Student Handbook

Please use the links below to access specific information in the WJSHS Student Handbook.

Bell Schedule
BOE Educational Philosophy
Equal Opportunity
Public Information
District Records and Public Access 
Lost and Found
Visitors to School
Parental Involvement
Programs for Persons with Disabilities
Physical Education
Teaching About Drugs, Alcohol and Tobacco
BOCES Transportation
Summer School
High School Credit for College Courses
Use of School Computer Resources (Acceptable Use)
Prohibitions
Change of Address
Early Dismissal
Grading System
Marking Period/Interim Ending Dates
Student Progress Reports
Homework
Honor Roll
National Honor Society
Make-Up Opportunities
Graduation Requirements
Extracurricular Programs
Field Trips
Student Organizations
Intramural and Interscholastic Sports
Student Complaints/Demonstrations
Loitering/Trespassing
Student Smoking, Drug and Alcohol Use
Dangerous Weapons in School
Smoking on School Grounds
Leaving School Grounds without Permission
Detention
Lockers
Student Health Services
Accidents
Student Automobile Use
Employment of Students
Student Fees
Textbooks
Fire Drills
Emergency Closings
Food Services
Cafeteria Rules
Passes
Agenda Books
Code of Conduct

Bell Schedule

Period 1– 8:00-8:40 a.m.
AM Announcements 8:43-8:48 a.m.
Period 2 – 8:48-9:28 a.m.
Period 3 – 9:31-10:11 a.m.
Period 4 – 10:14 -10:54 a.m.
A Lunch
A Lunch – 10:57-11:21 a.m.
Period 5 – 11:24 a.m. – 12:04 p.m.
Period 6 –  12:07-12:47 p.m.
B Lunch
Period 5 – 10:57-11:37 a.m.
B Lunch – 11:40 a.m. – 12:04 p.m.
Period 6 – 12:07-12:47 p.m.
C Lunch
Period 5 – 10:57-11:37 a.m.
Period 6 –  11:40 a.m. – 12:20 p.m.
C Lunch –  12:23-12:47 p.m.
PM Announcements – 12:50-12:53 p.m.
Period 7 – 12:53-1:33 p.m.
Period 8 – 1:36-2:16 p.m.

Extra Help/Activity Period 2:16-2:35 p.m.
Period 9 – Grade 9 Pivot Program, 2:30-3:30 p.m. (T, W, Th)

BOE Educational Philosophy

The Board of Education is dedicated to educating students to develop desired moral, ethical, and cultural values, to stimulate and expand a continual learning process and to cultivate an understanding and appreciation of the rights and responsibilities of American citizens, which will enable them to function effectively as independent individuals in a democratic society. An atmosphere will be created and maintained in an attempt to assure the student’s maximum intellectual, social, ethical and physical development.

The educational program will attempt to provide each child with the fundamental academic skills and basic knowledge required for his/her maximum intellectual development, the opportunity for each child to develop his/her interests and abilities to the fullest extent according to his/her individual potential and special service to promote the social, physical, mental and emotional development of each child. It is the district’s goal to foster in students good work habits, integrity, self- discipline, good sportsmanship, self confidence and a sense of purpose. The report card is designated to show personal and social development as well as scholastic achievement. Extracurricular activities will be offered when possible to enhance the academic program.

The Board encourages parents and teachers to offer their expertise in helping to develop a school environment that is academically challenging, psychologically satisfying and socially fulfilling for students at all levels. The parent’s guidance at home should support the school’s work to cooperatively provide the most effective education for the child. The objectives of an educational program are best realized when mutual understanding, cooperation, and effective communications exist among the home, community and school.

Equal Opportunity

The Board of Education, its officers and employees, shall not discriminate against any student, employee, or applicant on the basis of race color, national origin, creed, religion, marital status, sex, age, or disability.

This policy of nondiscrimination includes: access by student to educational programs, counseling services for students, course offerings and student activities, recruitment and appointment of employees and employment pay, benefits, advancement and/or terminations.

The Board authorizes the Superintendent of Schools to establish such rules, regulations and procedures necessary to implement and maintain this policy.

Public Information Program

The Board of Education recognizes the importance of a continuing public information program to promote widespread understanding of the school district’s educational program and to gain the support and participation of the community in the school system.

Parents, students and community members are encouraged to attend and participate at public Board of Education meetings, which are held on the second Thursday of each month. Additional information may be disseminated by being sent home with students, posted online or published in the district calendar.

Parents and residents wishing to obtain information should inquire first through a building principal, then through the Superintendent and finally through the Board.

Important telephone number: Watervliet City Schools (518) 629-3200.

School District Records and Public Access

Often parents and students and other community members may want to have specific information about the schools in this district. Information about student records is discussed in section 5500 – Student records. For information on other topics, interested persons may inspect and/or copy school district records at the Office of the Records Access Officer (see the Superintendent or designee) located at the district office, during regular business hours on any business day on which the school district is open.
Requests to inspect or make copies of records must be submitted in writing, either in person or by mail, to the Records Access Officer, who will provide information regarding fees.

The Records Access Officer shall acknowledge receipt of the request and advise the approximate date when the request will be granted or denied.

When a request for access to a public record is denied, the Records Access Officer shall indicate in writing the reasons for such denial, and the right to appeal. An applicant who is denied access to a public record may file an appeal by delivering a copy of the request and a copy of the denial to the district clerk of the Board of Education within 30 days after the denial from which such appeal is taken.

The appeal will be submitted to the Board of Education for a decision. Additional details of this policy can be found in section 1120-R.

Lost and Found

Students who find lost articles are asked to take them to the Main Office. Students who are looking for lost items should go to the main office.

Visitors to the School

Visitors to the schools in the district shall be governed by the following rules during school hours:

  1. Each building principal shall establish and maintain a safety plan outlining the process for registration and authorization for visit to his/her school.
  2. The principal of the school must be contacted by the person or group wishing to visit and prior approval must be obtained for the visit.
  3. Parents or guardian wishing to speak with a specific teacher concerning the progress of a child must make an appointment with the teacher, in addition to obtaining the permission of the school’s principal.
  4. All visitors must sign in, leave a form of collateral and be issued a visitor’s permit. The permit must be displayed at all times during the visit and returned upon conclusion of the visit. In addition, all visitors must be accompanied by a district employee to and from their destination. The visitor must sign out at the conclusion of the visit.  
  5. Registration shall not be required for school functions open to the public whether or not school related. 
  6. Parents are encouraged to visit guidance counselors, school nurses, school psychologists and other support personnel, by appointment, in order to discuss any problems or concerns the parent may have regarding the student whether or not school related.
  7. Any visitor wishing to inspect school records or interview students on school premises must comply with all applicable Board polices and administrative regulations. In questionable cases, the visitor shall be directed to the Superintendent’s office to obtain written permission for such visits.
  8. The principal is authorized to take any action necessary to secure the safety of students and school personnel. Unauthorized visitors shall be requested to leave school premises immediately, and will be subject to arrest and prosecution for trespassing, pursuant to the New York State Penal Law, if they refuse.

Visiting with teachers and staff should occur after the school day has ended at 2:16 p.m.

Parental Involvement

The Board of Education believes that positive parental involvement is essential to student achievement and this encourages such involvement in school educational planning and operations. Parental involvement may take place either in the classroom or during extra-curricular activities. However, the
Board also encourages parental involvement at home since parents can be a vital influence in determining a child’s perspective of learning, school and homework (e.g. planned home reading time, informal learning activities, and/or homework “contracts” between parents and children).

Programs for Students with Disabilities

Each student identified by the Committee on Special Education (CSE) as having a disability will have access to the full range of programs and services of this school district, including extracurricular programs and activities, which are available to all other students enrolled in the public schools of this district.
Parents/students who desire further information on these programs and services should contact the CSE office at 518-629-3202.

Physical Education

The New York State Education Department, Bureau of Physical Education, interprets the physical education mandate concerning the successful completion of physical education as follows:

  1. A student must be present.
  2. A student must participate in physical education for each year that he/ she is in school.

Students will be expected therefore, to dress appropriately for physical education classes as directed by their instructors. Failure to either dress appropriately or participate properly will result in disciplinary action by the physical education teachers.

Teaching about Drugs, Alcohol and Tobacco

Watervliet schools believe that education is an important preventive measure against student involvement with drugs, alcohol and tobacco. Instruction will take place primarily in the health classes. Parents and students who want more information on substance abuse, or would like to ask questions about a specific problem, may call and/or visit the Guidance Office or leave a message for the Health Coordinator. The counselors encourage students who believe they may have a substance abuse problem to meet with their counselor and discuss it as soon as possible. The counselors will assist both students and parents with connecting to appropriate outside counseling agencies.

BOCES Transportation

All students are transported to and from the BOCES Career and Tech Center by school buses. Students, who do not comply, will face disciplinary action.
(Note: permission may be granted by the principal of the BOCES Center and the principal of Watervliet Junior-Senior High School to drive a personal vehicle for a specific occasion.)

BOCES students are reminded not to loiter in the halls while waiting for the BOCES bus, but to remain in the main door entrance.

Summer School

Watervliet students in grades 7 through 12 must have a 55 final average in a class if they wish to repeat the class in a summer school program. If a student is dropped due to attendance (DA) during the school year, they are eligible for summer school, but will enter with an average of 50.

A student may attend summer school in any high school certified by the New York State Board of Regents. He/she must, however, have written permission from the Guidance Office to apply for summer school entrance to a specific course or courses. All district students must still meet academic and attendance levels to enroll in any summer school course even out of the district. Parents and/or guardians are responsible for fees associated with the summer school program.

Students who attend summer school will have their summer school grade calculated using the following formula:

Final class average (Must be 55 + average) + Summer school final (2/3 final average + minimum 1/3 final exam/regents)/2 = Final Summer School Grade

High School Credit for College Courses

The Board of Education recognizes the value that college courses can add to a student’s educational program; accordingly, high school credit will be awarded to students who enroll in approved college courses pursuant to the following criteria:

  1. The number of college courses a student may participate in each school year shall be subject to the approval of the Superintendent of Schools and the High School Principal. The course content, equivalency of instruction, and time requirements shall be approved in advance by the Principal and the Superintendent. In the case of students with disabilities, the above must also be approved by the Committee on Special Education (CSE).
  2. The Principal shall determine the amount of local high school credit to be awarded for the college course.
  3. For the purposes of this policy, a “unit” is a year’s work in a subject requiring 180 minutes of instruction per week throughout the school year or the equivalent.
  4. The costs for any and all such higher education shall be borne by the individual student.
  5. High school credit shall not be granted for any college course for which a student receives a failing grade.
  6. Students who wish to participate in college courses must meet specific
    academic, grade level and coursework requirements as set forth by the Superintendent. (Note: The District will follow Commissioner’s Rules and Regulation Part 100 regarding acceleration of students.)

In addition, several courses that are offered at the high school allow students to receive high school credit in addition to college credit from Hudson Valley Community College and Schenectady Community College. These classes include: HVCC English 12, HVCC American History, Business Communications, Calculus, Math Structures, HVCC Government, Spanish IV and CAD.

For students to receive college credit on their high school transcript for the courses listed in the preceding paragraph, the college must receive payment from the student or parent. (NOTE: HVCC courses are $55 per credit hour, or $165 for a 3-credit course.)

Student Use of Computer 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 staff/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 off 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.

