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BC Elementary Handbook for Parents and Students

District Policies and Procedures

Access to Student Records

Under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), parents and students who are over 18 years of age ("eligible students") have the right to inspect and review the student's educational records.

Such a request must be sent in writing to Chief Business and Financial Officer Judith Kehoe, 90 Adams Place, Delmar, NY 12054. Arrangements will be made to provide access to such records within 45 days after the request has been received.

Parents also have the right to request the amendment of the student's education records believed to be inaccurate or misleading by writing to the Assistant Superintendent for Business, identifying the record and specifying what they believe is inaccurate and why. And they have the right to consent to disclosure of personally identifiable information in a student's education record, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. It is the district's policy to disclose personally identifiable information from student records, without consent, to school district officials with legitimate educational interests (i.e., to fulfill professional responsibilities) and, upon request, to another school district or institution in which a student seeks enrollment. School officials include administrators, supervisors, instructors and support staff employed by the district; Board of Education members; a person or company (e.g., attorney, auditor or therapist) with whom the district has contracted to perform a special task; or a parent or student serving on an official committee or assisting another school official in performing duties.

Parents who believe the district has not complied with FERPA requirements may file a complaint with the Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, Washington, DC, 20202-4605.

Asbestos Management Plan

In accordance with the EPA Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act, the Bethlehem Central School District has in place an asbestos management plan to identify and manage asbestos building materials. The Asbestos Management Plan (AMP) for the district is kept on file at the district office at 90 Adams Place, Delmar. These records are available for review during regular business hours (8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) or by making an appointment. For more information, contact Chief Business and Financial Officer Judith Kehoe in the district business office at 439-7481.

Information about required inspections and any scheduled asbestos projects occurring this school year is contained within the AMP and is available on the district Web site.

Attendance Policy

Regular attendance and punctuality are expected of pupils from the first day of school. Children should understand that regular school attendance is essential to their educational development and well-being. With some exceptions, every child enrolled in school is expected to be present. State law specifies certain legal absences are permitted, of which personal illness is most common. Parents are asked to sign and return a letter in the fall indicating they have read the district's attendance policy.

Absences, tardiness and early departures (ATED) from class or school are excused if they are due to personal illness, illness or death in the family, impassable roads or weather, religious observance, quarantine or attendance at health clinics. All other ATEDATEDs are considered unexcused absences.

All ATEDs must be accounted for. It is the parent's responsibility to notify the school office within at least 24 hours of the ATED and to provide a written excuse upon the student's return to school.

Upon returning to school after an absence, each pupil must have a written excuse. Please include the following information: date of excuse or dates of absence, reason for absence, and parent signature.

The school must have this information in order to comply with legal requirements.

The excuse should be given to your child's homeroom teacher. Please do not write one excuse to cover children in different rooms.

Unexcused ATEDs will result in disciplinary action consistent with the district's Code of Conduct. Students may also be denied the privilege of participating in or attending extracurricular events. In addition the principal and/or designee will contact the student's parents and the student's guidance counselor. The principal shall remind parents of the attendance policy, explain the ramifications of unexcused ATEDs, stress the importance of class attendance and discuss appropriate intervention strategies to correct the situation.

Planning a Vacation

We believe that children learn best in the classroom along with their peers. The school calendar allows many opportunities for families to arrange trips and activities so that the normal school periods need not be missed.

Custody Issues

If there is an issue with the custody of your child, please be sure that current, updated custody papers are on file with the district registrar and in the school office. Please be reminded of our Banana Splits program for children of divorced or separated parents or other single-parent homes.

Release of Student Directory Information

Student directory information (defined as name, grade, school, town of residence, photograph, participation in activities and/or sports, and any honors or awards received) may be released for publicity purposes to the media or other organizations and/or used in school district publications or on the official district website. Parents/guardians who object to the release of their child's directory information should notify in writing both the superintendent of schools and their child’s building principal within 14 days of the start of each school year.

Emergency Contacact Information

The school should have on record the following information for each child:
Parents' phone numbers, for both home and places of employment.
The name and phone number of a person to be called in an emergency if the parents cannot be reached.
The name and phone number of the family physician.

