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2018-19 archive of updated policies and regulations

Filed in Archive by on August 9, 2019

Below are the policies and regulations reviewed and adopted by the Board of Education between July 2018 and June 2019:


Policy 0000 | Educational Philosophy

View the PDF version of the Educational Philosophy Policy here.

The Board of Education is dedicated to providing all students with challenging opportunities that support intellectual, creative, and personal growth in an atmosphere promoting positive self-esteem and sound educational values. The primary responsibility of the Bethlehem Central School District is to provide the positive means to prepare educated, responsible members of the community.

The educational program will provide each child with the fundamental academic skills and basic knowledge required to think critically, make wise choices, and act with self-discipline and mutual respect.

Adoption date:    June 19, 2002
Re-approved date: November 28, 2018

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Policy 0100-R | Equal Opportunity and Nondiscrimination Regulation

View the PDF version of the Equal Opportunity and Nondiscrimination Regulation here.

The procedures set forth in this regulation do not supersede any protection complainants are provided under existing state or federal law.

Definitions

  1. Complainant– shall mean an applicant, employee, or student who alleges that there has been a violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended; Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA); or associated regulations that affect him/her.
  2. Complaint– shall mean any alleged violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended; Section 504 of the ADA; or associated regulations.
  3. Compliance Officer– shall mean the employee designated by the Board of Education (the Board) of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) to coordinate efforts to comply with and carry out responsibilities under the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended; Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; the ADA; or associated regulations.

The resolution of applicant, staff, or student complaints alleging any action prohibited by the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended; Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; the ADA; or associate regulations shall be dealt with in the following manner:

A. Stage I–Compliance Officer

  1. Within thirty days after the events giving rise to the allegation, the complainant shall file a complaint in writing with the compliance officer. The compliance officer may informally discuss the complaint with the complainant. He/she shall promptly investigate the matter. All employees and students of the District shall cooperate with the compliance officer in such investigation.
  2. Within fifteen days of receipt of the complaint, the compliance officer shall make a finding in writing that there has or has not been a violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended; Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; and the ADA; or associated regulations. In the event the compliance officer finds that there has been a violation, he/she shall propose a resolution of the complaint.
  3. If the complainant is not satisfied with the finding of the compliance officer, or with the proposed resolution of the complaint, the complainant may, within fifteen days after he/she has received the report of the compliance officer, file a written request for review by the superintendent.

B. Stage II–Superintendent of Schools

  1. The superintendent may request that the complainant, the compliance officer, student, or any member of the District staff present a written statement to him/her setting forth any information that such person  has relative to the complaint and the facts surrounding it.
  2. The superintendent shall notify all parties concerned as to the time and place when an informal hearing will be held, where such parties may appear and present oral and written statements supplementing their position in the case. Such hearing shall be held within fifteen school days of the receipt of the appeal by the superintendent.
  3. Within fifteen days of the hearing, the superintendent shall render his/her determination in writing. Such determination shall include a finding that there has or has not been a violation of the Civil Rights Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; the ADA; or associated regulations and. if applicable, a proposal for equitably resolving the complaint.
  4. If the complainant is not satisfied with the determination of the superintendent, the complainant may, within fifteen days after its receipt, file with the clerk of the Board a written request for review by the Board.

C. Stage III–Board of Education

  1. When a request for review by the Board has been made, the superintendent shall submit all written statements and other materials concerning the case to the president of the Board.
  2. The president of the Board shall notify all parties of the time and place when a hearing will be held. Such hearing will be held within fifteen school days of the receipt of the request of the complainant. All parties concerned shall have the right to present further statements and testimony at such hearing.
  3. The Board shall render a decision in writing within fifteen days after the hearing has been concluded.

Adoption date: May 19, 2010
Re-approved date: November 28, 2018

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Policy 0110 | Sexual Harassment

View the PDF version of the Sexual Harassment Policy here.
The Board of Education (the Board) of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) recognizes that harassment of students, employees (including all staff, applicants for employment, both paid and unpaid interns, exempt and non-exempt status, part-time, seasonal, and temporary workers, regardless of immigration status) and certain “non-employees” (which includes contractors, subcontractors, vendors, consultant and other persons providing services pursuant to a contract, or their employees) on the basis of sex, gender and/or sexual orientation is abusive and illegal behavior that harms targets and negatively impacts the school culture by creating an environment of fear, distrust, intimidation and intolerance. The Board further recognizes that preventing and remedying such harassment in schools is essential to ensure a healthy, nondiscriminatory environment in which students can learn and employees and “non-employees” can work productively.

Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination and is unlawful under federal, state, and (where applicable) local law. Sexual harassment includes harassment on the basis of actual or perceived or self-identified sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, and transgender status. Sexual harassment of a student can deny or limit the student’s ability to participate in or to receive benefits, services, or opportunities from the school’s program.

Sexual harassment includes unwelcome conduct which is either of a sexual nature, or which is directed at an individual because of that individual’s sex, when:

  1. submission to that conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment or a student’s education;
  2. submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as the basis for decisions affecting an individual’s employment or a student’s education; or
  3. the conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an employee’s or “non-employee’s” work or student’s school performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive work or educational environment, even if the complaining individual is not the intended target of the sexual harassment;

Sexual harassment can include unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature, or verbal, nonverbal or physical aggression, intimidation or hostility that is based on actual or perceived gender and sexual stereotypes. Examples of sexual harassment can be found in the accompanying regulation (0110-R).

The Board is committed to providing an educational and working environment that promotes respect, dignity and equality and that is free from all forms of sexual harassment. To this end, the Board condemns and strictly prohibits all forms of sexual harassment on school grounds, school buses and at all school-sponsored activities, programs and events, including those that take place at locations outside the District, or outside the school setting if the harassment impacts the individual’s education or employment in a way that violates their legal rights, including when employees and “non-employees” travel on District business, or when harassment is done by electronic means (including on social media). For employees, sexual harassment is considered a form of employee misconduct. Sanctions will be enforced against all those who engage in sexual harassment, and against supervisory and managerial personnel who knowingly allow such behavior to continue or engage in retaliation. Sexual harassment may subject the District to liability for harm done to targets. Harassers may also be individually subject to civil liability if sued in a court of law or criminal liability if prosecuted.

Under various state and federal laws, students, employees and “non-employees” have legal protections against sexual harassment in the school environment as described above. Those laws are listed in the references section. Additionally, local laws may apply to the District. The District’s Code of Conduct also addresses appropriate behavior in the school environment. Sexual harassment can occur between persons of all ages and genders.

In order for the Board to effectively enforce this policy and to take prompt corrective measures, it is essential that all targets of sexual harassment and persons with knowledge of sexual harassment report the harassment immediately. The District will promptly investigate all complaints of sexual harassment, either formal or informal, verbal or written. To the extent possible, all complaints will be treated in a confidential manner. Limited disclosure may be necessary to complete a thorough investigation. If the complainant reports that they feel unsafe at school due to the nature of the complaint, the District will determine if accommodations need to be made until the issue is resolved.

If, after appropriate investigation, the District finds that a student, an employee, “non-employee” or a third party has violated this policy, prompt corrective action will be taken in accordance with the applicable collective bargaining agreement, contract, District policy and state law. Individual nondisclosure agreements in connection with the resolution a sexual harassment claim may only be used as permitted by law, described in the accompanying regulation. Mandatory arbitration of sexual harassment claims is prohibited in all District contracts and agreements entered into on or after July 11, 2018.

All complainants and those who participate in sexual harassment complaints or the investigation of a complaint of sexual harassment have the right to be free from retaliation of any kind, when they do so with a good faith belief that sexual harassment has occurred. Such prohibited retaliation can include, but is not limited to, discipline, discrimination, demotion, denial of privileges, or any action that would keep a person from coming forward to make or support a sexual harassment claim. Such actions need not be job- or education-related, or occur in the workplace or educational environment, to constitute unlawful retaliation.

The superintendent is directed to develop and implement regulations for reporting, investigating and remedying allegations of sexual harassment. These regulations are to be attached to this policy. In addition, training programs shall be established for students, and annually for employees, to raise awareness of the issues surrounding sexual harassment and to implement preventative measures to help reduce incidents of sexual harassment. Age-appropriate instructional materials will be incorporated into the curriculum to educate students so that they can recognize and reduce the incidence of sexual harassment.

This policy shall be posted in a prominent place in each District facility, on the District’s website, and shall also be published in student registration materials, student, parent and employee handbooks, and other appropriate school publications.

A committee appointed by the superintendent may be convened annually to review this policy’s effectiveness and compliance with applicable state and federal law, and to recommend revisions to Board.

Ref:
Education Amendments of 1972, Title IX, 20 U.S.C.§1681 et seq.
Title VII of Civil Rights Act (1964), 42 U.S.C. §2000-e; 34 CFR §100 et seq.
Executive Law §296-d (prohibition of sexual harassment of non-employees)
Labor Law §201-g (required sexual harassment policy and training)
Civil Practice Law and Rules §§5003-b (nondisclosure agreements optional); 7515 (mandatory arbitration prohibited)
General Obligations Law §5-336 (nondisclosure agreements optional)
Davis v. Monroe County Board of Education, 526 U.S. 629, 652 (1999)
Gebser v. Lago Vista Independent School District, 524 U.S, 274 (1998)
Faragher v. City of Boca Raton, 524 U.S. 775 (1998)
Burlington Industries v. Ellerth, 524 U.S. 742 (1998)
Oncale v. Sundowner Offshore Services, Inc.,523 U.S. 75 (1998)
Franklin v. Gwinnett County Public Schools,503 U.S. 60 (1992)
Meritor Savings Bank, FSB v. Vinson, 477 U.S. 57 (1986)
Office for Civil RightsRevised Sexual Harassment Guidance (January 19, 2001)
Office for Civil Rights,Dear Colleague Letter: Sexual Harassment Issues (2006)
Office for Civil Rights,Dear Colleague Letter: Bullying (October 26, 2010)
Adoption date: June 19, 2002
Revised Dates: October 17, 2018

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Policy 0110-E | Sexual Harassment Exhibit

View the PDF version of the Sexual Harassment Complain Form here.

Complaint Form for Reporting Sexual Harassment

New York State Labor Law requires all employers to adopt a sexual harassment prevention policy that includes a complaint form for targets to report alleged incidents of sexual harassment.This formis intended to be used by both students and employees.

If you believe that you have been subjected to sexual harassment, you are encouraged to complete this form to the best of your ability and submit it to the building principal or the Title IX Coordinator (director of human resources). This form can be submitted by mail, email, or hand delivered. You will not be retaliated against for filing a complaint.

If you are more comfortable reporting verbally or in another manner, the district should complete this form, provide you with a copy and follow its sexual harassment prevention policy by investigating the claims as outlined at the end of this form. For additional resources, visit:https://www.ny.gov/programs/combating-sexual-harassment-workplace.

Instructions for the District

If you receive a complaint about alleged sexual harassment, you must follow the district’s sexual harassment prevention policy by investigating the allegations through actions including:

  • Speaking with the complainant
  • Speaking with the alleged harasser
  • Interviewing witnesses
  • Collecting and reviewing any related documents

While the process may vary from case to case, all allegations should be investigated promptly and resolved as quickly as possible. The investigation should be kept confidential to the extent possible.

Document findings of the investigation and basis for your decision along with any corrective actions taken, and notify the complainant (if the complainant is a student, also notify the parent/guardian) and the individual(s) against whom the complaint was made. This may be done via email.

Adoption Date:October 17, 2018
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Policy 0110-R | Sexual Harassment Regulation

View the PDF version of the Sexual Harassment Regulation here.

This regulation is intended to create and preserve an educational and working environment free from unlawful sexual harassment on the basis of sex, gender, and/or sexual orientation in furtherance of the District’s commitment to provide a healthy and productive environment for all students, employees (including all staff, applicants for employment, both paid and unpaid interns. exempt and non-exempt status, part-time, seasonal, and temporary workers, regardless of immigration status) and “non-employees” (i.e., contractors, subcontractors, vendors, consultant and other persons providing services pursuant to a contract, or their employees) that promotes respect, dignity and equality.

Sexual Harassment Defined

Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination and is unlawful under federal, state, and (where applicable) local law. Sexual harassment includes harassment on the basis of actual or perceived or self-identified sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, and transgender status.

Sexual harassment includes unwelcome conduct which is either of a sexual nature, or which is directed at an individual because of that individual’s sex, gender, or sexual orientation, when:

  1. submission to that conduct or communication is made a term or condition, either explicitly or implicitly, of an employee’s or “non-employee’s” employment or a student’s education (including any aspect of the student’s participation in school-sponsored activities, or any other aspect of the student’s education); or
  2. submission to or rejection of that conduct or communication by an individual is used as the basis for decisions affecting an employee’s or “non-employee’s” employment or a student’s education; or
  3. the conduct or communication has the purpose or effect of substantially or unreasonably interfering with an employee’s or “non-employee’s” work performance or a student’s academic performance or participation in school-sponsored activities, or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working or educational environment, even if the complaining individual is not the intended target of the sexual harassment.

Sexual harassment can include unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature, or verbal, nonverbal or physical aggression, intimidation or hostility that is based on actual or perceived gender and sexual stereotypes.

Unacceptable Conduct

School-related conduct that the District considers unacceptable and which may constitute sexual harassment includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  1. rape, attempted rape, sexual assault, attempted sexual assault, forcible sexual abuse, hazing, and other sexual and gender-based activity of a criminal nature as defined under the State Penal Law;
  2. unwelcome sexual advances or invitations or requests for sexual activity, including but not limited to those in exchange for grades, promotions, preferences, favors, selection for extracurricular activities or job assignments, homework, etc., or when accompanied by implied or overt threats concerning the target’s work or school evaluations, other benefits or detriments;<
  3. unwelcome and/or offensive public sexual display of affection, including kissing, hugging, making out, groping, fondling, petting, inappropriate touching of one’s self or others (e.g., pinching, patting, grabbing, poking), sexually suggestive dancing, and massages;
  4. any unwelcome communication that is sexually suggestive, sexually degrading or derogatory or implies sexual motives or intentions, such as sexual remarks or innuendoes about an individual’s clothing, appearance or activities; sexual jokes; sexual gestures; public conversations about sexual activities or exploits; sexual rumors and “ratings lists;” howling, catcalls, and whistles; sexually graphic computer files, messages or games, etc;
  5.  unwelcome and offensive name calling or profanity that is sexually suggestive or explicit, sexually degrading or derogatory, implies sexual intentions, or that is based on sexual stereotypes or sexual orientation, gender identity or expression;
  6.  unwelcome physical contact or closeness that is sexually suggestive, sexually degrading or derogatory, or sexually intimidating such as the unwelcome touching of another’s body parts, cornering or blocking an individual, standing too close, spanking, pinching, following, stalking, frontal body hugs, etc.;
  7. unwelcome and sexually offensive physical pranks or touching of an individual’s clothing, such as hazing and initiation, “streaking,” “mooning,” “snuggies” or “wedgies” (pulling underwear up at the waist so it goes in between the buttocks), bra-snapping, skirt “flip-ups,” “spiking” (pulling down someone’s pants or swimming suit); pinching; placing hands inside an individual’s pants, shirt, blouse, or dress, etc.;
  8. unwelcome leers, stares, gestures, or slang that are sexually suggestive; sexually degrading or derogatory or imply sexual motives or intentions;
  9. clothing with sexually obscene or sexually explicit slogans or messages;
  10.  unwelcome and offensive skits, assemblies, and productions that are sexually suggestive, sexually degrading or derogatory, or that imply sexual motives or intentions, or that are based on sexual stereotypes;
  11. unwelcome written or pictorial display or distribution (including via electronic devices) of pornographic or other sexually explicit materials such as signs, graffiti, calendars, objects, magazines, videos, films, Internet material, etc.;
  12. other hostile actions taken against an individual because of that person’s sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or transgender status, such as interfering with, destroying or damaging a person’s work or school area or equipment; sabotaging that person’s work or school activities; bullying, yelling, or name calling; or otherwise interfering with that person’s ability to work or participate in school functions and activities; and
  13. any unwelcome behavior based on sexual stereotypes and attitudes that is offensive, degrading, derogatory, intimidating, or demeaning, including, but not limited to:
    1. disparaging remarks, slurs, jokes about or aggression toward an individual because the person displays mannerisms or a style of dress inconsistent with stereotypical characteristics of the person’s sex;
    2. ostracizing or refusing to participate in group activities with an individual during class projects, physical education classes or field trips because of the individual’s sex, gender expression or gender identity;
    3. taunting or teasing an individual because they are participating in an activity not typically associated with the individual’s sex or gender.

For purposes of this regulation, action or conduct shall be considered “unwelcome” if the student, employee or non-employee did not request or invite it and regarded the conduct as undesirable or offensive.

Sexual harassment may occur on school grounds, school buses and at all school-sponsored activities, programs and events, including those that take place at locations outside the District, or outside the school setting if the harassment impacts the individual’s education or employment in a way that violates their legal rights, including when employees or “non-employees” travel on District business, or when the harassment is done by electronic means (including on social media).

Determining if Prohibited Conduct is Sexual Harassment

Complaints of sexual harassment will be thoroughly investigated to determine whether the totality of the behavior and circumstances meet any of the elements of the above definition of sexual harassment and should therefore be treated as sexual harassment. Not all unacceptable conduct with sexual connotations may constitute sexual harassment. In many cases (other than quid pro quo situations where the alleged harasser offers academic or employment rewards or threatens punishment as an inducement for sexual favors), unacceptable behavior must be sufficiently severe, pervasive and objectively offensive to be considered sexual harassment. If the behavior doesn’t rise to the level of sexual harassment, but is found to be objectionable behavior, the individual will be educated and counseled in order to prevent the behavior from continuing.

In evaluating the totality of the circumstances and making a determination of whether conduct constitutes sexual harassment, the individual investigating the complaint should consider:

  1. the degree to which the conduct affected the ability of the student to participate in or benefit from his or her education or altered the conditions of the student’s learning environment or altered the conditions of the employee’s or “non-employee’s” working environment;
  2. the type, frequency and duration of the conduct;
  3. the identity of and relationship between the alleged harasser and the subject of the harassment (e.g., sexually based conduct by an authority figure is more likely to create a hostile environment than similar conduct by another student or a co-worker);
  4. the number of individuals involved;
  5. the age and sex of the alleged harasser and the subject of the harassment;
  6. the location of the incidents and context in which they occurred;
  7. other incidents at the school; and
  8. incidents of gender-based, but non-sexual harassment.

Reporting Complaints

Any person who believes he or she has been the target of sexual harassment by a student, District employee or “non-employee” or third party related to the school is encouraged to report complaints as soon as possible after the incident in order to enable the District to promptly and effectively investigate and resolve the complaint. Any person who witnesses or is aware of sexual harassment of a student, employee, or “non-employee” is also encouraged to report the incident or behavior to the District. Targets are encouraged to submit the complaint in writing; however, complaints may be filed verbally.

Complaints should be filed with the building principal or the Title IX Coordinator (director of human resources).

Any school employee who receives a complaint of sexual harassment from a student shall inform the student of the employee’s obligation to report the complaint to the school administration, and then shall immediately notify the building principal and/or the Title IX Coordinator. School employees receiving complaints of sexual harassment from employees and “non-employees” shall either direct the complainant to the building principal or Title IX Coordinator, or may report the incident themselves. Supervisory and managerial personnel are required to report complaints of sexual harassment received by staff, and will be subject to discipline for failing to report suspected or reported sexual harassment, knowingly allowing sexual harassment to continue, or engaging in any retaliation.

In order to assist investigators, targets should document the harassment as soon as it occurs and with as much detail as possible including: the nature of the harassment; dates, times, places it has occurred; name of harasser(s); witnesses to the harassment; and the target’s response to the harassment.

Confidentiality

It is District policy to respect the privacy of all parties and witnesses to complaints of sexual harassment. To the extent possible, the District will not release the details of a complaint or the identity of the complainant or the individual(s) against whom the complaint is filed to any third parties who do not need to know such information. However, because an individual’s need for confidentiality must be balanced with the District’s legal obligation to provide due process to the accused, to conduct a thorough investigation, or to take necessary action to resolve the complaint, the District retains the right to disclose the identity of parties and witnesses to complaints in appropriate circumstances to individuals with a need to know. The staff member responsible for investigating complaints will discuss confidentiality standards and concerns with all complainants.

If a complainant requests that his/her name not be revealed to the individual(s) against whom a complaint is filed, the staff member responsible for conducting the investigation shall inform the complainant that:

  1. the request may limit the District’s ability to respond to his/her complaint;
  2. the District policy and federal law prohibit retaliation against complainants and witnesses;
  3. the District will attempt to prevent any retaliation; and
  4. he District will take strong responsive action if retaliation occurs.

If the complainant still requests confidentiality after being given the notice above, the investigator will take all reasonable steps to investigate and respond to the complaint consistent with the request as long as doing so does not preclude the District from responding effectively to the harassment and preventing the harassment of other students or employees.

Investigation and Resolution Procedure

I. Initial (Building-level) Procedure

The building principal or the Title IX Coordinator shall conduct a preliminary review when they receive a verbal or written complaint of sexual harassment, or if they observe sexual harassment. Except in the case of severe or criminal conduct, the building principal or the Title IX Coordinator should make all reasonable efforts to resolve complaints at the school level. The goal of investigation and resolution procedures is to end the harassment and obtain a prompt and equitable resolution to a complaint. All persons involved in an investigation (complainants, witnesses and alleged harassers) will be accorded due process to protect their rights to a fair and impartial investigation. This investigation shall be prompt and thorough, and shall be completed as soon as possible.

Immediately, but no later than two (2) working days following receipt of a complaint, the building principal or Title IX Coordinator shall begin an investigation of the complaint according to the following steps:

  1. Interview the target and document the conversation. Instruct the target to have no contact or communication regarding the complaint with the alleged harasser. Ask the target specifically what action he/she wants taken in order to resolve the complaint. Refer the target, as appropriate, to school social workers, school psychologists, crisis team managers, other school staff, or appropriate outside agencies for counseling services.
  2. Review any written documentation of the harassment prepared by the target. If the target has not prepared written documentation, ask the target to do so, providing alternative formats for individuals with disabilities and young children, who have difficulty writing and need accommodation. If the complainant refuses to complete a complaint form or written documentation, the building principal or Title IX Coordinator shall complete a complaint form (see exhibit 0110-E) based on the verbal report.
  3. Request, review, obtain and preserve relevant evidence of harassment (e.g., documents, emails, text messages, social media communications, phone records, etc.), if any exist.
  4. Interview the alleged harasser regarding the complaint and inform the alleged harasser that if the objectionable conduct has occurred, it must cease immediately. Document the conversation. Provide the alleged harasser an opportunity to respond to the charges in writing.
  5. Instruct the alleged harasser to have no contact or communication regarding the complaint with the target and to not retaliate against the target. Warn the alleged harasser that if he/she makes contact with or retaliates against the target, he/she will be subject to immediate disciplinary action.
  6. Interview any witnesses to the complaint. Caution each witness to keep the complaint and his/her participation in the investigation confidential. Employees may be required to cooperate as needed in investigations of suspected sexual harassment, in a manner that is consistent with any applicable collective bargaining agreement.
  7. Review all documentation and information relevant to the complaint.
  8. Where appropriate, suggest mediation as a potential means of resolving the complaint. In addition to mediation, use appropriate alternative methods to resolve the complaint, including but not limited to:
    1. discussion with the accused, informing him or her of the District’s policies and indicating that the behavior must stop;
    2. suggesting counseling and/or sensitivity training;
    3. conducting training for the department or school in which the behavior occurred, calling attention to the consequences of engaging in such behavior;
    4. requesting a letter of apology to the complainant;
    5. writing letters of caution or reprimand; and/or
    6. separating the parties.
  9. Parent/Student/Employee/“Non-Employee” Involvement and Notification
    1. Parents of student targets and accused students shall be notified within one (1) school day of allegations that are serious or involve repeated conduct.
    2. The parents of students who file complaints are welcome to participate at each stage of both informal and formal investigation and resolution procedures.
    3. If either the target or the accused is a disabled student receiving special education services under an IEP or section 504/Americans with Disabilities Act accommodations, the committee on special education may be consulted to determine the degree to which the student’s disability either caused or is affected by the discrimination or policy violation. In addition, due process procedures required for persons with disabilities under state and federal law shall be followed.
    4. The investigator shall report back to both the target and the accused, notifying them in writing, and also in person as appropriate regarding the outcome of the investigation and the action taken to resolve the complaint. The investigator shall instruct the target to report immediately if the objectionable behavior occurs again or if the alleged harasser retaliates against him/her.
    5. The investigator shall notify the target that if he/she desires further investigation and action, he/she may request a District level investigation by contacting the superintendent. The investigator shall also notify the target of his/her right to contact the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights and/or a private attorney. Employees may also contact the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or the New York State Division of Human Rights.
  10. Create a written report of the investigation, kept in a secure and confidential location, containing:
    1. A list of all documentation and other evidence reviewed, along with a detailed summary;
    2. A list of names of those interviewed along with a detailed summary of their statements;
    3. A timeline of events;
    4. A summary of prior relevant incidents, reported or unreported;
    5. A determination, based on a preponderance of the evidence, as to whether each incident of alleged conduct did or did not occur; and
    6. The final resolution of the complaint, together with any corrective action(s).

If the initial investigation results in a determination that sexual harassment did occur, the investigator will promptly notify the superintendent, who shall then take prompt disciplinary action in accordance with District policy, the applicable collective bargaining agreement or state law.

If a complaint received by the building principal or the Title IX Coordinator contains evidence or allegations of serious or extreme harassment, such as employee to student harassment, criminal touching, quid pro quo (e.g., offering an academic or employment reward or punishment as an inducement for sexual favors), or acts which shock the conscience of a reasonable person, the complaint shall be referred promptly to the superintendent. In addition, where the building principal or the Title IX Coordinator has a reasonable suspicion that the alleged harassment involves criminal activity, he/she should immediately notify the superintendent, who shall then contact appropriate child protection and law enforcement authorities. Where criminal activity is alleged or suspected by a District employee, the accused employee shall be suspended or placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation, consistent with all contractual or statutory requirements.

Any party who is not satisfied with the outcome of the initial investigation by the building principal or the Title IX Coordinator may request a District-level investigation by submitting a written complaint to the superintendent within thirty (30) days.

The building principal or Title IX Coordinator (i.e., the investigator) shall promptly submit a copy of all building-level investigation and interview documentation to the superintendent, following the receipt of any request for a District-level investigation.

II. District-level Procedure
The superintendent shall promptly investigate and resolve all sexual harassment complaints that are referred to him/her by a building principal or Title IX Coordinator, as well as those appealed to the superintendent following an initial investigation by a building principal or Title IX Coordinator. In the event the complaint of sexual harassment involves the superintendent, the complaint shall be filed with or referred to the Board president. The Board, on its own initiative or at the request of the superintendent, may refer the complaint to a trained investigator not employed by the District for investigation.

The District level investigation should begin as soon as possible but not later than three (3) working days following receipt of the complaint by the superintendent or Board president.

In conducting the District level investigation, the District will use investigators who have received training in sexual harassment investigation or who have previous experience investigating sexual harassment complaints.
If a District investigation results in a determination that sexual harassment did occur, prompt corrective action will be taken to end the harassment. Where appropriate, District investigators may suggest mediation as a means of exploring options of corrective action and informally resolving the complaint.

No later than thirty (30) days following receipt of the complaint, the superintendent or the appointed investigator will notify the target and alleged harasser, in writing, of the outcome of the investigation. If additional time is needed to complete the investigation or take appropriate action, the superintendent or investigator will provide all parties with a written status report within thirty (30) days following receipt of the complaint.
The target and the alleged harasser have the right to be represented by a person of their choice, at their own expense, during sexual harassment investigations and hearings.

External Remedies

Targets have the right to register sexual harassment complaints with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR). The OCR can be contacted at (800) 421-3481, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20202-1100, or athttps://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr./docs/howto.html.

Employee targets also have the right to register complaints with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the New York State Division of Human Rights (DHR). The EEOC can be contacted at (800) 669-4000,https://www.eeoc.gov/employees/howtofile.cfm,info@eeoc.gov, or at 33 Whitehall Street, 5th Floor, New York, NY 10004 or 300 Pearl Street, Suite 450, Buffalo, NY 14202. The DHR can be contacted at (888) 392-3644,www.dhr.ny.gov/complaint, or at 1 Fordham Plaza, Fourth Floor, Bronx, NY 10458.

Nothing in these regulations shall be construed to limit the right of the complainant to file a lawsuit in either state or federal court, or to contact law enforcement officials if the sexual harassment involves unwanted physical touching, coerced physical confinement or coerced sex acts, which may constitute a crime. No District contract or collective bargaining agreement entered into after July 11, 2018 may include a binding arbitration clause for sexual harassment requiring arbitration before bringing a sexual harassment claim to a court.

Nondisclosure Agreements

The District may include nondisclosure agreements (to not disclose the underlying facts and circumstances of a sexual harassment complaint) in any sexual harassment settlement agreement or resolution only if it is the complainant’s preference. Any such nondisclosure agreement shall be provided to all parties. Complainants shall have twenty-one (21) days to consider any such nondisclosure provision before it is signed by all parties, and shall have seven (7) days to revoke the agreement after signing. Nondisclosure agreements shall only become effective after this seven-day period has passed.

Retaliation Prohibited

Any act of retaliation against any person who opposes sexually harassing behavior, or who has filed a complaint in good faith, is prohibited and illegal, and therefore subject to disciplinary action. Likewise, retaliation against any person who has, in good faith, testified, assisted, or participated in any manner in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing of a sexual harassment complaint is prohibited. For purposes of this policy, retaliation includes but is not limited to: verbal or physical threats, intimidation, ridicule, bribes, destruction of property, spreading rumors, stalking, harassing phone calls, discipline, discrimination, demotion, denial of privileges, any action that would keep a reasonable person from coming forward to make or support a sexual harassment claim, and any other form of harassment. Such actions need not be job- or education-related, or occur in the workplace or educational environment, to constitute unlawful retaliation. Any person who retaliates is subject to immediate disciplinary action, up to and including suspension or termination.

Discipline/Penalties

Any individual who violates the sexual harassment policy by engaging in prohibited sexual harassment will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action. Disciplinary measures available to school authorities include, but are not limited to the following:
Students: Discipline may range from a reprimand up to and including suspension from school, to be imposed consistent with the student conduct and discipline policy and applicable law.

Employees: Discipline may range from a warning up to and including termination, to be imposed consistent with all applicable contractual and statutory rights.

Volunteers: Penalties may range from a warning up to and including loss of volunteer assignment.

“Non-employees”(i.e., contractors, subcontractors, vendors, consultant and other persons providing services pursuant to a contract, or their employees): Penalties may range from a warning up to and including loss of District business.

Other individuals: Penalties may range from a warning up to and including denial of future access to school property.

False Complaints

False or malicious complaints of sexual harassment may result in corrective or disciplinary action taken against the complainant.

Training

All students and employees shall be informed of this policy in student and employee handbooks, on the District website and student registration materials. A poster summarizing the policy shall also be posted in a prominent location at each school. All secondary school student body officers shall receive District training about the policy at the beginning of each school year. The District shall provide all existing employees with either a paper or electronic copy of the District’s sexual harassment policy and regulation, and shall provide the same to new employees before the employee starts his/her job.

In addition, age-appropriate curricular materials will be made available so that it can be incorporated in instruction K-12 to ensure that all students are educated to recognize and report sexual harassment.

All new employees shall receive copies of and training on this policy and regulation at new employee orientation or as soon as possible after starting their job. All other employees shall be provided with copies of this policy and regulation and training regarding this policy at least once a year in furtherance of the District’s commitment to a harassment-free learning and working environment. building principals, the Title IX Coordinator, and other administrative employees who have specific responsibilities for investigating and resolving complaints of sexual harassment shall receive yearly training on their responsibilities pursuant to this policy and regulation and related legal developments.

Annual employee training programs shall be interactive and include: (i) an explanation of sexual harassment consistent with guidance issued by the NYS Department of Labor and the NYS Division of Human Rights; (ii) examples of conduct that is unlawful sexual harassment; (iii) information on federal and state laws about sexual harassment and remedies available to victims of sexual harassment; (iv) information concerning employees’ right to make complaints and all available forums for investigating complaints; and (v) address the conduct and responsibilities of supervisors.

Building principals in each school and program directors shall be responsible for informing students and staff on a yearly basis of the terms of this policy, including the procedures established for investigation and resolution of complaints, general issues surrounding sexual harassment, the rights and responsibilities of students and employees, and the impact of sexual harassment on the target.

Adoption date: June 19, 2002
Revised Date:October 17, 2018

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Policy 0200 | School District Planning Program

View the PDF version of the School District Planning Program Policy here.

Planning and Evaluation

The Board of Education (the Board) of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) recognizes that comprehensive program planning and evaluation are essential educational practices allowing for informed decision making by both staff and the community. Wherever possible, community and staff expertise will be used in the District’s planning and evaluation process.

To these ends, the superintendent shall:

  1. develop a process by which program areas are budgeted;
  2. develop three to five year enrollment projections; and
  3. implement evaluation procedures for new and existing programs.

The Board and the superintendent will review all program plans, evaluation designs, and reports for information and/or acceptance.

Objectives, Program Measurements and Schedule of Reports

Consistent with the Board’s belief in comprehensive planning, the superintendent shall facilitate the participatory development of District goals on a biennial basis. The superintendent shall report annually to the Board outlining the effectiveness of programs in meeting their objectives, per midyear/end-of-year goal assessment reports.

Adoption date: June 19, 2002
Re-approved date: November 28, 2018

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Policy 0320 | Evaluation of Superintendent

View the PDF version of the Evaluation of Superintendent Policy here.

The Board of Education (the Board) of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) recognizes that student growth, District progress, and community satisfaction are all affected by the performance of the superintendent. The superintendent cannot function effectively without periodic feedback about his/her performance. Therefore, the Board recognizes its responsibilities to evaluate the superintendent.

At the beginning of each year of the superintendent’s appointment, the Board and the superintendent will meet to discuss a plan of performance review and accountability for that school year. Such a plan will be directly related to the approved job description of the superintendent and shall center on performance standards keyed to his/her job responsibilities. The superintendent’s evaluation will gauge his/her success in meeting the established performance standards.

Ref: 8 NYCRR §100.2(o)(2)

Adoption date: June 19, 2002
Re-approved date: November 28, 2018

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Policy 0330 | Evaluation of Professional Staff

View the PDF version of the Evaluation of Professional Staff Policy here.

The Board of Education (the Board) of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) recognizes that a well-developed and rigorously administered evaluation process is key to securing and maintaining an effective District workforce. The Board views the evaluation of professional staff as an essential growth tool for improving individual performance and the District’s overall ability to meet its educational objectives. To these ends, the performance of all professional staff will be reviewed and evaluated at least annually in accordance with the regulations of the commissioner. The purposes of teacher and administrator evaluations are:

  1. to clarify the duties and responsibilities of staff;
  2. to enrich, develop, and improve effective professional skills and performance by:
    1. informing each staff member of how his or her performance is perceived in relation to the expectations of the District; and
    2. identifying an individual’s strengths and weaknesses;
  3. to enhance the instructional program by providing individual staff members with methods by which performance may be improved; and
  4. to provide the Board and the superintendent with accurate and timely assessments of employee performance to enable them to fulfill their legal responsibilities in making personnel decisions, including the granting of tenure or voting disciplinary charges.

As part of its oversight responsibilities for the District, the Board shall ensure that evaluations are conducted regularly, that the results of the evaluations are thoroughly documented, and that administrators are properly trained to conduct evaluations. The superintendent is responsible for administering the evaluation process.

The procedures and guidelines for formal observations and evaluations of teachers and administrators shall be those agreed to with the employee organization(s) representing such professional staff and set forth in their respective collective bargaining agreements.

Ref:
Education Law §3031
8 NYCRR §100.2(o)(1)

Adoption date: June 19, 2002
Re-approved date: November 28, 2018

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Policy 0335 | Evaluation of Administrative Staff

View the PDF version of the Evaluation of Administrative Staff Policy here.

The Board of Education (the Board) of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) views the evaluation of administrators as an essential growth tool for improving the District’s overall ability to meet its educational objectives. To this end, the evaluation process for all administrators will be conducted on a yearly basis and will be directly related to their approved job descriptions. The format of the evaluation will be centered on performance standards keyed to the administrator’s job responsibilities.

Performance standards will be developed at the beginning of each school year and agreed upon by the administrator and his/her supervisor. At the end of the school year, a joint appraisal will be conducted between the administrator and his/her supervisor to gauge the administrator’s success in meeting the performance standards.

Adoption date: June 19, 2002
Re-approved date: November 28, 2018

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Policy 0340 | Evaluation of Support Staff

View the PDF version of the Evaluation of Support Staff Policy here.

The Board of Education (the Board) of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) believes that the evaluation of support staff is an essential component of supervision and decision making regarding staff promotions and retention. The Board therefore directs the superintendent to develop standards and procedures for the evaluation of all support staff.

Each support staff member will be formally evaluated in accordance with the terms of the applicable collective bargaining agreement or, if the support staff member is not represented by an employee organization, each year by his/her immediate supervisor or other designated person.

The purposes of support staff evaluations are:

  1. to provide an objective basis for employee improvement; and
  2. to ensure that employees meet performance standards.

Adoption date: June 19, 2002
Re-approved date: November 28, 2018

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Policy 1000 | Community Relations Goals

View the PDF version of the Community Relations Goal Policy here.

The Board of Education (the Board) strives to conduct Bethlehem Central School District (the District) affairs through a continuing, open dialogue between the community and the schools. Given District residents’ high level of interest in the education of children, the Board wishes to maintain its high level of sensitivity to the needs and desires of the community and to act expeditiously to meet changing needs and conditions.

To this end, the Board establishes the following goals for community involvement:

  1. to provide a variety of means whereby residents of the District may have the opportunity to contribute their best thinking to the orderly planning of education for children in the District;
  2. to keep the community accurately informed about its schools;
  3. to understand community attitudes and aspirations for the schools;
  4. to encourage contributions from the parent-teacher organizations of the District so that school personnel and parents cooperate to advance the educational welfare of the children;
  5. to handle all complaints from the public by the administrative officer in charge of the unit of the District organization closest to the complainant. However, such complaints may be carried to the superintendent and/or the Board if the problem cannot be resolved at that level;
  6. to promote a spirit of cooperation among the Board, the schools, and the community;
  7. to develop and maintain the confidence of the community in the Board and the District staff;
  8. o expand the public understanding of all aspects of the school system and stimulate public interest in the District;
  9. to facilitate dissemination of information to the community concerning issues and activities in the schools using not only traditional modes of communication, such as a District newsletter, but also current modes of digital communication;
  10. to ascertain the community’s opinions and desires with respect to the operations of the District, and to incorporate that knowledge into its actions;
  11. to develop arrangements among civic and community organizations for sharing of resources, especially in the creation of programs designed to benefit students; and
  12. to develop and maintain an effective means of communication with the people of the district.

Notwithstanding the above, the final decisions in these areas will rest with the Board.

Adoption date: October 19, 2011
Re-approved date: November 28, 2018

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Policy 1050 | Annual District Meeting and Election

View the PDF version of the Annual District Meeting and Election Policy here.

The Bethlehem Central School District (the District) shall hold an annual meeting and election at which the District’s authorized voters will elect members of the Board of Education (the Board) and vote on the District budget for the coming school year. The annual District meeting and election will be held on the third Tuesday in May, unless this date conflicts with religious observances on that day, in which case the annual meeting and election will be held on the second Tuesday in May.

The District clerk shall publish a notice of the time and place of the annual meeting and election at least four times within the seven weeks prior to the meeting, in two newspapers having general circulation within the District. The first publication of the notice shall be at least forty-five days prior to the meeting. The notice shall also contain notice of any other matter required by law.

Copies of the budget to be voted upon at the annual meeting election will be available in each District school building for District residents upon request, at the time of the annual meeting and election, and fourteen days (other than Saturday, Sunday, and holidays) prior to the meeting.

The Board will appoint assistant clerks and election inspectors necessary for the annual meeting and election at a Board meeting held before the annual meeting and election.

Propositions

The Board has the authority, under Education Law, to adopt reasonable rules and regulations concerning the submission of petitions to the Board to place propositions on the ballot that may amend the budget. Pursuant to those provisions, the Board establishes the following guidelines:

  1. Unless otherwise provided by Education Law, petitions for the submission of a proposition must contain a minimum of twenty-five signatures of qualified voters of the District, or 5 percent of the eligible voters who voted in the previous annual election of the members of the Board of Education, whichever is greater.
  2. Petitions must be filed with the District clerk at least thirty days prior to the annual meeting, except for petitions relating to a proposition that must be included in the notice of the annual meeting (e.g., changing the number of Board members). Such petitions must be submitted sixty days in advance of the annual meeting to facilitate the preparation and printing of the ballots.
  3. Propositions must include the specific appropriations necessary for the purposes listed.
  4. Wording of a petition must comply with legal requirements. If the wording does not comply, it may be changed or altered by the Board, or the Board may reject a petition for failure to comply.

Propositions received in accordance with these specifications will be placed on the ballot as amendments and will be voted upon by the voters in the same manner as the proposed budget, except that the Board shall not be required to place any proposition on the ballot that is within the exclusive province of the Board, or otherwise forbidden by law. No proposition involving the budget may be submitted to the voters more than twice.

The Board may also, on its own motion, submit propositions.

Ref:
Education Law §§416(3); 1608(2); 1716(2) 1804(4); 1906(1); 2002(1); 2003(1)(2); 2004(1)-(7); 2009; 2021;2022(1), (4)-(5); 2035(2); 2601-a(2)
General Construction Law §60
Matter of Hebel, 34 EDR 319 (1994)
Matter of Martin, 32 EDR 567 (1993)
Matter of Como, 30 EDR 214 (1990)

Adoption date: June 19, 2002
Re-approved date: November 28, 2018

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Policy 1120 | School District Records

View the PDF version of the School District Records Policy here.

It is the policy of the Board of Education (the Board) to inform members of the public about the administration and operation of the public schools in accordance with the Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) of the state of New York.

The superintendent shall develop regulations ensuring compliance with the FOIL Law and setting forth the procedures to be followed to obtain access to Bethlehem Central School District (the District) records, and submit such regulations to the Board for approval. The superintendent shall designate, with Board approval, a records access and records management officer, pursuant to law.

Retention and Destruction of Records

The Board hereby adopts the Records Retention and Disposition Schedule ED-1 issued pursuant to Article 57-A of the Arts and Cultural Affairs Law, which contains the legal minimum retention periods for District records. In accordance with Article 57-A, the District will dispose of only those records described in the schedule after they have met the minimum retention periods set forth in the schedule. The District will dispose of only those records that do not have sufficient administrative, fiscal, legal, or historical value to merit retention beyond the established legal minimum periods.

The superintendent will establish procedures in the event that the District is served with legal papers. The superintendent will communicate with applicable parties, including the school attorney and the records management official, to ensure that, when appropriate, a litigation-hold is properly implemented. The litigation-hold is intended to prevent the destruction or disposal of records that may need to be produced as part of discovery. It is the intention of the Board to comply with applicable rules and regulations regarding the production of necessary documents, data, files, etc. The Board directs the superintendent to institute such procedures to implement this policy.

Cross-ref:
8630, Computer Resources and Data Management

Ref:
Public Officers Law §84 et seq. (Freedom of Information Law)
Education Law §2116
Arts and Cultural Affairs Law §57.11
Local Government Records Law, Article 57-A
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, 16, 26
8 NYCRR Part 185 (Appendix I)

Adoption date: June 19, 2002 
Amended: February 4, 2009
Re-approved date: November 28, 2018

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Policy 1120R | School District Records Regulation

View the PDF version of the School District Records Regulation here.

The following comprises the rules and regulations relating to the inspection and production of Bethlehem Central School District (the District) records:

Designation of Officers

  1. The records access officer shall be the chief business and financial officer. He/she shall:
    1. receive requests for records of the Board of Education (the Board) and make such records available for inspection or copying when such requests are granted; and
    2. monitor and utilize the Commissioner’s Listing of Records, as described below.

The superintendent, with the Board’s approval, shall designate a records management officer for the District. The records management officer will develop and oversee a program for the orderly and efficient management of District records.

Definition of Records

  1. A record is defined as any information kept, held, filed, produced, or reproduced by, with, or for the District in any physical form whatsoever, including, but not limited to, electronic communications, reports, statements, examinations, memoranda, opinions, folders, files, books, manuals, pamphlets, forms, papers, designs, drawings, maps, photos, letters, microfilms, digital storage materials, rules, regulations, or codes.
  2. The records access officer will have the responsibility for compiling and maintaining the following records:
    1. a record of the final vote of each member of the Board on any proceeding or matter on which the member votes;
    2. a record setting forth the name, school or office address, title, and salary of every officer or employee of the District; and
    3. a reasonably detailed current list, by subject matter, of all records in possession of the District, whether or not available for public inspection and copying.
  3. No record for which there is a pending request for access may be destroyed. However, nothing in these regulations shall require the District to prepare any record not possessed or maintained by it.

Access to Records

  1. Time and place records may be inspected: Records may be requested from, and inspected or copied at, the Office of the Records Access Officer, at the Education Center, 700 Delaware Avenue, Delmar, NY, 12054, during the business days on which the District offices are open.
  2. Fees: The fee for documents up to 9 x 14 inches is 25 cents per page. For documents larger than 9 x 14 inches, tape or cassette records, or computer printouts, the cost will be based on the cost of reproduction or program utilized. Fees are subject to periodic review and change. However, no fee shall be charged for records sent via e-mail, the search for or inspection of records, certification of documents, or copies of documents that have been printed or reproduced for distribution to the public. The number of such copies given to any one organization or individual may be limited, at the discretion of the records access officer.
  3. Procedures: Requests to inspect or secure copies of records shall be submitted in writing, either in person, by mail or via e-mail, to the records access officer.
  4. All requests for information shall be responded to within five business days of receipt of the request. If the request cannot be fulfilled within five business days, the records access officer shall acknowledge receipt of the request and advise on the approximate date when the request will be granted or denied.
  5. If a request cannot be granted within twenty business days from the date of acknowledgment of the request, the District must state in writing both the reason the request cannot be granted within twenty business days, and a date certain within a reasonable period when it will be granted depending on the circumstances of the request.
  6. Denial of access: 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.
  7. Appeal: An applicant 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 superintendent within thirty days after the denial from which such appeal is taken.
  8. The applicant and the New York State Committee on Open Government will be informed of the superintendent’s determination in writing within ten business days of receipt of an appeal. The superintendent shall transmit to the NYS Committee on Open Government photocopies of all appeals and determinations.

Records Exempted from Public Access

The provisions of this regulation relating to information available for public inspection and copying shall not apply to records that:

  1. are specifically exempted from disclosure by state and/or federal statute;
  2. if disclosed would constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy;
  3. if disclosed would impair present or imminent contract awards or collective bargaining negotiations;
  4. are confidentially disclosed to the Board and compiled and maintained for the regulation of commercial enterprise, including trade secrets, or for the grant or review of a license;
  5. are compiled for law enforcement purposes and which, if disclosed, would:
    1. interfere with law enforcement investigations or judicial proceedings;
    2. deprive a person of a right to a fair trial or impartial adjudication;
    3. identify a confidential source or disclose confidential techniques or procedures, except[CM8]  routine techniques or procedures; or
    4. reveal criminal investigative techniques or procedures, except routine techniques and procedures;
  6. records that, if disclosed, would endanger the life or safety of any person;
  7. records that are interagency or intra-agency communications, except to the extent that such materials consist of:
    1. statistical or factual tabulations of data;
    2. instructions to staff which affect the public;
    3. final Board policy determinations; or
    4. external audits, including but not limited to, audits performed by the comptroller and the federal government;
  8. records that are examination questions or answers that are requested prior to the final administration of such questions; or
  9. records that are computer access codes.

Prevention of Unwarranted Invasion of Privacy

To prevent an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy, the records access officer may delete identifying details when records are made available. An unwarranted invasion of personal privacy includes, but shall not be limited to:

  1. disclosure of confidential personal matters reported to the Board that are not relevant or essential to the ordinary work of the Board;
  2. disclosure of employment, medical or credit histories, or personal references of applicants for employment, unless the applicant has provided a written release permitting such disclosures;
  3. sale or release of lists of names and addresses in the possession of the Board if such lists would be used for private, commercial or fund-raising purposes;
  4. disclosure of information of a personal nature when disclosure would result in economic or personal hardship to the subject party and such records are not relevant or essential to the ordinary work of the Board; or
  5. disclosure of items involving the medical or personal records of a client or patient in a hospital or medical facility.

Unless otherwise deniable, disclosure shall not be construed to constitute an unwarranted invasion of privacy when identifying details are deleted, when the person to whom records pertain consents in writing to disclosure, or when upon representing reasonable proof of identity, a person seeks access to records pertaining to him or her.

Listing of Records

Pursuant to Section 87(3)(c) of the Public Officers Law, the current records retention schedule for school districts, published by the commissioner of education, shall serve as the list by subject matter of all records in the possession of the District, whether or not available under the law.

Litigation-Hold

The superintendent will designate a “discovery” team, comprised of the school attorney, director of technology, the records access and records management officer, and other personnel as needed. The discovery team will convene in the event that litigation is commenced to plan to respond to the request for records. The superintendent, with assistance from the director of technology, will ensure that measures are put in place to preserve applicable records.

Adoption date: February 4, 2009
Revised date: December 19, 2018

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Policy 1130 | Media Relations

View the PDF version of the Media Relations Policy here.

The Board of Education (the Board) invites and welcomes the active participation of all forms of mass media, print and electronic, in educating the public and improving education within the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) and the wider community. The Board and superintendent will make every reasonable effort to cooperate with the media by providing accurate information about District operations, to the extent permissible by statute and regulation.

The Board president is designated as the spokesperson for the Board when the Board is making a statement on an issue. No other individual member of the Board will speak for, or in name of, the Board unless by explicit direction of the Board. Board members should emphasize to the media when asked to speak as a Board member that they can only speak as private citizens unless they have been empowered to speak on behalf of the entire Board.

The superintendent is designated as the spokesperson for the District.

All staff intending to release information to the media should first notify the superintendent. The superintendent shall establish all necessary procedures to govern day-to-day interactions between the schools and the news media.

The Board and the superintendent agree that social media can be useful for communicating with the community. All postings to social media sites will be treated with the same care and consideration as any other communication that the superintendent, or his/her designee, generates on behalf of the District. Postings will adhere to the standards set in the Board’s “Acceptable Use” policy (# 4526).

The Board of Education strongly suggests that active Board members do not comment about issues, concerns, or matters of the District on social media. If Board members choose to maintain a social networking presence, the Board member must ensure that it is clear the postings do not represent the Board as a whole.

Cross-ref:
4526, Acceptable Use
8630, Computer Resources and Data Management

Ref:
Arts and Cultural Affairs Law §61.09

Adoption date: March 7, 2012
Revised date: November 28, 2018

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Policy 1130.1 | Social Media Guidelines

View the PDF version of the Social Media Guidelines here.

The following guidelines address procedures and best practices for professional-use social media accounts created to represent Bethlehem Central School District (the District) groups, departments, programs, etc., and the District as a whole, and do not apply to personal/individual accounts.

Definitions

Social Media: Includes all methods of interaction online in all forms of user-generated and distributed content including, but not limited to, blogs and social networking sites (Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, etc.).

Professional Use: Refers to the creation of social media accounts by staff or students to advance a program or function of the District or represent the District on social media. Content includes or reflects the opinions or representation of the District or group within/governed by the District.

Personal Use: Refers to the use of social media for personal use, although this may include some work-related or school-related activities such as networking or promoting a District program or service. Content reflects the personal opinion of the account holder.

Guidelines for Professional-Use Social Media Accounts

Upon prior approval, students or employees may use social media for educational or promotional purposes. A student’s or employee’s professional use of social media must be preapproved by the superintendent, or his/her designees, in consultation with the building principal, and follow the guidelines set forth in the District’s Acceptable Use Policy #4526, the Bethlehem Central Social Media Handbook, the Terms of Service of the social network used, and New York State law.

Dignity for All Students Act

Section VIII of the Dignity for All Students Act (DASA), “Guidance on Bullying and Cyberbullying,” outlines the District’s responsibility to address cyberbullying not only within our schools, but also incidents that occur off school property that could “foreseeably disrupt” the school environment. This guidance includes any conduct taking place on social media and at any time of the day. Any student disciplinary actions as it relates to conduct on social media and cyberbullying will follow the District’s Code of Conduct (Policy #5300).

Monitoring of Bethlehem Central School District Sponsored Accounts

The District’s communications office is responsible for reviewing and approving all social media applications for the District, in consultation with the District superintendent, technology office, Board of Education (the Board), and members of the District leadership team. An application form can be found in the Bethlehem Central Social Media Handbook.

The communications office reserves the right, with superintendent approval, to remove content posted to, or within the comment sections of, District social media sites that:

  • is off-topic;
  • contains personal attacks;
  • contains spam;
  • contains offensive language;
  • contains private/confidential information; and/or
  • contains viewpoints that are not those of the commenter (such as when an account is hacked or used by another person).

Appropriate Use When Utilizing Social Media

District employees are expected to follow the same behavioral standards online as they would in real life. The same laws, professional expectations, and guidelines for interacting with students, parents, alumni, District staff, media, and other District stakeholders apply online as in the real world. Employees are responsible for anything they post to social media sites.

The Board requires that all District employees maintain a professional, ethical relationship with students that is conducive to an effective, safe learning environment. The District recognizes that teachers will have direct contact and instructional conversations via electronic means (i.e., email, Google Classroom). Staff members should act as role models for students at all times, whether on or off school property, both during and outside of school hours, and with caution when using communications tools including, but not limited to, email, texts, phone calls, publicly accessible websites, blogs, and/or social networking sites.

Staff must establish appropriate personal boundaries with students and not engage in any behavior that could reasonably lead to even the appearance of impropriety.

Note the following guidelines:

  • Follow any and all guidelines detailed in the Bethlehem Central School District Social Media Handbook.
  • Refrain from reporting, speculating, discussing, or giving any opinions on topics related to the District or employees of the District that could be considered sensitive, confidential, or disparaging.
  • Bethlehem Central logos and/or visual identity cannot be used for personal social media use without prior approval from the superintendent. To use such information, contact the District’s Communications Office.
  • A personal social media account is not an appropriate place to distribute District news, although staff members are encouraged to share and talk about news posted to the District website or Facebook page. Employees with information and news to announce to the public or media should contact the District’s Communications Office.
  • The District does not routinely monitor personal online accounts, but will address issues that violate personnel, social media, or other guidelines or board policies and state laws (such as DASA).
  • Remember that District computers and resources are to be used only for job-related purposes and educational purposes for students, as detailed in the District’s Acceptable Use Policy (#4526)
  • Respect copyright and fair use: When posting, be mindful of the copyright and intellectual property rights of others and of the District.
  • Guidelines regarding use of student photographs and information apply to online publications, including social media.
  • Confidential information should never be posted online.

Cross References:

  • 5300, Code of Conduct
  • 4526.2, Acceptable Use

Adopted: May 4, 2016
Revised: December 19, 2018

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Policy 1222 | Relations with Parents-Schools Support/Booster Organizations

View the PDF version of the Relations with Parents-Schools Support/Booster Organizations Policy here.

The Board of Education (the Board) recognizes that parent-support groups (such as Parent-Teacher Association/Organization (PTA/PTO), the Bethlehem Music Association (BMA), etc.) or “booster” organizations provide important support to Bethlehem Central School District (the District) schools, and can be a valuable means of stimulating community interest in the aims and activities of the District. Booster organizations may be defined in three ways:

  1. an organization that is created to foster community support and raise funds for a specific curricular activity (e.g., athletics, speech and debate, and/or musical groups); or
  2. an organization that is created to foster community support and raise funds for the school’s general curricular program; or
  3. an organization that otherwise supports school-related activities and/or scholarships.

Parents and other interested members of the community who wish to organize a booster club for the purpose of supporting a school program are encouraged to do so, as long as the activities of such organizations do not interfere unduly with the educational program, or disrupt District operations in any way. To this end, booster organizations must follow these guidelines:

  1. be voluntary and support a school activity;
  2. submit an activity schedule, in advance, to the superintendent or his/her designee for prior approval (any time the support organization uses the name of the District, or any language suggesting that the District has endorsed, sponsored, or otherwise approved of the club’s activities, there must be prior approval by the superintendent or his/her designee);
  3. seek advance approval from the superintendent or his/her designee for any use of school facilities and/or equipment, following procedures outlined in administrative regulation 1500-R, “Public Use of School Facilities Regulation”;
  4. avoid interference with the decision-making of any student group;
  5. understand and respect the authority of District employees in the administration of their duties; and
  6. assume all financial responsibility for their organization including, but not limited to, the provision of adequate insurance coverage, as appropriate.

