid care for students who are injured or become ill while under school supervision.
In most instances first aid should be rendered, and then the parent should be contacted to come to school and transport the student to the family physician. Beyond first aid, the medical care of the student is the parent’s responsibility. However, the student’s welfare is always the primary concern, and it is the responsibility of school personnel to exercise good judgment and care under all circumstances.

The Board of Education encourages all staff members to become qualified to give emergency treatment through instruction in first aid, Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs).

Transporting an Ill or Injured Student
In the event of an illness or injury to a student, an ambulance may be called if warranted. This solution will be used after other alternatives, including parent/person in parental relation contact, have been made.

Insurance
The Board of Education shall approve provisions for all students to be covered by group insurance.

Such student accident insurance policies are to be a co-insurance with family coverage(s) as primary.

Education Law Sections 1604(7-a), 1604(7-b), 1709(8-a) and 1709(8-b)

Adopted: 6/19/12

Policy 7521, Students with Life-Threatening Health Conditions 

Students come to school with diverse medical conditions which may impact their learning as well as their health. Some of these conditions are serious and may be life-threatening. As a result, students, parents, school personnel, and health care providers must all work together to provide the necessary information and training to allow children with chronic health problems to participate as fully and safely as possible in the school experience. This policy encompasses an array of serious or life-threatening medical conditions such as anaphylaxis, diabetes, seizure disorders, or severe asthma and acute medical conditions. All students within the District with known life-threatening conditions will have a comprehensive plan of care in place: an Emergency Care Plan (ECP) or Individualized Healthcare Plan (IHP) and if appropriate, an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or Section 504 Plan.

Life-Threatening Conditions
For those students with chronic life-threatening conditions such as diabetes, seizure disorders, asthma, and allergies, the District must work cooperatively with the parent(s) and the healthcare provider(s) to:
a) Immediately develop an ECP for each at risk student to ensure that all appropriate personnel are aware of the student’s potential for a life-threatening reaction;
b) If appropriate, develop an IHP that includes all necessary treatments, medications, training, and educational requirements for the student. If the student is eligible for accommodations based upon the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, or the Americans with Disabilities Act, the appropriate procedures will be followed regarding evaluation and identification;
c) Provide training by licensed medical personnel (e.g., registered professional nurse) for all adults in a supervisory role in the recognition and emergency management of a specific medical condition for specific students;
d) Obtain specific medical-legal documents duly executed in accordance with New York State law; appropriate health care provider authorization in writing for specific students that includes the frequency and conditions for any testing and/or treatment, symptoms, and treatment of any conditions associated with the health problem; and directions for emergencies;
e) Secure written parent permission and discuss parental responsibility that includes providing the health care provider’s orders, providing any necessary equipment, and participation in the education and co-management of the child as he/she works toward self-management;
f) Allow supervised students to carry life-saving medication in accordance with relevant laws, regulations, and procedures. The District will also encourage parents and students to provide duplicate life-saving medication to be maintained in the health office in the event the self-carrying student misplaces, loses, or forgets their medication;
g) Assure appropriate and reasonable building accommodations are in place within a reasonable degree of medical certainty.

In addition, the District will:
a) Provide training for transportation, instructional, food service, or physical education staff, as appropriate, in the recognition of an anaphylactic reaction;
b) Have standing emergency medical protocols for nursing or other staff;
c) Request the school medical director to write a non-patient specific order for anaphylaxis treatment agents for the school’s registered professional nurse or other staff, as designated by the administration and allowed under federal and New York State laws and regulations, to administer in the event of an unanticipated anaphylactic episode;
d) Maintain or ensure the maintenance of a copy of the standing order(s) and protocol(s) that authorizes them to administer emergency medications such as anaphylactic treatment agents;
e) Allow the school registered nurse, nurse practitioner, or physician to train unlicensed school personnel to administer emergency epinephrine via auto-injector, or emergency glucagon, to students with both a written provider order and parent/person in parental relation consent during the school day, on school property, and at any school function. Such training will be done in accordance with specifications outlined in the Commissioner’s regulations;
f) Ensure that building-level and District-wide school safety plans include appropriate accommodations for students with life-threatening health conditions;
g) Encourage families to obtain medic-alert bracelets for at risk students;
h) Educate students regarding the importance of immediately reporting symptoms of an allergic reaction.

Emergency Medication

Epinephrine Auto-Injectors (EAIs)
The District has entered into a collaborative agreement with Dr. John O’Bryan in order to provide and maintain EAIs on-site in its instructional facilities. This agreement allows for trained school employees, who have completed a New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) course, to administer EAIs to any student or staff member who demonstrates symptoms of anaphylaxis, regardless of whether such person has a prior history of severe allergic reactions. The District will ensure that it has sufficient EAIs available to ensure ready and appropriate access for use during emergencies and will immediately report every use of an EAI in accordance with the collaborative agreement with Dr. John O’Bryan. The collaborative agreement, as defined in Public Health Law Section 3000-c, is required for the District to permit trained school employees to administer stock EAIs to students and staff members who do not have a patient-specific order for such medication.

Creating an Allergen-Safe School Environment
The risk of accidental exposure or cross-contamination is always present in school, particularly for students with food allergies. The school setting is a high-risk environment for accidental ingestion of a food allergen due to the presence of a large number of students, increased exposure to food allergens, and cross-contamination of tables, desks, and other surfaces.

In an effort to prevent accidental exposure to allergens, the District will monitor the following high-risk areas and activities:
a) Cafeteria;
b) Food sharing;
c) Hidden ingredients in art, science, and other projects;
d) Transportation;
e) Fund raisers and bake sales;
f) Parties and holiday celebrations;
g) Field trips;
h) Before and after school programs.

Medication Self-Management
The District will work toward assisting students in the self-management of their chronic health condition based upon the student’s knowledge level and skill by:
a) Adequately training all staff involved in the care of the child, as appropriate;
b) Assuring the availability of the necessary equipment and/or medications;
c) Providing appropriately trained licensed persons as required by law;
d) Developing an emergency plan for the student; and
e) Providing ongoing staff and student education.

Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 USC Section 12101 et seq.
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), 20 USC Sections 1400-1485
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 USC Section 794 et seq.
34 CFR Part 300
Education Law Sections 6527 and 6908
8 NYCRR Section 136.7
Public Health Law Sections 2500-h (Anaphylactic policy for school districts) and 3000-a
NOTE: Refer also to Policy #7513 — Administration of Medication

Adopted: 6/19/12
Revised: 1/21/16

Policy 7522, Concussion Management

The Board of Education recognizes that concussions and head injuries are the most commonly reported injuries in children and adolescents who participate in sports and recreational activities. The physical and mental well-being of our students is a primary concern. Therefore, the Watervliet City School District adopts the following Policy to support the proper evaluation and management of concussion injuries.

A concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI). A concussion occurs when normal brain functioning is disrupted by a blow or jolt to the head or body that causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth. Recovery from concussion and its symptoms will vary. Avoiding re-injury and over-exertion until fully recovered are the cornerstones of proper concussion management. Concussions can impact a student’s academics as well as their athletic pursuits.

Concussion Management Team (CMT)
In accordance with the Concussion Management and Awareness Act, the School District is authorized, at its discretion, to establish a Concussion Management Team (CMT) which may be composed of the certified athletic director, a school nurse, the school physician, a coach of an interscholastic team, a certified athletic trainer or such other appropriate personnel as designated by the School District. The Concussion Management Team shall oversee and implement the School District’s concussion policy and regulations, including the requirement that all school coaches, physical education teachers, nurses and certified athletic trainers who work with and/or provide instruction to pupils engaged in school-sponsored athletic activities complete training relating to mild traumatic brain injuries.

Furthermore, every concussion management team may establish and implement a program which provides information on mild traumatic brain injuries to parents and persons in parental relation throughout each school year.

Staff Training/Course of Instruction
Each school coach, physical education teacher, school nurse and certified athletic trainer who works with and/or provides instruction to students in school sponsored athletic activities shall complete a course of instruction every two (2) years relating to recognizing the symptoms of concussions or MTBIs and monitoring and seeking proper medical treatment for students who suffer from a concussion or MTBI.
Components of the training will include:
a) The definition of MTBI;
b) Signs and symptoms of MTBI;
c) How MTBIs may occur;
d) Practices regarding prevention; and
e) Guidelines for the return to school and school activities for a student who has suffered an MTBI, even if the injury occurred outside of school.

The course can be completed by means of instruction approved by State Education Department (SED) which include, but are not limited to, courses provided online and by teleconference.

Information to Parents
The District shall include the following information on concussion in any permission or consent form or similar document that may be required from a parent/person in parental relation for a student’s participation in interscholastic sports. Information will include:
a) The definition of MTBI;
b) Signs and symptoms of MTBI;
c) How MTBIs may occur;
d) Practices regarding prevention; and
e) Guidelines for the return to school and school activities for a student who has suffered an MTBI, even if the injury occurred outside of school.

The District will provide a link on its website, if one exists, to the above list of information on the State Education Department’s and Department of Health’s websites.

Identification of Concussion and Removal from Athletic Activities
The District shall require the immediate removal from all athletic activities of any student who has sustained, or is believed to have sustained, a mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI) or concussion. Any student demonstrating signs, symptoms or behaviors consistent with a concussion while participating in a class, extracurricular activity, or interscholastic athletic activity shall be removed from the class, game or activity and must be evaluated as soon as possible by an appropriate health care professional. Such removal must occur based on display of symptoms regardless of whether such injury occurred inside or outside of school. If there is any doubt as to whether the student has sustained a concussion, it shall be presumed that the student has been injured until proven otherwise. The District shall notify the student’s parents or guardians and recommend appropriate evaluation and monitoring.

The School District may choose to allow credentialed District staff to use validated neurocognitive computerized testing as a concussion assessment tool to obtain baseline and post-concussion performance data. These tools are not a replacement for a medical evaluation to diagnose and treat a concussion.

Return to School Activities and Athletics
The student shall not return to physical activity (including athletics, physical education class and recess) until he/she has been symptom-free for not less than twenty-four (24) hours, and has been evaluated and received written authorization from a licensed physician. In accordance with Commissioner’s Regulations, the School District’s Medical Director will give final clearance on a return to activity for extra-class athletics. All such authorizations shall be kept on file in the student’s permanent health record. The standards for return to athletic activity will also apply to injuries that occur outside of school. School staff should be aware that students may exhibit concussion symptoms caused by injuries from outside activities and that these visible symptoms also indicate a removal from play.

The District shall follow any directives issued by the student’s treating physician with regard to limitations and restrictions on school and athletic activities for the student. The District’s Medical Director may also formulate a standard protocol for treatment of students with concussions during the school day.

In accordance with New York State Education Department (NYSED) guidelines, this Policy shall be reviewed periodically and updated as necessary in accordance with New York State Education Department guidelines. The Superintendent, in consultation with the District’s Medical Director and other appropriate staff, may develop regulations and protocols for strategies to prevent concussions, the identification of concussions, and procedures for removal from and return to activities or academics.

Education Law Sections 207; 305(42), and 2854
8 NYCRR 135.4 and 136.5
Guidelines for Concussion Management in the School Setting, SED Guidance Document, June 2012

Adopted: 7/2/13

Policy 7530, Child Abuse and Maltreatment 

Familial Child Abuse
The School District takes seriously the obligations of its officers and employees to report cases of child abuse or maltreatment. To this end, regulations shall be developed, maintained and disseminated by administration regarding the:
a) Mandatory reporting of suspected child abuse or maltreatment;
b) Reporting procedures and obligations of persons required to report;
c) Provisions for taking a child into protective custody;
d) Mandatory reporting of deaths;
e) Immunity from liability and penalties for failure to report;
f) Obligations for provision of services and procedures necessary to safeguard the life of a child; and
g) Provision of information in recognizing signs of unlawful methamphetamine laboratories for all current and new school officials (i.e., “mandated reporters”) who, as part of their usual responsibilities, visit children’s homes.
Additionally, an ongoing training program for all current and new school officials shall be established and implemented to enable such staff to carry out their reporting responsibilities.

Persons Required to Report
Persons required to report cases of child abuse or neglect/maltreatment to the State Central Register (SCR) pursuant to Social Services Law Section 413(1) include, but are not limited to, school teachers, school guidance counselors, school psychologists, school social workers, school nurses, school administrators or other school personnel required to hold a teaching or administrative license or certificate, and full- or part-time compensated school employees required to hold a temporary coaching license or professional coaching certificate.

All mandated reporters shall make the report themselves and then immediately notify the Building Principal or his/her designee. The Building Principal or his/her designee shall be responsible for all subsequent administration necessitated by the report.

Any report shall include the name, title and contact information for every staff member who is believed to have direct knowledge of the allegations in the report.

Prohibition of Retaliatory Personnel Action
Social Services Law Section 413(1) also prohibits a school from taking any retaliatory personnel action against an employee because such employee believes that he/she has reasonable cause to suspect that a child is an abused or maltreated child and that employee makes a report to SCR pursuant to Social Services Law. Further, no school or school official shall impose any conditions, including prior approval or prior notification, upon any staff member specifically designated a mandated reporter.

Pursuant to Labor Law Section 740(1)(e), “retaliatory personnel action” means the discharge, suspension or demotion of an employee, or other adverse employment action taken against an employee in the terms and conditions of employment.

Report Form
The “Report of Suspected Child Abuse or Maltreatment” Form LDSS-2221A may be accessed at the website of the New York State Office of Children and Family Services.

Child Abuse in an Educational Setting
The School District is committed to the protection of students in educational settings from abuse and maltreatment by employees or volunteers as enumerated in law.

“Child abuse” shall mean any of the following acts committed in an educational setting by an employee or volunteer against a child:
a) Intentionally or recklessly inflicting physical injury, serious physical injury or death; or
b) Intentionally or recklessly engaging in conduct which creates a substantial risk of such physical injury, serious physical injury or death; or
c) Any child sexual abuse, defined as conduct prohibited by Penal Law Articles 130 or 263; or
d) The commission or attempted commission against a child of the crime of disseminating indecent materials to minors pursuant to Penal Law Article 235.
“Educational setting” shall mean the building(s) and grounds of the School District; the vehicles provided by the School District for the transportation of students to and from school buildings, field trips, co-curricular and extracurricular activities both on and off School District grounds; all co-curricular and extracurricular activity sites; and any other location where direct contact between an employee or volunteer and a child has allegedly occurred.

In any case where an oral or written allegation is made to a teacher, school’s registered professional nurse, school guidance counselor, school psychologist, school social worker, school administrator, School Board member, or other school personnel required to hold a teaching or administrative license or certificate, that a child (defined in the law as a person under the age of twenty-one (21) years enrolled in a school district in this state) has been subjected to child abuse by an employee or volunteer in an educational setting, that person shall upon receipt of such allegation:
a) Promptly complete a written report of such allegation including the full name of the child alleged to be abused; the name of the child’s parent; the identity of the person making the allegation and their relationship to the alleged child victim; the name of the employee or volunteer against whom the allegation was made; and a listing of the specific allegations of child abuse in an educational setting. Such written report shall be completed on a form as prescribed by the Commissioner of Education.
b) Except where the school administrator is the person receiving such an oral or written allegation, the employee completing the written report must promptly personally deliver a copy of that written report to the school administrator of the school in which the child abuse allegedly occurred (subject to the following paragraph).

In any case where it is alleged the child was abused by an employee or volunteer of a school other than a school within the school district of the child’s attendance, the report of such allegations shall be promptly forwarded to the Superintendent of Schools of the school district of the child’s attendance and the school district where the abuse allegedly occurred.

Any employee or volunteer who reasonably and in good faith makes a report of allegations of child abuse in an educational setting in accordance with the reporting requirements of the law shall have immunity from civil liability which might otherwise result by reason of such actions.

Upon receipt of a written report alleging child abuse in an educational setting, the school administrator or Superintendent must then determine whether there is “reasonable suspicion” to believe that such an act of child abuse has occurred. Where there has been a determination as to the existence of such reasonable suspicion, the school administrator or Superintendent must follow the notification/reporting procedures mandated in law and further enumerated in administrative regulations including parental notification. When the school administrator receives a written report, he/she shall promptly provide a copy of such report to the Superintendent.

Where the school administrator or Superintendent has forwarded a written report of child abuse in an educational setting to law enforcement authorities, the Superintendent shall also refer such report to the Commissioner of Education where the employee or volunteer alleged to have committed such an act of child abuse holds a certification or license issued by the State Education Department.

Any school administrator or Superintendent who reasonably and in good faith makes a report of allegations of child abuse in an educational setting, or reasonably and in good faith transmits such a report to a person or agency as required by law, shall have immunity from civil liability which might otherwise result by reason of such actions.

Reports and other written material submitted pursuant to law with regard to allegations of child abuse in an educational setting, and photographs taken concerning such reports that are in the possession of any person legally authorized to receive such information, shall be confidential and shall not be redisclosed except to law enforcement authorities involved in an investigation of child abuse in an educational setting or as expressly authorized by law or pursuant to a court-ordered subpoena. School administrators and the Superintendent shall exercise reasonable care in preventing such unauthorized disclosure.

Additionally, teachers and all other school officials shall be provided an annual written explanation concerning the reporting of child abuse in an educational setting, including the immunity provisions as enumerated in law. Further, the Commissioner of Education shall furnish the District with required information, including rules and regulations for training necessary to implement District/staff responsibilities under the law.

Prohibition of “Silent” (Unreported) Resignations
The Superintendent and other school administrators are prohibited from withholding from law enforcement authorities, the Superintendent or the Commissioner of Education, where appropriate, information concerning allegations of child abuse in an educational setting against an employee or volunteer in exchange for that individual’s resignation or voluntary suspension from his/her position.