Personal Devices

Students may use personal devices to access the District Network for academic purposes. Devices include, but are not limited to: laptop computers,smart phones, tablet computers, iPads, netbooks, and mp3 players. All activities conducted on the District Network using a personal device, including messages, emails, communications, information and Internet access, are subject to monitoring, inspection, copying, review, access and storing by the district. There is no expectation of privacy, regardless of whether a personal or district-issued device is used to access the District Network. The district will not be liable for any damages, expenses or costs associated with the student’s use of the personal device to access the District Network or in the event a student’s personal device is lost or damaged.

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.

Prohibited Conduct

The District reserves the right to limit and/or terminate Internet access, District Network access or other technology use privileges if it determines that a user has violated any district policy or regulation or any state or federal law. The following have been deemed inappropriate uses of technology by the district:

  1. Cyberbullying: Refer to Policy #7552 and Policy #3410 (Code of Conduct). If it is determined that students used or accessed the District Network, including Internet access to engage in cyberbullying, the user will be subject to discipline consistent with the Code of Conduct (#3410). It should also be noted that “cyberbullying is a misdemeanor punishable by a $1,000 fine and /or up to one year in jail.”
  2. Accessing, uploading, downloading or distributing pornographic, obscene or sexually explicit material.
  3. Illegal activity, including copyright infringement, or for uses that violate the district’s Code of Conduct or other policies.
  4. Vandalizing the account or data of another user.
  5. Gaining unauthorized access to another account, confidential records or District Network operations, including using another person’s account name with or without permission.
  6. Sharing personal user ID or password.
  7. Using any method or means to bypass the Internet filtering system.
  8. Disrupting or damaging equipment, software or the operations of the District Network, including creating or installing a computer virus or other damaging program.
  9. Using district technology for personal or financial gain.
  10. Installing or using personal software on an individual computer or the District Network.
  11. Downloading software without permission.
  12. e-mail broadcasting or “spamming.
  13. Misrepresenting yourself by using a false/fictitious identity in any electronic communication.
  14. Posting material or information that may result in a disruption of normal school operations, including transmitting offensive or harassing messages, insulting or attacking others, or using obscene language.

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 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.

Opt-out forms are provided on the district website with respect to use of the District Network. These forms will serve as written notification by a parent or guardian to withhold Internet access or other technology privileges for their student(s) and can be completed at any time during the school year. Privileges to access the District Network and Internet may only be restored through written notification from a parent or guardian.

Change of Address and Telephone Number

If you change your address or telephone number while enrolled at Watervliet High School, notify the Central Registrar as soon as possible at 629-3204.

Early Dismissal

Students who are granted early dismissal are required to leave the school grounds immediately after they are dismissed, unless otherwise approved by building principal. Early dismissal is a privilege that may be revoked by school administration at any time.

Grading System

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 (see 4760, Makeup Opportunities).

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.

REPORT CARDS (Grades 7-12):

The district will utilize a uniform grading system. Classroom teachers evaluate
students and assign grades according to the established system.

  1. Quarterly mark encompasses general effort, participation/attendance in
    class (at least 20% of quarterly grade), assignments, tests, quizzes, and
    projects.
  2. Computing course grades:
    Full year course grade computation: quarterly marks equal 20% of final average. Regents exam scores will count as students’ final exam score. Midterm exam equals 5% of final average. Final exam equals 15% of final average. Minimum mark for the first quarter is a 50%. There is no minimum mark for the other three quarters. 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 20 weeks of school. Final exam marks are to be the exact mark received. Students cannot be exempt from a Regents exam.
    20% (1st qtr) + 20% (2nd qtr) + 5% (MT) + 20% (3rd qtr) + 20% (4th qtr) + 15% (Final) = 100% Final course mark
    Semester course grade computation: Each quarter will be counted as 40% of the grade. The final exam will count as 20%. Final exam marks are to be the exact mark received. 40% (qtr) + 40%(qtr) + 20% (Final) = 100% Semester course grade
  3. Passing grade is 65% in grades 7-12. However, New York State has made significant changes to the proficiency levels for both English Language Arts and Math. New York State suggests that students should achieve at an 80 or higher in Math related course work and 75 or better in English Language Arts.
    These new proficiency levels are used as indicators, providing academic clues to help determine a student’s chances of being successful at the next level and future academic placement.
  4. Course Withdrawal – Students wishing to drop a course after the first three 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, parent permission, as well as teacher recommendation and a meeting with guidance and administration must take place. 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.
  5. Promotion – In grades 7 and 8, if a student receives a final failing grade in any 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 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 feel that the principal’s decision was arbitrary or unreasonable, an appeal may be made, in writing and within 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 5 units of credit. An 11th grade student shall have earned 10 units of credit. A 12th grade student shall have earned 15 units of credit and be able to be scheduled for completion of the requirement for graduation.
  6. Report cards will be issued four times a year at ten-week intervals through the Parent Portal.

Scheduling Procedures – Watervliet High School will schedule students for a full course load, with one study hall. In cases of conflict in requested courses, every attempt will be made to schedule the student for another course, not another study hall.

Marking Periods End Dates

1st Quarter – November 9, 2018 / Interim Report – October 5, 2018
2nd Quarter – January 25, 2019 / Interim Report – December 14, 2018
3rd Quarter – April 5, 2019 / Interim Report – March 1, 2019
4th Quarter – June 26, 2019 / Interim Report – May 10, 2019

Student Progress Reports to Parents

“Interim Reports” will be completed by teachers and made available through the Parent Portal at approximately the five-week mark during each of the four quarters.

Homework

It is expected that teachers will assign and students will complete daily homework tasks. A reasonable amount of daily homework should total a maximum of 1-1/2 hours each evening. Some teachers have a link on the district’s web site that list homework.

Honor Roll

The Watervliet Jr./Sr. High School has an honor and a high honor roll. The quarterly average for Honor Roll is 85-89. High honor roll has a quarterly average 90 or higher. Students who receive no failing marks (including DA’s), incompletes, or U’s (unsatisfactory) for the quarter are eligible.

National Honor Society/National Junior Honor Society

Watervliet Jr./Sr. High School maintains chapters in both the National Honor Society (Ellen Bevins Chapter) and the National Junior Honor Society (Margaret Mullen Chapter). Membership in the National Honor Society is based on scholarship, leadership, character and service.

Scholastic criteria for membership in the National Honor Society are:

  • 88% average for sophomores (after 3 semesters); juniors (after 5 semesters) and seniors (after 7 semesters).

Students who are scholastically eligible are invited to apply for membership. The National Honor Society Council assesses each candidate’s leadership, character and service. These assessments of each scholastically eligible student are reviewed by the National Honor Society Council, composed of five voting members and the National Honor Society advisor. Faculty assessments are based on the candidate’s character, leadership, and service traits. Additionally, each candidate completes a “Student Activity Form” that is also reviewed.

Responsibilities and privileges of membership are on file in the National Honor Society advisor’s possession and may be reviewed upon request.

Scholastic criteria for membership in the National Junior Honor Society are:

  • 90% average for eighth-graders at the end of the 1st marking period (which includes four quarters of 7th grade).
  • 90% average for ninth-graders at the end of the 1st marking period (which includes four quarters of 7th grade and four quarters of 8th grade).

Scholastically eligible students are assessed by the faculty on the basis of leadership, service, character, and citizenship. A National Honor Society Council reviews these assessments as well as each candidate’s Student Activity Information Form.

All procedures, standards and regulations for both the National Honor Society and the National Junior Honor Society are in accordance with regulations of the National Council of the National Honor Society, which is a function of the National Association of Secondary School Principals.

Make-Up Opportunities

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 14 days from the request. Students are ineligible for make-up work due to unexcused absences.

Students whose misconduct is directly related to the student’s academic performance (e.g. plagiarism or cheating) may be denied the opportunity to make up work. The final determination will be made by the classroom teacher and school administration.

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.

NYS DIPLOMA REQUIREMENTS (replace pdf with LINK to SED website)

Graduation Requirements

To participate in the graduation ceremony, the building principal must certify that the student has met one of the following requirements:

1. The student has completed the requirements for a Regents Diploma, including 22 units of school credit and the passing of specified Regents examinations. The units of credit must include the following:

  • 4 units of English
  • 4 units of social studies (Global Studies 9 & 10, US History, Government/Economics)
  • 3 units of science (1 must be Living Environment with a minimum of 1200 lab minutes & must also complete an additional lab science with a minimum of 1200 lab minutes)
  • 3 units of mathematics
  • 1 unit of studio art or music
  • 0.5 unit of health education
  • 1 unit of foreign language
  • 2 units of physical education
  • 3 units of electives

Regents Diploma with Honors

All of the above requirements plus 90% average in the required Regents exams (not rounded up).

2. The student has completed the requirements for a Regents Diploma with Advanced Designation, including 22 units of school credit and the passing of specified Regents examinations. The units of credit must include the following:

  • 4 units of English
  • 4 units of social studies (Global Studies 9 & 10, US History, Government/
    Economics)
  • 3 units of science (1 must be Living Environment with a minimum of
    1200 lab minutes & also complete 1 lab science with a minimum of
    1200 lab minutes)
  • 3 units of mathematics
  • 1 unit of studio art or music
  • 0.5 unit of health education
  • 3 units of foreign language**
  • 2 units of physical education
  • 1 unit of electives

**Five units in technology, business, home & careers, art, music, or Career and Technical Education may be substituted for the foreign language requirement; however, all students must receive one unit in foreign language to graduate.

Regents Diploma with Advanced Designation with Honors

All of the above requirements plus 90% average in the required Regents exams (not rounded up). Note: The student who has completed the requirements for a Regents Diploma/Advanced Regents and completed requirements (classes/assessments) for CTE, will receive a CTE endorsement on their diploma.

3. Special education or 504 students who enter 9th grade prior to 2010 may have the option of completing the requirements of a local diploma. This includes 22 units of school credit (as listed in No. 1) and the successful completion of all competency requirements. Students must take all required regents exams and pass with a minimum score of 55. Special education students who do not pass the regents exams must take and pass all the required RCT’s to graduate.

4. Students who have been designated as having a disability must have met or exceeded goals listed in the Individualized Education Program (IEP) and approved by the Committee on Special Education (CSE) in order to earn a Career Development and Occupational Studies Commencement Credential*. In addition, students must have attended school for at least 12 years starting in the first grade.

5. Under certain prescribed conditions, students may earn a maximum of six and one-half units of credit for either a Regents or local diploma without completing the above units of study for such units of credit. Principals may grant this credit. This is not an “ad hoc” decision. It must be properly planned for and documented prior to the credit being approved.

An official school diploma will only be issued based upon the completion of the Regents, Advanced Regents or local diploma requirements.

A high school diploma will represent termination of the district’s responsibility to provide additional educational training opportunities as part of the regular day program. Any student earning a Career Development and Occupational Studies Commencement Credential* will be informed in writing of his or her right to attend the public schools of the district until one of the following occurs:

  1. The student earns a high school diploma.
  2. The student attains the age of 21 prior to July first of the school year.

*Beginning July 1, 2013 and thereafter, IEP diplomas will be eliminated as a graduation option. Students with disabilities will be able to earn a New York State (NYS) Career Development and Occupational Studies (CDOS) Commencement Credential. This credential will recognize each individual student’s preparation and skills for post-school employment.

Extracurricular Programs

All students are encouraged to become active members and participate in at least one extracurricular program. Extracurricular educational programs offer students many opportunities to participate in beneficial activities.

No student is to remain after school unless participating in an activity supervised by an advisor, teacher or authorized staff member. Reasonable behavior, cooperation and school citizenship are expected of all students.