If a parent-school support/booster organization wishes to make a contribution of money, service time, or tangible property (e.g., equipment or supplies), a representative of the organization should first meet with the superintendent or his/her designee. The superintendent or his/her designee must identify the District’s terms and conditions of accepting such gifts, and seek the Board’s official approval, in a timely manner.

Cross-ref: 1800, Gifts from the Public

Adoption date: May 20, 2009
Re-approved date: December 19, 2018

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Policy 1225 | Relationship with Local Education Foundation

View the PDF version of the Relationship with Local Education Foundation Policy here.

The Board of Education (the Board) recognizes the value of the Bethlehem Central Community Foundation (BCCF) and its efforts to support the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) by enhancing the resources available to our schools and students.

To help ensure that the BCCF’s fund-raising efforts and its planning of activities are in concert with the District’s mission and goals, the trustees of the BCCF are invited to meet with the Board on an annual basis. The Board of Education designates a Board member as a liaison to the BCCF Board of Trustees.

BCCF activities, if they involve the use of District facilities or resources, must be planned in accordance with Policy 1500, “Public Use of School Facilities.” Donations offered by the BCCF will be considered in accordance with Policy 1800, “Gifts from the Public.” The superintendent is charged with sharing the applicable policies and procedures with the Board of Trustees of the BCCF.

The Board of Education recognizes the BCCF as a separate legal entity from the District. The Board encourages the leadership of the BCCF to coordinate its fund-raising efforts with other school-community organizations such as the Parent-Teacher Association/Organization (PTA/PTO), the Bethlehem Music Association (BMA), etc.

Cross-ref:
1500, Public Use of School Facilities
1800, Gifts From the Public
2160, School Board Officer and Employee Ethics
Adoption Date: July, 1, 2009
Revised Date: August 9, 2017

Reapproved Date: December 19, 2018

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Policy 1230 | Public Participation at Board Meetings

View the PDF version of the Public Participation at Board Meetings Policy here.

The Board of Education (the Board) encourages public participation on school-related matters at Board meetings. The Board shall set aside a period not to exceed thirty minutes for public comment on agenda items and other District business. The period may be extended by a majority vote of the Board. Any group or organization wishing to address the Board must identify a single spokesperson.

Presentations should be as brief as possible. No speaker will be permitted to speak for longer than 3 minutes. Speakers may comment on (1) any agenda item; or (2) any matter related to Bethlehem Central School District (the District) business, during the designated time.

Persons wishing to suggest an agenda item for a future Board meeting should contact the superintendent or the Board. The Board retains complete discretion in setting the meeting agenda.

In public session, the Board will not permit discussion of individual District personnel or students. Persons wishing to discuss matters involving individual District personnel or students should present their comments and/or concerns to the superintendent during regular business hours, which will be shared with the Board.

All speakers must conduct themselves in a civil manner. Obscene language; libelous statements; threats of violence; statements advocating racial, religious, or other forms of prejudice will not be tolerated.

Persons making presentations at a Board meeting will address remarks to the president and may direct questions or comments to Board members or other District officials only upon the approval of the President. Board members and the superintendent shall have the privilege of asking questions of any person who addresses the Board.

The President shall be responsible for the orderly conduct of the meeting and shall rule on such matters as the time to be allowed for public discussion and the appropriateness of the subject being presented. The president shall have the right to discontinue any presentation which violates this policy.

Cross-ref:

  • 2342, Agenda Preparation and Dissemination

Ref:

  • Matter of Martin, 32 EDR 381 (1992)
  • Appeal of Wittenben, 31 EDR 375 (1992)
  • Matter of Kramer, 72 EDR 114 (1951)
  • NYS Department of State, Committee on Open Government, OML-AO-#2696 (Jan. 8, 1997) and OML-AO-#2717 (Feb. 27, 1997)

Adoption date: May 19, 2010
Revised date: May 22, 2019

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Policy 1240 | Visitors to the Schools

View the PDF version of the Visitors to the Schools Policy here.

To promote effective communication between the citizens of the community and the school system, the Board of Education (the Board) encourages parents and other citizens to visit their schools periodically during the course of the school year. The Board views these visits as constructive; however, no such visit shall be permitted to interfere with the educational process.

Persons who are not students or staff shall check in at the visitors desk with valid ID or report immediately to the school main office upon entering a school building. Persons other than parents, guardians, students, or staff who desire to visit a school building shall do so only with the permission of an appropriate administrative staff member.

Each principal shall establish and maintain a safety plan outlining the process for registration and authorization for visits to his/her school. Such plans shall be submitted to the superintendent for approval, and thereafter be included in each school’s student handbook and posted in each school building to inform anyone interested in visiting the school.

Visits to school buildings are to be in accordance with this policy and each building’s procedures posted in conspicuous places. A violation of the visitation policy and/or building procedures shall be prosecuted pursuant to New York State law.

Cross-ref:

  • 5450.1, Notification of Sex Offenders

Ref:

  • Education Law §§1708; 2801

Adoption date: June 19, 2002
Revised date: February 27, 2019

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Policy 1400 | Public Complaints

View the PDF version of the Public Complaints Policy here.

Constructive criticism of the schools, when accepted by a Board of Education (the Board) in a receptive spirit, may serve to improve the quality of the educational program or to equip the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) schools to do their tasks more effectively. While no community member should be denied the right to bring complaints to the Board, that person may have his/her complaints referred through administrative channels for solution before Board investigation or action.

The Board recognizes the right of community members to register individual or group concerns regarding instruction, District programs, materials, operations, and/or staff members. The main goal of the District is to resolve such concerns specifically with the parties involved, whenever possible.

Public complaints about the District will be directed to the proper administrative personnel. Complaints about specific classroom practices shall be directed to the teacher concerned. If the matter is not settled satisfactorily, the complainant shall then contact the principal; if there is no resolution on this level, the superintendent or his/her designee shall be contacted. The superintendent shall refer the issue to the Board for final resolution, if necessary.

All matters referred to the superintendent and/or the Board shall be in writing. Concerns registered directly to the Board as a whole or to an individual Board member shall be referred as soon as is reasonably possible to the superintendent for investigation, report, and/or resolution.

Adoption date: May 19, 2010
Re-approved date: November 28, 2018

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Policy 1420 | Complaints About Instructional Materials

View the PDF version of the Complaints About Instructional Materials Policy here.

The Board of Education (the Board) recognizes its responsibility for the selection of instructional materials. The Board expects Bethlehem Central School District (the District) teachers and administrators to recommend books and other materials in accord with sound educational principles and practices, and to use them effectively in the classrooms. However, the Board also recognizes the right of community members to voice concerns and/or complaints regarding the implementation of a particular curriculum and/or instructional material.

Any criticism of instructional materials that cannot be resolved at the building level shall be submitted in writing to the superintendent. An Instructional Material Review Committee, consisting of the District’s assistant superintendent, building principal, department supervisor and a teacher, will be designated by the superintendent to examine the challenged material.

The committee shall make recommendations to the superintendent concerning the disposition of the complaint, and the superintendent will issue a decision. This decision may be appealed to the Board, and the decision of the Board shall be final.

Ref:

  • Education Law §§1709(15); 1711(5)(f)
  • Board of Educ., Island Trees UFSD v. Pico, 457 US 853 (1982)

Cross Ref: 4312, Classroom Films and Videos
Adoption date: October 19, 2011
Revised date: October 17, 2018
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Policy 1420-R | Complaints About Instructional Materials Regulation

View the PDF version of the Complaints About Instructional Materials Regulation here.
The following procedures shall apply to the handling of complaints concerning any textbook, library book or material, and any other instructional material used in Bethlehem Central School District (the District) schools.

  1. When a person has a complaint concerning a textbook, library book, or other instructional material and protests its use in class or its availability in a school library, the principal shall hold an informal meeting with the complainant and the teacher, librarian, or other staff member who is using or providing the book or material. At this meeting, the complainant will be asked to make clear his or her objections to the material; the teacher or librarian will be asked to explain the educational value of the material.
  2. If the complaint is not resolved informally, the complainant may file a formal written complaint with the superintendent.
  3. Upon receiving a formal written complaint, the superintendent shall designate an Instructional Review Committee, consisting of the District’s assistant superintendent, building principal, department supervisor and a teacher to examine the challenged material.
  4. The committee shall:
    1. read and examine the challenged materials;
    2. consider the specific objections to the material voiced by the complainant;
    3. weigh the values and faults of the material as a whole;
    4. consider written or oral presentations made to the committee, if any;
    5. where appropriate, solicit advice or opinion from other District faculty and/or relevant professional organizations such as the American Library Association, the National Council of Teachers of English, and the National Council of Social Studies Teachers; and
    6. submit a report to the superintendent containing its recommendations concerning any complaint.
  5. The superintendent shall review the report of the committee, make a decision, and notify the complainant and appropriate staff.
  6. If the complainant is not satisfied with the superintendent’s decision, he/she may refer the complaint to the Board of Education (the Board). The superintendent will deliver a copy of his/her decision and the committee’s report to the Board for its consideration. The final decision shall be made by the Board.

Adoption date: October 19, 2011
Revised date: October 17, 2018
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Policy 1500 | Public Use of School Facilities

View the PDF version of the Public Use of School Facilities Policy here.

While the school buildings and grounds of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) are maintained primarily for the purpose of educating students within the District, the Board of Education (the Board) recognizes that the buildings and grounds are a valuable community resource and believes that this resource should be available to the community for specific uses that will not interfere with educational activities. This policy is intended to identify the uses that community groups may make of those facilities.

Permitted Uses

District facilities may be used for the purposes listed below, subject to the conditions and restrictions set forth in this policy.

  1. Instruction in any branch of education, learning or the arts.
  2. <Social, civic, and recreational meetings and entertainments, or other uses pertaining to the welfare of the community so long as such uses are nonexclusive and open to the general public.
  3. Meetings, entertainment, and occasions where admission fees are charged, when the proceeds are to be spent for an educational or charitable purpose.
  4. Meetings, entertainments, and occasions that are under the exclusive control of, and the proceeds are to be applied for the benefit of, veterans’ organizations, volunteer firefighters or volunteer ambulance workers.
  5. Civic forums and community meetings intended to encourage civic participation.
  6. Recreation, physical training, and athletics, including competitive athletic contests of children attending a private, nonprofit school.
  7. Child-care programs when school is not in session, or when school is in session for the children of students attending schools of the District and, if there is additional space available, for children of employees of the District.
  8. Graduation exercises held by not-for-profit elementary and secondary schools, provided that no religious service is performed.

Prohibited Uses

Any use not permitted by this policy is prohibited. In addition, the following uses are specifically prohibited.

  1. Use of District facilities by any outside organization or group to conduct religious services or religious instruction.
  2. Meetings sponsored by political organizations, for the purpose of supporting an individual candidate, party, or political platform.
  3. Meetings, entertainments, and occasions that are under the exclusive control of, and the proceeds are to be applied for the benefit of, a religious sect or denomination; or of a fraternal, secret, or exclusive society or organization.

Conditions of Use for District Facilities

  1. Use of District facilities may be permitted unless such facilities are in use for school purposes, or during educational programs. All school activities and related organizations (organizations represented on the Bethlehem Central President’s Council) shall have preference for the use of facilities provided they have been scheduled prior to commitments made to community groups. The Town of Bethlehem Recreation Department shall receive second priority for use of facilities, with all other groups receiving lower priority. The District reserves exclusive and nonreviewable judgment to determine if a requested use would interfere with or disturb the District’s educational programs.
  2. It is requested that all school groups submit a schedule for the use of school facilities at least 90 days in advance of the planned activity. The Town of Bethlehem Recreation Department shall also submit a complete request as provided above and will be assigned facilities and grounds as second priority.
  3. The building-level designee shall maintain a schedule of use for their building. To ensure that District facilities are preserved for the benefit of the greater District community, community-based groups and organizations (groups that are located within the geographic area covered by the District) may be granted access to District facilities, but only if the facilities are not needed by the District or other community-based groups.
  4. Usage will be limited to buildings and grounds other than specifically equipped classrooms, libraries, storage rooms, and administrative offices so as to reduce interference with the school program and to protect instructional materials and exhibits.
  5. Simultaneous multiple uses of a building may be refused by the business administrator to assure adequate parking and other space is available.
  6. Use of District facilities will be permitted only where the applicant agrees to pay the District a user fee according to a schedule adopted by the District Board to cover the costs of heat, electricity, maintenance, custodial services, and any other expenses associated with the requested use. Use is further conditioned upon the applicant’s agreement to pay additional fees associated with the use of any additional services or equipment. All users shall pay the District no later than thirty days after billing. The District retains the right to condition use upon an applicant depositing with the District a sum equaling the estimated costs and fees associated with the proposed use ten days in advance of the requested use. The District retains the further right to waive user fees for groups that are associated with or sponsored by the District.
  7. Where, in the judgment of the District, the requested use of District facilities requires special equipment or supervision, the District reserves the right to deny such use or, in the alternative, to condition such use upon the applicant’s payment of additional fees in accordance with paragraph F above. Only authorized personnel shall operate District equipment, which includes kitchen equipment.
  8. Use of District facilities will only be permitted where the organization provides the District with timely evidence of adequate insurance coverage ($1,000,000 minimum) to hold the District harmless from all liability, property damage, personal injuries, and/or medical expenses. The District will exercise complete and unreviewable discretion regarding what constitutes adequate insurance coverage for each proposed use.
  9. The Board reserves the discretion to deny use of District facilities described above, or to terminate use of District facilities:
    1. By an applicant who has previously misused or abused District facilities or property or who has violated this policy;
    2. For any use that could have the effect of violating the Establishment Clause of the United States Constitution or other provisions of the United States or New York State Constitutions;
    3. For any use that, in the estimation of the Board, could reasonably be expected to or actually does give rise to a riot or public disturbance;
    4. For any use that the Board deems inconsistent with this policy;
    5. For any use by a private for-profit entity that has the direct or indirect effect of promoting the products or services of such entity;
    6. In any instance where alcoholic beverages or unlawful drugs are sold, distributed, consumed, promoted; or possessed; and
    7. For any use prohibited by law.
    8. The Board specifically reserves the right to revoke any permit granted to any user without prior notice to such user. In the event of such a revocation, the reasons thereof shall be stated to the user in writing.

Application Procedure for Use of District Facilities

Applicants are subject to the following procedures, absent an approved lease agreement that may otherwise supersede the procedures within this policy:All applications for use of school facilities shall submit to the business administrator, or designee, a “Request of Use of School Property” on the forms provided by the District. The form is available in each building office. Applications shall be approved or denied on the basis of this Board policy. Applications must be submitted at least two weeks prior to the date of the requested use.

  1. The applicant must clearly and completely describe the intended use of the District facility in the application.
  2. All applicants must review this policy prior to submitting the application. All applications must be signed by an authorized agent of the group or organization requesting use. The applicant’s signature on the application shall attest to the group or organization’s intent to comply with all Board policies and regulations and to use District facilities strictly in accordance with the use described in the application.
  3. All applicants must agree to assume responsibility for all damages resulting from its use of District facilities. Proof of adequate insurance must be provided by the applicant at least ten days before the date of the requested use.
  4. Permits shall be valid only for the facility, use, dates, and time specified in the permit. No adjustment to the permit is allowed except with the prior written approval of the District. Permits shall not be transferable.
  5. Applicants who seek to bring outside food trucks (“vendors”) onto District property are subject to additional requirements designed to reasonably protect event participants from harm, including but not limited to: proof of automotive liability coverage of at least $1,000,000, proof of licensure by local health departments, indemnification certificates, fire suppression equipment (if cooking), and limitations on truck movement when on site.
  6. The District is authorized to alter or cancel any permit if it becomes necessary to use the facility for school purposes or for other justifiable reasons.
  7. With regard to scheduling activities, the District retains the right to give preference to groups and organizations that are associated with or sponsored by the District.

The District’s business office may also issue a Use of Facilities Handbook to provide guidance, forms and procedures for user groups.

Ref:

  • Education Law §414

Cross-ref:

  • 1510, Public Sales on School Property

Adoption date: June 19, 2002
Revised date:April 17, 2019

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Policy 1505 | Unmanned Aerial Systems (Drone)

View the PDF version of the Unmanned Aerial Systems (Drone) Policy here.

In an effort to maintain the safety, security and privacy of students, staff and visitors, the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) prohibits the unauthorized use of an unmanned aerial system (UAS), also known as a drone, on or above District property. For the purposes of this policy, a UAS or drone is any aircraft without a human pilot aboard the device.

The use of drones on District property will only be authorized if the operator first obtains express, written permission from the superintendent (or his/her designee). The District will only consider requests for drone use that are limited to the District’s own instructional, co-curricular, or operational purposes. Drone use by members of the general public, or corporate or other entities that has not been approved by the superintendent is prohibited. Any individual wishing to operate a drone on or above District property must seek permission from the superintendent or his/her designee in writing to do so, pursuant to procedures adopted by the superintendent to address such requests. The superintendent will consider whether to grant permission on a case-by-case basis, pursuant to the procedures.

The District may acquire drones for use by students and employees of the District. The acquisition and use of District-owned drones will only be authorized with express, written permission from the superintendent, pursuant to procedures adopted by the Board of Education. The District shall obtain appropriate insurance coverage to protect against potential claims.

All superintendent-authorized drone operations on District property and operations of District-owned drones are subject to relevant Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), state and local laws and regulations, in addition to any rules and requirements imposed by the Board of Education. Each authorized drone operator must comply with all such requirements when operating drones on or above District property and/or operating District-owned drones.

The superintendent or his/her designee shall refuse admission or entry to anyone attempting to engage in unauthorized drone use on District property.  If necessary, the superintendent or his/her designee may remove anyone attempting to engage in unauthorized drone use and/or confiscate the unauthorized drone.  Additionally, the District reserves the right to immediately shut down the operation of authorized drones, and confiscate any authorized drones, if the operator is not complying with relevant FAA, state, or local laws, or if the drones create any type of electronic interference, pose unacceptable risks to individuals or property, or interfere with any District activity.  Any injuries, or property damage in excess of $50 as a result of drone operation, must be reported to the superintendent.

Violation of this policy may be grounds for disciplinary action, up to and including termination, suspension or expulsion from the District, in accordance with the Code of Conduct, District policies, applicable student and employee handbooks, and any applicable collective bargaining agreements.

Cross-ref: 8700, Insurance
Legal References: FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (Public Law 112-95), Sections 333, 336(a).
Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 107.
Adoption date: September 19, 2017
Revised date: February 27, 2019

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Policy 1505-R | Unmanned Aerial Systems (Drone) Regulation

View the PDF version of the Unmanned Aerial Systems (Drone) Regulation and Usage Form.
Pursuant to Board Policy No. 1505, the superintendent has adopted the following Authorized Drone Use Procedures, which apply to (1) all individuals who seek permission and/or receive authorization to use a drone on the District’s property; and (2) all individuals who operate a District-owned drone.

Procedure to Seek Permits to Operate Drones

The superintendent or his/her designee has sole and absolute discretion to grant or deny (1) the use of drones on District property; and (2) the acquisition and use of District-owned drones. Without permission from the superintendent or his/her designee, the use of drones on District property and the use of District-owned drones are expressly prohibited.  In order to obtain authorization to operate a drone on District property or use a District-owned drone, the following procedures must be followed:

  1. Any individual, class, or group seeking to operate a drone on District property for the benefit of a District program, or seeking to use a District-owned drone, must submit a Drone Usage Request Form (the Request) (attached hereto as Appendix A) to the superintendent or his/her designee.
  2. The Request Form must be submitted at least two weeks prior to the date of the requested use.
  3. The applicant must clearly and completely describe the intended drone use on the Request Form.
  4. All Requests by groups or organizations engaged by district staff must be signed by an authorized agent of the group or organization requesting the use.
  5. The applicant’s signature on the Request Form shall attest to the individual, class, or group’s intent to comply with all Bethlehem Central School District’s Board of Education (the Board) policies and regulations; to follow all applicable FAA, state, and local laws when operating the drones; and to use the drones strictly in accordance with the use described on the Request Form.
  6. All applicants to use privately owned drones on District property must agree to assume responsibility for all damages resulting from the drone use. Proof of adequate insurance must be provided by the applicant at least ten days before the date of the requested use.
  7. The superintendent or his/her designee will determine whether to grant the request based on District policies, and all applicable laws, rules, and regulations.
  8. If the Request is approved, the individual will be issued a Drone Usage Permit, and permitted to operate the drone on District property and/or operate a District-owned drone. If the Request is denied, however, the individual will not be permitted to operate a drone on District property or operate a District-owned drone.
  9. Permits shall be valid only for the facility, use, dates, and time specified on the Request  Form. No adjustment to the permit is allowed except with the prior written approval of the superintendent or his/her designee. Permits shall not be transferable.
  10. The superintendent or his/her designee is authorized to alter or cancel any permit in his or her sole and absolute discretion.
  11. With regard to authorizing drone operations, the District retains the right to give preference to individuals, classes, and groups that are associated with, or sponsored by, the District.
  12. The superintendent retains the sole and absolute discretion to extend or deny permission to operate drones on or over District property.

Requirements for Authorized Drone Operations

I. Requirements for Model Aircraft Use

The following requirements apply with respect to the use of drones that qualify as “model aircraft” for hobby or recreational use under the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (FMRA): (1) on District property; and (2) when the drones are District-owned.   This includes drone use by students as a component of educational curricula or other coursework, and may also include de minimus drone use by teachers, when such use is a component of educational curricula or other coursework, and the primary purpose of the course is not the operation of drones.

  1. The drone must be operated in compliance with all applicable District policies, and all applicable FAA, state, and local laws, regulations, and guidance.
  2. The drone must be operated in accordance with a community-based set of safety guidelines and within the programming of a nationwide community-based organization, such as the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) (www.modelaircraft.org).
  3. The drone must be limited to not more than ten pounds.
  4. The drone must be operated in a manner that does not interfere with, and gives way to, any manned aircraft.
  5. When flown within five miles of an airport, the operator of the drone must provide the airport operator and the airport air traffic control tower (when an air traffic control facility is located at the airport) with prior notice of the operations. (Model aircraft operators flying from a permanent location within five miles of an airport should establish a mutually agreed upon operating procedure with the airport operator and the airport air traffic control tower.)
  6. The drone must be flown within the visual line of sight.
  7. If the drone weighs more than 0.55 pounds and less than fifty-five pounds, the drone (1) must be registered with the FAA online athttps://registermyuas.faa.gov/(see “Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Frequently Asked Questions” athttps://www.faa.gov/uas/faqs/); and (2) must be labeled with its FAA registration number.
  8. The District will register all District-owned drones.
  9. The drone must be operated at or below forty mph, and at or below 400 feet above ground level.
  10. A safety line must be established between the flight operators and any spectators.>
  11. The drone cannot be flown over groups of people, stadiums, or sports events; near emergency response efforts such as firefighting; over public roadways; or within fifty feet of utility wires and poles.
  12. The drone cannot be flown while the operator is under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

II. Requirements for All Other Drone Use

The following requirements apply with respect to the use of drones that do not qualify as “model aircraft” and/or “hobby or recreational use” within the meaning of the FMRA (unless the applicant provides proof of a waiver of any of these requirements): (1) on District property, and (2) when the drones are District-owned.  This includes drone use by teachers in courses where the primary purpose of the course is the operation of drones.

  1. The drone must be operated in compliance with all applicable District policies, and all applicable FAA, state, and local laws, regulations, and guidance.
  2. The operator of the drone:
    1. Must be at least sixteen years old;
    2. Must pass an initial aeronautical knowledge test at an FAA-approved knowledge testing center; and
    3. Must be vetted by the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA).
  3. The drone must:
    1. weigh less than ten pounds; and
    2. be registered with the FAA (athttps://registermyuas.faa.gov/).
  4. During operation, the drone must remain within the visual line of site of the remote pilot in command and the person manipulating the flight controls, or the visual observer.
  5. The drone may not fly over people.
  6. The drone can only be operated during the day, and only operated within manufacturer’s specifications relative to weather conditions.
  7. The drone must yield right of way to other aircraft.
  8. The drone must fly at or below fifty mph, and at or below 400 feet (within and well below the limitations for operation in Class G airspace).
  9. No person may act as a remote pilot in command or visual observer for more than one drone operation at one time.
  10. The drone requires preflight inspection by the remote pilot in command.

III. Additional Requirements for Course-Related Drone Use

A teacher, student, or class using District-owned drones as part of a course curriculum must adhere to the following additional requirements:

  1. Students may not supply cameras, or any other objects, to attach to and use with the District-owned drones. District-owned drones shall be limited to only factory-installed cameras.
  2. Eye protection is required for the drone operator and all members of the class who are present when the drone is operated.
  3. When not in use, all drones must be stored and locked at the High School main office.
  4. In order to use the District-owned drones, the drones must be signed out in a log kept in the High School main office, and then return by an authorized staff member.
  5. Drones shall not be operated indoors under any circumstances.
  6. To maintain compliance with hobby/recreational use requirements, any person providing drone flight demonstrations to District students or staff cannot be compensated for this service.

Obtain a copy of the Drone Usage Request Form.
Adoption date: September 19, 2017
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Policy 1510 | Public Sales on School Property

View the PDF version of the Public Sales on School Property Policy here.

The Board of Education (the Board) is aware of the importance of training each generation to be charitable, however, the Board will not provide agencies, groups, or individuals with unrestricted access to the captive audience of a school group. Therefore, except for those activities listed in the administrative regulations following this policy, solicitations, collections, and distribution of materials will not be permitted in school buildings, without prior approval of the superintendent.

Any fund drive must be sponsored by the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) , or a school-related organization (e.g., the Parent-Teacher Association).

The District will not provide lists of parents, students, their addresses, or phone numbers for the above-mentioned purpose.

Fund drives sponsored by the District requiring door-to-door solicitation must have the prior approval of the superintendent.

Cross-ref:
5660, Student Gifts and Solicitations

Adoption date: June 19, 2002
Re-approved date: November 28, 2018

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Policy 1510-R | Public Sales on School Property Regulation

View the PDF version of the Public Sales on School Property Regulation here.

Door to Door Solicitations

No student may be asked to go door-to-door under Bethlehem Central School District (the District) auspices without the prior approval of the superintendent. Collection and solicitation will be considered for approval in the following situations:

  1. There has been a well-established tradition of door-to-door soliciting;
  2. All net proceeds collected will be used for school purposes;
  3. Each person contacted in the home determines the amount they contribute; and
  4. The project involves a broad base rather than something of a limited scope.

Fund-raising activities sponsored by organizations represented by the Bethlehem Central President’s Council shall be approved only during nonschool hours. These activities shall be conducted as to minimize the amount of school time required and to emphasize school spirit.

All activities shall be voluntary and no identifying devices shall be used for students who contribute or participate.

Literature that is sponsored by organizations that are represented by the President’s Council may be distributed at the discretion of the superintendent.

Adoption date: June 19, 2002
Re-approved date: November 28, 2018

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Policy 1530 | Smoking on School Premises

View the PDF version of the Smoking on School Premises Policy here.

Due to the health hazards associated with smoking, which includes a cigarette, e-cigarette (including a vape or juul), cigar, pipe, or using chewing or smokeless tobacco, and in accordance with federal and state law, the Board of Education (the Board) prohibits smoking or other tobacco use in all school buildings, on Bethlehem Central School District (the District) property, and at District-sponsored activities, whether such activities are sponsored on or off District property.

The District’s smoking policy shall be prominently posted in each building. The Board designates the superintendent or his/her designee as the agent responsible for informing individuals smoking in a nonsmoking area that they are in violation of Article 13 of the Public Health Law and/or federal Pro-Children Act of 1994.

Ref:
Education Law §§409(2); 3020-a(4)
Goals 2000: Educate America Act §§1041 et seq. (The Pro-Children Act of 1994)
Public Health Law Article 13-E §§206; 340; 347

Adoption date: June 19, 2002
Revised date: December 19, 2018

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Policy 1600 | Relations with Other Local Government Authorities

View the PDF version of the Relations with Other Local Government Authorities Policy here.

The Board of Education (the Board) recognizes the interdependence of the Board and other governmental units and realizes the necessity for close cooperation between local school government and other local governmental agencies.

The Board will be ready to cooperate with other governmental agencies whenever it is appropriate.

Adoption date: June 19, 2002
Re-approved date: November 28, 2018

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Policy 1740 | Relationship with Nonpublic Schools

View the PDF version of the Relationship with Nonpublic Schools Policy here.

In recognition of its responsibility under state law and regulation, the Board of Education (the Board) shall make available required public school materials, equipment, and services to resident students who attend nonpublic schools.

Textbook Loan

The Board recognizes that section 701 of the Education Law requires all Boards to purchase and to loan, upon individual request, textbooks to all children residing in the district who are attending grades kindergarten through twelve in any public or nonpublic school that complies with the compulsory education law.

It is also understood that the textbooks must be “loaned free” to the children, but Boards may make reasonable rules and regulations regarding such loan(s).

Therefore, the following rules and regulations shall govern the loan of textbooks to residents of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) attending nonpublic schools:

  1. The textbooks shall remain the property of the District.
  2. The textbooks shall be returned at the end of the nonpublic school year.
  3. If lost or destroyed, the textbooks shall be paid for in the same fashion as the students attending District schools.

Instructional Computer Hardware and Software Loan

The Board recognizes its responsibility to loan instructional computer hardware and software, upon request, to all pupils legally attending nonpublic elementary or secondary schools located in the District. The District shall loan instructional computer hardware and software on an equitable basis. However, software and hardware purchased with any local, federal, or state funds, other than Instructional Computer Hardware or Software Aid funds, are not required to be loaned to nonpublic school students.

In addition, the District will only purchase and loan software programs that do not contain material of a religious nature.

The Board authorizes the superintendent to establish any and all rules, regulations, and procedures necessary to implement and maintain this policy. The superintendent will specify the date by which requests must be received by the District and provide notice to all nonpublic schools within the District of that date.

Ref:
Education Law §§701; 751-754; 1709; 3204; 3602-c
8 NYCRR §175.25; 21.3
Mitchell v. Helms, 530 U.S. 793 (2000)
Russman v. Sobol, 85 F.3d 1050 (2d Cir. 1996)
Zobrest v. Catalina Foothills Sch. Dist., 509 U.S. 1 (1993)
Aguilar v. Felton, 473 U.S. 402 (1985)
Board of Educ. v. Allen, 392 U.S. 236 (1968)

Adoption date: February 4, 2009
Re-approved date: November 28, 2018

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Policy 1741 | Homeschooled Students

View the PDF version of the Homeschooled Students Policy here.

The Board of Education (the Board) shall ensure that children instructed at home are taught by a competent instructor and receive an education substantially equivalent to that offered in the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) schools.

Notice of Intention to Instruct at Home

Parents/guardians who wish to educate their children at home must annually provide written notice to the superintendent, by July 1st of each school year, of their intention to educate their children at home for the coming school year. Parents/guardians who wish to commence home instruction after the start of the school year, or who establish residence in the District after the start of the school year, must provide written notice to the superintendent of their intention to educate their children at home within fourteen days following the commencement of the home instruction. For the purposes of this Policy, the school year begins July 1st and ends June 30th.

Procedures for the Development and Review of an Individualized Home Instructional Plan (IHIP)

  1. Within ten business days of receipt of a notice of intention to instruct at home, the District shall send to the parents/guardians a copy of Section 100.10 of the Commissioner’s Regulations and a form on which to submit an individualized home instruction plan (IHIP) for each child who is to be taught at home.
  2. Within four weeks of receipt of such materials, or by August 15th, whichever is later, the parents/guardians must submit the completed IHIP form to the District. The District will provide assistance in preparation of the form, if requested by the parents/guardians.
  3. Within ten business days of receipt of the IHIP, or by August 31st, whichever is later, the District will either notify the parents/guardians that the IHIP complies with the applicable requirements of Section 100.10 of the Commissioner’s Regulations, or will give the parents/guardians written notice of any deficiency in the IHIP.
  4. Within fifteen days of receipt of a notice of deficiency in the IHIP, or by September 15th, whichever is later, the parents/guardians will submit a revised IHIP that corrects any such deficiencies.
  5. Within fifteen days of receipt of the revised IHIP, or by September 30th, whichever is later, the superintendent will review the revised IHIP and will notify the parents/guardians that the revised IHIP complies with the applicable requirements of Section 100.10 of the Commissioner’s Regulations.
    1. If the revised IHIP is not determined to be in compliance with the applicable requirements of Section 100.10 of the Commissioner’s Regulations, then the superintendent will notify the parents/guardians in writing and state the reasons for such determination. Such notice will also contain the date of the next regularly scheduled meeting of the Board, held at least ten days after the date of the mailing of such notice, and will advise that if the parents/guardians desire to contest the determination of noncompliance, then the parents/guardians must notify the Board at least three business days prior to such meeting. At the Board meeting, the parents/guardians have the right to present proof of compliance, and the Board will make the final determination of compliance or noncompliance.
    2. Within thirty days after receipt of such determination, the parents/guardians have the right to appeal any final determination of noncompliance to the commissioner of Education.

IHIP

A. Content

Each child’s IHIP shall contain:

  1. Child’s name, age, and grade level.
  2. A list of the syllabi, curriculum materials, textbooks, or plans of instruction to be used in each of the required subjects listed in Section 100.10(e) of the Commissioner’s Regulations.
  3. The date for submission to the District of the parents’ or guardians’ quarterly reports. These reports will be spaced in even and logical periods.
  4. The names of the individuals providing instruction.
  5. A statement (if applicable) that the child will be meeting the compulsory educational requirements of Education Law §3205 through attendance as a full-time student at a degree-granting institution (defined as at least twelve semester hours per semester or its equivalent), the name of the degree-granting institution, and the subjects to be covered.

B. Attendance Requirements

Each child will receive instruction, pursuant to his/her IHIP, as follows:

  1. The substantial equivalent of 180 days of instruction must be provided each school year.
  2. The cumulative hours of instruction for grades one through six are 900 hours per school year. The cumulative hours of instruction for grades seven through twelve are 990 hours per school year.
  3. Absences are permitted on the same basis as provided in the applicable policy of the District for its own students.
  4. Records of attendance must be maintained by the parents or guardians and will be made available to the District upon request.

C. Quarterly Reports

On or before the dates specified in the IHIP, a quarterly report for each child will be furnished by the parents or guardians to the District. The quarterly report will contain the following:

  1. The number of hours of instruction during the quarter.
  2. A description of the material covered in each subject listed in the IHIP.
  3. Either a grade for the child in each subject or a written narrative evaluating the child’s progress.
  4. In the event that less than 80 percent of the amount of the course material in any subject for that quarter has been covered, a written explanation describing the reasons why.

D. Annual Assessment

At the time of the filing of the fourth quarter report, as specified in the IHIP, the parents or guardians must also file an annual assessment, in accordance with Section 100.10 of the Commissioner’s Regulations.

The annual assessment must include either:

  1. The results of a commercially published norm-referenced achievement test that meets the requirements of Section 100.10(h)(1) of the Commissioner’s Regulations. If this option is selected, parents/guardians may not administer or score the achievement test.
  2. An alternative form of evaluation that meets the requirements of Section 100.10(h)(2) of the Commissioner’s Regulations, but only as set forth below:
    1. The alternative form of evaluation (written narrative) for grades one through three may be used each school year.
    2. The alternative form of evaluation (written narrative) for grades four through eight may be used only every other school year.
    3. The alternative form of evaluation (written narrative) may not be used for grades nine through twelve.
    4. The written narrative must be prepared by a New York State-certified teacher, home instruction peer group review panel, or other person chosen by the parents or guardians with the consent of the superintendent.

If a dispute arises between the parents or guardians and the superintendent, including disputes over the administration of commercially published norm-referenced achievement tests or the use of alternative evaluation methods, the parents or guardians may appeal to the Board. If the parents or guardians disagree with the determination of the Board, then the parents or guardians may appeal to the commissioner of Education within thirty days of receipt of the Board’s final determination.

Special Education

A student with an approved IHIP, who is a resident of the District and has a disability, or is suspected of having a disability, is eligible to receive services from the District, in accordance with law, regulation, and District policy. Parents or guardians must request special education services in writing to the Board by June 1st of each school year, unless the child is first identified as a classified student with a disability or moves into the District after June 1st. In that case, the parents or guardians must request the services within thirty days after the student is identified as a classified student with a disability or of moving into the District.

The Committee on Special Education (CSE) shall develop an individualized education services plan (IESP) for each eligible homeschooled student with a disability. The CSE shall determine the location where special education and/or related services will be available to each homeschooled student, pursuant to his/her IESP.

Participation in Extracurricular Activities

Students instructed at home by their parents/guardians are not entitled to participate in interscholastic sports, intramural sports, and/or any other extracurricular activities.

Instructional Materials

The Board authorizes the superintendent to loan instructional materials, if available, to students receiving home instruction. The superintendent or his/her designee shall determine the availability of resources and develop appropriate procedures.

Ref:

  • Education Law §§3204(2); 3210(2)(d); 3602-c(2-c)
  • 8 NYCRR §100.10
  • Appeal of Ponte, 41 EDR 174 (2001)
  • Matter of Abookire, 33 EDR 473 (1994)
  • State Education Department Memorandum, “New Requirements for the Provision of Special Education Services to Home-Instructed (“Homeschooled”) Students, July 2008

Adoption date: January 4, 2012 
Revised date: February 6, 2013
Re-approved date: November 28, 2018

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Policy 1800 | Donations, Gifts, and Grants to the District

View the PDF version of the Donations, Gifts, and Grants to the District Policy here.

Unsolicited Gifts and Donations from the Public

The Board of Education (the Board) welcomes and appreciates gifts and donations from the public. Gifts and donations of money, property, equipment, and materials may be accepted by the Board, except that the superintendent may accept on behalf of the Board gifts and donations having a value less than $500.00 dollars. This policy does not cover personal gifts to staff. See policy 2160, “School District Officer and Employee Code of Ethics,” for guidance on that issue.

The Board reserves the right to refuse to accept any gift that does not contribute towards the achievement of the goals of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District), or the ownership of which would deplete the resources of the District. In accepting or rejecting gifts and donations, the Board will review the following factors:

  1. The terms of the gift must identify:
    1. the subject of the gift;
    2. the purpose of the gift;
    3. the beneficiary or beneficiaries if any; and
    4. all conditions or restrictions that may apply.
  2. The gift must not benefit a particular or named individual or individuals.
  3. If the purpose of the gift is an award to a single student, the determination of the recipient of such award shall be made on the basis that all students shall have an equal opportunity to qualify for it in conformance with federal and state law.
  4. If the gift is in trust, the obligation of the investment and reinvestment of the principal shall be clearly specified and the application of the income or investment proceeds shall be clearly set forth.
  5. No gift or trust will be accepted by the Board unless:
    1. it is in support of, and a benefit to, all or to a particular public school in the District; or
    2. it is for a purpose for which the District could legally expend its own funds; or
    3. it is for the purpose of awarding scholarships to students graduating from the District.

Any gift rejected by the Board shall be returned to the donor or his/her estate within sixty days, together with a statement indicating the reasons for the rejection of such gift.

Soliciting and Accepting Gifts, Grants, or Donations

Prior to seeking any grant or donation, the applicant must obtain prior approval from the District. Teachers seeking grants or donations for their classroom must obtain approval from the building principal. Other staff or administrators seeking grants or donations to benefit an entire school or the District as a whole must obtain prior approval from the superintendent or his/her designee. Grant applications for funding of more than $500.00 require prior approval by the Board.

Approval shall depend on factors including, but not limited to: compatibility with the District’s educational program and standards; availability of existing District resources; whether ownership would deplete District resources; and its impact on the equitable distribution of District resources.

All grants and donations must benefit the District and be congruent with the following principles:

  1. The District’s mission, vision, core values, and beliefs.
  2. The District and school goals that positively impact student performance.
  3. The District’s instructional priorities and strategies.
  4. Equity in funding.
  5. Conform to District governance and decision-making procedures of the Board, central office, and building-level staff.
  6. Provide a value or benefit that is greater than the obligation under the grant award.
  7. Not violate management and/or bargaining unit rights and responsibilities.
  8. Not carry any conditions that would divert school or District efforts away from the District’s primary mission.

The Board reserves the right to deny approval of solicitation of any funding or grant application that does not contribute towards the achievement of the District’s goals, or which would deplete the resources of the District. The Board may approve seeking grants that require a match of District funds or resources when the initiative has been identified as a priority by the Board and when such funds are planned as part of the District budget process or can be accommodated by the current budget.

All solicited grants and donations must be formally accepted by the Board.

Coordinating with Support Organizations

The District requires independent support organizations (e.g., booster clubs, Parent-Teacher Association/Organization (PTA/PTO), education foundations) seeking to make a contribution of money or property to first meet with the superintendent or his/her designee to identify the terms and conditions of the proposed gift and the needs of the District. The Board must approve such gifts and donations prior to any public announcement of the contribution.

Accounting for, and Oversight of, All Donations, Gifts, and Grants

All gifts, donations, grants, funds, property, and materials received by the District become the property of the District. Such items may not be returned without the approval of the Board. All items are subject to the same controls and regulations as other District property, and shall be deposited or inventoried accordingly.

It is the goal of the Board to properly account for all District resources and to monitor the distribution of those resources to minimize disparities between schools within the District.

Cross-ref:
1222, Relationship with Booster Organizations
1225, Relationship with Local Educational Foundations
2160, School District Officer and Employee Code of Ethics
5251, Student Fund Raising Activities

Ref: Education Law §1709(12)

Adoption date: June 19, 2002
Revised date: March 16, 2016
Revised date: October 17, 2018

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Policy 1810 | Guidelines for Community Announcements

View the PDF version of the Guidelines for Community Announcements in Bethlehem Central Publications Policy here.

The Bethlehem Central School District (the “District”) is a proud member of its community and considers itself an important hub of healthy community activities and education, as well as information and awareness. As such, District schools may publish announcements on the District website, and though email notifications if deemed appropriate, from community groups for the purposes of informing parents of activities designed to benefit the District, its students, and the community. The following guidelines are established regarding the publication of this information.

A. No announcements from for-profit organizations will be published.

B. Announcements will be published from groups affiliated with the District (often referred to as President’s Council member groups. A list of these organizations is on the bottom of this document).

C. In addition, announcements regarding recreational and educational activities and programs that benefit children within the school community may be published. These activities, events, and programs must take place within District boundaries to be considered for publication.

D. From time-to-time, it is recognized that the Towns of Bethlehem and New Scotland seek to bring attention to important information for town residents through school newsletters. When one of the towns identifies information of such importance, publication will be considered.

E. Advertising/Announcements for both student fundraisers and fundraisers for booster clubs and parent organizations (groups affiliated with the District) will be published only after the fundraiser has received the necessary approvals under District policy governing such fundraising activities (Board of Education Policy Nos. 1221 and 5251).

Adoption Date: July 1, 2009 
Revised date: November 16, 2016
Revised date: February 27, 2019

President’s Council Member Groups

  • Eagle Elementary PTO
  • Elsmere Elementary PTA
  • Glenmont Elementary PTA
  • Hamagrael Elementary PTA
  • Slingerlands Elementary PTA
  • Middle School PTO
  • Bethlehem Central Community Organization
  • Bethlehem Central Athletic Association
  • Bethlehem Music Association
  • Bethlehem Opportunities Unlimited
  • Parents for Excellence
  • Special Education Parents Advisory Group
  • Bethlehem Parents as Art Partners
  • Healthy Kids Committee
  • Lab School Parent Organization

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Policy 1900 | Parental Involvement

View the PDF version of the Parental Involvement Policy here.

The Board of Education (the Board) believes that positive parental involvement is essential to student achievement, and thus encourages such involvement in school educational planning and operations. Parental involvement may take place either in the classroom or during extracurricular activities. However, the Board also encourages parental involvement at home (e.g., planned home reading time, informal learning activities, and/or homework “contracts” between parents/guardians and children). The Board directs the superintendent to develop a home-school communications program in an effort to encourage all forms of parental involvement.

Consistent with the parent involvement goals of Title I, Part A of the Federal Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 (ESSA), the Board will develop and implement programs, activities, and procedures that encourage and support the participation of parents/guardians of students eligible for Title I services in all aspects of their child’s education. The Board also will ensure that all of its schools receiving Title I, Part A funds will develop and implement school-level parental involvement policies, as further required by the ESSA.

For purposes of this policy, parental involvement refers to the participation of parents/guardians in regular, two-way, and meaningful communication involving student academic learning and other school activities. At a minimum, parental involvement programs, activities and procedures at both the Bethlehem Central School District (the District)  and individual school level must ensure that parents/guardians:

  • Play an integral role in assisting their child’s learning;
  • Are encouraged to be actively involved in their child’s education at school; and
  • Are full partners in their child’s education and are included, as appropriate, in decision making and on advisory committees to assist in the education of their child.

The term parents/guardians refers to a natural parent, legal guardian, or other person standing in loco parentis (such as a grandparent or stepparent with whom the child lives, or a person who is legally responsible for the child’s welfare).

District and school-level Title I parental involvement programs, activities, and procedures will provide full opportunities for the participation of parents/guardians with limited English proficiency, parents/guardians with disabilities, and parents/guardians of migratory children.

As further required by the ESSA, parents/guardians of students eligible for Title I services will be provided an opportunity to participate in the development of the District’s Title I plan, and to submit comments regarding any aspect of the plan that is not satisfactory to them. Their comments will be forwarded with the plan to the State Education Department.

Parents/guardians also will participate in the process for developing a school improvement plan when the school their child attends fails to make adequate yearly progress for two consecutive years and is identified as a school in need of improvement.

Parent Participation in Development of District-Wide Parental Involvement Plan

The Board, along with the superintendent and other appropriate District staff will use the following venues to solicit parental involvement and feedback to ensure parent involvement in the development of the District-wide parental involvement plan:

  • President’s Council;
  • Parent-Teacher Association/Organizations (PTA/PTO);
  • Booster and Support Organizations;
  • District/Building Level Advisory Teams; and
  • Parent Surveys.

Review of District-Wide Parental Involvement Plan

The Board, along with the superintendent and other appropriate staff, will conduct, with the involvement of parents/guardians, an annual evaluation of the content and effectiveness of the parental involvement plan in improving the academic quality of Title I schools, including the identification of barriers to greater participation by parents/guardians in activities under this policy, and the revision of these policies necessary for more effective involvement. To facilitate this review, the District will conduct the following activities:

  • The superintendent or designee will initiate an annual review of the District’s parent participation policy during the month of July. Parents/guardians will be notified of the annual review through the District’s website should they wish to contribute feedback for the Board of Education. Interpreter services will be made available upon request.

Development of School-Level Parental Involvement Plans

The superintendent or designee will ensure that all District schools receiving federal financial assistance under Title I, Part A are provided with technical assistance in order to plan and implement effective parental involvement programs and activities that improve student achievement and school performance. As appropriate to meet individual local needs, the superintendent will ensure meetings are held at convenient times and are accessible to all parents/guardians.

Building Capacity for Parental Involvement

To build capacity for strong parental involvement to improve their child’s academic achievement, the District and its Title I, Part A schools will, at a minimum:

A. Assist parents/guardians in understanding such topics as the state’s academic content and student achievement standards, state and local academic assessments, Title I requirements, how to monitor their child’s progress, and how to work with educators to improve the achievement of their child. To achieve this objective, the District and its Title I schools will share this information at PTA/PTO meetings and via the electronic communication systems. Where necessary, paper copies will be made available.

B. Provide materials and training to help parents/guardians work to improve their child’s academic achievement. To achieve this objective, the District and its Title I schools will provide information about the District’s academic program. Parents/guardians also have access to their student(s) Aspen account(s), which provides information to parents/guardians, as well as offers them a venue to communicate with teachers.

C. Educate its teachers, Special Education Student Services personnel, principals, and other staff in understanding the value and utility of a parent’s contributions and how to:

1. reach out to, communicate with, and work with parents/guardians as equal partners;

2. implement and coordinate parent programs; and

3. build ties between parents/guardians and the schools.

D. Ensure that information related to school and parent-related programs, meetings, and other activities is sent to the parents/guardians of children participating in Title I programs in an understandable and uniform format, including alternative formats, upon request, and to the extent practicable, in a language the parents/guardians can understand. Interpreter services will be made available upon request.

Coordination of Parental Involvement Strategies

The District will coordinate and integrate strategies adopted to comply with the NCLB Title I, Part A parental involvement requirements with strategies adopted in connection with any of the following applicable programs: Head Start, Reading First, Early Reading First, Even Start, Parents/Guardians as Teachers, Home Instruction Program for Preschool Youngsters, and State-operated preschool programs.

Title I Parental Involvement – School-Level Policy

The District recognizes that parents/guardians play an integral role in assisting their child’s learning. We encourage parents/guardians to be actively involved in their child’s education at school and to become full partners in school educational planning and operations. Consistent with the parent involvement goals of ESSA:

  1. The building principal and appropriate staff will convene an annual meeting, at a convenient time, to inform parents/guardians of the school’s participation in Title I programs, and to explain Title I requirements and the right of the parents/guardians to be involved. All parents/guardians of children participating in a Title I program will be invited to the meeting.
  2. The school staff shall offer a flexible number of meetings to provide parents/guardians with the opportunity to meet with school staff and otherwise participate in their child’s education. These meetings shall be held at flexible times (e.g., morning or evening) and/or in highly accessible places such as public housing projects, etc.
  3. The school will provide parents/guardians with timely information about Title I programs. School staff will also describe and explain the curriculum in use at the school, the types of academic assessment that will be used to measure student progress, and the proficiency levels the students are expected to meet. Parents/guardians may also request regular meetings with school staff to make suggestions and to participate, as appropriate, in decisions relating to the education of their children. The school will respond to any such suggestions as soon as practical.
  4. The school staff shall involve parents/guardians, in an organized, ongoing, and timely way, in the planning, review, and improvement of Title I programs, including the planning, review, and improvement of the school’s parent involvement policy.

Adoption date: January 4, 2012
Revised date: February 27, 2019

Parent Compact

When parents actively participate in their child’s education, studies have shown that their children do better in school.  Neither parents nor schools alone can ensure the educational success of the child. It takes working together to meet this common goal.  Toward that end, the faculty and staff of the Bethlehem Central School District and parents working cooperatively to provide for the successful education of the children agree:

The School Agrees

  • to convene an annual meeting for Title I parents to inform them of the Title I program and their right to be involved.
  • to offer a flexible number of meetings at various times, and if necessary, and if funds are available, will provide transportation, child care or home visits for those parents who cannot attend a regular school meeting.
  • to actively involve parents in planning, reviewing, and improving the Title I programs and the parental involvement policy.
  • to provide parents with timely information about all programs.
  • to provide performance profiles and individual student assessment results for each child and other pertinent individual and school district education information.
  • to provide high-quality curriculum and instruction.
  • to deal with communication issues between teachers and parents through:
    • parent-teacher conferences at least annually,
    • frequent reports to parents on their children’s progress,
    • reasonable access to staff,
    • opportunities to volunteer and participate in their child’s class, and
    • observation of classroom activities.
  • to assure that parents may participate in professional development activities if the school determines that it is appropriate, i.e. literacy classes, workshops on reading strategies.

The Parent/Guardian Agrees

  • to become involved in developing, implementing, evaluating, and revising the school parent-involvement policy.
  • to use or ask for technical assistance training that the local education authority or school may offer on child-rearing practices and teaching and learning strategies.
  • to work with our child(ren) on their schoolwork.
    • read for 15 to 30 minutes per day (K-1)
    • listen for 15 to 30 minutes per day (2-3)
  • to monitor our child(ren)’s:
    • attendance at school
    • homework
    • screen time
  • to share the responsibility for improved student achievement.
  • to communicate with our child(ren)’s teachers about their educational needs.
  • to ask parents and parent groups to provide information to the school on what type of training or assistance they would like and/or need to help them be more effective in assisting your child(ren) in the educational process.

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Policy 1925 | Interpreters for Parents with Hearing Loss

View the PDF version of the Interpreters for Parents with Hearing Loss Policy here.

The Board of Education (the Board) recognizes that those Bethlehem Central School District (the District) parents with hearing loss must be afforded an opportunity equal to that afforded other parents to participate in meetings or activities pertaining to the academic and/or disciplinary aspects of their child’s education. Accordingly, and pursuant to law, the District will provide an interpreter for parents with hearing loss for school-initiated academic and/or disciplinary meetings or activities including, but not limited to:

  • Parent/teacher conferences;
  • Child/study or building-level team meetings;
  • Planning meetings with school counselors regarding educational progress;
  • Career planning;
  • Suspension hearings or other conference with school officials relating to disciplinary actions.

The District will provide an interpreter for the parent with hearing loss if a written request for the service has been submitted to and received by the District within ten days prior to the scheduled meeting or activity. If an interpreter is unavailable, the District will then make other reasonable accommodations that are satisfactory to the parents (e.g., notetaker, transcript,, or virtual interpreter services). These services will be made available by the district at no cost to the parents.

The Board directs the superintendent to maintain a list of available interpreters and to develop procedures to notify parents of the availability of interpreter services, the time limitation for requesting these services, and of the requirement to make other reasonable accommodations satisfactory to the parents should an interpreter not be available.

Parents with hearing loss are requested to submit the attached form to request accommodation for their disability.

Ref:
Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, 42 U.S.C. §§12131-12134
Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. §794
Education Law §3230
8 NYCRR §100.2(aa)
Rothschild v. Grottenthaler, 907 F.2d 286 (2d Cir. 1990)

Adoption date: June 19, 2002
Revised date: October 17, 2018

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Policy 2000 | Board Operational Goals

View the PDF version of the Board Operational Goals Policy here.

The Board of Education (the Board), as a legally constituted body of elected representatives, bears the responsibility of setting policy for the Bethlehem Central School District (the District). The Board acts in accordance with authority and responsibility vested in it by federal and state laws, rules, and regulations on behalf of the District’s citizens.

In order to ensure that its educational programs provide all students with a high-quality education, the Board hereby establishes as its goals:

  1. to work closely with the community to ensure that Board actions and performance take into consideration the concerns and aspirations of the community;
  2. to identify the educational and technological needs of the community and industry, and to transform such needs into programs aimed at stimulating students and preparing them for future careers;
  3. to employ a superintendent capable of ensuring that the District maintains its position as an outstanding school system, and that school personnel carry out the policies of the Board with energy and dedication;
  4. to provide leadership so that goals and objectives of the District, as set forth by the Board, can be effectively carried out. Board action should be confined to policymaking, planning, and appraisal, with the Board delegating authority to the superintendent for the implementation of policies; and
  5. to evaluate the Board’s performance in relation to these goals, and to establish and clarify policies based upon the results of such evaluation.

Adoption date: June 19, 2002
Re-approved date: November 28, 2018

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Policy 2100 | School Board Legal Status

View the PDF version of the School Board Legal Status Policy here.

The New York State Constitution states that “The Legislature shall provide for the maintenance and support of a system of free common schools, wherein all the children of this state may be educated.” Through legislation, the state has permitted the development of provisions for education at the local level.

Thus, in its relationship to the local school system, the Board of Education (the Board) represents the people of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) and the state of New York.

The Board of Education is a seven member Board elected by District residents. Each member of the Board serves for three years; however, members elected to fill unexpired terms are elected only for the balance of such terms. The terms of office of Board members shall not all expire in the same year. Board members are responsible for adopting the District budget and developing policies under which the District is managed.

The legal status of the Board is that of a corporate body established pursuant to the laws of New York State. Any liability of the District is a liability of the Board as a corporation and not that of the members of the Board as individuals.

In accordance with Section 18 of the Public Officers Law, the District shall provide members of the Board and District employees with a legal defense at District expense, in any civil action or proceeding, state or federal, arising out of an alleged act or omission that occurs or allegedly occurs while such an individual is acting within the scope of his/her public employment or duties. In addition, the District will indemnify or save harmless such persons in the amount of any judgment obtained against them in any such action or proceeding.

This defense and indemnification is subject to the definitions, limitations, qualifications, terms, conditions, and intent of Section 18 of the Public Officers Law.

The benefits of Section 18 of Public Officers Law provided to members of the governing body shall supplement and be available in addition to defense and indemnification protection conferred by another enactment in existence on the effective date of this policy.

Ref:

  • Education Law §§1701; 1702; 1703; 1804(1); 2101(2); 2105
  • Public Officers Law §18

Adoption date: June 19, 2002
Revised date: December 19, 2018

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Policy 2110 | School Board Powers and Duties

View the PDF version of the School Board Powers & Duties Policy here.

The Board of Education (the Board) is the governing body of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District). The Board is entrusted with the responsibility of adopting the District budget and developing policies under which the District is managed.

The powers and duties of the Board are as stated in the Education Law and other applicable New York State law. Complete and final authority on all District educational matters, except as restricted by law, will be vested in the Board.

Ref:

  • Education Law §§ 1604; 1604-a; 1701; 1708; 1709; 1710

Adoption date: June 19, 2002
Revised date: December 19, 2018

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Policy 2111.1 | Board Member School Visits

View the PDF version of the Board Member School Visits Policy here.