Superintendents (or a designated administrator) who reasonably and in good faith report to law enforcement officials information regarding allegations of child abuse or a resignation as required pursuant to the law shall have immunity from any liability, civil or criminal, which might otherwise result by reason of such actions.

Education Law Article 23-B and Sections 902(b), 3028-b, and 3209-a
Family Court Act Section 1012
Penal Law Articles 130, 235 and 263
Social Services Law Sections 411-428
8 NYCRR Part 83

Adopted: 6/19/12
Revised: 7/1/15

Policy 7550, Dignity for All Students Act 

The Board of Education recognizes that learning environments that are safe and supportive can increase student attendance and improve academic achievement. A student’s ability to learn and achieve high academic standards, and a school’s ability to educate students, is compromised by incidents of discrimination or harassment, including but not limited to bullying, taunting and intimidation. Therefore, in accordance with the Dignity for All Students Act, Education Law, Article 2, the District will strive to create an environment free of bullying, discrimination and/or harassment and will foster civility in the schools to prevent and prohibit conduct which is inconsistent with the District’s educational mission. Since cyberbullying is a form of bullying, the term “bullying” as used in this policy will implicitly include cyberbullying even if it is not explicitly stated.

The District condemns and prohibits all forms of discrimination and harassment of students based on actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender, or sex by school employees or students on school property and at school-sponsored activities and events that take place at locations off school property. In addition, any act of bullying, discrimination and/or harassment, outside of school sponsored events, which can reasonably be expected to materially and substantially disrupt the education process may be subject to discipline.

Dignity Act Coordinator
In each of its schools, the District will designate at least one employee holding such licenses and/or certifications as required by the Commissioner to serve as the Dignity Act Coordinator(s). Each Dignity Act Coordinator (DAC) will be thoroughly trained to handle human relations in the areas of race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender (including gender identity or expression), and sex.

Training will also be provided for DACs which addresses: the social patterns of harassment, bullying, and discrimination, including, but not limited to, those acts based on a person’s actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender, and sex; the identification and mitigation of harassment, bullying, and discrimination; strategies for effectively addressing problems of exclusion, bias, and aggression in educational settings. All DAC appointments will be approved by the Board of Education.

The District will share the name, designated school, and contact information of each DAC with all school personnel, students, and parents/persons in parental relation. Such information will be provided by:
a) Listing such information in the Code of Conduct and updates posted on the Internet website, if available; and
b) Including such information in the plain language summary of the Code of Conduct provided to all persons in parental relation to students before the beginning of each school year; and
c) Providing such information to parents and persons of parental relation in at least one District or school mailing or other method of distribution including, but not limited to, through electronic communication and/or sending such information home with each student and, if such information changes, in at least one subsequent District or school mailing or other such method of distribution as soon as practicable thereafter; and
d) Posting such information in highly visible areas of school buildings; and
e) Making such information available at the District and school-level administrative offices.

If a Dignity Act Coordinator vacates his/her position, another school employee shall immediately be designated for an interim appointment as Coordinator, pending approval from the Board of Education, within 30 days of the date the position was vacated. In the event a Coordinator is unable to perform the duties of the position for an extended period of time, another school employee shall immediately be designated for an interim appointment as Coordinator, pending return of the previous Coordinator to the position. The District must provide the change in information to parents or persons in parental relation as soon as practicable. The change in name and/or contact information of the Dignity Act Coordinator will not constitute a revision to the Code of Conduct so as to require a public hearing.

Training and Awareness
Each year, employees will be provided with training to promote a supportive school environment that is free from harassment, bullying, and/or discrimination, and to discourage and respond to incidents of harassment, bullying, and/or discrimination. Such training may be provided in conjunction with existing professional development, will be conducted consistent with guidelines approved by the Board of Education, and will:
a) Raise awareness and sensitivity to potential acts of harassment, bullying, and/or discrimination;
b) Address social patterns of harassment, bullying, and/or discrimination and the effects on students;
c) Inform employees on the identification and mitigation of such acts;
d) Enable employees to prevent and respond to incidents of harassment, bullying, and/or discrimination;
e) Make school employees aware of the effects of harassment, bullying, cyberbullying, and/or discrimination on students;
f) Provide strategies for effectively addressing problems of exclusion, bias and aggression;
g) Include safe and supportive school climate concepts in curriculum and classroom management; and
h) Ensure the effective implementation of school policy on conduct and discipline.

Rules against bullying, discrimination and/or harassment will be included in the Code of Conduct, publicized District-wide and disseminated to all staff and parents. Any amendments to the Code will be disseminated as soon as practicable following their adoption. New teachers shall be provided a complete copy of the current Code upon their employment. An age-appropriate summary shall be distributed to all students at a school assembly at the beginning of each school year.

Reports and Investigations of Harassment, Bullying, and/or Discrimination
Students who have been subjected to harassment, bullying, and/or discrimination, persons in parental relation whose children have been subjected to such behavior, or other students who observe or are told of such behavior, are encouraged and expected to make verbal and/or written reports to the principal, Superintendent, DAC, and/or other school personnel. All District staff who are aware of harassment, bullying, and/or discrimination, are required to orally report the incident(s) within one school day to the principal, Superintendent, or his/her designee and report it in writing within two school days after making an oral report.

The principal, Superintendent, or the principal’s or Superintendent’s designee will lead and/or supervise a thorough investigation of all reports of harassment, bullying, and/or discrimination, and ensure that such investigations are completed promptly after receipt of any such reports. All investigations will be conducted in accordance with law, the District’s Code of Conduct, and applicable District policy and procedure. In the event allegations involve harassment, bullying, and/or discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, or disability, the District may utilize the procedures set forth in Policy #3420 — Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment in the School District, and its implementing regulations. Where appropriate, the DAC or such other individual conducting the investigation, may seek the assistance of the District’s Civil Rights Compliance Officer in investigating, responding to, and remedying complaints of harassment, bullying, and/or discrimination.

In the event any such investigation reveals harassment, bullying, and/or discrimination, the District will take prompt action reasonably calculated to end the harassment, bullying, and/or discrimination, eliminate any hostile environment, create a more positive school culture and climate, prevent recurrence of the behavior, and ensure the safety of the student or students against whom such harassment, bullying, and/or discrimination was directed. Such actions will be taken consistent with applicable laws and regulations, District policies and administrative regulations, and collective bargaining agreements, as well as the District’s Code of Conduct and any and all applicable guidelines approved by the Board.

The Superintendent, principal, or designee shall notify the appropriate local law enforcement agency when it is believed that any incident of harassment, bullying, and/or discrimination constitutes criminal conduct.
The principal of each primary and secondary school shall provide a regular report (at least once during each school year) on data and trends related to harassment, bullying and/or discrimination to the Superintendent. Such report shall be submitted in a manner prescribed by the District.

Prohibition of Retaliatory Behavior (Commonly Known as “Whistle-Blower” Protection)
Any person who has reasonable cause to suspect that a student has been subjected to bullying, discrimination and/or harassment by an employee or student, on school grounds or at a school function, who acts reasonably and in good faith and reports such information to school officials, the Commissioner of Education, or law enforcement authorities, shall have immunity from any civil liability that may arise from making such report. The Board prohibits any retaliatory behavior directed at complainants, victims, witnesses and/or any other individuals who otherwise initiates, testifies, participates, or assists in the investigation of a complaint of bullying, discrimination and/or harassment.

Publication of District Policy
At least once during each school year, all school employees, students, and parents will be provided with a written or electronic copy of this policy, or a plain-language summary thereof, including notification of the process by which students, parents, and school employees may report harassment, bullying, and/or discrimination. Additionally, the District will strive to maintain a current version of this policy on its website at all times.

Application
Nothing in this policy or its implementing regulations should be interpreted to preclude or limit any right or cause of action provided under any local, state, or federal ordinance, law or regulation including, but not limited to, any remedies or rights available under the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act, Title VII of the Civil Rights Law of 1964, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, or the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

Education Law Sections 10-18, 801-a, 2801 and 3214
8 NYCRR Section 100.2

NOTE: Refer also to Policies #1330 — Appointments and Designations by the Board of Education; #3410 — Code of Conduct on School Property; #3420 — Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment in the School District; #7551 — Sexual Harassment of Students; #7553 — Anti-Hazing Policy
#8242 — Civility, Citizenship and Character Education/Interpersonal
Violence Prevention Education

Adopted: 6/19/12
Revised: 7/2/13; 7/1/14; 3/9/17

Policy 7551, Sexual Harassment of Students

The Board of Education affirms its commitment to provide an environment free from sex-based discrimination and sexual harassment, including sexual violence and intimidation. The Board, therefore, prohibits all forms of sexual harassment against students by other students, employees, school volunteers, and non-employees such as contractors and vendors, which occur on school grounds or at school sponsored events, programs, or activities, including those that take place at locations off school premises.

Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment is unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature. It includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature. For the purposes of this policy, sexual harassment also includes sexual violence. Sexual violence refers to physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person’s will or where a person is incapable of giving consent. Sexual violence includes, but is not limited to: rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, and sexual coercion.
Sexual harassment can originate from a person of either sex against a person of the opposite or same sex, and from students, District employees, or third parties such as visitors or school volunteers.

Prohibited Conduct
Sexual harassment can be verbal, non-verbal, or physical. Examples of such conduct may include, but are not limited to, the following:
a) Verbal abuse or ridicule, including innuendoes, stories and jokes that are sexual in nature and/or gender-related. This might include inappropriate sex-oriented comments on appearance, including dress or physical features.
b) Direct or indirect threats or bribes for unwanted sexual activity.
c) Asking or commenting about a person’s sexual activities.
d) Unwelcome and unwanted physical contact of a sexual nature including, but not limited to, physical acts such as assault, impeding or blocking movement, offensive touching, or any physical interference with normal work or movement.
e) Displaying or distributing pornographic or other sexually explicit materials such as magazines, pictures, internet material, cartoons, etc.
f) The use of profanity and/or other obscenities that are sexually suggestive or degrading in nature.
g) Unwelcome staring, leering, or gesturing which is sexually suggestive in nature.
h) Unwelcome and/or offensive public displays of sexual/physical affection.
i) Clothing that reflects sexually obscene and/or sexually explicit messages, slogans, or pictures.
j) Demanding sexual favors of a student, insinuating that refusal to acquiesce in such favors will adversely affect a student’s grades, references, academic/scholastic placement, and/or participation in extracurricular activities.
k) Engaging in sexual conduct with an individual who is unable to consent due to his/her age, use of drugs or alcohol, intellectual disability, or other disability.
l) Any other unwelcome and unwanted sexually oriented and/or gender-based behavior which is sexually demeaning, belittling, intimidating, or perpetrates sexual stereotypes and attitudes.

Investigation of Complaints and Grievances
In order for the Board to enforce this policy, and to take corrective measures as may be necessary, it is essential that any student who believes he/she has been a victim of sexual harassment in the school environment, as well as any other person who is aware of and/or who has knowledge of or witnesses any possible occurrence of sexual harassment, should immediately report such alleged harassment. The District recognizes that sexual harassment is a sensitive issue and that students may choose to inform any trusted staff member of suspected discrimination or harassment. Staff members who receive such complaints will immediately inform the Civil Rights Compliance Officer. Where appropriate, the Civil Rights Compliance Officer may seek the assistance of the relevant Dignity Act Coordinator in investigating, responding to, and remedying student complaints of discrimination and/or harassment. In the event that the Civil Rights Compliance Officer is the alleged offender, the report will be directed to another Civil Rights Compliance Officer, if the District has designated an additional individual to serve in such capacity, or to the Superintendent.

The School District will act to promptly, thoroughly, and equitably investigate all complaints, whether verbal or written, of sexual harassment and will promptly take appropriate action to protect individuals from further sexual harassment. All such complaints will be handled in a manner consistent with the District’s policies, procedures, and/or regulations regarding the investigation of discrimination and harassment complaints, including Policy #3420 — Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment in the School District; and Administrative Regulation #3420R — Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment in the School District.

Additional information regarding the District’s discrimination and harassment complaint and grievance procedures, including but not limited to the designation of the Civil Rights Compliance Officer, knowingly making false accusations, and possible corrective actions, can be found in Policy #3420 — Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment in the School District and Administrative Regulation #3420R — Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment in the School District.

Prohibition of Retaliatory Behavior (Commonly Known as “Whistle-Blower” Protection)
The Board prohibits any retaliatory behavior directed against complainants, victims, witnesses, and/or any other individuals who participated in the investigation of a complaint of sexual harassment. Complaints of retaliation may be directed to the Civil Rights Compliance Officer. In the event the Civil Rights Compliance Officer is the alleged offender, the report will be directed to another Civil Rights Compliance Officer, if the District has designated another individual to serve in such a capacity, or to the Superintendent.
Where appropriate, follow-up inquiries will be made to ensure that sexual harassment has not resumed and that all those involved in the investigation of sexual harassment have not suffered retaliation.

Civil Rights Act of 1991, 42 USC Section 1981(a)
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 USC Section 1681 et seq.
34 CFR Section 100 et seq.
Education Law Section 2801(1)
OCR Dear Colleague Letter, April 4, 2011

Adopted: 6/19/12
Revised: 7/2/13; 4/21/15

Policy 7552, Bullying in the Schools

The Board of Education is committed to providing a safe and productive learning environment within its schools. Bullying of a student by another student is strictly prohibited on school property, in school buildings, on school buses, and at school sponsored events and/or activities whether occurring on or off campus. The Board of Education shall require the prohibition of bullying – along with the range of possible intervention activities and/or sanctions for such misconduct – to be included in the District Code of Conduct for all grade levels.

For purposes of this policy, the term “bullying” among children is defined, in general, as: “a variety of negative acts carried out repeatedly over time. It involves a real or perceived imbalance of power, with a more powerful child or group attacking those who are less powerful.” Bullying can take three forms:
a) Physical (including, but not limited to, hitting, kicking, spitting, pushing, taking personal belongings);
b) Verbal (including, but not limited to, taunting, malicious teasing, name calling, making threats); and
c) Psychological (including, but not limited to, spreading rumors; manipulating social relationships; or engaging in social exclusion, extortion, or intimidation).
Although this Policy focuses on the bullying of a student by another student, it should be noted that bullying against any individual is strictly prohibited. This includes bullying of staff members against students, students against staff members, staff members against other staff members, and bullying by or against any parents, persons in parental relation, volunteers, visitors or vendors who may be on school property or at school sponsored events as defined above.

Engages in Cyberbullying Behavior
As with other forms of bullying, cyberbullying is an attempt to display power and control over someone perceived as weaker. Cyberbullying involving District students may occur both on campus and off school grounds and may involve student use of the District Internet system or student use of personal digital devices while at school, such as cell phones, digital cameras, and personal computers to engage in bullying.

Cyberbullying includes, but is not limited to, the following misuses of technology: harassing, teasing, intimidating, threatening, or terrorizing another student or staff member by way of any technological tool, such as sending or posting inappropriate or derogatory email messages, instant messages, text messages, digital pictures or images, or website postings (including blogs).

Cyberbullying has the effect of:
a) Physically, emotionally or mentally harming a student;
b) Placing a student in reasonable fear of physical, emotional or mental harm;
c) Placing a student in reasonable fear of damage to or loss of personal property; and
d) Creating an intimidating or hostile environment that substantially interferes with a student’s educational opportunities.

Also, cyberbullying that occurs off-campus, that causes or threatens to cause a material or substantial disruption in the school, could allow school officials to apply the “Tinker standard” where a student’s off-campus “speech” may be subject to formal discipline by school officials when it is determined that the off-campus speech did cause a substantial disruption or threat thereof within the school setting [Tinker v. Des Moines Indep. Sch. Dist. 393 U.S. 503 (1969)]. Such conduct could also be subject to appropriate disciplinary action in accordance with the District Code of Conduct and possible referral to local law enforcement authorities.

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

Prevention and Intervention
Personnel at all levels are responsible for taking corrective action to prevent bullying behavior of which they have been made aware at School District sites or activities and/or reporting such behavior to their immediate supervisor. Further, staff training shall be provided to raise awareness of the problem of bullying within the schools and to facilitate staff identification of and response to such bullying behavior among students.

Prevention and intervention techniques within the District to prevent against bullying behavior and to support and protect victims shall include building-level and classroom-level strategies and activities as determined by administration. Individual intervention will be provided by appropriate staff members to bullies, victims and their parents to help ensure that the bullying stops.

Rules against bullying shall be publicized District-wide and shall be disseminated as appropriate to staff, students and parents.

Prohibition of Retaliatory Behavior (Commonly Known as “Whistle-Blower” Protection)
The Board prohibits any retaliatory behavior directed against complainants, victims, witnesses, and/or any other individuals who participate in the investigation of allegations of bullying. Follow-up inquiries and/or appropriate monitoring of the alleged bully and victim shall be made to ensure that bullying behavior has not resumed and that all those involved in the investigation of allegations of bullying have not suffered retaliation.

Civil Service Law Section 75-B

NOTE: Refer also to Policies #3410 — Code of Conduct on School Property
#3420 — Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment in the School
District; #7550 — Dignity for All Students Act; #7551 — Sexual Harassment of Students; #7553 — Anti-Hazing Policy; #8271 — Internet Safety/Internet Content Filtering Policy; District Code of Conduct on School Property

Adopted: 6/19/12

Policy 7553, Anti-Hazing Policy

The Board of Education of the Watervliet City School District believes hazing, and initiation activities that involve hazing, are abusive and illegal behaviors that harm victims, and negatively impact the school environment by creating an atmosphere of fear, distrust, and mean-spiritedness. Hazing is especially troubling at the middle and high school levels because of issues of adolescence, in which many students are more vulnerable to peer pressure due to the tremendous need to belong, make friends and find approval from one’s peer group.

