Annual Notifications

Access to Student Records/Privacy

Under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), parents and students who are over 18 years of age (“eligible students”) have the right to inspect and review the student’s educational records. Such a request must be sent in writing to Deputy Superintendent Dr. David Hurst, Bethlehem Central School District, 700 Delaware Ave., Delmar, NY 12054. Arrangements will be made to provide access to such records within 45 days after the request has been received.

Parents also have the right to request the amendment of the student’s education records believed to be inaccurate or misleading by writing to the Chief Business and Financial Officer, identifying the record and specifying what they believe is inaccurate and why. And they have the right to consent to disclosure of personally identifiable information in a student’s education record, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. It is the district’s policy to disclose personally identifiable information from student records, without consent, to school district officials with legitimate educational interests (i.e., to fulfill professional responsibilities) and, upon request, to another school district or institution in which a student seeks enrollment. School officials include administrators, supervisors, instructors and support staff employed by the district; Board of Education members; a person or company (e.g., attorney, auditor or therapist) with whom the district has contracted to perform a special task; or a parent or student serving on an official committee or assisting another school official in performing duties. If the school opts not to amend the record as requested, the eligible student or parent will be notified of the decision and of their right to a hearing. Parents who believe the district has not complied with FERPA requirements may file a complaint with the Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Educa-tion, Washington, DC, 20202-4605.

Student Directory Information

Consistent with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), student directory information (defined as name, grade, school, town of residence, photograph, participation in activities and/or sports, and any honors or awards received) may be released for publicity purposes to the media or other organizations. The purpose of doing this is to enable student activities and accomplishments to be publicized and for the creation of such publications as the annual yearbook, programs for graduations, concerts and other special events, sports activity sheets and honor roll or recognition lists. Achievements are typically publicized on the school website and through school district social media, press releases to the local media and official district publications. Directory information can also be disclosed to outside organizations without a parent’s prior written consent. Outside organizations include, but are not limited to, companies that manufacture class rings or publish yearbooks.

Parents/guardians who object to the release of their child’s directory information should notify in writing both the superintendent of schools and their child’s building principal within 14 days of the start of each school year. While the district will honor the request of any parent who has submitted written notification opting their child out of the release of directory information, the district is not responsible for media that cover news happenings, sporting events, or other school events that are open to the public, such as plays and musical performances.

Parents’ Bill of Rights for Data Privacy and Security

Updated Jan. 2020

Pursuant to New York Education Law §2-d and 8 NYCRR § 121.3(a), the Bethlehem Central School District (the “District”) is providing the following Parents’ Bill of Rights for Data Privacy and Security: 

A student’s personally identifiable information (“PII”) cannot be sold or released for any commercial or marketing purposes. 

Parents have the right to inspect and review the complete contents of their child’s education record, including any student data maintained by the Bethlehem Central School District. This right of inspection of records is consistent with the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA”). Under New York Education Law §2-d, the rights of inspection are extended to include data, meaning parents have the right to inspect or receive copies of any data in their child’s educational record. 

State and federal laws protect the confidentiality of PII and safeguards associated with industry standards and best practices, including but not limited to, encryption, firewalls and password protection, must be in place when data is stored or transferred. 

A complete list of all student data elements collected by the state is available for public review in an Excel file at http://www.p12.nysed.gov/irs/sirs/documentation/NYSEDstudentData.xlsx

Parents may also obtain a copy of this list by writing to the Office of Information & Reporting Services, New York State Education Department, Room 863 EBA, 89 Washington Avenue, Albany, N.Y. 12234. 

Parents have the right to have complaints about possible breaches of student data addressed. Complaints must be made in writing and should be directed to: Director of Technology, Bethlehem Central School District, 700 Delaware Avenue, Delmar, NY 12054, email: esheevers@bethlehemschools.org

Complaints to the New York State Department of Education (“SED”) should be directed to: Chief Privacy Officer, New York State Education Department, 89 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY 12234.  The SED e-mail address is cpo@mail.nysed.gov. 