Unless specifically authorized to act on behalf of the Board of Education (the Board), an individual Board member has no right to make an official visit to the schools for the purposes of inspecting the schools, gathering information, or giving directions to any employee of the schools. The individual Board member’s rights are no greater or different from those of any other individual. As such, individual Board members shall provide advance notice of a school visit to the building principal and shall notify the principal upon entering the building. Concerns or opinions related to the education program in individual school buildings shall be directed to the superintendent.

Ref:     Education Law §§1604; 1604–a; 1701; 1708; 1709; 1710
Matter of Bruno, 4 EDR 14 (1964)

Adoption date: May 19, 2010
Re-approved date: 
November 28, 2018

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Policy 2120.1 | Candidates and Campaigning

View the PDF version of the Candidates and Campaigns policy here.

Nominations

Candidates for the office of member of the Board of Education (the Board) shall be nominated by petition. All nominating petitions shall be filed with the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) clerk between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., not later than thirty days preceding the Annual Meeting and Election.

Each nominating petition shall be directed to the District clerk and shall contain the signatures and addresses of at least twenty-five qualified voters of the District or 2 (two) percent of the voters who voted in the previous election, whichever is greater. Each petition shall clearly state the name and residence of the candidate. No person shall be nominated by petition for more than one separate office. Forms for petitions are available in the clerk’s office.

The District clerk will supervise the procedure used to establish the order of names on the ballot, which shall be determined by a drawing by lot to be held for each vacancy. Candidates and/or their proxy shall appear in the Educational Services Center of the Bethlehem Central School District located at 700 Delaware Avenue, Delmar, NY, at 8:00 a.m. the next business day after the last possible date for candidates to file a petition for the drawing by lot.

Any candidate wishing to appear by proxy must provide the person so designated with a written proxy, which must be filed with the District clerk no later than the time stated above. In the event that a candidate fails to appear in person or by properly designated proxy, the District clerk shall act as such proxy.

Any objections to the actual drawing by lot shall be made at that time to the District clerk so that defects, if any, may be corrected while all the candidates or their representatives are present. Failure to so object shall constitute a waiver of any defect. Candidates who fail to appear either personally or by proxy shall be deemed to waive their right to object to such proceedings. The Board may reject nominations if the candidate is ineligible or has declared an unwillingness to serve.

Reporting Expenditures

If a candidate’s campaign expenditures exceed $500, the candidate must file a sworn statement with both the District clerk and the commissioner of education itemizing their expenditures and contributions received. The statement must list the amounts of all money or other valuable items paid, given, expended, or promised by the candidate, or incurred for or on the candidate’s behalf with his or her approval.

A candidate who spends $500 or less is only required to file a sworn statement with the District clerk indicating this to be the case. No other campaign expenditure statement is required.

An initial statement must be filed at least thirty days before the election, a second statement must be filed on or before the fifth (5th) day preceding the election and a final statement must be filed within twenty days after the election.

Electioneering

Electioneering during the hours of any vote is prohibited within the polling place or within 100 feet of any such polling place. Electioneering includes the display or distribution of any banner, poster, placard, button, or flyer on behalf of, or in opposition to, any candidate or issue to be voted upon.

Cross-ref:      1050, Annual District Meeting and Election
6120, Budget Hearing

Ref: Education Law §2018; 2031-a

Adoption date: June 19, 2002
Revised date: November 16, 2016
Re-approved date: 
November 28, 2018

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Policy 2120.2 | Voting Procedures

View the PDF version of the Voting Procedures Policy and an Application for Absentee Ballot here.

Eligibility to Vote

A person shall be entitled to vote in any Bethlehem Central School District (the District) election and in all matters placed upon the official ballot, if such person is:

A. a citizen of the United States;

B. at least eighteen years of age;

C. a resident within the District for a period of thirty days preceding the election at which such person desires to vote;

D. qualified to register or is registered to vote in accord with section 5-106 of the Election Law,  which excludes:

1. those convicted felons who have not been pardoned or had their rights of citizenship restored, those whose maximum sentence of imprisonment has not expired; and/or those who have not been discharged from parole;

2. persons adjudged mentally incompetent by a court.

Challenges to voters believed unqualified to vote may be undertaken pursuant to Education Law provisions. Each annual or special election or meeting shall have a presiding chairman appointed by the Board of Education (the Board). Such chairman shall have the responsibility of properly handling any challenges to the qualification of any voter.

Voting

Voting machines shall be used for recording the votes on all elections, budget votes, and votes on special propositions. The only exception to the use of voting machines shall be an emergency situation whereby the machines are unavailable due to a mechanical failure or state or local law prohibiting their use. If this should arise, paper ballots will be used.

Each voting machine shall have at least two election inspectors appointed by the Board in attendance during all voting hours. It shall be the duty of the District clerk and assistant clerk or clerks to keep a poll list containing the name and legal residence of each person before such person is permitted to vote.

Entering a voting machine with another person is prohibited, except upon request from a voter, in which case an election inspector shall be allowed to enter the voting machine with that voter for the sole purpose of assisting that person in the actual manipulation of the voting machine. The election inspector shall not advise or induce such voter to vote on any proposition or candidate, and the election inspector shall never reveal the vote(s) recorded by the voter to any other person at any time.

Write-in ballot slots are required. Ballots containing the names of nominated candidates will be provided by the Board. There will be as many write-in slots as there are vacancies at the time of election.

The writing in of a name legibly in the blank space so provided, will sufficiently indicate a vote. The District cannot require a voter to place any other mark beside the name of a write-in candidate.

Absentee Ballots

The Board provides for the use of absentee ballots for voting. Such ballots shall be available for the election of members of the Board of Education, the adoption of the District budget, and on questions and propositions submitted to the voters of the District. The application must be received by the District clerk at least seven days prior to the election, if the ballot is to be mailed to the voter; or the application must be received by the day before the election, if the ballot is to be personally delivered. The application must be completed and returned, and the individual must verify therein that he/she meets all voting requirements, and explain the reason for his/her inability to appear in person to vote.

In particular, the individual must explain that he/she will be unable to appear to vote in person on the day of the District election because:

A. he/she will be a patient in a hospital, or unable to appear personally at the polling place on such day because of illness or physical disability;

B. his/her duties, occupation, business, or studies will require him/her to be outside of the county or city of his/her residence on such day;

C. he/she will be on vacation outside the county or city of his/her residence on such day; or

D. he/she will be detained in jail awaiting action by a grand jury; awaiting trial; or is confined in prison after conviction for an offense other than a felony.

The District shall request registration lists from the Albany County Board of Elections for those voters whose registration record  notes that they shall automatically be mailed absentee ballots in advance of each District vote or election.

Ref:

  • Education Law §§2012; 2014; 2018; 2018-a; 2018-b; 2018-c; 2019; 2019-a; 2020; 2025; 2032(2)(e); 2035; 2037; 2603; 2607; 2610; 2613
  • Election Law §§3-224; 5-106; 5-612; 5-400; 5-406
  • Matter of Rodriguez, 31 EDR 471 (1992)
  • Matter of Gresty, 31 EDR 90 (1991)
  • Matter of Ferro, 25 EDR 175 (1985)
  • Matter of Manno and Maloney, 23 EDR 172 (1983)
  • Matter of Yost, 21 EDR 140 (1981)
  • Matter of Alpert and Helmer, 20 EDR 281 (1980)
  • Matter of Reigler and Barton, 16 EDR 256 (1977)

Adoption date: June 19, 2002
Revised date: February 27, 2019

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Policy 2160 | School District Officer and Employee Code of Ethics

View the PDF version of the School District Officer and Employee Code of Ethics Policy here.

The Bethlehem Central Schools Board of Education (the Board) is committed to avoiding any situation in which the existence of conflicting interests of any Board member, officer, or employee may call into question the integrity of the management or operation of the District. The Board recognizes that sound, ethical standards of conduct serve to increase the effectiveness of District officers and staff as educators and public employees in the community. Adherence to a Code of Ethics promotes public confidence in the schools and furthers the attainment of District goals.

The Board also recognizes its obligation to adopt a Code of Ethics setting forth the standards of conduct required of all Board members, District officers, and employees under the provisions of the General Municipal Law. Therefore, every Board member, officer, and employee of the District, whether paid or unpaid, shall adhere to the following Code of Ethics.

Statutory Conflicts of Interest

It is a conflict of interest for a Board member, officer, or employee to benefit personally from contracts made in their official capacity.

  • Contract” is defined broadly to include any claim or demand against the District or account or agreement with the District, whether expressed or implied, that exceeds the sum of $750.00 in any fiscal year.
  • An “interest” is defined as a direct or indirect benefit that runs to the Board member, officer, or employee as a result of a contract with the District.

No Board member, officer, or employee shall have an “interest” (i.e., receive a direct or indirect benefit as the result of a contract with the District) in:

  1. a firm, partnership, or association in which he/she is a member or employee;
  2. a corporation in which he/she is an officer, director, or employee;
  3. a corporation in which he/she, directly or indirectly, owns or controls 5 percent or more of the stock;
  4. a contract between the District and his/her spouse, minor child or dependents, except for an employment contract between the District, a spouse, minor child, or dependent of a Board member authorized by §800(3) of the General Municipal Law or §3016 of the Education Law.

Code of Ethics

A. Gifts: A Board member, officer, or employee shall not directly or indirectly solicit any gift or accept or receive any gift having a value of $75 or more, whether in the form of money, services, loan, travel, entertainment, hospitality, thing, or promise, or any other form, under circumstances in which it could reasonably be inferred that the gift was intended to influence him or her in the performance of his or her official duties or was intended as a reward for any official action on his or her part. Supplemental guidance on this will be distributed to the staff annually.

However, the Board welcomes and encourages the writing of letters or notes expressing gratitude or appreciation to staff members. Gifts from children that are principally sentimental in nature, and of insignificant financial value, may be accepted in the spirit in which they are given.

B. Confidential information: A Board member, officer, or employee shall not disclose confidential information acquired by him or her in the course of his or her official duties or use such information to further his or her personal interest. This includes matters discussed in executive session. However, the Board, acting as a whole, may decide to disclose such information where disclosure is not prohibited under the law.

C. Representation before the Board or District: A Board member, officer, or employee shall not receive or enter into any agreement, expressed or implied, for compensation for services to be rendered in relation to any matter before the District.

D. Disclosure of interest in matters before the Board: A Board member, officer, or employee of the District, whether paid or unpaid, must publicly disclose the nature and extent of any interest they or their spouse have, will have, or later acquire in any actual or proposed contract, purchase agreement, lease agreement, or other agreement involving the District (including oral agreements), to the governing body and his/her immediate supervisor (where applicable), even if it is not a prohibited interest under applicable law. Such disclosure must be in writing and made part of the official record of the District. Disclosure is not required in the case of an interest that is exempted under Section 803(2) of the General Municipal Law. The term “interest” means a pecuniary or material benefit accruing to an officer or employee.

E. Investments in conflict with official duties: A Board member, officer, or employee shall not invest or hold any investment directly in any financial, business, commercial, or other private transaction that creates a conflict with his or her official duties. Exceptions to the conflict of interest law can be found in Section 802 of the General Municipal Law (see 2160-E.1).

F. Private employment: A Board member, officer, or employee shall not engage in, solicit, negotiate for, or promise to accept private employment when that employment or service creates a conflict with, or impairs the proper discharge of, his or her official duties.

G. Future employment: A Board member, officer, or employee shall not, after the termination of service or employment with the District, appear before the Board in relation to any action, proceeding, or application in which he or she personally participated during the period of his or her service or employment or that was under his or her active consideration.

H. Involvement with Charitable Organizations: A Board member, officer, or employee may be involved as a volunteer, officer, or employee in a charitable organization that has a relationship with the District. If a Board member is a board member, officer, or employee of the charitable organization, the Board member must disclose such relationship in writing to the District, and the Board member must recuse himself or herself from any discussions or votes relating to the charitable organization that may come before the Board. When participating in the activities of the charitable organization, the Board member, officer, or employee shall not disclose any confidential information learned in the course of his or her official duties, or use such information to further personal interests or the interests of the charitable organization. Additionally, the Board member, officer, or employee shall not make representations on behalf of the District unless specifically authorized to do so by the Board.

Distribution and Training

The superintendent of schools shall cause a copy of this Code of Ethics to be distributed to every member of the Board, and every officer and employee of the District. Each officer and employee elected or appointed thereafter shall be furnished a copy before entering upon the duties of his or her office or employment. The District will provide annual training for officers and employees on its Conflict of Interest (Policy #9120.1) and Code of Ethics (Policy #2160) policies, emphasizing the obligation to perform duties with integrity and impartiality.

Reporting Concerns

Each Board member, officer, or employee has a responsibility to disclose potential conflicts and any situation that might raise an inference of impropriety.

Any person who seeks to report a potential conflict of interest or violation of the Code of Ethics should contact a supervisor, the chief business and financial officer, the director of human resources, or the superintendent.

Once a potential conflict is brought to the attention of a supervisor, the chief business and financial officer, the director of human resources, or the superintendent, he or she shall maintain a written record evaluating the potential conflict and, where appropriate, the reasonable steps taken to minimize the risks of undue bias.

Penalties

In addition to any penalty contained in any other provision of law, any Board member, officer, or employee who shall knowingly and intentionally violate any of the provisions of the Board’s Code of Ethics may be fined, suspended, or removed from office or employment, as the case may be, in the manner provided by law.

Ref:

  • General Municipal Law §§806-808
  • Opn. St. Comp. 2008-01
  • Application of the Board of Education, 57 EDR De. No. 17,147 (2017)
  • Application of Nett and Raby, 45 EDR 259 (2005)

Adoption date: June 19, 2002 
Revised date: January 7, 2004 
Revised date: May 18, 2016
Revised date: May 22, 2019

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Policy 2210 | Board Organizational Meeting

View the PDF version of the Board Organizational Meeting Policy.

The Board of Education (the Board) recognizes its obligation to hold an annual organizational meeting. The purpose of the organizational meeting is to elect officers of the Board and make the proper appointments and designations of other Bethlehem Central School District (the District) employees for the proper management of the District during the school year.

The annual reorganizational meeting of the Board of Education shall be held during the first fifteen days of the month of July.

The meeting shall be called to order by the District clerk, who shall preside until the election of a new president. The order of business to be conducted at the reorganizational meeting shall include the following items required or implied by state law and/or regulations.

The District clerk shall call the meeting to order, and shall preside until the election of a new president. The order of business to be conducted at the organizational meeting shall include items required or implied by state law and/or regulation. The Board may also conduct general District business, including properly entering into executive session, if necessary, at the end of the meeting before adjourning.

I. Oath of Office

The District clerk shall administer and countersign the oath of office to newly elected Board members. The oath shall conform to Article XIII-1 of the New York State Constitution, and Section 10 of the Public Officers Law. No new Board member shall be permitted to vote until he/she has taken the oath of office.

II. Election of Board Officers

The Board shall elect a president and vice president for the ensuing year, and administer the oath of office to them. A majority of all members of the Board shall be necessary for a valid election.

III. Appointment of District Officers

The Board shall appoint the following district officers:

  • District Treasurer
  • Deputy Treasurer
  • Tax Collector
  • Claims Auditor
  • Deputy Clerk

The Board shall appoint, and the Board president shall administer the oath of office to, the following District officer:

  • District Clerk

IV. Appointment of Other Positions

The Board shall appoint and establish the stipend (if any) for the following positions:

  • School Physician
  • School Attorney
  • Internal Auditor
  • External Auditor
  • Audit Committee
  • Insurance Consultant
  • Records Management Officer
  • Title IX/Section 504 Coordinator
  • Title IX/Section 504 Compliance Officer
  • Central Treasurer, Extracurricular Activity Account

V. Bonding of Personnel

The Board may bond the following personnel handling District funds:

  • District Clerk
  • School Attorney
  • Tax Collector
  • Claims Auditor
  • District Treasurer
  • Deputy Treasurer
  • Treasurer of Student Activity Account

The Board may, in each instance, specify the amount of the bond it intends to obtain. The Board may include any of the above officers in a blanket undertaking, pursuant to law and Commissioner’s Regulations, rather than bond individuals.

VI. Designations

The Board shall designate/approve:

  • Official depositories for District funds
  • Official District newspapers
  • The Law Enforcement Unit
  • The day and time of regular meetings
  • The rate for mileage reimbursement
  • The calendar for the upcoming school year
  • The prices for school meals

The Board shall also adopt the rotational list of impartial hearing officers for the District as provided by the State Education Department.

    VII. Authorizations

    A. of person to certify payrolls;

    B. of school purchasing agent;

    C. of person to approve attendance at conferences, conventions, workshops, etc.;

    D. to establish petty cash funds (and to set amount of such funds);

    E. to designate authorized signatures on checks;

    F. of superintendent to approve budget transfers;

    G. of person to file grant applications for federal funds;

    H. of a person to sign applications for renewal of the school lunch and school milk program and to sign contracts for health and welfare services with other districts to cover services received by students residing in the Bethlehem Central School District attending nonpublic schools in other districts;

    I. of a District signatory for tuition contracts with private schools for children with disabilities.

    The Board shall review its policies on Investments (6240) and Purchasing (6700), and the Code of Conduct (5300), as required by law. The Board shall also review building-level student attendance data as required under Commissioner’s Regulations section 104.1 and, if the data shows a decline in attendance rates, shall review its policy on Attendance (5100).

    Cross-ref:
    2270, School Attorney
    2220, Board Officers
    2230, Appointed Board Officials
    2310, Regular Meetings
    5100, Attendance
    5252, Student Activities Funds Management
    5300, Code of Conduct
    6240, Investments
    6650, Claims Auditor
    6680, Internal Audit Function
    6690, Audit Committee
    6700, Purchasing
    6741, Contracting for Professional Services

    Ref:
    New York State Constitution, Article XIII, §1
    General Municipal Law §103(2) (official newspapers)
    Public Officers Law §§10; 13; 30

    Education Law §§ 305(31) (designated educational official); 701 (meeting to elect president, may elect vice president); 1707 (date of meeting); 1904 (central high school districts in Nassau county); 2130 (appoint clerk, bonded treasurer and bonded tax collector); 2504 (small city meeting during the first week of July, day and time of regular meetings) 8 NYCRR § 104.1 (requirement to review attendance data)

    Adoption date: February 4, 2009
    Revised date: December 19, 2018

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    Policy 2220 | Board Officer

    View the PDF version of the Board Officers Policy here.

    The president and vice president of the Board of Education (the Board) shall be elected by members of the Board at the annual reorganization meeting in July.

    Duties of the President of the Board

    The duties of the president of the Board shall be as follows:

    1. to preside at all meetings;
    2. to call special meetings he/she considers necessary or upon the request of a member of the Board;
    3. to execute documents on behalf of the Board; and
    4. to perform the usual and ordinary duties of the office.

    Duties of the Vice President

    The vice president shall be authorized to act for the president in case of the president’s absence or inability to act.

    Ref:
    New York State Constitution, Article 13 §2
    Local Finance Law §2.00(5)(e)
    Education Law §§1709; 2105(6); 2502; 2504; 2553; 2563; 2590-b

    Adoption date: June 19, 2002
    Re-approved date: 
    November 28, 2018

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    Policy 2230 | Appointed Board Officials

    View the PDF version of the Appointed Board Officials Policy here.

    District Clerk

    The Board of Education (the Board) of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) will annually appoint a District clerk. Such appointment shall continue until the next reorganizational meeting. The salary of the District clerk shall also be fixed annually at the reorganizational meeting. The duties of the District clerk are:

    1. to attend meetings of the Board and keep a record of all proceedings in the form of minutes;
    2. to furnish copies of the minutes within two weeks of the meeting;
    3. to be responsible for the publishing of all legal notices concerning District business; and
    4. to perform the usual and ordinary duties of the office.

    District Treasurer

    The Board will also annually appoint a District treasurer. Such District treasurer shall serve until the next Reorganizational Meeting, or until a successor has been appointed. The treasurer shall perform those duties outlined in the Education Law, including:

    1. to act as custodian of all monies belonging to the District;
    2. to receive all monies belonging to the District;
    3. to deposit monies received in banks designated by the Board;
    4. to give a bond in such amount as shall be required before entering on the duties of the office;
    5. to pay out district monies on written order of officials of the Board; and
    6. to give detailed accounts of monies received and disbursed.

      Tax Collector

      The Board will also annually appoint a tax collector. Such tax collector shall serve until the next Reorganizational Meeting, or until a successor has been appointed. The tax collector shall perform those duties outlined in the Education Law, including:

      1. to give a bond in such sum as shall be required before entering on the duties of the office;
      2. to collect tax monies on warrant received from the Board and upon giving proper notice;
      3. to pay over to the treasurer monies as received; and
      4. to return to the Board a list of unpaid taxes.

      The Board may appoint, fix the term, and fix the compensation of such other officials as may be necessary for its proper functioning.

      Ref:

      • Education Law §§902; 2121; 2122; 2124; 2126; 2129; 2130

      Adoption date: June 19, 2002
      Revised date: December 19, 2018

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      Policy 2265 | Shared Decision-Making and School-Based Planning

      View the PDF version of the Shared Decision-Making and School-Based Planning Policy here.

      The Board of Education (the Board) encourages the participation of the community in improving education in our schools. In accordance with the regulations of the state Education commissioner, the Board has adopted a plan for the effective participation of parents, teachers, administrators, and the Board in shared decision-making at the building level. This plan specifies:

      1. the educational issues that will be subject to decision sharing and cooperative planning at the school level;
      2. the manner and extent of the expected involvement of all parties;
      3. the means and standards by which all parties will evaluate improvement in student achievement;
      4. the means by which all parties will be held accountable for the decisions made;
      5. the process whereby disputes will be resolved at the local level; and
      6. the manner in which all state and federal requirements for the involvement of parents in planning and decision-making will be coordinated with and met by the overall plan.

      A copy of the “Plan for Participation by Teachers and Parents in School-Based Planning and Shared Decision-Making” shall be available at each school and at the central District office; individual copies of the plan will be provided upon request.

      The Board shall review the plan to determine its effectiveness and to re-certify or amend the plan, as needed. Any amendment or recertification of the plan will be developed and adopted in accordance with section 100.11 of the Regulations of the Commissioner.

      The amended or recertified plan together with a statement of the plan’s success in achieving its objectives, shall be submitted to the commissioner of Education for approval no later than February 1st of each year in which biennial review takes place. The first such review shall have been submitted to the commissioner no later than February 1, 1996.

      Adoption date: June 19, 2002
      Revised date: December 19, 2018

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      Policy 2270 | School Attorney

      View the PDF version of the School Attorney Policy here.

      The Board of Education (the Board) shall retain legal counsel, who shall be appointed at the Annual Organizational Meeting of the Board of Education. The president of the Board, or his/her designee, or the superintendent or his/her designee, may contact the counsel on legal matters affecting the operation of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District).

      The attorney must be admitted to the bar of New York State. The attorney will be the legal advisor to the Board. In that capacity, the attorney’s duties will be:

      1. to advise the Board with respect to all legal matters relating to the District including, but not limited to, interpretation of the Education Law of the state of New York, and all other statutes, rules, or regulations affecting the District;
      2. to be easily accessible to the Board and the superintendent (and, at the discretion of the superintendent, to his/her administrative staff), with respect to legal matters issuing out of the day-to-day administration of the District;
      3. to review and to represent the District in the preparation of contracts, as requested by the District (other than the contract for school attorney services);
      4. to advise and assist in matters of litigation pursuant to the retainer agreement;
      5. to review the legality of policies or regulations to be adopted by the Board;
      6. to review and advise with respect to any process served upon the District; and
      7. to recommend the retaining of such special counsel as he or she may deem necessary in the circumstances, subject to the approval of the Board.

      The selection of the school attorney shall be carried out in accordance with state law and regulation, as well as Board policy.

      Cross-ref:
      2210, Board Organizational Meeting
      6741, Contracting for Professional Services

      Adoption date: June 19, 2002
      Amended: February 4, 2009
      Re-approved date: 
      November 28, 2018

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      Policy 2310 | Regular Meetings

      View the PDF version of the Regular Meetings Policy here.

      In order to perform its duties in an open and public manner, and in accordance with state law, the Board of Education (the Board) will hold regular meetings at least once a month.

      The time, dates, and place of regular Board meetings shall be established at the annual reorganizational meeting or at any regular meeting of the Board. In the event that the day appointed for a regular meeting falls on a legal holiday, the meeting shall be rescheduled. All regular Board meetings are open to the public, and meeting facilities shall provide access to persons with disabilities.

      All meetings will be conducted under Roberts Rules of Order, and agendas and minutes of the previous meeting will be provided for the media and other visitors.

      In addition to the members of the Board, the following individuals shall regularly attend the business meetings of the Board: the superintendent, the assistant superintendents, the director of Special Education and Student Services, and other specified personnel as deemed necessary.

      Cross-ref:
      2210, Board Reorganizational Meeting

      Adoption date: June 19, 2002
      Re-approved date: 
      November 28, 2018

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      Policy 2320 | Special Meetings

      View the PDF version of the Special Meeting Policy here.

      Special/Emergency Board Meetings

      In an effort to anticipate and respond to special circumstances that may arise during Bethlehem Central School District (the District) operations, any member of the Board of Education (the Board) may call special and/or emergency meetings of the Board upon twenty-four hour notice to every Board member. If the meeting is scheduled less than a week in advance, public notice of the meeting will be given to the extent practicable.

      If, in an emergency, a special meeting is held before the twenty-four hour notice can be given to all Board members, each member may be asked to sign a waiver of notice. A statement regarding the time of notice and signature of such forms shall be entered in the minutes.

      Special District Meetings

      Special District meetings will be called by the Board where it is deemed necessary and proper or when petitioned by twenty-five qualified voters or 5 percent of those voting in the previous annual meeting and election, whichever is greater.

      Notice of the special District meeting will be given in accordance with the requirements of the Education Law.

      Ref:     Education Law §§1606; 2006; 2007; 2602; 2008; 2504; 2563
      Open Meetings Law, Public Officers Law §§100 et seq.

      Adoption date: June 19, 2002
      Re-approved date:
      November 28, 2018

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      Policy 2330 | Executive Sessions

      View the PDF version of the Executive Sessions Policy here.

      The Board of Education (the Board) of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) reserves the right, within the constraints of state law, to meet in executive session. Such sessions can be requested by any member of the Board or the superintendent.

      An executive session of the Board may be convened upon majority vote of its total membership taken in an open meeting pursuant to a motion identifying the general area or areas to be considered. Matters that may be considered in executive session are:

      1. matters that will imperil the public safety if disclosed;
      2. any matter that may disclose the identity of a law enforcement agent or informer;
      3. information relating to current or future investigation or prosecution of a criminal offense that would imperil effective law enforcement if disclosed;
      4. discussions regarding proposed, pending, or current litigation;
      5. collective negotiations pursuant to Article 14 of the Civil Service Law (the Taylor Law);
      6. the medical, financial, credit, or employment history of a particular person or corporation, or matters leading to the appointment, employment, promotion, demotion, discipline, suspension, dismissal or removal of a particular person or corporation;
      7. the preparation, grading, or administration of examinations; and
      8. the proposed acquisition, sale, or lease of real property or the proposed acquisition of securities, or sale or exchange of securities, but only when publicity would substantially affect the value thereof.

      Matters that may only be considered in executive session are:

      1. discussions concerning probable cause to bring disciplinary charges against a tenured teacher.

      Formal action or vote on matters enumerated in paragraph 9 may only be taken by the Board during an executive session. No formal action or vote may be taken on any other matter. The Board shall reconvene in open session to take final action on other matters discussed, and to adjourn the meeting.

      Minutes shall be taken at executive sessions of any action that is taken by formal vote and shall consist of a record or summary of the final determination of such action together with the date and vote thereon. The name of the person who called for the executive session will also appear in the minutes of the public meeting. Such summary shall not include any matter that is not required to be made public by law. All minutes of executive sessions will be available to the public within one week of the meeting to which they apply.

      The Board may permit staff and other persons whose presence is deemed necessary or appropriate to attend an executive session or any part thereof.

      Ref:

      • Education Law §1708 (3)
      • Public Officers Law §§100 et seq.
      • Formal Opinion of Counsel No. 239, 16 EDR 457 (1976)

      Adoption date: June 19, 2002
      Revised date: February 27, 2019

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      Policy 2340 | Notice of Meetings

      View the PDF version of the Notice of Meetings Policy here.

      The Board of Education (the Board) of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) believes that public notice of its activities is essential to ongoing, proactive cooperation between the Board and the community it serves.

      To this end, and in accordance with state law, notice of meetings shall be sent to all members of the Board, superintendent, District treasurer, and to the newspapers of the District. Public notice of meetings will also be posted on the District’s website, in the printed calendar, and sent out via email to District stakeholders.

      If a meeting is scheduled at least a week in advance, notice must be given to the public by posting in one or more designated public places not less than 72 hours prior to the meeting.

      When a meeting is scheduled less than a week in advance, the Board shall provide public notice to the extent practicable. Said notice shall be conspicuously posted in one or more designated public locations.

      Ref:

      • Open Meetings Law, Public Officers Law §§100 et seq.
      • Education Law §§1606; 1708; 2504; 2563

      Adoption date: June 19, 2002
      Revised date: December 19, 2018

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      Policy 2342 | Agenda Preparation and Dissemination

      View the PDF version of the Agenda Preparation and Dissemination Policy here.

      The Board of Education (the Board) president, and/or the vice president, and the superintendent of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) shall prepare the agenda for each Board meeting according to the order of business, to facilitate orderly and efficient meetings, and to allow Board members sufficient preparation time.

      The agenda shall specify whether the item is an action item, a consent item, a discussion item, or an information item.

      The agenda and any supporting materials will be distributed electronically, if possible, to Board members five days in advance of the Board meeting, if possible, to permit careful consideration of items of business. The agenda will be released to the news media including local newspapers, radio stations and television stations as well as posted on the District website in advance of the meeting. The agenda will also be available in the superintendent’s office.

      The District clerk shall be responsible for ensuring that the agenda is available to the public and the media.

      Cross-ref:         2350, Board Meeting Procedures

      Adoption date: May 19, 2010
      Re-approved date: 
      November 28, 2018

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      Policy 2350 | Board Meeting Procedures

      View the PDF version of the Board Meeting Procedures Policy here.

      Each Board of Education (the Board) meeting of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) will be conducted in an orderly manner that provides time for, and encourages, community involvement. The order of business at each regular meeting shall include the following:

      1. Call to order
      2. Executive Session (if needed)
      3. Reconvene to regular meeting
      4. Pledge of Allegiance
      5. Approval of minutes of previous meeting
      6. Superintendent’s Report
      7. Student Senate
      8. Board Report
      9. Presentations
      10. Recognition of visitors who wish to speak on an agenda item
      11. New business (professional, support and other action items)
      12. Recognition of visitors who wish to speak on a non-agenda item
      13. Discussion of future meetings and events
      14. Executive Session (if needed)
      15. Adjournment

      The regular order of business may be changed by an affirmative vote of the majority.

      Except in emergencies, the Board will not attempt to decide upon any question under consideration before examining and evaluating relevant information. The superintendent shall be given an opportunity to examine and to evaluate all such information, and to recommend action before the Board attempts to make a decision.

      The Board may adjourn a regular or special meeting at any place in the agenda providing that arrangements are made to complete the items of business on the agenda at a future meeting. The minutes shall make notice of the adjournment, and the reconvened session shall be considered an addition to these minutes.

      The Board values and welcomes civil, respectful statements and clear, concise communications that inform its deliberations. The Board uses the public comment period as an opportunity to listen to citizen concerns, but will not debate issues or enter into a question-and-answer session. It is also important that no person addressing the Board initiate charges or complaints about individual Board members or employees or students of the District. Such charges or complaints should be presented directly to the Superintendent. Speakers are encouraged to provide the Board with a written copy of their comments and other appropriate supporting documentation, but is not required.

      To address the Board of Education, please:

      1. Wait to be called upon by the Board president.
      2. At the microphone, please state your full name.
      3. Direct your comments to the Board; do not turn and speak to the audience.
      4. Keep your comments as concise as possible.
      5. Speakers are expected to treat others with respect, confining their remarks to School District issues.
      6. Do not use the public speaking portions of Board meetings to make personal statements about any individual or engage in any commentary that is slanderous or abusive. The Board president may rule any speaker out of order who makes such statements.

      The president shall be responsible for the orderly conduct of the meeting and shall rule on such matters as the time to be allowed for public discussion and the appropriateness of the subject being presented. The president shall have the right to discontinue any presentation that violates this policy.

      Adoption date: June 19, 2002
      Revised date: September 19, 2007
      Revised date: January 4, 2012
      Revised date: December 19, 2018

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      Policy 2360 | Minutes

      View the PDF version of the Minutes Policy here.

      The Board of Education (the Board) of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) believes that open and accurate communication regarding its internal operations enhances the District’s public relations program and provides a record of the District’s progress towards its annual goals.

      Therefore, the Board will maintain a complete and accurate set of minutes of each meeting, in accordance with law. Such minutes shall constitute the official record of proceedings of the Board and shall be open to public inspection within one week of executive sessions (if authorized action is taken) and within two weeks of all other meetings. Minutes that have not been approved by the Board within this time frame shall be marked, “DRAFT.” A draft of the minutes of each meeting is to be forwarded to each member of the Board not later than the time the agenda for the next meeting is disseminated.

      All motions, proposals, resolutions, and any other matters formally voted upon by the Board shall be recorded in Board minutes. In recording such votes, the names of the Board members shall be called and the record shall indicate the final vote of each Board member.

      If a Board member is not present at the opening of a meeting, the subsequent arrival time of such member shall be indicated in the minutes.

      Ref:

      • Open Meetings Law, Public Officers Law §§100 et seq.
      • Freedom of Information Law, Public Officers Law §§84 et seq.
      • Education Law §2121

      Adoption date: June 19, 2002
      Revised date: February 27, 2019

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      Policy 2382 | Broadcasting and Recording of Board Meeting

      View the PDF version of the Broadcasting & Taping of Board Meeting Policy here.

      As a meeting of a public body, Board of Education (the Board) meetings are open to the public so that people can witness and observe the decision-making process. To further the reach to members of the community who may not be able to attend, meetings open to the public shall be open to being photographed, broadcast, and/or webcast.

      The use of any photography, broadcast, recording equipment, or other such device to allow for the broadcasting or recording of public meetings of the Board, or a committee appointed thereby, is permissible as long as the device is unobtrusive and will not distract from the true deliberative process of the Board. The Board president or chairperson of the committee shall be informed prior to the meeting that such recordings are being made. The Board president, in turn, will inform attendees at the opening of the meeting.

      The Board reserves the right to direct that a digital video/audio recording be made to ensure a reliable, accurate, and complete account of Board meetings.

      Ref:
      Open Meetings Law, Public Officers Law §§100 et seq.
      Committee on Open Government, Model Rules: Public Access to Meetings of Public Body, http://dos.state.ny.us/coog/modelregs_phot_record_broadcast.html
      Mitchell v. Board of Education of Garden City UFSD, 113 AD2d 924 (1985)
      Feldman v. Town of Bethel, 106 nAD 2d 695 (1984)
      People v. Ystueta, 99 Misc 2d 1105 (1979)

      Adoption date: October 19, 2011
      Re-approved date: 
      November 28, 2018  

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      Policy 2410 | Policy Development, Adoption, Implementation and Review

      View the PDF version of the Policy Development, Adoption, Implementation and Review Policy here.

      Policy Development and Adoption

      The Board of Education (the Board) of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) considers policy development one of its chief functions, along with providing the required resources such as personnel, buildings, materials, and equipment for the successful administration, application, and execution of its policies.

      Policies are the principles adopted by the Board to chart a course of action. They tell what is wanted; they may include statements addressing why and how much. Policies should be broad enough to indicate a line of action to be followed by administration in meeting a number of problems, and narrow enough to give clear guidance. Policies are guides for action by the administration, who then set the rules and regulations to provide specific directions to District personnel.

      Board policies will contain information describing, in general terms, the requirements as to time, organization, personnel, and programs for the operation of the District. Policies may be proposed for adoption, change, or repeal at any regular or special Board meeting, by the Board or the superintendent.

      The Board shall not modify, amend, revise, suspend, or revoke an existing policy, or promulgate and implement a new policy without first presenting the same at two consecutive public meetings where it is included as a regular agenda item.

      However, by a majority vote, the Board may at any time take actions on a temporary basis with or without prior notice as the Board deems appropriate. This includes actions relating to the rules and regulations implementing a policy. Such temporary action shall not remain in effect beyond the second regular meeting of the Board subsequent thereto, unless ratified in accordance with this policy. Nothing shall prevent the Board from modifying or revising a proposed policy or policy change prior to its final adoption without the need to extend the required number of meetings where the policy is considered.

      The formal adoption of policies shall be recorded in Board minutes. Only those written statements so adopted and so recorded shall be regarded as official Board policy. Every Board and staff member shall have access to the Board Policy Manual.

      Policy Review

      The superintendent is directed to initiate a program of Board policy revision to include the following items:

      1. periodic review and evaluation of all current Board policy;
      2. preparation of additional policies as needed;
      3. consultation with District staff and community members on an advisory basis; and
      4. presentation of a proposed policy in draft form to the Board for consideration prior to action.

      The superintendent will submit an annual report to the Board at a regularly scheduled meeting, acknowledging review of policies currently in force and his/her recommendations for modifications and/or additions to such policies. Additional reviews may be initiated by the Board or the superintendent.

      Policy Dissemination

      Revisions to the Board Policy Manual will be distributed to all administrators, the officers of the Bethlehem Central Teachers Association, the Bethlehem Principals Association, and the Bethlehem Central United Employees Association.

      Examination of the Policy Manual available to the public on the District website or a printed copy may be made available upon request.

      Ref:

      • Education Law §§1604(9); 1709(1); 1804
      • 8 NYCRR §100.2(1)(2)
      • General Municipal Law, §§39; 104-b

      Adoption date: June 19, 2002
      Revised date: December 19, 2018

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      Policy 2520 | Board Member Training

      View the PDF version of the Board Member Training Policy here.

      Members of the Board of Education (the Board) elected or appointed for a term beginning on or after July 1, 2005, shall, within the first year of their term, complete a minimum of six hours of training on the fiscal oversight, accountability, and fiduciary responsibilities of a school board member.

      Additionally, Board members elected or appointed for a first term beginning on or after July 1, 2011, shall, within the first year of his or her term, complete a training course to acquaint him or her with the powers, functions, and duties of Boards of Education, as well as the powers and duties of other governing and administrative authorities affecting public education.

      These mandatory trainings may be taken together as a single course or separately.

      Each member shall demonstrate compliance with these requirements by filing with the District clerk a certificate of completion of such course issued by the provider. Actual and necessary expenses incurred in complying with this requirement shall be a charge against the District.

      Cross-ref:
      2510, New Board Member Orientation
      2521, School Board Conferences, Conventions, and Workshops

      Ref: Education Law §2102-a

      Adoption date: October 19, 2011
      Re-approved date:
      November 28, 2018

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      Policy 3000 | Administrative Goals

      View the PDF version of the Administrative Goals Policy here.

      The Board of Education (the Board) believes that proper administration is vital to a successful educational program. The coordination and supervision of all aspects of the operations of the schools of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District), pursuant to the policies of the Board, are necessary for the development and maintenance of an effective learning environment. Administrative duties and functions are to be assessed in terms of their contributions to the improvement of education in the District. The superintendent, as chief executive officer of the District, is to provide the leadership necessary to support this objective.

      District administration is to be organized so that all divisions and departments of the central office and all schools operate within a system guided by Board policies, which are implemented through the superintendent. All personnel will have the necessary authority and responsibility (clearly defined and correlated to their roles) to carry out their respective assignments within this framework. Accountability will rest with these same personnel for the effectiveness with which their duties are performed.

      Major goals of District administration will be:

      1. to effectively manage the District’s various departments, units, and programs;
      2. to provide professional advice and counsel to the Board and to advisory groups established by Board action. This includes the review of policy alternatives and the subsequent recommendations from among them; and
      3. to perform managerial duties that will best assure effective learning programs, including but not limited to:
        1. ensuring the effective implementation of Board policy;
        2. addressing the on-site needs of the District’s schools;
        3. providing leadership by keeping abreast of current educational developments;
        4. arranging for effective staff development programs;
        5. coordinating cooperative efforts at improving learning programs, facilities, equipment, and materials; and
        6. providing channels for the upward flow of information necessary and useful in the design and development of school policy.

      Adoption date: June 19, 2002
      Reapproved date: November 28, 2018

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      Policy 3120 | Duties of the Superintendent

      View the PDF version of the Duties of the Superintendent Policy here.

      The Board of Education (the Board) recognizes the need for the superintendent of Schools to have clearly identified responsibilities and the commensurate amount of responsibility to carry out these responsibilities. Therefore, a job description outlining the responsibilities and authority of the position will be developed by the Superintendent for approval by the Board.

      The responsibilities of the Superintendent shall include the following:

      Relationship with the Board

      1. preparation of reports and materials for the Board;
      2. presentation of reports to the Board;
      3. making recommendations to the Board;
      4. keeping the Board informed about operations in the district;
      5. implementing Board actions; and advising the Board on the need for new and/or revised policies and ensuring that all policies of the Board are implemented.

      Community Relations

      1. maintaining contacts with the media;
      2. interpreting District problems and concerns for the community and the public;
      3. interpreting educational programs for the community;
      4. responding to the concerns raised by the community; and
      5. making periodic communications through publications, reports, newsletters, etc., to the community.

      Staff Personnel Management

      1. hiring District personnel;
      2. utilizing employed personnel;
      3. administering personnel policies and procedures;
      4. administering a salary and benefits program;
      5. administering the personnel evaluation program;
      6. maintaining current administrative job descriptions; and
      7. maintaining an administrative organization chart showing the relationship among the various administrators and staff.

      Business and Fiscal Management

      1. determining the educational needs of the District;
      2. forecasting financial requirements;
      3. preparing the budget;
      4. management of budget allocations;
      5. cost accounting and cost effectiveness management;
      6. procurement of equipment, materials, supplies, etc.; and
      7. making financial reports.


      Facilities Management

      1. planning and providing for physical facilities;
      2. management and maintenance of buildings and grounds;
      3. providing for the security and safety of personnel and property;
      4. planning for and managing modifications, renovations, expansions, and discontinuation of facilities; and
      5. directing the utilization of facilities.

      Curriculum and Instructional Management

      1. keeping current with trends and developments in curriculum and instruction;
      2. initiating new programs, modifying existing programs, and discontinuing others;
      3. directing the supervision of instruction;
      4. monitoring the effectiveness of instructional programs; and
      5. planning and direction of in-service and staff development; and
      6. management of state and federal programs and projects.

      Management and Student Services

      1. providing comprehensive student personnel services;
      2. managing enrollment and attendance policies and procedures;
      3. managing student behavior and discipline;
      4. providing for the health and safety of students; and
      5. acting as a liaison with community agencies concerned with student services.

      Comprehensive Planning

      1. developing and implementing short- and long-range planning;
      2. developing management systems;
      3. training administrators and supervisors in planning;
      4. developing accountability procedures; and
      5. evaluating planning results.

      Professional and Personal Development

      1. keeping current with advances in the professional field;
      2. representing the District at local, state, and national meetings of interest to education;
      3. contributing to the profession by writing and speaking; and
      4. participating in local, state, and national professional organizations.

      Ref:     Education Law §§1604(8); 1711; 1804

      Adoption date: June 19, 2002
      Revised date: November 28, 2018

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      Policy 3240 | Staff Relationships

      View the PDF version of the Line and Staff Relations Policy here.

      The following principles shall govern the administrative operation of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District):

      1. The superintendent shall have specific responsibility for overseeing the District educational programs.
      2. Responsibility shall flow from the Board of Education (the Board), to the superintendent, to building principals, to teachers.
      3. Each member of the staff shall be informed as to whom he/she is responsible and for what functions.
      4. Whenever possible, each member of the staff shall be made responsible to only one immediate supervisor for any one function.
      5. Each staff member shall be informed as to whom he/she can appeal in case of disagreement with an immediate supervisor.
      6. Each staff member shall be informed as to whom he/she should report to for help in carrying out his/her functions.

      Line of Responsibility

      Each employee in the District shall be responsible to the Board through the superintendent.

      All personnel shall refer matters requiring administrative action to the administrative officer immediately in charge of the area in which the problem arises.

      Administrative officers shall refer such matters to the next higher authority when deemed necessary.

      All employees shall have the right to appeal any decision made by an administrative officer to the next higher authority and, through appropriate successive steps, to the Board.

      Adoption date: June 19, 2002
      Revised date: 
      November 28, 2018

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      Policy 4000 | Instructional Goals

      View the PDF version of the Instructional Goals Policy here.

      The Board of Education (the Board) supports the mission of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) to educate and prepare all students to reach their potential, discover their purpose, and be engaged community members.  The Board’s goals for District students include the following:

      Academics

      Instructional and assessment practices that are aligned to a strong and relevant curriculum.

      • Supports the development of problem-solving skills, both with academic content and life skills
      • Prepares students to become actively engaged in their communities
      • Encourages and supports culturally responsive teaching
      • Ensures all students graduate with the skills, knowledge and attitudes to pursue productive and satisfying lives

      Character

      Positive character traits are essential to becoming contributing members of society.

      • Teaches and models positive behaviors and attitudes in all aspects of our learning environment
      • Ensures equity and cultural responsiveness for all students
      • Encourages all students to develop passions outside of the classroom
      • Develops in each student an understanding of his/her unique character strengths

      Community

      Strengthening family, school and community partnerships through transparent communication.

      • Are welcomed and encouraged
      • Promote an atmosphere where partners develop common goals
      • Prepare students with the skills to participate in their community
      • Support the success of students and staff
      • Advocate for equal access and opportunities for all students and families

      Wellness

      Enhancing social-emotional wellness and balance for students and staff by supportive active. healthy lifestyles and promoting positive behavior.

      • Promotes connected relationships in the school community
      • Fosters self-care, a healthy lifestyle and mindfulness among students and staff
      • Maintains an environment that is physically and emotionally safe

      Adoption date: June 19, 2002
      Revised date: April 17, 2019

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      Policy 4010 | Equivalence in Instructional Staff and Materials

      View the PDF version of the Equivalence in Instructional Staff and Materials Policy here.

      In accordance with federal regulations, the Board of Education (the Board) will ensure equivalence among Bethlehem Central School District (the District) schools in teachers, administrators, and auxiliary personnel, and in the provision of curricular materials and instructional supplies. The superintendent shall follow the State Education Department guidelines in determining such equivalence on an annual basis, and report to the Board on the status of District schools with regard to equivalence.

      Cross-ref:

      • 1900, Parental Involvement
      • 4325, Academic Intervention Services
      • 6231, Title I/PSEN Programs and Services

      Ref:

      34 CFR §200.43(c)(1)(i) (ESEA Title I Program in Local Educational Agencies), State Education Department, Office of School Improvement Grants Management and Compliance, Consolidated Application and Applicant’s Guide and Instructions for Consolidated Application

      Adoption date: June 19, 2002
      Re-approved date: March 20, 2019

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      Policy 4200 | Curriculum Development

      View the PDF version of the Curriculum Development Policy here.

      The Board of Education (the Board) views a centralized curriculum articulated among and between grade levels as essential to an effective instructional program designed to meet the learning objectives of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District). The District’s curriculum shall conform to the state mandates regarding course offerings and essential knowledge and skill levels and shall be designed to provide flexibility to meet individual student needs at each stage of development.

      A “core” curriculum will be provided to students that will include basic content area knowledge and related skills, with the realization that such information needs continuous updating. Curricula will also be designed to encourage transferable concepts/skills, including critical thinking skills.

      Curriculum Development

      Curriculum development and change is necessary to provide students with a curriculum designed to meet modern goals and needs. Curriculum development is the creative product of needs assessment, objective development, evaluation, and input by all staff. The superintendent shall work with District administrators to integrate appropriate educational theory and research on curricula design, and successful instructional strategies practiced by comparable Districts.

      The superintendent will consult with building principals, teachers, students, and the community in order to promote a continuing review and upgrading of such curriculum. This policy is designed to stimulate such input in an orderly manner and to keep all persons involved well-informed of curriculum developments.

      Curriculum change is subject to the approval by the supervisor or department chairperson, the building principal, the assistant superintendent for educational programs, and the superintendent. Curriculum change includes the following:

      1. permanent deletion of a course;
      2. the creation of a new course or program of study; or
      3. the modification of existing programs necessitated through changes in personnel and/or space, and/or materials.

      It is the responsibility of the building principal and the assistant superintendent for educational programs to determine whether proposed changes constitute a defined curriculum change and are, therefore, subject to this policy.

      The Board will hear regular reports from the superintendent on curriculum-related matters, such as instructional programs, the work of curriculum committees, and periodic evaluation of specific curriculum areas.

      Ref:

      • Education Law §§1709(3); 1711(5)

      Adoption date: June 19, 2002
      Re-approved date: March 20, 2019

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      Policy 4300 | Appointment of Surrogate Parents

      View the PDF version of the Appointment of Surrogate Parents Policy here.

      To ensure that students’ rights are protected, the Bethlehem Central Board of Education (the Board) directs that a surrogate parent will be assigned to represent a student in all matters relating to the identification, evaluation, and educational placement of the student and the provision of a free appropriate public education if:

      1. no parent can be identified;
      2. the Bethlehem Central School District (the District), after reasonable efforts, cannot discover the whereabouts of a parent;
      3. the student is an unaccompanied homeless youth; or
      4. the student is a ward of the state.

      The District will follow the procedures outlined in the accompanying regulation  to appoint surrogate parents when the need arises. To ensure that students’ rights are protected, the Board directs that a surrogate parent be assigned to represent a student in all matters relating to the identification, evaluation, and educational placement of the student and the provision of a free appropriate public education if:

      1. no parent can be identified;
      2. the District, after reasonable efforts, cannot discover the whereabouts of a parent;
      3. the student is an unaccompanied homeless youth; or
      4. the student is a ward of the state.

      Persons selected as surrogate parents will be chosen from a list of individuals who are eligible and willing to serve as surrogate parents. They will have the knowledge and skills that ensure adequate representation of the student and will have no other interest that could conflict with their duties as to the student. Persons selected as surrogate parents may not be officers, employees, or agents of the District or State Education Department or other agencies involved in the education or care of the student.

      Adoption date: April 2, 2008
      Revised date: March 20, 2019

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      Policy 4300-R | Appointment of Surrogate Parents Regulation

      View the PDF version of the Appointment of Surrogate Parents Regulation here.

      A Surrogate Parent must be Appointed When:

      • No parent as defined in 8 N.Y.C.R.R. 200.1 (ii) can be identified;
      • The Bethlehem Central School District (the District), after reasonable efforts, cannot discover the whereabouts of a parent;
      • The student is an unaccompanied homeless youth;
      • The student is a ward of the state; or
      • The rights of the parent to make educational decisions on behalf of the student have been subrogated by a judge in accordance with state law.

      Qualifications of Surrogate Parents:

      • May not be officers, employees, or agents of the District or State Education Department or other agency involved in the education or care of the student, except the District may select a person who is an employee of a nonpublic agency that only provides noneducational care;
      • A surrogate parent is not an employee of the agency solely because he or she is paid by the agency to serve as a surrogate parent;
      • Shall have no other interest that could conflict with their primary allegiance to the student they would represent; and
      • Shall have knowledge and skills that ensure adequate representation of the student.

      Procedures for Assigning Surrogate Parents:

      • Any person whose work involves education or treatment of students and who knows the student may need special education services, and who knows that the student requires appointment of a surrogate parent, may file a request with the Committee on Special Education (CSE).
      • The CSE shall send notice of the possible need for a surrogate parent to the adult in charge of the student’s place of residence and to the parents at their last known address.
      • The CSE shall determine within a reasonable time following the request whether the student’s parents can be identified or located, or whether the student is a ward of the state. This determination shall be completed within a reasonable time following the receipt of the original request for a surrogate parent. If the CSE finds that there is a need for a surrogate parent, a person who is qualified to be a surrogate parent shall be selected from the list approved by the Board within ten business days of the date of the determination by the CSE of the need.
      • The surrogate parent shall be assigned to represent the student in all matters relating to the identification, evaluation, and educational placement of the student and the provision of a free, appropriate public education to the student at least through the time of the first periodic review of the student’s educational placement.
      • The child’s foster parent, who otherwise meets the qualifications of a surrogate parent, may be appointed as the surrogate parent of the student without being on the list approved by the Board.

      Authority:

      • 8 N.Y.C.R.R. 200.1(ccc)
      • 8 N.Y.C.R.R. 200.5(n)

      Adoption Date: April 2, 2008
      Re-approved date: March 20, 2019

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      Policy 4311.1 | Display of the Flag

      View the PDF version of the Display of the Flag Policy here.

      The Board of Education (the Board) believes that the flag of the United States is a symbol of the values of our nation, the ideals embedded in our Constitution, and the spirit that should animate the Bethlehem Central School District (the District).

      The District shall purchase a United States flag, flag staff, and the necessary appliances for its display upon or near every school building. There shall be a flag on display in every assembly room of every school.

      The flag shall be flown at full- or half-staff pursuant to law. In addition, the flag may be flown at half-staff to commemorate the death of a past or present Board member, past or present employee, or student.

      Consistent with national and state law and regulations and this policy, the superintendent shall develop rules and regulations for the proper custody, care, and display of the flag.

      Ref:

      • Education Law §§418; 419; 420; 802
      • Executive Law, Article 19
      • 8 NYCRR Part 108
      • Lapolla v. Dullaghann, 63 Misc 2d 157 (1970)

      Adoption date: June 19, 2002
      Re-approved date: March 20, 2019

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      Policy 4311.1-R | Display of the Flag Regulation

      View the PDF version of the Display of the Flag Regulation here.

      Flags Displayed Out-of-Doors and on Movable Hoists Indoors

      A United States flag shall be displayed in front of every school building in the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) every day that school is in session and at such other times as the superintendent shall direct. Unless otherwise stated, the flags shall be flown at full-staff. The flags may also be displayed at night upon special occasions, at the discretion of the superintendent, when it is desired to produce a patriotic effect.

      In addition to days when school is in session, the flags will be displayed on the following days if school is open to the public:

      • New Year’s Day
      • Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
      • Lincoln’s Birthday
      • Washington’s Birthday
      • Memorial Day
      • Flag Day
      • the Fourth of July
      • Labor Day
      • September 11th Remembrance Day
      • POW/MIA Recognition Day
      • Columbus Day
      • Veterans Day
      • Thanksgiving Day
      • Pearl Harbor Day
      • Christmas Day

      If any of these days (except Flag Day) falls on a Sunday, the flag shall be displayed on the next day. In addition, the flag shall be displayed on each general election day and each day appointed by the president of the United States or the governor of New York as a day of general thanksgiving or for displaying the flag.

      Flags shall be flown at half-staff on Pearl Harbor Day, on September 11th Remembrance Day, on days commemorating the death of a personage of great importance, and on days designated by the president or the governor.

      Flags on individual buildings will be flown at half-staff on the day of the funeral or on a day of commemoration for a past or present employee, a past or present Board member, or a student. This will be at the discretion of the superintendent.

      The flag will not be displayed on days when the weather is inclement.

      Hoisting of the Flag

      The flag shall be hoisted briskly and lowered ceremoniously.

      In half-staffing the flag, it first should be hoisted to the peak for an instant and then lowered to the half-staff position. The flag shall be again raised to the peak before it is lowered for the day. The flag shall never be put at half-mast in the middle of the day. It must be put at half-mast in the morning only.

      Indoor Flags and Those Not on Movable Hoists

      There shall be a United States flag in each assembly room of every school in the District. It is the duty of the teacher or other person in charge of each assembly room to ensure that the flag in the room is displayed from a staff standing at the audience’s right as they face the stage. If the flag is placed on the platform, it should stand at the right of the speaker as he/she faces the audience and at the audience’s left as they face the stage.

      Adoption date: October 19, 2011
      Re-approved date: March 20, 2019

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      Policy 4312 | Classroom Films and Videos

      View the PDF version of the Classroom Films and Videos Policy here.

      Increasingly, digital media forms have become primary sources of information and recreation, as well as emotional and artistic experiences.

      Instructors have included use of film and video in their classrooms for decades. Our students now arrive at our schools from homes and neighborhoods that include extensive and increasingly routine exposure to nonprint media. As our programs and practices evolve, teachers are charged by the Board of Education (the Board) to be thoughtful regarding the amount of instructional time we allocate for students to view digital media in the classroom, and to be thoughtful regarding the commercial films and videos we choose to have our students view during class time.

      This charge reflects the emerging awareness that academic responsibility includes sound decisions regarding how we choose to use the limited instructional time available each class period.

      It’s important that teachers draw upon this exposure to develop critical thinking about nonprint media. Students do well to develop the knowledge, critical awareness, and technical skills to become participants in, creators of, thinkers about, and consumers of nonprint media, given the substantial use of nonprint media as part of everyday life.

      Faculty may use materials that, while potentially controversial, need to be examined so students can confront the stereotyping, propagandizing, and editorial gatekeeping so prevalent in mass media. Such examination allows students to discover that nonprint media may have historical, commercial, ideological, and value-laden messages.

