The Bethlehem Central School District is required to provide the following notifications to parents and guardians on an annual basis. They are as follows:
- Annual Go Home Early Drill
- Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR)
- Asbestos Management Plan
- Body Mass Index Reporting
- Code of Conduct
- Child Abuse Hotline
- Dignity for All Students (DASA)
- Discrimination, Harassment, Hazing and Bullying
- Dress Code
- The Dominic Murray Sudden Cardiac Arrest Prevention Act
- Free and Reduced-Price Meals
- Grade Promotion and Placement
- Hand Sanitizer
- Idling School Buses on School Grounds
- Instructional Technology Plan
- Integrated Pest Management
- Lead Testing in Schools
- Non-Discrimination Policy
- Student Privacy and Student Records
- Teacher Qualifications
Each October, the Bethlehem Central School District chooses one day when students are sent home 15 minutes early in order to test the district’s Emergency Management Plan. The “Go Home Early Drill” is required once a year by the New York State Education Department. The drill date is published each year in the district calendar and on the website calendar. The purpose of the early dismissal drill is to test the effectiveness of the transportation and communications systems in the event of an emergency.
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.
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 Chief Business and Financial Officer 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.
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 be surveyed in the 2023-24 school year. When surveyed by the state, only summary information is sent. No names or information about individual students are sent. Parents/guardians may choose to have a child’s information excluded from this survey report. Parents/guardians may choose to have a child’s information excluded from this survey report. To opt your student out of the BMI survey, please contact your child’s school nurse.
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.
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/.
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.
It is essential that students are able to pursue their academic goals and extracurricular activities in a respectful environment. The Board of Education has enacted a policy that strictly prohibits all forms of discrimination, harassment, hazing & bullying. This regulation sets forth detailed guidelines for reporting, investigating, and remedying allegations of discrimination, harassment, including sexual harassment, hazing, and bullying of students. The policy applies to students and staff members on all school grounds, as well as buses. The policy also states that students and staff members with knowledge of discrimination, harassment, hazing, and/or bullying should report such activity to a school official promptly. Expectations for student behavior are covered at assemblies and at various programs throughout the year. Parents and students are also encouraged to learn more about the Harassment, Hazing & Bullying policy in the online policy manual (Policy No. 0115). This policy is reviewed regularly and updated.
Students who display signs and symptoms of pending sudden cardiac arrest during athletics or physical activities must be removed from such activities and receive clearance from a health care provider. Learn more about the Dominic Murray Sudden Cardiac Arrest Prevention Act.
All students are expected to dress appropriately for school and school functions. Students and their parents have the primary responsibility for acceptable student dress and appearance. Teachers and all other District personnel should exemplify professional and appropriate attire, reinforce acceptable student dress, and help students develop an understanding of appropriate appearance in the school setting.
School staff shall enforce the dress code consistently and in a manner that does not reinforce marginalization or oppression of any group based on race, sex, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion, cultural observance, household income, or body type/size.
All students should be able to dress comfortably for school and engage in the educational environment without fear of or actual unnecessary discipline or body shaming. The full dress code can be found as part of the Code of Conduct, reviewed each year by the Board of Education.
Families may be eligible for students to receive breakfast and lunch free of charge. View 2023-24 Free and Reduced Meal eligibility information here.
It is essential that each child experience both challenge and success from school activities. To this end, 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 to meet the needs of such children. The district’s promotion and placement policy was adopted by the board of education following a review by the district administration.
The Bethlehem Central School District will be making alcohol-based hand sanitizers available in its school buildings during the 2023-24 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.
State law requires school districts to take steps to minimize the idling of the engines of school buses and other school vehicles on school grounds. While students are boarding and departing school buses, the engine should be turned off. Students should be instructed about the importance of getting on and off buses in an orderly and efficient fashion to minimize loading and unloading time. Bus engines should also be off while parked at sporting events and other school activities. Exceptions to this “no idling” policy can be made in cases of emergency, mechanical issues or for necessary heating.
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.
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.
State law requires school districts to test all water outlets currently or potentially used for drinking or cooking purposes in buildings that may be occupied by students for lead and submit those samples to a state-approved lab for analysis. Testing last took place in the 2020-21 school year and must be completed every three years thereafter unless the state Commissioner of Health requires testing sooner.
The state established an action level of 5 micrograms per liter of lead per liter. This action level was set by the state in 2022. If a sample from a water outlet exceeds this level, schools must take steps to prevent the use of the outlet for drinking or cooking purposes until it is remediated and follow-up testing confirms it is no longer above the action level.
School districts are required to report the results of all water testing to the state Department of Health, the state Education Department and the local health department, and to post the results—along with remediation plans, if required—on the official district website. The latest results from Bethlehem can be found here.
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. 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.
Any inquiries and complaints regarding non-discrimination in the district may be referred to:
For students: Dr. David Hurst, Deputy Superintendent/Title IX Coordinator, 700 Delaware Ave., Delmar, NY 12054. (518) 439-4921.
For employees: Amy Baluch, Title IX/Section 504 Coordinator, Human Resources Director, 700 Delaware Ave., Delmar, NY 12054. (518) 439-4921.
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 in Publications/Media
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: Chief Technology Officer, Bethlehem Central School District, 700 Delaware Avenue, Delmar, NY 12054, email: firstname.lastname@example.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 email@example.com.
If you would like more information, please contact: Chief Technology Officer, Bethlehem Central School District, 700 Delaware Avenue, Delmar, NY 12054.
More information is also available on the following websites:
- New York State Department of Education: http://www.nysed.gov/student-data-privacy
- U.S. Department of Education: https://www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/guidance-schools-issued-how-keepparents-better-informed-data-they-collect-stude
- Privacy Technical Assistance Center (PTAC): http://ptac.ed.gov/
Additional Student Privacy Information
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.
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.
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 Dr. David Hurst, Deputy Superintendent, 700 Delaware Ave., 17 Delmar, NY 12054