Field Trips

Purpose

The Board of Education recognizes the value of field trips to the educational system. Field trips should take into consideration the following:

  •  Relationship of the field trip to the curriculum;
  • Distance of the field trip from the district;
  • Availability of transportation;
  • Costs involved; and
  • Weather conditions

Guidelines

All requests must be made to the building principal at least four (4 ) weeks in advance. The building principal must respond within one (1) week. Thereafter, the teacher must provide the list of students attending the field trip to all teachers within the building at least one (1) week before the field trip.

Overnight field trips must be approved by the Board of Education at least four (4) weeks in advance. There must be at least one (1) adult supervisor for every 10 students participating in a day field trip and  one (1) adult supervisor for every five (5) students participating in an overnight field trip.

Each student must obtain permission from his/her parent/guardian before participation in the field trip.

Student should not be denied the opportunity to participate solely based on financial need.

Field trip money is non-refundable, regardless of reason, including but not limited to academic and disciplinary reasons.

Ineligible Students.

The Board of Education recognizes that administrators may identify a student’s academic or behavioral issues that render the student ineligible to participate in a field trip. When an administrator determines that a student is not eligible to attend a field trip:

1. The administrator must mail a letter to the student’s parent/guardian at the address of record containing at least the following:

  • A statement that the student is not eligible to attend the field trip;
  • The reason(s) that the student is not eligible;
  • An explanation of the alternative educational plan for the student on the day(s) of the field trip; and
  • Directions to the parent/guardian to contact the building principal with any disagreement.

2. If the parent/guardian disagrees, he or she may request a meeting with the building principal.

3. The determination of the building principal is final.

Student Organizations

  • Athletics
  • National Honor Society
  • National Junior Honor Society
  • Character Education/No Place for Hate 
  • Delta Force Singing Group
  • Senior High Student Council
  • Junior High Student Council
  • Ski Club
  • Marching Band
  • Year Book
  • Masterminds

INTRAMURAL AND INTERSCHOLASTIC ATHLETICS

Interscholastic competition in the following areas is open to WHS students:

  • Football
  • Cheerleading
  • Cross Country
  • Soccer
  • Volleyball
  • Basketball
  • Indoor Track
  • Wrestling
  • Baseball
  • Outdoor Track
  • Softball

Eligibility requirements for interscholastic sports include all requirements set by the State Public High School Athletic Association which are:

  1. Student must be younger than 19 years old by September 1.
  2. Student must be examined by a school physician.
  3. Student must have adequate accident insurance under a family or school policy.
  4. Student must take four subjects including physical education.
  5. Student must be in regular attendance 80% of the school term.
  6. Student must be in attendance for the full school day on the same day of a game or practice in order to participate unless permission is given otherwise by the principal or his designee.
  7. Student must have written parent/guardian consent.
  8. Student must be in compliance with established rules and various leagues and State Education Department regulations.

Sportsmanship

To promote the fundamentals of good sportsmanship, the member schools of Section II of the New York State Public High School Athletic Association have adopted the following policy:

  • Each school shall educate its athletes, coaches, parents, and student body as to the accepted standards of good sportsmanship as defined herein.
  • Each school shall prominently display the Code of Behavior for Spectators.
  • Each school shall send a designated chaperone with teams playing at neutral or away site for sectional, regional, or state competition, in the sports of football, boys and girls basketball, and boys and girls soccer. This person, who shall be responsible for crowd control, shall report to the site chairperson upon arrival. (In other sports, the coach and staff must assume some of the responsibility for control of his or her spectators.)
  • Each school shall provide adequate chaperon coverage at home contests.
  • For boys’ and girls’ soccer it is mandated that the players’ benches be placed on the opposite side of the field as the spectators, if site conditions permit. (Exception—stadium with fixed bleachers and a protective barrier.)
  • Players and coaches who are disqualified from a contest for unsportsmanlike behavior are prohibited from playing or coaching in the next regularly scheduled contest.
  • Players or coaches who strike or otherwise physically assault an official will be subject to suspension for a greater period of time.
  • Officials’ organizations shall be made aware of this policy and their assistance solicited in its enforcement.

Student Complaints/Student Demonstrations

Students participating in a disruptive demonstration on school property will be subject to suspension from school. Students who wish to express their ideas concerning the operation of the school are welcome to present those ideas to the principal and/or the student council.

Loitering/Trespassing

Loitering in the school building or on school property is strictly forbidden. Violators will be disciplined and/or prosecuted. Students having completed classes and/or activities must leave the building and school grounds immediately. No student is allowed to remain in the building without adult supervision.

Student Smoking, Drug, Alcohol Use

Smoking in the school building or on school grounds is strictly forbidden. Use or possession of tobacco, e-cigarettes, alcohol, narcotics and unprescribed drugs on or around school property is also prohibited. This policy applies to all school-sponsored activities as well as the normal school day. Violators will be subject to suspension or expulsion from school and/or penalties under the law.

Dangerous Weapons in School

No student shall have in his or her possession, upon school premises, any rifle, shotgun, pistol, revolver, other firearm, knives, razor blades, box cutters, chains, dangerous chemicals, explosives, or any object which is not necessary for school activities, and which could be used as a weapon. This includes hand fashioned items, which could be used as a weapon.

Firearms should be defined as any weapon, including a starter gun, which will or is designed to, or may readily be converted to, expel a projectile by the action of an explosive; the frame or receiver such weapon, any firearm, muffler or silencer of any destructive device.

Any student having a firearm as defined above shall be suspended from school following a hearing pursuant to Education Law Section 3214, for a period of not less than one year. The superintendent of schools may modify such suspension requirement on a case by case basis. The board shall provide the suspended student with appropriate alternate instruction during the period of his/her suspension.

Smoking on School Premises

In accordance with State Law, there is no smoking or use of tobacco, tobacco products or e-cigarettes anywhere in the school building, on any school bus, school grounds, or within the area surrounding school grounds. Students wishing help in stopping a habit of smoking are urged to get information about smoking cessation programs from their counselor or the school nurse.
Therefore, it is positively forbidden for students to display, smoke or use smokeless tobacco in the school building, on any school bus, school grounds, or within the area surrounding school grounds, or during any school activity taking place off school premises.

Leaving  School Grounds  Without Permissions

Students may not leave the building or premises without the permission of the principal, assistant principal or a member of the staff. Any student who does not follow this rule may be issued an in-school suspension or out-of-school suspension.

Detention – Extension of the School Day for Disciplinary Reasons

Detention will be held by classroom teachers for students who are not properly prepared for class, late to class, and who violate the teacher’s classroom rules/expectations.

Office detention will be assigned by a building administrator for students who are consistently tardy to school, truant, or who violate school policies. Office detentions will take place 7–7:45 a.m., 2:20–3:00 p.m. and (a late detention) 2:20–3:45 p.m. on Mondays through Fridays.

Lockers

Students have lockers in the hall for books, electronic devices and clothing.
Each locker is furnished with a lock, the combination of which the students should memorize. All lockers must remain locked. Students are reminded not to give combinations to other individuals or share lockers with other individuals. Sharing of lockers is strictly prohibited. This also includes PE lockers. The school is not responsible for any property lost or stolen. The locker is the property of the Watervliet School District and may be accessed by a building administrator at any time.

Students who lose a lock issued to them will be assessed a fee to replace it. ONLY school locks are to be used at school. All malfunctions with lockers should be reported to a school administrator.

Student Health Services: Medications

School personnel (nurse, principal or asst. principal) may administer medicine to school children when provided with the following:

  1. The written request from the physician in which he indicates diagnosis, name of medication, the frequency and dosage of the prescribed medication.
  2. The written request from the parent to administer the medication as specified by the doctor.
  3. The medication should be delivered to the nurse by the parent or guardian. Under no circumstances should the student deliver the medication.
  4. The family must provide the medication in a pharmacy container that clearly indicates the date, name and address of the student, name of physician, dosage and frequency.

Accidents

Accidents that occur during school hours or school-sponsored activities must be reported immediately to the teacher, school nurse, moderator or coach in charge.

School Insurance

The Watervliet School District is a member of the Pupils Benefit Plan Incorporate. Details are as follows:

  1. Pupils are covered for benefits once they get on the school bus on the way to school until they depart the bus on the way home. Pupils who walk to school, drive cars or ride bicycles are NOT covered until they enter the school building. In addition, teacher supervised school sponsored activities are covered.
  2. Benefits are available only after all other insurance has been used. This is excess coverage only. It is the parents’ responsibility to file their claim with their own company prior to submitting any balance to the school
  3.  Injuries which require medical treatment must be filed with Pupil Benefits Plan Inc. within 30 days. Non-athletic injuries will be filed with the School Nurse; athletic injuries will be filed with the Athletic Director.
  4. All claims should be submitted as promptly as possible. There is a one year deadline for all claims (from the date of injury).

Student Automobile Use

Under no circumstances should students plan on driving to school. Parking is extremely limited. Students may park on Hillside Avenue, facing east, along the field. Under no circumstances may students park in faculty/staff spaces. Any violators will be ticketed and towed at the owner’s expense.

Employment of Students: Working Papers

Students who are between the ages of 14 and 17 must obtain working papers before starting a job. Applications for working papers are available from the guidance office before and after school. After the application is completed and returned for verification, working papers will be issued. A student needs his/her parent’s signature, a birth certificate and proof of a physical within the past year. Working papers may be revoked if a student has poor school attendance.

Student Fees, Fines and Charges

Students who are caught vandalizing, destroying or defacing school property will be charged restitution for the damage.

Textbooks

Textbooks for pupils who are residents of the Watervliet City School District are supplied on a loan basis for each course in which the pupil is registered. Lost or damaged books are charged to the borrower, Students are to cover ALL textbooks by the 2nd week in each semester.

Fire Drills

Fire drills are held at regular intervals during the school year. All students are to move quickly, orderly, and quietly to the exit designated for the room they are in at that time when the fire alarm rings. Upon leaving the building, groups will remain together and proceed a safe distance from the building and will align themselves alphabetically. At that time teachers will call roll to ensure that everyone has left the building. At the close of the drill all students will be directed to return to the rooms from which they came.

Any student who pulls a false alarm shall be suspended out of school and be referred to the Watervliet Police Department where charges will be filed.

Emergency Closings

School closings due to weather or emergencies will be announced on local radio and television stations designated by the superintendent of schools, including Channels 6, 10, 13, WVLT, and on the school website, Twitter and Facebook, as well as One Call Now, the district’s messaging system.

Food Services/Cafeteria

Beginning Sept. 2017, all students will be eligible for free school breakfast, lunch and after-school snack. Students may purchase additional meals at a cost of $1.80 for breakfast and $2.40 for lunch. If you believe that you qualify for free or reduced priced meals, you still must complete an application form each year. These are available by contacting the food service department.

Cafeteria

All students will eat lunch in the school cafeteria.

Cafeteria Rules

  1. Each student is responsible for cleaning his/her place at the table.
  2. During lunch periods, all students are to remain in the cafeteria.
  3. Food and/or beverages are not to be eaten in the classrooms or corridors–only in the cafeteria.
  4.  All students are reminded that courteous behavior and general rules of good manners are expected.
  5. Students eligible for free or reduced lunch are reminded that applications can be picked up in the Nurse’s Office.
  6. Glass containers are not to be brought to school.
  7. Any student violating cafeteria rules may have their lunch setting privileges suspended.
  8. No cell phones or electronics.
  9. Students may bring lunch from home. Parents may provide their child lunch when returning to school following a medical appointment. Under no circumstances will food be allowed into school if it has been ordered, purchased or delivered from an outside vendor during the regular school day (8:00 a.m. – 2:16 p.m.).