The purpose of this policy is to provide a safe learning environment for students and staff that is free from hazing, and that promotes respect, civility, and dignity. Hazing activities of any type are inconsistent with the educational goals of the District, and are prohibited at all times. Moreover, it is the policy of the District that no student or adult will participate in, or be members of, any secret fraternity, sorority, athletic team, club or organization that is to any degree related to the school or to a School District activity, which engages in any form of hazing.

General Policy Statements
a) No student, teacher, coach, administrator, volunteer, contractor or other employee of the District shall permit, condone or tolerate hazing.
b) No student, teacher, coach, administrator, volunteer, contractor or other employee of the District shall plan, direct, encourage, aid or engage in hazing.
c) The District strictly prohibits students from engaging individually or collectively in any form of hazing or related initiation activity on school property, in connection with any school activity or involving any person associated with the school, regardless of where it occurs.
d) Any student who participates in hazing or related initiation activity will face immediate disciplinary action, up to and including suspension, expulsion, exclusion, and loss of the privilege of participation in extracurricular activities.
e) Students who participate in hazing may also be referred to appropriate law enforcement authorities, and may face subsequent prosecution.
f) Consent is no defense to a charge of hazing. Apparent permission or consent by a person being hazed does not lessen the prohibitions or penalties contained herein.
g) This policy applies to behavior that occurs on or off school property, and during before and after school hours.

Definitions
a) “Hazing” means intentionally or recklessly committing an act against a student, or coercing a student into committing an act, that creates a substantial risk of harm to a person, in order for the student to be initiated into, or affiliated with, a student organization, whether school sponsored or not, or for any other purpose. The term hazing includes, but is not limited to:
1. Any type of physical brutality such as whipping, beating, striking, branding, paddling, electronic shocking, or placing a harmful substance on the body.
2. Any type of physical activity such as sleep deprivation, exposure to extreme weather conditions, confinement in a restricted area, excessive calisthenics, or other activity that subjects the student to an unreasonable risk of harm, or that adversely affects the mental or physical health or safety to the student.
3. Any activity involving the consumption of any alcoholic beverage, drug, tobacco product, or any other food, liquid, or substance that subjects the student to an unreasonable risk of harm, or that adversely affects the mental or physical health or safety of the student.
4. Any activity that intimidates or threatens the student with ostracism, that subjects a student to extreme mental stress, embarrassment, shame or humiliation, that adversely affects the mental health or dignity of the student, or discourages the student from remaining in school, such as morally degrading or humiliating games, pranks, stunts, practical jokes, or any other activities that make a student the object of amusement, ridicule, embarrassment, humiliation or intimidation.
5. Requiring personal servitude.
6. Requiring students to wear uncomfortable, ridiculous, or embarrassing clothing or underclothing, and/or causing indecent exposure, or any other gross and lewd behavior involving nudity.
7. Requiring students to participate in acts of vandalism, theft, assault, sexual acts or other criminal activity.
8. Subjecting an individual to cruel or unusual psychological conditions for any reason.
9. Compelling an individual to participate in any activity that is perverse, publicly indecent, contrary to the individual’s genuine moral or religious beliefs, or contrary to the rules, policies, and regulations of the District.
10. Any activity that causes or requires the student to perform a task that involves violation of state or federal law, or of School District policies or regulations.
b) “Student organization” means a group, club or organization having students as its primary members or participants. It includes grade levels, classes, teams, activities or particular school events. A student organization does not have to be an official school organization to come within the terms of this definition.
c) The terms “hazing” and “related initiation activity” do not include the ordinary physical activity of customary athletic events, tryouts, intramural activities, or other similar student contests or competitions.
d) School officials will examine the totality of the circumstances in determining whether a particular activity constitutes hazing, and warrants discipline under this policy. As a general test, students and school officials should consider the following questions in determining whether an activity could be defined as hazing:
1. Does the activity provide an educational experience?
2. Does the activity promote or conform to the values of the School District?
3. Will the activity increase the respect for the school and individuals?
4. Do new and initiated members participate together equally in the activity?
5. Would students be willing to allow parents or school officials to witness the activity?
6. Does the activity have value in and of itself?
7. Is there a risk of injury or a question of safety involved?

Reporting Requirement
a) Any person who believes he or she has been the victim of hazing, or any person with knowledge or belief of conduct which may constitute hazing, shall report the alleged acts immediately to a teacher, Building Principal, School District Compliance Officer or the Superintendent.
b) Teachers, coaches, administrators, paraprofessionals, volunteers, contractors and other employees of the District shall be particularly alert to possible situations, circumstances or events, which might include hazing. Any such person who receives a report of, observes, or has other knowledge or belief of, conduct that may constitute hazing, shall inform the Building Principal or Superintendent immediately.
c) Submission of a good faith complaint or report of hazing will not affect the complainant’s or reporter’s future employment, grades, work assignments or activity participation.
d) School personnel who fail to report incidents of hazing to District administrators may face disciplinary action. Students, who observe hazing activities and fail to intervene or report the hazing to school officials, may face disciplinary action for conspiring to engage in hazing.

School District Action
a) Upon receipt of a complaint or report of hazing, the District shall undertake or authorize an investigation by School District officials, or a third party designated by the District. The District may take immediate steps, at its discretion, to protect the complainant, reporter, students, or others, pending completion of any investigation of hazing.
b) Upon completion of the investigation, the District will take appropriate action. Such action may include, but is not limited to, warning, suspension, exclusion, expulsion, reporting to local police authorities, transfer, remediation, termination or discharge. Disciplinary consequences will be sufficiently severe to deter violations, and to appropriately discipline prohibited behavior. School District action taken for violation of this policy will be consistent with the requirements of applicable collective bargaining agreements, applicable State and Federal statutes, District policies, and regulations.
c) The District will discipline or take appropriate action against any student, teacher, administrator, coach, paraprofessional, volunteer, contractor, or other employee of the School District, who retaliates against any person who makes a good faith report of alleged hazing, or against any person who testifies, assists, or participates in an investigation, or against any person who testifies, assists or participants in a proceeding or hearing relating to such hazing. Retaliation includes, but is not limited to, any form of intimidation, reprisal or harassment.

Policy Dissemination
This policy shall be published in student/parent, and employee handbooks, the District Code of Conduct and other appropriate school publications as directed by the Superintendent.

In addition, each Principal, athletic coach, cheerleading advisor, and other extracurricular advisors shall inform his/her students about this policy, upon the effective date of this policy, at the beginning of each subsequent term, or beginning of a group’s activities for the year.

Education Law Sections 1709-a, 2503-a, 2554-a and 2801
Penal Law Sections 120.16 and 120.17
8 NYCRR Section 100.2(l)(2)

NOTE: Refer also to Policies #3410 — Code of Conduct on School Property
#3420 — Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment in the School
District; #7551 — Sexual Harassment of Students; #7552 — Bullying in the Schools; District Code of Conduct on School Property

Adopted: 6/19/12

Policy 7554, Student Gender Identity

All students need a safe and supportive educational environment to progress academically and developmentally. The District is committed to fostering a safe learning environment for all students, free from discrimination and harassment on the basis of sex, gender, gender identity, gender nonconformity, and gender expression. In accordance with applicable law, regulations, and guidelines, the District will ensure that students have equal access to all school programs, facilities, and activities. The District will assess and address the specific needs of each student on a case-by-case basis.

Key Terms
Generally, District personnel should use the language that individual students are using to describe their own gender identity, appearance, or behavior. The most commonly used terms are:
Cisgender: a person whose gender identity corresponds to their assigned sex at birth.

Gender: actual or perceived sex, typically with reference to social and cultural differences rather than physiological ones.

Gender expression: the ways a person conveys their gender identity to others, such as through behavior, appearance, clothing, hairstyle, activities, voice, and mannerisms.

Gender identity: a person’s inner sense or psychological knowledge of being male, female, neither, or both.

Gender nonconforming (GNC): describes someone whose gender identity or gender expression does not conform to social or stereotypical expectations of a person with that gender assigned at birth. This is also referred to as gender variant or gender atypical.

Transgender: someone whose gender identity is different than their gender assigned at birth.

Transition: the process by which a person socially or physically aligns their gender expression more closely to their gender identity than their assigned sex at birth.

Records
As required by law, the District will maintain the confidentiality of student information and records. If a transgender or GNC student has officially changed his or her name, as demonstrated by court order or birth certificate, the District will change its official and unofficial records, as needed, to reflect the change. The District will maintain records with the student’s assigned birth name in a separate, confidential file.

If a transgender or GNC student has not officially changed his or her name, but wishes to be referred to by a different name that corresponds to their gender identity, the District may create or change unofficial records to reflect the name and gender identity that the student consistently asserts at school. On state standardized tests, certain reports to the New York State Education Department, and when necessary to ensure appropriate and coordinated medical care, however, the District will use the student’s legal name and gender. Any student identification cards will be issued with the name reflecting the gender identity the student consistently asserts at school. The District will maintain records with the student’s assigned birth name and gender in a separate, confidential file.

Names and Pronouns
When apprised of a student’s transgender or GNC status, the District will endeavor to engage the student and his or her parents or guardians, as appropriate, in an effort to agree upon a plan that will accommodate the student’s individual needs at school. Transgender and GNC students have the right to discuss and convey their gender identity and expression openly and to decide when, with whom, and how much to share this confidential information. The plan may therefore include when and how to initiate the student’s preferred name and associated pronoun use and if, when, and how this is communicated to others. District staff will use the name and pronoun that corresponds to the gender identity the student consistently asserts at school.

Restrooms and Locker Rooms
The District will allow a transgender or GNC student to use the restroom and locker room that corresponds to the student’s consistently expressed gender identity at school. Any student requesting increased privacy or other accommodations when using bathrooms or locker rooms will be provided with a safe and adequate alternative, but they will not be required to use that alternative.

Physical Education and Sports
Physical education is a required part of the District’s curriculum. Where these classes are sex-segregated, students will be allowed to participate in a manner consistent with their gender identity. Students will likewise be allowed to participate in intramural activities consistent with their gender identity.
Upon written notification that a transgender or GNC student would like an opportunity to participate in the District’s interscholastic athletics program consistent with his or her gender identity, the District will determine his or her eligibility in accordance with applicable law, regulations, and guidelines. The District will confirm the student’s asserted gender identity with documentation it considers appropriate from a parent or guardian, counselor, doctor, psychologist, psychiatrist, or other medical professionals. The student’s gender identity should be the same as the identity used for District registration and other school purposes.

The District’s athletic director will notify opposing team athletic directors or the New York State Public High School Athletic Association if a student needs any accommodations during competitions. Any appeal regarding the District’s eligibility decision will be directly to the Commissioner of Education.

Other Activities
Generally, in other circumstances where students may be sex-segregated, such as overnight field trips, students may be permitted to participate in accordance with the gender identity that the student consistently asserts at school. Student privacy concerns will be addressed individually and on a case-by-case basis in accordance with District policy and applicable law, regulations, and guidelines.

Dress Code and Team Uniforms
Transgender or GNC students may dress in accordance with their gender identity or expression, within the parameters of the District’s dress code. The District will not restrict students’ clothing or appearance on the basis of gender.

The District’s dress code applies while its athletes are traveling to and from athletic contests. Athletes will have access to uniforms that are appropriate for their sport.

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), 20 USC § 1232g
34 CFR Part 99
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972
Education Law Article 2 and §§ 2-d, 11(7), 3201-a
8 NYCRR § 100.2

NOTE: Refer also to Policies #3410 — Code of Conduct on School Property
#3420 — Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment in the School
District; #7550 — Dignity for all Students; #7551 — Sexual Harassment of Students; #7553 — Anti-Hazing Policy; #8242 — Civility, Citizenship and Character Education/Interpersonal Violence Prevention Education

Adopted: 1/21/16

Policy 7560, Notification of Sex Offenders 

In accordance with the Sex Offender Registration Act (“Megan’s Law”), the Board of Education supports the New York State Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) in its effort to inform the community in certain circumstances of the presence of individuals with a history of sex offenses, particularly against children, in the school locality. This policy is enacted in order to minimize the possibility that the sex offender will come in contact with school-age children, and to assist law enforcement agencies in preventing further criminal activity from occurring. Furthermore, the District shall cooperate with local police authorities and the local community in promoting and protecting the safety and well-being of its students.

It is the policy of the Board of Education to disseminate all information which the District receives from local police authorities in conjunction with Megan’s Law to designated staff members who might have possible contact with the offender during the course of their school duties including, but not limited to, Building Principals, supervisors, teachers, office personnel, coaches, custodians, bus drivers, and security personnel. The Superintendent reserves the right to automatically disseminate such information to additional members of the staff, designated supervisors of non-school groups that regularly use District facilities and have children in attendance, parents/guardians of District students, and other community residents who, in the opinion of the Superintendent, have an immediate need to be notified of such data in order to protect the safety of our students.

All staff members shall be informed of the availability of the information received by the District pursuant to Megan’s Law upon written request to the applicable Building Principal/designee or supervisor. Community residents shall be notified of the availability of this information, with written requests directed to the District Office.

Staff members shall inform their immediate supervisor if they observe within the school building, on school grounds, at school activities, or at or near bus routes any individual whose description matches the information which was provided to the District by local law enforcement authorities. Such law enforcement officials will be notified of this information by the District as appropriate.

Information that is disseminated to the School District pursuant to Megan’s Law may be disclosed or not disclosed by the District in its discretion. Any information which the School District receives regarding a sex offender from a source other than the Sex Offender Registry, and which is maintained independent of the requirements of Megan’s Law, will be available from the District, upon written request, in accordance with the requirements of the Freedom of Information Law (FOIL).

Special Circumstances Whereby Sex Offenders May Enter Upon School Grounds
As a mandatory condition of the sentence for sex offenders placed on probation or conditional discharge whose victim was under the age of eighteen (18) or who has been designated a Level 3 sex offender, the court requires that such sentenced offender refrain from knowingly entering into or upon school grounds or any other facility or institution primarily used for the care or treatment of persons under the age of eighteen (18) while one or more of such persons are present.

However, by exception, a sex offender may enter school grounds or facility with the written authorization of his/her parole officer and the Superintendent for limited authorized purposes. Entrance upon the premises is subject to the following conditions:
a) The offender is a registered student, participant or employee of the facility;
b) The offender is an employee of an entity contracted by the facility;
c) The offender has a family member enrolled in the facility; or
d) If the school is the offender’s designated polling place and he/she enters solely to vote.

Implementation
Administrative regulations shall be developed to implement this policy.

Correction Law Article 6-C
Executive Law 259-c(14)
Penal Law 65.10(4-a) and 140.15
Public Officers Law Section 84 et seq.

Adopted: 6/19/12
Revised: 7/2/13

Policy 7570, Supervision of Students 

Students working on any activity must be supervised by the teacher or staff member in charge of the activity. This applies to all in school and extracurricular activities as well as sports activities and events. Permission to hold practices or meetings must not be granted unless a teacher or staff member is definitely in charge.

a) District personnel will be fully responsible for the supervision of all students in either their class or their after school activities.
b) Coaches will maintain supervision over the dressing rooms by personally being present during the dressing periods. Coaches are responsible for the supervision of their athletes at the end of practice. This may entail bus duty, or making sure students have transportation home.
c) Teachers and/or assigned school personnel in the elementary grades will be responsible for the playground supervision of all the children under their jurisdiction during the recess periods and before the regular afternoon sessions. The Principal will distribute the responsibility so that the playground situation will be properly controlled.
d) Students are not to be sent on any type of errand away from the building.
e) All teachers and staff working directly with students who have a history of wandering or elopement (i.e., the act of a student who leaves or runs away from the premises without permission or notification, often referring to students who have autism spectrum disorder or diminished cognitive impairment) will be made aware of these concerns and of any existing behavioral intervention plan formulated to prevent or respond to instances of wandering or elopement.

NOTE: Refer also to Policies #5681 — School Safety Plans; #5720 — Transportation of Students

Adopted: 6/19/12
Revised: 7/1/15

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

Any District student who is a victim of a violent criminal offense, as defined pursuant to Education Law and Commissioner’s Regulations, that occurred on the grounds of the District elementary or secondary school that the student attends, shall be allowed to attend a safe public school within the School District to the extent required by the federal No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) and state law and regulations.

In accordance with Commissioner’s Regulations, a “safe public school shall mean a public school that has not been designated by the Commissioner of Education as a persistently dangerous public elementary or secondary school.”

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

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

Notice to Parents/Persons in Parental Relation
A school district that is required to provide school choice in accordance with applicable provisions of the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, Education Law and Commissioner’s Regulations, shall establish procedures for notification of parents of, or persons in parental relation to, students who are victims of violent criminal offenses of their right to transfer to a safe public school within the District and procedures for such transfer. Such notice shall be, to the extent practicable, provided in the dominant language or mode of communication used by the parents or persons in parental relation to such student. The School District shall so notify the parents of, or persons in parental relation to, such student within twenty-four (24) hours of the determination that the student has been the victim of a violent criminal offense on school grounds at the school he/she attends.

Written notice shall be provided by personal delivery, express mail delivery, or equivalent means reasonably calculated to assure receipt of such notice within twenty-four (24) hours of such determination at the last known address or addresses of the parents/persons in parental relation to the student. Where possible, notification shall also be provided by telephone if the school has been provided with a telephone number(s) for the purpose of contacting parents/persons in parental relation.