      Intent of This Policy

      This policy is intended to provide guidelines in regard to selection and use of classroom video materials, with prime focus on commercial films and commercial videos. A specific definition of “commercial” is included within the procedures section of this policy.

      Guidelines

      Selection of films and videos for classroom study should be the province of teachers and librarians. The selection should be based on sound educational criteria, consistent with the mission statement of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) and the District’s policy on curriculum development.

      1. The rating system of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) should not be used as the primary guide in selecting films or videotapes. The MPAA ratings are made by the film industry expressly without regard for artistic or educational value.
      2. Learning to dispute civilly is part of intellectual development. The classroom teacher’s role in discussion of digital media is one of mediating between and among conflicting viewpoints and perceptions.

      Faculty Are Expected to:

      1. Select appropriate films and videos for classroom use from a variety of outlets and viewpoints, to encourage students’ intellectual and aesthetic development.
      2. Preview films and videos and provide rationales to students for their use.
      3. Include sufficient introductory preparation for the students prior to showing films and videos for which controversy might be expected. Such preparation would include:
        1. Carefully and clearly explaining the overriding educational purpose.
        2. Identifying to students how they’ll be actively engaged in the process during class time.
        3. Scheduling time for substantial follow-up discussion and clarification of initial responses to the film or video, in regard to the educational purpose.
        4. Employing inquiry-based classroom strategies to provide for such follow-up.
      4. Develop techniques of leading respectful discussion and debate.
      5. Guide students through the process of resolving conflict regarding what was heard or seen.
      6. Provide a historical, cultural, economic, or social context for any film or video used in the classroom.
      7. Follow copyright laws as they apply to film and video, and follow fair-use laws of broadcast programming for educational purposes.
      8. Mediate between and among conflicting student viewpoints and perceptions.

      Selection Criteria for Films and Videos

      Teachers will select films and videos for classroom use within the following parameters:

      1. The film or video will connect clearly and relevantly with the course, enhancing or reinforcing student understanding of the course’s content.
      2. Teachers are encouraged to select films or videos in collaboration with colleagues including, but not limited to, one or more of the following: grade level and/or department teams, grade level or department chairpersons, principals, and librarians.
      3. The film or video will be judged by those involved with the selection process to be appropriate to the age level of the students in that course.
      4. The film or video will not contain excessive or gratuitous violence or sexual explicitness inappropriate for the age level of students in that class.
      5. The film or video will meet one or more of the following criteria:
        1. Make information or concepts more accessible through other media.
        2. Generate thought and discussion regarding the subject being studied.
        3. Illustrate techniques of media manipulation.
      6. Teachers will consider the experience and/or background of their students when making their selections.

      Procedures for Use of Commercial Films and Videos

      The following procedures are to be used for all films and videos, whether or not a particular film or video is identified as “commercial.”

      In addition, these procedures are to be used by all teachers whenever an entire “commercial” film or video program, or a substantial portion of a “commercial” film or video, is selected by the instructor for use during class time at any point during the academic year.

      “Commercial,” in the context of this particular policy, is defined as any film or video other than those produced and sold expressly and exclusively for educational use. For example, any films or videos that are also routinely available in stores, broadcast via network television or cable television, or shown in movie theaters are all considered commercial films.

      These same procedures also apply towards internet-related content.

      1. Early in the school year or semester, the teacher will send parents [via students] that individual teacher’s list of commercial films intended for use that school year. This list will include the MPAA rating where applicable. The teacher will provide a brief description of that film or video to the parent, upon parent request. That description will include a rationale for using that particular film or video material. If there is potential controversy related to language, violence, drug and alcohol abuse, or sexual issues, the description is to include mention of that. The Board strongly encourages parents to obtain a copy of the description and review it. A copy of that list is to be provided to, and kept available by, the subject area supervisor or principal.
      2. If a commercial film or video that has not been included on the early list is intended for use by the teacher, a supplemental notice is to be sent to parents. That notice is to be provided so that parents have five days notice prior to the commercial film or video being used in class.
      3. Teachers will make alternative [equivalent but different] academically relevant assignments for students whose parents, or who themselves, do not wish to make use of a specific film or video. In rare instances when a student would miss a significant portion of the course content because of objection to materials, the student’s placement may be reconsidered.
      4. Substitute plans [emergency and otherwise] that include use of film or video are to be constructed in a manner consistent with this policy, in general, and these procedures, in particular.

      Excerpts of Video Materials

      Short excerpts [such as ten minutes or less] of commercial film or video selections may be used on an ad hoc basis by the teacher to illuminate an idea or as part of a student report. While prior parental notification is not required in such instances, students are to be informed of content and allowed to briefly and easily excuse themselves from class if they so desire. All other aspects of this policy are to be followed.

      Adoption date: February 6, 2013
      Revised date: February 27, 2019

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      Policy 4314 | Career Education

      View the PDF version of the Career Education Policy here.

      The Board of Education (the Board) shall provide Bethlehem Central School District (the District) secondary school students and adults access to programs of career education, commensurate with the interests and capabilities of those desiring and having a need for preparatory training. The District will provide career education through District internship programs or the Board of Cooperative Educational Services, where applicable.

      Ref:

      • Education Law §§1001 et seq.; 2045(2); 3602(17)(34); 3602-c; 4601 et seq.
      • 8 NYCRR §§100.2(h); 141 et seq.

      Adoption date: June 19, 2002
      Revised date: March 20, 2019

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      Policy 4315.1 | AIDS/HIV Instruction

      View the PDF version of the AIDS/HIV Instruction Policy here.

      In compliance with the regulations of the commissioner of Education, the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) will provide classroom instruction concerning Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) as part of a sequential and comprehensive health program for all students, K-12. Instruction must be offered during regularly scheduled classes. Such instruction will be age-appropriate, and include the following information:

      1. the nature of the disease;
      2. methods of transmission of the disease; and
      3. methods of prevention of the disease (stressing abstinence as the most effective and appropriate protection against AIDS/HIV).

      A student may be excused from that segment of AIDS/HIV instruction regarding methods of prevention of the disease if his/her parent(s) and/or guardian(s) files a request with the building principal. The request must give assurance that such instruction will be given at home.

      Ref:

      • Education Law §3204(5)
      • 8 NYCRR §§16.2; 135.3
      • Ware v. Valley Stream High School District, 75 NY2d 114 (1989)
      • New York State School Boards Association v. Sobol, 168 AD2d 188 (1991)
      • Matter of Ware, 28 EDR 415 (1989)

      Adoption date: June 19, 2002
      Revised date: March 20, 2019

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      Policy 4317 | Teaching About Substance Abuse

      View the PDF version of the Teaching About Substance Abuse Policy here.

      The Board of Education (the Board) views with grave concern the serious implications of alcohol, drug, and tobacco use by people, specifically young people, all over the United States and especially in the Bethlehem Central School District (the District). In keeping with its primary responsibility — the education of youth — the Board directs the professional staff of the District to continue to investigate the causes of student involvement with drugs, tobacco (which includes but is not limited to smoking a cigarette, e-cigarette (including a vape or juul), cigar, pipe, or using chewing or smokeless tobacco), and alcohol, and to develop suitable preventive measures however and whenever feasible.

      The Board and the professional staff shall continue to seek ways to educate students and school staff of the District about the dangers of the illegal use of drugs and the abuse of alcohol and tobacco. Instruction will include sessions about the causes and effects of drug, alcohol, and tobacco abuse, especially in young people. In addition, all high school students will receive instruction on the dangers of driving while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.

      The following objectives must be realized if the goal of minimizing drug, tobacco, and alcohol abuse is to be achieved:

      1. students shall be encouraged to identify the problem and its causes and to organize to solve it;
      2. they should understand the nature of legal and illegal drugs and tobacco;
      3. they shall be encouraged to develop a set of values and behavioral insights that shall give them a deeper understanding of themselves and society;
      4. they shall be encouraged to identify the variety of alternate forms of behavior, other than drug or alcohol abuse and tobacco use, which are available to satisfy their needs; and
      5. they shall be encouraged to make constructive decisions concerning the use of drugs, alcohol, and tobacco.

      While the Board in no way condones the abuse of illegal or harmful substances, it is in the interest of student and staff health that a climate be created in the schools so that individuals with problems may seek to receive help without fear of reprisal.

      Ref:

      • Education Law §804
      • 8 NYCRR §§100.2(c)(3)

      Adoption date: June 19, 2002
      Revised date: March 20, 2019

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      Policy 4320-R | Surrogate Parent Regulation

      View the PDF version of the Surrogate Parent Regulation here.

      The Bethlehem Central School District (the District) will determine whether the student’s parents can be identified or located, or whether the student is a ward of the state. The District will send notice of the possible need for a surrogate parent to the adult in charge, if any, of the student’s place of residence and to the parents at their last known address. Where the student is known to the District to be a ward of the state, such reasonable efforts to discover the whereabouts of a parent will include consultation with the agency responsible for the care of the student. The determination of the need for a surrogate parent will be completed within a reasonable time following the receipt of a referral for an initial evaluation, reevaluation, or services.

      If the Board of Education (the Board) finds that there is a need for a surrogate parent, one will be selected from the list approved by the Board within ten business days of the date of the determination by the Board of the need except in the following circumstances:

      1. The foster parent of the student who meets the qualifications to become a surrogate parent may be appointed without being appointed from a list approved by the Board.
      2. The surrogate parent may be appointed by the judge overseeing the child’s case.
      3. The appropriate staff of emergency shelters, transitional shelters, independent living programs, and street outreach programs may be appointed as temporary surrogate parents of an unaccompanied homeless youth until a surrogate can be appointed that meets the appropriate qualifications.

      Adoption date: May 20, 2009
      Revised date: February 27, 2019

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      Policy 4321 | Provision of Appropriate Special Education Services to Enable Involvement in & Foster Progress in the General Education Curriculum

      View the PDF version of the Provision of Appropriate Special Education Services to Enable Involvement in & Foster Progress in the General Education Curriculum Policy here.

      The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) presumes that all students with disabilities will be educated in general education classes to the maximum extent appropriate based on the unique needs of the student. Students with disabilities are members of the school community and, to the greatest extent possible, are placed in an age-appropriate classroom setting. The special education and related services a student receives must support a student’s successful participation in the general education curriculum. Special education and related services are brought to the student in the general education environment to the greatest extent possible and students are placed in separate special education settings only when their learning or the learning of others is significantly disrupted in the general education setting.

      All students with disabilities who reside in the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) shall be provided with an appropriate individualized education program (IEP) that meets the student’s unique educational needs as determined by the Committee on Special Education (CSE) and arranged for by the Board of Education (the Board). The IEP shall be designed to enable involvement in, and foster progress in, general education to the extent appropriate to the needs of the student. In designing the IEP, the CSE will consider the present levels of performance and the expected learning outcomes of the student. The student’s academic, social development, physical development, and management needs shall determine the student’s annual goals, which shall be based on an assessment of how the student’s disability affects his/her access to the general curriculum.

      The CSE will consider and review the student’s current level of participation in general education classes at each initial program and annual review meeting and recommend the appropriate supports, services, and/or related services needed for the student to make educational progress in the general education curriculum. Modifications and accommodations that facilitate participation in the general education program shall also be considered and recommended, as appropriate.

      The District shall ensure equal access to a New York State High School Diploma for all students with disabilities through supported participation in general education classes. When students’ learning needs cannot be met in the general education setting even with appropriate accommodations and modifications, equivalent instruction will be provided through special education classes designed to enable the student to attain the state learning standards and pass state assessments. Appropriate academic intervention services shall also be considered to support the student in the general curriculum and such services shall be arranged and available at the building level to assist students with disabilities, as appropriate, in academic achievement.

      No student, by virtue of the designation as a student with a disability, shall be precluded from receiving full access to the general curriculum. For those students who the committee determines require placement outside the District, the CSE shall ensure that such placement will provide the student with equivalent instruction and genuine opportunities to meet the state learning standards and pass the state assessments. In the event a District places a student in a private school approved by the commissioner of Education out of the state, the student and parent will be advised of the option, if available, to obtain a diploma under the standards of the state where the school is located. Such students and their parents in consultation with the committee and school guidance department shall ensure that the student continues to follow the New York State curriculum standards, unless all parties agree otherwise.

      This policy shall remain in full force and effect unless modified by the Board.

      Authority: 8 N.Y.C.R.R. 200.2(b)(4)

      Adoption date: April 2, 2008
      Revised date: January 6, 2010
      Re-approved date: March 20, 2019

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      Policy 4321.1 | Appropriate Space For Special Education Programs

      View the PDF version the Appropriate Space For Special Education Programs Policy here.

      The Board of Education (the Board) will allocate appropriate space within the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) for special education programs that meet the needs of students with disabilities.

      The Board will also assure that appropriate space will be available to meet the needs of resident students with disabilities who attend special education programs provided by Board of Cooperative Educational Services.

      Authority:

      • 8 N.Y.C.R.R. 200.2(c)(2)(iv)
      • 8 N.Y.C.R.R. 200.2(c)(2)(v)

      Adoption Date: June 19, 2002
      Revised date: April 2, 2008
      Re-approved date: March 20, 2019

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      Policy 4321.2 | Preschool Students with Disabilities

      View the PDF version of the Preschool Students with Disabilities Policy here.

      The Board of Education (the Board) shall ensure that preschool students with disabilities have opportunities to participate in the preschool programs of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District), including timely evaluation and placement.

      The director of Special Education and Student Services and/or the chair of the Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE) shall ensure that parents understand that the District may not proceed with the referral and evaluation of a preschool child without parental consent.

      Upon receipt of a recommendation from the Committee on Preschool Education that a preschool student is a preschool child with a disability eligible for special education services, the Board shall arrange for the student to receive such programs and services in accordance with the student’s individualized education program, commencing with the July, September, or January starting date for the approved program, unless such services are recommended by the Committee less than thirty school days prior to, or after, the appropriate start date selected for the preschool student with a disability. In this case, such services shall be provided as soon as possible following the development of the Individualized Education Program (IEP) but no later than thirty days from the recommendation of the Committee.

      If the Board disagrees with the recommendation of the Committee on Preschool Special Education, it shall send the recommendation back to the Committee with notice to the parent and the Committee, including a statement of the Board’s reasons and that the recommendation will be sent back to the Committee with notice of the need to schedule a timely meeting to review the Board’s concerns and to revise the IEP as deemed appropriate.

      Authority:

      • 8 N.Y.C.R.R. 200.2 (b)(2)
      • 8 N.Y.C.R.R. 200.2 (b)(5)
      • 8 N.Y.C.R.R. 200.2(d)(2)
      • 8 N.Y.C.R.R. 200.16(f)

      Adoption date: June 19, 2002
      Revised date: April 2, 2008
      Re-approved date: March 20, 2019

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      Policy 4321.4 | Requests for Independent Evaluations at Public Expense

      View the PDF version of the Requests for Independent Evaluations at Public Expense Policy here.

      The Board of Education (the Board) recognizes the right of parents or guardians of a student who has or is thought to have a disability to receive an independent evaluation at public expense if they disagree with the evaluation obtained by the Committee on Special Education (CSE) or the Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE).

      The independent examination shall be conducted by a qualified examiner who is not employed by the school district responsible for the child’s education.  Upon request, parents will be provided with a list of public and private agencies and professional resources where independent evaluations may be obtained.  These publicly-funded independent evaluations shall be limited to the same geographic and fiscal limitations as used by the district when it initiates an evaluation.

      The Bethlehem Central School District (the District) has the right to initiate an impartial hearing to demonstrate that its evaluation is appropriate. If the hearing officer determines that the District’s evaluation was appropriate, a parent or guardian is not entitled to reimbursement at public expense.

      The Board directs the superintendent to develop regulations establishing maximum allowable fees for specific tests, the geographic area in which such evaluations may take place, and minimum qualifications of the professionals who administer and interpret various tests.

      Cross-ref: 4321, Programs for Students with Disabilities

      Ref:

      • 20 USC §1415(d)(2)(A)
      • 34 CFR §300.502
      • 8 NYCRR §§200.1(z); 200.5(a); 200.5(b); 200.5(c); 200.5(g)

      Adoption Date: April 2, 2008
      Revised date: June 19, 2019

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      Policy 4321.4-R | Requests for Independent Educational Evaluations at Public Expense

      View the PDF version of the Requests for Independent Educational Evaluations at Public Expense Policy here.

      Procedures

      Upon receipt of a request for an independent educational evaluation (IEE) at public expense, the director of Special Education and Student Services of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) shall provide the parent with a copy of the policy of the Board of Education (the Board) for payment of independent educational evaluations, which shall include:

      • Specifications on the geographic area where such evaluations may take place, which shall be limited to a 100 mile radius;
      • Minimum qualifications for professionals who administer and interpret various tests, which shall be the same as the qualifications required for all evaluators who conduct evaluations for the District;
      • The director of Special Education and Student Services is authorized to set maximum allowable fees for such evaluations;
      • Notification that the parent/proposed evaluator may request a waiver of any of the criteria under the policy where such criteria preclude the parent from obtaining an appropriate evaluation of the child;
      • A list of independent evaluators who meet the criteria established by the policy.

      If the District authorizes an independent educational evaluation at public expense, the director of Special Education and Student Services shall:

      • Obtain the name and address of the individual the parents select to conduct the IEE and send to the proposed evaluator a contract for the evaluator’s signature.
      • Inquire as to the availability of any health insurance to offset the cost, or a portion of the cost, of the IEE.
      • Failure to have a signed contract between the District and the evaluator selected by the parent may constitute a basis for denying payment for an IEE.

      If the District declines a parent’s request for an IEE at public expense and the parents do not agree to withdraw their request, the director of Special Education and Student Services shall arrange for an impartial hearing, without delay, to demonstrate that its evaluation was appropriate; that the independent educational evaluation obtained by the parent did not conform to the District’s criteria and/or to demonstrate why the District is not otherwise obligated to pay for the parents’ IEE.

      In the event the District initiates an impartial hearing and an impartial hearing officer determines that the District’s evaluation is appropriate, or that the evaluation obtained by the parent did not meet District criteria, the parent has a right to an IEE that the District will consider and review even though it is not at public expense.

      Impartial Hearing Officer Request for Independent Educational Evaluation

      If an impartial hearing officer requests an IEE as part of a hearing, the director of Special Education and Student Services shall arrange, to the extent possible, to have such evaluation completed at public expense in accordance with the criteria established by the Board.

      Authority:

      • 8 N.Y.C.R.R. 200.1(z)
      • 8 N.Y.C.R.R. 200.5(g)

      Adoption date: April 2, 2008
      Revised date: June 19, 2019

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      Policy 4321.5 | Distribution and Implementation of the Individual Education Program

      View the PDF version of the Distribution and Implementation of the Individual Education Program Policy here.

      The Board of Education (the Board) of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) adopts the following policies and procedures to ensure, in accordance with law and regulation, that school personnel responsible for the implementation of Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) be given a copy prior to such implementation and be informed of their duties regarding implementation.

      It shall be the duty of the chairperson of the Committee on Special Education to:

      • Arrange to provide every regular education teacher, special education teacher, related service provider, and “other service provider” responsible for the implementation of a student’s IEP with a copy, either electronically or on paper, prior to its implementation, with a statement of the individual’s responsibility and duties relating to the implementation of the student’s IEP;
      • The term “other service provider” means a representative of another public school, Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES), a charter school, a private approved school, a State School for the Blind or Deaf, or a Child Care Institution where the student will receive special education in accordance with an IEP;
      • Designate, for each student identified as a student with a disability, a professional employee of the District who is knowledgeable about the student’s disability and educational program [hereinafter referred to as the Designated Professional];
      • Ensure that the parents of the child with a disability receive a copy of the child’s IEP prior to the commencement of the school year and following any meeting or waiver of meeting where a change of placement or program is recommended.
      • Ensure that each paraprofessional (teacher’s aide and teaching assistant) and other provider or support staff have ongoing access to the IEP’s of students they assist through the special education teacher, regular education teacher, or related service provider under whose direction they work.

      Implementation

      Designated Professional

      The Designated Professional assigned to a student with a disability shall meet or communicate, in writing, with those regular education teachers, special education teachers, or related service providers, paraprofessionals, support staff persons, and “other service providers” responsible for implementation of the student’s IEP, to advise them of their specific responsibilities for implementation, including the specific accommodations, modifications, and supports they must provide pursuant to the student’s IEP.

      Confidentiality

      Any individual receiving a copy of a student’s IEP pursuant to this policy is strictly prohibited from disclosing any information derived from the IEP in any manner or form whatsoever, unless specifically authorized to do so under the policy of the Board governing Confidentiality of Educational Records [Policy # 5500].

      Authority:

      • 8 N.Y.C.R.R. 200.2(b)(11)

      Adoption date: May 7, 2002
      Revised date: April 2, 2008
      Revised date: March 20, 2019

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      Policy 4321.6 | Instructional Materials in Alternate Formats for Students with Disabilities

      View the PDF version of the Instructional Materials in Alternate Formats for Students with Disabilities Policy here.

      The Board of Education (the Board) recognizes its responsibility to ensure that all the instructional materials used in the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) are made available in a usable alternative format for students with disabilities in accordance with their individual educational needs and course selection at the same time as those materials are available to non-disabled students.  In accordance with applicable law and regulations, any such alternative format procured by the district will meet the National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard.

      For purposes of this policy, alternative format will mean any medium or format for the presentation of instructional materials, other than a traditional print textbook, that is needed as an accommodation for a student with a disability enrolled in the District, including but not limited to Braille, large print, open and closed captioned, audio, or an electronic file.  An electronic file must be compatible with at least one alternative format conversion software program.

      The superintendent will develop a plan to ensure the availability of alternative format materials in accordance with the timeliness requirements of this policy.  Such a plan will provide for:

      1. Preference to vendors who agree to provide instructional materials in alternative formats, and to reflect this requirement in the bidding specifications used for the procurement of instructional materials.  The same preference will be given to vendors of instructional materials ordered for the school library.
      2. Consultation with appropriate school personnel regarding how students will access electronic files.  The District’s technology staff will be notified of any need to convert electronic files into an accessible format such as Braille, large print, audio, or alternative display.
      3. The availability of hardware and/or software a student with disabilities in need of alternative format materials might require to access the instructional material.
      4. The yearly review of the District’s ordering timelines for the purchase of instructional materials to ensure sufficient lead time for obtaining needed alternative format materials.
      5. Notification to appropriate school personnel by the committee for special education (CSE), CSE subcommittee, CPSE and Section 504 Committee Chairperson whenever it is determined that a student needs instructional materials in alternative format.  Such notice also will identify the particular alternative format needed, and any assistive technology devices or services the student might need to access the alternative format materials.
      6. Notification by classroom teachers of the books they will be using in class and any list of required readings with sufficient lead time in anticipation of the district’s timelines for the purchase of instructional materials.
      7. Consultation with the school librarian to make sure that specific library resources required by a student in need of alternative format materials to participate and progress in his or her selected courses are made available to the student in an accessible format.
      8. Timely request of state assessments in alternative format.

      Cross-ref:     6700, Purchasing

      Ref: Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), 20 USC §§1474(e)(3)(B)

      N.Y. Education Law §§1604(29-a); 1709(4-a) 1950(4-a); 2503(7-a); 2554(7-a); 
      3602(10)(b)

      8 NYCRR §§ 200.2(b)(10)

      State Education Department, Office of Vocational and Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities (VESID), Policy 02-05 Amendment to Section 200.2 of the Regulations of the Commissioner Implementing Chapter 377 of the Laws of 2001: Plans to Provide Instructional Materials in Alternative Formats for Students with Disabilities, May 2002, (available electronically from the VESID website at: http://www.vesid.nysed.gov/specialed/publications/policy/alterformat502.htm).

      Adoption date: November 1, 2006
      Adoption date: April 17, 2019


      Policy 4321.7 | Districtwide and Statewide Assessments of Students with Disabilities

      View the PDF version of the Districtwide & Statewide Assessments of Students with Disabilities Policy here.

      The Board of Education (the Board) of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) adopts this policy to ensure that:

      • Assessments administered to students with disabilities provide results that accurately reflect a student’s aptitude or achievement level or whatever other factors the test purports to measure, rather than the student’s impaired skills, except when measuring those skills constitute the purpose of the testing.
      • Testing accommodations are recommended by the appropriate committee, as required by law, to provide students with disabilities the opportunity to:
        • Participate fully in the instructional and assessment program;
        • Demonstrate their strength, knowledge, and skills without being restricted by their disability; and
        • Provide an accurate measure of the standards assessed.
      • Testing accommodations are only recommended to change the administration of the test to remove obstacles to the test-taking process resulting from the student’s disability and not to change the skills or knowledge tested.
      • The student’s teacher(s) assigned to administer an assessment or test shall ensure that all relevant testing accommodations included on the student’s individualized education program or §504 Plan are implemented to the extent possible.

      Authority: § 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
      Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act -20 USC 1400 et. seq.
      8 N.Y.C.R.R. 200.2(b)(13)
      8 NYCRR 200.4(b)(6)(iv)

      Adoption Date: April 2, 2008
      April 17, 2019

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      Policy 4321.8 | Impartial Hearing Officer Appointment and Compensation

      View the PDF version of the Impartial Hearing Officer Appointment & Compensation Policy here.

      The Board of Education (the Board) will appoint impartial hearing officers (IHO), as needed, to hear complaints regarding the identification, evaluation, or placement of students with disabilities, or the provision of a free appropriate public education to such a student in accordance with the rotational selection process and other applicable procedures described in the commissioner of Education’s regulations.

      Selection

      The updated list of certified IHOs for this county promulgated by the New York State Education Department will be used in connection with requests for impartial hearings. The list shall also include the names of those other certified IHOs whose names appear on the state list and who have indicated to the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) their interest in serving as an IHO in the District.

      Upon receipt of a request for an impartial hearing, the rotational selection process for the IHO shall be initiated immediately and always within two business days after receipt by the District of such written request. Should an IHO decline appointment, or if within twenty-four hours the IHO fails to respond or is unreachable after reasonable efforts by the District clerk or designee, such efforts will be documented through independently verifiable efforts. The District representative shall then proceed through the list to determine availability of the next successive IHO.

      The District clerk or other person so designated, under the direction of the Board president, shall initiate the selection process by contacting the impartial hearing officer whose name first appears after the impartial hearing officer who last served. The District clerk or designee shall canvass the list in alphabetical order as prescribed by the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education until an appointment is accepted.

      An IHO on the District’s rotational list may not accept appointment unless he or she is available to:

      1. Make a determination on the sufficiency of the due process complaint that will be heard at the hearing within five days of receiving such a request; and
      2. Initiate the hearing within the first fourteen days after either:
        1. The date on which he or she receives written notice that the parents and the District waived their right to hold a resolution meeting to resolve their differences prior to commencement of the hearing, or met but were unable to reach agreement; or
        2. The expiration of the thirty-day period beginning with the receipt of the due process complaint, whichever occurs first.

      Appointment

      The Board president, or in his/her absence or inability the vice president, will appoint an IHO immediately after the IHO selected from the rotational list indicates he or is available. The Board will rescind the appointment of an IHO and appointment a new one if the parties to the hearing mutually agree that the IHO is either incapacitated or otherwise unavailable or unwilling to continue the hearing or issue a decision. The appointment of a new IHO in such an instance will be made in accordance with the selection and appointment procedures established by this policy.

      Compensation

      The District shall compensate an IHO for his or her services at the SED established rate at the time of the hearing for prehearing, hearing, and posthearing activities. In addition, impartial hearing officers may be reimbursed for reasonable, actual, and necessary expenses for automobile travel, meals, and overnight lodging in accordance with the current District reimbursement rate set for District employees. Mailing costs associated with the hearing will also be administrative assistance, secretarial, or other overhead expenses.

      Cancellation

      The District shall attempt to provide an IHO with two business days’ advance notice of the cancellation or rescheduling of an impartial hearing. Should the District request the cancellation or rescheduling of a hearing date and fail to provide an IHO with two days’ notice, the District agrees to pay the IHO the SED established rate at the time of the hearing. The District shall not be responsible for costs associated with a parent or guardian’s cancellation or adjournment of a hearing. A copy of this policy will be forwarded to the IHO at the time of appointment. Records relating to the IHO process including, but not limited to, the request for initiation and completion of each impartial hearing will be maintained by the District and such information will be reported to the Office of Vocational and Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities of SED as required by the commissioner’s regulations.

      Ref:

      • 8 NYCRR §§200.2; 200.5; 200.21

      Adoption date: September 22, 2004
      Revised date: February 27, 2019

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      Policy 4321.9 | Declassification of Students with Disabilities

      View the PDF version here Declassification of Students with Disabilities Policy here.

      General Policy Statement

      It shall be the policy of the Board of Education of the Bethlehem Central School District to establish and implement a plan for the appropriate declassification of a student with a disability. Prior to declassification, the CSE will perform a re-evaluation to determine if any support services are necessary upon de-classification.

      Adoption date: April 2, 2008
      Revised date: April 17, 2019

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      Policy 4321.9-R | Declassification of Students with Disabilities Regulation

      View the PDF version of the Declassification of Students with Disabilities Regulation here.

      Re-evaluation Prior to Declassification

      Only the Committee on Special Education (CSE) is authorized to declassify a student. Prior to recommending declassification, the Committee shall re-evaluate the student.

      Prior Notice and Consent to Conduct a Re-evaluation

      Prior to such reevaluation, the CSE shall provide, to the parent or student, as applicable, prior notice that a re-evaluation is being sought for the purpose of considering declassification and shall request input and written consent to conduct any formal assessments or tests recommended.

      If the initial request for consent is unsuccessful, alternate measures to obtain consent shall be taken and documented. If reasonable documented attempts have been made to obtain consent and no response is received from the parent or student as applicable, the Committee shall re-evaluate the student, upon notice without written consent.

      Determination of the Extent of Re-evaluation

      In order to determine the extent of re-evaluation necessary, appropriate school personnel; members of the CSE, with input from the parents and the student, as applicable; and other qualified professionals shall consider and review the existing evaluation data on the student, including evaluations provided by the parents or guardians, current class assessments, observations by teachers, and reports by related service providers and other professionals. This review shall not constitute a CSE meeting. On the basis of this review, the team may conclude that no further data are needed. With proper documentation of notification to the parents or student, as applicable, that they have the right to request additional testing and upon their written confirmation that they do not seek further assessment, a meeting of the CSE shall be scheduled to consider whether, based on the current re-evaluation, to recommend declassification.

      Consideration of Regular Education Support and Declassification Support Services

      In conducting its review, the CSE shall consider and recommend any regular education supports that may assist the student and shall consider the need for declassification support services. If recommended, the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) will specify those services recommended, including the projected initiation date and duration for such services. Declassification services shall be provided for no more than one year following the student’s declassification date.

      Consider Need for Continuation of Testing Accommodations and Second Language Waiver<

      In addition, the CSE shall consider the need to continue the student’s testing accommodations and, if recommended, shall ensure that such information is transmitted to appropriate school personnel to ensure that such accommodations are made available to the student. The CSE shall also determine, where applicable, whether to extend the second language waiver.

      Consider Need for Referral to the §504 Committee

      Where the CSE declassifies a student under the definition of a student with a disability set forth in the Commissioner’s Regulations, the student may continue to have accommodations and/or modifications.

      Authority: 8 N.Y.C.R.R. 200.2(b)(8)

      Adoption Date: April 2, 2008
      Revised Date: April 17, 2019

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      Policy 4321.10 | Programs and Services for Parentally-Placed Nonpublic School Students with Disabilities

      View the PDF version of the Programs and Services for Parentally-Placed Nonpublic School Students with Disabilities Policy here.

      The Board of Education (the Board) recognizes its responsibility to provide special education services to eligible students with disabilities enrolled by their parents in nonpublic schools located within the Bethlehem Central School District (the District), regardless of whether such students are residents of the District. The scope of that responsibility affects:

      1. The District’s child-find activities for locating, identifying, and evaluating parentally-placed nonpublic school students with disabilities;
      2. The Committee on Special Education (CSE) and the CSE subcommittee responsibilities for the development of an individualized education services program (IESP), or a service plan (SP), in the case of an out-of-state resident, for any such student determined to be eligible for special education services under IDEA and Article 89;
      3. The provision of services to such students;
      4. The relationship between the District and nonpublic school officials and nonpublic school parent(s) and/or guardian(s) of students with disabilities, with whom the District is required to consult;
      5. The District’s date collection and reporting responsibilities; and
      6. The District’s use of federal funds available under the IDEA.

      (Refer to policy 4321, Programs for Students with Disabilities under the IDEA and Article 89 for more information regarding the provision of special education services to students with disabilities enrolled in the District’s public schools.)

      Consistent with applicable law and regulations, this policy does not apply to resident students with disabilities enrolled by their parent(s) and/or guardian(s) in a nonpublic school located within the District’s boundaries because of a dispute over the provision of a free appropriate public education. Neither does it apply to charter school students, or to students placed in or referred to private schools by public agencies such as school District placements in approved private schools, Special Act school districts, and state-supported or state-operated schools/

      District staff will obtain prior consent from the parent(s) and/or guardian(s) of a parentally-placed nonpublic school student with disabilities, or the student if the student is eighteen years or older, for the release of personally identifiable information about the student from records collected or maintained pursuant to the IDEA between the District and the student’s district of residence.

      Location, Identification, and Evaluation of Parentally Placed Nonpublic School Students with Disabilities:

      The District’s activities for locating and identifying parentally-placed nonpublic school students with disabilities will be comparable to those undertaken for students attending the District’s public schools, and will be completed in a comparable time period, as well.  However, District staff will consult with nonpublic school representatives and representatives of parents of parentally placed students with disabilities regarding these activities, in order to ensure the equitable participation and an accurate count of such students.

      The District will use the same procedures that apply to the evaluation of the District’s public school students to evaluate and reevaluate parentally placed nonpublic school students with disabilities.

      (Refer to policy 4321, Programs for Students with Disabilities under the IDEA and Article 89, for more information on those procedures.)

      CSE Responsibilities:

      Once a parentally placed nonpublic school student with disabilities is determined to be eligible for special education services under the IDEA and Article 89, the CSE or CSE subcommittee will develop an IESP or SP for the student in accordance with the following:

      1. If the student is a New York State resident, the CSE or CSE subcommittee will develop an IESP based on the student’s individual needs in the same manner and with the same contents as an individualized education program prepared for a public school student.
      2. If the student is an out-of-state resident, the CSE or CSE subcommittee will develop an SP for the student in accordance with the IDEA and its implementing regulations.

      Provision of Services:

      Parent(s) and/or guardians(s) of nonpublic school students with disabilities eligible for special education services under this policy must submit to the Board a written request for such services on or before June 1 preceding the school year for which they want the District to provide services.  However, (i) if the student has not been first identified as a student with a disability until after June 1, the parent(s) and/or guardians(s) may submit the written request for services within thirty days after the identification, and the student will be entitled to services during the current year if the request is submitted before April 1; and (ii) in the event of a mid-year change in residency, the District will permit a late request for services to the extent required by law.

      The District will provide special education programs and services to parentally placed nonpublic school students with disabilities with an IESP on an equitable basis, as compared to special education programs and services provided to other students with disabilities attending public and nonpublic schools within the District.

      The District will provide special education programs and services to parentally placed nonpublic school students with disabilities with an SP to the extent required by the IDEA and its implementing regulations, and in consultation with nonpublic school officials and representatives of parent(s) and/or guardians(s) of parentally placed nonpublic school students with disabilities. In this regard, the District will expend a proportionate amount of the federal funds it receives under the IDEA to provide such services.

      The District will provide parentally placed nonpublic school students with disabilities-only services, including materials, and equipment, that are secular, neutral, and nonideological.

      Consultation:

      The District will consult in a timely and meaningful manner with nonpublic school officials and representatives of parent(s) and/or guardians(s) of parentally placed nonpublic school students with disabilities regarding the following issues:

      1. The process that will be used to locate and identify parentally-placed nonpublic school students with disabilities, including parent(s) and/or guardians(s), teachers, and nonpublic school officials who will be informed of the process, and how the process will work throughout the school year to ensure that the students can participate in special education and related services.
      2. How, where and by whom special education and related services will be provided to such students, and with respect to students with an SP, the types of services that will be provided.
      3. With respect to students with an SP, how a proportionate share of the federal funds the District receives under the IDEA will be spent on special education services to such students.
      4. The determination of the proportionate amount of the District’s IDEA funds available to serve parentally placed private school students with disabilities, including how that amount was calculated.
      5. How services will be apportioned if the proportionate amount of the District’s available IDEA funds is not sufficient to serve all parentally placed nonpublic school students with an SP, and how and when these decisions will be made. Notwithstanding, the District will provide services to students with an IESP, regardless of the apportionment of such federal funds.

      The superintendent will establish a process for obtaining from nonpublic school officials a written affirmation of their participation in the consultation process.  If that affirmation is not secured within a reasonable time, the superintendent will submit to the State Education Department documentation of the consultation process.

      Data Collection and Reporting:

      The superintendent will establish a process for maintaining records and report to the commissioner of Education on the number of parentally-placed nonpublic school students who are evaluated, and determined to have a disability, and receive special education services from the District.

      Cross-ref: 4321, Programs for Students with Disabilities under the IDEA and New York’s Education Law Article 89

      Ref:

      • The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), 20 USC § 612 (a)(10)(A); 34 CFR ***
      • Education Law §§3602-c
      • NYCRR §2002.2 (a)(7)

      Adoption Date: April 2, 2008
      Revised date: May 22, 2019

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      Policy 4321.14 | Student with Disabilities Participating in School District Programs

      View the PDF version of the Student with Disabilities Participating in School District Programs Policy here.

      The Board of Education (the Board) of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) adopts the following policy to ensure that every student with a disability, including those of preschool age, is provided with equal access and opportunities to participate in District programs.

      • District programming includes all extracurricular and nonacademic activities in addition to general education programs and supports.
      • Parents/legal guardians of students with disabilities, including students placed in out-of-District programs by the District, shall receive timely notice of such District programs and activities through traditional and current modes of digital communication.
      • The Committee on Special Education Chairperson and/or the building administrator charged with implementation of the §504 Committee shall be responsible for the identification of each student with a disability who requires supports or accommodations to access District programs and services, and arranging for the necessary accommodations or supports to allow the student to access such programs.

      This policy is applicable to all students identified with disabilities under Part 200 of the Commissioner’s Regulations as well as students who qualify for such accommodations under §504 of the Rehabilitation Act (“504″).

      Authority: 8 N.Y.C.R.R. §200.2(b)(1)

      Adoption Date: April 2, 2008
      Revised date: April 17, 2019

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      Policy 4325 | Academic Intervention Services

      View the PDF version of the Academic Intervention Services Policy here.

      The Board of Education (the Board) of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) is committed to providing academic intervention services to students at risk of not meeting the state learning standards. Such services may include additional instruction supplementing the instruction provided through the general curriculum and/or student support services such as guidance, counseling, attendance, and study skills that are needed to improve student’s academic performance.

      Eligibility for Academic Intervention Services will be determined based on a student’s performance on state assessment exams and/or in accordance with the uniformly applied District-developed, District-adopted procedures, which are attached to this policy. Eligible students will receive services consistent with law and regulations that shall commence no later than the beginning of the semester following a determination that a student is eligible for such services.

      Parental Notification and Involvement

      Notification of District Eligibility Procedures

      The District shall post on its website a description of the District-developed procedures for determining which students are eligible for academic intervention services, as specified in state regulations.

      Notification on Commencement of Services

      The building principal will notify the parents of a student determined to be in need of academic intervention services, in writing, upon the commencement of such services. Such notification will include:

      • A summary of the academic intervention services to be provided;
      • The reason the student needs such services; and
      • The consequences of not achieving expected performance levels.

      Notification on Ending of Services

      The principal will notify the parent in writing when academic intervention services are no longer needed. Such notification will include:

      • The criteria for ending services; and
      • The performance levels obtained on District-selected assessments, if appropriate.

      In addition, the District/schools will provide for ongoing communication with parents that must include opportunities to consult with teachers and other professional staff, regular reports on the student’s progress, and information on ways to monitor and work with educators to improve the student’s performance.

      All parental notifications and communications will be done in English and translated, when appropriate, into the native language or mode of communication of the parents.

      Description of Academic Intervention Services

      In accordance with the requirements of the Commissioner’s Regulations, the superintendent shall develop and maintain a description of the academic intervention and/or student support services to be provided to students in need of such services. This description, which will outline any variations in services in schools within the District, will delineate:

      • the District-wide procedures used to determine the need for academic intervention services, which are attached to this policy;
      • the academic intervention instructional and/or support services to be provided;
      • whether instructional services and/or support services are offered during the regular school day or during an extended school day or year; and
      • the criteria for ending services, including, if appropriate, performance levels that students must obtain on District-selected assessments.

      This description of academic intervention services was presented to the Board for approval on January 18, 2017, and shall be reviewed every two years thereafter based on student performance results.

      Ref:

      • 8 NYCRR 100.1(g); 100.2(r), (ee); 100.4(b)(4), (d)

      Adoption date: June 19, 2002 
      Revised date: February 1, 2017
      Revised date: February 27, 2019

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      Policy 4326 | English Language Learners

      View the PDF version of the English Language Learners Policy here.

      The Board of Education (the Board) of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) believes that students who, by reason of foreign birth or ancestry, have limited English proficiency (referred to here as “English Language Learners” or ELLs), will be more effective learners of both the language and the curriculum if they receive instruction in both their native language and English. The District will therefore take steps to identify ELL students and provide them with an appropriate program of either Bilingual Education or English as a New Language.

      Pursuant to this policy and the regulations of the commissioner of Education, the superintendent is directed to develop appropriate administrative regulations to ensure that students are:

      1. Screened to determine if the student is an ELL, in accordance with Parts 117 and 154 of the Commissioner’s Regulation, a process that will include interviews and assessments and will assign each ELL student to the appropriate subpopulation (newcomer, developing, long-term, former, or inconsistent/interrupted formal education).
      2. Identified, as appropriate, as an ELL student with a disability.
      3. Annually evaluated to determine continued ELL eligibility. Included in the evaluation shall be each student’s performance in English language proficiency and academic progress in content areas.
      4. Assured of access to appropriate instructional and support services, including guidance programs within the timeframes provided by Commissioner’s Regulations.
      5. Assured of having equal opportunities to participate in all school programs and extracurricular activities as non-ELL students.

      The superintendent shall be responsible for ensuring that the commissioner is provided with a comprehensive plan that describes the District’s ELL program, and includes all information specified in the Commissioner’s Regulations, before the start of each school year. The District will also provide assurances that the District is providing appropriate school-related information to the parents (or persons in parental relation) of ELL students in English and the language they best understand.

      The District will provide an orientation program annually for parents of newly enrolled ELL students. In addition, the District will meet individually with ELL parents at least once a year to discuss the goals of the ELL program, and their child’s language development (in both their native language and English), in addition to regular parent/teacher meetings.

      In addition, the superintendent shall ensure that all teachers employed in any Bilingual and/or English as a New Language program are properly certified in accordance with the Commissioner’s regulations, and that all staff receives appropriate professional development on ELL students.

      Cross-ref:

      • 4321, Programs for Students with Disabilities
      • 9700, Professional Development

      Ref:

      • Education Law §3204
      • English Acquisition, Language Enhancement, and Academic Achievement Act, 20 USC §§6801 et seq.
      • Equal Educational Opportunities Act of 1974, §§201 et seq., 20 U.S.C. §§1701 et seq.
      • 8 NYCRR §§80-2.9; 80-2.10; 117; Part 154
      • Lau v. Nichols, 414 U.S. 563 (1974)
      • Rios v. Read, 480 F. Supp. 14 (1978)
      • Cintron v. Brentwood UFSD, 455 F. Supp 57 (1978)
      • Aspira of New York v. Board of Educ. (City of New York), 394 F. Supp. 1161 (1975)

      Adoption date: June 19, 2002
      Revised date: December 16, 2015
      Re-approved date: March 20, 2019

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      Policy 4326 E.1 | Programs for English Language Learners Exhibit

      View the PDF version of the Programs for English Language Learners Exhibit here.

      Dear Parent/Guardian:

      Your child (insert child’s name) has been identified as an “English Language Learner” — a student in need of help to learn English — and the Bethlehem Central School District is recommending placement in a (insert name of program). We have determined (insert child’s name) eligibility, and placed (him or her) in such a program based on (insert reasons). Please review this letter, choose one of the options (see below) and sign and return the attached form within five school days.

      (Child’s name) is performing at (insert status of child’s academic achievement). We have determined (his or her) level of English proficiency at (insert level) based on (insert how the District assessed that level).

      We believe that placement in a (insert name of English instruction program) will help (insert child’s name) both to learn English and increase (his/her) level of academic performance. Attached is a series of questions and answers we hope will help you to better understand the program in which we have placed (insert child’s name) and the benefits of that program.

      The District will hold regular meetings at least twice a year for parents/guardians of English learners and we encourage you to attend. At those meetings, we will provide you with information about New York State’s Learning Standards and the school’s expectations that will help you to better understand the goals of your child’s program, and suggest ways you can help (insert child’s name). In between meetings, we are always ready to listen and respond to any questions and recommendations you might have. District staff will also meet with you individually once a year, in addition to regular parent/teacher meetings, to discuss your child’s language development progress, English language proficiency assessment results, and language development needs in all content areas.

      However, you should know that you have the right to:

      1. Request that (insert child’s name) be immediately withdrawn from the instructional bilingual program that the District has offered your child and schedule a meeting with the building principal and the District supervisor of bilingual education. At a minimum, however, (insert child’s name) must participate in an English as a New Language program.
      2. Request placement in another available program or method of instruction.
      3. Request assistance in selecting from among the various programs and methods of instruction available.
      4. Accept the District’s recommended placement.

      Whatever your decision, we encourage you to help (insert child’s name) attain English proficiency and high academic achievement levels. Some ways in which you can do this include: (insert some examples).

      If you have any questions about this notice or the attached information, please contact (insert the name of the building principal or the program’s coordinator). All of us in the District look forward to working with you to help (insert child’s name) improve (his or her) English and overall academic skills.

      Sincerely,

      Building Principal

      Questions and Answers About Your Child’s English Instruction Educational Program

      NOTE: In this exhibit, the District/school will have to fill in the answers to the questions below. Those answers will be specific to the individual child involved.

      1. What methods of instruction will be used in my child’s program?
      2. Does the District offer any other programs for English language learners?
      3. How do these other programs differ from the one offered my child in terms of methods of instruction, content, instructional goals, and the use of English and a native language in instruction?
      4. On what basis did the District select my child’s program as opposed to another one?
      5. How will my child’s program specifically help (him or her) learn English and meet age-appropriate academic achievement standards for grade promotion and graduation?
      6. My child is classified as a student with a disability. How will my child’s English learning program meet the objectives set out in (his or her) individualized education program (IEP)?

      Adoption date: December 16, 2015
      Re-approved date: March 20, 2019

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      Policy 4327 | Temporary Home/Hospital Instruction

      View the PDF version of the Temporary Home/Hospital Instruction Policy here.

      The Board of Education (the Board) of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) recognizes its responsibility to ensure that students who are unable to attend school because of a serious health condition are furnished with an appropriate educational program. Therefore, the Board will provide eligible students, including residents attending nonpublic schools, with temporary home/hospital instruction consistent with this policy.

      Eligibility for Home/Hospital Instruction

      A student who is temporarily unable to attend school for at least two weeks due to a serious health condition, after which he/she can reasonably be expected to return to regular day classes or an alternative education program, is eligible to be instructed at home or in the hospital by an appropriately certified teacher. Whenever appropriate, home instruction will be delivered at the Bethlehem Public Library or other suitable public location.

      A parent requesting home/hospital instruction for his or her child must provide satisfactory evidence, in the form of a signed statement of a licensed physician or psychiatrist, that the condition of the child precludes attendance at school.

      The physician or psychiatrist’s request should provide the following information:

      1. the medical diagnosis being treated that necessitates this form of instruction;
      2. the probable duration of the student’s absence from school;
      3. any limitations concerning the kind and duration of instruction; and
      4. possible precautions that the teacher providing instruction should take during the period of instruction.

      Additional medical documentation regarding the continued need for home/hospital instruction may be required on a biweekly basis, and must be satisfactory to the District.

      Eligibility for home/hospital instruction for regular education students shall be determined by the Home/Hospital Instruction Team. Eligibility for home/hospital instruction for students with disabilities shall be determined by the Home/Hospital Instruction Team in conjunction with the Committee on Special Education (CSE) in accordance with the student’s Individual Education Program (IEP), with the services to be delivered in the least restrictive environment. For periods of home/hospital instruction, a public location such as the Bethlehem Public Library will be presumed to be the least restrictive environment, unless a public location for instruction is contraindicated by a student’s demonstrated medical needs.

      Parental Responsibilities for Arranging for Home/Hospital Instruction

      Although the Board has the responsibility to ensure that every student receives an appropriate instructional program during periods of illness or injury, parents are expected to assist the Board. If a parent knows in advance of a potential prolonged absence, the parent is expected to notify the appropriate school officials of the probable occurrence and request provision of home/hospital instruction. Where advance notice is not possible, parents should make every effort to obtain homework assignments until such a time as home/hospital instruction may begin.

      Parents of resident students attending nonpublic schools should notify both the nonpublic and District school of the situation and request home instruction by the public school district of residence.

      As soon as possible after receiving notice of a prolonged absence and approving a request for home/hospital instruction, the District will arrange for home instruction for the time periods prescribed by law. Parents or another adult are expected to be present during all teaching sessions in the home. If an adult is not available at home, an alternative site will be sought. Additional information is included in #4327-R.

      The superintendent shall develop regulations specifying the procedures to follow to request home instruction and the procedures for providing such instruction.

      Independent Medical Evaluation

      The District reserves the right to obtain an Independent Medical Evaluation (IME) by a physician or psychiatrist of its choice whenever a student has been on home instruction for more than one month. Home instruction may cease to be provided if the parent does not reasonably cooperate in making the student available for the IME.

      Applicability

      This policy applies specifically to those students requesting home instruction due to a serious health condition. Arrangements for home instruction due to a disability under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Article 89 of the Education Law, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, or due to a student suspension will be provided consistent to applicable law, regulation, and District policy.

      Cross-ref:

      • 5100, Student Attendance

      Ref:

      • Education Law §1709(24)
      • Education Law §4401 et seq.
      • 8 NYCRR §175.21
      • New York State Education Department: “Revised Handbook on Services to Pupils Attending Non-Public Schools” (1990)

      Adoption date: June 19, 2002
      Revised date: May 18, 2011
      Revised date: September 3, 2014
      Revised date: March 20, 2019

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      Policy 4327-R | Temporary Home/Hospital Instruction Regulation, Application & Approval

      View the PDF version of the Temporary Home/Hospital Instruction Regulation, Application & Approval here.

      A student of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) with a serious health condition that makes school attendance medically impossible shall receive individual instruction in a suitable public location such as the Bethlehem Public Library, the student’s home, or in a hospital or other residential health facility. This instruction applies to students incurring a physical or emotional condition after which they can reasonably be expected to return to regular day classes or an alternative education program.

      Before approving home/hospital instruction, the District shall require satisfactory evidence, in the form of a signed statement of a licensed physician or psychiatrist, that the condition of the child medically prevents attendance at school. Section II of this form must be completely filled out by a licensed physician or psychiatrist in order to be considered, and must include the diagnosis and the length of time the student is anticipated to be absent from school. Many students with serious  health problems may still be able to attend school with modification. These modifications are determined through planning sessions with the family, student’s physician or psychiatrist, school nurse, and other school officials. In some cases, a temporary modification of the school schedule is sufficient to accommodate the student’s needs, and home instruction is not needed. The student may not be eligible for services if there is a contagious disease or other factors present that would jeopardize the health or safety of the teacher.

      Eligibility for home/hospital instruction for regular education students shall be determined by the Home/Hospital Instruction Team. Eligibility for home/hospital instruction for students with disabilities shall be determined by the Home/Hospital Instruction Team in conjunction with the Committee on Special Education (CSE) in accordance with the student’s Individual Education Program (IEP), with the services to be in the least restrictive environment. For periods of home/hospital instruction, a public location such as the Bethlehem Public Library will be presumed to be the least restrictive environment, unless a public location for instruction is contraindicated by a student’s demonstrated medical needs.

      Requests for extension of home instruction services beyond the period of time that is initially approved must be reviewed by the Home/Hospital Instruction Team. Additional documentation may be required on a biweekly basis, and must be satisfactory to the District.

      Any child who is excused from school attendance for more than six months must have two signed statements from two different licensed medical physician or psychiatrists. Exception: If a physician or psychiatrist certifies that a student has a chronic physical condition unlikely to substantially improve within one year, then one signed statement is sufficient for services that extend beyond six months. This exception does not apply to students with mental health conditions.

      If home/hospital instruction is approved, the student will not participate in any extracurricular activities, including, but not limited to, school dances and other social events, while on home/hospital instruction.

      Elementary school students on home/hospital instruction will receive five hours of instruction per week and secondary school students will receive ten hours of instruction per week. To the extent possible, home/hospital instruction should be staggered proportionally throughout the week.

      Sessions will be held in a suitable public location (i.e., a public library), a hospital or other medical facility, or the student’s home. An adult must always be present in the student’s home when services are being provided.

      Tutoring is provided in coordination with the District calendar. No tutoring will occur on a school holiday or weekend, during summer months, or on other days when school is not in session.

      Home instruction is not an alternative voluntary program for a student’s education. The purpose of home teaching is to minimize loss of instruction while a student is too ill to attend regular school. The severity of illness is determined through a doctor’s diagnosis, including consideration of any independent medical examination (IME) required by the District. Educational alternatives and modifications are considered before home teaching is authorized. The student is expected to return to regular school as soon as he/she is healthy enough to do so.

      Independent Medical Evaluation

      The District reserves the right to obtain an IME by a physician or psychiatrist of its choice whenever a student has been on home instruction for more than one month. Home instruction may cease to be provided if the parent does not reasonably cooperate in making the student available for the IME.

      Application

      1. An Application for Home/Hospital Instruction must be completely filled out and submitted to the principal’s office. This form may be obtained from the school nurse’s office. The following information must be supplied by the physician or psychiatrist:
        1. The reason why home instruction is necessary.
        2. The medical condition including history, prognosis, and medication.
        3. Any limitations concerning the kind and duration of instruction.
        4. The length of time needed for home instruction.
        5. Possible precautions that the home/hospital bound teacher should take during the period of instruction.
      2. The physician or psychiatrists original signature is required (stamped signatures will not be accepted). Incomplete forms will not be accepted.
      3. The parent’s signature is required.
      4. The Home/Hospital Instruction Team will verify the need for home instruction and then approve or deny the request. This verification may include contacting the student’s physician or psychiatrist regarding diagnosis or treatment.
        1. If the student has an IEP or 504 Plan, the student’s CSE or 504 Team will be part of the Home/Hospital Instruction Team.
        2. If the student is being recommended for home instruction for a condition that is not temporary, the student may also be referred to the CSE to determine if the student should be classified as a student with a disability. Nonclassified students whose home instruction is expected to exceed sixty calendar days shall be referred to the child study team or 504 Team for evaluation.
      5. Parents shall be notified regarding approval or denial within five school days after receipt of the Application for Home/Hospital Instruction.
        1. Home instruction is authorized by the District, not the student’s physician or psychiatrist. The Home/Hospital Instruction Team will designate the location of the instruction.
        2. Home/hospital instruction will not be assigned when there are less than ten days remaining in the student’s school year.

      Approval

      (Steps if application is approved)

      1. The principal and/or designee is responsible for the arrangement and supervision of home teaching assignments. Upon receipt of a copy of an approved Application for Home/Hospital Instruction, the principal and/or designee will:
        1. contact the classroom teacher(s) for books and assignments; and
        2. have the student’s folder available for conference with the home/hospital bound teacher. The principal should expect the home/hospital bound teacher to contact her/him within one week after a student is placed on home instruction.
      2. Upon notification by the principal that a student is on home/hospital bound instruction, the teacher of the individual subject should make available to the principal all future assignments and tests, as administered, and changes in text materials, if any.
      3. The home/hospital bound teacher will pick up all pertinent books and materials at the school that the student is currently attending. All materials will be located in the main office of each building.
      4. Upon sending out the progress reports at the end of each marking period, the home/hospital bound teacher will consult the principal or designee concerning any concerns. If the student is a student with a disability, the CSE chairperson should also be contacted.
      5. Elementary students are to receive one hour of instruction per day. Secondary students are to receive two hours of instruction per day. However, the instruction schedule should be flexible enough to accommodate the schedule of the tutor, parent, and student. Instruction is only provided on days when school is in session.
      6. When a student is to return to school, the CSE chairperson or building principal will notify the home/hospital bound teacher and the transfer will be completed. Periodically, there will be a review by the director of Special Education and Student Services concerning the continued need of those students with a psychological condition receiving home/hospital bound instruction. A similar procedure will be followed by the school physician in the case of those students who have been placed on home/hospital bound instruction for medical reasons.
      7. Home instruction is not an alternative voluntary program for a student’s education. The purpose of home teaching is to minimize loss of instruction while a student is too ill to attend regular school. The severity of illness is determined through a doctor’s diagnosis, including consideration of any IME required by the District. Educational alternatives and modifications are considered before home teaching is authorized. The student is expected to return to regular school as soon as he/she is healthy enough to do so.