Should the child become injured or ill at school, the nurse will first call the parent. If no response can be obtained, the emergency designee or the family physician will then be called as conditions warrant. If any of your emergency information changes during the year, please notify the office as soon as possible.

Emergency School Closings

Occasionally, it is necessary for schools to be closed or delay opening because of inclement weather, facilities failure or other emergency. School cancellations, delays or early dismissals will be posted on the district Web site and on local television and radio stations as soon as the decision is made.

During the school day, should conditions require an early dismissal of students, please check our Web site and/or listen for television or radio reports. You may also wish to subscribe to our School News Notifier alert system, which promptly sends an e-mail message to you should school be canceled or closed early. (Visit the district's website at http://bethlehemschools.org to sign up).

At the beginning of the school year, parents will be asked to give the school written instructions as to where your child should be sent in the case of an early dismissal. Your child should know where to go (neighbor, relative etc.) if he/she returns home early and finds no one home or a locked door. Please make a plan with your child in the event there is an early dismissal.

Idle-Free School Zones

BC has taken an important step to provide a safe and healthy environment for our students, staff and community by adopting a no-idling policy for school buses and private vehicles on school grounds-essentially, making our schools "idle-free zones." The policy itself reinforces existing New York State idling restrictions, but it is our hope that by making this moral commitment, we can encourage all staff, parents and community members to observe the idle-free zones.

Integrated Pest Management

New York State Education Law requires the district to provide written notification to all persons in parental relation, faculty and staff regarding the potential use of pesticides periodically throughout the school year. The district is required to maintain a list of persons in parental relation, faculty and staff who wish to receive 48-hour prior written notification of certain pesticide applications. The following pesticide applications are not subject to prior notification requirements:
A school remains unoccupied for a continuous 72 hours following an application;
Anti-microbial products;
Nonvolatile rodenticides or insecticidal baits in tamper resistant bait stations, silica gels and other nonvolatile ready-to-use pastes, foams or gels in areas inaccessible to children;
Boric acid and disodium octaborate tetrahydrate;
The application of EPA designated biopesticides or exempt materials under 40CFR152.25;

The use of aerosol products with a directed spray in containers of 18 fluid ounces or less when used to protect individuals from an imminent threat from stinging/biting insects including venomous spiders, bees, wasps and hornets.

Staff Qualifications

Pursuant to the No Child Left Behind Act, parents may request information about the professional qualifications of their child's classroom teachers including whether the teacher has State certification for the classes being taught; the teacher’s bachelor’s degree major and any other certifications or degrees by field or discipline; and whether the child is provided services by paraprofessionals and, if so, their qualifications.

Requests for the above information may be directed in writing to Assistant Superintendent for Educational Programs & Instruction, Jody Monroe, 90 Adams Place, Delmar, NY 12054.

Student Privacy

Under the Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRARA), parents have the right to inspect and opt their child out of any student survey that reveals information about personal attitudes, behaviors or beliefs. Parents also have the right to receive notice of and opt their child out of any activities that involve the collection, disclosure or use of a student's personal information for marketing purposes and out of any non-emergency, invasive physical exam or screening, except for hearing, vision and scoliosis screenings or as permitted or required by state law.

Student Teachers

The district frequently works with local colleges to place student teachers with tenured teachers in our schools. We feel we are professionally assisting "new" colleagues, and we heartily welcome the extra heads, hands and enthusiasm.

Textbooks

During the year, students may be provided one or more textbooks. Students are responsible for all books issued to them, including library books. To protect the covers of textbooks, students should keep the books covered throughout the year. In the event a book is damaged or lost, the student will be required to pay a fee based on the condition and replacement cost of the book.

Toys, Radios & Other Electronic Devices

We ask that your child's toys remain at home except for show-and-tell activities in the primary grades. Electronic devices and games are not permitted in school. We request parents' cooperation in keeping these items at home.

Transfers/Moving

Families moving out of the district or to another BC elementary school should notify the district registrar (439-7481) as soon as possible. The school secretary and your child's teacher should be notified as well. Notifying us in advance helps to ensure the proper gathering and summation of information for your child's new school. A copy of test data and other information
maintained by the school will be mailed to the child's new school upon request from the parent or the new school.