Passes

Teachers will grant student passes only when it is absolutely necessary during class time. If a student wishes to consult with a teacher, guidance counselor, or other members of the staff, the receiving staff member must issue the pass. Students who have to use restrooms, lockers, water fountains, etc. are requested to do so between classes. Passes will not be issued for students unless it is an emergency. Any student found in the hallway without a pass may be subject to disciplinary action including an after school detention.
Students wishing to obtain a hall pass from their teachers must have their agenda books present. Teachers will grant permission by signing the agenda book and noting the time and destination. In addition to the agenda books, pre-signed passes will be accepted.

Agenda Books

Students are provided with an agenda book for the purpose of staying current with homework assignments, as well as a means of communication between parents and teachers. Hall passes are included in the agenda book. If the agenda book is lost or stolen, a student must replace the book at their own cost ($3.00). Agenda books may be purchased in the main office.

The handbook serves as a guideline for students at Watervliet Junior-Senior High School and does not supersede the Policy Manual set forth by the Board of Education of the Watervliet City School District. For further interpretation of this handbook, please contact the principal and/or the superintendent of schools.

Code of Conduct

Introduction

The Watervliet City School District Board of Education is committed to providing a safe and orderly school environment and prohibits harassment, bullying, intimidation or other disruptive or violent behaviors that disrupt both a student’s ability to learn and a school’s ability to educate.

Demonstration of appropriate behavior, treating others with civility and respect, and refusing to tolerate harassment or bullying is expected of administrators, faculty, staff, and volunteers to provide positive examples for student behavior.

The district has a long standing set of expectations for code of conduct on school property and at school related functions. The code of conduct requires students and staff alike to respect diversity and all members of the school community, essential partners such as superintendents, school board members, parents, students, teachers, guidance counselors, administrators, support staff, and other school personnel have a particularly important role to play.

In creating a climate of mutual respect for all students all essential partners must maintain a climate of mutual respect and dignity for all students regardless of actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender (identity or expression), or sex, which will strengthen students’ self-concept and promote confidence to learn.

These expectations are based on the principles of civility, mutual respect, citizenship, character, tolerance, honesty and integrity. The board recognizes the need to clearly define these expectations for acceptable conduct on school property, to identify the possible consequences of unacceptable conduct and to ensure that discipline, when necessary, is administered promptly and fairly while maintaining the highest level of confidentiality in all matters. To this end, the board adopts this Code of Conduct.

Definitions

The Code of Conduct defines harassment/bullying as conduct which creates a hostile environment when the conduct is sufficiently severe, pervasive, or persistent so as to interfere with or limit a student’s ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities, or opportunities offered by a school.

Harassment does not have to include intent to harm, be directed at a specific target, or involve repeated incidents. Harassing conduct may take many forms, including verbal acts and name-calling; graphic and written statements, which may include use of cell phones or the Internet; or other conduct that may be physically threatening, harmful, or humiliating.

Additionally, harassment(including harassment using interactive and communication technologies) that take place at locations outside of school grounds that can be reasonably forecast to materially and substantially disrupt the educational process or school environment can generally be prohibited and potentially be subject to disciplinary consequences.

For purposes of this code, the following definitions apply:

“Disruptive student” means an elementary or secondary student under the age of 21, who is substantially disruptive of the educational process or substantially interferes with the teacher’s authority over the classroom.

“Parent” means parent, guardian or person in parental relation to a student.

“School property” means in or within any building, structure, athletic playing field, playground, parking lot or land contained within the real property boundary line of a public elementary or secondary school or in or on a school bus, as defined in Vehicle and Traffic Law §142.

“School Bus” means every motor vehicle a) owned by a public or governmental agency or private school and operated for the transportation of pupils, children of pupils, teachers and other persons acting in a supervisory capacity, to or from school or school activities, or, b) privately owned and operated-for-compensation for the transportation of pupils, children of pupils, teachers and other persons acting in a supervisory capacity to or from school or school activities, (N.Y. Vehicle and Traffic Law §142)

“School Function” means a school-sponsored extracurricular event or activity. (N.Y. Education§ 11.2)

“Race” means a group of persons related by a common descent or heredity. For purposes of enumeration the U.S. Census Bureau uses terms such as: “White/Caucasian”, “Black/African American/African-descent, “Asian”, “Biracial”, “Hispanics/Latinos” etc. to describe and classify the inhabitants of the United States.

“Color” means the term refers to the apparent pigmentation of the skin, especially as an indication or possible indication of race.

“Weight” means aside from the obvious meaning in the physical sciences, the word is used in reference to a person’s “size.”

“National Origin” means a person’s country of birth or ancestor’s country of birth.

“Ethnic Group” means a group of people who identify with each other through a common heritage including language, culture, and often a shared or common religion and or ideology that stresses ancestry.

“Religion” means specific fundamental beliefs and practices generally agreed to by large numbers of the group or a body of persons adhering to a particular set of beliefs and practices.

“Religious Practice” means a term including practices and observances such as attending worship services, wearing religious garb or symbols, praying at prescribed times, displaying religious objects, adhering to certain dietary rules, refraining from certain activities, proselytizing, etc.

“Sex” means the biological and physiological characteristics that define men and women. (MALE and FEMALE denote “sex”.)

“Disability” means (a) a physical, mental or medical impairment resulting from anatomical, physiological, genetic or neurological conditions which prevents the exercise of a normal bodily function or is demonstrable by medically accepted clinical or laboratory diagnostic techniques or (b) a record of such an impairment or (c) a condition regarded by others as such an impairment, provided, however, that in all provisions of this article dealing with employment, the term shall be limited to disabilities, which upon the provision of reasonable accommodations, do not prevent the complainant from performing in a reasonable manner the activities involved in the job or occupation sought or held. (N.Y. Executive Law§ 292.21)

“Employee” means any person receiving compensation from a school district or employee of a contracted service provider or worker placed within the school under a public assistance employment program, pursuant to Title Nine-B of article five of the social services law, and consistent with the provisions or employees, directly or through contract, whereby such services performed by such person involve direct student contact. (N.Y. Education Law §1125.3)

“Sexual Orientation” means actual or perceived heterosexuality, homosexuality, or bisexuality. (N.Y. Education Law§ 11.5)

“Gender” means actual or perceived sex, and a person’s gender identity or expression. (N.Y. Education Law §11.6)

“Gender identity and Expression” means having being perceived as having a gender identity, self-image, appearance, behavior or expressions whether or not that gender identity, self-image, appearance, behavior or expression is different from that traditionally associated with the sex assigned to that person at birth. (N.Y. AB 5039/SB 2873 (2011) “GENDA”)

“Harassment under the Dignity for All Students Act” means the creation of a hostile environment by conduct or by verbal threats, intimidation or abuse that has or would have the effect of unreasonably and substantially interfering with a student’s educational performance, opportunities or benefits, or mental, emotional or physical well-being; or conduct, verbal threats, intimidation or abuse that reasonably causes or would reasonably be expected to cause a student to fear for his or her physical safety; such conduct, verbal threats, intimidation or abuse includes but is not limited to conduct, verbal threats, intimidation or abuse based on a person’s actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender (identity or expression) or sex. (N.Y. Education Law §11.7)

“Essential Partners” , It requires student and staff alike to respect diversity and all members of the school community, essential partners such as superintendents, school board members, parents, students, teachers, guidance counselors, principals/administrators, support staff, and other school personnel have a particularly important role to play.

“Violent student” means a student under the age of 21 who:

  • Commits an act of violence upon a school employee or attempts to do so.
  • Commits, while on school property or at a school function, an act of violence upon another student or any other person lawfully on school property or at the school function or attempts to do so.
  • Possesses, while on school property or at a school function, a weapon.
  • Displays, while on school property or at a school function, what appears to be a weapon.
  • Threatens, while on school property or at a school function, to use a weapon.
  •  Knowingly and intentionally damages or destroys the personal property of any  school employee or any person lawfully on school property or at a school function.
  • Knowingly and intentionally damages or destroys school district property.

“Weapon” means a firearm as defined in VSC§921 for purposes of the Gun-Free Schools Act. It also means any other gun, BB gun, pistol, revolver, shotgun, rifle, machine gun, disguised gun, dagger, dirk, razor, stiletto, switchblade knife, gravity knife, brass knuckles, sling shot, metal knuckle knife, box cutter, cane sword, electronic dart gun, Kung Fu Star, electronic stun gun, pepper spray or other noxious spray, explosive or incendiary bomb or other device, instrument, material or substance that can cause physical injury or death when used to cause physical injury or death.

I. STUDENT RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES

The Board of Education’s goal is to provide an environment in which a student’s rights and freedoms are respected. The board, therefore, assures district students that they shall have all the rights afforded them by federal and state constitutions, statutes and regulations. The board also recognizes all federal, state and local laws in connection with these rights and reminds students that certain responsibilities accompany these rights.

It shall be the right of each district student: 

  • To attend school in the district in which one’s parent or legal guardian resides.
  • To expect that school will be a safe, orderly and purposeful place for all students to gain an education and to be treated fairly.
  • To be respected as an individual.
  • To express one’s opinions verbally or in writing.
  • To dress in such a way as to express one’s personality.
  • To be afforded equal and appropriate educational opportunities.
  • To take part in all school activities on an equal basis regardless of race, color creed, religion, religious practice, sex, sexual orientation, gender, national origin, ethnic group, political affiliation, age, marital status, or disability.
  • To have access to relevant and objective information concerning drug and alcohol abuse, as well as access to individuals or agencies capable of providing direct assistance to students with serious personal problems.
  • To be protected from intimidation, harassment, or discrimination based on actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, or religious practice, sex, gender/gender identity, sexual orientation, or disability, by employees or students on school property or at a school-sponsored event, function or activity.
  • To have school rules and conditions available for review and whenever necessary, explained by school personnel.
  • To address the board on the same terms as any citizen.
  • To be suspended from instruction, only after his/her rights pursuant to Education Law §3214 have been observed.
  • In all disciplinary matters, to have the opportunity to present his/ her version of the facts and circumstances leading to imposition of disciplinary sanctions to the professional staff member imposing such sanction.

It shall be the responsibility of each district student:

  • To attend school daily, regularly and on time, perform assignments, and strive to do the highest quality work possible and be granted the opportunity to receive a good education.
  • To be aware of all rules and expectations regulating student’s behavior and conduct oneself in accordance with these guidelines.
  • To respect one another, and to treat others in the manner that one would want to be treated.
  • To express opinions and ideas in a respectful manner so as not to offend, slander, or restrict, the rights and privileges of others.
  • To dress appropriately in accordance with the dress code, so as not to endanger physical health, safety, limit participation in school activities or be unduly distracting.
  • To be aware of available educational programs in order to use and develop one’s capabilities to their maximum.
  • To work to the best of one’s ability in all academic and extracurricular activities, as well as being fair and supportive of others.
  • To be aware of the information and services available and to seek assistance in dealing with personal problems, when appropriate.
  • To respect one another and treat others fairly in accordance with the District  Code of Conduct and the provisions of the Dignity Act. To conduct themselves in a manner that fosters an environment that is free from intimidation, harassment, or discrimination. To report and encourage others, to report any incidents of intimidation, harassment or discrimination.
  • To contribute to the maintenance of an environment that is conducive to learning and to show due respect to other persons and to property.
  • To make constructive contributions to the school and to report fairly the circumstances of school-related issues.

