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 Mrs. Judith Kehoe, Bethlehem Central School District, 700 Delaware Ave., 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 Chief Business and Financial Officer, 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.
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 Web site. 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.
Parents’ Bill of Rights for Data Privacy and Security
The Bethlehem Central School District is committed to ensuring student privacy in accordance with local, state and federal regulations and district policies. To this end and pursuant to U.S. Department of Education (DOE) regulations (Education Law §2-d), the district is providing the following Parents’ Bill of Rights for Data Privacy and Security:
- A student’s personally identifiable information cannot be sold or released for any commercial or marketing purposes.
- Parents have the right to inspect and review the complete contents of their child’s education record, including any student data maintained by the Bethlehem Central School District. This right of inspection of records is consistent with the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Under the more recently adopted regulations (Education Law §2-d), the rights of inspection are extended to include data, meaning parents have the right to inspect or receive copies of any data in their child’s educational record. The New York State Education Department (SED) will develop further policies and procedures related to these rights in the future.
- State and federal laws protect the confidentiality of personally identifiable information and safeguards associated with industry standards and best practices, including but not limited to, encryption, firewalls and password protection, must be in place when data is stored or transferred.
- A complete list of all student data elements collected by the state is available for public review in an Excel file at http://www.p12.nysed.gov/irs/sirs/documentation/NYSEDstudentData.xlsx. Parents may also obtain a copy of this list by writing to the Office of Information & Reporting Services, New York State Education Department, Room 863 EBA, 89 Washington Avenue, Albany, N.Y. 12234.
- Parents have the right to have complaints about possible breaches of student data addressed. Complaints should be directed to: Dr. Sal DeAngelo, Chief Technology Officer, Bethlehem Central School District, 700 Delaware Avenue, Delmar, NY 12054. Complaints to SED should be directed to: Chief Privacy Officer, New York State Education Department, 89 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY 12234; the e-mail address is email@example.com. SED’s complaint process is under development and will be established through regulations from the department’s chief privacy officer, who has yet to be appointed.
Additional student data privacy information
This bill of rights is subject to change based on regulations of the commissioner of education and the SED chief privacy officer, as well as emerging guidance documents from SED. For example, these changes/additions will include requirements for districts to share information about third-party contractors that have access to student data, including:
- How the student, teacher or principal data will be used;
- How the third-party contractors (and any subcontractors/ others with access to the data) will abide by data protection and security requirements;
- What will happen to data when agreements with third-party contractors expire;
- If and how parents, eligible students, teachers or principals may challenge the accuracy of data that is collected; and
- Where data will be stored to ensure security and the security precautions taken to ensure the data is protected, including whether the data will be encrypted.
If you would like more information, please contact: Dr. Sal DeAngelo, Chief Technology Officer, Bethlehem Central School District, 700 Delaware Avenue, Delmar, NY 12054; email firstname.lastname@example.org. More information is also available on the following websites:
- New York State Department of Education guidance document issued on July 29, 2014 (PDF)
- U.S. Department of Education press release: Guidance for Schools Issued on How to Keep Parents Better Informed on the Data They Collect on Students (PDF)
- Privacy Technical Assistance Center (PTAC): newly established one-stop resource for education stakeholders to learn about data privacy.
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 700 Delaware Ave., 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 the Assistant Superintendent for Business 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 website.
Body Mass Index Data
As part of a required school health examination, a student is weighed and his/her height is measured. These numbers are used to figure out the student’s body mass index or ‘BMI’. The BMI helps the doctor or nurse know if the student’s weight is in a healthy range or is too high or too low. New York State Education Law requires that BMI and weight status group be included as part of the student’s school health examination. Each year, a sample of school districts are selected to take part in a survey by the New York State Department of Health (DOH). The Bethlehem Central School District has NOT been selected to submit its information to DOH in 2016-17, but could be required to do so in 2017-18. When surveyed by the state, only summary information is sent. No names or information about individual students are sent. If the district is required to submit information in 2017-18, the report would include summary information of physicals conducted in the 2016-17 school year. Parents may choose to have a child’s information excluded from this survey report. If you would like to do so, please download the opt-out form and return the completed form to your child’s school.