If you would like more information, please contact: Director of Technology, Bethlehem Central School District, 700 Delaware Avenue, Delmar, NY 12054.

More information is also available on the following websites: 

Online Learning Platforms – Privacy Best Practices

If learning must move online at any time, the Bethlehem Central School District ensures that all online learning platforms that include personally identifiable information (PII) are compliant with both FERPA and NYS Education Law 2-d, which protects the privacy of students, teachers and principals. Families of students can assist the district in maintaining privacy by: Discouraging non-students from observing virtual classrooms, and avoiding recording and sharing of virtual lessons, to minimize inadvertent disclosure of PII. Understanding that recording the virtual classrooms may create education records that are subject to FERPA regulations, as listed above.


Asbestos Management Plan

In accordance with the EPA Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act, the Bethlehem Central School District has in place an asbestos management plan to identify and manage asbestos building materials. The Asbestos Management Plan (AMP) for the district is kept on file at the district office at 700 Delaware Ave., Delmar. These records are available for review during regular business hours (8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) or by making an appointment. For more information, contact the Assistant Superintendent for Business in the district business office at 518-439-7481. Information about required inspections and any scheduled asbestos projects occurring this school year is contained within the AMP and is available on the district website.


Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR)

 New York State Education Law requires each classroom teacher and school principal to receive an annual professional performance review (APPR) that results in a composite effectiveness score and rating. All parents/guardians have the right to obtain the APPR quality ratings and composite effectiveness scores for their child’s current teacher(s) and principal(s) once they are available. To initiate this request, please contact your child’s principal in their corresponding school. Please note that on May 13, 2022, Governor Hochul signed legislation to extend the suspension period for completing APPR reviews for teachers and principals through the 2021-2022 school year. 


Body Mass Index Data

As part of a required school health examination, a student is weighed and his/her height is measured. These numbers are used to figure out the student’s body mass index or ‘BMI’. The BMI helps the doctor or nurse know if the student’s weight is in a healthy range or is too high or too low. New York State Education Law requires that BMI and weight status group be included as part of the student’s school health examination. Each year, a sample of school districts are selected to take part in a survey by the New York State Department of Health (DOH).

When the district is selected to be part of the survey, parents will be notified that physical exams from the previous school year will be used for that NYS report. Bethlehem will NOT be surveyed in the 2022-23 school year, however, it is likely the district will be required to provide this information in 2023-24. When surveyed by the state, only summary information is sent. No names or information about individual students are sent. Parents may choose to have a child’s information excluded from this survey report. An opt-out form is made available to parents when the district is notified that it will be part of the BMI survey. 


Code of Conduct

The Bethlehem Central School District is committed to providing a safe and orderly school environment where students may receive, and District personnel may deliver quality educational services without disruption or interference. The District is committed to ensuring each student is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged; helping students develop self-discipline and social and emotional growth; and guiding students in improvement and corrections of inappropriate, unacceptable and unsafe behaviors. Responsible behavior by students, teachers, other District personnel, parents and other visitors is expected, as it is essential to achieving this goal. For this to happen, everyone in the school community must demonstrate and offer respect to others.

The District has a long-standing set of expectations for conduct on school property and at school functions. These expectations are based on the principles of civility, mutual respect, citizenship, character, tolerance, honesty, and integrity. These expectations are reviewed and updated annually and are included in the District’s Code of Conduct.


Dignity for All Students Act (DASA)

The goal of the Dignity for All Students Act is to provide students with a safe, supportive education environment that is free from discrimination, intimidation, taunting, harassment and bullying. Some of the law requirements include: establishing anti-harassment and discrimination policies, creating school training programs and including a course in civility, citizenship and character education in the curriculum for every grade level. To view the policies and process for reporting harassment, bullying and discrimination, visit the District’s Dignity for All Students page on the district website District’s Dignity for All Students page.


Child Abuse Hotline

If you suspect a child is being abused or maltreated (neglected), report it by calling 1-800-342-3720, a toll-free 24-hour hotline operated by the New York State Office of Children and Family Services. If you believe a child is in immediate danger, call 911 or your local police department. Information about reporting child abuse and maltreatment (neglect) is available online at http://ocfs.ny.gov/main/cps/.