II. ESSENTIAL PARTNERS

Parents
Parents are expected to:

  • Recognize that the education of their child is a joint responsibility of the parents and the school community.
  • Send their child to school ready to participate and learn.
  • Ensure their child attend school regularly and on time.
  • Ensure absences are excused.
  • Insist their child be dressed and groomed in a manner consistent with the student dress code.
  • Help their child understand that in a democratic society, appropriate rules are required to maintain a safe, orderly environment.
  • Know school rules and help their child understand them.
  • Convey to their child a supportive attitude toward education and the district.
  • Help their child deal effectively with peer pressure.
  • Inform school officials of changes in the home situation that may affect student conduct or performance.
  • Provide a place for study and ensure homework assignments are completed.
  • Continuously monitor their child’s academic progress and actively communicate with teachers and all district personnel.
  • Teach their children respect and dignity for themselves, and other students  regardless of actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender/gender identity, or sex, which will strengthen the child’s confidence and promote learning in accordance with the Dignity for All Students Act.

Teachers

All district teachers are expected to:

  • Maintain a climate of mutual respect and dignity for all students regardless of actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender/gender identity, or sex, with an understanding of appropriate appearance, language, and behavior in a school setting, which will strengthen students’ self-image and promote confidence to learn.
  • Be prepared to teach.
  • Demonstrate interest in teaching and concern for student achievement.
  • Know school policies and rules and enforce them in a fair and consistent manner.
  • Communicate to students and parents:
    – Course objectives and requirements
    -Marking/grading procedures
    – Assignment deadlines
    – Expectations for students
    – Classroom discipline plan
    – Communicate regularly with students, parents and other teachers concerning growth and achievement.
    – Confront issues of discrimination and harassment in any situation that threatens the emotional or physical health or safety of any students, school employee or any person who is lawfully on school property or at a school function.
  • Address personal biases that may prevent equal treatment of all students in the school or classroom setting.
  • Report incidents of discrimination and harassment that are witnessed or otherwise brought to a teacher’s attention to the building administrator and/or Dignity Act Coordinator (DAC) in a timely manner.

Guidance Counselors

The school counselors assist the student in planning a program of studies and discuss problems which may arise in his/her educational, vocational and school adjustment.

K-12 School COUNSELORS are expected to:

  • Assist students in coping with peer pressure and emerging personal, social and emotional problems.
  • Conferences and parent/ teacher/student/counselor conferences, as necessary, as a way to resolve problems.
  • Regularly review with the students their educational progress, career plans and graduation requirements.
  • Provide information to assist students with career planning.
  • Encourage students to benefit from the curriculum and extracurricular programs.
  • Coordinate Intervention Support Services, as needed, with student, parent, building principal and teachers.
  • Maintain and encourage a climate of mutual respect and dignity for all students regardless of actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender/gender identity, or sex, with an understanding of appropriate appearance, language, and behavior in a school setting, which will strengthen students’ self-image and promote confidence to learn.
  • Report incidents of discrimination and harassment that are witnessed or otherwise brought to the counselor’s attention to the building administrator and/or Dignity Act Coordinator (DAC) in a timely manner.
  • Conduct an annual review of each student’s educational progress and career plans.
  • Encourage parental involvement.

Expectations for Student Support Service Personnel

Support educational and academic goals.

  • Know school rules, abide by them and enforce them in a fair and consistent manner.
  • Assist students in coping with peer pressure and emerging personal, social and emotional problems.
  • Set a good example for students and colleagues by demonstrating dependability, integrity and other standards of ethical conduct.
  • Maintain confidentiality about all personal information and educational records concerning students and their families.
  • Initiate teacher/student/counselor conferences and parent/teacher/ student/counselor conferences, as necessary or requested, as a way to resolve problems and communicate as necessary in any other manner with parents and other staff regarding student progress and needs.
  • Regularly review with students their educational progress and career plan.
  • Provide information to assist students with career planning.
  • Encourage students to benefit from the curriculum and extracurricular programs.
  • Maintain and encourage a climate of mutual respect and dignity for all students regardless of actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender/gender identity, or sex, with an understanding of appropriate appearance, language, and behavior in a school setting, which will strengthen students’ self-image and promote confidence to learn.
  • Report incidents of discrimination and harassment that are witnessed or otherwise brought to the staff member’s attention to the building administrator and/or Dignity Act Coordinator (DAC) in a timely manner.

Expectations for Other School Staff

  • Follow the Code of Conduct; know, abide by and enforce school rules in a fair and consistent manner.
  • Set a good example for students and other staff by demonstrating dependability, integrity and other standards of ethical conduct.
  • Assist in promoting a safe, orderly and stimulating school environment.
  • Maintain confidentiality about all personal information and educational records concerning students and their families.
  • Maintain and encourage a climate of mutual respect and dignity for all students regardless of actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender/gender identity, or sex, with an understanding of appropriate appearance, language, and behavior in a school setting, which will strengthen students’ self-image and promote confidence to learn.
  • Report incidents of discrimination and harassment that are witnessed or otherwise brought to a staff member’s attention to the building administrator and/or Dignity Act Coordinator (DAC) in a timely manner.

PRINCIPALS are expected to:

  • Promote safe, orderly and stimulating school environment, supporting active teaching and learning.
  • Ensure that students and staff have the opportunity to communicate regularly with the principal and approach the principal for re-dress of grievances.
  • Evaluate, on a regular basis, all instructional programs and staff.
  • Support the development of and student participation in appropriate extra-curricular activities.
  • Be responsible for enforcing the Code of Conduct, ensuring that all cases are resolved promptly and fairly and, when necessary, appropriately documenting actions.
  • Maintain and encourage a climate of mutual respect and dignity for all students regardless of actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender/gender identity, or sex, with an understanding of appropriate appearance, language, and behavior in a school setting, which will strengthen students’ self-image and promote confidence to learn.
  • Follow up on any incidents of discrimination and harassment that are witnessed or otherwise brought to the Principal’s attention in a timely manner in collaboration with the Dignity Act Coordinator (DAC).

The SUPERINTENDENT is expected to:

  • Promote a safe, orderly and stimulating school environment, supporting active teaching and learning.
  • Review with district administrators, the policies of the board of education and state and federal laws relating to school operations and management.
  • Inform the board about educational trends relating to student discipline.
  • Work to create instructional programs that minimize problems of misconduct and are sensitive to student and teacher needs.
  • Work with district administrators in enforcing the code and ensuring that all cases are resolved promptly and fairly.
  • Act as a liaison between district employees and Board of Education.
  • Address all areas of school-related safety concerns.

BOARD OF EDUCATION members are expected to:

  • Assure the opportunity for high quality education for every student and make the well-being of students the fundamental principle in all decisions and actions.
  • Represent the entire community without fear or favor.
  • Accept all responsibilities as a means of unselfish service, while not using their positions for personal gain.
  • Act as part of an educational team with mutual respect and regard for each others’ respective responsibilities and duties, recognizing that the strength of a school board is in acting as a board, not as individuals.
  • Preserve the obligation of having all issues considered fairly and without bias.
  • Uphold the principles of due process and individual dignity and protecting the civil and human rights of all members of the school community.
  • Maintain high standards and the effectiveness of education through research and continuing professional development.
  • Obey all national, state and local laws and regulations pertaining to education and public agencies.
  • Collaborate with students, teachers, administrators and parent organizations, school safety personnel and other school personnel to develop a Code of Conduct that clearly defines expectations for the conduct of students, district personnel and visitors on school property and at school functions.
  • Approve and review at least annually the District’s Code of Conduct to evaluate the code’s effectiveness and the fairness and consistency of its implementation.
  • Appoint a Dignity Act Coordinator in each school building. The Dignity Act Coordinator 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/gender identity, and sex. The Dignity Act Coordinator will be accessible to students and other staff members for consultation and advice as needed on the Dignity Act.
  • Lead by example by conducting Board meetings in a professional, respectful and courteous manner.

III. 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., science labs, home and careers, technology, physical education).

Unless otherwise required for medical or religious purposes, the Board bans:

  • revealing attire (i.e. showing underwear, midriff, buttocks or cleavage), undergarments worn as outer clothing, tube tops, net tops, halter tops, tank tops, spaghetti straps, plunging necklines (front or back) and sheer/ see-through garments;
  • short skirts/shorts that do not fall below finger tips (when arms are extended at students’ sides)
  • coats (defined as outerwear other than sweaters, sweatshirts or hooded sweatshirts with or without zippers, fleece, suit jacket or blazer);
  • sunglasses;
  • gang paraphernalia: hats, bandanas, visors and sweatbands; 
  • attire bearing any expression or insignia which can be considered:
    – Obscene
    – Intimidating
    – Malicious

Student attire shall not:

  • Promote violent behavior
  • Promote tobacco, alcohol, or other drug use
  • Promote any illegal activity
  • Be offensive or include any prejudicial language in its message to anyone on any basis, including:
    – Gender
    – Race
    – Ethnicity
    – Religion
    -Sexual orientation
    -Disability
    -Political affiliation

The Superintendent of Schools and other designated administrative personnel, as well as faculty and staff, have the authority to require a student to change his or 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.

IV. STUDENT CONDUCT

The Board of Education is committed to maintaining an orderly school atmosphere which provides students and staff with productive, satisfying and wholesome learning environments. Essentially, this means that relationships are such that students can learn and teachers can teach.

The Board is also committed to protecting First Amendment freedoms within the school system. However, lawlessness in any form will not be tolerated.

The district will not permit students to engage in any conduct intended to destroy personal or school property, disrupt or interfere with teaching, research, service, administrative or disciplinary functions or any  district sponsored or approved activity.

Student Use of Electronic Communication Devices

Students are prohibited from using or having on or in an operational mode any paging device, cellular telephone, ipod, laser pointer or pen or any other  type of telecommunications or imaging device during the school day (8:00 a.m. – 2:16 p.m.) except as expressly permitted in connection with authorized use in classrooms. While students are permitted to possess such devices during the school day, they are prohibited from using them during school hours and in any manner that invades the privacy of students, employees, volunteers or visitors.

Students are not permitted to use any form of information technology, including their own personal electronic devices, to intimidate, harass or threaten others. This type of harassment is generally referred to as cyberbullying. If a student violates this prohibition, then he or she is subject to discipline under this provision and/or any other provision in the District Code of Conduct and DASA legislation that may be applicable to the circumstances involved. Any electronic device that is permitted on school property is required to be kept in the students locker/backpack and out of sight.

Teachers and all other school personnel should exemplify and reinforce acceptable student dress and behavior (including possession/use of electronic devices) and help students develop an understanding of appropriate appearance and conduct in the school setting through modeling.

V. PROHIBITED STUDENT CONDUCT

The Board of Education expects all students to conduct themselves in an appropriate and civil manner per the District Code of Conduct, with proper regard for the rights and welfare of other students, personnel and other members of the school community, and for the care of facilities and equipment. These expectations also apply to internships and student work experience.

The best discipline is self-imposed, and students must learn to assume and accept responsibility for their own behavior, as well as the consequences of their misbehavior. District personnel who interact with students are expected to use disciplinary action only when necessary and to place emphasis on the
students’ ability to develop self-discipline.

The Board recognizes the need to be clear and specific in expressing its expectations for student conduct while on District property or engaged in a District function. The rules of conduct listed below are intended to do that and focus on safety and respect for the rights and property of others.

Students who will not accept responsibility for their own behavior or who violate these school rules will be required to accept the consequences for their conduct. Students may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including  suspension from school or removal from a program, when they engage in conduct that is disorderly, insubordinate, disruptive, violent, endangers the safety, morals, health or welfare of others, engage in misconduct on the school bus, or engage in academic misconduct including work/internship sites.

A. Engage in Conduct That is Disorderly

Examples of disorderly conduct include, but are not limited to:

1) Engaging in any act which disrupts the normal operation of the school community, running in hallways, making unreasonable noise, and using language or gestures that are profane, lewd, vulgar, abusive, intimidating, or that incite others.