However, such notification shall not be required where there are no other public schools within the District at the same grade level or a transfer to a safe public school within the School District is otherwise impossible. Similarly, procedures for such notification of parents/persons in parental relation to students who are victims of violent criminal offenses shall not be required where the School District has only one public school within the District or only one public school at each grade level.

Designation of Safe Public School
It shall be the responsibility of the School District, based on objective criteria, to designate a safe public school or schools within the District to which students may transfer. However, the District is not required to designate a safe public school where there are no other public schools within the District at the same grade level or transfer to a safe public school within the District is otherwise impossible. Similarly, if the District has only one public school within the School System or only one public school at each grade level, the School District shall not be required to designate a safe public school.

Any student who transfers to a safe public school, in accordance with the provisions of this policy and applicable law and regulation, shall be enrolled in the classes and other activities of the public school to which such student transfers in the same manner as all other students at the public school. The receiving school shall be identified by the District and must be at the same grade level as the school from which the student is transferring. To the extent possible the School District shall allow transferring students to transfer to a school that is making adequate yearly progress and has not been identified as requiring school improvement, corrective action, or restructuring. The District shall provide transportation for any student permitted to transfer to the safe public school within the District designated by the School System within the transportation limits established pursuant to Education Law Sections 3635 and 4401(4). Any student who transfers to a safe public school shall be permitted to remain in such safe public school until the student has completed the highest grade level in the school transferred to, or for such other period prescribed by the U.S. Department of Education, whichever is less.

While the parents/persons in parental relation to the student must be offered the opportunity to transfer their child, they may elect to have the child remain at the school he/she currently attends.

Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001,
Section 9532
Education Law Section 2802(7)
8 NYCRR Section 120.5

Adopted: 6/19/12

Policy 7610, Special Education: District Plan 

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

The District plan, with personally identifiable student information deleted, shall be filed and available for public inspection and review by the Commissioner.

20 USC Section 1474(e)(3)(B)
8 NYCRR Part 155 and Section 200.2(c)(1)

Adopted: 6/19/12
Revised: 7/2/13

Policy 7611, Children with Disabilities

A child with a disability means a student under the age of twenty-one who is entitled to attend public schools and who, because of mental, physical or emotional reasons can only receive appropriate educational opportunities from a program of special education. A child is not considered as having a disability if his/her educational needs are due primarily to unfamiliarity with the English language; environmental, cultural or economic factors; or lack of appropriate instruction in reading or mathematics.

If the State Education Department finds that the District has inappropriate policies, procedures or practices resulting in a significant disproportionality by race/ethnicity in the suspension, identification, classification and/or placement of students with disabilities, the District will ensure that it publicly reports on the subsequent revisions to those policies, procedures or practices.

The Board of Education recognizes the existence of individual differences in the intellectual, social, emotional and physical development of children attending school in the District. In recognizing these differences the Board supports a system of services offered in the least restrictive environment for children with disabilities which includes:
a) Not requiring any student to obtain a prescription for a drug or other substance identified as a controlled substance by the federal Controlled Substances Act as a condition of receiving services.
b) Education in regular classes with or without support services, education in a resource room, education for part of the day in a special class, full time education in a special class, home instruction and education in a residential setting.
c) Providing for the education of students with disabilities with non-disabled peers to the extent appropriate.
d) Taking the following measurable steps to recruit, hire, train and retain highly qualified personnel to provide special education programs and services:
1. Utilize established procedures for publication of all potential job openings;
2. Check credentials and requirements listed on applications;
3. Provide training sessions for interview committee;
4. Special Education teachers are required to have subject matter knowledge appropriate to the level of instruction being provided; when teaching two (2) or more core academic subjects exclusively to children with disabilities, the teacher will meet the requirements of “highly qualified” per the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA) or demonstrate competence in all the core academic subjects taught per state regulations;
5. Special education teachers and administrators are required to complete enhanced training in the needs of autistic children;
6. The District provides mentors and offers professional development to train and retain highly qualified personnel.
e) Establishing the following guidelines for the provision of appropriate accommodations necessary to measure the academic achievement and functional performance of the student in the administration of District-wide assessments:
1. Ensure that necessary accommodations are specified on individualized education program (IEP) and implemented in accordance with the IEP;
2. Review the need for accommodations at Committee on Special Education (CSE) evaluations/re-evaluations;
f) To the extent feasible, using universal design principles (defined as a concept or philosophy for designing and delivering products and services that are usable by people with the widest range of functional capabilities, which include products and services that are directly usable without requiring assistive technologies and products and services that are made usable with assistive technologies) in developing and administering District-wide assessment programs by:
1. Addressing appropriate universal design principles in IEP;
2. Having the Library Media Specialist and/or Curriculum Coordinator keep Committee on Special Education (CSE)/Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE) apprised of available products and services utilizing universal design principles;
3. Ensuring that instructional materials and activities allow learning goals to be achievable by individuals with wide differences in abilities;
4. Ensuring that flexible curricular materials and activities are built into the instructional design and operating systems;
5. Ensuring that instruction is diversified to deliver the general education curriculum to every student and diversify ways students may respond to that curriculum. 
g) Consideration of the location of a school program(s) to a student’s residence, before placement into an educational program.
h) Adoption of written policies and procedures ensuring that students with disabilities are provided appropriate opportunities to earn a high school diploma in accordance with Commissioner’s Regulations.
i) Allocation of appropriate space within the District for special education programs that meet the needs of students with disabilities.
j) Assurance that appropriate space will be available to meet the needs of resident students with disabilities who attend special education programs provided by BOCES.

Provision of Special Education Services to Nonpublic School Students with Disabilities who are Parentally Placed
The district of location is responsible for child find, including individual evaluations, Committee on Special Education (CSE) meetings, provision of special education services, and due process to parentally placed nonpublic school students attending nonpublic schools located in the geographic region of the public school district.

These requirements only pertain to students with disabilities parentally placed in elementary and secondary nonpublic schools, not to parental placements of preschool children with disabilities in private day care or preschool programs; or to CSE placements of students with disabilities in approved private schools, Special Act School Districts, State-supported or State-operated schools or to Charter schools.

The actual cost for Committee on Special Education (CSE) administration, evaluations and special education services provided to a student with a disability who is a resident of New York State, but a nonresident to the district of location, may be recovered from the student’s school district of residence. Because federal regulations require parental consent before any personally identifiable information about the student relating to special education is shared between officials in the public school district of location and officials in the public school district of residence, parent consent to share special education information between the two public school districts is required before billing a district of residence for the cost of special education services provided to the student by the district of location.

Parental consent must be obtained by the school district of location before any personally identifiable information about the student is shared between officials in the public school district of residence and officials in the public school district of location.

The school district of location must consult with nonpublic school representatives and representatives of parents of parentally placed nonpublic school students with disabilities enrolled in nonpublic elementary and secondary schools located within the boundaries of the school district. The school district must engage in consultation regarding the child find process and services generally; consultation is not specific to individual students. Individual services are determined by the CSE.

The consultation process must be timely and meaningful and include discussion of:
a) Child Find;
b) Provision of Special Education Services; and
c) Use of Federal Funds.

The school district of location must provide, as appropriate, special education services to an eligible student who legally resides in another state and who is parentally placed in a nonpublic school located in New York State. The services to be provided to out-of state students must be documented on a services plan that is developed by the CSE of the district of location. The services plan is the written plan that describes the specific special education and related service that the district of location will provide to the student consistent with the services that the school district of location has determined through the consultation process and in relation to the proportionate shares of federal IDEA Part B dollars, to be provided to the student.

Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004, Public Law 108-446 Sections 612 and 614
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), 20 USC Section 1400 et seq.
20 USC Section 9101(23)
21 USC Section 812(c)
34 CFR Part 300
Education Law Sections 3004(4), 3004(5), 3208, 3242, 3602-c, 4401-4407 and 4410-6
8 NYCRR Sections 52.21, 57-3, 100.5, 100.9, 177.2, 200.2(b), 200.2(c)(2)(v), 200.4(e)(9) and 200.6(a)(1)

NOTE: Refer also to Policy #7615 — Least Restrictive Environment

Adopted: 6/19/12

Policy 7612, Grouping by Similarity of Needs

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

8 NYCRR Sections 200.1(ww), 200.2(b)(3), 200.4(d) and 200.6(a)(3)

Adopted: 6/19/12

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

The Board of Education shall establish at least one Committee on Special Education (CSE) and one Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE). The Board shall also establish, as necessary, Subcommittees on Special Education to ensure timely evaluation and placement of students with disabilities.

Committee on Special Education
The Board of Education shall, upon completion of its review of the recommendations of the CSE, arrange for the appropriate special education programs and services to be provided to a student with a disability. The Board shall notify the parent/guardian of its action in accordance with federal and state law and regulations.

For a student not previously identified as having a disability, the CSE shall provide a recommendation to the Board which shall arrange for the appropriate special education programs and services to be provided within sixty (60) school days of the date of receipt of consent to evaluate. For a student with a disability referred for review, a recommendation shall be provided to the Board which shall arrange for the appropriate special education programs and services to be provided within sixty (60) school days of the referral for review. However, if such recommendation of the CSE is for placement in an approved in-state or out-of-state private school, the Board shall arrange for such special education programs and services for students with disabilities within thirty (30) school days of the Board’s receipt of the recommendation of the CSE.

If on review of the recommendation of the CSE, the Board of Education disagrees with such recommendation, the Board shall follow one of the following procedures:
a) The Board may remand the recommendation to the CSE with a statement of the Board’s objections or concerns and a request that a timely meeting be held to review and consider such objections or concerns. The CSE shall consider the Board’s objections or concerns, revise the individualized education program (IEP) where appropriate, and resubmit a recommendation to the Board. If the Board continues to disagree with the recommendation of the CSE, the Board may continue to remand the recommendation to the original committee for additional reviews of its objections or concerns, or establish a second CSE to develop a new recommendation in accordance with the following paragraph, provided that the Board arranges for the programs and services in accordance with the student’s IEP within the timelines as outlined above; or, in the alternative,
b) The Board may establish a second CSE to develop a new recommendation for the student. If the Board disagrees with such new recommendation, the Board may remand the recommendation to the second CSE with a statement of the Board’s objections or concerns and a request that a timely meeting be held to review and consider such objections or concerns. The second CSE shall consider the Board’s objections or concerns, revise the IEP where appropriate, and resubmit a recommendation to the Board. If the Board continues to disagree with the recommendation of the second CSE, the Board may continue to remand the recommendation for additional reviews of its objections or concerns by the second CSE, provided that the Board arranges for the programs and services in accordance with the student’s IEP, as developed by the second CSE, within the timelines as outlined above.
Pursuant to Commissioner’s Regulations, the Board may not select the recommendation of the original CSE once it has established a second CSE.
The Board shall provide the student’s parents/guardians with written notice and a copy of the statement of its objections or concerns and notice of due process rights in accordance with Section 200.5 of the Regulations of the Commissioner.

Committee on Preschool Special Education
Upon receipt of the recommendation of the Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE), the Board of Education shall arrange for the preschool student with a disability to receive such appropriate programs and services in accordance with the student’s IEP, commencing with the July, September or January starting date for the approved program, unless such services are recommended by the CPSE less than thirty (30) school days prior to, or after, the appropriate starting date selected for the preschool student with a disability; in that case, such services shall be provided no later than thirty (30) days from the recommendation of the CPSE.

If the Board disagrees with the recommendation of the CPSE, the Board shall send the recommendation back to the CPSE with notice of the need to schedule a timely meeting to review the Board’s concerns and to revise the IEP as deemed appropriate. The Board of Education shall provide such notice as required by federal and state law and regulations.

Subcommittee on Special Education
The number of Subcommittees on Special Education will be determined by the CSE and the CSE will be responsible for the oversight and monitoring of the activities of each subcommittee to assure compliance with the requirements of applicable state and federal laws and regulations.

Each Subcommittee may perform the functions for which the CSE is responsible, except:
a) When a student is considered for initial placement in a special class; or
b) When a student is considered for initial placement in a special class outside of the student’s school of attendance; or
c) When a student is considered for placements in a school primarily serving students with disabilities or a school outside the District.

Subcommittees shall report annually to the CSE regarding the status of each student with a disability within its jurisdiction. Upon receipt of a written request from the parent or person in parental relation to a student, the Subcommittee shall refer to the CSE any matter in which the parent disagrees with the Subcommittee’s recommendation concerning a modification or change in the identification, evaluation, educational placement or provision of a free appropriate education to the student.

Education Law Sections 4402 and 4410
8 NYCRR Sections 200.2(d)(1), 200.4(c), 200.4(d), 200.5 and 200.16(e)

NOTE: Refer also to Policies #7631 — Appointment and Training of Committee on Special Education (CSE)/Subcommittee on Special Education Members
#7632 — Appointment and Training of Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE) Members

Adopted: 6/19/12

Policy 7614, Preschool Special Education Program

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

Evaluations for Preschool Children with Disabilities
The District is required to collect entry assessment data in the three (3) outcome areas on all preschool children who receive an initial evaluation. As currently required by Commissioner’s Regulation Section 200.5, a parent must be fully informed about the proposed initial evaluation and must provide consent for an initial evaluation. This would include a description of the proposed evaluation.

The CPSE will receive entry-level assessment results in the three (3) outcome areas from approved preschool evaluators conducting initial evaluations on all preschool children suspected of having disabilities. The CPSE will then meet to determine the child’s eligibility for preschool education programs and/or services and complete the Child Outcomes Summary Form to determine the child’s entry level of functioning in the three (3) outcome areas for all preschool children evaluated and found to be eligible. The form is be kept in the student’s record until the exit assessment information is due as a way to summarize complex assessment information in a format so that the data can be aggregated and reported to the State Education Department (SED).

If the committee recommends placing a child in an approved program that also conducted an evaluation of such child, it shall indicate in writing that such placement is an appropriate one for the child. In addition, the committee shall provide notice to the Commissioner of such recommendation.

Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA), 20 USC Section 1400 et seq.
Education Law Section 4410
8 NYCRR Sections 200.2(b)(2), 200.2(b)(5) and 200.5

NOTE: Refer also to Policy #7632 — Appointment and Training of Committee on Preschool
Special Education (CPSE) Members

Adopted: 6/19/12
Revised: 7/1/15

Policy 7615, Least Restrictive Environment

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

Evaluations for Preschool Children with Disabilities
The District is required to collect entry assessment data in the three (3) outcome areas on all preschool children who receive an initial evaluation. As currently required by Commissioner’s Regulation Section 200.5, a parent must be fully informed about the proposed initial evaluation and must provide consent for an initial evaluation. This would include a description of the proposed evaluation.

The CPSE will receive entry-level assessment results in the three (3) outcome areas from approved preschool evaluators conducting initial evaluations on all preschool children suspected of having disabilities. The CPSE will then meet to determine the child’s eligibility for preschool education programs and/or services and complete the Child Outcomes Summary Form to determine the child’s entry level of functioning in the three (3) outcome areas for all preschool children evaluated and found to be eligible. The form is be kept in the student’s record until the exit assessment information is due as a way to summarize complex assessment information in a format so that the data can be aggregated and reported to the State Education Department (SED).

If the committee recommends placing a child in an approved program that also conducted an evaluation of such child, it shall indicate in writing that such placement is an appropriate one for the child. In addition, the committee shall provide notice to the Commissioner of such recommendation.

Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA), 20 USC Section 1400 et seq.
Education Law Section 4410
8 NYCRR Sections 200.2(b)(2), 200.2(b)(5) and 200.5

NOTE: Refer also to Policy #7632 — Appointment and Training of Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE) Members

Adopted: 6/19/12
Revised: 7/1/15

Policy 7616, Prereferral Intervention Strategies

The District will implement school-wide approaches and prereferral interventions in order to remediate a student’s performance within the general education setting prior to referral to the Committee on Special Education (CSE) for special education. The determination of prevention and prereferral intervention strategies or services will take into consideration the student’s strengths, environment, social history, language, and cultural diversity, in addition to the teacher’s concerns. The District may also provide a Response to Intervention (RtI) program to eligible students that is developed in accordance with Commissioner’s regulations as part of its school-wide approach to improve a student’s academic performance prior to a referral for special education.

The provision of programs and/or services for students starts with consideration and implementation of instruction in the general education curriculum, with appropriate supports, or modifications as may be necessary. In implementing prereferral intervention strategies, the District may utilize resources or strategies already in place for qualified students including, but not limited to, services available through Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Academic Intervention Services (AIS) as defined in Education Law and/or Commissioner’s regulations. The District will ensure that there is a system in place, with qualified, appropriately certified personnel, for developing, implementing, and evaluating prereferral intervention strategies.
If a student is identified as needing additional instructional support, the District will establish formal Instructional Support Teams (ISTs) in accordance with law, regulations, and District guidelines, as may be applicable, to review information from the student’s work, screenings, and assessments. The IST will include representatives from general and special education as well as other disciplines and include individuals with classroom experience, who may then recommend which type of instructional support the student requires and the frequency with which he or she should receive these services or supports. The building administrator will further ensure that all staff are familiar with intervention procedures and procedures for operating an IST. Parents or persons in parental relation to students will be involved in developing prereferral strategies to address the educational needs of the child. Additionally, the District will seek collaboration between outside agencies and the school prior to a referral of the student to the CSE in order to address necessary student support services.

District administration will also ensure that opportunities exist for collaboration between general educators and special educators, and that consultation and support are available to teachers and other school personnel to assist parents or persons in parental relation to students and teachers in exploring alternative approaches for meeting the individual needs of any student prior to formal referral for special education.

Prereferral/Intervention Instructional Support Plans will be designed so as to set forth proactive strategies to meet the broad range of individual student needs and to improve student performance. Prereferral/Intervention strategies and/or Instructional Support Plans will be reviewed and evaluated to determine their effectiveness and modified as appropriate. Appropriate documentation of the prevention and/or intervention strategies implemented will be maintained.