      Return to School

      1. Each student must have a specific date of conclusion on the request for home/hospital instruction.
      2. The student is expected to return to school on the date approved on the Application for Home/Hospital Instruction.
      3. At least one week before the conclusion of home/hospital instruction, the parents and/or guardians should contact the school health and attendance office (Grades K-5) or the school counseling office (Grades 6-12) to make an appointment for the student’s re-enrollment at the regular school of attendance.
      4. When the physician or psychiatrist releases the student, he/she may return to school:
        1. If a student is returning to school at the end of the term originally prescribed by the physician or psychiatrist, no doctor’s release note is required.
        2. If a student is returning to school before the end of the term originally prescribed by the physician or psychiatrist, a doctor’s release note is required. The doctor’s early release certification will need to be brought to the school of residence prior to the student’s return to school.

      All home/hospital placements automatically terminate at the end of the student’s instructional school year. Should the need for home/hospital instruction still exist for the next school year, the parent must reapply for the services.

      Extending Home/Hospital Instruction

      1. If the student is unable to return to school on the date approved by the District, the parent and the physician or psychiatrist must complete a new Application for Home/Hospital Instruction.
      2. Additional medical documentation will be required on a biweekly basis, and must be satisfactory to the District.
      3. When a classified student exceeds thirty consecutive days on home instruction, the IEP team shall convene a meeting to review and, if appropriate, revise the student’s IEP.
      4. Refusal or failure by a parent and/or guardian to complete a new Application or to cooperate with the Home/Hospital Instruction Team may be deemed a violation of compulsory education laws.

      Parent Responsibilities

      It is the desire of the District to provide a positive and meaningful educational experience for a child while he/she is on Home/Hospital Instruction. The District will provide a credentialed teacher for five hours per week for elementary student and ten hours per week for secondary students. The teacher will work closely with your student’s regular classroom teacher(s) to ensure a current and relevant curriculum is being offered.

      The District reserves the right to cancel Home/Hospital Instruction if the student is not benefiting from the program, or the conditions in which instruction is provided is not conducive to learning, or if the number of student absences is excessive.

      The parent will be notified by the principal if the request for home instruction has been approved or denied, and the designated location for such instruction, within five days of submission of the physician or psychiatrists request for home instruction.

      In order to provide the best possible instructional program during this time, the District requests that the parent participate in the following ways:

      1. Submit a signed and completed copy of the Application for Home/Hospital Instruction.
      2. Must have an adult present in the home during the instructional time. (No instruction can take place in the student’s home without an adult present.)
      3. Ensure that the student is present when the tutor arrives. For excused absences from home instruction, a student may be given additional assignments. Unexcused absences per District attendance policy will not be made up.
      4. Supervise the student in following through with assignments.
      5. Report any problems with home instruction to the building principal or his/her designee.
      6. Sign the home instruction teacher’s Hourly Time Sheet at the conclusion of each session, verifying that instruction was provided each day.
      7. Provide an environment for study that is quiet, well lit, and free from interruptions. Pets should be secured in an area away from the student/teacher study area. (Siblings should not be present in the room during instructional time.) If other arrangements need to be made, discuss this with the home instruction teacher.
      8. The home instruction teacher shall be in charge when instruction begins.
      9. Contact the home instruction teacher directly if the student is unable to complete instruction at the scheduled time. Make-up hours may be arranged during the same week as the absence only.
      10. Contact the office of the principal should you have any questions or concerns.

      Home Teacher Responsibilities

      The home instruction teacher for your child has been selected from properly credentialed teachers previously approved by the Board of Education (the Board). These home instruction teachers will be assigned by the principal or his/her designee.

      1. Home/hospital bound teachers must contact the parent or guardian to set up a time for instruction. If it is to be conducted in the home, the parent or guardian must be present during the period of instruction. The District recommends that instruction be held in a public place, such as the Bethlehem Public Library.
      2. Maintain an effective and ongoing working relationship with the student’s classroom teacher(s) in order to obtain instructional materials (e.g., textbooks, worksheets, tests, and course objectives) that provide for a program as consistent as possible with the program available in the school setting.
      3. Obtain the student’s schedule and/or IEP goals and strategies from appropriate staff.
      4. Submit required forms in a complete and timely manner as requested by the principal or his/her designee.
      5. Submit grades, upon request, for each student in each subject in which the student received instruction to the principal or his/her designee at the end of the home teaching period or the end of a grading period.
      6. Maintain all attendance records for each student on his/her roll and submit to the principal or his/her designee at the designated times.
      7. During the period of home/hospital instruction, the home instruction teacher will be considered the teacher of record. The home instruction teacher, when requested, will be responsible for the grading of the student and the submission of those grades to the principal or his/her designee, unless other arrangements are made between the classroom teacher and the home instruction teacher.
      8. Contact the principal or his/her designee if after two attempts to deliver the home instruction the student is not present or the parent or other adult over twenty-one designated by the parent is not present.
      9. Submit a separate time sheet for each student. Time sheets from home/hospital bound teachers are to be submitted weekly with the parent/guardian’s signature.
      10. Submit a final Progress Report to the principal when a student is to be transferred from home/hospital instruction to regular instruction. If the student is a student with a disability, the final Progress Report will also be submitted to the CSE chairperson.
      11. Regular home/hospital bound teachers are to meet with the principal or designee to coordinate all closing data.
      12. Submit time schedules at the beginning of the home/hospital bound program and as revised when additional students are assigned.
      13. Submit time sheets in a timely manner and making sure that the parent/guardian’s signature is in place prior to submission. If needed, additional time sheets may be used.

      Adopted date: May 18, 2011
      Revised date: September 3, 2014
      Revised date: March 20, 2019

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      Policy 4329 | Implementation of School-wide Approaches and Pre-Referral Intervention

      View the PDF version of the Implementation of School-wide Approaches and Pre-Referral Intervention Policy here.

      In accordance with the IDEA and Part 200 of the Commissioner’s Regulations, the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) has implemented a plan and policy to establish prereferral interventions to remediate a student’s educational performance to avoid, wherever possible, inappropriate referrals to the Committee on Special Education (CSE).

      In keeping with this policy, it is the responsibility of the building Child Study Team (CST) or Pupil Services Team (PST) to investigate all possible avenues of general education support services to enable students to advance academically.

      Prereferral support services may include, but are not limited to,

      • improvement services;
      • evaluations;
      • individual and group counseling;
      • consultation with staff and families;
      • curriculum and instructional modifications;
      • building level educational support;
      • Academic Intervention Services (AIS);
      • Bilingual and/or English as a Second Language (ESL) services; or
      • Training for faculty and staff to support above services for students.

      These services may be provided before, during, or after the school day, or in the summer. They must be afforded to all students who do not meet the minimum designated standards on state assessments and to Limited English Proficient (LEP) students who do not achieve the annual Commissioner’s Regulations at 8 N.Y.C.R.R.154 performance standards. Consistent with the District AIS policy, supplemental instruction in English, Language Arts, Math, Social Studies, and Science as well as support services to address barriers to student progress such as attendance, discipline, health, family nutrition, and transient issues will be afforded to students who score a level two or below on state assessments or to students recommended by the Child Study Team.

      The District shall provide diagnostic screening for any student who scores below level two on either the third grade English language arts or mathematics assessment for New York State elementary schools.

      Diagnostic screening for such students shall include, but not be limited to:

      1. Vision and hearing screenings to determine whether a vision or hearing impairment is impacting the student’s ability to learn; and
      2. A review of the student’s instructional programs in reading and mathematics to ensure that explicit and research validated instruction is being provided in both areas.

      Student progress shall be monitored periodically through screenings and ongoing assessments of the student’s reading and mathematics abilities and skills. If the student is determined to be making substandard progress in such areas of study, instruction shall be provided that is tailored to meet the student’s individual needs with increasingly intensive levels of targeted intervention and instruction.

      Parents and/or guardians shall be notified regarding information about the performance data that will be collected and the general education services provided; strategies for increasing the student’s rate of learning; and the parents’ right to request an evaluation by the CSE to determine whether the student has a disability.

      All schoolwide approaches to provide remediation activities to students who are at risk of not meeting graduation requirements will be considered prior to making referrals to the CSE. These schoolwide approaches shall serve as prereferral interventions prior to consideration of CSE support services. One of the schoolwide approaches the District may use to remediate a student’s performance prior to referral for special education is a response to intervention process. This scientific, research-based instruction will be implemented according to Section 100.2(ii) of the Commissioner’s Regulations (see RTI # 4330).

      The referral form to the CSE shall enumerate all prereferral interventions made available to the student to enable the CSE to determine which of these interventions have been tried or the reason why no such attempts have been made. Each referral shall be reviewed to determine its appropriateness and whether prereferral interventions have been adequately utilized and if further interventions are deemed necessary.

      If a building administrator initiates a referral to the CSE, it shall be forwarded to the CSE chairperson immediately.

      This policy shall remain in full force and effect unless modified by the Board of Education.

      Authority: 8 N.Y.C.R.R. 200.2(b)(7)
      8 N.Y.C.R.R. 117.3(c)(4)
      8 N.Y.C.R.R. 117(2)(e)
      8 N.Y.C.R.R. 117.3(d)
      8 N.Y.C.R.R. 117(c)

      Adopted: February 4, 2009
      Reapproved date: April 17, 2019

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      Policy 4330 | Implementation of Response Intervention

      View the PDF version of the Implementation of Response to Intervention Policy here.

      In accordance with regulations of the Commissioner of Education, the Board of Education (the Board) of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) adopts the following policy and procedures to ensure that all students suspected of having a learning disability will receive appropriate instruction in reading and mathematics in general education before the District initiates a referral to the Committee on Special Education (CSE) for an evaluation. Such procedures may include as part of the District’s general education program, a process referred to as Response to Intervention (RTI). In accordance with the Commissioner’s Regulations, all elementary schools within the District shall have fully implemented a RTI program for all students in kindergarten through the end of fifth grade who are identified as not meeting age or grade norms in reading or mathematics.

      The basic components of the RTI process shall include:

      • Scientific, research-based core instruction in reading and mathematics. Reading instruction shall address: phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary development, fluency, and comprehension.
      • Screening for all students in grades K-5 at least three times per year to identify those who are not making academic progress at the expected rates.
      • Research-based interventions matched to a student’s targeted need at increasing levels of intensity for those students who do not make satisfactory progress in their levels of performance and/or in their rate of learning to meet age or grade level standards.
      • Repeated assessments of targeted skill areas using curriculum-based measures to determine if interventions are resulting in student progress toward age or grade level standards.
      • A building-based team to establish at-risk criteria (cut scores), review screening data, and make decisions related to student performance and intervention need.
      • Written notice to the parents when a student is identified, in accordance with this policy, as needing more intensive reading or mathematics instruction than the instruction provided to all students in the general education classroom

      The Board of Education designates the superintendent to establish a Districtwide RTI Team, which shall be comprised, at a minimum, of the following representatives: principal of each public school building, assistant superintendent for educational programs, director of Special Education and Student Services; a chairperson of the Committee on Special Education, English Language Arts supervisor, Math supervisor, school psychologist, a regular education teacher, a special education teacher, and whomever else the superintendent deems appropriate.

      It shall be the responsibility of the Districtwide Team to develop, review, and amend, as necessary, an RTI policy that includes the following components:

      • The criteria for determining the appropriate levels of intervention, including the frequency of assessment and the assessment tools to be used;
      • The types, intensity, and range of interventions provided to students at each tier and the number of tiers of intervention prior to referral to the CSE;
      • The amount and nature of student performance data to be collected;
      • The manner and frequency of Performance Monitoring; and
      • The data necessary for District personnel to request a referral to the CSE.

      The Board of Education designates the existing Building Level Teams (Child Study Team)

      Using an RTI model to conduct the following tasks in accordance with the policy established by the Districtwide Committee:

      • Collect, review, and analyze data pursuant to this policy;
      • Identify those students who require instruction at a more intensive level;
      • Notify the parents of students receiving RTI intervention that the student is involved in the RTI process; the techniques, strategies, or programs used; and notice of the parent’s right to request an evaluation for special education;
      • Review the appropriateness of the interventions used and the grouping of students to maximize effectiveness;
      • Recommend changes in students’ instructional programs based upon the analysis of the data; and
      • Request a referral to the CSE and for the principal to complete the request for referral form, where appropriate.

      Professional Staff Development

      The assistant superintendent for educational programs, in consultation with the director of Special Education and Student Services, shall develop and implement a training program for all teachers assigned to provide students with research-based reading and math interventions on the specific intervention techniques and consistency of implementation as well as assessment administration, data collection, and charting of performance data as required in accordance with this policy.

      This policy shall remain in full force and effect unless modified by the Board of Education.

      Authority: 8 N.Y.C.R.R. 100.2(ii)

      Adoption date: February 4, 2009
      Revised date: February 27, 2019

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      Policy 4331 | Use of Time Out Rooms

      View the PDF version of the Use of Time Out Rooms Policy here.

      The Board of Education (the Board) of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) recognizes that students with disabilities sometimes exhibit inappropriate behaviors that impede learning. As a result, students with disabilities may require specific approaches to behavior intervention so that they can continue to benefit from their educational program.

      Purpose

      The Time Out Room offers a quiet and safe area for students with disabilities who have a Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP) that provides for Time Out Room use when the student is:

      1. Overwhelmed;
      2. Experiencing overstimulation;
      3. Out of control; or
      4. Presenting a danger to themselves or others.

      The Time Out Room is designed to provide the student with a place to safely de-escalate, regain control, and prepare to meet expectations to return to class.

      The Time Out Room may also be used for unanticipated situations that pose an immediate concern for the physical safety of the student or others.

      Some students, whose BIP and Individualized Education Program (IEP) allow for use of the Time Out Room, are taught to move into the room on their own, as a quiet de-escalating space.

      Room Description/Procedures

      The Time Out Room must:

      1. Provide for continuous visual and auditory monitoring of the student;
      2. Be of an adequate width, length, and height to allow a student to move about and recline comfortably;
      3. Utilize wall and floor coverings and be designed to prevent injury to the student;
      4. Provide for adequate light and ventilation;
      5. Be clean and free of potentially dangerous objects and/or fixtures;
      6. Meet all local fire and safety codes; and
      7. Be unlocked when a student is inside with a door that can be opened from the inside.

      Time Limitations for the Use of the Time Out Room

      A student’s IEP must specify when the student has a BIP that includes a Time Out Room. The student’s IEP and BIP must identify the maximum length of time the student may remain in a Time Out Room, based on the student’s age and individual needs.

      In the event of any unanticipated emergency for a student who does not have a BIP that provides for use of a Time Out Room, the student may remain in the Time Out Room for a maximum of thirty minutes.

      Training, Monitoring, and Documentation

      All staff authorized to place a student in a Time Out Room will be trained on the District’s policy related to the use of the Time Out Room and related behavior management practices. Training for staff will be provided annually as needed.

      Only trained staff authorized by the principal may place a student in a Time Out Room.

      The Time Out Room, when in use, must be constantly monitored by staff, who must be able to see and hear the student at all times.

      The BIP shall require data collection designed to assess the effectiveness of the use of the Time Out Room is decreasing the behaviors targeted in that plan and on the student’s IEP.

      Time Out Room Log and Monthly Review

      For any student with a disability who is sent to a Time Out Room, a record must be made on a time out log to include the following, at a minimum:

      1. The student’s name;
      2. The precipitating event that led the staff member to place the student in a Time Out Room;
      3. Name(s) of staff member(s) involved;
      4. The total amount of time the student remained in a Time Out Room;
      5. Whether the student has a BIP that provides for use of a Time Out Room and, if so, the maximum amount of time permitted; and
      6. A description of the student’s ability to resume classroom activities after leaving a Time Out Room.

      Each time the Time Out Room is used for a student, it must be documented and a copy of the Time Out log must be sent to the principal, Committee on Special Education (CSE) chairperson, and the director of Special Education Support Services (SESS).

      The effectiveness of this therapeutic intervention will be reviewed monthly by the case manager, teacher, and other appropriate staff, and the effectiveness of the behavior management plan will be reviewed at the same time. Copies of these monthly reviews will be sent to the principal, case manager, and CSE chairperson.

      Parent Notification and Inspection

      Before an IEP with a BIP that provides for a Time Out Room is implemented, parents must:

      1. Receive prior written notice;
      2. Be offered an opportunity to view the Time Out Room; and
      3. Be provided with a copy of this policy.

      A parent shall receive a copy of the log report issued each time the student is placed in a Time Out Room. Whenever possible, parents shall be notified on the same day as the Time Out Room placement.

      This policy shall remain in full force and effect unless modified by the Board of Education. The director of Special Education and Student Services will be responsible for implementation and oversight of this policy.

      Authority:

      • 8 N.Y.C.R.R. 200.22(c)

      Adoption date: February 4, 2009
      Revised date: March 16, 2016
      Revised date: June 21, 2017
      Re-approved date: March 20, 2019

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      Policy 4452 | Individual Help/Tutoring

      View the PDF version of the Individual Help/Tutoring  Policy here.

      The Board of Education (the Board) of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) recognizes the professional responsibility of its staff to provide individual help to those students who can benefit from such services.

      Individual Help

      All subject teachers should make themselves available on a weekly basis to provide extra help for students who need it. Teachers may require a student to attend who is not performing at a level consistent with their abilities. If no improvement is shown, the teacher should contact the parent. The student may be referred to the counselor and the parent so notified. Each teacher should place on the student and parent portal the day and location of his/her extra help sessions. If convenient for both student and teacher, special help may be given to students by appointment during the school day.

      It is suggested that when the teacher deems it advisable that a child be invited to spend extra time with the teacher the parent should be notified. Children should always be under the direct supervision of the teacher.

      Tutoring

      To protect both the District and the teachers from charges of conflict of interest, the following rules relating to tutoring have been established:

      1. No teacher shall tutor a student from his/her own class(es) outside of the school for pay. Tutoring activity by a teacher must not impinge upon the teacher’s efficiency, effectiveness, or availability in the District.
      2. No teacher shall tutor for pay a student from other classes during school hours or on school property.
      3. Teachers may tutor for pay students not assigned to the teacher’s class(es) during nonschool hours and off school grounds.
      4. Students shall not be dismissed from school for the purpose of receiving private tutoring.
      5. Persons not employed by the District shall not be permitted to tutor students on school grounds.

      Cross References:

      • 2160, School District Officer & Employee Code of Ethics

      Adoption date: March 16, 2016
      Revised date: May 4, 2016
      Revised date: March 20, 2019

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      Policy 4511 | Textbook Selection and Adoption

      View the PDF version of the Textbook Selection and Adoption Policy here.

      The Board of Education (the Board) of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) delegates responsibility to the professional staff for the selection of textbooks, library resources, and other instructional materials.

      The superintendent or designee shall establish objectives and criteria for selection of textbooks and a method for selecting staff members who shall serve in the selection and recommendation process.

      The following criteria are to be considered in the selection of textbooks:

      1. qualifications of the author(s) on the subject;
      2. adaptability to existing instructional program;
      3. accuracy of the information presented;
      4. sufficient scope to meet the requirements of the curriculum as developed locally and approved by the State Education Department;
      5. objectivity and impartiality in treatment of subject matter and freedom from bias and prejudice;
      6. high quality format in respect to typography, arrangement of materials or pages, cover design, size, and margins;
      7. appropriateness to grade level as to vocabulary, sentence structure, and organization;
      8. meet grade-to-grade requirements: they should contain supplementary aids to learning, when desirable and necessary, such as a table of contents, introduction, study activities, exercises, questions, problems, selected references, bibliography, index, glossary, and appendices;
      9. should include appropriate illustrative materials: pictures, maps, charts, graphs, diagrams, etc., which clarify the text and enrich the content;
      10. should fairly represent the many ethnic and cultural groups and their contribution to American heritage; and
      11. a reasonable balance of viewpoints regarding controversial issues should be presented.

      The following criteria are to be considered in the selection of literary works for classroom use in teaching literature, as well as the assignment of such works to particular grade levels:

      1. use of a compositional style that contributes to the reader’s critical and appreciative understanding of the work;
      2. sophisticated use of literary devices (i.e., metaphor, point of view, tone) to further student understanding of written concepts;
      3. levels of student maturity and experience necessary for empathic reading of literature;
      4. capacity of a work to capture student interest;
      5. thematic treatment that promotes sound and healthy values for students;
      6. intrinsic qualities that establish a work as a significant part of the literary heritage; and
      7. sufficient variety to avoid duplication of theme, plot, setting, etc., unless such duplication affords opportunities for comparison and contrast or serves to reinforce understanding.

      Cross-ref:

      • 1420, Complaints about Curricula or Instructional Materials

      Ref:

      • Education Law §§701 et seq.; 1711; 2508; 2566

      Adoption date: June 19, 2002
      Revised date: March 20, 2019

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      Policy 4526 | Acceptable Use

      View the PDF version of the Computer Use in Instruction Policy here.

      The Board of Education (the Board) provides a wide range of technology resources to advance the educational mission of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) and manage District operations. Pursuant to District Policy #8630 concerning District Technology Resources and Data Management, the Board has established this Acceptable Use Policy (AUP).

      Capitalized terms in this Policy have the same meaning as the same terms set forth in Policy #8630.

      This AUP is applicable to all Users of District Technology and Data, including all students, staff, Board members, volunteers, vendors, and visitors who are authorized to access District Technology and Data. All use of District Technology and Data is subject to this AUP and the District Code of Conduct, regardless of whether such use occurs at school or outside of school. Pursuant to the Code of Conduct and this AUP, all Users of District Technology are required to conduct themselves in a responsible, decent, ethical, and polite manner.

      The superintendent, working in conjunction with the District’s director of Technology (DOT) shall prepare an appropriate Regulation to define the specific acceptable uses of District Technology and Data (the AUP Regulation). The AUP Regulation shall be made available to all Users, who shall be required to acknowledge receipt of, and agree to comply with, the AUP Regulation before being provided access to District Technology and Data.

      Any violation of the AUP Regulation may be grounds for discipline, which may include termination of access to District Technology and Data or other appropriate sanctions under the circumstances.

      Cross-ref:

      • 1130.1 Social Media Guidelines
      • 4526.1 Internet Safety
      • 8630 Technology Resources and Data Management 8635 Information Security Breach & Notification

      Adoption date: August 9, 2017
      Re-approved date: March 20, 2019

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      Policy 4526-R | Acceptable Use Regulation

      View the PDF version of the Computer Use in Instruction Regulation here.

      This Acceptable Use Regulation (AUP Regulation) establishes the general rules for use of District Technology pursuant to the Acceptable Use Policy No. 4526 (AUP or Policy No. 4526) of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District).

      Capitalized terms in this Regulation have the same meaning as the same terms set forth in Policy No. 4526.

      1. Notice of User Rights and Limitation of District Obligations

        A. No Expectation of Privacy. Users have no expectation of privacy regarding use of District Technology or storage of Data on District Technology, including, but not limited to, Data contained in any User account, on the District’s computer network or authorized cloud computing solution, or on any device issued by the District to any student.

        B. Access Is a Privilege. Access to District Technology and Data is a privilege, not a right. The District reserves the right to prohibit or limit any use that is not for educational purposes; interferes with the normal operation of the District; or violates any law, policy, or regulation.

        C. No Warranties. The District makes no warranties of any kind, express or implied, relating to access to, or use of, District Technology or Data. Further, the District assumes no responsibility for the quality, availability, accuracy, nature, or reliability of the service and/or information provided. Users of District Technology use such technology at their own risk. Each User is responsible for verifying the integrity and authenticity of all information obtained through use of District Technology, including any information obtained from the Internet. The District is not liable for any claims, losses, damages, suits, expenses, or costs of any kind incurred, directly or indirectly, by any user or his/her parents and/or guardians arising out of the use of District Technology.

        D. Limits on Filtering Technology. No Internet filtering/blocking software is 100 percent effective. The District is not responsible for failure of such software to block or prevent access to all potentially objectionable content.

        E. Limits on Security Controls. No security controls are 100 percent effective to eliminate all threats. The District is not responsible for failure of any reasonable security controls to preserve the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of District Technology or Data.

      2. Use of District Technology

        A. Educational and District Uses. District Technology is provided to support student learning and manage the District’s operations. All Users are expected to use District Technology for educational and other District purposes. Educational purposes include academic or classroom instruction, research, and other learning opportunities consistent with the District’s educational mission.

        B. Prohibited Uses. The following uses are specifically prohibited.

          1. Any use that violates this Regulation or any other District Regulation or Policy, including but not limited to the Code of Conduct [see Policy # 5300];
          2. Any use that violates applicable law;
          3. Posting any material or information that may result in disruption of normal school operations;
          4. Cyberbullying and/or harassing other Users [see Policy # 5810 (Cyberbullying) and Policy # 5300 (Code of Conduct)];
          5. Accessing, uploading, downloading, creating, or distributing pornographic, obscene, or sexually explicit material;
          6. Copyright infringement;
          7. Gambling;
          8. Vandalizing the account or Data of another User;
          9. Accessing another User’s account or confidential records without permission;
          10. Attempting to read, delete, copy, or modify the electronic mail of other system Users and deliberately interfering with the ability of other system Users to send and/or receive email;
          11. Using another person’s account name, with or without permission;
          12. Revealing the personal address, telephone number, or other personally identifying information of a student unless written permission has been given by a parent or guardian;
          13. Sharing your personal ID or password with another User;
          14. Using any methods or means to bypass the District’s Internet filtering system, including, but not limited to, use of a Virtual Private Network (VPN);
          15. Intentionally or knowingly disrupting or damaging District Technology or Data, including creating, installing, sharing, or distributing a computer virus or similar damaging code, application, or program;
          16. Using District Technology for personal financial gain;
          17. Downloading, installing, or using software without permission;
          18. Email broadcasting or spamming;
          19. Using District Technology to send anonymous messages or files;
          20. Using a false/fictitious identity in any electronic communication; or
          21. Forging or attempting to forge email messages.

        C. Personal Devices. Personal Devices owned by Users may be used to connect to the District’s computer network, including wireless Internet access points maintained by the District. Personal Devices that may be used include, but are not limited to, laptop computers, smartphones, and tablets. All activities conducted while connected to the District computer network are subject to monitoring, copying, review, access, and storage by the District. The District is not liable for any damages, expenses, or costs associated with the use of a Personal Device to access District Technology, or in the event such a Personal Device is lost, damaged, or stolen.

        D. District-Issued Devices. The District may issue devices to Students or Staff for use in school and outside of school. Parents and/or guardians, students, and Staff will receive (and must acknowledge receipt of and agree to follow) the specific guidelines regarding rights and responsibilities relating to use of these District-owned, leased, or controlled devices. The District reserves the right to inspect or examine all District-issued devices to ensure compliance with this Regulation and other applicable policies and regulations.

        E. Internet Safety. In accordance with the Children’s Internet Protection Act of 2001 and the Protecting Children in the 21st Century Act of 2008, the District has adopted an Internet Safety Policy and a Regulation that specifically govern use of District Technology to access the Internet (4526.1/4526.1-R). All Users are required to abide by the requirements of the District’s Internet Safety Policy and Regulation.

        F. Social Media. The District has adopted Social Media Guidelines that specifically govern use of Social Media relating to the District and District activities [see Policy # 1130.1]. All Users are required to abide by the requirements of the District’s Social Media Guidelines.

        G. Data Storage. The District uses a variety of approved solutions for storing Data. Some Data may be stored on servers located in the District, while other Data may be stored by third party vendors (for example, remote cloud storage). The District’s director of Technology (DOT) is responsible for communicating to Users how and where Data should be stored.

        H. Security Incidents. If a User identifies a security problem involving District Technology or Data, the User must notify the District’s Information Technology (IT) staff or other responsible school official immediately. Under no circumstances should the User demonstrate the security issue to another User or encourage any other User to exploit or replicate the security problem.

      3. Violations

        A. Violations of the Acceptable Use Policy and this Regulation shall be reported to the principal, who shall take appropriate action in accordance with authorized disciplinary procedures set forth in the District’s Acceptable Use Policy or other applicable policies.

        B. Penalties for students may include, but are not limited to, the restriction or revocation of computer access privileges, suspension, and other discipline consistent with the Code of Conduct.

        C. Penalties for staff and other authorized Users may include, but are not limited to, revocation of computer access privileges and other discipline allowed pursuant to contract and/or law, up to and including termination.

        D. In addition, the District may pursue legal options for damage to District Technology or Data, or for other damages suffered by the District.

        E. Violations that appear to be criminal in nature will be reported to the appropriate law enforcement authorities.

      Adoption date: August 9, 2017
      Re-approved date: March 20, 2019

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      Policy 4526.1 | Internet Safety Policy

      View the PDF version of the Internet Safety Policy here.

      It is the policy of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) to comply with the Children’s Internet Protection Act of 2001 and the Protecting Children in the 21st Century Act of 2008 (collectively, the “Internet Safety Laws”).

      The District recognizes that the Internet Safety Laws require the District to undertake reasonable efforts to:

      • Block or filter access to certain material, including obscene pictures, child pornography, and other material harmful to minors;
      • Monitor online activities of minors; and
      • Educate minors concerning appropriate online behavior.

      In addition, all use of District Technology to access the Internet must comply with the District’s Technology Resources and Data Management Policy and Regulation [Policy # 8630 and 8630-R] and Acceptable Use Policy and Regulation [Policy # 4526 and Policy # 4526-R].

      As set forth in the District’s Acceptable Use Regulation, the District cannot guarantee that technological measures will prevent minors from accessing inappropriate content. The District will educate students about appropriate online behavior. Parents and/or guardians are expected to supervise and monitor students’ use of the Internet when children are using District Technology outside of school.

      The superintendent of the District is hereby directed to establish a Regulation setting forth appropriate procedures and procure appropriate technology to comply with the Internet Safety Laws and the District’s Acceptable Use Policy. These procedures and technology shall include:

      • Acquisition and deployment of Internet blocking and/or filtering software;
      • Monitoring of online activities facilitated by District Technology;
      • Restrictions on disclosure of students’ personal information online;
      • Restrictions on unauthorized online access by students, including hacking and other unlawful activities; and
      • Education and training on safety and security of minors relating to the use of email, chat rooms, and other online communications.
      • Consistent with the Internet Safety Laws, the superintendent’s Regulation also shall establish appropriate procedures to allow exceptions to this Internet Safety Policy for adults conducting bona fide research or other lawful activities.

      Cross-Reference

      • 1130.1 Social Media Guidelines
      • 4526 Acceptable Use
      • 8630 Technology Resources and Data Management
      • 8635 Information Security Breach & Notification

      Adoption date: August 9, 2017
      Re-approved date: March 20, 2019

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      Policy 4526.1-R | Internet Safety Regulation

      View the PDF version of the Internet Safety Regulation here.

      The following rules and regulations implement the Internet Safety Policy adopted by the Board of Education (the Board) of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) to make safe for children the use of District computers for access to the Internet.

      Definitions

      A. Capitalized Terms. Unless otherwise stated herein, all capitalized terms shall have the same definitions as those set forth in the District’s Internet Safety Policy [Policy # 4526.1] and Acceptable Use Policy [Policy # 4526].

      B. Child Pornography. Any visual depiction, including any photograph, film, video, picture, or computer-generated image or picture, whether made or produced by electronic, mechanical, or other means, of sexually explicit conduct, where the production of such visual depiction involves the use of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct. Child Pornography also includes any such visual depiction that:

        1. is or appears to be, of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct;
        2. has been created, adapted, or modified to appear that an identifiable minor is engaging in sexually explicit conduct; or
        3. is advertised, promoted, presented, described, or distributed in such a manner that conveys the impression that the material is, or contains a visual depiction of, a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct.

      C. Harmful to Minors. Any picture, image, graphic image file, or other visual depiction that:

        1. taken as a whole and, with respect to minors, appeals to the prurient interest in nudity, sex, or excretion;
        2. depicts, describes, or represents, in a patently offensive way with respect to what is suitable for minors, an actual or simulated sexual act or sexual contact, actual or simulated normal or perverted sex acts, or a lewd exhibition of the genitals; and
        3. taken as a whole lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value as to minors.

      D. Obscene. Any picture, image, graphic image file, or other visual depiction that:

        1. the average person, applying contemporary community standards, would find the image, taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest;
        2. describes, in a patently offensive way, sexual conduct; and
        3. taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.

      Mandatory Blocking and Filtering Measures

      A. As set forth in Policy # 8630, the superintendent, or his or her designee, shall secure information about, and ensure the purchase or provision of, a technology protection measure that blocks access to visual depictions on the Internet that:

      1. as to adults, are obscene or child pornography; and

      2. as to children, are obscene, child pornography, or harmful to minors.

      B. The District’s director of Technology (DOT) shall be responsible for the installation and proper use of any blocking or filtering measure obtained by the District.

      C. The DOT and/or his or her designee may disable or relax the District’s Internet blocking and filtering technology only for adult staff members conducting research related to the discharge of their official responsibilities. In such cases, the DOT and/or his designee shall monitor the activities of adult Users for whom the blocking and filtering technology measure has been disabled to ensure that such Users are not accessing prohibited materials.

      Monitoring of Online Activities

      A. The DOT shall be responsible for monitoring to ensure that online activities of Users are consistent with the District’s Internet Safety Policy, this Regulation, and the District’s Acceptable Use Policy and Regulation.

      B. The DOT may inspect, copy, review, and store at any time, and without prior notice, any and all usage of District Technology for accessing the Internet, as well as any and all information transmitted or received during such use.

      C. During the school day and/or at school events, staff are authorized to monitor student use of District Technology.

      D. Parents and/or guardians of students bear the responsibility for setting and conveying standards that their children should follow when accessing the Internet, both inside and outside of school. In addition, parents and/or guardians may opt out of allowing their children to access the Internet using District Technology.

      E. Parents and/or guardians must supervise and monitor student use of District Technology outside of school to ensure such use complies with the Internet Safety Policy, this Regulation, and the District’s Acceptable Use Policy and this Regulation.

      Training

      A. The DOT shall provide training to staff and students on the requirements of the Internet Safety Policy and this Regulation at the beginning of each school year.

      B. The training of Users shall highlight the various activities prohibited by the Internet Safety Policy and the responsibility of staff to monitor student online activities.

      C. The District shall provide age-appropriate instruction to students regarding appropriate online behavior. Such instruction shall include, but not be limited to, (i) positive interactions with others online, including on social networking sites and in chat rooms; (ii) proper online social etiquette; (iii) protection from online predators and personal safety; and (iv) how to recognize and respond to cyberbullying and other threats.

      D. Students shall be directed to consult with their classroom teacher if they are unsure whether their contemplated activities when accessing the Internet are appropriate.

      E. Users will be advised that unauthorized access (hacking) and other unlawful activities are prohibited.

      F. Users will be advised not to disclose, use, or disseminate personal information about students when accessing the Internet or engaging in authorized forms of direct electronic communication.

      G. Users will be informed of the range of possible consequences attendant to a violation of the Internet Safety Policy and this Regulation.

      Violations

      A. Violations of the Internet Safety Policy and this Regulation shall be reported to the principal who shall take appropriate action in accordance with authorized disciplinary procedures set forth in the District’s Acceptable Use Policy or other applicable policies.

      B. Penalties for students may include, but are not limited to, the restriction or revocation of computer access privileges, suspension, and other discipline consistent with the Code of Conduct.

      C. Penalties for staff and other authorized users may include, but are not limited to, revocation of computer access privileges and other discipline allowed pursuant to contract and/or law up to and including termination.

      D. In addition, the District may pursue legal options for damage to District Technology or Data, or for other damages suffered by the District.

      E. Violations that appear to be criminal in nature will be reported to the appropriate law enforcement authorities.

      Adoption date: August 9, 2017
      Re-approved date: March 20, 2019

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      Policy 4526.2 | Cloud Storage Guidelines

      View the PDF version of the Cloud Storage Policy here.

      To more efficiently and cost-effectively manage the Technology Resources of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District), the District has contracted with cloud storage providers to provide remote data hosting services. These Cloud Storage Guidelines set forth the District’s guidelines for use of cloud storage.

      Cloud Storage Providers

      a. The following Cloud Storage Providers are authorized for use:

      i. DropBox Business (paid business version only);

      ii. Google Apps for Education (GAFE); and

      iii. Google Classroom.

      b. No other Cloud Storage Provider or solution may be used without permission of the District’s director of Technology (DOT). (Aspen data are hosted on District servers and these are not considered a cloud service provider.)

      Official District Accounts

      a. Staff members will be provided, and must use, only official District accounts for the District’s approved Cloud Storage Providers. The DOT will provide staff members with training on use of cloud storage solutions. Staff members must remember to sign out of official accounts when those accounts are not in use.

      b. We understand that staff members may have their own private accounts with cloud storage providers, such as Dropbox, that they use for personal purposes. Private accounts cannot be used for transferring any District Data. In addition, personal information (data) should not be transferred to or from a District-owned or leased device for any reason.

      Locations for Specific Data

      a. Highly confidential data should be stored only on District servers (M: drives and departmental drives/folders), including HIPAA transactional data (with the exception of Health Office Anywhere) and financial data.

      b. Information that is not highly confidential, including personally identifiable information (PII), may be stored in GAFE or Google Classroom.

      c. External storage drives (including thumb and jump drives) are not permitted for storage of any HIPAA data, financial data, PII, student records, or staff records.

      Adoption date: August 9, 2017
      Revised date: March 20, 2019

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      Policy 4531 | Field Trips Policy

      View the PDF version of the Field Trips Policy here.

      The Board of Education (the Board) recognizes that field trips can be an integral component of a student’s educational experience. However, a field trip must be more than just an enjoyable, supplemental experience. Field trips are to be directly tied to the academic program. A field trip shall be:

      1. a means to apply learning in the field; and/or
      2. a means to conduct research; and/or
      3. a means to work directly with original source materials; and
      4. curricular in nature.

      Building principals, supervisors, and teachers will determine the frequency and content of class field trips. Each student must secure the permission of his/her parent(s) and/or guardian(s) before participating in such activity.

      Factors relevant in consideration of approval of such field trips may include the relationship to the curriculum, the distance of the trip, availability of transportation, the cost involved, weather conditions, and full utilization of transportation. All requests for field trips must be submitted to the superintendent in a time frame established by the superintendent.

      Participation in field trips shall be limited to students who attend schools in  the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) and participate in the District’s general education and/or special education curriculum. This shall not include:

      1. students who are homeschooled by their parents;
      2. students who are parentally placed in a private school including, but not limited to, students with disabilities who receive special education and/or related services from the District pursuant to the “dual enrollment law,” N.Y. Educ. Law § 3602-c; and
      3. students who are placed by the Committee on Special Education in an external placement, including a BOCES program (regardless of location), a day treatment program, a residential facility, or other private school placement.

      The superintendent or his/her designee has final authority for approval or cancellation of all field trips.

      Cross-ref.:
      Policy 5252, Student Activity Funds Management
      Policy 5252-R, Student Activity Funds Management Regulation

      Adoption date: June 19, 2002
      Revised date: October 15, 2003
      Revised date:
      February 28, 2018
      Re-approved date: December 19, 2018

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      Policy 4531-R | Field Trips Regulation

      View the PDF version of the Field Trips and Excursions Regulation here.

      Guidelines for Field Trips

      To ensure the success of all District field trips, the following guidelines should be followed:

      1. Teachers will receive permission from the principal for proposed trips, before bringing the trip to the attention of parents and students.
      2. Field trip requests should be presented to the principal and/or assistant principal in a time frame established by the superintendent. Upon the submission of the field trip request, it will be reviewed and scheduled if approved.
      3. Middle and High School students in all sections of a course should participate.
      4. Approval of the field trips will be dependent upon the direct connection of the trip to the curriculum and the value of the learning experience, balanced against the loss of classroom instruction for students and teacher chaperones.
      5. Middle or High School field trips should be avoided after December recess through midyear examinations and after May 15. The faculty asks that those teachers planning field trips avoid, where possible, scheduling a trip during the last two/three days of a marking period. This will help to avoid conflicts with testing or deadlines for projects.
      6. During the field trip experience, students will be under the supervision of an adult or teacher chaperone. Plans for the field trip are to include educational goals, proposed activities to achieve these goals, and the identification of specific advisors responsible for student supervision during proposed activities. It is the responsibility of the teacher sponsor of the field trip to secure adequate teacher and parental supervision for all aspects of the trip.
      7. For trips involving more than $100 of expense, parents/guardians of the students on the trip must be provided with information about the cancellation/refund policy of the agency or entities connected with the trip.
      8. All students and chaperones are expected to abide by the District Code of Conduct during the entirety of the field trip.

      Responsibility (Procedures to be the same for day and overnight trips)

      An employee of the District will be responsible for any school-sponsored overnight field trip. The sponsor will be a school advisor, teacher, or coach.

      The maximum chaperone to student ratio is 1:25 for teacher-student, 1:10 for parent/chaperone-student. The maximum chaperone to student ratio for overnight trips is 1:10. Numbers higher than this require special approval. When volunteers are used as chaperones, the sponsor shall provide pre-trip orientation.

      Overnight Field Trip Guidelines

      Overnight field trips may provide positive academic and social learning experiences for students. They need to be very carefully planned to meet the special requirements of student well-being over an extended period of time and provide sponsorship protection for the District. Overnight field trips must meet all the requirements for a single-day field trip as well as the additional following guidelines:

      1. Transportation (procedures are to be the same for day trips)

      Except as provided below, District transportation is the required mode of conveyance. Public transportation will require screening by the transportation supervisor. Adults may drive their children to and from overnight field trip sites with the sponsor’s permission and written parent consent. Drivers under twenty-one years of age will not be permitted.

      The normal passenger load ratings may not be exceeded when transporting students on an overnight field trip. All passengers in private vehicles must be provided with seat belts. Sponsors and/or approved chaperones must accompany students on any vehicle that transports students on a school-sponsored and/or approved trip.

      District bus transportation will be provided whenever possible. All District transportation assignments will be determined by the availability of buses and funds as allocated by the District transportation coordinator. The teacher/coach planning a trip for which District transportation is not available may consider a charter school coach and will need to:

      • Call the transportation supervisor for names of preapproved charter coach companies.
      • Arrange for preapproved charter transportation to be preinspected by Bethlehem Central transportation supervisor and/or their designee.
      • Call the transportation supervisor to confirm the trip and notify the supervisor of the contractor selected to complete the trip.

      2. Scheduling (Procedures to be the same for day trips)

      Schedules and application materials for overnight trips must be submitted to the building principal and subject supervisor, as applicable, forty-five days in advance to allow the necessary time for the approval process. Applications for day trips should be submitted three weeks in advance of the field trip experience.

      Any additions to the athletic schedule — including competitions sponsored by the New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NAPHSSA) — may not be able to meet these time requirements and may be approved by the building principal and superintendent.

      All application materials will include a detailed itinerary of student activities during the field trip. The itinerary must be followed unless there are unforeseen circumstances. Any changes made should be reported as soon as possible to a direct supervisor.

      All field trip forms should be completed and forwarded to the building principal and subject supervisor. Faculty should be notified of a field trip through the distribution of an alphabetical list of all students participating in the trip at least several days in advance. A copy of this list shall be filed with the building principal and subject supervisor’s secretary at the same time.

      All students participating on the trip must provide a signed permission slips that are to be retained by the teacher. Students who miss class because of their participation in a field trip are responsible for making up all missed work.

      3. Accommodations/Special Conditions

      To the extent possible, living accommodations should be previewed by the sponsor of the trip. Private accommodations shall be previewed by the sponsor, another school district or a school-contracted organization (i.e., a tour company or student exchange organization).

      Telephone contact points and persons should be a part of all trip itineraries.

      4. Health Care

      The school nurse is responsible for maintaining student safety while students participate in school-related functions. These responsibilities include: communication from the health office to instructors/chaperones regarding a student’s special needs and medication administration.

      After the health office is notified of a field trip, any student requiring medication or possessing a health concern will be notified by the nurse. Parents will be contacted and a medication plan will be initiated. Such a plan requires proper paperwork to be on file in the health office.

      When deemed necessary, only the appropriate dosage of medication should accompany a student in a properly labeled container. Only students with a preexisting diagnosis will be provided medication coverage.

      Situations that are of an emergency nature which occur during the course of the field trip experience should involve local rescue squads and police. Communication to the principal and parents shall take place as soon as possible and accident reports filed with the school insurance secretary. A faculty member should remain with an ill or injured student at all times until a parent is able to assume responsibility for their child.

      5. Insurance

      The premium for any additional insurance coverage for an overnight trip to protect the District must be borne by the participating group. Parents should be informed of the type of insurance coverage, including medical insurance as required. In the event of cancellation of the trip by the tour company and/or superintendent or his/her designee, the parents and guardians will not be reimbursed by the District. The following notice should be given in writing to each parent considering the trip and prior to signing the appropriate permission slip:

      • In the event the trip must be canceled by the superintendent or his/her designee due to terrorist action, government advisory, or other unforeseen circumstances not in effect at the time of the trip approval, the District will not be held financially responsible for costs accrued as a result of that action.

      Adoption date: June 19, 2002
      Revised date: October 15, 2003
      Revised date: December 19, 2018

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      Policy 4710 | Grading System

      View the PDF version of the Grading System Policy here.

      Grading is considered a positive tool to indicate achievement and development in each class or subject in which a student is enrolled. The Board of Education (the Board) of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) recognizes that the classroom teacher has the primary responsibility to evaluate students and determine student grades.

      The District will use a uniform grading system. Classroom teachers will evaluate students and assign grades according to the established system. Grading will be based, in part, upon student improvement, achievement, and participation in classroom discussions and activities. Parent(s) and/or guardian(s) will be informed regularly, at least two times a year, of their child’s progress. The use of marks and symbols will be appropriately explained.

      Each student is an individual with his/her own abilities and capabilities. 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.

      A student is expected to complete the assigned class work and homework as directed. The student is also expected to participate meaningfully in class discussions and activities in order to receive course credit. If work is missed due to absence, the student is expected to make up the work. The student and/or the student’s parent(s) and/or guardian(s) should discuss with the student’s teacher an appropriate means of making up the missed work. With the possible exception of absences intended by the student as a means of gaining an unfair academic advantage (e.g., to secure more time to study for a test), every effort will be made to provide students with the opportunity and assistance to make up all work missed as a result of absence from class.

      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 District administrator after notification to the teacher of the reason for such change. Should an administrator enforce a grade change, he/she shall be prepared to report to the superintendent and/or the Board.

      Grade Modifications

      Modifications to the District grading policy are allowed in certain circumstances with the approval of the department supervisor and building principal. Modified grading is sometimes allowed for students with excessive absences due to medical reasons, and for students participating in courses with substantial modifications to the curriculum, such as a student eligible for Academic Intervention Services (AIS), a student whose primary language is a language other than English, and a student with disabilities who require a modified curriculum and modified grading.

      When it has been determined that a student requires modified grades, the grade to be received by the student should be a measure of how successfully he or she has succeeded in meeting individual goals.

      Cross-ref:

      • 4712, Student Progress Reports to Parents
      • 5100, Student Attendance

      Ref:

      • Education Law §§3202; 3205 et seq.
      • Matter of Nathaniel D., 32 EDR 67 (1992)
      • Matter of Hegarty, 31 EDR 232 (1992)
      • Matter of Shepard, 31 EDR 315 (1992)
      • Matter of Handicapped Child, 32 EDR 83 (1992)
      • Matter of Ackert, 30 EDR 31 (1990)
      • Matter of Augustine, 30 EDR 13 (1990)
      • Matter of Boylan, 24 EDR 421 (1985)
      • Matter of Burns, 29 EDR 103 (1989)
      • Matter of Chipman, 10 EDR 224 (1971)
      • Matter of Dickershaid, 26 EDR 112 (1986)
      • Letter to Runkel, 25 IDELR 387 (1996)

      Adoption date: June 19, 2002 
      Revision: October 17, 2007 
      Revision: March 19, 2014
      Revised date: February 27, 2019

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      Policy 4712 | Student Progress Reports to Parents

      View the PDF version of the Student Progress Reports to Parents Policy here.

      An important aspect of the instructional program of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) is reporting student progress to parents. The goal is to communicate as often as is necessary and as effectively as possible with the parents of each child, and to encourage parents to communicate with the school.

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

      Staff members are urged to maintain informal contact with parents through telephone calls and emails.

      In accordance with the provisions of Title I, parents/guardians shall be provided with reports on their child’s progress. In addition, the parents/guardians of students with special education needs shall be provided with semiannual progress reports. Copies of letters sent to parents/guardians relating to a particular situation or problem will be kept in the student’s folder.

      Each student who receives Title I or Special Education Services will be monitored and evaluated frequently for academic progress.

      Cross-ref:

      • 1900, Parental Involvement
      • 4710, Grading System

      Ref:

      • 34 CFR §200.34(c)(l)(i) (ESEA Title I Program in Local Educational Agencies)
      • 8 NYCRR Part 149, subparts 149-1; 149-3

      Adoption date: June 19, 2002
      Revised date: February 27, 2019

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      Policy 4720 | Testing Programs

      View the PDF version of the Testing Programs Policy here.

      The Board of Education (the Board) of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) believes that standardized testing programs can provide a meaningful source of information about the curriculum and overall student achievement. The Board, therefore, authorizes a program of testing to help accomplish the following objectives:

      1. to evaluate strengths and weaknesses of the current curriculum and methods of instruction;
      2. to provide one means to evaluate student growth through individual, intra-District, and inter-District comparison;
      3. to provide teachers with diagnostic information that will enable them to better address the instructional needs of their students; and
      4. to provide a basis for longitudinal study of student achievement.

      Information gained through the use of testing programs will be used to design educational opportunities for students to better meet their individual and collective needs.

      The Board views this purpose to be a primary function of schools. The Board recognizes that tests provide only a limited source of information, and will therefore be used only in conjunction with all other information known about a student or to assist the student in improving his/her work.

      Records of the results of standardized tests shall be maintained in accordance with the Board’s policy on student records.

      Ref:

      • 8 NYCRR §§100.3(b)2; 100.4(d)1; 100.5(a)4; 100.5(b)5; 100.5(c)5

      Adoption date: June 19, 2002
      Revised date: February 27, 2019

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      Policy 4750 | Promotion and Retention of Students

      View the PDF version of the Promotion and Retention of Students Policy here.

      It is essential that each child experience both challenge and success from school activities. To this end, the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) will make every effort to place each student in the most appropriate learning level for a successful educational experience.

      District curriculum guides indicate goals for achievement by the “average” student at each grade level. However, academic growth, like physical growth, does not take place at the same pace or time for all individuals. Certain students may achieve mastery in a shorter period, while others need additional time. Early identification and intervention, promotion, and retention are methods of meeting the needs of such children.

      The following guidelines shall govern student progression:

      Early Identification/Intervention

      Classroom teachers are expected to make every effort to identify early those students at risk of failing. The principal and the parents and/or guardians must be notified promptly if retention is anticipated, and a special support program shall be designed for each child identified as in danger of failing. Such support services may include, but are not limited to, individualized assistance before, during, or after the school day; remedial classes; a change in instructional program; and, where appropriate, referral to the Committee on Special Education for evaluation.

      Promotion/Retention

      Elementary schools

      At the elementary level, students who pass all subjects will be promoted. Students who do not make satisfactory progress in one or more basic subjects (English Language Arts, Mathematics, Social Studies, and Science) shall have their cases considered on an individual basis and may be retained. Retention shall be limited to those situations where the best interest of the child is reasonably assured. Diligent effort shall be made to use all available resources to determine the child’s appropriate placement.

      Middle schools

      Students who pass all subjects but one shall have the failure evaluated and a determination made as to the reason for the failure. The student may be required to repeat the subject, but in typical cases shall be promoted with recommendation for either summer school or assignment to a more appropriate academic ability group. The decision shall be arrived at by consensus from a case conference approach involving the teacher, principal, and guidance counselor.

      Students who fail two subjects shall have their cases considered on an individual basis through a case conference approach described above.

      Students who fail more than two subjects may fail for the year and may be retained.

      High School

      In general, promotion from one class to the next shall be contingent upon the passing of all required subjects and the accumulation of four or five units of credit at each level.

      Retention

      A decision to retain shall be arrived at by consensus from a case conference approach involving the teacher, principal, other appropriate school personnel, and parents and/or guardian. Factors to be considered include teacher recommendation; classroom achievement; assessments; social and emotional development; results of the family conference; and, for identified students, recommendations by the Committee on Special Education. If a consensus cannot be reached, the decision of the principal shall be final.

      No student will be retained without an appropriate educational plan defining how the student will be supported in the next academic year. Once the educational plan has been implemented, the student will be monitored regularly.

      Ref:

      • Education Law §§1709; 2503(4); 3202
      • 8 NYCRR §100.4
      • Isqwith v. Levitt, 285 App. Div. 833; 137 N.Y.S.2d 497 (1955)
      • Matter of Eckert, 13 EDR 270 (1979)
      • Op. Counsel, 1 EDR 775 (1952)

      Adopted: May 18, 2011
      Revised date: February 27, 2019

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      Policy 4772 | Graduation Ceremony

      View the PDF version of the Graduation Policy here.

      The graduation or commencement ceremony is a time to celebrate the honors and achievements of the graduating class. The Bethlehem Central School District (the District) will establish the date for graduation ceremonies.

      Participation in the graduation ceremony and related activities will be predicated on satisfactory completion of all graduation requirements, or as otherwise described in this policy. Exceptions may be made under extraordinary circumstances with the permission of the superintendent. A student who has earned either a Career Development and Occupational Studies Commencement Credential (CDOS) or Skills and Achievement Commencement Credential (SACC) by the time his/her ninth-grade cohort reaches graduation may, but is not required to, participate in that graduation ceremony.

      A student with a disability who participates in graduation ceremonies by earning only a Career Development and Occupational Studies Commencement Credential (CDOS) or a Skills and Achievement Commencement Credential (SACC) is entitled to continue his/her educational program until the end of school year in which the student turns twenty-one years old, or until he/she earns a Regents or local high school diploma.

      The superintendent shall develop regulations to implement this policy, to be adopted by the Board. The District shall provide annual written notice to all students and their parent(s) and/or guardian(s) of the requirements of this policy and associated regulations.

      Cross-Ref:

      • 4321, Programs for Students with Disabilities Under the IDEA and New York’s Education Law Article 89
      • 4321.9, Declassification of Students with Disabilities
      • 4773, Diploma and Credential Options for Students with Disabilities

      Ref:

      • Education Law §3204(4-b)
      • 8 NYCRR §§100.5; 100.6

      Adopted: April 10, 2018
      Revised date: March 20, 2019

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      Policy 4772-R | Graduation Ceremony Regulation

      View the PDF version of the Graduation Policy Regulation here.

      A student who has earned either a Career Development and Occupational Studies Commencement Credential (CDOS) or a Skills and Achievement Commencement Credential (SACC), but not a high school diploma, shall be allowed to participate in the graduation ceremony of the student’s graduating class.

      The Bethlehem Central School District (the District) shall retain a record of each student’s ninth grade cohort. Each year, the principal shall determine whether each student who entered ninth grade with the current year’s graduating class is eligible to participate in that year’s graduation ceremony, pursuant to state law, Board of Education policy, and this regulation.

      During the school year in which the ninth grade cohort enters twelfth grade, the principal shall submit to the superintendent or his/her designee the name(s) of all students who are on track and expected to earn either a CDOS or SACC, but not a Regents or local high school diploma, by the time of graduation.

      For each student so identified, the superintendent or his/her designee shall communicate with the student and/or his/her parent(s) and/or guardian(s) to ascertain whether the student wishes to participate in the graduation ceremonies of that year’s graduating class by discussing the matter with the student and his/her parent(s) and/or guardian(s) either in person, in writing, by telephone, or via email.

      For any student who meets such requirements and wishes to participate in the graduation ceremony, the superintendent shall facilitate the student’s participation in the graduation with the building principal, the student, and his/her parent(s)/guardian(s). Notification that the student may participate in that year’s graduation ceremony will be provided prior to graduation.

      The District shall provide annual written notice to all students and their parent(s) and/or guardian(s) of the requirements of this regulation and associated policy.

      Adoption date: April 10, 2018
      Re-approved date: March 20, 2019

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      Policy 4831 | Service Animals Policy

      View the PDF version of the Service Animals Policy here.

      The Bethlehem Central School District (the District) recognizes the right of an individual with a disability to be accompanied on District property by a service animal.

      Definitions

      A. Service Animal:

      Except as otherwise expressly required by federal or state law, the term “service animal” shall be limited to a dog that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability.

      The term “service animal” shall not include an emotional support animal or comfort animal of any kind.

      B. Individual with a Disability:

      The term “individual with a disability” shall mean a student, employee, or visitor to the District’s property who has a disability covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (Section 504), or New York State Human Rights Law (HRL).

      For purposes of this policy, an individual with a disability may be referred to below as an “owner” or “handler” of a service animal.