2) Obstructing vehicular or pedestrian traffic.

3) Trespassing. Students are not permitted in any area of the school building, other than the one they regularly attend, without permission from the administrator in charge of the building.

4) Misusing computer/electronic communications devices, including any unauthorized or inappropriate use of computers, software, or Internet/ intranet account; accessing inappropriate websites; evading the District’s content filter; using an outside wireless network; or any other violation of the District Acceptable Use Policy.

5) Unauthorized use of personal electronic devices/equipment (i.e., cell phones, MP3 devices, cameras, and other personal electronic devices deemed inappropriate by the administration).

6) Unauthorized use of personal computer, laptop, tablet or e-reader and/or other computerized information resources through the District computer system is prohibited.

B. Engage in Conduct That is Insubordinate

Examples of insubordinate conduct include, but are not limited to:

1) Failing to comply with the reasonable directions of teachers, school administrators or other District employees or otherwise demonstrating disrespect.

2) Missing or leaving school or class without permission.

C. Engage in Conduct That is Disruptive

Examples of disruptive conduct include, but are not limited to:

1) Failing to comply with the reasonable directions of teachers, district administrators or other District employees or otherwise demonstrating disrespect.

2) Endangering the health and safety of other students or staff or interfering with classes or district activities by means of inappropriate appearance or behavior as per District Code of Conduct. This may include but is not limited to: use of electronic devices; bookbags in classrooms, cafeteria and/or media center; inappropriate behavior during emergency drills.

D. Engage in Conduct That is Violent

Examples of violent conduct include, but are not limited to:

1) Committing, threatening or attempting an act of violence (such as hitting, kicking, punching, or scratching) upon a teacher, administrator or other district employee.

2) Committing, threatening or attempting an act of violence (such as hitting, kicking, punching, or scratching) upon another student or any other person lawfully on school property.

3) Engaging in harassing conduct, verbal threats, intimidation, or abuse that reasonably causes or would reasonably be expected to cause a student to fear for his or her physical well-being.

4) Possessing a weapon (see definition). Authorized law enforcement officials are the only persons permitted to have a weapon in their possession while on District property or at a District function.

5) Display what appears to be a weapon.

6) Threaten to use any weapon(s).

7) Using weapon(s).

8) Intentionally damaging or destroying district property, the personal property of a student, teacher, volunteer, contractor, vendor, administrator, other district employee or any person lawfully on district property, or at a district function including but not limited to graffiti or arson.

9) Communication by any means, including oral, written or electronic (such as through the Internet, email or texting) off school property, where the content of such communication (a) can reasonably be interpreted as a threat to commit an act of violence on school property; or, (b) results in material or substantial disruption to the educational environment.

E. Engage in Any Conduct That Endangers the Safety, Morals, Health or Welfare of  Others

Examples of such conduct include, but are not limited to:

1) Lying, deceiving or giving false information to school personnel.

2) Stealing district property or the property of other students, school personnel or any other person lawfully on school property or while attending a school function.

3) Defamation, which includes making false or unprivileged statements or representations about an individual or identifiable group of individuals that harm the reputation of the person or the identifiable group by demeaning them. This can include posting or publishing video, audio recordings or pictures (written material, cell phones, Internet, YouTube,
etc.).

4) Discrimination, based on a person’s actual or perceived race, age, sexual orientation, use of a recognized guide dog, hearing dog or service dog, color, creed, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, sex, sexual orientation, gender or gender identity, marital or veteran status, use of a recognized guide dog, hearing dog or service dog, or disability as a basis for treating another in a negative manner on school property or at a school function.

5) Harassment, the creation of a hostile environment by conduct or by verbal threats, intimidation or abuse that has or would have the effect of unreasonably and substantially interfering with a student’s educational performance, opportunities or benefits, or mental, emotional or physical well being based on a person’s actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, political affiliation, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, marital or veteran status, use of a recognized guide dog, hearing dog or service dog, disability, sexual orientation, gender or sex.

6) Bullying and intimidation, which includes engaging in actions or statements that put an individual in fear of bodily harm and/or emotional discomfort; for example, “play” fighting, extortion of money, overt teasing, etc.

7) “Internet bullying” (also referred to as “cyberbullying”) including the use of instant messaging, email, websites, chat rooms, text messaging, or by any other electronic means, when such use interferes with the operation of the school; or infringes upon the general health, safety and welfare of students or employees.

8) Sexual harassment, which includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, taking, sending or receiving sexually explicit videos, pictures or auditory recordings and other verbal or physical conduct or communication of a sexual nature.

9) Displaying signs of gang affiliation or engaging in gang-related behaviors that are observed to increase the level of conflict or violent behavior.

10) Hazing, which includes any intentional or reckless act directed against another for the purpose of initiation into, affiliating with or maintaining membership in any District or school sponsored activity, organization, club or team.

11) Selling, using, possessing or distributing obscene material.

12) Possessing, consuming, selling, attempting to sell, distributing or exchanging alcoholic beverages, tobacco, tobacco products, e-cigarettes, or illegal and/or controlled substances, counterfeit and designer drugs, or paraphernalia for use of such drugs or be under the influence of any such substances on school property or at a school function. “Illegal substances” include, but are not limited to, inhalants, marijuana, synthetic cannabinoids, cocaine, LSD, PCP, amphetamines, heroin, steroids, look-alike drugs, drug paraphernalia and any substances commonly referred to as “designer drugs.”

13) Inappropriately using, sharing, selling, attempting to sell, distributing or exchanging prescription and over-the-counter drugs.

14) Possessing, consuming, selling, attempting to sell, distributing, or exchanging “look-alike drugs”; or, possessing or consuming (without authorization), selling, attempting to sell, distributing or exchanging other substances such as dietary supplements, weight loss pills, etc.

15) Gambling and gaming.

16) Inappropriate touching and/or indecent exposure.

17) Initiating or reporting warning of fire or other catastrophe without valid cause, misusing 911, or inappropriately discharging a fire extinguisher.

18) Violating gender privacy when using school restroom facilities.

F. Engage in Misconduct While on a School Bus

It is crucial for students to behave appropriately while riding on District buses to ensure their safety and that of other passengers and to avoid distracting  the bus driver. Students are required to conduct themselves on the bus in a manner consistent with established standards for classroom behavior.

Excessive noise, pushing, shoving, fighting, harassment, and
discrimination will not be tolerated.

G. Engage in Any Form of Academic Misconduct

Examples of academic misconduct include, but are not limited to:

1) Plagiarism.
2) Cheating.
3) Altering records.
4) Accessing other users email accounts or network storage accounts and/or attempting to read, delete, copy, modify, and interfere with the transferring and receiving of electronic communications.
5) Violation of the District Acceptable Use Policy for technology.
6) Assisting another student in any of the above actions.

VI. REPORTING VIOLATIONS

All students are expected to promptly report violations of the code of conduct to a teacher, guidance counselor, the building principal or his/her designee. Any student observing a student possessing a weapon, alcohol or illegal substance on school property or at a school function shall report this information immediately to a teacher, the building principal, the principal’s designee or the superintendent.

All district staff, who are authorized to impose disciplinary sanctions, are expected to do so in a prompt, fair and lawful manner. District staff who are not authorized to impose disciplinary sanctions are expected to promptly report violations of the code to their supervisor, who shall in turn impose an appropriate disciplinary sanction if so authorized or refer the matter to a staff member who is authorized to impose an appropriate sanction.

Any weapon, alcohol or illegal substance found shall be confiscated immediately if possible, followed by notification to the parent of the student involved and the appropriate disciplinary sanction if warranted, which may include permanent suspension and referral for prosecution.

The building principal or his/her designee must notify the appropriate local law enforcement agency of those code violations that constitute a crime and substantially affect the order or security of a school as soon as practical but,  in no event, later than the close of business the day the principal or his/her designee learns of the violation. The notification may be made by telephone, followed by a letter mailed on the same day as the telephone call is made.

The notification must identify the student and explain the conduct that violated the code and constituted a crime.

VII. PENALTIES

The range of penalties which may be imposed for violations of the student
disciplinary code includes the following:

  • Verbal warning
  • Verbal warning/parent notification
  • Written Warning
  • Written notification to parent
  • Reprimand
  • Detention (morning, lunch or after school)
  • Suspension from transportation
  • Suspension from athletic participation
  • Suspension from social or extra-curricular activities
  • Suspension of other privileges
  • Exclusion from a particular class
  • In-school suspension
  • Out-of-school suspension
  • Referral to Family Court

Counseling, although not considered a penalty, may be an alternative to the imposition of a penalty, provided that such counseling is formally procured through the guidance office or student assistance counselor.

Involuntary transfer, although not a penalty, may be considered in cases where a non-disabled student’s behavior problems indicate the need for transfer and the non-disabled student would benefit from the transfer. A non-disabled student may be transferred only in accordance with Education law Section 3214(5).

Depending upon the nature of the violation, it is the desire of the board of education that student discipline be progressive. It is also the board’s desire that staff members imposing such penalty take into account all other relevant factors in determining the appropriate penalty. The above penalties may be imposed either alone or in combination.

VIII. INITIATION OF A STUDENT DISCIPLINARY PROCEEDING

Any teacher, administrator, board member, parent or other person may report a violation of the student disciplinary code to the building principal or his/her designee. He/She may then make an investigation of the charges as deemed appropriate and institute an informal or disciplinary proceeding and/or make a referral to the Committee on Special Education, as deemed necessary.

When discipline administered by a classroom teacher does not result in acceptable student behavior, the teacher shall file a written report with the building principal or designee, who will then take the following action:

  • Initial Infraction – Conference with building principal or designee.
  • Repeated Referral to Principal – Conference with building principal or designee, teacher, student and student’s parent.
  • Suspension – If the severity of the situation warrants or the student is a habitual offender, the school authorities may suspend the student involved, as outlined in Policy 5313.3, Student Suspension.

This policy and the board’s rules and regulations for the maintenance of public order on school property will be publicized and explained by the teaching staff to all students and provided in writing to all parents on an annual basis. In order to ensure the effectiveness of this student discipline code, the board requests the continuing assistance of parents in explaining and enforcing the code. A student handbook will be made available each year for the entire student population. The board recognizes a student’s right to a superintendent’s hearing, before a suspension from attendance in excess of five (5) days, and the right to an appeal of such a suspension to the board, pursuant to Education Law §3214 and Policy 5313.3, Student Suspension.

IX. DETENTION

The Board of Education believes that detention is an effective method of discipline for students. A student who violates the student disciplinary code may be assigned detention by the school office or any member of the faculty.

In order for a student to be placed on detention, the building principal and the parents must be notified.

X. IN-SCHOOL SUSPENSION

The Board of Education recognizes the importance of school attendance. Therefore, suspension from school must be viewed as a last resort in dealing with student disciplinary infractions. The board also recognizes the need to remove unruly or disruptive students from the regular class so that learning can take place in the classrooms.

The In-School Suspension program was developed to provide a continued education program for students removed from regular classes.

X. STUDENT SUSPENSION

The Board of Education, the superintendent and building principals will have the power to suspend students for serious infractions of rules of conduct for periods not to exceed five (5) school days for any given incident. The board and/or superintendent may also suspend a student for longer than five (5) days. In such cases, the superintendent and/or building principal will immediately provide written notification of the suspension to the students’ parents and will afford the opportunity for a hearing with respect to the basis of such suspension. The notice and hearing will comply with the Education Law and Commissioner’s Regulations as outlined in the related regulation, Policy 5313.3-R.