If a referral is made to the CSE during the course of implementing prereferral/intervention instructional support services, the CSE is obligated to fulfill its duties and functions, and must meet mandatory time lines in evaluating the student for special education services and implementation of an individualized education program (IEP), if applicable.

Academic Intervention Services
The Board will provide to students at risk of not achieving state standards with AIS. AIS means additional instruction which supplements the instruction provided in the general education curriculum and assists students in meeting those state learning standards as defined in Commissioner’s regulations and/or student support services which may include guidance, counseling, attendance, and study skills which are needed to support improved academic performance. The District will identify students to receive AIS through a two-step identification process set forth in Commissioner’s regulations.

The District will provide AIS to students who are limited English proficient (LEP) and are determined, through uniformly applied District-developed procedures, to be at risk of not achieving state learning standards in English language arts, mathematics, social studies and/or science, through English or the student’s native language.

The District has developed a description of the AIS offered to grades K through 12 students in need of these services. The description includes any variations in services in schools within the District and specifically sets forth:
a) The District-wide procedure(s) used to determine the need for AIS;
b) Academic intervention instructional and/or student support services to be provided;
c) Whether instructional services and/or student support services are offered during the regular school day or during an extended school day or year; and
d) The criteria for ending services, including, if appropriate, performance levels that students must obtain on District-selected assessments.
The District will review and revise this description every two years based on student performance results.
Parental Notification
a) Commencement of Services: Parents or persons in parental relation to a student who has been determined to need AIS will be notified in writing by the building principal. This notice will be provided in English and translated into the parent’s native language or mode of communication, as If a referral is made to the CSE during the course of implementing prereferral/intervention instructional support services, the CSE is obligated to fulfill its duties and functions, and must meet mandatory time lines in evaluating the student for special education services and implementation of an individualized education program (IEP), if applicable.

Academic Intervention Services
The Board will provide to students at risk of not achieving state standards with AIS. AIS means additional instruction which supplements the instruction provided in the general education curriculum and assists students in meeting those state learning standards as defined in Commissioner’s regulations and/or student support services which may include guidance, counseling, attendance, and study skills which are needed to support improved academic performance. The District will identify students to receive AIS through a two-step identification process set forth in Commissioner’s regulations.

The District will provide AIS to students who are limited English proficient (LEP) and are determined, through uniformly applied District-developed procedures, to be at risk of not achieving state learning standards in English language arts, mathematics, social studies and/or science, through English or the student’s native language.

The District has developed a description of the AIS offered to grades K through 12 students in need of these services. The description includes any variations in services in schools within the District and specifically sets forth:
a) The District-wide procedure(s) used to determine the need for AIS;
b) Academic intervention instructional and/or student support services to be provided;
c) Whether instructional services and/or student support services are offered during the regular school day or during an extended school day or year; and
d) The criteria for ending services, including, if appropriate, performance levels that students must obtain on District-selected assessments.

The District will review and revise this description every two years based on student performance results.

Parental Notification
a) Commencement of Services: Parents or persons in parental relation to a student who has been determined to need AIS will be notified in writing by the building principal. This notice will be provided in English and translated into the parent’s native language or mode of communication, asnecessary. The notice will also include a summary of the AIS to be provided to the student, why the student requires these services, and the consequences of not achieving expected performance levels.
b) Ending of AIS: Parents or persons in parental relation will be notified in writing when AIS is no longer needed. This notice will be provided in English and translated to the parent’s native language or mode of communication, as necessary.

Parents will be provided with ongoing opportunities to consult with the student’s teachers and other professional staff providing AIS, receive reports on the student’s progress, and information on ways to work with their child to improve achievement.

§ 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 USC § 794 et seq.
Education Law §§ 3602, 4401, and 4401-a
8 NYCRR §§ 100.1(g), 100.1(p), 100.1(r), 100.1(s), 100.1(t), 100.2(v), 100.2(dd)(4), 100.2(ee),
200.2(b)(7), 200.4(a)(2), 200.4(a)(9); 200.4(c), and Part 154
NOTE: Refer also to Policy #7618– Response to Intervention (RTI) Policy

Adopted: 6/19/12
Revised: 2/9/17

Policy 7617, Declassification of Students with Disabilities 

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

Eligibility Determinations
The School District must evaluate a student with a disability prior to determining that a student is no longer a student with a disability as defined in accordance with Commissioner’s Regulations, and the District shall provide a copy of the evaluation report and the documentation of eligibility to the student’s parent at no cost to the parent. The results of any reevaluations must be addressed by the Committee on Special Education (CSE) in a meeting to review and, as appropriate, revise the student’s individualized education program (IEP).

Prior to the reevaluation, the School District shall obtain informed written parental consent unless otherwise authorized pursuant to law and/or regulation. Parental consent need not be obtained if the District can demonstrate that it has taken reasonable measures to obtain that consent, and the student’s parents fail to respond. The District must have a record of its attempts to obtain parental consent. Should the student’s parents refuse consent for the reevaluation, the District may continue to pursue the reevaluation by using mediation and/or due process procedures.
The District shall take whatever action is necessary to ensure that the parent understands the proceedings at the meeting of the CSE, including arranging for an interpreter for parents with deafness or whose native language is other than English.

Recommendation for Declassification
If the student has been receiving special education services, but it is determined by CSE that the student no longer needs special education services and can be placed in a regular educational program on a full-time basis, the recommendation shall:
a) Identify the declassification support services, if any, to be provided to the student; and/or the student’s teachers; and
b) Indicate the projected date of initiation of such services, the frequency of provision of such services, and the duration of these services, provided that such services shall not continue for more than one (1) year after the student enters the full-time regular education program.

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

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

Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 [Public Law 108-446 Section 614(a)]
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), 20 USC Section 1400 et seq.
34 CFR Part 300
Education Law Sections 4401-4410-a
8 NYCRR Sections 100.1(q), 100.2(u), 200.2(b)(8), 200.4(b)(4), 200.4(b)(5), 200.4(c)(3), 200.4(c)(4),
200.4(d)(1) and 200.5(a)

NOTE: Refer also to Policies #7222 — Diploma or Credential Options for Students with Disabilities; #7641 — Transition Services

Adopted: 6/19/12
Revised: 7/1/14; 7/1/15

Policy 7618, Response to Intervention (RTI) Policy 

Response to Intervention (RTI) is a framework that promotes an integrated system connecting general, compensatory, gifted and special education in providing high quality, standards-based instruction and intervention that is matched to students’ academic, social-emotional, and behavioral needs.

RTI is the practice of providing high-quality instruction and intervention matched to student need, monitoring progress frequently to make decisions about change in instruction or goals and applying child response data to important educational decisions (NASDSE, 2005).

The NYS Education Department (NYSED) has established a policy framework for RTI in regulations relating to school-wide screenings, minimum components of RTI programs, parent notification and use of RTI in the identification of students with learning disabilities. The Regents policy establishes RTI as a school-wide system of organizing instruction and support resources to deliver high quality instruction to meet the diverse needs of learners and recognizes it as one of the research-based Contracts for Excellence allowable programs.

Basic Components
Response to Intervention (RTI) is a three-tiered model which allows schools to effectively identify and support student needs both behaviorally and academically.

The components of the RTI process for pre-kindergarten through grade six include:
a) Scientific, research-based core instruction in reading and mathematics.
1. Reading instruction shall address phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary development, fluency and comprehension.
2. Math instruction shall address concepts and computation.
b) Screening for all students at least three (3) times per year to identify those who are not making academic progress at the expected rates.
c) Research-based interventions matched to the student’s targeted need at increasing levels of intensity for those students who do not make satisfactory progress in their levels of performance and/or in their rate of learning to meet age or grade level standards.
d) Repeated assessments of targeted skill areas using curriculum-based measures to determine if interventions are resulting in student progress toward age or grade level standards.
e) A building based team to establish at-risk criteria (cut scores), review screening data, and make decisions related to student performance and intervention need.
f) Written notice to the parents when the student requires an intervention beyond the general curriculum. The information provided to parents will include: techniques, strategies, and/ or programs that will be used to address weaknesses and improve performance level and student’s rate of learning.

Structure of RTI
a) Preliminary review of all students (summer)
Review all students’ Pre-K through 6 tests/data/teacher concerns to determine eligibility and/or level of needed service(s). (The math specialists, reading coach, Principal, Director of Reading and case managers will review the data.)
b) Phase I
Assess Teacher Concerns (Initial Meeting and Continuously)
1. Teachers will make initial referrals in writing.
2. A multi-disciplinary team (the Child Study Team) of school professionals meets on a regular basis to address teachers’ concerns about struggling students and to help design intervention plans.
3. Prior to the Child Study Team Meeting, teachers may be asked to complete the following:
(a) Inventory student strengths and talents – See Appendix I- Student Learning Styles Profile.
(b) Gather and review background/baseline data – Data may include, but is not limited to observation checklist, DIBELS, theme skill tests, core program tests, achievement reports, writing assessments, homework and grade level conversations.
(c) Prioritize Concerns
4. During the Child Study Team Meeting the Committee will:
(a) Set academic and/or behavioral goals – Data/goals will be entered into RTI Edge at the meeting.
(b) Design an Intervention Plan – Description of the plan and services, as well as strengths and weaknesses of the student will be input into RTI Edge by the note taker at the meeting and by all service providers.
(c) Select method(s) for progress monitoring – Note taker will input into the RTI Edge software the methods/instruments that will be used to progress monitor the student.
5. Share on-going information with the students’ parents – Classroom teachers will call parents if concerns regarding academics or behaviors develop during the school year.
6. Any student that sees a service provider on a regular basis will have a letter and a progress monitoring report sent by the service provider to the parent/guardian. (Math, speech, reading, OT, PT, and behavior.) Case managers will coordinate the printing. They will be mailed home through the Main Office.
c) Phase II
1. Review the Intervention Plan and conduct progress monitoring. (The case manager will monitor testing, notes and observations of students as needed.)
2. Meet formally on all students in RTI Tier II and III at least three (3) times a year. (Summer, January and June)
d) Phase III
Conduct summative meeting on all RTI Tier II and III students at end of year.
1. Meetings will be set by the case managers in coordination with administration.
2. Outcomes will be documented in RTI Edge for each student by the note taker.

Types of Interventions
a) Tier I – Instruction includes high quality, research based curricula and instructional strategies that support the District’s curriculum guidelines. Tier I provides core instruction for all students. Flexible grouping that targets specific skills are included so that the instructional goals of all students can be met.
b) Tier II – Offers supplemental instruction in addition to the standards based curriculum received in Tier I. The curriculum and instruction at Tier II is designed to meet the needs of students NOT progressing as expected in Tier I.
c) Tier III – Instruction includes more explicit instruction that is focused on a specific skill/need, whether it is an accelerated need or a remedial need.

Based on the review of data, the child study team will determine whether a “Tier III” student is making adequate progress to meet age or grade level standards, or if a referral to the Committee on Special Education is needed.

Criteria for Determining the Levels of Interventions
All students in grades UPK through 6 will be screened at least three (3) times per year using probes such as CIRCLE, DIBELS and MClass Math. Additional tests include Peabody Picture Vocabulary test pre- and post-K as well as post test in grade 1, DIBELS 3D/Mondo for those students scoring strategic and intensive needs on benchmark exams and who require Tier II interventions.

Students who score below the established benchmarks OR below the cut score of District and state assessments (Level I or II) will be reviewed and considered first for additional classroom or Tier II interventions.

Data Collection
Progress monitoring of students at risk will be conducted on a regular schedule to determine if the interventions in place are resulting in student progress and/or meeting grade level standards. The team will review progress and adjust student goals, make changes to strategies and/or interventions.

The review will take place:
a) After screening;
b) After the completion of the intervention;
c) On a scheduled basis throughout the duration of the interventions; or
d) At the request of a parent.
Problem Solving Process
a) What is the problem?
b) Why is it happening?
c) What should be done about it?
d) Did it work?

Parent Involvement
a) Parents will be contacted by the classroom teacher if there are academic or behavioral concerns.
b) Parents are encouraged to contact the school if they have concerns about their child’s progress in the classroom and/or if they would like a meeting with their child’s teacher.
c) Parents of students who receive additional assistance through the RTI process will receive quarterly progress updates mailed to them.

Roles and Responsibilities

District Level Administration
a) Will attend summer data reviews of all students as needed.
b) Will assist with the facilitation of resources including specialist, books, supplies, and technology as needed.
c) Will investigate new programs to help specific needs.
d) Will oversee the review process including ensuring that all students receive the needed services.
e) Will facilitate January and June full team meetings.

Building Level Administration
a) Will monitor parent notification and review and sign letters to be sent home.
b) Will manage and select case managers.
c) Will participate in summer review as well as ongoing review of data throughout the school year.
d) Will assist with the creation of staff schedules for intervention services.
e) Will be standing members on the Child Study Team and attend as needed.
f) Will assist the case managers when needed.

Case Managers
a) Will review an academic referral via email from the classroom teacher, enter the date of the referral and area of concern in the AIS edge.
b) Will research student’s academic records and discuss any past academic referrals with previous year’s case manager and/or psychologist.
c) Will schedule a meeting with all current student providers to further discuss the most effective instructional approach to help the child learn.
d) Will schedule summarization meetings for January and June.
e) Will use assessments to determine discontinuation or need for a new focus.
f) Will oversee and monitor the RTI process.
g) Will conduct summer data reviews of all students to determine RTI initial needs for the upcoming school year.

Teachers
a) Will make contact with case managers if they see a need to have a Child Study Team meeting.
b) Will make initial referral in the RTI Edge program.
c) Will provide background and baseline data consisting of:
1. Observation checklist;
2. DIBELS Reading and Math benchmark and progress monitoring;
3. Achievement reports;
4. Theme skills tests;
5. Writing assessments;
6. Homework;
7. Behavior notation;
8. Attendance information; and
9. Anecdotal notes.
d) Meet with CST team and plan with the team for interventions and progress monitoring.
e) Conduct progress monitoring.
f) Implement interventions and supports for six (6) to eight (8) week cycles to determine progress of interventions and supports.
g) Continue to meet with team on progress of all students.
h) Continue to contact parents and keep them abreast of academic and behavioral issues.

The Role of Math/Reading Specialists in the CST Meeting
a) Observation and Monitoring
1. Does the student understand the concept being taught? (Can the student complete steps accurately?); or
2. Does the student lack previously learned skills and foundations needed to problem solve. (Does the student lack math facts skills?)
Example – Strand 1 – Number Sense and Operations
b) Scores and Assessments
Evaluate state scores and classroom assessments such as NYS Mathematics Test, chapter tests and quizzes, Dibels, Terra Novas.
c) Learning Environment
1. Does the student work best to retain and master concepts in a smaller group setting? (3:1); or
2. Does the student work best to retain and master concepts in a larger group setting? (8:1 or whole group); or
3. Does the student benefit from a 1:1 ratio?
d) Communication with Case Manager and Teacher
e) Meetings
1. CST – attend as needed
2. Summer – attend as needed

The Role of Note Taker in the CST Meeting
Each RTI meeting will have a note taker. This role will be assigned/volunteered for once everyone arrives to the meeting. This person will input the groups’ discussion directly into the RTI program as well as take any additional notes that need to be saved and or distributed.

34 CFR Sections 300.309 and 300.311
Education Law Sections 3208, 4002, 4401, 4401-a, 4402, 4402, and 4410
8 NYCRR Sections 100.2(ii), 200.2(b)(7), 200.4(a), 200.4(j)(3)(i), and 200.4(j)(5)(i)(g)

Adopted: 6/19/12

Policy 7619, Use of Time Out Rooms 

Except as provided pursuant to 8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Section 200.22(c) as referenced below, the School District shall not employ the use of time out rooms as a means of regulating student behavior.

Pursuant to Commissioner’s Regulations, a time out room is defined “as an area for a student to safely deescalate, regain control and prepare to meet expectations to return to his/her education program.” If a time out room is to be used, it must be used in conjunction with a behavioral intervention plan (that is designed to teach and reinforce alternative appropriate behaviors) in which a student is removed to a supervised area in order to facilitate self-control or when it is necessary to remove a student from a potentially dangerous situation and for unanticipated situations that pose an immediate concern for the physical safety of a student or others.

The District has adopted and implemented the following policy and procedures governing school use of time out rooms as part its behavior management approach consistent with Commissioner’s Regulations, including the physical and monitoring requirements, parental rights and individualized education program (IEP) requirements for students with disabilities.

At a minimum, the use of time out rooms shall be governed by the following rules and standards:
a) The District prohibits placing a student in a locked room or space or in a room where the student cannot be continuously observed and supervised. The time out room shall be unlocked and the door must be able to be opened from the inside. The use of locked rooms or spaces for purposes of time out or emergency interventions is prohibited.

Staff shall continuously monitor the student in a time out room. The staff must be able to see and hear the student at all times.

Under no circumstances shall a time out room in a school program be used for seclusion of the student, where the term “seclusion” is interpreted to mean placing a student in a locked room or space or in a room where the student is not continuously observed and supervised.
b) Factors which may precipitate the use of the time out room:
1. Disrupting the educational environment of the student or for others;
2. Interruption of instruction;
3. Refusal to follow classroom instruction; and/or
4. Use of obscene language.
c) Time limitations for the use of the time out room:
Time limitation(s) for the use of time out rooms are forty (40) minutes or less.
Further, a student’s IEP shall specify when a behavioral intervention plan includes the use of a time out room for a student with a disability, including the maximum amount of time a student will need to be in a time out room as a behavioral consequence as determined on an individual basis in consideration of the student’s age and individual needs.