      Service Animal Determinations

      1. When an individual with a disability is initially accompanied by a service animal on District property, or requests to be accompanied by a service animal on District property, a District administrator may make the following inquiries of such individual, or a parent of a student with a disability:

      a. Is the dog a service animal required because of a disability?

      b. What work or task has the dog been trained to perform?

      2. The “work or task” that the dog is trained to perform must:

      a. be directly related to the disability of the dog’s owner or handler – that is, the dog must perform work or a task that the owner or handler cannot independently perform without the dog; and

      b. must not be limited to the natural behavior of a dog; and

      c. must not be limited to providing emotional support or comfort.

      3. District administrators are not permitted to request or require:

      a. proof of training (such as any type of certification for the dog); or

      b. a demonstration of the work or task performed by the dog; or

      c. a service animal vest or ID tag to be worn by the dog.

      Requirements for Service Animals

      1. A service animal must be under the control of its owner or handler at all times, through the use of a leash, harness, or other tether, except: (a) at times when the use of a leash, harness, or other tether would interfere with the service animal’s safe and effective performance of the work or task that it is trained to perform; or (b) when the owner’s or handler’s disability prevents the use of these devices, and the owner or handler uses other effective means (such as oral commands) to control the service animal.

      2. The owner or handler of the service animal is solely responsible for caring for and supervising the service animal, which includes toileting, feeding and grooming the service animal. The District is not responsible for caring for or supervising a service animal.

      3. Any request for reasonable accommodation for a student with a disability who requires assistance with a service animal should be addressed to the director of Special Education and Student Services.

      4. The owner or handler of the service animal must submit to the District proof of registration in conformance with any applicable local registration requirements for all dogs, and proof of the service animal’s current vaccinations and immunizations from a licensed veterinarian.

      Exclusion of Service Animals

      A service animal may be excluded only when:

      1. the animal is out of control and the owner/handler does not take effective action to control it; or
      2. the animal is not housebroken.

      Allergies or fear of a service animal experienced by other students, employees, or visitors are not grounds to exclude a service animal. District administrators are directed to balance and reasonably accommodate the needs of the individual who is accompanied by the service animal, and any individual who is allergic to, or fearful of, the service animal.

      Service Animals in Training

      A service animal who is in training (and not yet capable of performing any work or task for an individual with a disability) will not be permitted on the District’s property, except to the extent required by New York State law. Specifically, a person who is qualified to train dogs to aid and guide persons with a disability may be accompanied by a dog under such training only while such a qualified person and the dog are engaged in such training activities.

      While the District recognizes the right of any student or employee with a disability to train his or her own service animal outside of school or work hours, a student or employee will not be permitted to be accompanied by a service animal in training during school or work hours, because the student or employee is expected to then be engaged in school or work activities, and thus will not then be engaged in training activities with the service animal in training.

      References: 
      36 C.F.R. § 36.302(c)
      N.Y. Civil Rights Law § 47-b

      Adoption: October 17, 2018

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      Policy 4855 | Therapy Dogs Policy

      View the PDF version of the Therapy Dogs Policy & Therapy Dog Request Form here.

      The Bethlehem Central School District (the District) supports the use of Social Service Dogs by teachers, other qualified school personnel, or qualified nonemployee volunteers (the Owner) for the benefit of its students, subject to the conditions of this policy.

      A Therapy Dog is a dog that has been individually trained and certified to work with its Owner to provide specified services and functions to District students. Therapy Dogs, for the purposes of this policy, are not “service animals” as that term is used in the American with Disabilities Act or New York State law.

      Therapy Dogs are the personal property of the Owner and are not owned by the District.

      Nothing herein shall enlarge or abridge the right of any student, employee, or visitor to be accompanied on District property by his/her own service dog, to the extent required by federal or state law.

      Nothing herein shall permit a student, employee, or visitor to be accompanied by his or her own comfort animal or emotional support animal for his or her own personal use or individual benefit on District property.

      Therapy Dog Standards and Procedures

      The following requirements must be satisfied before a Therapy Dog will be allowed in school buildings or on school grounds:

      A. Requests:

      All individuals who wish to bring a Therapy Dog for the benefit of students to District property must submit a written application to the superintendent or his/her designee. A copy of the application is attached. The request must be renewed each school year or whenever a different Therapy Dog will be used.

      B. Training and Certification:

      The Owner must submit one of the following: (1) Social Service Dog International Certification for Social Service Dogs; or (2) Therapy Dogs International Certification. The certification must remain current at all times that the Therapy Dog is present in any District school building.

      C. Health and Vaccination:

      The Therapy Dog must be clean, well groomed, in good health, housebroken, and immunized against diseases common to dogs. The Owner must submit proof of current licensure from the local licensing authority and proof of the Therapy Dog’s current vaccinations and immunizations from a licensed veterinarian.

      D. Control:

      A Therapy Dog must be under the control of the Owner through the use of a leash or other tether unless the use of a leash or other tether would interfere with the Therapy Dog’s safe, effective performance of its services for student.

      The Therapy Dog must not disrupt the educational process by barking, seeking attention, or engaging in any other disruptive behavior.

      E. Identification:

      The Therapy Dog must have appropriate identification clearly indicating that it is a Therapy Dog.

      F. Health and Safety:

      The Therapy Dog must not pose a health and safety risk to any student, employee, or other person at school.

      G. Supervision and Care of Therapy Dogs:

      The Owner is solely responsible for the supervision and care of the Therapy Dog, including any feeding, exercising, and clean up while the animal is in a District building or on District property. The District is not responsible for providing any care, supervision, or assistance for a Therapy Dog.

      H. Authorized Area(s):

      The Owner shall only allow the Therapy Dog to be in areas in District buildings or on District property that are authorized by District administrators.

      I. Insurance:

      The Owner must submit a copy of an insurance policy that provides liability coverage for the Therapy Dog while in a District building or on District property.Exclusion or Removal from School

      A Therapy Dog may be excluded from a District building or District property if a District administrator determines any of the following:

      1. The Owner does not have control of the Therapy Dog;

      2. The Therapy Dog is not housebroken;

      3. The Therapy Dog presents a direct and immediate threat to others in the District building or on District property; or

      4. The Therapy Dog’s presence otherwise interferes with the educational process.

      The Owner shall be required to remove the Therapy Dog from the District building or District property immediately upon such a determination.

      Parent Notice

      The superintendent or his/her designee shall ensure that parents are notified in writing prior to the Therapy Dog being permitted to enter a District building. Such notice may be electronic.

      Allergic Reactions

      If any student or school employee assigned to a classroom in which a Therapy Dog is permitted suffers an allergic reaction to the Therapy Dog, the Owner of the animal will be required to remove the animal to a different location designated by an administrator.

      Damages to School Property and Injuries

      The Owner of a Therapy Dog is solely responsible and liable for any damage to a District building or District property or injury to personnel, students, or others caused by the animal.

      Adoption: August 9, 2017 
      Revised: February 8, 2018 
      Revised: October 17, 2018

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      Policy 5020.3 | 504 Policy

      View the PDF version of the §504 Policy here.

      Pursuant to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (§504), the Board of Education (the Board) of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) adopts the following policy that prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities, as defined by law, in any school program or activity and provides for Child Find mandate to evaluate, identify, and provide the accommodations and services necessary to afford access to students with disabilities attending its schools and/or receiving services from the District.

      1. The administrator of each building shall be directed to implement those procedures established pursuant to this policy.
      2. The District shall ensure that students who are suspected of having a disability under §504, as described herein, who are not identified as students with disabilities as defined under Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act, are evaluated and identified as disabled by the §504 Team and, if determined eligible, provided those supports necessary to afford the student access to the District’s programs and activities. The District shall arrange for a reevaluation of any student, so identified, prior to any change in placement and shall review such student’s plan when deemed necessary, but at least once a year.
      3. The building administrator shall be responsible for assigning the appropriate individuals to participate in a §504 committee meeting to include, at a minimum, a staff person familiar with the nature of the student’s disability, the evaluations completed and the curriculum and/or program in which the student’s participation may be affected, the parent of the student, and the student, where appropriate.
      4. For purposes of this policy, a person with a disability is someone who:
        1. Has a mental or physical impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities such as caring for one’s self, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning and working;
        2. Who requires accommodations or supports and/or special education services to access District programs and /or activities.
      5. The District shall post annually in at least one publication distributed to all residents of the District the procedures for requesting an evaluation of a child suspected of having a disability, identification, and an appropriate plan. The District shall post its general policy of nondiscrimination in multiple locations and publications, as appropriate.
      6. It shall be the duty of the director of Special Education and Student Services to arrange periodically for training of new building administrators of their responsibilities under §504 to students with disabilities and to ensure that the same procedures, including notice of procedural safeguards with the name, address, telephone numbers and email address for the District’s §504 compliance officer and the United States Department of Education are included.
      7. If the parent(s) and/or guardian(s) seeks to challenge any matter relating to the evaluation, identification or plan developed for a child with a disability or suspected of having a disability under §504, such person may file a complaint with the director of Special Education and Student Services, and/or the §504 compliance officer of the District who shall immediately commence an investigation and issue a written determination of such complaint within thirty days of receipt of such complaint or request an impartial hearing. Such hearing shall be scheduled in accordance with the procedures set forth under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act and shall provide for a one-tier review by a hearing officer appointed by the Board of Education or their designee.
      8. Inquiries about §504 issues, referrals to the §504 Team, or requests for an impartial hearing under §504 shall be directed to the building principal where the student is enrolled or, if not enrolled, to the building the student would attend if enrolled in the public schools of the District.
      9. Inquiries and or complaints regarding this policy and it implementation may also be directed to United States Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, New York Office, 32 Old Slip, 26th Floor, New York, NY 10005, (646) 428-3800, OCR.NewYork@ed.gov.

      Authority: Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973

      Adoption Date: June 19, 2002 
      Revised: April 2, 2008
      Revised: May 22, 2019

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      Policy 5030 | Student Complaints and Grievances

      View the PDF version of the Student Complaints and Grievances Policy here.

      The Board of Education (the Board) believes it is necessary that students be made aware of the behavior that is expected of them, as outlined in Bethlehem Central School District (the District) policies on school conduct and discipline. Building Principals are responsible for ensuring that appeal procedures are incorporated into discipline codes and/or student handbooks, explained to all students, and provided to all parents on an annual basis.

      The Board encourages students to be active participants in the educational process. The Board strives to provide students with a sound educational environment, ensure that all students are treated fairly, and afford students the due process protections they are entitled to under the law. The Board understands that there may be times when students do not agree with school practices or feel as though they have been treated unfairly.

      Many concerns about school practices can and should be addressed through the student government. Student handbooks may also provide valuable information. For other issues, the District has different channels for resolution of complaints, depending on the nature of the complaint. Understanding the Board policy on an issue is the first step towards resolving any complaints. Students are urged to follow the established Board policy, but should always feel free to discuss concerns with any school staff member or the building principal. School staff and administrators are expected to work with students toward an amicable resolution of the issue.

      Below is a list of the issues and corresponding policies:

      Issue  Policy (Policy number)
      Civil rights; discrimination
      • Equal Opportunity (0100)
      • Code of Conduct (5300)
      Disciplinary matters
      • Code of Conduct (5300)
      District policies and practices
      • Student government and/or Complaints from the Public (1400)
      Due process
      • Code of Conduct (5300)
      Free speech
      • School-Sponsored Student Expression (5220);
      • Student Personal Expression (5225)
      Harassment, hazing, bullying
      • Harassment, Hazing and Bullying (0115)
      • Code of Conduct (5300)
      Privacy (lockers, searches)
      • Code of Conduct (5300)
      School practices and environment
      • Student government and/or Complaints from the Public (1400)
      • Code of Conduct (5300)
      Sexual harassment
      • Sexual Harassment (0110)
      • Code of Conduct (5300)
      Student educational records
      • Student Records (5500)
      Student rights and responsibilities
      • Code of Conduct (5300)
      Teachers
      • Complaints from the Public (1400)

      Cross-ref:

      • 0100, Equal Opportunity
      • 0110, Sexual Harassment
      • 0115, Harassment, Hazing and Bullying
      • 1400, Complaints from the Public
      • 5220, School-Sponsored Student Expression
      • 5225, Student Personal Expression
      • 5300, Code of Conduct
      • 5500, Student Records

      Adoption date: October 19, 2011
      Revised date: May 22, 2019

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      Policy 5030-R | Student Complaints and Grievances Regulation

      View the PDF version of the Student Complaints and Grievances Regulation here.

      The procedures for a student complaint and/or grievance are set forth below:

      Definitions

      • Grievant shall mean a student who alleges that there has been a violation of Title IX or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act or the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) statute or regulations that affect him/her.
      • Grievance shall mean any alleged violation of Title IX, Section 504, or the ADA statute or regulations.
      • Compliance officer shall mean the employee designated by the Board of Education (the Board) to coordinate efforts to comply with and carry out responsibilities under Title IX, Section 504, or the ADA.
      • Representative shall mean any person designated by the grievant as his/her counsel to act on his/her behalf.

      Individual complaints and grievances shall be handled in accordance with the following guidelines:

      1. For informal conciliation, students should confer with the appropriate teacher or school personnel to achieve prompt resolution. Students may appeal to the highest authority in the school building, i.e., the building principal, who has the final determination on all such matters.
      2. For resolution of matters where appeal procedures are prescribed by statute, e.g., student suspensions, the prescribed course of action will be followed.
      3. On issues affecting the student body, students may address the student government or student council in order to resolve such matters. Students may be afforded a conference with the building principal in accordance with the rules and procedures established by the student government.
      4. The resolution of student complaints alleging any action prohibited by Title IX, Section 504, or the ADA shall be dealt with in the following manner:

      Stages

      Stage I – Compliance Officer

      1. Within thirty school days after the events giving rise to the grievance, the grievant shall file a grievance in writing with the compliance officer. The compliance officer may informally discuss the grievance with the grievant. He/she shall promptly investigate the complaint. All employees of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) shall cooperate with the compliance officer in such investigation.
      2. Within fifteen school days of the receipt of the grievance, the compliance officer shall make a finding in writing that there has or has not been a violation of Title IX, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, or the ADA. In the event the compliance officer finds that there has been a violation, he/she shall propose a resolution of the complaint. If the grievant is not satisfied with the finding of the compliance officer, or with the proposed resolution of the grievance, the grievant may, within fifteen school days after he/she has received the report of the compliance officer, file a written request for review by the superintendent.

      Stage II – Superintendent of Schools

      1. The superintendent may request that the grievant, the compliance officer, or any member of the District staff present a written statement to him/her setting forth any information that such person has relative to the grievance and the facts surrounding it.
      2. The superintendent shall notify all parties concerned as to the time and place when an informal hearing will be held where such parties may appear and present oral and written statements supplementing their position in the case. Such hearing shall be held within fifteen school days of the receipt of the appeal by the superintendent.
      3. Within fifteen school days of the hearing, the superintendent shall render his/her determination in writing. Such determination shall include a finding that there has or has not been a violation of Title IX, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, or the ADA, and a proposal for equitably resolving the complaint.
      4. If the grievant is not satisfied with the determination of the superintendent, the grievant may, within fifteen school days after its receipt, file with the clerk of the Board of Education a written request for review by the Board.

      Stage III – Board of Education

      1. When a request for review by the Board has been made, the superintendent shall submit all written statements and other materials concerning the case to the president of the Board.
      2. The Board shall notify all parties concerned of the time and place when a hearing will be held. Such hearing will be held within fifteen school days of the receipt of the request of the grievant. All parties concerned shall have the right to present further statements and testimony at such hearing.
      3. The Board shall render a decision in writing within fifteen school days after the hearing has been concluded.

      Distribution of the Grievance Procedure

      A copy of the procedure shall be distributed to all employees and to all students or their parents/guardians. A copy of this procedure shall be available for public inspection at reasonable times with the District clerk or at the office of the compliance officer.

      Adoption date: June 19, 2002
      Revised date: May 22, 2019

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      Policy 5040 | Prayer in the Schools

      View the PDF version of the Prayer in the Schools Policy here.

      It is the policy of the Board of Education (the Board) to not prevent, or otherwise deny participation in, constitutionally protected prayer in the schools of the Bethlehem Central School District, consistent with guidance issued by the U.S. secretary of Education, and applicable judicial decisions interpreting the religion clauses of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

      This policy supersedes any other Board policy that might be inconsistent with it.

      Adoption date: March 12, 2003
      Reapproved date: May 22, 2019

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      Policy 5100 | Attendance

      View the PDF version of the Attendance Policy here.

      The Bethlehem Central School District (the District) and the Board of Education (the Board) recognize that regular school attendance is a major component of academic success. Through implementation of this policy, the Board expects to minimize the number of unexcused absences, tardiness, and early departures (referred to in this policy as “ATEDs”); encourage full attendance by all students; maintain an adequate attendance record keeping system; identify patterns of student ATEDs; and develop effective intervention strategies to improve school attendance.

      Objectives

      Through implementation of this policy, the Board expects:

      1. to encourage full attendance by all students;
      2. to accurately track the attendance, absence, tardiness, and early departure of students to and from the school;
      3. to ensure sufficient pupil attendance in classes so that pupils may achieve state-mandated education standards; and
      4. to track student location for safety reasons and to be accountable to parents regarding the location of children during school hours.

      Notice

      To be successful in this endeavor, it is imperative that all members of the school community are aware of this policy, its purposes, procedures, and the consequences of noncompliance. To ensure that students, parents, teachers and administrators are notified of and understand this policy, the following procedures shall be implemented.

      1. The attendance policy will be included in student handbooks and will be reviewed with students at the start of the school year.
      2. Parents will receive a plain language summary of this policy at the start of the school year.
      3. When a student cuts class or is absent without excuse, designated staff members will notify the student’s parent(s)/guardian(s) and review the attendance procedures with them.
      4. School publications will include periodic reminders of the components of this policy.
      5. The District will provide a copy of the attendance policy and any amendments thereto to faculty and staff. New staff will receive a copy upon their employment.
      6. All faculty and staff will meet at the beginning of each school year to review the attendance policy in order to clarify individual roles in its implementation.
      7. Copies of this policy will also be made available to any community member, upon request.

      Register of Attendance

      Every school is required to take attendance and record each pupil’s presence, absence, tardiness, or early departure, and whether such is excused or unexcused in the following manner:

      1. In non-departmentalized grades, attendance must be taken once a day.
      2. If students are released from school grounds for lunch, attendance must be taken again after lunch.
      3. In all other cases, attendance must be taken each period. Where a class extends for multiple periods, attendance for that class only must be taken once.
      4. Additionally, after attendance is taken, an individual student’s late arrival or early departure must be recorded.
      5. The building principal and/or designee will be responsible for reviewing pupil attendance records and initiating appropriate action to address unexcused pupil absence, tardiness, and early departure consistent with policy.

      Excused and Unexcused Absences

      Excused ATEDs are defined by the commissioner of Education as absences, tardiness, and early departures from class or school due to personal illness, illness or death in the family, impassable roads or weather, religiousobservance, quarantine, required court appearances, attendance at health clinics, approved college visits, approved cooperative work programs, military obligations, or such other reasons as may be approved by the appropriate building administrator (including, but not limited to, absences due to circumstances related to homelessness).

      All other ATEDs are considered unexcused absences.

      All ATEDs must be accounted for. It is the parent(s)/guardian(s)’s responsibility to notify the school office within at least twenty-four hours of the ATED and to provide a written excuse upon the student’s return to school. For homeless students, the homeless liaison will assist the student in providing or obtaining documentation if needed.

      Coding System

      The following coding system shall be used to indicate the nature and reason for a pupil missing all or part of scheduled instruction;

      A = Absent, unexcused

      AE = Absent, excused

      D = Departure, unexcused

      DE = Departure, excused

      FT = Field Trip

      Hi = Home Instruction

      ISS = In-School Suspension

      LA = Late Arrival

      OSS = Out-of-School Suspension

      T = Tardy, unexcused

      TE = Tardy, excused

      Next to the entry code, a reason will be selected for the student missing all or part of the scheduled instruction.

      Disciplinary Consequences

      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. However, absences related to homelessness shall not result in negative consequences where the District determines that it would be in the best interests of the student in retaining the student in school.

      In addition, the building principal and/or designee will contact the student’s parent(s)/guardian(s) and the student’s guidance counselor. The building principal and/or designee shall remind parent(s)/guardian(s) 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.

      Attendance/Grade Policy

      The Board of Education recognizes an important relationship between class attendance and student performance. Consequently, in each marking period a student’s final grade may be based on classroom participation as well as a student’s performance on homework, tests, papers, projects, etc.

      Students are expected to attend all scheduled classes. Consistent with the importance of classroom participation, unexcused ATEDs will affect a student’s class participation grade for the marking period..

      Minimum Attendance for Course Credit

      Student attendance and class participation are vital to successful learning. In order for students to be successful in school and be prepared to take all state-mandated assessments, they must attend classes every day.

      Additionally, to ensure that parent(s)/guardian(s) and students are aware of the implications of this minimum attendance requirement, the teacher or other designated staff member(s) will take the following action:

      Elementary:

      Absences Action Taken
      1-9 Teacher maintains student’s daily attendance record. Notification of student’s absence to parent(s)/guardian(s) may be sent a letter from teacher/principal.
      10-15 Teacher/principal may contact parent(s)/guardian(s) either by letter or phone call and request a parent(s)/guardian(s) meeting. A student attendance plan is developed with the parent(s)/guardian(s) by the fifteenth absence. Child Protective Services (CPS) may be contacted or a PINS (Person In Need of Supervision) petition may be filed by the school.
      16 or more Based on the school administration’s assessment of the student’s attendance, Child Protective Services (CPS) may be contacted or a PINS (Person In Need of Supervision) petition may be filed by the school, if deemed appropriate.

      Middle School:

      Absences Action Taken
      1-9 Teacher maintains student’s daily attendance record. Notification of student’s absence to parent(s)/guardian(s) may be sent a letter from teacher/principal. In addition, a parent/guardian will be notified for 3 or more consecutive unexcused absences,
      10-15 Counselor/principal may contact parent(s)/guardian(s) either by letter or phone call and request a parent(s)/guardian(s) meeting. A student attendance plan is developed with the parent(s)/guardian(s) by the fifteenth absence. Child Protective Services (CPS) may be contacted or a PINS (Person In Need of Supervision) petition may be filed by the school.
      16 or more Based on the school administration’s assessment of the student’s attendance, Child Protective Services (CPS) may be contacted or a PINS (Person In Need of Supervision) petition may be filed by the school, if deemed appropriate.

      High School:

      For high school students, a minimum number of attendance days are required to earn credit in full-year and half-year courses. Unexcused student absences, in excess of thirty (30) class meetings for a full-year course and fifteen (15) class meetings for a semester course, may result in the loss of opportunity to take further exams and quizzes.

      Electronic notifications of student absences to parents, school counselors and administration are automatically sent at five days, ten days, fifteen days, and beyond. District counselors and administration discuss strategies and interventions, when necessary, to address chronic tardiness and absenteeism on a continuous basis. Principal conferences are conducted if absences are impacting student success.

      Semester/Course Full Year Action Taken
      5 10 Teacher maintains student’s class attendance record. Notification of student’s absence to parent(s)/guardian(s) will be sent through the student’s Aspen account.
      10 20 Student is in jeopardy of losing the opportunity to complete exams and other course requirements. Teacher will notify parent(s)/guardian(s) of class absence via the Attendance Referral Form. The counselor and/or administrator may schedule a parent(s)/guardian(s) and student conference.
      After 15  After 30 The teacher will contact the principal. A formal attendance review for all courses will be conducted. The principal will notify the student and parent(s)/guardian(s) of the course for which the opportunity to complete exams and other course testing requirements has been withheld. Student is eligible to receive only the grade received as of that date. If it is determined that the opportunity to complete exams and other course requirements has been withheld, the principal will notify the student and parent(s)/guardian(s).

      Annual Review

      The Board shall annually review student attendance data and make any revisions to the policy it deems necessary to improve student attendance.

      Cross ref:

      • 4710, Grading Systems
      • 5151, Homeless Children
      • 5300, Code of Conduct

      Ref:

      • 42 USC §11432(g)(1)(I) (McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act)
      • Education Law §§1709; 3024; 3025; 3202; 3205-3213; 3225
      • 8 NYCRR §§104.1; 175.6
      • Social Service Law §34-a

      Adoption date: June 19, 2002
      Revised date: October 15, 2003
      Revised date: September 19, 2007
      Revised date: January 6, 2016
      Revised date: February 1, 2017
      Revised date: July 2, 2018

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      Policy 5150 | School Admissions Policy

      View the PDF version of the School Admissions Policy here.

      The Bethlehem Central School District (the District) shall provide a public education to all persons residing in the District between the ages of five and twenty-one who have not received a high school diploma.

      A veteran of any age who has not yet received his/her high school diploma and who has been discharged under conditions other than dishonorable is eligible to attend school.

      A nonveteran under twenty-one years of age who has received a high school diploma shall be permitted to attend school or BOCES upon payment of tuition.

      Upon registration, all new students shall be required to present:

      1. Proof of Age – examples of acceptable forms of documentation include, but are not limited to, a birth certificate, baptismal record, a passport (including a foreign passport); or, alternatively, an affidavit of the child’s age or any of the following documents as long as it was issued two or more years ago: official driver’s license; state or other government issued identification; school photo identification with date of birth; consulate identification card; hospital or health records; military dependent identification card; documents issued by federal, state or local agencies, such as local social service agency or Federal Office of Refugee Resettlement; court orders or other court-issued documents; Native American tribal document; or records from nonprofit international aid agencies and voluntary agencies.
      2. Record of Immunizations and a Health Certificate from a licensed physician.
      3. Proof of District Residency – examples of acceptable forms of documentation include, but are not limited to: a copy of a resident lease or proof of ownership of a house or condominium, such as a deed or mortgage statement; a statement by a third-party landlord, owner, or tenant from whom the parent or person in a parental relation with the student leases or with whom they share property within the District, which may be sworn or unsworn; or other such statement by a third party relating to a parent or person in parental relation’s physical presence in the District; a pay stub; income tax form; telephone or utility bills or other bills sent to the student’s home address; membership documents based upon residency; official driver’s license, learner’s permit or nondriver identification or a state or other government-issued ID; voter registration document; or documents issued by federal, state or local agencies (e.g., local social service agency, Federal Office of Resettlement).
      4. Proof of Custody and/or Lawful Residence – acceptable forms of documentation include: a written affidavit indicating that the individual is the parent(s) with whom the student lawfully resides; or a written affidavit indicating that the individual is the person(s) in a parental relation to the child, over whom they have total and permanent custody and control and a description of how they obtained total and permanent custody and whether it was through guardianship or otherwise.

        A judicial custody order or guardianship papers may be, but need not be, submitted. The District will also accept other proof of custody and/or lawful residence such as documentation which indicates that the child has been placed by a federal agency with a sponsor.

        If the parent/guardian of a student seeking to enroll has limited English proficiency, the District will meaningfully communicate material information about enrollment as required by federal law. The District will provide parents/guardians of all newly enrolled students with appropriate information including student handbooks and information about access to special education services.

        Upon your request, the student will be enrolled into the District and shall begin attendance on the next school day or as soon as practicable. Within three business days of the student’s initial enrollment, the Board of Education (the Board), or its designee, will review all of the registration/enrollment documentation submitted and determine whether the student is entitled to attend school in the District. If it is determined that the student does not reside in the District, the Board, within two (2) business days, will issue a written notification confirming the basis for this determination and the date the student is to be excluded from the District. The written notification will also confirm the parent’s right to appeal the Board’s decision to the New York Commissioner of Education within thirty days and advise that the instructions, forms, and procedures for an appeal, including translated instruction forms and procedures, can be found at the following:

        • Online at the Office of Counsel, www.counsel.nysed.gov;
        • By mail addressed to the Office of Counsel, New York State Education Department, State Education Building, 89 Washington Avenue, Albany, New York 12234; or
        • Calling the Appeals Coordinator at (518) 474-8927.

        Cross-ref:

        • 5151, Homeless Students
        • 5420, Student Health Services
        • 5152, Admission of Non-Resident Students

        Ref:

        • Education Law §§903; 904; 3202; 3208; 4402(8)
        • Public Health Law §2164
        • 8 NYCRR §100.2(y)
        • Student Registration Guidance, New York State Department of Education, August 26, 2010 www.emsc.nysed.gov/sss/pps/residency/studentregistrationguidance082610.pdf
        • Educational Services for Recently Arrived Unaccompanied Children, New York State Education Department, September 10, 2014
        • Proposed Amendment of Section 100.2(y) of the Commissioner’s Regulations Relating to Student Enrollment, New York State Education Department, December 10, 2014
        • Information on the Rights of All Children to Enroll in School, U.S. Departments of Education and Justice, Revised May 8, 2014
        • Fact Sheet I and II: Information on the Rights of All Children to Enroll in School, http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/dcl-factsheet-201405.pdf
        • Plyler v. Doe 457 US 202 (1982)

        Adoption date: March 15, 2015 
        Revised date: December 16, 2015
        Revised date: May 22, 2019

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        Policy 5151 | Homeless Children

        View the PDF version of the Homeless Children Policy here.

        The Board of Education (the Board) of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) recognizes its responsibility to identify homeless children within the District, encourage their enrollment, and eliminate existing barriers to their education that may exist in District practices. The Board will provide homeless children attending the District’s schools with access to the same free and appropriate public education as other children.

        A homeless child is a child who lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence or who has a primary nighttime location in a public or private shelter designed to provide temporary living accommodations, or a place not designed for, or ordinarily used as, a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings. This definition also includes a child who shares the housing of others due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or similar reason; lives in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to the lack of alternative adequate accommodations; lives in a car, park, public space or abandoned building, substandard housing, bus or train station, or similar setting; has been abandoned in a hospital or is awaiting foster care placement; or is a migratory child who qualifies as homeless. An unaccompanied youth is a homeless child for whom no parent or person in parental relation is available.

        A homeless child has the right to attend school in either the district of origin (i.e., where he/she resided before becoming homeless), the district of current location, or a district participating in a regional placement plan. The homeless child is entitled to attend the designated school district on a tuition-free basis for the duration of his or her homelessness. If the child becomes permanently housed, the child is entitled to continue to attend in the same school building until the end of the school year and for one additional year if that year constitutes the child’s terminal year in such building.

        The superintendent shall develop procedures necessary to expedite the homeless child’s access to the designated school. Such procedures shall include:

        Admission:

        Upon designation, the District shall immediately admit the homeless child to school, even if the child is unable to produce records normally required for enrollment, such as previous academic records, medical records, proof of residency, or other documentation and even if there is a dispute with the child’s parents regarding school selection or enrollment.

        Homeless children will have the same opportunity as other children to enroll in and succeed in the District’s schools. They will not be placed in separate schools or programs based on their status as homeless.

        Transportation:

        The District shall provide transportation for homeless students currently residing within the District as required by applicable law.

        School Records:

        For homeless students attending school out of the District, the District shall, within five days of receipt of a request for records, forward a complete copy of the homeless child’s records including proof of age, academic records, evaluation, immunization records and guardianship paper, if applicable.

        The superintendent shall also designate a liaison for homeless children and ensure that this person is aware of his or her responsibilities under the law. The liaison’s responsibilities shall include, but not be limited to, ensuring that:

        1. parents or guardians of homeless children are informed of the educational and related opportunities available to their children and are provided with meaningful opportunities to participate in the education of their children;
        2. parents and guardians and unaccompanied youth are fully informed of all transportation services available to them, and are assisted in accessing them;
        3. enrollment disputes involving homeless children are promptly mediated and resolved;
        4. school personnel, in coordination with shelters and social service agencies and other appropriate entities, identify homeless children, including homeless preschoolers;
        5. homeless children receive educational services, including preschool services to which they are eligible, as well as referrals to health care and other appropriate services;

        In accordance with law and regulation, the District will offer a prompt dispute resolution process (described in more detail in the accompanying administrative regulation).

        In accordance with Commissioner’s Regulations, the District shall collect and transmit to the commissioner information necessary to assess the educational needs of homeless children within the state.

        Ref:

        • 42 USC §§11431, et seq.
        • School Enrollment Guidelines on the McKinney-Vento Act, 67 Fed. Reg. 10,697-10,701 (March 8, 2002)
        • Education Law §§207; 305; 3202; 3205; 3209
        • Executive Law §§532-b; 532-e
        • Social Services Law §§17; 62; 397
        • 8 NYCRR §§100.2; 175.6

        Adoption date: November 3, 2010
        Revised date: May 22, 2019

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        Policy 5151-R | Homeless Children Regulation

        View the PDF version of the Homeless Children Regulation here.

        Each school in the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) shall maintain forms provided by the commissioner of Education for designating a homeless child’s district of attendance. These forms must be provided to any homeless child or parent or guardian who seeks to enroll a child in school. The District’s liaison for homeless students shall assist the homeless child and/or parent or guardian in understanding their rights under the law and provide them with information regarding the educational and related opportunities available to them.

        School placement decisions for homeless children will be based on the “best interest of the child.” Unless doing so is contrary to the wishes of the child’s parent or guardian, to the extent possible, a homeless child will continue to attend the school of origin (the school the child attended when he or she became homeless).

        If the District wishes to send a homeless child to a school other than the school of origin or a school requested by the parent or guardian, the superintendent or his/her designee shall provide the parent or guardian with a written explanation of its decision, together with a statement regarding the right to appeal the placement process. The superintendent or his/her designee shall refer any such dispute to the District’s liaison for the homeless for resolution. The homeless child must be enrolled in the school sought by the parent or guardian pending resolution of the dispute.

        Admission Procedures

        Upon designation, the superintendent or his/her designee shall immediately:

        1. review the designation form to ensure that it is complete;
        2. admit the homeless child even if the child or his/her parent or guardian is unable to produce records normally required for enrollment or there is an unresolved dispute regarding school selection or enrollment;
        3. where applicable, make a written request to the district where a copy of the child’s records are located for a copy of the homeless child’s school records;
        4. notify the liaison for homeless children of the child’s admission. The liaison shall:
          1. notify the child and/or the parent or guardian of the educational and related opportunities available to homeless children including transportation;
          2. ensure that the child receives the educational services for which they are eligible;
          3. make necessary referrals to health care services, dental services, mental health services, and other appropriate services; and
          4. ensure that any enrollment disputes are mediated promptly and in accordance with law.

        The superintendent or his/her designee shall forward a copy of the designation form to the commissioner of Education (the commissioner) and the district of origin where applicable.

        Transportation

        Unless the homeless child is entitled to transportation provided by the Department of Social Services or Office of Children and Family Services, the District shall provide transportation services to the child in accordance with applicable law. A designated district that must provide transportation to a homeless child may not provide transportation in excess of 50 miles one way, unless the commissioner of Education determines that it is in the best interest of the child.

        Dispute Resolution Process

        If, after the superintendent reviews the designation form (STAC-202), he/she finds that the student is either not homeless, not entitled to attend the District’s school, or not entitled to transportation (if requested) the superintendent or his/her designee will do the following:

        1. contact the District’s homeless liaison to assist in dispute resolution process.
        2. contact the student and parent (if available) and inform them of their opportunity to provide more information prior to the District making a final determination.

        If, after consideration of any additional information and input from the homeless liaison, the superintendent makes a that a student is not homeless, or not entitled to enrollment or transportation, he/she must provide the student’s parent or guardian, or the student, if the student is an unaccompanied youth, with written notice that the student is not entitled to their request. This written notice must also:

        1. state the rationale/basis for the District’s determination;
        2. state the date as of which the student will be excluded from the District’s schools (or transportation);
        3. advise that the District’s final determination may be appealed to the commissioner;
        4. provide the name and contact information for the District’s homeless liaison;
        5. inform the student’s parent or guardian or the student, if the student is an unaccompanied youth, that the District’s homeless liaison is required to assist him/her in filing such an appeal; and
        6. include, as an attachment, the form petition needed to file an appeal to the commissioner.

        The superintendent must ensure that the District’s final decision is delivered to the parent, guardian, or unaccompanied youth in a timely manner. The student must remain enrolled and provided with transportation (if requested) until the District makes a final determination and for a minimum of thirty days after the determination to give the student’s parent or guardian or unaccompanied youth the opportunity to appeal to the commissioner.

        If the parent/guardian or student commences an appeal to the commissioner with a stay application within thirty days of the final determination, the homeless child or youth will be permitted to continue to attend the school they are enrolled in at the time of the appeal and/or receive transportation to that school until the commissioner renders a decision on the stay application.

        Adoption date: November 3, 2010
        Revised date: May 22, 2019

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        Policy 5152 | Admission of Nonresident Students

        View the PDF version of the Admission of Nonresident Students Policy here.

        The Board of Education (the Board) of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) affirms that its primary responsibility is to provide the best possible educational opportunities for the children who are legal District residents and who are of legal age to attend school. However, nonresident students may be admitted to the District for a free public education only under the following circumstances:

        Future Residents

        The children of families who have signed a contract to buy or build a residence in the District may be enrolled within six weeks of that date if the parents assume full responsibility for transportation of the student.

        When a family has made binding financial arrangements to move into the District within six weeks of the date of requested admission and the parents assume full responsibility for transportation of the student, the student may be enrolled without payment of tuition. Nonresident students may apply to be admitted on a tuition basis when the parents intend to move into the District, but such move will not occur within six (6) weeks of such requested admission and the parents assume full responsibility for the transportation of the student. The Board will evaluate each request on the merits of the situation and decide whether or not the applicant will be admitted. Tuition rates shall be determined in accordance with a formula established by the commissioner of Education.

        Former Residents

        When the family of a resident student moves outside the District, the then nonresident student may continue on a nontuition basis for the balance of the school year if the parents assume full responsibility for additional required transportation and, in the judgment of the superintendent, the individual remains a student in good standing for the duration of the year and if:

        1. the student is a senior and the move occurs after the school year has been in progress for a minimum of six full calendar weeks; or
        2. the move occurs after the midpoint of the school year.

        Emancipated Minors

        A student who is an “emancipated minor” residing in the District may attend school in the District upon satisfactory proof that he or she is emancipated, i.e., living separate and apart from his or her parent(s) or guardian(s) and not financially dependent upon them or in need or receipt of foster care, except that the District may not require an affidavit from the parent(s) of the student where such would constitute a hardship due to the unwillingness or inability of such parent(s) to provide same.

        Review of Residency Decisions

        A determination as to the residency of a student for purposes of attending school in the District shall be the sole responsibility of the Board or its designee provided, however:

        1. that nothing contained herein shall be deemed to prevent an initial determination of same by a school official or employee acting within the scope of his or her duties as established by the District, or
        2. that in the event such an initial determination is adverse to the involved student it must include notification of the procedures for obtaining review of the decision by the Board or its designee.

        In the event of a review of a residency decision by the Board or its designee, the child’s parent or the person in parental relation to the child, or the child if it is asserted that he or she is an emancipated minor, as applicable, must be afforded the opportunity to submit information regarding the question of the student’s residency and consequent right to attend school in the District.

        Any decision rendered by such Board or its designee that is adverse to the student must be in writing and provided within two business days to the child’s parent, or the child, as applicable, and must include (a) the basis of the determination; (b) the date of exclusion from the District; and (c) a statement that the determination may be appealed to the commissioner of Education within thirty days from the date of same and that the procedures for perfecting such an appeal may be obtained from the Department of Education, Offices of Counsel.

        Ref:

        • Education Law §3202

        Adoption date: June 19, 2002
        Reapproved date: May 22, 2019

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        Policy 5152-R | Admission of Nonresident Students Regulation

        View the PDF version of the Admission of Nonresident Students Regulation here.

        Student Addresses: Verification and Investigation

        1. Should a student’s address change at any time during his/her enrollment, residency must be confirmed by an acceptable document:
          a. Examples of acceptable forms of documentation include, but are not limited to: a copy of a resident lease or proof of ownership of a house or condominium, such as a deed or mortgage statement; a statement by a third-party landlord, owner, or tenant from whom the parent or person in a parental relation with the student leases or with whom they share property within the District, which may be sworn or unsworn; or other such statement by a third party relating to a parent or person in parental relation’s physical presence in the District; a pay stub; income tax form; telephone or utility bills or other bills sent to the student’s home address; membership documents based upon residency; official driver’s license, learner’s permit or nondriver identification or a state or other government-issued ID; voter registration document; or documents issued by federal, state or local agencies (e.g., local social service agency, Federal Office of Resettlement).
        2. If a student’s address is not the address of his/her parent(s) or legal guardian(s), the principal shall consult with the Registrar’s Office to confirm the procedures used in determining the student’s current address. The Registrar’s Office shall then investigate and provide specific evidence of the child’s false claim to residency.
        3. If the evidence indicates that a student’s address has been purposefully changed in order for him/her to attend a school in a district other than the one he/she is legally entitled to attend, he/she shall be immediately transferred to the appropriate district.
        4. Student admission shall not be delayed pending verification of the address. A verification and/or investigation shall take place after student admission has been effected.

        Adoption date: June 19, 2002
        Revised date: May 22, 2019

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        Policy 5152.1 | Admission of International Students

        View the PDF of the Admission of International Students Policy here.

        The Board of Education (the Board) of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) recognizes the cultural enrichment derived from welcoming nonimmigrant international students into the educational program. Thus, the Board encourages the attendance of nonimmigrant international students in the District’s high school.

        Only nonimmigrant international students who possess a valid J-1 visa to study in the United States will be admitted to the District’s high school. The Board retains the sole discretion to deny admission to any student not meeting all the requirements set forth in this policy and regulation.

        International Exchange Students (J-1 Visa)

        The Board encourages District participation in an international exchange student program. International exchange students will be admitted to the District high school for a one-year academic program.

        1. The District recognizes only those organizations designated as “Exchange Visitor Programs” by the U.S. Department of State, pursuant to federal regulations, as sponsoring organizations for the exchange of students. Any such organization must supply proof of designation prior to recognition.
        2. No international exchange students subject to this policy and regulation shall be brought into the District by an international exchange student program unless he or she has been accepted in writing as a student by the high school principal or a designee.
        3. International exchange students will be allowed to attend school and will be provided bus transportation to and from school free of charge, per transportation guidelines set by the Board.
        4. When an international exchange student is accepted for admission pursuant to this policy and regulation, the letter of acceptance shall include a statement that tuition shall be waived for the student.
        5. The District will accept no more than five international exchange students per school from any single international exchange program.
        6. The host family must have a student enrolled in the District high school during the one-year visit.

        The Board may terminate the approval of an international student program when it would be in the best interests of the District to do so.

        Immigrant Students

        All school-aged immigrant children who have abandoned their residence in a foreign country and established residence in the District will be admitted to the District’s schools without payment of tuition.

        Ref:

        • 22 CFR Part 62 (Exchange Visitor Program) §62.25 (Secondary School Students)
        • 8 CFR 214.2(j) (Special Requirements for Admission, Extension and Maintenance of Benefits for Exchange Aliens)
        • Education Law §1709(13)
        • Matter of Jones, 24 EDR 110 (1984)

        Adoption date: January 20, 2016
        Revised date: May 22, 2019

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        Policy 5152.1-R | Admission of International Students Regulation

        View the PDF version of the Admission of International Students Regulation here.

        The high school principal of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) shall review applications for the admission of international exchange students according to the guidelines established below.

        1. Students must be between the ages of fifteen and eighteen years and six months.
        2. The student must have demonstrated in his/her home school a level of scholastic achievement to indicate the possibility of success in the high school.
        3. The student must be proficient in the English language.
        4. The student’s records and credentials, including a translation into English, indicating all academic institutions attended, courses studied, and grades received in secondary school must be available to school officials no less than three weeks prior to the departure from the student’s home or by June 15th for admission the following September.
        5. The student must be in good health and an immunization record must be provided.
        6. The student or the sponsoring organization must provide verification of health and accident insurance with a minimum limit of $50,000.
        7. The student must enroll for a full course of study, on a full-time basis.
        8. The student must agree to conform to established standards of acceptable behavior and conform to the rules and regulations of the high school.

        All applications will be reviewed by the international student advisor, the appropriate counselor, and the high school principal. After the review, a recommendation for the approval or rejection of the application will be submitted to the superintendent.

        The District reserves the right to deny admission to any student not meeting all the requirements set forth in this policy and regulation.

        Extracurricular Activities

        The Board permits international exchange students to participate in all District extracurricular activities, provided they meet the District’s eligibility requirements and follow the District’s behavioral and academic rules. International students wishing to participate in interscholastic athletics must also:

        1. (for students with J-1 visas) be sponsored by an organization both approved by the U.S. Department of State and accepted by the Council on Standards for International Educational Travel (CSIET); and
        2. comply with all State Education Department and New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) rules and standards.

          Registration; Graduation

          1. The international exchange student must present himself/herself for registration prior to the first day of classes for the current semester.
          2. At the time of registration, the international exchange student will be provided a form, to be signed by him/her; the host family; and, in the case of an international exchange student, a representative of the sponsoring organization, indicating compliance with the conditions as stated in this policy.
          3. The international exchange student will be granted a certificate upon completion of an approved course of study and will be allowed to participate in commencement exercises, as appropriate.

          Termination of Progress

          A student’s participation may be terminated at any time by school officials for failure to abide by established guidelines, including:

          1. failure of two or more courses of study without sufficient effort;
          2. failure to conform to established rules and regulations;
          3. failure to conform to the regulations established by the sponsoring organization; and/or
          4. excessive absences.

          Suspension of Sponsoring Organization

          Should the guarantee or documentation provided by a sponsoring organization prove invalid, further acceptance of international exchange students from that organization will be dependent upon proof of compliance with District policy and regulation.

          Adoption date: January 20, 2016
          Revised date: May 22, 2019

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          Policy 5153 | Student Assignment to Schools and Classes

          View the PDF version of the Student Assignment to Schools and Classes Policy here.

          The Board of Education (the Board) directs that assignment of students to schools and classes be consistent with the best interests of students and the best use of the resources of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District). The Board also recognizes that diversity in school environments has been shown to have a positive impact on student achievement. Such diversity can be on the basis of race, ethnicity, sex and/or gender, religion or religious practice, disability, socioeconomic status, language, neighborhood, academic achievement, and/or academic potential. In addition, schools must prepare students for a future in which they interact with people from all backgrounds. While some aspects of student diversity are outside the scope of the Board’s control, the Board aspires to prevent student isolation where possible. This does not, however, prevent the District from placing students into classes based on academic ability when it’s in the best interest of those students.

          Assignment of students to schools and classes may be based on current District population patterns, enrollment projections, building capacity, educational programs, students’ educational needs, transportation requirements, demographic factors such as those listed in the paragraph above, and the presence of diversity where possible. The District has the right to determine the proper placement for all students.

          Assignment to Schools

          Periodically, the Board will review the status of enrollment in the District’s schools to ensure that the goals of this policy are being met. If the goals are not being met, the Board will solicit input from stakeholders— including but not limited to administrators, teachers, staff, parents, and students — to assist in determining changes that could be made to the school assignment process that better aligns with this policy.

          Assignment to Classes/Teachers

          In assigning students to classes/teachers, the following criteria shall be considered: age, social and emotional maturity, demographic characteristics, and academic achievement in relation to individual ability, in order to assure appropriate assignments. It is the goal of the administration to create classes that can productively learn together.

          Parent/Guardian Requests

          The Board recognizes that parents/guardians may wish to make requests as to school, and/or class/teacher assignments. Parents may write a letter to the principal describing the ideal learning environment for their child and the attributes that a teacher should have that would most benefit their student’s educational growth. This information will be considered as part of the placement process. However, the District has the right to determine the proper placement for all students. Final decisions regarding all assignments of students to schools, classes, programs, and/or teachers rest with the District administration.

          Cross-ref:

          • 4750, Promotion and Retention
          • 5110, Attendance Areas

          Ref:

          • Education Law §§1709(3); 2503(4)
          • Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, 570 U.S. __, 133 S. Ct. 2411 (2013)
          • Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District No. 1, 551 U.S. 701 (2007)
          • Grutter v. Bollinger, 539 U.S. 306 (2003)
          • Gratz v. Bollinger, 539 U.S. 244 (2003)
          • Regents of the University of California v. Bakke, 438 U.S. 265 (1978)
          • Matter of Addabbo v. Donovan, 22 A.D.2d 383 (1965), aff’d, 16 N.Y.2d 619, cert denied, 382 U.S. 905 (1965)
          • Matter of Older v. Board of Education of the Union Free School District No. 1, Town of Mamaroneck, 27 N.Y.2d 333 (1971)
          • Appeal of Jones, 52 EDR Dec. No. 16,456 (2013)
          • Appeal of Roy, 51 EDR Dec. No. 16,279 (2011)
          • Appeal of Strade, 48 EDR 73 (2008)
          • Appeal of Knoer, 47 EDR 102 (2007)
          • Guidance on the Voluntary Use of Race to Achieve Diversity and Avoid Racial Isolation in Elementary and Secondary Schools (2011), U.S. Department of Education and Department of Justice (www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/guidance-ese-201111.html).
          • Coleman, A., Negron, F., and Lipper, K. Achieving Educational Excellence for All: A Guide to Diversity-Related Policy Strategies for School Districts (2011). The National School Boards Association, The College Board, and EducationCounsel, LLC (www.nsba.org/SchoolLaw/Publications/Education-Excellence-for-All.html).

          Adoption date: June 19, 2002 
          Revised date: March 19, 2014
          Reapproved date: May 22, 2019

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          Policy 5162 | Student Early Dismissal Precautions

          View the PDF version of the Student Early Dismissal Precautions Policy here.

          No student may be released from school to anyone other than the parent, guardian, or Child Protective Services personnel and law enforcement officers pursuant to law, unless the individual’s name seeking release of the student appears on a list provided by the parent(s) or guardian(s).

          Parents are urged to make appointments with physicians, dentists, special tutors, etc., after school hours. If a request is necessary, parents should make note of the date, time, and reason for the release. Children cannot be excused without advanced written request by the parent(s)/guardian(s), and must be released in care of the parent(s)/guardian(s), unless otherwise noted.

          A student may be released to either parent unless a custodial parent supplies the superintendent of the Bethlehem Central School District with a certified copy of a court order or divorce decree to the contrary.

          The superintendent shall develop procedures to enable the parent(s)/guardian(s) to amend the list of persons authorized to obtain the release of their children.

          Ref:

          • Education Law §3210(1)(c)

          Adoption date: June 19, 2002
          Revised date: May 22, 2019

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          Policy 5162-R | Student Early Dismissal Precautions Regulation

          View the PDF version of the Student Early Dismissal Precautions Regulation here.

          The superintendent of the Bethlehem Central School District or his/her designee shall maintain a list of individuals who are authorized to obtain the release of students in attendance at the school. No student may be released to the custody of any individual not the parent(s)/guardian(s) of the student, unless the individual’s name appears upon the list.

          Parent(s)/guardian(s) may submit a list of individuals authorized to obtain the release of their children from school at the time of the child’s enrollment. The signature of the parent(s)guardian(s) must be on or attached to such list.

          The parent(s)/guardian(s) may amend a list submitted pursuant to this regulation at any time, in writing.

          Certified copies of any court orders or divorce decrees provided by the custodial parent(s)/guardian(s), which restrict a parent/guardian’s ability to seek the release of their child, shall be maintained by the superintendent.

          If any individual seeks the release from school of a student, they must report to the school office and present identification deemed satisfactory by the superintendent or his/her designee, who must check the authorized list and relevant court orders or divorce decrees before a student may be released. Particular caution should be exercised when the person seeking the release of a child exhibits to the school official an out-of-state custody order.

          Early excuses for emergency reasons should be requested in writing by the parent(s)/guardian(s). Medical releases are handled through the Nurse’s Office. All other reasons for release must go through the Main Office, and students must be picked up in the Main Office. The person seeking the release must sign the register in the office.

          In the event of an emergency, the superintendent or his/her designee may release a student to some individual not appearing on the approved list only if the parent(s)/guardian(s) has been contacted by the superintendent or his/her designee and has approved the release, and the superintendent or his/her designee determines that an emergency exists.

          Adoption date: June 19, 2002
          Reapproved date: May 22, 2019

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          Policy 5210.1 | Student Organizations and Activities

          View the PDF version of the Student Organizations and Activities Policy here.

          Student organizations that have purposes and activities supportive of, and consistent with, the educational program of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) are encouraged and sanctioned by the Board of Education (the Board). Students participating in such organizations build sound social relationships, develop interests in an academic area, and gain an understanding of the elements and responsibilities of good citizenship.

          In that the District receives, directly and indirectly, federal financial assistance, it is bound by the Equal Access Act, which requires that nonsanctioned student groups have equal access to school facilities in accordance with the terms and provisions thereof, and administrative rules and regulations promulgated to govern the use of school facilities by such groups shall not conflict with the requirements of the Equal Access Act.

          The District considers participation in extracurricular activities to have an inherent educational value and therefore requires that any such organization or activity have meaningful physical, educational, social or cultural content, and professional direction and management. Such organizations or activities shall be open to all students who meet the specific school or activity requirements related to the purpose of such activity, and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, sex, national origin, religion, age (except where such organization or activity is age specific or qualified), economic status, marital status, or disability.

          The superintendent, with the aid of students, faculty, and administration, is charged with developing procedures for registering and regulating student groups or clubs. Such procedure shall ensure that the District will register any group organized for a purpose not prohibited by Board policy or by law, if such group submits a list of its members designated as contacts, a copy of its constitution and/or bylaws, and the constitution and bylaws of any off-campus organization with which it may be affiliated. Any student organization or activity, and any student group exercising its right to meet on school premises pursuant to the Equal Access Act, may be prohibited from meeting or otherwise holding its activities if, in the judgment of the superintendent, it causes or creates, or is likely to cause or create, a disruption or interference with the operation of the school program or curriculum, or if it violates any rule or regulation governing the same. The decision of the superintendent may be appealed to the Board of Education, which may base its decision solely on the facts available to the superintendent or, in its absolute and complete discretion, allow the affected schools or, in its absolute and complete discretion, allow the affected organization or group to make a presentation of the facts supporting its position.

          Each student organization, whether it be sanctioned or otherwise allowed to utilize the limited open forum, shall have a District employee approved by the principal as an advisor or sponsor, although no such advisor or sponsor shall actively participate in any religious meeting or activity.

          Students desiring to form an extracurricular activity shall petition their Student Senate and principal in writing. The petition shall state the purpose and describe the activities of the proposed extracurricular activity, and shall be signed by at least seventeen students before it is presented to the Student Senate and the principal for action. A faculty advisor will be appointed to supervise the activity, according to school rules and regulations.

          All extracurricular activities shall be approved by the Board. The principal shall maintain an up-to-date register of all extracurricular activities that are approved or discontinued.

          The Board prohibits the formation of any clubs, including fraternities or sororities, or any other secret society, that promotes exclusive membership, whose deliberations and activities have caused or created, or are likely to cause or create a disruption of or interference with the school program.

          Administrative regulations governing the use of school facilities shall abide by the Equal Access Act in the creation of a “limited open forum.” All noncurricula-related student activities, regardless of religious or political content, shall have the same opportunities as any other such activity to operate on school grounds.

          Cross-ref: 5252, Student Activities Funds Management

          Ref:

          • Education Law §§207; 1709-a; 2503-a; 2554-a
          • Equal Access Act, 20 U.S.C. §§4071-4074
          • 8 NYCRR Part 172
          • Board of Education of the Westside Community Schools v. Mergens, 496 U.S. 226
            (1990)
          • Garnett By Smith v. Renton School Dist. No. 403, 865 F.2d 1121 (9th Cir., 1989)
          • Thompson v. Waynesboro Area School Dist., 673 F.Supp. 1379 (M.D. Pa. 1987)
          • Student Coalition v. Lower Merion School Dist. Bd., 633 F.Supp. 1040 (E.D. Pa.
            1986)
          • Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School Dist., 393 U.S. 503, 89 S.Ct.
            733 (1969)
          • Healy v. James, 408 U.S. 169, 92 S.Ct. 2338 (1972)

          Adoption date: June 19, 2002
          Revised date: August 13, 2008
          Revised date: June 19, 2019

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          Policy 5220 | Student Publications

          View the PDF version of the Student Publications Policy here.

          Students shall enjoy the constitutional right of freedom of expression. They shall have the right to express their views in speech, writing, or through any other medium or form, limited solely by those restrictions imposed on all citizens generally and those specifically applicable to children and youth in a school setting.

          The Board of Education (the Board) of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) encourages student publications not only because they offer an educational activity through which students gain experience in reporting, writing, editing, and understanding responsible journalism, but also because they provide an opportunity for students to express their views and a means of communicating both within and beyond the school community.

          All student publications will comply with the rules for responsible journalism. Libelous statements, unfounded charges and accusations, obscenities, false statements, materials advocating prejudice, hatred, violence, the breaking of laws and school policies and/or regulations, or materials designed to disrupt the educational process will not be permitted. Expressions of personal opinion must be clearly identified as such, and bear the name of the author. Opportunity for the expression of opinions differing from those of the student publishers must be provided.