XII. TEACHER DISCIPLINARY REMOVAL OF DISRUPTIVE STUDENT(S)

A student’s behavior can affect a teacher’s ability to teach and can make it difficult for other students in the classroom to learn. In most instances, the classroom teacher can control a student’s behavior and maintain or restore control over the classroom by using good classroom management techniques. These techniques may include practices that involve the teacher directing a student to briefly leave the classroom to give the student an opportunity to regain his/her composure and self-control in an alternative setting. Such practices may include but are not limited to:

  • Short-term “time-out” in another teacher’s classroom, a school-designed “time-out” area or an administrator’s office.
  • Sending a student to another teacher’s classroom for the remainder of the class period.
  • Sending a student to the Principal’s office for the remainder of the class time only (or subject time in elementary school).
  • Sending a student to a guidance counselor or other district staff member for counseling.

Time-honored classroom management techniques such as these do not constitute disciplinary removals for purposes of this code.

On occasion, a student’s behavior may become disruptive. For purposes of this code, a disruptive student is a student who is substantially disruptive of the educational process or substantially interferes with the teacher’s authority over the classroom. A substantial disruption of the educational process or substantial interference with a teacher’s authority occurs when a student demonstrates a persistent unwillingness to comply with the teacher’s instructions or repeatedly violates the teacher’s classroom behavior rules. A classroom teacher may remove a disruptive student from class for up to two (2) days. The removal from class applies to the class of the removing teacher only. The teacher is responsible for providing all work to the student for the days they are removed.

If the disruptive student does not pose a danger or on-going threat of disruption to the academic process, the teacher must provide the student with an explanation for why he/she is being removed and an opportunity to explain his/her version of the relevant events before the student is removed. Only after the informal discussion may a teacher remove a student from class.

If the student poses a danger or on-going threat of disruption, the teacher may order the student to be removed immediately. The teacher must, however, explain to the student why he/she was removed from the classroom and give the student a chance to present his/her version, to the teacher and an administrator, of the relevant events within 24 hours.

The teacher must complete a district-established disciplinary removal form and meet with the principal or his/her designee as soon as possible but no later than the end of the school day, to explain the circumstances of the removal and to present the removal form. If the principal or designee is not available by the end of the same school day, the teacher must leave the form with the secretary and meet with the principal or designee prior to the beginning of classes on the next school day.

Within 24 hours after the student’s removal, the principal or another district administrator designated by the principal, must notify the students’ parents, in writing, that the student has been removed from class and why. The notice must also inform the parent that he/she has the right, upon request, to meet  informally with the principal or the principal’s designee to discuss the reason(s) for the removal.

The written notice must be provided by personal delivery, express mail delivery or some other means that is reasonably calculated to assure receipt of the notice within 24 hours of the student’s removal, at the last known address for the parents. Where possible, notice should also be provided by telephone if the school has been provided with a telephone number for the purpose of contacting parents.

The principal will require the teacher, who ordered the removal, to attend the informal conference. If, at the informal meeting the student denies the charge(s), the principal or the principal’s designee must explain why the student was removed and give the student and the student’s parent a chance to present the student’s version of the relevant events. The informal meeting must be held within 48 hours of the student’s removal. The timing of the informal meeting may be extended by mutual agreement of the parent and principal.

The principal or the principal’s designee may overturn a removal of the student from class if the principal finds any one of the following:

  • The charge(s) against the student are not supported by substantial evidence.
  • The student’s removal is otherwise in violation of law, including the district’s code.
  • The conduct warrants suspension from school pursuant to Education Law §3214 and a suspension will be imposed.

The principal or his/her designee may overturn the removal at any point between receiving the referral form issued by the teacher and the close of business on the day following the 48-hour period for the informal conference if a conference is requested. No student removed from the classroom by the classroom teacher will be permitted to return to the classroom until the principal makes a final determination or the period of removal expires, whichever is less.

Any disruptive student removed from the classroom by the classroom teacher shall be offered continued educational programming and activities until he/ she is permitted to return to the classroom.

Each teacher must keep a complete log (on a district-provided form) for all cases of removal of students from his/her class. The principal must keep a log  of all removals of students from class. In cases where students are continually removed from a particular class, building principals will, at their discretion, direct teachers to pursue a course of continuing education or training.

XIII. ALTERNATIVE INSTRUCTION

When a student of any age is removed from class by a teacher or a student of compulsory attendance age is suspended from school, pursuant to Education Law §3214, the district will take immediate steps to provide alternative means of instruction for the student. The teacher has the responsibility of providing the educational programming for said period of suspension.

XIV. DISCIPLINE POLICY FOR STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES

Students with disabilities should not be disciplined if their inability to conform to the school’s code is related to their disability. If there is a question as to whether a student’s behavior is related to that condition, the case should be referred by the building principal to the Committee on Special Education (CSE). The CSE will decide if counseling or disciplinary action will be taken and/or if a change of placement is appropriate. If the behavior of such student might endanger the health and safety of himself/herself or others, the district will follow the procedures outlined in Policy 5313.3-R, Student Suspension Regulation.

XV. CORPORAL PUNISHMENT

The Board of Education, prohibits the use of corporal punishment by district employees. No teacher, administrator, officer, employee, or agent in the district shall use corporal punishment against a student.

As used in this section, corporal punishment is defined as the use of physical force for the purpose if punishing a student, except otherwise provided below. Nothing contained in this section shall be construed to prohibit the use of
reasonable physical force for the following purposes:

  • To protect oneself from physical injury.
  • To protect another student or teacher or any other person from physical injury.
  • To protect district property or the property of others.
  • To restrain or remove a student whose behavior is interfering with the orderly exercise and performance of district functions, powers or duties if that student has refused to comply with a request to refrain from further disruptive acts.

The above exceptions are permissible, provided that alternative procedures and methods not involving the use of physical force cannot reasonably be employed to achieve the same purposes.

A report of any serious incident will be filed with the principal, who will notify the superintendent of schools within a twenty-four hour period.

XVI. STUDENT SEARCHES AND INTERROGATIONS

In recognition of certain societal problems which present themselves from time to time in our schools, the Board of Education authorizes the Superintendent of Schools, building principals and assistant principals
to conduct searches of students and their possessions for illegal matter or matter which otherwise constitutes a threat to the health, safety, welfare, or morals of students attending our schools.

In authorizing such searches, the Board acknowledges both state and federal constitutional rights which are applicable to personal searches of students and searches of their possessions (e.g., pocket contents, book bags, handbags, etc.). Such searches shall not be conducted unless founded upon reasonable individualized suspicion

Students shall be informed by the administration that school lockers are not their private property but the property of the district and that as such may be opened and subject to inspection at any time by school officials. While recognizing the right to inspect students’ school lockers without the necessity of obtaining students’ consent is inherent in the authority granted school boards and administrators. School officials will exercise every safeguard to:

  • Protect each student’s constitutional rights to personal privacy and protection from coercion.
  • Emphasize that schools are educational rather than penal institutions.
  • Resolve any doubts in the student’s favor.

Realizing the intrusive nature of a search which requires a student to remove any and/or all clothing, the Board authorizes these searches following a review of the facts by the school attorney or the Superintendent or  his/her designee in the absence of the school attorney. Such searches are to be conducted only in situations where an emergency exists or necessity of searching a particular student without delay exists. Prior to engaging such searches, the district will take into account the nature of the crime, the student’s age, student’s record, need for such a search and demonstration of individualized suspicion.

XVII. INTERROGATION OF STUDENTS BY POLICE

It is the policy of this district to cooperate with law enforcement agencies. While police do not have a general power to interview children in schools or
to use school facilities in connection with police department work, the police may enter the district’s schools if a crime has been committed on school property if they have a warrant for arrest or search or if they have been invited by school officials.

When police have properly entered the school and desire to interview students in the school, the students must be afforded the same rights they have outside the school. They must be informed of their legal rights, may remain silent if they so desire, may request the presence of an attorney and must be protected from coercion and illegal restraint. Within the framework of their legal rights, students have the responsibility to cooperate with the police.

XVIII. 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.

XIX. VISITORS TO THE SCHOOLS

Persons who are not students or staff shall report immediately to the school office upon entering a school building. Persons other than parents, students or staff, who desire to visit a school building, shall do so only with the permission of an appropriate administrative staff member.

The Board recognizes that many visitations that will occur are regularly scheduled events, i.e., Parent Teacher Association (PTA) meetings, public gatherings, registering of pupils, etc. There are also occasions when parents  desire to visit their child’s classroom at other than regularly-scheduled times.

When such visitations occur, they shall be made on the basis of a defined need and shall be made only with the approval of their child’s teacher and principal. The Board views these visits as constructive; however, no such visit shall be permitted to interfere with the educational process.

Student visitors from other schools, unless they have a specific reason and prior approval of the Superintendent of Schools, shall not be given permission to enter school buildings. New students accompanied by their parents are always welcome.

XX. PUBLIC CONDUCT ON SCHOOL PROPERTY

The Board of Education recognizes that the primary purpose of the district is to provide a superior atmosphere for learning and education. Any action by an individual or group aimed at disrupting, interfering or delaying the educational process or having such effect, is hereby declared to be in violation of board policy. The Board shall approve rules and regulations to effect this policy as required by Education Law §2801.

The Board also recognizes its responsibility to protect school property and declares its intent to take any and all legal action to prevent its damage or destruction. The Board will also seek restitution from and prosecution of any person or persons who willfully damage school property.

It is not the intent of this policy to limit freedom of speech or peaceful assembly. The Board recognizes that free inquiry and free expression are indispensable to the objectives of a school district. The purpose of the rules and regulations is to prevent abuse of the rights of others and to maintain public order, not to prevent or restrain controversy or dissent.

Dissemination and  Review of Code of Conduct

The Board will work to ensure that the community is aware of this Code of Conduct by:

1) Providing a public hearing prior to Board approval.
2) Providing copies of a summary of the Code to all students, in an  age appropriate, plain-language version, at a general school assembly held at the beginning of each school year.
3) Making copies of the Code available to all parents at the beginning of the school year.
4) Providing a summary of the Code of Conduct written in plain language to all parents of District students before the beginning of the school year and making this summary available later upon request.
5) Providing all current teachers and other staff members with a copy of the Code and a copy of any amendments to the code as soon as practicable after adoption.
6) Providing all new employees with a copy of the current Code of Conduct when they are first hired.
7) Making copies of the Code available for review by students, parents and other community members and provide opportunities to review and discuss this Code with the appropriate personnel.

The Board will sponsor an in-service education program for all District staff members to ensure the effective implementation of the Code of Conduct.

The Superintendent may solicit the recommendations of the district staff, particularly teachers and administrators, regarding in service programs pertaining to the management and discipline of students.

The Board of Education, via a committee of representative stakeholders, will review this Code of Conduct every year and update it as necessary. In conducting the review, the Board will consider how effective the code’s provisions have been and whether the Code has been applied fairly and consistently.

The Board may appoint an advisory committee to assist in reviewing the Code and the district’s response to Code of Conduct violations. The committee will be made up of representatives of student, teacher, administrator, and parent organizations, school safety personnel and other school personnel.

Before adopting any revisions to the Code, the Board will hold at least one public hearing at which school personnel, parents, students and any other interested party may participate.

The district shall post the complete Code of Conduct (with all amendments and annual updates) on the district’s website, if available. The district shall file a copy of its Code of Conduct and any amendments with the Commissioner, in a manner prescribed by the Commissioner, no later than thirty (30) days after their respective adoptions.