School administration or other personnel shall be notified in the event a student is placed in a time out room for excessive amounts of time; and such information shall be considered when determining the effectiveness of the student’s behavioral intervention plan and the use of the time out room for the student. Whether the student requires a debriefing following the use of a time out room shall be left to the staff knowledgeable about the individual student.
d) Staff training on the policies and procedures related to the use of time out rooms shall include, but not be limited to, the following measures:
1. The Director of Special Education shall be responsible to the Superintendent for establishing administrative practices and procedures for training all District personnel responsible for carrying out the provisions of Commissioner’s Regulations relating to the use of time out rooms, including members of the Committee on Special Education (CSE) and Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE).
2. The District’s staff training will include functional behavior.
e) Data collection to monitor the effectiveness of the use of time out rooms:
District schools shall establish and implement procedures to document the use of time out rooms, including information to monitor the effectiveness of the use of the time out room to decrease specified behaviors. Such data would be subject to review by the State Education Department (SED) upon request.

Such data collection should appropriately include, but is not limited to, the following information:
1. A record for each student showing the date and time of each use of the time out room;
2. A detailed account of the antecedent conditions/specific behavior that led to the use of the time out room;
3. The amount of time that the student was in the time out room; and
4. Information to monitor the effectiveness of the use of the time out room to decrease specified behaviors which resulted in the student being placed in the room.
f) Information to be provided to parents.

The School District shall inform the student’s parents prior to the initiation of a behavioral intervention plan that will incorporate the use of a time out room for a student, and shall give the parent the opportunity to see the physical space that will be used as a time out room and provide the parent with a copy of the school’s policy on the use of time out rooms.

Additionally, parents should be notified if their child was placed in a time out room. Minimally, whenever a time out room is used as an emergency intervention pursuant to Commissioner’s Regulations Section 200.22(d), the parent shall be notified of the emergency intervention. Such notification will be provided the same day whenever possible.

The parent is a member of the CSE and the use of a time out room must be included on the student’s IEP. The parent receives prior notice as to the recommendations on a student’s IEP and may request due process in the event the parent does not agree with the CSE recommendations.

Parent reports of alleged inappropriate interventions used in a time out room should be directed to school administrators.

Physical Space Used as a Time Out Room
The physical space used as a time out room must meet certain standards.
a) The room shall provide a means for continuous visual and auditory monitoring of the student.
b) The room shall be of adequate width, length and height to allow the student to move about and recline comfortably.
c) Wall and floor coverings should be designed to prevent injury to the student, and there shall be adequate lighting and ventilation.
d) The temperature of the room shall be within the normal comfort range and consistent with the rest of the building.
e) The room shall be clean and free of objects and fixtures that could be potentially dangerous to a student and shall meet all local fire and safety codes.

Education Law Sections 207, 210, 305, 4401, 4402, 4403, and 4410
8 NYCRR Sections 19.5, 200.1, 200.4, 200.7, 200.22, and 201.2

Adopted: 6/19/12

Policy 7620, Students with Disabilities Participating in School District Programs

All students with disabilities residing in the District, including those of preschool age, shall be provided with full access and opportunity to participate in School District programs, including nonacademic and extracurricular programs and activities, that are available to all other students enrolled in the public schools of the District. Nonacademic and extracurricular programs and activities may include counseling services, athletics, transportation, health services, recreational activities, special interest groups or clubs sponsored by the School District, referrals to agencies that provide assistance to individuals with disabilities and employment of students (both by the School District and assistance in making outside employment available).

Parents/guardians of students with disabilities, including those students placed in out-of-District programs, shall receive timely notice of such District programs and activities.

8 NYCRR Sections 200.2(b)(1) and 200.2(b)(2)

Adopted: 6/19/12

Policy 7621, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 

The Board of Education affirms its compliance with those sections of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 dealing with program accessibility.

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act prohibits discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities in federally assisted programs or activities solely on the basis of disability. The District shall make its program and facilities accessible to all its students with disabilities.

The District shall also identify, evaluate and extend to every qualified student with a disability under Section 504 a free, appropriate public education, including modifications, accommodations, specialized instruction or related aids and services, as deemed necessary to meet their educational needs as adequately as the needs of non-disabled students are met.

The District official responsible for coordination of activities relating to compliance with Section 504 is the Superintendent of Schools. This official shall provide information, including complaint procedures, to any person who feels his/her rights under Section 504 have been violated by the District or its officials.

Prohibition Against Disability-Based Discrimination in Accelerated Programs
The practice of denying, on the basis of disability, a qualified student with a disability the opportunity to participate in an accelerated program violates both Section 504 and Title II. A school district may not impose or apply eligibility criteria that screens out or tends to screen out a student with a disability from fully and equally enjoying any service, program, or activity, unless such criteria can be shown to be necessary.

It is also unlawful to deny a student with a disability admission to an accelerated class or program solely because of his/her need for special education or related aids or services (i.e., related services, supplementary aids and services, program modification and supports for school personnel) or because the student has an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or a plan under Section 504.

Schools may employ appropriate eligibly requirements or criteria in determining whether to admit students, including students with disabilities, into accelerated classes or programs. Additionally, nothing in Section 504 or Title II requires schools to admit into accelerated classes or programs students with disabilities who would not otherwise be qualified for these classes or programs.

Americans With Disabilities Act, 42 USC Section 12101 et seq.
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), 20 USC Section 1400 et seq.
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 USC Section 794 et seq.
28 CFR Part 35
34 CFR Parts 104 and 300

Adopted: 6/19/12

Appointment and Training of CSE and CPSE Members

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

Committee on Special Education (CSE) Membership
The Board of Education shall appoint a Committee on Special Education (CSE) whose membership shall include, but not be limited to, the following members:
a) The parent(s) or persons in parental relationship of the student. To ensure that one or both parents are present at each CSE meeting, the District and the parent(s) may agree to use alternative means of participation such as videoconferences or conference phone calls;
b) Not less than one (1) regular education teacher of such student (if the student is, or may be, participating in the regular education environment);
c) Not less than one (1) special education teacher of the student, or, where appropriate, not less than one (1) special education provider (i.e., related service provider) of such student;
d) A representative of the School District who is qualified to provide or administer or supervise special education and who is knowledgeable about the general education curriculum and about the availability of resources of the District. An individual who meets these qualifications may be the same individual appointed as the special education teacher or provider in c) above or the school psychologist in i) below. The representative of the District will serve as the chairperson of the Committee;
e) An individual who can interpret the instructional implications of evaluation results, who may be a CSE member selected from the regular education teacher, the special education teacher or provider, the school psychologist, or the School District representative described above, or a person having knowledge or special expertise regarding the student as determined by the District;
f) A member as described in letters b) through e) of this subheading is not required to attend the CSE meeting, in whole or in part, if the parent/person in parental relation to the student with a disability and the School District agree, in writing not less than five (5) calendar days prior to the meeting date, that the attendance of the member is not necessary because:
1. The member’s area of the curriculum or related services is not being modified or discussed in the meeting; or
2. The member’s area of the curriculum or related services is being modified or discussed in the meeting but, not less than five (5) calendar days prior to the meeting, the excused member has submitted to the parents/persons in parental relation and the CSE written input into the development of the IEP, particularly with respect to their area of curriculum or related services; or
3. The committee member is unable to attend due to an emergency or unavoidable scheduling conflict and the District submits the written input listed in 2. above to the parents/persons in parental relation within a reasonable time prior to the meeting and prior to obtaining written consent to the excusal by the parents/persons in parental relation;
g) At the discretion of the parent or the District, other individuals who have knowledge or special expertise regarding the student, including related services personnel as appropriate. The determination of knowledge or special expertise shall be made by the party (parents or School District) who invited the individual to be a member of the committee;
h) Whenever appropriate, the student with a disability. The District must invite a child with a disability to attend the child’s CSE meeting if a purpose of the meeting will be the consideration of the postsecondary goals for the child and the transition services needed to assist the child in reaching those goals. If the child does not attend the CSE meeting, the District must take other steps to ensure that the child’s preference and interests are considered. To the extent appropriate, with the consent of the parent or a student eighteen (18) years or older, the District must also invite a representative of any participating agency that is likely to be responsible for providing or paying for transition services;
i) A school psychologist;
j) A school physician, if requested in writing at least seventy-two (72) hours prior to the meeting by the parents of the student or the School District; and
An additional parent is not required to attend the meeting unless specifically requested in writing, at least seventy-two (72) hours prior to such meeting by the parents or other person in parental relation to the student in question, the student, or a member of the CSE. The parents or persons in parental relation of the student in question shall receive proper written notice of their right to have an additional parent attend any meeting of the committee regarding the student, along with a prepared statement from NYSED explaining the role of having the additional parent attend the meeting.

Subcommittee on Special Education Membership
The Board of Education shall appoint, as necessary, a Subcommittee on Special Education whose membership shall include, but not be limited to, the following members:
a) The parent(s) of the student;
b) Not less than one (1) regular education teacher of such student (if the student is, or may be, participating in the regular education environment);
c) Not less than one (1) special education teacher, of the student, or where appropriate, not less than one (1) special education provider (i.e., related service provider) of such student;
d) A representative of the School District who is qualified to provide or administer or supervise special education and who is knowledgeable about the general education curriculum and about the availability of resources of the District. This individual may also fulfill the requirements of c) or e) of this section. The representative of the District will serve as the chairperson of the Subcommittee;
e) A school psychologist, whenever a new psychological evaluation is reviewed or a change to a program option with a more intensive staff/student ratio, as set forth in Section 200.6(f)(4) of the Regulations of the Commissioner, is considered;
f) A member as described in letters b) through e) of this subheading is not required to attend the subcommittee meeting, in whole or in part, if the parent/person in parental relation to the student with a disability and the School District agree, in writing not less than five (5) calendar days prior to the meeting date, that the attendance of the member is not necessary because:
1. The member’s area of the curriculum or related services is not being modified or discussed in the meeting; or
2. The member’s area of the curriculum or related services is being modified or discussed in the meeting but, not less than five (5) calendar days prior to the meeting, the excused member has submitted to the parents/persons in parental relation and the CSE written input into the development of the IEP, particularly with respect to their area of curriculum or related services; or
3. The committee member is unable to attend due to an emergency or unavoidable scheduling conflict and the District submits the written input listed in 2. above to the parents/persons in parental relation within a reasonable time prior to the meeting and prior to obtaining written consent to the excusal by the parents/persons in parental relation;
g) At the discretion of the parent or the Committee, other individuals who have knowledge or special expertise regarding the student, including related services personnel as appropriate. The determination of knowledge or special expertise shall be made by the party (parents or School District) who invited the individual to be a member of the subcommittee;
h) An individual who can interpret the instructional implications of evaluation results, who may be a member described in letters “b” through “g” of this subheading; and
i) Whenever appropriate, the student with a disability.

Training
The training of qualified personnel is essential to the effective implementation of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education regarding the education of all students with disabilities.

The Director of Special Education shall be responsible to the Superintendent for establishing administrative practices and procedures for training all District personnel responsible for carrying out the provisions of Part 200 of the Commissioner’s Regulations as well as members of the Committee on Special Education.

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

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) 20 USC Section 1400 et seq.
34 CFR Part 300 and Section 300.321
Education Law Section 4402
8 NYCRR Sections 200.2(b)(3), 200.3, and 200.4(d)(4)(i)(d)

NOTE: Refer also to Policies #7613 — The Role of the Board in Implementing a Student’s Individualized Education Program; #7632 — Appointment and Training of Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE) Members

Adopted: 6/19/12
Revised: 7/2/13

Policy 7632, Appointment and Training of Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE) Members 

Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE) Membership
The Board of Education shall appoint a Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE) whose membership shall include, but not be limited to, the following members:
a) The parent(s) of the preschool child. To ensure that one or both parents are present at each CPSE meeting, the District and the parent(s) may agree to use alternative means of participation such as video conferences or conference phone calls;
b) Not less than one (1) regular education teacher of such child (if the child is, or may be, participating in the regular education environment);
c) Not less than one (1) special education teacher of the child or, where appropriate, not less than one (1) special education provider (i.e., related service provider) of such child;
d) A representative of the School District who is qualified to provide, or supervise the provision of, special education and who is knowledgeable about the general education curriculum and about the availability of preschool special education programs and services and other resources of the District and the municipality (who shall serve as Chairperson of the CPSE);
e) An individual who can interpret the instructional implications of evaluation results, who may be a member of the team selected from the regular education teacher, the special education teacher or provider, the school psychologist, the School District representative described above, or a person having knowledge or special expertise regarding the student as determined by the District;
f) At the discretion of the parent or the District, other individuals who have knowledge or special expertise regarding the child, including related services personnel as appropriate. The determination of knowledge or special expertise shall be made by the party (parents or School District) who invited the individual to be a member of the committee;
g) An additional parent of a child with a disability who resides in the School District or a neighboring school district, and whose child is enrolled in a preschool or elementary level education program provided that such parent shall not be employed by or under contract with the School District; and provided further that such parent shall not be a required member unless the parents of the child or a member of the CPSE request, in writing at least seventy-two (72) hours prior to such meeting, that the additional parent member participate in the meeting. The parents or other person in parental relation shall receive proper written notice of their right to have an additional parent attend any meeting of the committee regarding the student along with a statement, prepared by NYSED, explaining the role of having the additional parent attend the meeting;
h) For a child’s smooth transition from early intervention programs and services (Infant and Toddler Programs), at the request of the parent/person in parental relation, the appropriate professional designated by the agency that has been charged with the responsibility for the preschool child; and
i) A representative from the municipality of the preschool child’s residence. Attendance of the appointee of the municipality is not required for a quorum.
However, except for the parents/persons in parental relation and the appointee from the municipality ( a) and i) above) a member of the CPSE is not required to attend a meeting of the team in whole or in part if the parent/person in parental relation and the District agree in writing that the attendance is not necessary because the member’s area of the curriculum or related services is not being modified or discussed at that meeting.

Additionally, a member as described in letters b) through h) of this subheading may be excused from attending the CPSE meeting, in whole or in part, if the parent/person in parental relation to the student with a disability and the School District agree, in writing to the excusal not less than five (5) calendar days prior to the meeting date, that the attendance of the member is not necessary because:
a) The member’s area of the curriculum or related services is being modified or discussed in the meeting but, not less than five (5) calendar days prior to the meeting, the excused member has submitted to the parents/persons in parental relation and the CSE written input into the development of the IEP, particularly with respect to their area of curriculum or related services; or
b) The committee member is unable to attend due to an emergency or unavoidable scheduling conflict and the District submits the written input listed in a) above to the parents/persons in parental relation within a reasonable time prior to the meeting and prior to obtaining written consent to the excusal by the parents/persons in parental relation.

Training
The training of qualified personnel is essential to the effective implementation of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education regarding the education of all students with disabilities.

The Director of Special Education shall be responsible to the Superintendent for establishing administrative practices and procedures for training all District personnel responsible for carrying out the provisions of Part 200 of the Commissioner’s Regulations as well as members of the Committee on Preschool Special Education.

Alternative Means of Meeting
When conducting a meeting of the Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE), the parent and the representative of the District appointed to the CPSE may agree to use alternative means of meeting participation, such as videoconferences and conference calls.

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) 20 USC Section 1400 et seq.
34 CFR Part 300
Education Law Section 4410
8 NYCRR Sections 200.2(b)(3) and 200.3

NOTE: Refer also to Policies #7613 — The Role of the Board in Implementing a Student’s Individualized Education Program; #7614 — Preschool Special Education Program; #7631 — Appointment and Training of Committee on Special Education(CSE)/Subcommittee on Special Education Members

Adopted: 6/19/12
Revised: 7/1/14

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

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

The District shall ensure that each student with a disability has an IEP in effect at the beginning of each school year.

Functional Behavioral Assessments/Behavioral Intervention Plans
A functional behavioral assessment (FBA) is an integral part of the evaluation and reevaluation of a student with a disability which should be used throughout the process of developing, reviewing and revising a student’s IEP when the student’s behavior impedes learning of the child or others. The FBA is the process of determining why a student engages in challenging behavior and how the student’s behavior relates to the environment. An FBA for a student with a disability is an evaluation requiring parental consent, pursuant to Commissioner’s Regulation 200.5(b).

The FBA provides a baseline of the student’s problem behaviors with regard to frequency, duration, intensity and/or latency across activities, settings, people and times of the day and includes:
a) The identification of the problem behavior,
b) The definition of the behavior in concrete terms,
c) The identification of the contextual factors that contribute to the behavior (including cognitive and affective factors), and
d) The formulation of a hypothesis regarding the general conditions under which a behavior usually occurs and probable consequences that serve to maintain it.

The FBA must, as appropriate, be based on multiple sources of data such as structured interviews, behavior ratings scales, standardized assessments and checklists. It must include, but is not limited to:
a) Information obtained from direct observation of the student;
b) Information from the student, the student’s teacher(s) and/or related service providers; and
c) A review of available data and information from the student’s record and other sources including any relevant information provided by the student’s parent.

The FBA cannot be based solely on the student’s history of presenting problem behavior.

The CSE/CPSE will ensure that functional behavioral assessments, when appropriate, are conducted and reviewed to:
a) Identify supplementary aids and services, modifications and/or related services appropriate to address the identified behaviors to promote the student’s involvement and progress in the general curriculum;
b) Determine a student’s eligibility for special education services;
c) Develop the IEP which includes behavioral goals and objectives and positive behavioral supports and strategies.