          In addition, student newspapers and/or publications that are paid for by the District and/or produced under the direction of a teacher as part of the school curriculum are not considered a public forum. In such cases, the Board or its designee reserves the right to edit or delete such student speech that it feels is inconsistent with the District’s basic educational mission.

          Distribution of Literature

          No person shall distribute any printed or written materials on school property without the prior permission of the principal. To obtain such permission, the person wishing to distribute the material shall provide a copy to the principal, with a written request that the principal give permission for its distribution. This written request shall contain a brief statement of when, where, and how the material is to be distributed. The principal shall decide whether or not to give permission within two working days of the date of submission, and shall notify the applicant in writing of the decision.

          Ref:

          • Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier, 484 US 260, 108 S Ct 562, (1988)
          • Bethel School District v. Fraser, 478 US 675 (1986)
          • Tinker v. DesMoines Independent Community School Dist., 393 US 503, (1969)
          • Thomas v. Board of Education, Granville Central School Dist., 607 F 2d 1043 (1979)
          • Trachtman v. Anker, et al., 563 F 2d 512 (1977)
          • Eisner v. Stamford Board of Education, 314 F Supp 832, modf’d. 440 F2d 803 (1971)
          • Frasca v. Andrew et al., 463 F Supp 1043 (1979)
          • Matter of Beil and Scariati, 26 EDR 109(1986)

          Adoption date: June 19, 2002
          Revised date: May 22, 2019

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          Policy 5251 | Student Fund Raising Activities

          View the PDF version of the Student Fund Raising Activities Policy here.

          All fundraising activities must be voluntary. The Board of Education (the Board) of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) will allow the following forms of solicitation:

          1. the sale of goods, services, or tickets to an event (social, musical, athletic, etc.), or items, where a portion of the funds go to school-related activities or groups, or charitable purposes;
          2. fundraising activities in coordination with businesses where a portion of the funds go to school-related activities;
          3. the recruitment of students to participate in fundraising activities to be conducted on/off school premises; or
          4. the placement of a bin or collection box in a hallway or other common area for the voluntary donation of food, clothing, or money.

          The superintendent is directed to set regulations for fundraising activities taking place on school grounds, as long as those activities conform to Regent’s Rule 19.6 and the guidelines set forth below:

          1. no disruption of classes;
          2. all fundraising activities advertisements must have the approval of the principal; and
          3. school personnel are permitted to hang posters or distribute flyers notifying students of these activities.

          Off School Premises

          Fundraising projects in which students canvass the public off school grounds, in connection with school-related activities, will be kept to a minimum. Students are discouraged to solicit funds on a door-to-door basis, unless supervised by a parent or guardian.

          Ref:

          • NYS Constitution, Article 8 §1
          • Education Law §414
          • 8 NYCRR §§ 19.6 (Rules of the Board of Regents); 172.1 et seq.
          • Appeal of Ponte, 38 EDR 280 (1998)
          • Guidelines Relating to Solicitation of Charitable Donations from School Children, SED, January 1994

          Adoption date: May 20, 2009
          Reapproved date: May 22, 2019

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          Policy 5252 | Student Activities Funds Management

          View the PDF version of the Student Activities Funds Management Policy here.

          The Board of Education (the Board) of the Bethlehem Central School District has the responsibility for the protection and supervision of the financial affairs of student clubs and extracurricular activities. The principal of the applicable school will recommend to the superintendent a competent or qualified faculty advisor for each club or organization, to be appointed by the Board. The school auditor will annually audit all accounts.

          All extraclassroom activity (ECA) funds are raised by students for club purposes, and include receipts from ticket sales and other fundraising events. ECA funds exclude taxes or other charges established by the Board.

          All extraclassroom activity (ECA) funds must be handled in accordance with administrative regulations of the Board and financial procedures included in The Safeguarding, Accounting, and Auditing of Extraclassroom Activity Funds, published by the New York State Education Department (Revised 2015).

          Cross-ref:

          • 2210, Board Reorganizational Meeting
          • 5210, Student Organizations
          • 5210.1 Student Organizations and Activities

          Ref:

          • Education Law §207
          • 8 NYCRR Part 172

          Adoption date: June 19, 2002
          Revised date: February 28, 2007
          Reviewed date: March 20, 2017
          Revised date: February 8, 2018
          Revised date: May 22, 2019

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          Policy 5252-R | Student Activities Funds Management Regulation

          View the PDF version of the Student Activities Funds Management Regulation here.

          Purpose

          Extraclassroom activity (ECA) funds are raised by students for club purposes, and include receipts from ticket sales and other fundraising events. ECA funds exclude taxes or other charges established by the Board of Education (the Board) of the Bethlehem Central School District. Extraclassroom activity funds are those operated by and for the students. Monies are usually collected voluntarily by students, and spent by them as they see fit so long as they abide by established regulations. All extraclassroom funds must follow the procedures for extracurricular funds as outlined in this regulation and The Safeguarding, Accounting, and Auditing of Extraclassroom Activity Funds as published by the NY State Education Department (Revised 2015).

          Organizational Procedures for the Creation of New Clubs

          1. Students desiring to form an extraclassroom activity must petition their principal in writing. The petition will state the purpose and describe the activities of the proposed club. Any new clubs that will use a volunteer staff advisor may be approved solely by the principal. If approved by the principal, the club will be considered an informal school organization for the remainder of the school year and will be able to schedule activities and meetings.
          2. The faculty advisor of the informal school organization that starts a second school year may seek charter approval from their building principal. A club will be considered a chartered club during the school year and will be able to schedule activities, pending approval of the building principal and the Bethlehem Central Teachers Association (BCTA) president. Note: Only clubs chartered by January 31st of the school year can submit a request for an advisor stipend for the following year, aligned with the budget development process of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District).
          3. In February, all newly formed chartered clubs in the high school and middle school will be invited to submit a request to the principal and the BCTA president to receive a stipend for the club advisorship. The school principal will then forward to the superintendent a request for a budget allocation for cocurricular stipends. This request will reflect priorities for clubs that meet the needs of students that are not currently fulfilled. The request will be part of the annual budgeting process. If a position is funded, a job description will be developed and the position will be posted for application.
          4. In May, the principal will ask that all current advisors of new clubs complete a written evaluation of club activities that occurred during the school year.

          Approved Extraclassroom Activities

          All extraclassroom activities must be approved by the Board of Education. The school business administrator will maintain an up-to-date register of all extraclassroom activities that are approved or discontinued. By June 1st of each year, the high school and middle school central treasurers, in conjunction with the high school and middle school auditor, will provide the principal with the list of all clubs meeting the criteria for a bona fide student activity, who will provide it to the school business administrator. Additionally, the Board will annually approve or reapprove the extraclassroom activity.

          Charter
          Each extraclassroom activity will annually adopt a written charter that defines the purpose of the organization, duties of its officers, meeting dates, rules of procedure, and other such matters as are deemed necessary. The charter of each extraclassroom activity will be approved by the advisor and the principal.

          Meetings

          All extraclassroom activities should meet at least once monthly while school is in session. These meetings will be held on school property. Extraclassroom activities will not meet outside the school property unless they have received the consent of their principal.

          Appointment of Officers

          The Board of Education will appoint to a one-year term, on the recommendation of the superintendent, members of the regular faculty to fill the following positions:

          1. Auditor (high school and middle school)
          2. Faculty advisor(s)
          3. Central treasurer (high school and middle school)

          Faculty Advisor

          Each extraclassroom activity must have a faculty advisor recommended by the superintendent and appointed by the Board of Education. The faculty advisor must attend all meetings of the extraclassroom activity, be responsible for the supervision of all programs in which the group participates, and ensure that the policies and regulations for operation of extracurricular clubs are followed.

          Basic Procedures

          1. The high school and middle school central treasurers will hold a September meeting that will be required for all club advisors and student treasurers for the purpose of reviewing the District and NYS Education Department guidelines and regulations. No account will be opened unless the advisor and treasurer attend this meeting.
          2. All accounts must have lockable boxes in which any funds to be deposited will be stored in the main office vault.
          3. No petty cash funds will be maintained by clubs.
          4. In order to verify recorded receipts, a club shall implement a process for verifying tickets sold. That process shall be recorded as part of the deposit record (i.e., prenumbered receipts, prenumbered tickets, etc.).
          5. All account deposits and payments must show the signatures of the student treasurer and the faculty advisor of the club. Without these signatures, the central treasurer will return the request to the club advisor without taking any action.
          6. Any interest earned through the investment of extracurricular funds (i.e., time deposit account, certificate of deposit, saving account) will be credited proportionally among all active clubs.
          7. Any loans made by the Student Association for cash flow purposes to any other account will be at the discretion of the central treasurers with notification provided to the advisor of the Student Association. All loans must be repaid by June 1st of the current year. At the close of the school year accounting period (traditionally June 30th of each year), no account may show a negative balance. If an account has a deficit balance, it will be closed and the organization must petition the principal to be reinstated as a recognized club and reimburse any loan provided by the Student Association.
          8. Costs related to the operation of the extracurricular accounts (i.e., copying/printing, deposit stamps, replacement checks, etc.) will be paid for by the Student Association of the school.

          Carry Forward Funds

          Funds must be raised and spent by students, for the purposes identified by the students. Thus, student clubs should have minimal carry forward balances from one year to the next. Clubs are permitted to make large purchases over the course of several years; however, the club minutes should reflect the need to maintain a larger balance and should authorize future members of the club to expend funds for those purchases. Other than reserving funds for future purchases, there should be a minimum carry forward balance to provide adequate funding for expenses that may be incurred early in the subsequent year, prior to collection of club revenues.

          Clubs should help students learn how to responsibly manage funds for an organization. Students are encouraged to adopt annual budgets to demonstrate good oversight and planning.

          Inactive Clubs and Leftover Funds

          An inactive extraclassroom activity is defined as one having no financial activity for one full school year. If an inactive club is identified, the principal will direct the central treasurer to liquidate the leftover funds of this club in accordance with the following:

          1. Leftover funds of inactive or discontinued extraclassroom activities shall automatically revert to the account of the general student organization or student council.
          2. Inactive clubs must follow the organizational procedures set forth in this policy to reactivate previously existing activities.
          3. Leftover class funds remaining within six months after a class graduates will be transferred to the Student Council, as per State Education Department administrative regulations.

          Sales, Campaigns, and Fund-Raising Activities

          The Faculty Advisor must get approval for all fund-raising activities from the building principal. The building principal will provide information to the superintendent or his/her designee on sales, campaigns, and fund-raising activities of all extraclassroom activity clubs, including the nature of the event, dates of operation, duration of sale or campaign, and means of solicitation (e.g., door-to-door, direct mailing, etc.).

          Travel and Transportation

          All overnight trips must receive approval from the superintendent. International travel must receive approval from the Board of Education. The faculty advisor must provide a written itinerary to each student, along with a copy of the Code of Student Conduct (Policy # 5300) and secure written permission from a student’s parent(s) and/or guardian(s) for all overnight and international travel. Every effort should be made to provide the educational travel opportunity to all eligible students. The faculty advisor must assure that there is sufficient adult supervision at all times.

          District transportation may be provided, upon timely and proper request, by the Transportation Department. Each club will be responsible for the actual cost of the transportation and will be invoiced upon trip completion. Trip cost estimates may be obtained from the Transportation Department. Although use of a private carrier is permitted in certain circumstances, the faculty advisor is required to coordinate the request through the Transportation Department, who will ascertain that the driver(s) for the private carrier are properly insured, properly licensed, and that the vehicle is appropriate, legal, and safe.

          Risk Management

          The principal must work with the school business administrator to assure that the District’s exposure to any risk resulting from club activities or fund raisers is minimized. In all cases where a vendor will be using District facilities to conduct its event, the District requires a certificate of insurance with the District named as an additional insured party. Periodically, the District may request that their primary liability insurance carrier conduct a review of the activities of the extraclassroom activities and may prohibit certain events based on the review results.

          Tax Exempt Status

          The extraclassroom activities of the District are not included in the exemption granted to the District from the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance. Without exception, clubs and activities are prohibited from using the school’s tax exemption. The taxable status of all fund-raising events will be enforced by the central treasurers. The central treasurers will be responsible for filing the periodic sales tax returns for the extraclassroom activity funds. Clubs must follow the guidelines for sales tax payments and collections as outlined in The Safeguarding, Accounting, and Auditing of Extraclassroom Activity Funds (Revised 2015)

          Contracts, Commitments, and Guarantees

          All commitments and contracts are the sole responsibility of the extraclassroom activity club involved in the transaction, regardless of change in advisors, membership, or officers.

          Adoption date: February 28, 2007
          Review date: March 20, 2017
          Revised date: February 8, 2018
          Reapproved date: May 22, 2019

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          Policy 5300 | Code of Conduct

          View the PDF version of the Code of Conduct here.

          View the Code of Conduct here.

          Adoption Date: June 20, 2001
          Revised: September 1, 2004
          Revised: July 11, 2006
          Reapproved: July 11, 2007
          Reapproved: July 9, 2008
          Reapproved: July 1, 2009
          Amended and Reapproved: July 7, 2010
          Amended and Reapproved: September 1, 2010
          Amended and Reapproved: November 3, 2010
          Amended and Reapproved: July 6, 2011
          Amended and Reapproved: November 16, 2011
          Amended and Reapproved: July 3, 2012
          Reapproved: July 2, 2013 Reapproved: July 1, 2014
          Amended and Reapproved: July 7, 2015
          Reapproved: July 5, 2016
          Re-approved: July 12, 2017
          Amended and Reapproved: July 2, 2018

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          Policy 6110 | Budget Planning

          View the PDF version of the Budget Planning Policy here.

          The superintendent of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) Schools, with the assistance of the chief business and financial officer, shall be responsible for preparation of the budget. This shall include developing a budget calendar in accordance with regulation 6110-R, and adhering to that calendar. The budget calendar shall be approved by the Board of Education (the Board) in advance of the preparation of the District’s annual budget.

          The budget shall be designed to reflect the Board’s objectives for the education of the children of the District. It shall be carefully organized and planned to provide adequate accounting for each program expenditure, and to use reasonable and conservative funding estimates. Revenue and other funding sources will be reasonably estimated and identified, such that the adopted budget will be balanced and will maintain the overall financial health of the District. A multiyear financial plan will also be reviewed, in order to best anticipate any threats to the longer-term financial health of the District.

          The budget for the ensuing school year shall be thoroughly reviewed and approved by the Board before its presentation to the voters for final adoption.

          Cross-ref:

          • 2260, Citizens Advisory Committees

          Ref:

          • Education Law §§ 1608(2)-(4); 1716(2)-(4); §1804(4); 1906(1); 2002(1); 2003(1); 2004(1); 2022(2); 2601-a
          • Fiscal Management (NYSSBA, 1997)

          Adoption date: June 19, 2002
          Revised date: May 22, 2019

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          Policy 6110-R | Budget Planning Regulation

          View the PDF version of the Budget Planning Regulation here.

          The budget calendar prepared by the superintendent of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) shall include:

          • a schedule that which sets forth all important meetings and dates, including deadlines for budget proposals from within the District;
          • commencement dates and deadlines for certain budgetary tasks, such as the estimation of all revenues and income expected to be received by the District; and
          • events such as the preliminary dates for the consideration of the tentative budget by the Board of Education (the Board).
          • As part of the budget planning process, the superintendent or chief business and financial officer will evaluate:
          • the educational philosophy, goals, and objectives of the District and their modification where required;
          • the District’s educational program and support services such as transportation, operations and maintenance, and District-wide administrative services;
          • census and enrollment projections;
          • the condition of the physical plant for operation and maintenance needs and new construction;
          • debt service schedules; and
          • estimated revenue from sources other than the property tax, such as state and federal aid.

          Adoption date: June 19, 2002
          Revised date: May 22, 2019

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          Policy 6120 | Budget Hearing

          View the PDF version of the Budget Hearing Policy here.

          The Board of Education (the Board) of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) will hold an annual budget hearing at which it will present a detailed proposed budget for the following school year. The purpose of the budget hearing is to inform the public of the contents of the budget and to provide an explanation and justification for the decisions the proposed budget reflects.

          The budget hearing will be held not less than seven nor more than fourteen days prior to the annual District meeting, at which the District’s voters will vote on the budget. The proposed budget will be completed at least seven days before the budget hearing. A copy of the proposed budget may be obtained by any District resident (not just District taxpayers) at each school during certain designated hours on each day (other than a Saturday, Sunday, or holiday) during the fourteen day period immediately preceding the annual District meeting and election.

          Notice of the date, time, and place of the annual budget hearing will be contained in the notice of the annual meeting.

          Cross-ref:

          • 1050, Annual District Meeting and Election
          • 2120.1, Candidates and Campaigning

          Ref:

          • Education Law §§1608; 1716; 1804(4); 1906(1); 2002(1); 2003(1); 2004(1); 2002(1); 2601-a(2)

          Adoption date: June 19, 2002
          Reapproved date: May 22, 2019

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          Policy 6130 | Accounting Policy

          View the PDF version of the Accounting Policy here.

          Statement of Philosophy

          The Board of Education of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) recognizes that accurate and systematic financial records are imperative to support decision-making responsibilities and for accountability of responsible stewardship for public monies.

          Accounting systems shall conform to the Office of the New York State Comptroller School Districts Accounting and Reporting Manual, and will safeguard District funds in accordance with regulation 6130-R and other fiscal policies of the District.

          Cross reference:

          • 6150, Budget Transfers
          • 6670, Petty Cash/Petty Cash Accounts
          • 5252, Student Activities Funds Management
          • 6240, Investments

          Adoption date: February 28, 2007
          Revised date: May 22, 2019

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          Policy 6130-R | Accounting Policy Regulation

          View the PDF version of the Accounting Policy Regulation here.

          System of Accounts

          Purpose
          The accounting system of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) shall provide an accurate, clear, and complete record of all financial transactions for which the Board of Education (the Board) is accountable.

          Uniform System of Accounts
          The system of accounts shall conform to the system prescribed pursuant to Section 36 of the General Municipal Law, Office of the New York State Comptroller School Districts Accounting and Reporting Manual, and Section 2116-a of the Education Law. Additional accounts and/or records that may be useful in yielding fiscal information to assist the Board and administration in its decision making may supplement this system.

          Fixed Assets
          The method of accounting for general fixed assets shall be in conformance with those prescribed by the Office of the New York State Comptroller School Districts Accounting and Reporting Manual.

          Classification of Expenditures

          Legal Requirements
          All expenditures are reported under the account classifications provided in the State Uniform System of Accounts for School Districts in order to satisfy legal reporting requirements and to facilitate compilation of comparative financial statistics for various local, state, and national agencies and research organizations. These standard account classifications are related to the District’s budget categories in a manner that facilitates the recording and reporting of expenditures for budget control purposes.

          Encumbering
          Section 170.2(k) of the Commissioner’s Regulations states it is the duty of the Board to keep the incurred obligations within the amount of the available appropriation. Requisitions shall be encumbered against available funds. When sufficient funds are not available, a transfer of funds or approval must accompany the request.

          To maintain budgetary control and to arrive at an accurate estimate of uncommitted appropriations, all known obligations must be encumbered early in the fiscal year (i.e., known obligations such as utilities, BOCES, debt service, salaries, fringe benefits and service contracts).

          Transfer of FundsPetty Cash Funds
          Establishment

          The Safeguarding of District Funds
          Bonding
          The Board will provide a public school system faithful performance bond, or blanket position bond for all employees and officers, as required by Subdivision 2 of Section 11 of the Public Officers Law and Subdivision 2(d) of Section 170 of the Commissioner’s Regulations. Annually, the Board will specify any additional amounts to be placed upon specific positions.

          Cash in School Buildings
          District employees are personally responsible for all monies that they collect during the course of their assigned duties. Employees who receive monies on behalf of the District other than the District treasurer must issue prenumbered receipts in triplicate (CR 170.2(i)).

          All money shall be kept in a sealed bank bag and stored within the building safe until deposited. Deposits shall be made promptly but no later than 5 business days after receipt.. The principal in each building is directly responsible for the enforcement of this policy and informing all those under his/her direction.

          Treasurer’s Receipts
          A prenumbered receipt form shall be used by the District treasurer and other persons authorized to receive money. The District treasurer shall receipt all monies paid over to his/her custody with prenumbered duplicate receipts (Commissioner’s Regulation 170.2(h)). The District treasurer shall issue prenumbered receipt forms in triplicate to others authorized to receive monies in the first instance (Commissioner’s Regulation 170.2(i)).

          Cash Accounting
          The District’s accounting system shall provide for adequate control of all monies belonging to the District. The treasurer’s receipt numbers, as well as the source and amount of the revenue, shall be entered into the cash receipts journal and as journal entries for ACH (Automatic Clearing House) and wire transactions. A monthly report of all journal entries for all funds will be provided in the treasurers report, which is provided to the Board monthly. Revenue entries must be maintained on a gross basis.

          Extraclassroom Activity Funds

          Activity Accounts
          An organization within the District whose activities are conducted by students and whose financial support is raised other than by taxation or through charges of the Board shall be known as an extraclassroom activity and the monies received as Extraclassroom Activity Funds. Annually, the Board will appoint, upon the recommendation of the superintendent, those members of the staff to serve as auditors and internal accounts personnel.

          Regulation of Activities and Monies
          The regulations of the establishment, conduct, operation, and maintenance of records concerning extraclassroom activities will be those outlined in District policy and in accordance with NYS Education Department’s Safeguarding, Accounting, and Auditing of Extraclassroom Activity Funds  and in conformance with Section 172 of the Commissioner’s Regulations.

          Check Signature

          Internal Control
          The District treasurer must maintain, at all times, control of his/her signature plate. The administration of the District will establish, and the District treasurer will maintain procedures, that will ensure adequate internal control and protection against misuse and /or loss of the check signature plate used to sign authorized checks drawn against the District. All checks must receive the single signature of the District treasurer or the single signature of the deputy treasurer if one is appointed by the Board.

          Storage of Blank Checks
          The safeguarding of unused checks shall be the responsibility of the District treasurer. The storage of unused/blank checks shall be maintained in such a manner as to restrict their availability and offer protection against theft.

          Scholarships and Trust Funds

          Accounting
          The accounting of all scholarship and trust funds given to the District are under the supervision of the Board and will be maintained in the Trust and Agency Fund.

          Scholarships
          Scholarship funds shall be administered by the superintendent or his/her designee, in accord with the donor’s request or procedures established by a designated faculty and administration committee approved by the Board.

          Trust Funds
          Gifts will be set up as a trust fund for the purpose of receiving and disbursing cash perthe donor’s request and in accordance with, Education Law, Section 1709 (12 and 12-a) and Comptroller’s Opinion No. 65-367.

          Audit of Claims

          Payments Prior to Audit
          Payments of claims for public utility services, postage, freight, and express charges may be made in advance of audit in accordance with Section 1724.3 and 2524.2 of the Education Law.

          Board of Education
          No claim against the District shall be paid except for compensation for services of an employee or officer or for principal and interest on indebtedness unless it has been audited and allowed by the Board. Following approval, an abstract of the audited claims shall be drawn in the form of a warrant authorizing and directing the District treasurer to make payments in accordance with Sections 1724.2, 2523.4, and 2524 of the Education Law.

          Internal Claims Auditor
          When the office of claims auditor has been established and filled, all powers and duties of the Board with respect to auditing, allowing, or rejecting all claims against the District shall be exercised only by the auditor in accordance with Section 1709.20(a) and 2526 of the Education Law.

          Certification of Payrolls

          Responsibility
          The Board, consistent with the provisions of Education Law 1720.2 and Section 170.2(b) of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education, will annually designate the person(s) to be responsible for the certification of payrolls.

          Bond and Note Register

          Responsibility
          The District treasurer shall keep a complete record of each issue of bonds and notes authorized. The record shall include the dates of issue for the obligations; the type thereof; the amount of each obligation; the banks from which the money was borrowed; the rate of interest; the amount of principal and interest paid; and the dates of maturity.

          Cash Flow Management

          Responsibility
          The Board authorizes its District treasurer to manage all activities associated with cash flow management consistent with the Office of the State Comptroller’s guide, “Investing and Protecting Public Funds”.

          Investments
          The District’s cash flow management program shall include procedures for investing monies, consistent with the District’s investment policy (see 6240 & 6240-R).

          Borrowings
          The use of an open competitive system of bidding and/or quoting for the borrowing shall be conducted as prescribed in the provisions of Article VIII of the State Constitution and the Local Finance Law regulating the issuance of obligations.

          Travel and Conferences
          Reimbursement for authorized travel and conference attendance will be made in the manner prescribed by Section 77(b) of the General Municipal Law (see 6830).

          Periodic Financial Reports

          Cash Reconciliation
          The District treasurer shall report to the Board the cash position and reconciliation of each account of the District on a monthly basis in compliance with the Commissioner’s Regulations, Section 170.2(o).

          Budget Status
          The District treasurer shall submit a budget status report monthly to the Board for each operating fund detailing the condition of each budget revenue and appropriation category. This shall be in at least the detail prescribed by the Commissioner’s Regulations, Section 170.2(p).

          Annual Financial Statement
          Notice that the annual financial statement for all funds is available in the District Office for public review shall be published by the Board in a public newspaper, in compliance with Education Law, Sections 1721 and 2528. Publication shall be in the format prescribed by the Commissioner’s Regulations, Section 170.2(s). This statement shall review the finances and transactions of the District for the preceding school year.

          Annual Audit
          An annual audit of all funds of the District shall be made by a certified public accountant or by a public accountant. The Board shall adopt a resolution accepting the audit report and file a copy of this resolution and the audit, including the Management Letter, with the commissioner of Education as required by Commissioner’s Regulations, Section 170.2(r). The clerk shall publish an official notice within ten days of receipt of the audit report.

          The annual audit should include an examination of documents, records, and accounts conducted in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP).

          Adoption date: February 28, 2007
          Revised date: May 22, 2019

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          Policy 6131 | Online Banking Services

          View the PDF version of the Online Banking Services Policy here.

          The Board of Education (the Board) of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) requires clear, complete, and detailed accounting of all financial transactions for which the Board is held accountable. The transferring of funds via online banking services between various accounts and the transfer of funds from District accounts to non-District accounts for various purposes are financial transactions to be properly monitored and controlled.

          The following are online banking activities the District engages in:

          1. viewing bank account information;
          2. interfund transfers;
          3. the remittance of employee payroll tax withholdings and other deductions;
          4. the paying of the District’s debt obligations;
          5. the remittance of employee payroll direct deposit;
          6. transfer of district funds into investments; and
          7. transfer of the library’s portion of school taxes to them.

          The District accountant will have the authority to process online banking transactions. All transactions processed by the district accountant will be verified by the District treasurer. Secondary authorizations are required for any wires or ACH disbursements.

          A bank transfer summary will be completed for any transfers indicating the line item code, the amount of monies, and the purpose for the transferring of funds. The District treasurer (or, if absent, the chief business and financial officer) will verify the accuracy and legitimacy of online transfers and keep a copy of the verified transfer summary on file. The District accountant will be responsible for the proper accounting of the transactions.

          Adoption date: September 19, 2007
          Revised date: May 22, 2019

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          Policy 6135 | Fund Balance Policy

          View the PDF version of the Fund Balance Policy here.

          The following policy has been adopted by the Board of Education (the Board) of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) in order to address the requirements of Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) Statement No. 54, Fund Balance Reporting and Governmental Fund Definitions. This policy will help the District assess if it is maintaining adequate fund balances and reserves in order to:

          1. Provide sufficient cash flow for daily financial needs;
          2. Secure and maintain investment grade bond ratings;
          3. Offset significant economic downturns or revenue shortfalls; and
          4. Provide funds for unforeseen expenditures related to emergencies.

          GASB Statement No. 54 changed the classification of fund balance in order to bring greater clarity and consistency to fund balance reporting. Effective for financial statements for periods ending June 30, 2011, fund balance is reportable in five new categories as follows:

          Nonspendable Fund Balance

          The nonspendable fund balance amount represents the portion of the fund balance that is not in a spendable format in the current period either because of their form or because they must be maintained intact. Examples include inventories, prepaid items, and the principal of endowments.

          Restricted Fund Balance

          The restricted fund balance amount represents the portion of fund balance that is subject to an externally and legally enforceable purpose. The restrictions are imposed by creditors, grantors, laws and regulations of other governments, or through constitutional provision or enabling legislation. Examples include workers’ compensation, employee benefits accrued liability, and tax certiorari reserves (by virtue of the State Comptroller’s Regulation of the establishment, funding, and use of reserves).

          Committed Fund Balance

          The committed fund balance amount represents the portion of the fund balance that is constrained for a specific purpose by the District, through the adoption of a formal resolution by the Board. Committed funds also require the Board to take formal action to subsequently remove or change the constraints. Although the action to constrain the resources must occur prior to fiscal year end, the amount may be determined in the subsequent period. The state comptroller does not believe that school districts will typically have restrictions that will be accounted for in this category.

          Assigned Fund Balance

          The assigned fund balance amount represents amounts that are intended to be used for specific purposes, but are not restricted or committed. Examples include appropriated fund balance and outstanding encumbrances.

          Unassigned Fund Balance

          Funds in this category represent funds that are not classified in any of the other four categories. Typically, only the General Fund will contain unassigned fund balance.

          The Board recognizes that Real Property Tax Law, Section 1318, limits the amount of unexpended surplus funds to no more than 4 percent of the next year’s budgeted appropriations. Under GASB Statement 54, the 4 percent limitation is interpreted to be applied to unrestricted fund balance (total of the committed, assigned, and unassigned classifications) minus appropriated fund balance, amounts reserved for insurance recovery, amounts reserved for tax reduction, and encumbrances included in committed and assigned fund balance.

          The Board of Education affirms its authority to establish restricted, committed, and assigned funds, by authorizing the purpose for which the funds will be used. However, the Board delegates the authority to assign amounts to be used for specific purposes to the chief business and financial officer (CBFO). The amount of the assignments shall be determined based upon the CBFO’s review of detailed supporting calculations, and such detail will be presented for approval by the Board.

          In situations where both restricted and unrestricted resources are available for expenditure (within the five categories of fund balance), the District’s policy is to allow the CBFO to determine the order of the expenditure of funds, on an annual basis (first option is the GASB Statement 54 presumption if not specified; the second option grants maximum flexibility in managing the 4 percent limitation.

          Adoption Date: June 15, 2011
          Reapproved date: May 22, 2019

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          Policy 6150 | Budget Transfers

          View the PDF version of the Budget Transfers Policy here.

          The transfer of funds between and within functional unit appropriations of the General Fund of the Bethlehem Central School District is commonly required during the school year. The superintendent, in accordance with the Commissioner of Education’s Regulations, is authorized to make budget transfers between line item accounts.

          Ref:

          • Education Law §1718
          • 8 NYCRR §170.2(l)

          Adoption date: June 19, 2002 
          Revised date: May 22, 2019

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          Policy 6231 | Title I/PSEN Programs and Services

          View the PDF version of the Title I/PSEN Programs and Services Policy here.

          Title I

          The Board of Education (the Board) of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) may apply for Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) funding for projects designed to meet the special educational needs of educationally deprived children. Such funding shall be used to provide appropriate programs and services to participating students in basic and more advanced skills. In particular, funds may be used for the following:

          1. year-round services and activities, including intensive summer school programs;
          2. purchasing appropriate equipment and/or instructional materials;
          3. employment of special instructional personnel, school counselors, and/or other pupil services personnel;
          4. employment and training for NYS teaching assistants;
          5. training of teachers, librarians, other instructional and pupil services personnel, and early childhood education professionals when appropriate;
          6. construction, if necessary, of school facilities;
          7. parental involvement activities;
          8. planning for, and evaluation of, Title I programs; and
          9. other activities permitted under federal regulations.

          With the approval of the State Education Department, the District may use up to and including 5 percent of such funds for “innovation projects to promote quality” in the District’s Title I program. Such projects may include the following:

          1. continuation of services to those students who participated in the program in any previous year;
          2. continuation of services for a period not to exceed two additional years to participating students who are transferred to areas/schools that are ineligible for such funding, as part of a desegregation plan;
          3. incentive payments to schools that have demonstrated significant progress and success in attaining Title I goals;
          4. training of teachers and librarians in the special educational needs of eligible students, and in the integration of Title I programs into regular classroom programs;
          5. programs that encourage innovative approaches to parental involvement, or rewards to or expansion of exemplary parental involvement programs; and
          6. encouraging community and business involvement in meeting the needs of eligible children.

          PSEN

          The Board must submit for approval a plan for the expenditure of its Pupils with Special Educational Needs (PSEN) funds, which are state funds that must be expended only for project activities for eligible students in the school year for which funds are appropriated. PSEN serves as a funding source for all school districts based upon the number of educationally deficient students in each district.

          The Board directs the administration to follow all applicable State Education Department guidelines for completing budget forms for the operation of Title I/PSEN projects.

          Ref:

          • 8 NYCRR Part 149
          • 34 CFR Part 75; §200.34(c)(1)(i) (ESEA Title I Program in Local Educational Agencies)
          • Applicant’s Guide and Instructions for Consolidated Application and the Program Information Report, The University of the State of New York (1989)
          • Pupils With Compensatory Educational Needs: Questions and Answers July 1987, The University of the State of New York (1987) Chapter 1 Policy Manual, The University of the State of New York (1990)

          Adoption date: June 19, 2002
          Reapproved date: May 22, 2019

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          Policy 6240 | Investments

          View the PDF version of the Investments Policy here.

          The Board of Education (the Board) recognizes its fiduciary responsibility under §39 of the General Municipal Law (GML) requiring a comprehensive investment policy outlining the policy of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) with regard to the investing, monitoring and reporting of the District’s funds.

          Therefore, the Board directs the superintendent of schools or his/her designee to ensure that procedures and regulations are followed to safeguard District funds and to minimize risk, to ensure that investments mature when cash is required to finance operations and to ensure a competitive rate of return. In accordance with this policy, the treasurer or his/her designee is authorized to invest and/or deposit all funds, including proceeds of obligations and reserve funds, in time-deposit accounts, certificates of deposit, short-term government securities, repurchase agreements or other investment instruments permitted by law, subject to the investment regulations approved by the Board of Education.

          All participants in the investment process shall seek to act responsibly as custodians of the public trust and shall avoid any transaction that might impair public confidence in the District’s ability to govern effectively. Investments shall be made with prudence, diligence, skill, judgment, and care, under circumstances then prevailing that a knowledgeable and prudent person acting in like capacity would use, not for speculation, but for investment, considering the safety of the principal as well as the probable income to be derived. Furthermore, all participants involved in the investment process shall refrain from personal business activity that could conflict with proper execution of the investment program, or which could impair their ability to make impartial investment decisions.

          This policy will be reviewed annually by the Board and may be amended from time to time in accordance with the provisions of §39 of the General Municipal Law.

          Ref:

          • Education Law §§1604-a; 1723-a; 3651; 3652
          • Local Finance Law §165.00
          • General Municipal Law §§6-c-6-e; 6-j-6-n; 10; 11; 39

          Adoption date: June 19, 2002
          Amended date: July 7, 2015
          Re-approved: July 5, 2016
          Re-approved: July 12, 2017
          Re-approved: July 2, 2018

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          Policy 6240 | Investments

          View the PDF version of the Investments Policy here.

          The Board of Education (the Board) recognizes its fiduciary responsibility under §39 of the General Municipal Law (GML) requiring a comprehensive investment policy outlining the policy of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) with regard to the investing, monitoring and reporting of the District’s funds.

          Therefore, the Board directs the superintendent of schools or his/her designee to ensure that procedures and regulations are followed to safeguard District funds and to minimize risk, to ensure that investments mature when cash is required to finance operations and to ensure a competitive rate of return. In accordance with this policy, the treasurer or his/her designee is authorized to invest and/or deposit all funds, including proceeds of obligations and reserve funds, in time-deposit accounts, certificates of deposit, short-term government securities, repurchase agreements or other investment instruments permitted by law, subject to the investment regulations approved by the Board of Education.

          All participants in the investment process shall seek to act responsibly as custodians of the public trust and shall avoid any transaction that might impair public confidence in the District’s ability to govern effectively. Investments shall be made with prudence, diligence, skill, judgment, and care, under circumstances then prevailing that a knowledgeable and prudent person acting in like capacity would use, not for speculation, but for investment, considering the safety of the principal as well as the probable income to be derived. Furthermore, all participants involved in the investment process shall refrain from personal business activity that could conflict with proper execution of the investment program, or which could impair their ability to make impartial investment decisions.

          This policy will be reviewed annually by the Board and may be amended from time to time in accordance with the provisions of §39 of the General Municipal Law.

          Ref:

          • Education Law §§1604-a; 1723-a; 3651; 3652
          • Local Finance Law §165.00
          • General Municipal Law §§6-c-6-e; 6-j-6-n; 10; 11; 39

          Adoption date: June 19, 2002 
          Amended date: July 7, 2015 
          Re-approved: July 5, 2016 
          Re-approved: July 12, 2017
          Re-approved: July 2, 2018

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          Policy 6240-R | Investments Regulation

          View the PDF version of the Investments Regulation here.

          Delegation of Authority

          The treasurer is authorized to invest all available Bethlehem Central School District (the District) funds, including proceeds of obligations and Reserve Funds, in the permitted investment instruments as defined in this regulation.

          Securing Deposits and Investments

          All deposits and investments at a bank or trust company, including all demand deposits, certificates of deposit and special time deposits (hereinafter, collectively, “deposits”) made by officers of the District that are in excess of the amount insured under the provisions of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act shall be secured by:

          1. A pledge of “eligible securities” with an aggregate “market value” (as provided by the General Municipal Law, Section 10) that is at least equal to the aggregate amount of deposits by the officers. Eligible securities include the following:
              1. Obligations issued, or fully insured or guaranteed as to the payment of principal and interest, by the United States of America, an agency thereof, or a United States government-sponsored corporation.
              2. Obligations issued or fully insured or guaranteed by the state of New York; obligations issued by a municipal corporation, school district or district corporation of this state; or obligations of any public benefit corporation that under a specific state statute may be accepted as security for deposit of public moneys.
              3. A pledge of a pro rata portion of a pool of eligible securities, having in the aggregate a market value at least equal to the aggregate amount of deposits from all such officers within the state at the bank or trust company.
          2. An “eligible surety bond” payable to the government for an amount at least equal to 100 percent of the aggregate amount of deposit and the agreed-upon interest if any, executed by an insurance company authorized to do business in the state of New York, whose claims-paying ability is rated in the highest rating category by at least two nationally recognized statistical rating organizations. The Board of Education (the Board) shall approve the terms and conditions of the surety bond.
          3. An “eligible letter of credit,” payable to the District as security for the payment of 140 percent of the aggregate amount of deposits and the agreed-upon interest, if any. An “eligible letter of credit” shall be an irrevocable letter of credit issued in favor of the District, for a term not to exceed ninety days, by a qualified bank (other than the bank where the secured money is deposited). A qualified bank is either one whose commercial paper and other unsecured short-term debt obligations (or, in the case of a bank that is the principal subsidiary of a holding company, whose holding company’s commercial paper and other unsecured short-term debt obligations) are rated in one of the three highest rating categories by at least one nationally recognized statistical rating organization, or one that is in compliance with applicable federal minimum risk-based capital requirements.
          4. An “irrevocable letter of credit” issued in favor of the District by a federal home loan bank whose commercial paper and other unsecured short-term debt obligations are rated in the highest rating category by at least one nationally recognized statistical rating organization, as security for the payment of 100 percent of the aggregate amount of deposits and the agreed-upon interest, if any.

          Diversification

          To the extent feasible, investments and deposits shall be made in and through local or regional financial institutions. Concentration of investments in a single financial institution should be avoided. Diversification of investments and deposits is encouraged.

          Designations of Depositories

          Depositories are approved by the Board at the annual reorganizational meeting.

          Collateralization and Safekeeping

          All investments made pursuant to this investment policy will comply with the following conditions:

          1. Collateral
              1. Savings accounts, money market accounts, time deposit accounts, and certificates of deposit will be fully secured by insurance of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or by obligations of New York State, the United States, New York State school districts, and federal agencies whose principal and interest are guaranteed by the United States. The market value of collateral will at all times exceed the principal amount of the certificate of deposit. Collateral will be monitored no less frequently than on a weekly basis.
              2. Collateral will not be required with respect to the direct purchase of obligations of New York State, the United States, and federal agencies, the principal and interest of which are guaranteed by the United States Government.
          2. Delivery of Securities
              1. Payment of funds may only be made upon receipt of collateral or other acceptable form of security, or upon the delivery of government obligations whether such obligations are purchased outright, or pursuant to a repurchase agreement. Written confirmation of delivery shall be obtained from the custodial bank.
              2. Every Repurchase Agreement will make payment to the seller contingent upon the seller’s delivery of obligations of the United States to the Custodial Bank designated by the District, which shall not be the repurchase or, in the case of a book-entry transaction, when the obligations of the United States are credited to the Custodian’s Federal Reserve account. The seller will not be entitled to substitute securities. Repurchase Agreements shall be for periods of thirty days or less. The Custodial Bank shall confirm all transactions in writing to insure that the District’s ownership of the securities is properly reflected in the records of the Custodial Bank.
          3. Written Contracts
              1. Written contracts are required for certificates of deposit and custodial undertakings and Repurchase Agreements. With respect to the purchase of direct obligations of U.S., New York State, or other governmental entities in which monies may be invested, the interests of the District will be adequately protected by conditioning payment on the physical delivery of purchased securities to the District or custodian or, in the case of book-entry transactions, on the crediting of purchased securities to the Custodian’s Federal Reserve System account. All purchases will be confirmed promptly in writing to the District.
              2. The following written contracts are required:
                1. Written agreements will be required for the purchase of all certificates of deposit.
                2. A written contract will be required with the Custodial Bank(s).
                3. Written contracts shall be required for all Repurchase Agreements. Only credit-worthy banks and primary reporting dealers shall be qualified to enter into a Repurchase Agreement with the District.

          The written contract will stipulate that only obligations of the United States may be purchased and that the District shall make payment upon delivery of the securities or the appropriate book-entry of the purchased securities. No specific Repurchase Agreement will be entered into unless a Master Repurchase Agreement has been executed between the District and the trading partners. While the term of the Master Repurchase Agreement may be for a reasonable length of time, a specific Repurchase Agreement will not exceed thirty days.

          Permitted Investments

          Permitted investments include the following:

          1. Savings Accounts or Money Market Accounts of designated banks;
          2. Certificates of Deposit issued by a bank or trust company located in and authorized to do business in New York State;
          3. Demand Deposit Accounts in a bank or trust company located in and authorized to do business in New York State;
          4. Obligations of New York State;
          5. Obligations of the U.S. Government (U.S. Treasury Bills and Notes);
          6. Repurchase Agreements involving the purchase and sale of direct obligations of the United States (no more than 30 percent of the Bethlehem Central School District’s total invested funds at the time of investment may be invested in
          7. Repurchase Agreements); and
          8. All funds may be invested in Revenue Anticipation Notes or Tax Anticipation Notes of other Districts and municipalities, with the approval of the State Comptroller.

          Authorized Financial Institutions and Dealers

          1. The Board will designate a commercial bank or trust company authorized to do business in the state of New York to act as Custodial Bank of the District’s investments. However, securities may not be purchased through a Repurchase Agreement with the Custodial Bank.
          2. When purchasing eligible securities, the seller will be required to transfer the securities to the District’s Custodial Bank.

          Purchase of Instruments

          The chief business and financial officer or treasurer (or other officer having custody of money) is authorized to contract for the purchase of investments:

          1. Directly, from an authorized trading partner.
          2. By participation in a cooperative investment agreement with other authorized municipal corporations pursuant to Article 5-G of the General Municipal Law and in accordance with Article 3-A of the General Municipal Law.

          All purchased obligations, unless registered or inscribed in the name of the local government, shall be purchased through, delivered to, and held in the custody of a bank or trust company. Such obligations shall be purchased, sold, or presented for redemption or payment by such bank or trust company only in accordance with prior written authorization from the officer authorized to make the investment. All such transactions shall be confirmed in writing to the District by the bank or trust company.

          Any obligation held in the custody of a bank or trust company shall be held pursuant to a written custodial agreement as described in General Municipal Law Section 10(3)(a). The agreement shall provide that securities held by the bank or trust company, as agent of, and custodian for, the District, will be kept separate and apart from the general assets of the custodial bank or trust company and will not be commingled with or become part of the backing of any other deposit or other bank liability. The agreement must also describe how the custodian shall confirm the receipt and release of the securities. Such agreement shall include all provisions necessary to secure the local government’s perfected interest in the securities, and the agreement may also contain other provisions that the governing board deems necessary. The security and custodial agreements shall also include all other provisions necessary to provide the District with a perfected interest in the securities.

          The chief business and financial officer or treasurer (or other officers having custody of money) can direct the bank or trust company to register (and hold the evidences of investments in the name of its nominee), or may deposit or authorize the bank or trust company to deposit, or arrange for their deposit, with a federal reserve bank or other book-entry transfer system operated by a federally regulated entity. The records of the bank or trust company shall show, at all times, the ownership of such evidences of investments, and they shall be, when held in the possession of the bank or trust company, at all times, kept separate from the assets of the bank or trust company. All evidences of investments delivered to a bank or trust company shall be held by the bank or trust company pursuant to a written custodial agreement as set forth in General Municipal Law Section 10(3)(a), and as described earlier in the section. When any such evidences of investments are so registered in the name of a nominee, the bank or trust company shall be absolutely liable for any loss occasioned by the acts of such nominee with respect to such evidence of investments.

          Courier Service

          The chief business and financial officer (or officer authorized by law to make deposits) may, subject to the approval of the Board by resolution, enter into a contract with a courier service for the purpose of causing the deposit of public funds with a bank or trust company. The courier service shall be required to obtain a surety bond for the full amount entrusted to the courier, payable to the District and executed by an insurance company authorized to do business in the State of New York, with a claims-paying ability that is rated in the highest rating category by at least two nationally recognized statistical rating organizations, to insure against any loss of public deposits entrusted to the courier service for deposit or failure to deposit the full amount entrusted to the courier service.

          The District may agree with the depositary bank or trust company that the bank or trust company will reimburse all or part of, but not more than, the actual cost incurred by the District in transporting items for deposit through a courier service. Any such reimbursement agreement shall apply only to a specified deposit transaction, and may be subject to such terms, conditions, and limitations as the bank or trust company deems necessary to ensure sound banking practices, including, but not limited to, any terms, conditions. or limitations that may be required by the banking department or other federal or state authority.

          Annual Review and Amendments

          This policy will be annually reviewed by the Board and may be amended from time to time in accordance with the provisions of section 39 of the General Municipal Law.

          Internal Controls

          1. The chief business and financial officer or designee will authorize the purchase and sale of all securities and execute contracts for investments and deposits on behalf of the District. Oral directions concerning the purchase or sale of securities will be confirmed in writing. The District will pay for purchased securities upon the simultaneous delivery or book-entry thereof.
          2. The District will encourage the purchase and sale of securities through a competitive process involving telephone solicitation or group e-mails for at least three quotations.
          3. The independent auditors will audit the investment proceeds of the District for compliance with the provisions of this Investment Regulation.
          4. Investment reports will be furnished monthly to the Board if any investments are made using permitted investments as defined in Permitted Investments, Section A, #4, 5, 6, or 7.

          Definitions

          Agent Bank: A commercial bank or trust company under contract with the District to receive, pay for, safeguard, and account for investment securities purchased by the District. Other responsibilities will be defined in the agent bank agreement.

          Banks: As defined in Article III of the State Banking Law.

          Broker/Dealer: A financial firm, other than a commercial bank, engaged in the sale of U.S. Treasury obligations.

          strong>Certificate of Deposit: A negotiable receipt from a commercial bank or trust company for deposit of funds for a specified period of time at a specified rate of interest. A certificate of deposit ranges from fourteen days to one year, and the minimum amount is generally $100,000.

          Collateral: Securities pledged to secure repayment of certificates of deposit and money market accounts.

          Joint Custody Accounts: Account for the handling of securities purchased or held as collateral maintained in the names of both the District and the financial institution with whom they are dealing. The account is maintained by a third party (trust department is acceptable), which would provide written confirmation of securities held to the District. Written joint custody agreements are required, specifying such points as failure of the financial institution to return funds to the District at maturity and authorizing the custodian to release securities directly to the District.

          Mark to Market: The act of determining the current value of the securities.

          Primary Dealer: The largest and soundest broker/dealers as designated by the Federal Reserve Bank.

          Repurchase Agreement: Consists of a broker/dealer or bank selling U.S. Treasury securities for cash to the District and, at the same time, agreeing to buy them back on an established date and at an agreed upon price including interest. These short-term investments usually range from overnight to six months in term. Repurchase Agreements start at $100,000. Payment is made against the delivery of the securities. Delivery is required.

          Treasury Obligations: Consist of U.S. Government Treasury Bills, Bonds, and Notes.

          Treasury Bills: Short-term, direct obligations of the U.S. Government that are usually issued with maturities of three months, six months, or one year. Bills are offered in bearer form and are issued in amounts of $10,000 and up, in multiples of $5,000. Bills do not bear a stated interest rate; the interest is calculated by taking the difference between the discount price paid at purchase and the face amount (par) collected at maturity.

          Treasury Bonds and Notes: Direct obligations of the U.S. Government to pay a specified rate of interest for a specified period of time on the face value (par) of the instrument. Interest is paid semiannually, and the life of the notes is usually limited to ten years or under; bonds generally have maturities of ten to thirty years. Treasury notes with a maturity through three years can usually be purchased in $5,000 denominations and require a $5,000 minimum purchase. Treasury notes with a term longer than three years, and Treasury Bonds can usually be purchased in $1,000 denominations and require a $1,000 minimum purchase.

          Ref:

          • Education Law §§1604-a; 1723-a; 3651; 3652
          • Local Finance Law §165.00
          • General Municipal Law §§6-c-6-e; 6-j-6-n; 10; 11; 39

          Adoption date: June 19, 2002
          Re-approved: July 7, 2010
          Revised: July 6, 2011
          Reapproved: July 3, 2012
          Reapproved: July 2, 2013
          Reapproved: July 1, 2014
          Reapproved: July 7, 2015
          Reapproved: July 5, 2016
          Reapproved: July 12, 2017
          Reapproved: July 2, 2018
          Revised: June 19, 2019

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          Policy 6700 | Purchasing

          View the PDF version of the Purchasing Policy here.

          The Board of Education (the Board) of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) views purchasing as serving the educational program by providing necessary supplies, equipment and related services. Purchasing will be centralized in the business office under the general supervision of the purchasing agent designated by the Board.

          It is the goal of the Board to purchase competitively, without prejudice or favoritism, and to seek the maximum educational value for every dollar expended. Competitive bids or quotations shall be solicited in connection with purchases pursuant to law. The General Municipal Law requires that purchase contracts for materials, equipment and supplies involving an estimated annual expenditure exceeding $20,000 and public work contracts involving an expenditure of more than $35,000 will be awarded only after responsible bids have been received in response to a public advertisement soliciting formal bids. Purchases of the same commodity cannot be artificially divided for the purpose of avoiding the threshold. Similar procurements to be made in a fiscal year will be grouped together for the purpose of determining whether a particular item must be bid.

          Any purchases funded by federal grants and programs must be in compliance with the requirements of Title 2: Grants and Agreements, of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Part 200 – Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards (“Uniform Guidance”), §§200.318-200.326.

          The District’s purchasing activity will strive to meet the following objectives:

          A) To effectively supply all administrative units in the school system with needed materials, supplies, and contracted services;

          B) To obtain materials, supplies and contracted services at the lowest prices possible consistent with the quality and standards needed as determined by the purchasing agent in conformance with state law and regulation and in cooperation with the requisitioning authority. The educational and physical welfare of the students is the foremost consideration in making any purchase;

          C) To ensure that all purchases fall within the framework of budgetary limitations and that they are consistent with the educational goals and programs of the District;

          D) To maintain an appropriate and comprehensive accounting and reporting system to record and document all purchasing transactions; and

          E) To ensure, through the use of proper internal controls, that loss and/or diversion of District property is prevented.

          Opportunities shall be provided to all responsible suppliers to do business with the District. Suppliers whose place of business is situated within the District may be given preferential consideration only when bids or quotations on an item or service are identical as to price, quality, and other factors.

          Where permitted by law, purchases will may be made through available cooperative BOCES bids, or by “piggybacking” onto contracts of the United States or agencies thereof or the federal General Services Administration (GSA), the New York State contracts of the Office of General Services (OGS), departments or agencies of New York State, any New York State county, or any state or any county or political subdivision or district therein, or county contracts whenever such purchases are in the best interests of the District or will result in cost savings to the district. In addition, the District will make purchases from correctional institutions and severely disabled persons through charitable or non-profit-making agencies, as provided by law.

          It is the District’s responsibility to review each “piggybacking” contract corresponding to a proposed purchase, upon the advice of counsel as necessary, to determine whether the original contract does not conflict with state law or regulation, and meets the following requirements:

          A. the contract must have been let by the United States, or any agency thereof, any state, or any other political subdivision or district therein;

          B. the contract must have been made available for use by other governmental entities, including New York State local governments;

          C. the contract must have been let to the lowest responsible bidder or on the basis of best value, in a manner consistent with General Municipal Law §103. Those main elements are: (a) public solicitation of bids or offers; (b) secure or confidential bids or offers; (c) use of a common standard for bidders or offers to compete fairly; and (d) awarded to the lowest responsible bidder, or responsible offeror of best value, which optimizes quality, cost and efficiency.

          In accordance with law, the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) shall give a preference in the purchase of instructional materials to vendors who agree to provide materials in alternative formats. The term “alternative format” shall mean any medium or format for the presentation of instructional materials, in addition to traditional print textbook, that is needed as an accommodation for a disabled student enrolled in the District (or program of a BOCES), including but not limited to Braille, large print, open and closed captioned, audio, or an electronic file in a format compatible with alternative format conversion software that is appropriate to meet the needs of the individual student.

          The Board is also aware of the need to reduce exposure of students and staff to potentially harmful chemicals and substances used in cleaning and maintenance. In accordance with law, regulation and guidelines set forth by the Office of General Services (OGS), the District will purchase and utilize environmentally sensitive cleaning and maintenance products in its facilities whenever feasible. Environmentally sensitive cleaning and maintenance products will be procured in accordance with standard purchasing procedures as outlined in this policy and regulation. Cleansers purchased must, first and foremost, be effective so that the District may continue to purchase non-green products as necessary.

          In order to ensure that the District avails itself of advantageous purchasing opportunities, the Board authorizes the director of technology and information systems to represent the District in applying for federal programs designed to discount prices for goods and services. Specifically, the director of technology and information systems will abide by the rules and regulations associated with applying for telecommunications service discounts through the Universal Service Fund (E-Rate), in addition to complying with the local purchasing policies set forth by the Board. As with all purchasing activity, appropriate documentation of the application and purchase through any federal program will be maintained by the business office.

          Competitive Bidding

          Purchase contracts and public works contracts subject to competitive bidding will be awarded to the lowest responsible bidder. However, the Board authorizes that purchase contracts may be awarded on the basis of best value, as defined in State Finance Law §163. Other exceptions to competitive bidding are outlined below.

          In addition, the Board authorizes the receipt of sealed bids for purchase contracts in electronic format, pursuant to the provisions of General Municipal Law §103(1), which addresses proper documentation, authentication, security, and confidentiality of electronic bids.

          The District shall comply with the requirements of General Municipal Law §103-g, which prohibits, with few exceptions, competitive bidding contracts with entities that invest significantly in the Iranian energy sector, as outlined in the accompanying regulation.

          Exceptions to Competitive Bidding

          Competitive bidding, even if the dollar value of the purchase meets the threshold established above, is not required in the following circumstances:

          A. emergencies where time is a crucial factor

          B. procurements for which there is no possibility of competition (sole source items); or

          C. professional services that require special skill or training (see policy 6741 for guidance on purchasing professional services); or

          D. purchases such as surplus or second-hand items from governmental entities, certain food and milk items, or goods and services from municipal hospitals; or

          E. where the District is purchasing through (or is “piggybacking” onto) the contract of another governmental entity, where the original contract complies with the requirements of New York State law for competitive bidding.

          Purchasing when Competitive Bidding Not Required

          Goods and services that are not required by law to be procured by the District through competitive bidding will be procured in a manner so as to ensure the prudent and economical use of public monies, in the best interests of the taxpayers, to facilitate the acquisition of goods and services of maximum quality at the lowest possible cost under the circumstances, and to guard against favoritism, improvidence, extravagance, fraud and corruption.

          Alternative proposals or quotations will be secured by requests for proposals, written or verbal quotations or any other appropriate method of procurement, except for procurements:

          A. under a county contract;

          B. under a state contract;

          C. under a federal contract;

          D. under a contract of another political subdivision;

          E. of articles manufactured in state correctional institutions (correction LAN, 184 & 186); or

          F. from agencies for the blind and severely disabled.

          “Piggybacking” onto the contract of other governmental agencies is permitted where the original contract is in conformance with the goals of this section.