Instructional Technology Plan

As required by Commissioner’s Regulation 100.12, the Bethlehem Central School District maintains an Instructional Technology Plan to help support achievement and engagement through the seamless integration of technology into teaching and learning, improve learning experiences for students and increase equitable access to technology-rich learning experiences for students and staff. Bethlehem Central School District’s plan is available here.


Integrated Pest Management

New York State Education Law requires schools to provide written notification to all parents/guardians and staff members regarding the potential use of pesticides periodically throughout the school year. The district maintains a list of all individuals who wish to receive 48-hour prior written notification of certain pesticide applications. If you would like to receive 48-hour notifications of pesticide applications that are scheduled to occur, please contact Operations & Maintenance Department, 518-439-2123. In the event of an emergency application necessary to protect against an imminent threat to human health, a good faith effort will be made to supply written notification to those on the 48-hour prior notification list. Some pesticide applications are not subject to notification requirements, including anti-microbial products, EPA-designated biopesticides and exempt materials, and when a school remains unoccupied for a continuous 72-hours following an application. For more information on requirements, please contact the Operations & Maintenance Department, 518-439-2123.


Non-Discrimination Policy

The Bethlehem Central School District does not discriminate on the basis of race (defined as, but not limited to, ancestry, color, ethnic group identification, and ethnic background, as well as traits historically associated with race including hair texture and protective hairstyles), color, national origin, creed, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, age, military status or any other protected status in its educational programs, employment or any other activities and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups. Further, it is unlawful for an employer to retaliate against any individual because that person filed a complaint, opposed any unlawful practice or testified or assisted in an investigation or proceeding. Any inquiries and complaints regarding non-discrimination in the district may be referred to: Title IX/Section 504 Coordinator, Sex/Handicap Discrimination, Kathleen Johnston, Director of Special Education and Students Services, 700 Delaware Ave., Delmar, NY 12054; (518) 439-4921. New Title IX regulations took effect in 2020 to protect students, employees, applicants for admission and employment, and other persons from all forms of sex discrimination, including discrimination based on gender identity or failure to conform to stereotypical notions of masculinity or femininity. District personnel have received training on the new Title IX regulations. 


Teacher Qualifications

Under the Every Student Succeeds Act, parents/guardians have the right to know the professional qualifications of their child’s classroom teachers, including: whether a teacher has state certification for the grade levels and subjects he or she is teaching; the teacher’s baccalaureate degree major and any other certifications or degrees; and whether their child receives services from paraprofessionals and, if so, their qualifications. Requests for the above information may be directed in writing to Assistant Superintendent for Educational Programs & Instruction Dr. David Hurst, 700 Delaware Ave., 17 Delmar, NY 12054.


Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR)

All parents/guardians will have the right to obtain the Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR) quality ratings and composite effectiveness scores for their child’s teacher(s) and principal(s) once the scores are officially available in accordance with state law. For additional details Find the APPR plan here.


Student Privacy

Under the Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA), parents have the right to inspect and opt their child out of any student survey that reveals information about personal attitudes, behaviors or beliefs. Students 18 years or older also have the option to opt out of those surveys as well. Parents also have the right to receive notice of and opt their child out of any activities that involve the collection, disclosure or use of a student’s personal information for marketing purposes and out of any non-emergency, invasive physical exam or screening, except for hearing, vision and scoliosis screenings or as permitted or required by state law.


Release of Student Information to Military Recruiters, Colleges

Pursuant to federal law, the Bethlehem Central School District must provide to military recruiters and institutions of higher education, upon request, the names, addresses and telephone numbers of high school students only. Parents/guardians or students age 18 or older who do not want this information released to military recruiters and/or institutes of higher education should contact the Bethlehem Central High School Counseling Office.


Hand Sanitizer

The Bethlehem Central School District will be making alcohol-based hand sanitizers available in its school buildings during the 2021-22 school year. If parents wish to opt their child out of using it, they should send a written notice to their child’s building principal.