All students are expected to give proper attention to personal cleanliness and to dress appropriately for school and school functions. Students and their parents have the primary responsibility for acceptable student dress and appearance. Teachers and all other district personnel should exemplify and reinforce acceptable student dress and help students develop an understanding of appropriate appearance in the school setting. A student’s dress, grooming and appearance, including hair, jewelry, make-up and nails, shall:
- Be safe and appropriate and not disrupt or interfere with the educational process.
- Not include extremely brief, revealing or see-through garments or garments that expose undergarments and/or midriffs, including spaghetti string straps, halter-tops, etc.
- Not include pajama pants, or other sleep attire.
- Include footwear at all times. Footwear that is a safety hazard will not be allowed.
- Not include the wearing of hats/headgear inside the school during the school day except for a medical or religious purpose, or for approved activities.
- Not include items that are vulgar, obscene or libelous or that denigrate others on account of race, color, gender, religion, ethnic origin, sexual orientation or disability in an expressed or implied manner.
- Not promote or endorse the use of alcohol, tobacco or illegal drugs or encourage other illegal or violent activities.
- Not denote or represent gang affiliation such as bandanas, beads, jewelry or other indicators and/or symbols intended expressly so.
Students who violate the student dress code shall be required to modify their appearance by covering or removing the offending item and, if necessary or practical, replacing it with an acceptable item. Any student who refuses to do so shall be subject to discipline, up to and including in-school suspension for the day. Any student who repeatedly fails to comply with the dress code shall be subject to further discipline, up to and including suspension. Each building principal or designee shall be responsible for informing all teachers, students and their parents of the student dress code at the beginning of the school year and any revisions to the dress code made during the school year.
Harassment, Hazing, and Bullying
It is essential that students are able to pursue their academic goals and extracurricular activities in a respectful environment. In May 2010, the Board of Education adopted a policy that strictly prohibits all forms of harassment, hazing & bullying. This refers to any intentional, written, verbal, or electronic communication or physical act which intimidates or threatens others. The policy applies to students and staff members on all school grounds, as well as buses. The policy also states that students and staff members with knowledge of harassment, hazing, and/or bullying should report such activity to a school official promptly. Expectations for student behavior are covered at assemblies and at various programs throughout the year. Parents and students are also encouraged to learn more about the Harassment, Hazing & Bullying policy in the online policy manual.
Child Abuse Hotline
If you suspect a child is being abused or maltreated (neglected), report it by calling 1-800-342-3720, a toll-free 24-hour hotline operated by the New York State Office of Children and Family Services. If you believe a child is in immediate danger, call 911 or your local police department. Information about reporting child abuse and maltreatment (neglect) is available online at http://ocfs.ny.gov/main/cps/.
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 gel 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 and biting insects including venomous spiders, bees, wasps and hornets.
In the event of an emergency application necessary to protect against an imminent threat to human health, a good-faith effort will be made to supply written notification to those on the 48-hour prior notification list. If you would like to receive 48-hour prior notification of pesticide applications that are schedule to occur in your school, please contact Charlie Blanchard in the Operations & Maintenance Department, 439-2123.
The Bethlehem Central School District offers employment and educational opportunities,including vocational education opportunities, without regard to race, color, national origin, creed, religion, marital status, sex, age or disability. Grievance procedures are available to interested persons by contacting the person listed below. Inquiries regarding this nondiscrimination policy may be directed to: Title IX/Section 504 Coordinator, Sex/Handicap Discrimination, Interim Superintendent of Schools Jody Monroe, 700 Delaware Ave., Delmar, NY 12054; (518) 439-7098.
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, 700 Delaware Ave., Delmar, NY 12054.
Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR)
All parents/guardians will have the right to obtain the Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR) quality ratings and composite effectiveness scores for their child’s teacher(s) and principal(s) once the scores are officially available in accordance with state law. For additional details, please visit the district website or contact your child’s school.
Under the Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA), 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.