          General Purchasing Provisions

          The superintendent of schools, with the assistance of the purchasing agent, shall be responsible for the establishment and implementation of the procedures and standard forms for use in all purchasing and related activities in the District. Such procedures shall comply with all applicable laws and regulations of the state and the commissioner of education.

          No Board member, officer or employee of the District shall have an interest in any contract entered into by the Board or the District, as provided in Article 18 of the General Municipal Law.

          Comments will be solicited from those administrators involved in the procurement process before enactment of the District’s policies regarding purchasing and from time to time thereafter.

          The Board shall annually review and, when needed, update this policy and corresponding regulation.

          The unintentional failure to fully comply with the provisions of section 104-b of the General Municipal Law or the District’s policies regarding procurement will not be grounds to void action taken nor give rise to a cause of action against the District or any officer or employee of the District.

          Cross-ref: 9120.1, Conflict of Interest

          Ref:
          Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act of 2010 (Public Law 111-195)
          Education Law §§305(14); 409-i; 1604(29-a); 1709(4-a)(9)(14)(22); 2503(7-a); 2554(7-a)
          General Municipal Law §§102; 103; 103-g; 104; 104-b; 109-a; 800 et seq.
          State Finance Law §§ 97-g(3), (4), (5); 163; 163-b; 165-a
          County Law §408-a(2)
          8 NYCRR Part 114
          Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Part 200

          Adoption date: January 5, 2011
          Re-adoption date: July 6, 2011
          Re-approved: July 3, 2012
          Re-approved: July 2, 2013
          Re-approved: July 1, 2014
          Re-approved: July 7, 2015
          Re-approved: July 5, 2016
          Re-approved: July 12, 2017
          Re-approved: July 2, 2018
          Revised date: October 17, 2018

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          Policy 6700-E | Purchasing Exhibits

          View the PDF version of the Purchasing Exhibits here.

          Explanations of Other Methods of Competition to be Used for Non-Bid Procurements

          Emergencies: Informal solicitation of quotes or otherwise, to the extent practicable under the circumstances.

          Leases of Personal Property: Section 1725 of the Education Law requires that a District will be subject to competitive bidding requirements for purchase contracts when it enters into a lease of personal property.

          Second-Hand Equipment from Federal and State Governments: Section 103(6) of the General Municipal Law provides a statutory exception to the competitive bidding requirement by permitting the purchase of surplus and second-hand supplies, materials or equipment without competitive bidding from the federal or state governments or from any other political subdivision or public benefit corporation with the state.

          Certain Food and Milk Purchases: Section 103(a) and (10) of the General Municipal Law provides a statutory exception to the competitive bidding requirement by permitting a Board of Education to separately purchase eggs, livestock, fish and dairy products (including milk), juice, grains and varieties of fresh fruits and vegetables directly from producers, growers or certain processors without bidding.

          Certain Municipal Hospital Purchases: Section 103(8) of the General Municipal Law provides a statutory exception to the competitive bidding requirement by permitting the purchase of goods, supplies and services from municipal hospitals under joint contracts and arrangements entered into pursuant to section 2803-a of the Public Health Law.

          Sole Source: Section 103 of the General Municipal Law provides a statutory exception to the competitive bidding requirement in limited situations where there is only one possible source from which to procure goods or services required in the public interest (such as in the case of certain patented goods or services or public utility services).

          Adoption date: June 19, 2002
          Re-approved: January 5, 2011
          Re-approved: July 1, 2014
          Revised date: July 1, 2015
          Re-approved: July 5, 2016
          Re-approved: July 12, 2017
          Revised date: October 17, 2018

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          Policy 6700-R | Purchasing Regulation

          View the PDF version of the Purchasing Regulation here.

          The following sets forth the procedures for the procurement of goods and services by the Bethlehem Central School District (the District):

          I. Definitions

          Best Value

          : optimizing quality, cost and efficiency. The basis for best value shall reflect, whenever possible, objective and quantifiable analysis, and may also take into consideration small businesses or certified minority- or women-owned businesses as defined in State Finance Law §163.

          Purchase Contract: a contract involving the acquisition of commodities, materials, supplies or equipment. With respect to the district’s best value determinations, the term purchase contract includes contracts for service work, but excludes contracts necessary for the completion of a public work contract covered by the prevailing wage provisions of article 8 of the Labor Law, such as for building construction.

          Public Work Contract: a contract involving services, labor or construction

          II. General Municipal Law

          The General Municipal Law requires that purchase contracts for materials, equipment and supplies involving an estimated annual expenditure exceeding $20,000 and public work contracts involving an expenditure of more than $35,000 will be awarded only after responsible bids have been received in response to a public advertisement soliciting formal bids. Similar procurements to be made in a fiscal year will be grouped together for the purpose of determining whether a particular item must be bid.

          III. Competitive Bidding Required

          A. Method of Determining Whether Procurement is Subject to Competitive Bidding

          1. The District will first determine if the proposed procurement is a purchase contract or a contract for public work.

          2. If the procurement is either a purchase contract or a contract for public work, the District will then determine whether the amount of the procurement is above the applicable monetary threshold as set forth above.

          3. The District will also determine whether any exceptions to the competitive bidding requirements (as set forth below) exist (refer to section IV).

          4. All advertised bids shall include the following statement required by General Municipal Law 103-g: “By submission of this bid, each bidder and each person signing on behalf of any bidder certifies, and in the case of a joint bid each party thereto certifies as to its own organization, under penalty of perjury, that to the best of its knowledge and belief that each bidder is not on the list created pursuant to paragraph (b) of subdivision 3 of section 165-a of the state finance law.”

          B. Contract Combining Professional Services and Purchase

          In the event that a contract combines the provision of professional services and a purchase, the District, in determining the appropriate monetary threshold criteria to apply to the contract, will determine whether the professional service or the purchase is the predominant part of the transaction.

          C. Opening and Recording Bids; Awarding Contracts

          The purchasing agent or departmental directors will be authorized to open and record bids. Contracts will be awarded to the lowest responsible bidder or a purchase contract bid of best value (as recommended by the purchasing agent), who has furnished the required security after responding to an advertisement for sealed bids.

          In order to be considered a responsible bidder, entities must certify that they are not on the list created and maintained by the State Office of General Services cataloging significant investment in the Iranian energy sector. Such statement may be submitted electronically pursuant to General Municipal Law §103(1).

          Entities that cannot make this certification may only be awarded the bid if:

          1. The entity’s investment activities in Iran were made before April 12, 2012; the investment activities in Iran have not been expanded or renewed after that date; and the entity has adopted, publicized, and is implementing a formal plan to cease the investment activities in Iran and to refrain from engaging in any new investments in Iran; or

          2. The District makes a determination, in writing, that the goods or services are necessary for the District to perform its functions and that, absent such an exemption, the District would be unable to obtain the goods or services for which the contract is offered.

          In addition, the Board of Education (the Board) authorizes the receipt of sealed bids for purchase contracts in electronic format, pursuant to the provisions of General Municipal Law §103(1), which addresses proper documentation, authentication, security, and confidentiality of electronic bids.

          D. Documentation of Competitive Bids

          The District will maintain proper written documentation which will set forth the method in which it determined whether the procurement is a purchase or a public work contract. Proper written documentation will also be required when a contract is not awarded to the vendor submitting the lowest bid, setting forth the reasons therefore.

          E. Determination of Best Value

          Goods and services procured and awarded on the basis of best value are those that the District determines optimize quality, cost, and efficiency, among responsive and responsible bidders or offerors. Where possible, the determination shall be based on an objective and quantifiable analysis of clearly described and documented criteria as they apply to the rating of bids or offers.

          In evaluating and determining to accept a higher priced offer, the District generally should use a cost-benefit analysis to show quantifiable value or savings from non-price factors that offset the price differential of the lower price offers. These non-price factors can include, but are not limited to, reliability of a product or service, efficiency of operation, energy efficiency of a product, difficulty/ease of maintenance, useful lifespan, ability to meet needs regarding timeliness of performance, and experience of a service provider with similar contracts.

          The District must document its evaluation of the non-price factors in writing. The basis for the District’s best value award must reflect, whenever possible, objective and quantifiable analysis.

          F. Purchase of Instructional Materials

          In accordance with Education Law, the District shall give a preference in the purchase of instructional materials to vendors who agree to provide materials in alternative formats (i.e., any medium or format for the presentation of instructional materials, in addition to a traditional print textbook, that is needed as an accommodation for a disabled student enrolled in the district, including but not limited to Braille, large print, open and closed captioned, audio or an electronic file in an approved format).

          The District will establish and follow a plan to ensure that every student with a disability who needs his or her instructional materials in an alternative format will receive those materials at the same time that they are available to non-disabled students.

          G. Leases of Personal Property

          In addition to the above-mentioned competitive bidding requirements, section 1725 of the Education Law requires that the District will be subject to competitive bidding requirements for purchase contracts when it enters into a lease of personal property. This includes bus leases as well.

          H. Environmentally Sensitive Cleaning and Maintenance Products

          The District will purchase and utilize environmentally sensitive cleaning and maintenance products whenever feasible. The Purchasing Agent will consult with the Green Guidelines provided by the Office of General Services.

          Any legal issues regarding the applicability of competitive bidding requirements will be presented to the school attorney for review.

          IV. Exceptions to Competitive Bidding Requirements

          The District will not be subject to competitive bidding requirements when the Board of Education, in its discretion, determines that one of the following situations exists:

          A. Emergency situations where:

          1. the situation arises out of an accident or unforeseen occurrence or condition;

          2. a District building, property, or the life, health, or safety of an individual on District property is affected; or

          3. the situation requires immediate action that cannot await competitive bidding.

          However, when the Board passes a resolution that an emergency situation exists, the District will make purchases at the lowest possible costs, seeking competition by informal solicitation of quotes or otherwise, to the extent practicable under the circumstances.

          Documentation: The District will maintain records of verbal (or written) quotes, as appropriate;

          B. When the District purchases surplus or second-hand supplies, materials or equipment from the federal or state governments or from any other political subdivision or public benefit corporation within the state.

          Documentation: The District will maintain market price comparisons (verbal or written quotes) and the name of the government entity;

          C. When the District separately purchases eggs, livestock, fish and dairy products (other than milk), juice, grains and species of fresh fruits and vegetables directly from New York State producers or growers or associations of producers and growers, subject to the requirements of General Municipal Law section 103(9) and Commissioner’s Regulations section 114.3.

          Documentation: The District will maintain documentation consistent with section 114.3 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education;

          D. When the District separately purchases milk directly from licensed milk processors employing less than forty (40) people. The amount expended in any fiscal year by the District may not exceed an amount equal to twenty-five cents multiplied by the number of days in the school year multiplied by the total enrollment of the District or exceed the current market price.

          Documentation: The District will maintain documentation consistent with section 114.4 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education;

          E. When the District purchases goods, supplies and services from municipal hospitals under joint contracts and arrangements entered into pursuant to section 2803-a of the Public Health Law.

          Documentation: The District will maintain the legal authorization, Board authorization and market price comparisons;

          F. When there is only one possible source from which to procure goods or services required in the public interest.

          Documentation: The District will maintain written documentation of the unique benefits of the item or service purchased as compared to other items or services available in the marketplace; that no other item or service provides substantially equivalent or similar benefits; and that, considering the benefits received, the cost of the item or service is reasonable, when compared to conventional methods. In addition, the documentation will provide that there is no possibility of competition for the procurement of the goods; or

          G. When the District purchases professional services that require special skill or training, such as but not limited to, audit, medical, legal or insurance services, or property appraisals.

          Documentation: The District will use an RFP process for any professional services in excess of $20,000.

          V. Quotes When Competitive Bidding Not Required

          Goods and services that are not required by law to be procured by the District through competitive bidding will be procured in a manner so as to ensure the prudent and economical use of public monies in the best interests of the taxpayers. Alternative proposals or quotations will be secured by requests for proposals, written or verbal quotations or any other appropriate method of procurement, as set forth below.

          A. Methods of Documentation

          1. Verbal Quotations: the telephone log or other record will set forth, at a minimum: the date, item or service desired, price quoted, name of vendor, and name of vendor’s representative;

          2. Written Quotations: vendors will provide, at a minimum: the date, description of the item or details of service to be provided, price quoted, and name of contact.

          3. Requests for Proposals: the District will utilize (an RFP process) to engage professional services providers for any professional services in excess of $20,000.

          Refer to Exhibits 6700-E.1 and 6700-E.2 for further requirements as to type and number of quotes or other required documentation.

          B. Purchases/Public Work: Methods of Competition to be Used for Non-Bid Procurements; Documentation to be Maintained

          The District will require the following methods of competition be used and sources of documentation maintained when soliciting non-bid procurements in the most cost-effective manner possible:

          1. Purchase Contracts up to $20,000 and Public Work Contracts up to $35,000: refer to Exhibit 6700-E.1 for required number of verbal or written quotes, depending on dollar volume of purchases.

          2. Emergencies: Verbal quotes, insofar as practicable under the exigent circumstances. Documentation will include notations of verbal quotes.

          3. Property, Casualty and Liability Insurance: “Requests for Proposals” (RFPs) should be issued on a seven (7) year cycle.

          4. Professional Services: Documentation will include an RFP if services exceed $20,000 and written proposals if services are less than $20,000.

          5. Second Hand Equipment from Other Governments: Documentation will include market price comparisons (verbal or written quotes) and the name of the government.

          6. Written Quotes for Certain Food and Milk Purchases: Documentation will be consistent with sections 114.3 and 114.4 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education.

          7. Certain Municipal Hospital Purchases: Documentation will include the legal authorization, Board authorization, and market price comparisons.

          8. Sole Source: Documentation will include, among other things, the unique benefits of the patented item as compared to other items available in the marketplace; that no other item provides substantially equivalent or similar benefits; and that considering the benefits received, the cost of the item is reasonable, when compared to conventional methods. In addition, the District will document that there is no possibility of competition for the procurement of the goods.

          VI. Exceptions to Competitive Bidding Requirements

          The district will not be required to secure alternative proposals or quotations for those procurements:

          A. under a county contract;

          B. under a state contract;

          C. under a federal contract;

          D. under a contract of another political subdivision;

          E. of articles manufactured in state correctional institutions; or

          F. from agencies for the blind and severely disabled.

          “Piggybacking” onto the contract of other governmental agencies is permitted where competitive bidding requirements would otherwise apply, and the original contract is in conformance with the goals of the District’s policy and regulation for purchasing when competitive bidding is not required. Factors relevant to the decision to piggyback” may include cost, staff time, delivery arrangements, quality of goods and services, and suitability of such goods and services to the District’s needs. The District will keep documentation indicating why “piggybacking” is in the best interests of the District, copies of the original contract, and that the originating contract was let in a manner consistent with applicable competitive bidding requirements.

          VII. Procurements from Other than the “Lowest Responsible Dollar Offeror”

          The District will provide justification and documentation of any contract awarded to an offeror other than the lowest responsible dollar offeror, setting forth the reasons why such award is in the best interests of the District and otherwise furthers the purposes of section 104-b of the General Municipal Law.

          VIII. Internal Control

          The Board authorizes the superintendent of schools, with the assistance of the purchasing agent, to establish and maintain an internal control structure to ensure, to the best of their ability, that the District’s assets will be safeguarded against loss from unauthorized use or disposition, that transactions will be executed in accordance with the law and District policies and regulations, and recorded properly in the financial records of the District.

          Comments will be solicited from those administrators involved in the procurement process before enactment of the District’s regulations regarding purchasing and from time to time thereafter.

          All District regulations regarding the procurement processes will be reviewed by the Board at least annually.

          No person employed by the district shall participate in the selection, award, or administration of any contract on behalf of the District for the purchase, sale or lease of real or personal property, services of any nature, or for insurance with any business in which an immediate family member has a financial or other interest in, or a tangible personal benefit from, said business. (# 9120.1, Conflict of Interest).

          Any proposed purchases from businesses owned by an employee of the District must be reviewed and approved in advance by the chief business and financial officer.

          The unintentional failure to fully comply with the provisions of section 104-b of the General Municipal Law or the District’s regulations regarding procurement will not be grounds to void action taken or give rise to a cause of action against the District or any officer or employee of the District.

          Re-adoption date: January 5, 2011
          Re-adopted date: July 1, 2014
          Re-approved: July 7, 2015
          Re-approved: July 5, 2016
          Re-approved: July 12, 2017
          Revised date: October 17, 2018

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          Policy 6800 | Payroll Procedures

          View the PDF version of the Payroll Procedures Policy here.

          The Board of Education (the Board) of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) recognizes the importance of the payroll function to the effective administration of the District. The Board is also aware that this is an area at risk of fraud and abuse. The Board directs the superintendent to establish procedures to reasonably ensure the accuracy and integrity of the payroll system.

          A duly certified payroll is one that has been examined and approved by the superintendent or his/her designee. It shall be the responsibility of the chief business and financial officer and his/her staff to prepare all payrolls.

          The Superintendent or designee will initiate a periodic verification of the accuracy and appropriateness of the district payroll. Salary notices will be issued annually to all employees. Employees must sign and return the confirmation of earnings and employee benefits, as evidence of the accuracy and appropriateness of payroll data. The verification shall confirm that individuals listed on the payroll are currently employed by the district, and that the title, hours worked, and wages listed are correct.

          The procedure for determining employment status is outlined in policy 9500, Compensation and Benefits.

          Payroll procedures will also be reviewed annually by the independent auditor, and periodically by the internal auditor. The internal auditor will report findings and recommendations to the Board. It is the intention of the Board to take reasonable and necessary steps to safeguard the District’s payroll.

          Cross-ref:

          • 9500, Compensation and Benefits

          Ref:

          • Education Law Article 11; §§ 1604;1719;2116-a
          • Retirement and Social Security Law §34
          • 2 NYCRR §§315.3

          Adoption date: July 9, 2008
          Revised date: June 19, 2019

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          Policy 6900 | Disposal of District Property

          View the PDF version of the Disposal of District Property Policy here.

          Building administrators and supervisors of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) shall be responsible for identifying obsolete or surplus equipment and supplies in their areas of responsibility. At least annually, a determination shall be made of equipment and materials that are obsolete and cannot be salvaged or utilized effectively or economically by the District. Such items shall be sold at the highest possible price or otherwise disposed of, under the direction of the school business administrator.

          Following authorization from the school business administrator, the administrator or supervisor shall make arrangements with the director of Operations and Maintenance (O&M) for all items to be disposed of, except technology property and fleet vehicles. For technology items, arrangements should be made with the director of Technology. For fleet vehicles, arrangements should be made with the director of transportation. The directors of O&M,Technology and Transportation will be responsible for determining the appropriate means for disposal of property, as described below.

          Sale is not always the most appropriate means of disposal. Thus, the school business administrator and the directors of O&M, Technology, and Transportation are authorized to reassign surplus equipment and supplies and/or materials in the following manner:

          1. Transfer items to another building or department where needed;
          2. Transfer items to a centralized storage area for potential usefulness; or
          3. Use as a trade-in for new equipment.

          If these methods are exhausted, sale of the property is appropriate. Upon approval by the school business administrator, items may be sold or disposed of in the following manner:

          1. Sell items in a public sale, as competition usually results in the best price and is a good indicator of the District’s efforts to obtain the highest price possible. In the event of a public sale, notice of availability of such equipment and requests for bids shall be disseminated through the District-designated service for asset disposal. The general public, as well as staff members who are not Board of Education members, officers, or involved in the purchasing or sale function, shall be eligible to bid on the equipment and/or supplies. If an employee (or the employee’s immediate family) in the purchasing or sale function wishes to bid on the equipment and/or supplies, written authorization from the chief business and financial officer is required.
          2. If items do not sell and the asset has no discernable value, the items can be donated to a governmental or nonprofit organization.
          3. Sell remaining items as scrap, for the best obtainable amount. In order to maintain effective internal controls, all procedures established by the business office must be adhered to.
          4. Discarded in the safest, least expensive manner.

          Disposal of Textbooks

          Textbooks may lose their value to the educational program because of changes in the curriculum or may contain outdated material and /or be in poor condition.

          The assistant superintendent for instruction (or his/her designee) is authorized to dispose of textbooks in the following manner: sale of textbooks; donation to governmental or nonprofit organization, or dispose as trash.

          All proceeds from the sale of District equipment, supplies, and/or textbooks shall be deposited into the General Fund.

          Ref:

          • General Municipal Law §§51;800 et seq.

          Cross-ref:

          • 6645, Capital Assets Accounting
          • 6640, Inventories of Capital and Non-Capital Assets

          Adoption date: February 28, 2007
          Revised date: August 9, 2017
          Revised date: June 19, 2019

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          Policy 8131 | Pandemic Planning

          View the PDF version of the Pandemic Planning Policy here.

          The Board of Education (the Board) of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) recognizes the public’s concern over the possibility of a contagious disease outbreak and acknowledges that it is in the best interests of its students, employees and the community to prepare for such a scenario. To this end, the Board directs the superintendent to:

          1. Implement infection prevention control procedures that could help limit the spread of contagious diseases at schools in the District, including but not limited to:
            a. encouraging, through classroom instruction at every grade level, good hygiene habits recommended by public health experts to help protect the school community from contagious diseases (e.g., washing hands frequently with soap and water, coughing/sneezing into the crook of the elbow instead of one’s hand, and avoiding shaking hands);
            b. providing a description of warning signs and symptoms of contagious diseases infections and instruct parents and employees that students and staff displaying such symptoms should not report to school;
            c. providing sufficient and accessible infection prevention supplies including soap, tissues and receptacles for their disposal.
          1. Work with school administrators, District medical personnel, local county health representatives, teachers, guidance counselors, and other staff and parent representatives as appropriate, to prepare, as part of the District’s existing emergency/safety plan, a contagious disease preparedness plan. Such plan shall include, but not be limited to:
            a. Describing the potential impact of an outbreak on student learning (such as student and staff absences), school closing, and extracurricular activities based on having various levels of illness among students and staff and the alternative means of delivering education (e.g., educating students through the Internet, long-distance learning, telephone conference calls, etc.).
            b. Establishing procedures for caring for, isolating, and/or transporting students who become ill with contagious diseases while in school.
            c. Establishing liberal, non-punitive attendance policies for students unique to an outbreak of contagious diseases.
            d. Developing a process for gathering and analyzing the latest information and recommendations from health experts (for example, from the Centers for Disease Control, the New York State Health Department, and Albany County Department of Health) which will inform District policymakers’ decisions.
            e. Developing a process for communicating information concerning the outbreak of contagious diseases to the school community on a continuing basis. Such efforts may include preparing an information letter for distribution to parents and guardians of students advising them of the dangers of contagious diseases and the steps that may be taken to reduce the risk of infection, and/or establishing a section on the District’s website to communicate information about the District’s policy concerning contagious diseases and links to relevant governmental websites.
            f. Coordinating the District’s plan with the local and state health departments as well as the State Education Department and area BOCES.
            g. Assigning responsibility for the activities listed above to appropriate staff.
          2. Facilitate discussions with all negotiating units representing employees of the District to determine whether it is appropriate to consider opening up negotiations for the limited purpose of bargaining over the inclusion in collective bargaining agreements of provisions related to sick time and absences on the part of employees, who have been either diagnosed as having contracted contagious diseases that has caused the outbreak or who have family members who have contracted the contagious diseases that has caused the outbreak.

          In the event that the District implements its emergency plan in response to a pandemic, the Superintendent shall keep the Board regularly informed regarding any actions taken and information gathered.

          Adoption date: March 20, 2019

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          Policy 8413.2 | Transportation to Childcare Locations for Grades K-8

          View the PDF version of the Transportation to Childcare Locations for Grades K-8 Policy here.

          The Bethlehem Central School District (the District) shall provide transportation to students in grades K-8 between before/after childcare locations and school, but only for children attending public or nonpublic schools located within the school district boundaries.

          Transportation requests for students attending childcare locations must be received by the District no later than April 1st preceding the beginning of the next school year, and must be resubmitted for every school year thereafter no later than April 1st. If a student moves into the district later than April 1st, the request must be received within thirty days of establishing residence in the district.

          All late requests, however, shall be considered by the Board of Education on the basis of the merits of each case. Criteria used by the Board in judging whether to accept a late request may include, but not be limited to, the following:

          A. Requirements under State Education regulations and law.

          B. Whether transportation will require additional cost and/or lengthens the ride time for other students and, if so, the reasonableness of the excuse for the late request.

          Approved requests received during the school year may take up to five business days to process. Parents are strongly advised to call the Transportation Department before finalizing daycare location plans after April 1st.

          Requests for changes to childcare locations may be made before August 1st and after the third Monday in September. (No changes will be made within this period of time to allow the Transportation Department to adjust to the opening of school and to manage the bus runs efficiently.)

          A childcare location shall mean a place situated within the school district, other than the child’s home, where care for less than twenty-four hours a day is provided on a regular basis. This definition includes, but is not limited to, a variety of childcare services such as New York State licensed daycare centers and in-home care by relatives and nonrelatives. In-home shall mean at the home of the affected child and or the home of the relative or nonrelative, which is within the child’s school zone boundary. Child daycare, as defined in Section 390 of the Social Service law, shall not refer to care provided in: (A) a day camp, as defined in the state sanitary code (except as permitted below, for students attending District programs during the summer), or (B) an after-school program operated for the purpose of religious education, sports, or recreation.

          Because the District has more than one elementary school, such transportation will be restricted to childcare locations within the attendance zone of the school the child attends, except where the childcare program is licensed or registered pursuant to Section 390 of the Social Services Law. Transportation to such licensed or registered programs is not limited to a school attendance zone, but is provided anywhere within the school district boundaries. The parent or guardian requesting childcare transportation to a licensed NYS daycare location outside the child’s school attendance zone acknowledges that the request may require a longer ride time and may include a transfer point.

          Children are eligible for such transportation where the distance between the childcare location and school exceeds the District’s eligibility distance for transportation between home and school. Consequently, a child may be eligible for transportation to or from a childcare location even though not eligible for transportation to or from home.

          Students Attending District Summer Programs

          Students participating in District programs during the summer are entitled to District transportation in accordance with this policy. If a student is attending a NYS-licensed day camp, in accordance with NYS sanitary code, they may be eligible for District transportation if the following requirements are met:

          A. The day camp must be located within District boundaries.

          B. The day camp must operate as a NYS OCFS-licensed, school-age day care facility during the school year.

          C. The day camp must operate their program on-site, Monday through Friday, and have appropriate staffing and care for a child arriving at the program before or after the District’s summer program.

          Transportation requests for students attending childcare locations must be received by the District no later than June 1st preceding the beginning of the summer program, and must be resubmitted for every school year thereafter no later than June 1st.

          Ref: Education Law

          Adoption date: September 19, 2007
          Revised date: February 6, 2013
          Revised Date: October 17, 2018

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          Policy 8414.5 | Alcohol and Drug Testing of Bus Drivers

          View the PDF version of the Alcohol and Drug Testing of Bus Drivers Policy here.

          The Board of Education (the Board) recognizes the dangers inherent in alcohol and controlled substance use by employees, especially those in safety-sensitive positions. To ensure the safety of its students, the Board requires alcohol and controlled substance testing of certain Bethlehem Central School District (the District) “drivers,” operators of “other school buses,” and any other employee who is subject to such testing, in accordance with and as set forth in the applicable federal and state requirements.

          Definitions

          1. “Driver” includes any person who operates a commercial motor vehicle. This includes, but is not limited to: Full time, regularly employed drivers; casual, intermittent or occasional drivers; leased drivers and independent owner-operator contractors.
          2. “Other school buses” include those covered by applicable federal regulations (see list below) and any other motor vehicle either owned by the District or by a private company, operated to transport students, children of students, teachers, and other supervisory persons to or from school or school activities.

          Testing Responsibilities

          Consistent with federal regulations, the District shall directly, by contract, or through a consortium, implement and conduct a program to provide alcohol and controlled substance testing of drivers who operate a commercial motor vehicle, perform in a safety-sensitive position, and are required to hold a commercial driver’s license. Employees holding such positions include:

          1. drivers of vehicles designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver;
          2. drivers of commercial motor vehicles whose manufacturer’s rating is 26,001 lbs. or more; or
          3. any other employee who may drive or service a listed vehicle (e.g. a mechanic who performs test drives, repairs, inspects, or loads or unloads a vehicle listed in 1 or 2 above).

          Controlled substance and alcohol tests will be conducted for operators of all “other school buses” consistent with the procedures applicable to the implementation of federal regulations.  Volunteers who drive a bus with passengers fewer than 30 days per year are not subject to such testing.

          Generally, the required testing will be conducted at or prior to the time of employment and randomly throughout the school year. However, drivers are subject to additional testing under federal regulations when a supervisor has a reasonable suspicion that a driver has engaged in prohibited alcohol or controlled substance use; after certain accidents; prior to return to duty when the driver has been found to violate District policy and federal regulations; and after the driver’s return to duty.

          Driving Prohibition

          In accordance with federal and state law, a driver may not drive if he or she:

          1. possesses, consumes or is reasonably believed to possess or have consumed alcohol or a controlled substance, while on duty;
          2. uses or is under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance that is not lawfully prescribed within six hours or less before duty;
          3. has an alcohol concentration of 0.02 or higher, or tests positive for a controlled substance; or
          4. refuses to take a required alcohol or controlled substance test.

          Also, no driver shall use alcohol after being involved in an accident in which there was a fatality or in which the driver was cited for a moving violation and a vehicle was towed from the scene or an injury was treated away from the scene until he/she has been tested or 8 hours have passed, whichever occurs first.

          Enforcement of Driving Prohibitions

          The District will not require or permit drivers of vehicles listed above, as well as operators of all “other school buses” defined above, to be on duty or operate a listed vehicle or other school bus, if it appears that they have consumed a drug/controlled substance (except those lawfully prescribed) or alcohol within the preceding eight hours.  This shall be based on the person’s general appearance, conduct, or other substantiating evidence. Those who maintain, repair, or garage listed vehicles or school buses that involves incidental driving without passengers, are exempt from this requirement, but are still prohibited from consuming controlled substances and alcohol within six hours of going on duty.

          Response to Positive Testing Results

          Any driver who is tested and found to have an alcohol concentration of at least 0.02, but less than 0.04, shall be removed from the position until his or her next regularly scheduled duty period, but not less than 24 hours following administration of the test. Any driver found to have violated this requirement may be disciplined in accordance with the provisions of the applicable collective bargaining agreement, District policy, and/or law.  Operators of “other school buses” subject to random testing pursuant to New York Law will be subject to the same consequences based upon an alcohol concentration of at least 0.02 but less than 0.04 as drivers listed above.

          If a driver has an alcohol concentration of 0.04 or greater, or has engaged in prohibited alcohol or controlled substance use, he or she will be removed from driving duties, and referred to a substance abuse professional. The driver may be required to complete a treatment program and/or be disciplined pursuant to District policy and/or collective bargaining agreement. No driver who has abused controlled substances and/or alcohol may return to duty unless he/she has successfully passed a required return to duty test. Thereafter, the driver will be subject to follow-up testing.  Operators of “other school buses” subject to random testing pursuant to New York Law will be subject to the same consequences based upon an alcohol concentration of 0.04 or greater or a positive drug test as drivers listed above.

          Nothing herein shall require the District to return to duty any covered employee who has a breath alcohol concentration of 0.04 or greater, has tested positive for a controlled substance, or has refused to take a test. Such covered employee will be subject to disciplinary action by the District, up to and including discharge, in a manner consistent with the District’s pre-existing policies, practices, and any applicable laws and the collective bargaining agreement.

          Re-Testing

          Should the District receive a dilute test result in which the creatinine concentration is greater than 5mg/dL in the case of any pre-employment, return-to-duty, follow-up, reasonable suspicion, or random test, it is the policy of the District that the individual shall be re-tested and that re-test will become the test of record.

          Policy Distribution

          The superintendent shall ensure that a copy of this policy, the District’s policy on misuse of alcohol and use of controlled substances, information on alcohol and drug abuse and treatment resources and any other information prescribed by federal regulations is provided to all drivers and operators of “other school buses” prior to the initiation of the testing program and to each driver or operator of “other school buses” subsequently hired or transferred to a position subject to testing.

          Cross-ref:

          • 9320, Drug-Free Workplace

          Ref:

          • Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act of 1991, 49 U.S.C. §§31136; 31306
          • 49 U.S.C. §521(b)
          • 49 CFR Part 391 (Qualifications/Disqualifications) 
          • 49 CFR Part 382 (Drug and Alcohol Testing Requirements)
          • 49 CFR Part 40 (Testing Procedures) 
          • 49 CFR §395.20 (On-duty time defined)
          • Vehicle and Traffic Law, §§509-1; 1192; 1193
          • Will v. Frontier CSD Bd. of Educ., 97 N.Y.2d 690 (2002)

          Adoption date: June 19, 2002
          Revised date: May 22, 2019

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          Policy 8414.5-R | Alcohol and Drug Testing of Bus Drivers Regulation

          View the PDF version of the Alcohol and Drug Testing of Bus Drivers Regulation here.

          Any employee who operates a commercial motor vehicle, or other “school bus,” or is in a related safety-sensitive function described below shall be subject to alcohol and controlled substance testing in accordance with this regulations and applicable federal regulations and state law.  An employee having any questions concerning the Bethlehem Central School District’s (the District) policy or regulation, state law or applicable federal regulations shall contact the superintendent.

          Any treatment, rehabilitation program or discipline will be provided in accordance with District policy and/or collective bargaining agreements.

          I. Definitions

          1. Employees Covered Under Federal Law
            Employees covered under federal law include District employees who operate a commercial motor vehicle, perform in a related safety-sensitive position, and are required to obtain a commercial driver’s license. Such employees include:
          1. drivers of vehicles designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver;
          2. drivers of commercial motor vehicles whose manufacturer’s rating is 26,001 lbs. or more; or
          3. any other employee who may drive or service a vehicle listed in 1 or 2 above (e.g., a mechanic who performs test drives, repairs, inspects or loads or unloads a listed vehicle).

            Such employees include, but are not limited to full time, regularly employed drivers; casual, intermittent or occasional drivers; leased drivers and independent, owner-operator contractors who are either directly employed or under lease to an employer or who operate a commercial motor vehicle at the direction or with the consent of the District.
          • Employees Covered Under State Law
            Operators of “other school buses” are subject to testing as described in section III below.  Other “school buses” include both those covered by applicable federal regulations as stated above, and any other motor vehicle either owned by the District or by a private company, operated to transport students, children of students, teachers, and other supervisory persons to or from school or school activities.Certain specified employees will not be considered operators of “other school buses.”  They include:

            1. Volunteers who drive a school bus with passengers fewer than 30 days per year; and
            2. Employees engaged in the maintenance, repair or garaging of buses, who in the course of their duties must incidentally drive a vehicle not covered under federal law without passengers.

          • Safety Sensitive Function
            An employee is performing a safety-sensitive function that is covered by federal regulations when:

            1. waiting to be dispatched, unless the driver has been relieved from duty;
            2. inspecting, servicing or conditioning any commercial motor vehicle;
            3. driving a commercial motor vehicle;
            4. attending a vehicle being loaded or unloaded;
            5. performing the driver requirements of the federal regulations pertaining to accidents; and
            6. attending to a disabled vehicle.

          II. Driver Prohibitions and Consequences

          Employees covered under federal law are required to be in compliance with District policy and regulation at the following times:

          1. when performing any on-duty safety-sensitive functions, including all time from the time a driver begins to work or is required to be in readiness to work until the time the driver is relieved from work and all responsibility; and
          2. during all time spent providing a breath sample, saliva sample or urine specimen and travel time to and from the collection site in order to comply with random, reasonable suspicion, post-accident, return-to-duty or follow-up testing.
          3. Employees covered under both federal and state law are prohibited from driving a listed vehicle or performing other safety-sensitive duties if the employee:
            1. possesses, consumes or is reasonably believed to possess or have consumed alcohol or a controlled substance, while on duty;
            2. has consumed or is under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance that is not lawfully prescribed within six hours before duty;
            3. has an alcohol concentration of 0.02 or higher, or tests positive for controlled substances; or
            4. refuses to take a required alcohol or controlled substance test. Refusal to submit shall mean the failure to provide adequate breath or urine without a valid medical explanation, receipt of verified adulterated or substituted drug test result, or to engage in conduct that clearly obstructs the testing process, such as a failure to arrive for the drug testing or failure to sign the alcohol testing form prior to specimen collection.
            5. In addition, an employee covered under federal law is prohibited from consuming alcohol within eight hours after being involved in an accident, or before undergoing a post-accident test, if such a test is required. Illegal drug use by drivers is prohibited on or off duty.
          4. Drivers who violated the above prohibitions will be subject to the following enforcement actions:
            1. Employees covered under federal law will be removed from their safety-sensitive functions if they violate the District’s policy or federal regulations pertaining to the possession or consumption of alcohol or controlled substances.
            2. The Supervisor of Transportation or his/her designee will not require or permit employees covered under state law to be on duty or operate a listed vehicle or other school bus, if it appears that they have consumed a drug/controlled substance (except those lawfully prescribed) or alcohol within the preceding eight hours.  This shall be based on the person’s general appearance, conduct, or other substantiating evidence. Those who maintain, repair, or garage listed vehicles or school buses that involves incidental driving without passengers, are exempt from this requirement, but are still prohibited from consuming controlled substances and alcohol within six hours of going on duty.
            3. Any covered employee who tests 0.02 or greater but less than 0.04 will be removed from driving and other safety-sensitive duties until the start of the driver’s next regularly scheduled duty period, but not less than 24 hours following administration of the test.
            4. In the event that any covered employee has a breath alcohol concentration of 0.04 or greater, has tested positive for a controlled substance or has refused to take a test, he or she will, in addition to immediate removal from driving and any other safety-related duties, not be returned to duty until he or she:
              1. has been evaluated by a substance abuse professional;
              2. has complied with any treatment recommendations; and
              3. has received a satisfactory result from a return to duty test.
          5. Upon return to duty, the employee will be subject to follow-up testing.
          6. Nothing herein shall require the District to return to duty any covered employee who has a breath alcohol concentration of 0.04 or greater, has tested positive for a controlled substance, or has refused to take a test. Such covered employee will be subject to disciplinary action by the District, up to and including discharge, in a manner consistent with the District’s preexisting policies, practices, and any applicable laws and the collective bargaining agreement.While New York Law permits the use of medical marijuana, federal law still prohibits its use.  Any driver tested under the federal regulations, who tests positive for marijuana, even if such use is based upon a lawful certification under state law, will be found to have violated the federal regulations (DOT Office of Drug and Alcohol Policy and Compliance, Medical Marijuana Notice (Oct. 2009) at: https://www.transportation.gov/odapc/medical-marijuana-notice).

          III. Types of Testing

          The superintendent and the director of Transportation shall ensure that the following alcohol and drug tests are conducted and that any employee who is required to take such a test is notified prior to the test that it is required pursuant to federal regulations. Notice will also be given in the case of pre-employment alcohol testing, that such test is required by state law.

          1. Pre-employment: Controlled substance and alcohol tests will be conducted before all applicants are hired or after an offer to hire, but before actually performing safety-sensitive functions for the first time. These tests will also be given when employees covered under federal or state law transfer to a safety-sensitive function.
          2. Post-accident: Alcohol and controlled substance tests will be conducted if a driver covered under federal law is involved in an accident in which:
            1. there has been a fatality; or
            2. the driver has received a citation for a moving violation in connection with the accident pursuant to the time limitations specified in the regulation, and either:
              1. there is an injury treated away from the scene of the accident; or
              2. there is a disabled vehicle towed from the scene.
          3. Reasonable Suspicion: Alcohol and controlled substance tests will be conducted if when the Transportation Supervisor or other school official who has completed the minimum two hours of training has a reasonable suspicion that the driver covered under federal law has violated District policy and regulation. A “reasonable suspicion” must be based on specific, contemporaneous, articulable observations concerning the driver’s behavior, appearance, speech or body odors that are characteristic of controlled substance or alcohol misuse. Alcohol tests can only be done just before, during or just after the employee covered under federal law drives a listed vehicle or performs other safety-sensitive duties. The supervisor who makes the determination of reasonable suspicion cannot do the testing.
          4. Random Testing: For employees covered under federal law, random alcohol tests shall be conducted annually at a minimum rate established annually by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Random alcohol tests must be conducted just before, during or just after the employee drives a listed vehicle or performs other safety-sensitive duties. For employees covered under federal law, random controlled substance tests shall be conducted annually at a minimum rate established annually by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Random controlled substance tests may be conducted at any time. Random alcohol and controlled substance tests must be unannounced and spread reasonably throughout the calendar year.New York law requires employees covered by state law to be tested in conformance with federal regulations 49 CFR Part 382.  Although federal regulations permit employers to perform random testing beyond what they require, a separate pool must be maintained for those employees covered by state law who do not meet federal requirements. The separate pool for these employees will be subject to testing at the same minimum rate annually established for drivers subject to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulations.
          5. Return-to-Duty Testing: Any covered employee who refused to take a test or has engaged in prohibited alcohol and controlled substance use, except for alcohol concentration of between 0.02 and 0.04, shall be required to take an alcohol or controlled substance test and achieve a satisfactory result before returning to duty in the safety-sensitive position. If removal was due to alcohol use, a satisfactory result will be less than 0.02 alcohol concentration. If removal was due to controlled substance use, a satisfactory result will be one that it is verified as negative. The test will not be administered until the employee has been evaluated by a substance abuse professional and has complied with any treatment recommendations.
          6. Follow-Up Testing: After any covered employee who was found to violate the District’s policy against alcohol and controlled substance use returns to duty, he or she will be subject to at least six unannounced tests in the first 12 months following the employee’s return to duty. Follow-up testing may be extended for up to 60 months from the date of the employee’s return to duty. Follow-up alcohol testing may only be conducted before, during or after the driver has performed his or her driving duties.
          7. Disciplinary Action: Nothing herein shall require the District to return to duty any covered employee who has a breath alcohol concentration of 0.04 or greater, has tested positive for a controlled substance, or has refused to take a test. Such covered employee will be subject to disciplinary action by the District, up to and including discharge, in a manner consistent with the District’s pre-existing policies, practices, and any applicable laws and the collective bargaining agreement.

          IV. Testing Procedures

          1. Alcohol Testing Procedures
            Alcohol testing will be conducted with evidential breath testing (EBT) devices approved by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. An approved non-evidential screening device may be used to perform screening tests but not for confirmation alcohol tests. The employee and the Breath Alcohol Technician conducting the test must complete the alcohol testing form to ensure that the results are properly recorded.

            1. Two breath tests are required to determine if a person has a prohibited alcohol concentration. A screening test is conducted first. Any result less than 0.02 alcohol concentration is considered a “negative” test.
            2. If the alcohol concentration is 0.02 or greater, a second or confirmation test must be conducted. The confirmation test must be conducted using an EBT that meets the requirements of federal regulations.
            3. If the confirmation test results indicate an alcohol concentration from 0.02 to 0.03999, the employee will be restricted from duty for at least 24 hours from the time of the test.
            4. If the confirmation test results indicate an alcohol concentration equal to or greater than 0.04, the employee will be removed from all safety-sensitive duties and no return to duty will be permitted until the employee has successfully passed required return-to-duty tests. The employee must also be reviewed by a Substance Abuse Professional and comply with his/her recommendations. Follow-up tests will also be required.
            5. Nothing herein shall require the District to return to duty any covered employee who has a breath alcohol concentration of 0.04 or greater, has tested positive for a controlled substance, or has refused to take a test. Such covered employee will be subject to disciplinary action by the District, up to and including discharge, in a manner consistent with the District’s pre-existing policies, practices, and any applicable laws and the collective bargaining agreement.
            6. For post-accident testing, the results of breath or blood tests conducted by law enforcement officials will be accepted as long as the testing conforms with federal and state requirements for alcohol testing and the results are made available to the District. All testing procedures will conform to the requirements outlined in federal regulations (49 CFR Part 40) for ensuring the accuracy, reliability and confidentiality of test results. These procedures include training and proficiency requirements for Breath Alcohol Technicians, quality assurance plans for the EBT devices including calibration, requirements for suitable test location, and protection of employee test records.

          2. Drug Testing Procedures
            The employee must provide a urine specimen at a collection site that meets federal requirements which will be analyzed at a laboratory certified and monitored by the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services.

            1. Regulations require that each urine specimen be divided into one “primary” specimen and one “split” specimen.
            2. All urine specimens are analyzed for the following drugs or drug metabolites (by-products of the body metabolizing a drug):
              1. Marijuana (metabolites)
              2. Cocaine metabolites
              3. Amphetamines (including methamphetamines, MDA and MDMA)
              4. Opioids (including natural opiates such as codeine, morphine, heroin, and semi-synthetic opioids such as hydrocodone, hydromorphone, oxycodone, and oxymorphone)
              5. Phencyclidine (PCP)
            3. If the primary specimen confirms the presence of one or more of these drugs, the employee has 72 hours to request that the split specimen be sent to another certified lab for analysis. [Note: The employee must be removed from driving duties at this time–pursuant to federal regulations, the driver’s removal cannot await the result of split sample.]
            4. All drug test results will be reviewed and interpreted by a physician (also called a Medical Review Officer) before they are reported to the District.
            5. If the laboratory reports a positive result to the Medical Review Officer (MRO), the MRO shall interview the employee to determine if there is an alternative medical explanation for the drugs found in the employee’s urine specimen. If the employee provides appropriate documentation and the MRO determines that it is legitimate medical use of a prohibited drug, the drug test result is reported as negative.
            6. If the MRO reports a positive drug result, the employee must be evaluated by a substance abuse professional and follow his/her recommendations prior to taking a return-to-duty test. Follow-up testing is also required.
            7. For post-accident testing, the results of urine tests conducted by law enforcement officials will be accepted as long as the testing conforms with federal and state requirements for controlled substance testing and the results are made available to the District.All controlled substance testing shall comply with the requirements of the federal regulations (49 CFR Part 40) including procedures for the proper identification, security and custody of the sample, use of certified laboratories, assurance that all drug test results are reviewed and interpreted by a physician, and ensuring confidentiality of employee test records.

          V. Dilute Specimen Testing

          If the District receives a drug test result which is negative but dilute and the creatinine concentration is greater than 5mg/dl, the District shall require a re-test to be conducted in each of the following cases:

            1. Pre-employment tests
            2. Return-to-duty tests
            3. Follow-up tests
            4. Reasonable suspicion tests
            5. Random tests
            6. The result of the re-test shall become the test of record. If the employee refuses to take the re-test it will be considered the same as a positive test result.

          VI. Training

          The Supervisor of Transportation and every other person designated to determine whether reasonable suspicion exists to require an employee covered by federal law to undergo reasonable suspicion testing must receive at least one hour of training on alcohol misuse and at least one additional hour of training on controlled substance use which they will use in making their determinations.

          VII. Recordkeeping and Reporting

          The Transportation Supervisor shall ensure that alcohol and drug testing records are maintained pursuant to applicable regulation and are available, if requested, for submission to the federal government or any State or local officials with regulatory authority over the employer or any of its drivers.

          The following personal information must be reported to the Department of Transportation (DOT) Clearinghouse for employees subject to DOT testing:

            1. a verified positive, adulterated or substituted drug test result;
            2. an alcohol confirmation tests with a concentration of 0.04 or higher;
            3. a refusal to submit to any test required by the regulations;
            4. An employer’s report of actual knowledge of on duty alcohol use, pre-duty alcohol use, alcohol use following an accident, and controlled substance use;
            5. A substance abuse professional’s report of the successful completion of the return-to-duty process;
            6. A negative return-to-duty test; and
            7. An employer report of completion of follow-up testing.

          VIII. Required Notification

          Every covered employee shall receive information about the signs, symptoms, and effects of alcohol misuse and controlled substance use as well as a copy of the District’s policy and procedures, the consequences of testing positive and who to contact within the District to seek further information and/or assistance.

          Each covered employee is required to sign a statement certifying that he/she has received this information. The District shall maintain the original signed certification until the employee’s employment is discontinued. The District will provide a copy of the certification to the covered employee upon request.

          IX. Penalties

          Any treatment, rehabilitation program or discipline will be provided in accordance with applicable law and regulations, District policy and/or collective bargaining agreements.

          Any employer or driver who violates the requirements of the federal regulations of the Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act of 1991 may be subject to civil penalties.

          In addition, in accordance with New York State law, a driver convicted of driving a listed vehicle with one or more student passengers while impaired by the use of drugs or alcohol will have his/her license revoked for one year and is subject to fines ranging from $500 to $5,000 and/or imprisonment. Any driver convicted more than once in 10 years for such crimes will have his/her license revoked for three years and is subject to a fine of $1,000 to $5,000 and/or imprisonment.

          Adoption date: June 19, 2002
          Revised date: May 22, 2019

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          Policy 8414.5-E | Alcohol and Drug Testing of Bus Drivers Exhibit

          View the PDF version of the Alcohol and Drug Testing of Bus Drivers Exhibit here.

          I, ____________________, have received, read and understand the Alcohol and Drug Testing Program policy and regulation. I consent to submit to the alcohol and drug testing program as required by law and district policy and regulation.

          I understand that if I am being required to submit to a pre-employment alcohol test, such test is required pursuant to district policy for employment with the district and not pursuant to federal regulations.

          I understand that if I violate district policy, regulation or the law, I may be subject to discipline up to and including termination or I may be required to successfully participate in a substance abuse evaluation and, if recommended, a substance abuse treatment program. If I am required to and fail to or refuse to successfully participate in a substance abuse evaluation or recommended substance abuse treatment program, I understand I may be subject to discipline up to and including termination.


          _______________________________________           __________________ 
          Signature of Employee                                    Date

          Adoption date: June 19, 2002
          Reapproved date: May 22, 2019

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          Policy 8505 | Meal Charge Policy

          View the PDF version of the Meal Charge Policy here.

          The District’s goal is to provide student with access to nutritious no-or low-cost meals each school day to ensure that a pupil whose parent/guardian has unpaid school meal fees is not shamed or treated differently than a pupil whose parent/guardian does not have unpaid meal fees. The purpose of this policy is to ensure compliance with federal and state requirements for the USDA Child Nutrition Program, and to provide oversight and accountability for the collection of outstanding student meal balances, while also ensuring that students are not stigmatized, distressed, or embarrassed,

          Unpaid charges place a large financial burden to our school. Charging of items outside of the reimbursable meals (a la carte items, adult meals, etc.) is expressly prohibited. The Board of Education recognizes that, on occasion, students may not bring meal money to school, and will allow limited charging of school meals as follows:

          Grades K-8

          Students in grades K-8 will be provided with their meal of choice from the available reimbursable meal choices for that specific school day if requested. Parent/guardian(s) may provide written permission to the school to withhold a meal if they do not want the school to allow their child(ren) to charge meals.

          The service of a charged meal will not appear any different than service of a regular meal. School staff will not discuss a student’s account status with them unless specifically asked by the student.

          High School (9-12)

          Students in grades 9-12 will not be allowed to charge school meals without prior permission from the Food Service director or office staff.

          District Staff

          Staff members may purchase food from the District’s food services. However, all purchases must be paid for at the point of sale. Staff members are not allowed to charge meals or a la carte items to be repaid later.

          General Guidelines

          A computerized point of sale (POS) system will be used to discreetly record all charged meals. Meals will meet USDA meal pattern requirements and be included on federal and state meal reimbursement claims. The District will work with students and their families to ensure that each child’s nutritional needs are met each day. No student who requests one will be denied a meal at school.

          The District will post this policy and an income based application for free/reduced meals on the District website and include policy information in the back-to-school packets annually. A free, printed copy of the income based application for free/reduced meals may be requested from the District food service department or school office. If the District becomes aware that a student who has not submitted a meal application is eligible for free or reduced priced meals, the District will complete and file an application on behalf of the student using administrative prerogative per federal regulations 7 CFR, Part 245.6 (d). District liaisons for homeless, foster, and migrant students will coordinate with the food service department to ensure such students are receiving free meals in accordance with federal law. At a minimum, the District will conduct monthly direct certification with NYSSIS to maximize free eligibility to students who qualify.

          Staff will be trained annually and throughout the year as needed on the procedures for managing meal charges using an approved training program. Staff training includes ongoing eligibility certification for free or reduced price meals.

          Prohibition Against Meal Shaming

          In the case of a student who cannot pay for a meal or who has accrued meal debt, the following actions are expressly prohibited:

          a. Announcing or publicizing the names of children with unpaid meal charges

          b. Sending clearly marked notices home with children who have an outstanding balance

          c. Using hand stamps, wristbands, stickers, or other physical markers to identify children with outstanding meal charges

          d. Requiring children with unpaid meal charges to do chores or other work

          e. Throwing a child’s meal in the trash

          f. Taking any action directed at the student to collect unpaid meal charges

          g. Discussing any outstanding meal debt in the presence of other students

          h. Serving alternate meals (i.e., cheese sandwich)

          i. Using a debt collector

          Communication and Collection

          A. The District will make available an online payment and account management system that provides parents with the ability to track purchases, account balances, and to set scheduled alerts and payments.

          B. School food service employees will not communicate account balance information with K-8 students unless a specific request is made by the student. Furthermore, any information relayed to students from school staff will be done in a discrete, polite and nonjudgmental fashion.

          C. On a weekly basis, the Food Service office will send email notifications to the primary parent/guardian of students who have outstanding negative balances.

          D. Parents/guardians will be contacted via any available method on file after a negative balance goes unpaid for more than two weeks and/or if the student owes money for five or more meals.

          E. The District will make every attempt to determine if the student is directly certified to be eligible for free meals. If a student cannot be directly certified, the District will make at least two attempts to contact the parent or guardian to fill out a free/reduced meal application. The District will provide assistance with the application, determine if there are other issues within the household that have caused the child to have insufficient funds to purchase a school meal, and offer any other assistance that is appropriate.

          Account Balances, Refunds, and Transfers

          All negative balances must be paid prior to the end of each school year. If a negative balance remains at the end of the school year, the district may transfer funds from sibling accounts to cover the balance due. If there are remaining funds on a student account at the end of the school year, those funds will be carried over to the next school year. When students leave the District or graduate, the District will attempt to contact the parent/guardian and return funds for amounts greater than $5.00. Residual balances remaining after one full school year from the time the student transferred out of the District will be applied for the benefit of economically disadvantaged families. Parents/guardians may request the funds be transferred between students at any time during the school year in writing, by email, or by phone request.

          Ref: Guidance Memo, State Education Department, Child Nutrition Program; “Student Meal Charge Policy,” May 2017

          Adoption Date: July 1, 2009
          Revised Date: December 20, 2017
          Revised Date: October 17, 2018

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          Policy 9120.1 | Conflict of Interest

          View the PDF version of the Conflict of Interest Policy here.

          The Board of Education (the Board) is committed to avoiding any situation in which the existence of simultaneous, conflicting interests in any officer or employee may call into question the integrity of the management or operation of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District). Therefore:

          No person employed by the District shall hire, supervise, evaluate, promote, review or discipline any other employee who is a member of the same immediate family. (Note: for the purpose of this policy, the “immediate family” is defined as husband, wife, domestic partner, mother, mother-in-law, stepmother, father, father-in-law, stepfather, son, son-in-law, stepson, daughter, daughter-in-law, stepdaughter, brother, brother-in-law, stepbrother, sister, sister-in-law, stepsister, grandmother, grandfather, grandchildren, any relative living as a member of an employee’s household, etc.) In the event that marriage, promotion, or reorganization results in a situation not in compliance with this policy, reassignment or transfer will be effected, in accordance with the applicable provisions of any collective bargaining agreement, to correct the situation.

          No person employed by the District shall negotiate or execute any contract on behalf of the District for the purchase, sale, or lease of real or personal property, or services of any nature, if an immediate family member is a party to the contract or a principal within a business that is a party to the contract.

          No person employed by the District shall allow any matter, concern, or interest, personal, financial, or otherwise, to influence or interfere with the performance of his or her duties. Should such a matter, concern, or interest arise, the employee shall bring the matter to the attention of his or her supervisor to seek ways to reduce or eliminate the influence or interference.

          The Board affirms its commitment to adhere scrupulously to all applicable provisions of law regarding material conflicts of interest.

          Reporting Concerns

          Each employee has a responsibility to disclose potential conflicts and any situation that might raise the inference of impropriety.

          Any person who seeks to report a potential conflict of interest should contact a supervisor, the chief business and financial officer, the director of human resources, or the superintendent.

          Once a potential conflict is brought to the attention of a supervisor, the chief business and financial officer, the director of human resources, or the superintendent, he or she shall maintain a written record evaluating the potential conflict and, where appropriate, the reasonable steps taken to minimize the risk of undue bias.

          Penalties

          In addition to any penalty contained in any other provision of law, any employee who shall knowingly and intentionally violate any of the provisions of the Board’s Conflict of Interest policy may be fined, suspended, or removed from office or employment, as the case may be, in the manner provided by law.

          Cross-ref:

          • 2160, School District Officer and Employee Code of Ethics

          Ref:

          • Education Law §§ 410, 3016
          • General Municipal Law Art. 18, §§ 801-813
          • Labor Law §201-d
          • Dykeman v. Symonds, 54 AD2d 159 (4th Dep’t 1976)

          Adoption date: November 3, 2010
          Revised date: May 22, 2019

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