ATTENDANCE POLICY

This policy addresses the following objectives:

  • To identify student attendance problems and root causes for poor attendance;
  • To promote collaboration among all members of the Educational Community to  improve student attendance;
  • To maximize the achievement of academic standards and increase school completion;
  • To determine eligibility for course credit; and
  • To know the whereabouts of every student for safety and other reasons.

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 3 school days of the absence for the following reasons:

  • Personal illness
  • Death in the family
  • Religious observance
  • Quarantine
  • Required court appearances
  • Medical or dental appointments
  • College visits pre-approved by the applicable administrator
  • Road test appointment
  • Approved cooperative work programs
  • Military obligations
  • Suspension; provided that the student attends all tutoring
  • School sponsored or school authorized activities; or
  • Other reasons as may be approved by the Commissioner of Education.

Medical notes turned in after the 3 days will need Administration’s approval.  Dental and medical appointments are considered an excused absence, however, still  count towards Stage Letters.

Parents must call the attendance office at 518-629-3301 before 9 a.m. to report their child absent. Every early dismissal needs to be verified by a phone call.

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: The lack of a written excuse, within 3 school days of the absence, for instances that would otherwise be defined as an Excused Absence:

  • Visiting
  • Impassable roads or weather
  • Away/Vacation
  • Overslept
  • Helping at home
  • Missed the bus
  • Truant
  • Need to retrieve a personal item from another location
  • Suspension; provided that the student does not attend all tutoring
  • Babysitting
  • Hair or nail appointments or
  • Any reason that is not approved as an Excused Absence by the Commissioner of  Education.

PLEASE NOTE: Excused and unexcused absences count towards 25 days/attendance.

ATTENDANCE AND COURSE CREDIT

A. 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 component of the student’s grade 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.

B. Calculation of Students’ Grades

When calculating students’ grades, teachers shall take classroom participation  into account, as follows:

For all grades and courses, classroom participation shall constitute at least 20% of the student’s grade for such grade or course.

C. 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:

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.

  • Stage I
    Full Year Course = 8 Absences
    Semester Course = 4 Absences
    Quarter Course = 2 Absences
    Science Class w/Lab = 12 Absences

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.

  • Stage II
    Full Year Course = 16 Absences
    Semester  Course =  8 Absences
    Quarter Course = 4 Absences
    Science Class w/Lab = 24 Absences

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 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 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.

  • Stage III
    Full Year Course = 24 Absences
    Semester Course = 12 Absences
    Quarter Course = 6 Absences
    Science Class w/Lab 36 Absences

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 15% points below failing. (i.e. 50 for HS and 55 for MS) A DA will also appear  for the final class average. It will carry the weight of a grade equal to 15  percentage points below failing.

(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:

  • Stage IV
    Full Year Course = 27 Absences
    Semester Course = 14 Absences
    Quarter Course = 7 Absences
    Science Class w/Lab = 41 Absences

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:

Full Year Course  = 48 Absences
Semester Course  = 24 Absences
Quarter Course = 12 Absences
Science Class w/Lab = 72 Absences

v. 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 paternal relation.

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, 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.

EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITY ELIGIBILITY POLICY AND STANDARDS

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.

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 Eligibility Policy and Standards apply to all students in grades 7-12.

Eligibility Standards:

1. Attendance. A student must be in attendance for the entire school day in order to participate in any extracurricular activity.

a. 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.

b. Any student leaving early due to illness or injury is not eligible to  participate in an extracurricular activity that day.

c. The advisors/coaches of extracurricular activities much check the daily  attendance sheet to determine eligibility. d. Each student shall be permitted one  unexcused tardy per quarter with respect to this Policy.

2. Academics. To participate in extracurricular activities, a student must have a minimum 65 average and no more than one failing grade.

a. Report card and interim report grades determine eligibility.
Note: The first  time a student fails to meet the 65 average and/ or is failing more than one  subject, he or she are eligible to use a one-time two-week “improvement period,”  otherwise known as Academic Probation. This period will allow students to contact  teachers and work towards making significant academic improvement during that time  period. At the end of the two-week period, each student must bring an “Academic  Achievement Report” (AAR) to all teachers for their comments, grades and signature. Sheets will be turned in to the principal or his/her designee. If the AAR sheet indicates that the student is in good standing, he or she is eligible to continue to participate until the next marking period. The principal or his/her designee will make the final determination.

b. Academic probation will be automatically initiated when a student is found to be failing two or more classes during both interim/quarterly reports. Once  Academic Probation is used, the student will be automatically placed on Academic Restriction. The principal or his/her designee shall generate and distribute the Academic Probation, Academic Restricted, Behavior and Attendance lists to all faculty, coaches and advisors within 5 days of the end of each 5-week marking period. 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 List stating that any parent or guardian wishing to have a parent/student/teacher meeting should call the principal or his/her designee to schedule an appointment.

c. Eligibility for fall extracurricular activities is based on 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 4th quarter or year failure  remaining, the student will not be placed on the Academic Ineligible List. The  principal or his/her designee shall generate and distribute the Academic Probation List to all faculty, coaches and advisors within 5 days of each 5-week marking period. 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 List stating that any parent or guardian wishing to have a  parent/student/teacher meeting should call the principal or his/her designee to schedule an appointment.

Appeal: A student who believes an error has occurred in awarding a grade may appeal to the school principal.

SCHOOL VOLUNTEERS

The Board recognizes the valuable contributions that school volunteers can make to the learning process and educational goals of the school district. Instructional programs are enhanced through the participation of community members, local  business and industry, and parents of the students. These volunteers contribute time, resources and expertise, and provide needed support to help ensure educational success for all children. The Board encourages schools to develop and implement plans for the use of school volunteers. The Superintendent and his or her designees will be responsible for the implementation and supervision of school volunteer programs. The school volunteer programs must provide the following:

  • Adequate screening of volunteers based upon the amount of contact they will have with students;
  • Direct supervision of volunteers by school personnel, in particular volunteers  who are in contact with students; and
  • Adequate training of volunteers, including familiarizing volunteers with  applicable laws, board policies, administrative procedures and school rules.
  • All school volunteers will be expected to be professional and dependable in their volunteer activities.

ACCESS TO STUDENTS BY MILITARY RECRUITERS, PROSPECTIVE EMPLOYERS AND POST- SECONDARY INSTITUTIONS

Military recruiters, representatives of prospective employers and representatives  of post-secondary institutions are permitted to meet with secondary students in a group setting such as a “job fair”, “college fair” or “recruitment day” to discuss the programs and/or employment opportunities that they offer. Such opportunities shall be limited to once per month. In accordance with federal law, the District shall provide to military recruiters the same access to secondary school students as is provided generally to post-secondary educational institutions or to prospective employers.

USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA

The Board of Education of the Watervliet City School District recognizes the  importance of district employees, students and parents engaging, collaborating, learning, and sharing in digital environments. To this aim, the Watervliet City School District has developed the following policy to provide direction for district employees, students and parents when participating in online social media activities.

The Watervliet City School District “Use of Social Media” policy encourages  employees and students to participate in social computing and strives to create an atmosphere of trust and individual accountability, keeping in mind that information produced by the Watervliet City School District teachers and students is a reflection on the entire district and is subject to the district’s Acceptable Use Policy. By accessing, creating or contributing to any blogs, wikis, podcasts, sites using digital or video imaging or other social media for classroom or district use, all employees and students are required to abide by these guidelines. Free speech protects educators and students who want to participate in social media, but courts have ruled that schools can discipline teachers and students if their speech, including online postings, disrupts school operations.

Therefore, the Board of Education directs the Superintendent of Schools to establish appropriate guidelines that will be used as a model for all employees and students, parents and community members in using the social media sites that may affect our students and the school district. This policy will be revisited every year in approving the Code of Conduct (5300) in order to ensure the compliance of this policy or changes that may be necessitated by advancements in digital media.

USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA GUIDELINES

Definitions

“Social media” from this point forward refers to Internet-based media that  includes, but is not limited to blogs, wikis, podcasts, sites using digital images  and video. It refers to a wide variety of Internet-based sites that include, but  is not limited, to Facebook, Twitter, Google shared apps, You Tube, and other  media that involves in the interaction and sharing of social information and  employee/student work.

Personal Responsibility

1. Watervliet City School District employees and students are legally and  personally responsible for the content they publish online.

2. Online behavior should reflect standards of honesty, respect, and  consideration.

3. When posting to a blog relating to the district or education, it is to be  stated at the beginning of the posting that the information is representative of  the author’s views and opinions and not necessarily the views and opinions of the Watervliet City School District.

4. Social media, when used in a constructive manner can be an extension of the classroom. What is inappropriate in a classroom should be deemed inappropriate online.

5. Employees should ensure that content associated with them is consistent or goals of the Watervliet City School District

6. Confidential student and employee information may not be posted online on any social media tool.

Copyright and Fair Use for Employees and Students

1. Respect copyright and fair use guidelines.

2. Hyper linking to outside sources is recommended. When hyper linking be sure that the content is appropriate.

3. Be sure not to plagiarize and give credit where it is due.

4. Profiles and Identity

5. Be cautious on how you set up a profile, bio, avatar, etc. No last names,  school names, addresses or phone numbers of students, employees, parents or community members should appear on blogs or wikis. In accordance with the districts opt out of (list) policy- Check with the principals for the list of  parents who have chosen to have their child opt out. No pictures, videos, audio or digital reproductions of students, employees, parents or community members are to be displayed on any wikis, podcasts, blogs, or other social media spaces without the consent of the individual, parents or guardians of students.

Instant Messaging

1. Watervliet City School District employees and students are required to get  written authorization to have instant messaging programs downloaded on their school computers. Only educationally based requests will be approved.

2. Watervliet City School District employees and students also recognize this same authorization is required for access to instant messaging programs that are available through web interface with no download.

Requests for Social Media Sites

The Watervliet City School District understands that technology is constantly  changing and that many sites have pedagogical significance for teacher and student use.

1. If you would like to request that another online site be accessible to use for  teaching and learning, please fill out the Social Media Request Form and submit it to the District Director of Technology and Information Systems for review.

2. Requests will be reviewed and the district social media guidelines will be  updated periodically throughout the school year.

3. A description should be provided of the intended use of the site and what tools on the site match your needed criteria.

4. A link to the sites privacy policy should be included if possible.

Notification of Rights Under FERPA For Elementary And Secondary Schools

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords parents and students  over 18 years of age (“eligible students”) certain rights with respect to the  student’s education records. These rights are:

(1) The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days of the day the School receives a request for access. Parents or eligible students should submit to the School principal [or appropriate school official] a written request that identifies the record(s) they wish to inspect. The School official will make arrangements for access and notify the parent or eligible student of the time and place where the records may be inspected.

(2) The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the parent or eligible student believes are inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights under FERPA. Parents or eligible students who wish to ask the school to amend a record should write the school principal [or appropriate school official], clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it should be changed. If the school decides not to amend the record as requested by the parent or eligible student, the school will notify the parent or eligible student of the decision and advise them of their right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the parent or eligible student when notified of the right to a hearing.

(3) The right to privacy of personally identifiable information in the student’s  education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. One exception, which permits disclosure without consent, is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the school as an administrator, supervisor, instructor, or support staff member (including health or medical staff and law enforcement unit personnel); a person serving on the School Board; a person or company with whom the School has outsourced services or functions it would otherwise use its own employees to perform (such as an attorney, auditor, medical consultant, or therapist); a parent or student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee; or a parent, student, or other volunteer assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks.

A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional  responsibility.

(4) The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education  concerning alleged failures by the school to comply with the requirements of  FERPA. The address of the office that administers FERPA is:

Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202