In the case of a student whose behavior impedes his or her learning or that of others, the CSE/CPSE shall consider strategies, including positive behavioral interventions and supports and other strategies to address that behavior. The need for a behavioral intervention plan (BIP) shall be documented on the IEP and such plan shall be reviewed at least annually by the CSE/CPSE. In addition, regular progress monitoring of the frequency, duration and intensity of the behavioral interventions shall be conducted at scheduled intervals, documented and reported to the parents and CSE/CPSE.

A behavioral intervention plan may not include the use of aversive interventions or time out rooms except in accordance with specific Board policy regulating these techniques.

Individual Evaluations
Parental consent must be provided for an initial evaluation. If such consent is not received within thirty (30) calendar days of receipt of the referral, the CSE/CPSE Chairperson will document all attempts made to obtain the consent and, if appropriate, advise the Board of its right to utilize the due process procedures to conduct an evaluation without parental consent.

Unless a referral is withdrawn, an individual evaluation at no cost to the parent will be completed by the CSE/CPSE within sixty (60) calendar days after written parental consent has been obtained or a parental refusal to consent is overridden, unless:
a) An extension is mutually agreed to by the parent and the CSE/CPSE for the following situations:
1. Transfer students: A student enrolls in the District after sixty (60) days and prior to a determination by the student’s previous school district as to whether the student has a disability, but only if the new school district is making sufficient progress to ensure a prompt completion of the evaluation and the parent and the new district agree in writing to a specific timeframe for completion; or
2. Students suspected of having learning disabilities; or
b) The parent or student repeatedly fails or refuses to produce the student for evaluation.

No student shall be required to obtain a prescription for a drug or other substance identified as a controlled substance by the federal Controlled Substances Act as a condition of receiving an evaluation.

The individual evaluation will include a variety of assessment tools and strategies, including information provided by the parent. The purpose of the evaluation is to gather relevant functional, developmental and academic information that may assist in determining whether the student is a student with a disability and the content of the student’s IEP. This shall include information relating to enabling the student to participate and progress in the general education curriculum (or for a preschool child, to participate in appropriate activities.)

As part of any evaluation, a group that includes the CSE/CPSE and other qualified professionals, as appropriate, shall review existing evaluation data on the student including evaluations and information provided by the parents of the student, current classroom-based assessments, local or state assessments, classroom-based observations, and observations by teachers and related services providers. In addition, the group will consider information about the student’s physical condition, social or cultural background, and adaptive behavior.

On the basis of that review, and input from the student’s parents, the group shall identify what additional data, if any, are needed to determine:
a) Whether the student has or continues to have a disability;
b) The present levels of academic achievement and related developmental needs of the student, including:
1. Academic achievement, functional performance, and learning characteristics;
2. Social development;
3. Physical development; and
4. Management needs.
c) In the case of a reevaluation of a student, whether the student continues to need special education; and
d) Whether any additions or modifications to the special education services are needed to enable the student to meet the measurable annual goals set out in the IEP of the student and to participate, as appropriate, in the general education curriculum.

If additional data are not needed, the District must notify the parents of that determination and the reasons for it and of the right of the parents to request an assessment to determine whether, for purposes of services provided in accordance with law and Commissioner’s Regulations, the student continues to be a student with a disability and to determine the student’s educational needs. The District is not required to conduct the assessment unless requested to do so by the student’s parents.

The determination that a student has a learning disability will be made in accordance with the procedures outlined in Section 200.4(j) of Commissioner’s Regulations.

Individual Re-evaluations
A CSE/CPSE shall arrange for an appropriate re-evaluation of each student with a disability:
a) If the District determines that the educational or related services needs, including improved academic achievement and functional performance of the student warrant re-evaluation;
b) If the student’s parent or teacher request a re-evaluation;
c) At least once every three (3) years, unless the District and the parent/person in parental relation agree in writing that such re-evaluation is unnecessary.

A re-evaluation shall not be conducted more frequently than once a year unless the parent and the District representative appointed to the CSE/CPSE agree otherwise.

The re-evaluation will be conducted by a multi-disciplinary team or group of persons, including at least one teacher or other specialist with knowledge in the area of the student’s disability. The re-evaluation shall be sufficient to determine the student’s individual needs, educational progress and achievement, the student’s ability to participate in instructional programs in regular education and the student’s continuing eligibility for special education. The results of any re-evaluations must be addressed by the CSE/CPSE in reviewing, and as appropriate, revising the student’s IEP.
To the extent possible, the District shall encourage the consolidation of re-evaluation meetings for the student and other CSE/CPSE meetings for the student.

Amendments to the IEP
Amendments to the IEP made after the annual review by the CSE/CPSE may be made by reconvening the CSE/CPSE and rewriting the IEP or by developing a written document to amend or modify the student’s current IEP, provided that:
a) The parents/persons in parental relation request an amendment to the IEP and the District and parents/persons in parental relation agree to the amendment in writing; or
b) The District provides the parents/persons in parental relation a written proposal to amend a provision or provisions of the IEP conveyed in language understandable to the parents/persons in parental relation in their native language or other dominant mode of communication, informs and allows the parents/persons in parental relation the opportunity to consult with the appropriate personnel or related service providers concerning the proposed changes, and the parents/persons in parental relation agree in writing to the amendments.

If the parents/persons in parental relation agree to amend the IEP without a meeting, they shall be provided prior written notice (notice of recommendation) of the changes to the IEP and the Committee notified of the changes. If the changes are made by rewriting the entire IEP, the District shall provide the parents/persons in parental relation a copy of the rewritten IEP. If the amendment is made without rewriting the entire document, the District shall provide a copy of the document that amends the IEP or, upon request, a revised copy of the entire IEP with the amendments incorporated.

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

Provision of Individualized Education Program
The Board of Education directs that the Superintendent/designee(s) establish administrative practices and procedures to ensure that each regular education teacher, special education teacher, related service provider and/or other service provider who is responsible for the implementation of a student’s IEP is provided with either a paper copy of the IEP or is able to access a student’s IEP electronically (including amendments to the IEP) prior to the implementation of such program. Such individuals responsible for the implementation of a student’s IEP shall be notified and trained on how to access such IEP electronically. For purposes of this policy, “other service provider” means a representative of another public school district, charter school, Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) or school enumerated in Education Law Articles 81, 85 or 89 where the student receives or will receive IEP services. Further, the District will designate at least one school official who shall be responsible for maintaining a record of the personnel who have received IEP copies for each student.

Any copy of a student’s IEP shall remain confidential in compliance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, and District policy regarding confidentiality of student records; and shall not be disclosed to any other person other than the parent of such student, except in accordance with federal and state laws and/or regulations. Appropriate training and information will be provided to designated school personnel, as applicable, to ensure the confidentiality of such information. Procedures will be established to ensure that copies of students’ IEPs are stored in secure locations and retrieved or destroyed when such professionals are no longer responsible for implementing a student’s IEP.

The Chairperson of the CSE, CSE subcommittee, or CPSE shall designate for each student one or, as appropriate, more than one professional employee of the School District with knowledge of the student’s disability and education program who will be responsible to, prior to the implementation of the IEP, inform each regular education teacher, special education teacher, related service provider, other service provider, supplementary school personnel (i.e., a teaching assistant or a teacher aide as defined in Commissioner’s Regulations), and other provider and support staff person of his/her responsibility to implement the recommendations on a student’s IEP, including the responsibility to provide specific accommodations, program modifications, supports and/or services for the student in accordance with the IEP. In selecting the professional staff person(s), the Chairperson could select him/herself for this responsibility, another administrator, or a teacher, related service provider or other professional based on the particular circumstances of the student’s disability and education program.

The School District shall also ensure that each teaching assistant, teacher aide and each other provider responsible for assisting in the implementation of a student’s IEP has the opportunity to review a copy of the student’s IEP (including amendments) prior to the implementation of such program. Further, each teaching assistant, teacher aide and such other provider responsible for assisting in the implementation of a student’s IEP shall have ongoing access to a copy of the IEP, which may be the copy provided to the student’s special education teacher or the teacher or related service provider under whose direction the supplementary school personnel or other provider works. However, the District may, at its discretion, provide a copy of the IEP to teaching assistants and/or teacher aides.

A copy of a student’s IEP shall be provided to the student’s parents at no cost to the student’s parents.

Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004, Public Law 108-446 Section 615(k)(l)
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), 20 USC Section 1400 et seq.
21 USC Section 812(c)
Education Law Articles 81, 85 and 89 and Sections 207, 3208 and 4402(7)
8 NYCRR Sections 200.1(hh), 200.2(b)(11), 200.4(b)(4), 200.4(d)(3)(i), 200.4(e)(3), 200.4(f), 200.4(j),
200.16(e)(6) and 200.22

NOTE: Refer also to Policy #7619 — Use of Time Out Rooms

Adopted: 6/19/12
Revised: 7/2/13

Policy 7641, Transition Services

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

The District must invite a child with a disability to attend the child’s CSE meeting if a purpose of the meeting will be the consideration of the postsecondary goals for the child and the transition services needed to assist the child in reaching those goals. If the child does not attend the CSE meeting, the District must take other steps to ensure that the child’s preference and interests are considered. To the extent appropriate, with the consent of the parent or a child who has reached the age of majority, the District must also invite a representative of any participating agency that is likely to be responsible for providing or paying for transition services.

Transition services means a coordinated set of activities for a student with a disability, designed within a results-oriented process that is focused on improving the academic and functional achievement of the student with a disability to facilitate movement from school to post-school activities. Post-school activities include, but are not limited to, post-secondary education, vocational education, integrated employment (including supported employment), continuing and adult education, adult services, independent living, or community participation. The coordinated set of activities must be based on the student’s strengths, preferences and interests and shall include needed activities in the following areas:
a) Instruction;
b) Related services (the term “related services” does not include a medical device that is surgically implanted, the optimization of the device’s functioning (e.g., mapping), maintenance of, or the replacement of such device);
c) Community experiences;
d) The development of employment and other post-school adult living objectives; and
e) When appropriate, acquisition of daily living skills and provision of a functional vocational evaluation.

Graduation/Aging Out
The District is not required to conduct a reevaluation of a student before the termination of a student’s eligibility due to graduation with a local high school or Regents diploma or exceeding the age eligibility for a free appropriate public education. However, the District must provide the student with a summary of the student’s academic achievement and functional performance, including recommendations on how to assist the student in meeting his/her post-secondary goals.

Before a student’s graduation from high school with a Skills and Achievement (SA) Commencement Credential or Career Development and Occupational Studies Commencement Credential (CDOS), parents must receive prior written notice indicating that the student continues to be eligible for a free appropriate public education until the end of the school year in which the student turns twenty-one (21) or until receipt of a regular high school diploma.

Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004, Public Law 108-446 Section 614(a)
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), 20 USC Sections 1400 et seq.
34 CFR Sections 300.321, 300.343, 300.347 and 300.348
Education Law Section 4401
8 NYCRR Sections 200.1(qq), 200.1(fff), 2004.(d)(2)(ix), and 200.5(c)(2)(vii)

NOTE: Refer also to Policy #7617 — Declassification of Students with Disabilities

Adopted: 6/19/12
Revised: 7/1/15

Policy 7642, Extended School Year (July/August) Services and/or Programs 

The School District shall provide, directly or by contract, special services and/or programs during July and August (i.e., extended school year) to those students whose disabilities are severe enough to exhibit the need for a structured learning environment of twelve (12) months duration in order to prevent substantial regression as determined by the Committee on Special Education (CSE)/Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE). Written consent of the parent is required prior to initial provision of special education services in a twelve (12) month special service and/or program.

The CSE/CPSE must determine whether a student requires extended school year special education services and/or programs in order to prevent substantial regression. Substantial regression would be indicated by a student’s inability to maintain developmental levels due to a loss of skill, set of skill competencies or knowledge during the months of July and August. In accordance with Commissioner’s Regulations, students must be considered for twelve (12) month special services and/or programs to prevent substantial regression if they are:
a) Students whose management needs are determined to be highly intensive and require a high degree of individualized attention and intervention and who are placed in special classes; or,
Preschool students whose management needs are determined to be highly intensive and require a high degree of individualized attention and intervention;
b) Students with severe multiple disabilities, whose programs consist primarily of habilitation and treatment and are placed in special classes; or
Preschool students with severe multiple disabilities, whose programs consist primarily of habilitation and treatment;
c) Students who are recommended for home and/or hospital instruction whose special education needs are determined to be highly intensive and require a high degree of individualized attention and intervention or who have severe multiple disabilities and require primarily habilitation and treatment; or
Preschool students whose special education needs are determined to be highly intensive and require a high degree of individualized attention and intervention or who have severe multiple disabilities and require primarily habilitation and treatment in the home; or
d) Students, including preschool students, whose needs are so severe that they can be met only in a seven (7) day residential program; or
e) Students who are not in programs as described in subparagraphs (a) through (d) above during the period from September through June and who, because of their disabilities, exhibit the need for a twelve (12) month special service and/or program provided in a structured learning environment of up to twelve (12) months duration in order to prevent substantial regression as determined by the CSE; or
Preschool students who are not described in subparagraphs (a) through (d) above whose disabilities are severe enough to exhibit the need for a structured learning environment of twelve (12) months duration to prevent substantial regression as determined by the Preschool Committee on Special Education (CPSE).

For students eligible for twelve (12) month service and/or program, per Commissioner’s Regulations Section 200.4(d)(2)(x), the student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) shall indicate the identity of the provider of services during the months of July and August, and, for preschool students determined by the CPSE to require a structured learning environment of twelve (12) months duration to prevent substantial regression, a statement of the reasons for such recommendation.

The IEP shall indicate the projected date of the review of the student’s need for such services and shall indicate the recommended placement.

The State Education Department (SED) is authorized to approve programs and to establish State Aid reimbursement rates for all special services and programs provided during July and August, both public and private. Therefore, if the School District plans to operate a July/August program, the District must first apply to SED for approval in accordance with SED guidelines/procedures.

Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004, Public Law 108-446 Section 614(a)
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), 20 USC Section 1400 et seq.
Education Law Section 4408
8 NYCRR Part 110 and Sections 200.1(qq), 200.4(d)(2)(x), 200.5(b)(1)(iii), 200.6(j), and 200.16(i)(3)(v)

Adopted: 6/19/12

Policy 7643, Transfer Students with Disabilities

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

Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 [Public Law 108-446 Section 614(a)]
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), 20 USC Section 1400 et seq.
8 NYCRR Sections 200.1(zz) and 200.4(e)(8)

NOTE: Refer also to Policy #7240 — Student Records: Access and Challenge

Adopted: 6/19/12

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

The school district of residence is required to locate and identify all students with disabilities who reside in the district, including students who do not attend public school (with the exception of students with disabilities who are parentally placed in nonpublic schools outside the district of residence). Therefore, it is the policy of the Board of Education to conduct a census in order to have all children with disabilities within its jurisdiction under the age of twenty-one (21) identified, located and evaluated, including children of preschool age, homeless children, children who are wards of the State as defined in Commissioner’s Regulations and children in all public and private agencies and institutions.

Any student suspected of having a disability is to be referred to the applicable Committee on Special Education (CSE)/Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE) for evaluation and possible identification as a student with disability.

Census data shall be reported by October 1 to the CSE/CPSE as appropriate. The CSE/CPSE will maintain and revise annually a register and related summary reports containing the data requirements indicated in Commissioner’s Regulations.

Nonpublic School Students with Disabilities Who are Parentally Placed
If the School District boundaries encompass a nonpublic school, the District, as the district of location, must develop and implement methods to identify, locate and ensure the identification and evaluation of students with disabilities who have been, or are going to be, parentally placed in such nonpublic school.

The child find activities must be similar to activities for students with disabilities in the public schools and must be completed in a time period comparable to that for other students attending public schools in the School District.

As the public school district of location, the District must consult with the nonpublic schools where students are parentally placed to determine an accurate count of students with disabilities attending such schools and receiving special education services.

These requirements only pertain to students with disabilities parentally placed in elementary and secondary nonpublic schools, not to parental placements of preschool children with disabilities in private day care or preschool programs; or to CSE placements of students with disabilities in approved private schools, Special Act School Districts, State-supported or State-operated schools; or to Charter schools.

Provision of Special Education Services for Child under Age Seven
It is the responsibility of the Committee on Special Education (CSE) to provide special education services to a child with a disability under the age of seven who is eligible for school-age services, not subject to compulsory attendance requirements and not on a regular school attendance register. These are children with disabilities who are eligible for school-age special education services that are no longer eligible for preschool special education services, but are not parentally placed in a nonpublic elementary school and not being home schooled.

Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004, Public Law 108-446 Section 612
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), 20 USC Section 1400 et seq.
34 CFR Part 300
Education Law Sections 3240-3242, 3602-c(2)(a), 4401-a, 4402(1)(a), 4404, 4405 and 4410-6
8 NYCRR Sections 200.2(a), 200.4 and 200.6(m)(3)
NOTE: Refer also to Policies #7130 — Entitlement to Attend – Age and Residency
#7140 — School Census

Adopted: 6/19/12

Policy 7660, Parent Involvement for Children with Disabilities 

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

Definition of Parent
Parent means a birth or adoptive parent, a legally appointed guardian generally authorized to act as the child’s parent or authorized to make educational decisions for the child, a person in parental relation to the child as defined in Education Law Section 3212, an individual designated as a person in parental relation pursuant to General Obligations Law Title 15-A including an individual so designated who is acting in the place of a birth or adoptive parent (including a grandparent, stepparent or other relative with whom the child resides), or a surrogate parent who has been appointed in accordance with Section 200.5(n) of Commissioner’s Regulations. The term does not include the State if the student is a ward of the State.

A foster parent may act as a parent unless State law, regulations or contractual obligations with a State or local entity prohibit the foster parent from acting as a parent.

Unless a judicial decree identifies a specific person(s) to act as the parent or make educational decisions for the student, if one or more parties is qualified to act as a parent, the birth or adoptive parent is presumed to be the parent unless they do not have the legal authority to do so.

Surrogate Parents
It is the duty of the School District to determine whether a child needs a surrogate parent and to assign a surrogate parent in the manner permitted under New York State law. This determination shall be completed within a reasonable time following the receipt of a referral for an initial evaluation or re-evaluation.

In the event that no parent or guardian for a child with a disability can be identified; or after reasonable efforts the whereabouts of the parent or guardian cannot be determined; or the student is an unaccompanied homeless youth; or the child with a disability is a ward of the State and does not have a “parent” as defined above; or the rights of the parent to make educational decisions have been subrogated by a judge in accordance with State law; the Board shall assign an individual to act as a surrogate for the parents or guardians.

Alternatively, the surrogate parent may be appointed by a judge overseeing the child’s case.

The person selected as a surrogate shall have no interest that conflicts with the interest of the child he/she represents, and shall have knowledge and skills that ensure adequate representation of the child.

Prior Written Notice (Notice of Recommendation)
Prior written notice (notice of recommendation) must be given to parents of a student with a disability a reasonable time before the District proposes to, or refuses to, initiate or change the identification, evaluation, educational placement of the student or the provision of a free appropriate public education to the student. Prior written notice must also be provided informing the parents when no additional data is required to determine the student’s educational needs, the reasons for this determination and their right to request an assessment.

If the prior written notice relates to a proposed action that also requires parental consent, the District must give notice at the same time it requests parental consent. The prior written notice will contain all elements required by Commissioner’s Regulations.

A parent may elect to receive prior written notice and other required notifications by electronic mail (email) communication if the District makes this option available.

Effective September 1, 2009 the prior written notice will be on the form prescribed by the Commissioner.

Parent Participation in Meetings
The School District must take steps to ensure that one or both of the parents of a child with a disability are present at each Committee on Special Education (CSE)/Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE) meeting or are afforded the opportunity to participate in a mutually agreed upon time and place. The School District must document its attempts to involve parents, such as:
a) Detailed records of telephone calls made or attempted and the results of these calls;
b) Copies of correspondence sent to the parents and any responses received; and
c) Detailed records of visits made to the parent’s home or place of employment and the results of those visits.

A meeting may be conducted without a parent in attendance if the School District is unable to convince the parents that they should attend.
Additionally, the School District must take whatever action is necessary to ensure the parent understands the proceedings of this meeting including arranging for an interpreter for parents with deafness or whose native language is other than English.

Parental Consent
In accordance with due process, a parent (as defined in Commissioner’s Regulations Section 200.1(l)) of a special education student or a student suspected of having a disability must provide informed consent before the School District can take certain actions. The District will make reasonable efforts to obtain written informed consent and will maintain a detailed record of its attempts and the results of the attempts.

Consent for Evaluations
The parent or guardian must provide informed consent to the initial evaluation, or reevaluations in accordance with law and/or regulations. If a parent does not provide consent for an initial evaluation, the School District may pursue the evaluation by commencing a due process hearing to override the refusal to provide consent.

Parental consent for a reevaluation is not needed if the District can demonstrate that it has taken reasonable measures to obtain consent, but the parents or guardians have failed to respond.

Consent for the Initial Provision of Services
Parental consent is also required for the initial provision of special education services. Consent for an initial evaluation does not constitute consent for the initial provision of services. If a parent does not provide consent for the initial provision of services, the School District shall not provide the special education programs and services to the student and shall not use the due process procedures to challenge the parent’s refusal to consent. The School District shall not be considered to be in violation of the requirements to provide a free appropriate public education (FAPE), shall not be required to convene a meeting of the committee on special education or develop an individualized education program (IEP).

Consent to Access Public Benefits or Insurance (e.g., Medicaid)
A School District must notify the child’s parent in writing prior to accessing the child’s or parent’s public benefits or insurance for the first time and annually thereafter. The written notification must explain the protections afforded to parents so that parents are fully informed of their rights before the District accesses their or their child’s Medicaid or other public benefits or insurance to pay for services under the IDEA. Furthermore, this notice must be in a language understandable to the general public and in the parent’s native language or the mode of communication used by the parent.

A School District must obtain a one-time written consent from the parent, after providing the written notification (as described above), before accessing the child’s or parent’s public benefits or insurance (e.g., Medicaid) for the first time. The consent must state that the parent understands and agrees that the School District may access the child’s or parent’s public benefits or insurance to pay for special education or related services. The consent must also specify:
a) The personally identifiable information that may be disclosed (this can include records or information about the services that will be provided to the student);
b) The purpose of the disclosure; and
c) The agency to which the disclosure may be made (Medicaid).
Merely providing the Medicaid application does not meet the IDEA parent consent requirements. A sample Medicaid Consent Form may be found at:
http://www.p12.nysed.gov/specialed/publications/sampleconsent.htm.

Consent for an Unaccompanied Homeless Youth
Consent may be provided by a surrogate parent. However, until a surrogate parent is appointed, consent may be provided on a temporary basis by an employee of a temporary housing facility operated or approved by a local social services district or a residential facility for runaway and homeless youth.

Consent for a Ward of the State
A ward of the State means a child or youth under the age of twenty-one (21):
a) Who has been placed or remanded pursuant to Social Services Law or the Family Court Act or freed for adoption pursuant to Social Services Law; or
b) Who is in the custody of the Commissioner of Social Services or the Office of Children and Family Services; or
c) Who is a destitute child under Social Services Law.
In the event that a child is a ward of the State, the School District shall make reasonable efforts to obtain the informed consent from the parent of the child for an initial evaluation to determine whether the child is a child with a disability.

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

Consent for a Student Who is Home Instructed or Parentally Placed in a Private School at the Parent’s Expense
If a parent of a student who is home instructed or placed in a private school by their parents at their own expense does not provide consent for an initial evaluation or reevaluation, or the parent fails to respond to a request to provide consent, the District may not continue to pursue those evaluations by using the due process procedures and the District is not required to consider the student as eligible for special education services.

Parental Revocation of Consent
Parental revocation of consent for continued provision of special education and related services must be in writing. When the parent revokes such consent, the District still must provide the parent with the usual written notice of its intentions with respect to the child.

If the parent of a student with a disability revokes his/her consent in writing for the continued provision of special education and related services to the student at any time subsequent to the initial provision of special education and related services, the District:
a) May not continue to provide special education and related services to the student, but must provide prior written notice to the parent before ceasing the provisions of special education and related services;
b) May not use due process procedures (i.e., mediation, resolution meeting, and/or impartial due process hearing) in order to obtain agreement or a ruling that the services may be provided to the student without parental consent;
c) Will not be considered to be in violation of the requirement to make a free and appropriate public education (FAPE) available to the student because of the failure to provide the student with further special education and related services; and
d) Is not required to convene an individualized education program (IEP) meeting or develop and IEP for the student for the further provision of special education and related services.

If the parent revokes consent in writing for his/her child’s receipt of special education and related services after the child is initially provided special education and related services, the District is not required to amend the student’s education records to remove any references to the student’s receipt of such services because of the revocation of consent.

Procedural Safeguards Notice
The School District will provide the procedural safeguards notice prescribed by the Commissioner of Education to the parents of a student with a disability at least one time per year and also:
a) Upon initial referral or parental request for evaluation;
b) Upon the first filing of a due process complaint notice to request mediation or an impartial due process hearing;
c) Upon request by a parent;
d) Upon a decision to impose a suspension or removal that constitutes a disciplinary change in placement; and
e) Upon first receipt of a State complaint.

Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (Public Law 108-446) Section 614(a)
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), 20 USC Section 1400 et seq.
34 CFR Part 300
Education Law Sections 207, 3212, 4005, 4202, 4401 and 4402
8 NYCRR Sections 200.1, 200.4(b)(6), and 200.5

NOTE: Refer also to Policy #7260 — Designation of Person in Parental Relation

Adopted: 6/19/12
Revised: 7/1/14

Policy 7670, Impartial Due Process Hearings/Selection of Impartial Hearing Officers 

The parent/person in parental relation of a student with a disability may file a written request with the Board for an impartial due process hearing with respect to any matter relating to the identification, evaluation, educational placement, provision of a free appropriate public education, manifestation determination or other matter relating to discipline. The Board may also initiate such hearing.

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

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

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

Resolution Process
a) Within fifteen (15) days of receiving the due process complaint notice from the parent and prior to the due process hearing itself, the District shall convene a meeting with the parents and relevant members of the CSE/CPSE, as determined by the District and the parent, who have specific knowledge of the facts identified in the complaint. A representative of the District who has decision-making authority must attend. The attorney for the District may not attend unless the parent is accompanied by an attorney. At this resolution meeting, the District has the opportunity to resolve the complaint after the parents discuss their complaint and the facts forming its basis.

The District will take steps to ensure that one or both of the parents of the student with a disability are present at the resolution meeting, including notifying parents of the meeting early enough to ensure that they will have the opportunity to attend and scheduling the resolution meeting at a mutually agreed on time and place and in a location that is physically accessible to the parents.
b) When conducting meetings and carrying out administrative matters (such as scheduling), the parent and District may agree to use alternative means of meeting participation such as video conferences or conference calls.
c) The parent and District may agree in writing to waive the resolution process or agree to use the mediation process to resolve the dispute.
d) If a settlement is reached, the parties shall execute a legally binding agreement signed by the parent and the representative of the District who has authority to bind the District. This agreement is enforceable in court. However, either party may void the agreement within three (3) business days of the agreement’s execution.
e) If the District has not resolved the due process complaint to the satisfaction of the parents within thirty (30) days of receipt of the complaint notice, the impartial hearing process may begin.
f) Except where the parties have jointly agreed to waive the resolution process or use mediation, the failure of a parent filing a due process complaint to participate in the resolution meeting will delay the timeline for the resolution process and due process hearing until the meeting is held:
1. If the District is unable to obtain the participation of the parent in the resolution meeting after reasonable efforts have been made (and documented), the District may, at the conclusion of the thirty-day period, request that an IHO dismiss the parent’s due process complaint.
2. If the District fails to hold the resolution meeting within fifteen (15) days of receipt of the parent’s due process complaint or fails to participate in the resolution meeting, the parent may seek the intervention of the IHO to begin the due process hearing timeline.

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

Impartial Due Process Hearing
In the event the complaint is not resolved in a resolution process, the Board will arrange for an impartial due process hearing to be conducted. When carrying out administrative matters relating to an impartial due process hearing, such as scheduling, exchange of witness lists and status conferences, the parent and District may agree to use alternative means of meeting participation such as video conferences or conference calls.
a) The District must immediately (but not later than two (2) business days after receipt of the due process complaint notice or mailing of the due process complaint notice to the parent) initiate the process to select an IHO. The District selects the IHO through a rotational selection process in accordance with regulatory timelines. The Superintendent’s Secretary/ District Clerk will be responsible for contacting IHOs and maintaining appropriate records.
b) The IHO must be certified by the Commissioner of Education, be independent and have access to the support and equipment necessary to perform the duties of an IHO. When the selected IHO indicates availability, the Board of Education must immediately appoint him/her. To expedite this process, the Board may designate one (1) or more of its members to appoint the IHO on behalf of the Board.
c) The IHO may not accept appointment unless he/she is available to make a determination of sufficiency of a due process complaint notice within five (5) days of receiving such a request and (unless an extension is granted) to initiate the hearing in a timely fashion.
1. When the District files the due process complaint notice, the hearing or pre-hearing conference must commence within the first fourteen (14) days after the date the IHO is appointed;
2. When a parent files the due process complaint notice, the hearing or pre-hearing conference must commence within the first fourteen (14) days after whichever of the following occurs first:
(a) The date the IHO receives the parties’ written waiver of the resolution meeting; or
(b) The IHO receives the parties’ written confirmation that a mediation or resolution meeting was held but no agreement could be reached; or
(c) The expiration of the thirty-day resolution period unless the parties agree in writing to continue mediation at the end of the thirty-day resolution period. In such case, the hearing or pre-hearing conference will commence within the first fourteen (14) days after the IHO is notified in writing that either party withdrew from mediation.
d) The hearing, or a prehearing conference, shall commence within the timeframe specified in c) above, unless an extension is granted pursuant to Commissioner’s Regulations.
e) Each party must disclose to all parties all evaluations completed by that date and recommendations based on the offering party’s evaluation that they intend to use at the hearing not less than five (5) days prior to the hearing. The IHO may bar any party that fails to comply with this requirement from introducing the relevant evaluation or recommendation at the hearing without the consent of the other party.
f) The hearing will be conducted at a time and location that is reasonable and convenient to the parent and the student involved. The hearing shall be closed to the public unless the parent requests an open hearing.
g) The role and responsibilities of the IHO will be as enumerated in Commissioner’s Regulations.
h) The student shall remain in his/her current placement during the pendency of the impartial due process hearing unless both parties agree or except as otherwise provided for expedited impartial due process hearings for certain disciplinary suspensions or removals of a student. For a preschool child not currently receiving special education services and programs, he/she may, during any impartial due process hearings or appeals, receive special education services and programs if the parent/person in parental relation and the District agree. However, during the pendency of an appeal for a preschool child who is transitioning from an Early Intervention (EI) program and is no longer eligible for the EI program due to age, the District is not required to provide the services the child had been receiving under EI. If found eligible for special education as a preschool student with a disability, and if the parent consents to the initial provision of services, the District will provide those programs and services that are not in dispute.
i) The IHO renders and forwards the finding of fact and decision to the parties and to the State Education Department in accordance with regulatory timelines but not later than forty-five (45) days from the date required for commencement of the impartial due process hearing specified in c) above. For expedited hearings the deadline is within ten (10) school days after the hearing; for preschool hearings the timeframe is thirty (30) days after the receipt by the Board of a request for a hearing or after the initiation of such hearing by the Board.
j) The decision of the IHO is final and binding on both parties unless appealed to the State Review Officer (SRO).

Burden of Proof
In accordance with New York State law, the burden of proof and persuasion in an impartial due process hearing dispute relative to a student’s special education placement rests upon the school district. However, a parent/person in parental relation seeking tuition reimbursement for a unilateral parental placement shall have the burden of persuasion as to the appropriateness of the placement.

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

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

At the completion of the impartial due process hearing, the IHO shall submit an itemized bill of hourly charges and expenses, which will be promptly paid by the District.

Mediation
The District will inform the parent in writing of the availability of mediation and any free or low-cost legal and other relevant services available in the area at the request of the parent or when an impartial due process hearing is requested.

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

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

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

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

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), 20 USC Section 1400 et seq.
34 CFR Part 300
Education Law Sections 4005, 4202, 4404(1) and 4410(7)
8 NYCRR Sections 200.1, 200.2, 200.5, 200.16, 200.21 and 201.11
NOTE: Refer also to Policy #7690 — Special Education Mediation

Adopted: 6/19/12

Policy 7680, Independent Educational Evaluations 

Parents of children with disabilities have the right under Federal and State regulations to obtain an independent educational evaluation (IEE) at public expense under certain conditions.

A parent is entitled to only one IEE at public expense, with a one thousand ($1,000) dollar cap, each time the District conducts an evaluation with which the parent disagrees.

Administrative regulations on independent evaluations will be developed in order to explain the rights of parents and the responsibilities of school districts with regard to independent evaluations, and also to avoid any misunderstandings.

34 CFR Sections 300.12 and 300.502
8 NYCRR Sections 200.1(z) and 200.5(g)

Adopted: 6/19/12
Revised: 8/20/13

Policy 7690, Special Education Mediation 

The District will offer mediation to resolve any disputes involving any matter for which an impartial due process hearing may be brought, including matters arising prior to the filing of a due process complaint notice.

Such mediation shall be conducted by mediators furnished by a Community Dispute Resolution Center who are not employees of any school district or State agency that is involved in the education or care of the student who is the subject of the mediation process. Mediators may not have a personal or professional interest which would conflict with their objectivity in the mediation process and should be knowledgeable in laws and regulations relating to the provision of special education services.

Parents or persons in parental relation to students suspected of or having disabilities will receive written notice of the availability of the mediation program each time they receive notice of their entitlement to the impartial due process hearing procedures in accordance with Federal and State law and regulations. If the parent and District agree, alternative means of meeting participation may be utilized, such as video conferences and conference calls.
Discussions during the mediation process must be confidential and may not be used as evidence in any subsequent due process hearing or civil proceedings.

If resolution to the complaint is reached through mediation, the parent and the representative of the District who has the authority to bind the District will execute a legally binding written agreement specifying the resolution and stating that all discussions occurring during the mediation process are confidential and may not be used as evidence in any subsequent due process hearing or civil proceeding of any Federal or State court. If the written agreement is inconsistent with the student’s current individualized education programs (IEP), the IEP must be immediately amended to reflect the mediation agreement.

The mediation process is voluntary and will not operate to diminish or limit any rights provided for in law, including the right of the parent or person in parental relation to request an impartial due process hearing subsequent to mediation. Parents or persons in parental relation to students suspected of or having disabilities continue to have full access to all rights, including due process procedures, provided for in federal and state laws and regulations. Similarly, mediation shall not be construed to limit a parent or person in parental relation from requesting an impartial due process hearing without having first utilized mediation procedures set forth in Education Law.

Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (Public Law 108-446) Section 614(a)
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), 20 USC Section 1400 et seq.
34 CFR Part 300
Education Law Sections 4005, 4202 and 4404-a
Judiciary Law Section 849a
8 NYCRR Sections 200.1 and 200.5

Adopted: 6/19/12