main content starts here

Goals & Objectives (Series 0000)

 All policies are listed in policy number order. If you would like to search the page by policy title or policy number, hit the Control and F keys (Command and F if you’re on a Mac) at the same time and type in your keyword or policy number. Otherwise the Goals & Objectives Policies are as follows:


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

[back to top of page]


Policy 0100 | Equal Opportunity and Nondiscrimination

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

The Board of Education, its officers, and employees shall not discriminate against any student, employee, or applicant on the basis of legally protected classes such as, but not limited to: race; color; national origin; creed; religion; marital status; sex (including pregnancy, childbirth or related medical condition); age; sexual orientation; disability (physical or mental); predisposing genetic characteristic; military work or status; domestic violence victim status; or use of a guide dog, hearing dog, or service dog, as applicable. The District will provide notice of this policy in accordance with federal and state law and regulation.

This policy of nondiscrimination includes access by students to educational programs, counseling services for students, course offerings, and student activities, as well as recruitment and appointment of employees and employment pay, benefits, advancement, and/or terminations.

Annual Notification

At the beginning of each school year, the District shall publish a notice of the established grievance procedures for resolving complaints of discrimination to parents/guardians, employees, students, and the community. The public notice shall:

  1. Inform parents, employees, students, and the community that all aspects of the education programs are offered without regard to actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression or sex, and any other class protected by law.
  2. Provide the name, address, and telephone number of the person designated to coordinate activities concerning discrimination.
  3. Be included in announcements, bulletins, catalogues, and applications made available by the District.

The superintendent has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the District’s nondiscrimination policies. Contact information for the superintendent is available on the District’s website. Complaints of sexual harassment are covered by policy # 0110.

The Board authorizes the superintendent to establish such rules, regulations, and procedures necessary to implement and maintain this policy.

Cross-ref:

  • 0110, Sexual Harassment
  • 5030, Student Complaints and Grievances
  • 5300, Code of Conduct
  • 9140.1, Staff Complaints and Grievances

Ref:

  • Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. §12101 et seq.
  • Title VI, Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. §2000d et seq. (nondiscrimination based on race, color, and national origin in federally assisted programs)
  • Title VII, Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. §2000e et seq. (nondiscrimination based on race, color, and national origin in employment)
  • Title IX, Education Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. §1681 et seq. (nondiscrimination based on sex)
  • §504, Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. §794
  • Individuals with Disabilities Education Law, 20 U.S.C §§1400 et seq.
  • Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 P.L. 110-233 34 C.F.R. §§ 100.6, 104.8, 106.9, 110.25
  • Executive Law §290 et seq. (New York State Human Rights Law)
  • Education Law §§313(3), 3201, 3201-a

Adoption date: May 19, 2010
Revised date: June 21, 2017

[back to top of page]


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 IIIBoard 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

[back to top of page]


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:

a. submission to that conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment or a student’s education;

b. 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

c. 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 Rights Revised 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

[back to top of page]


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 form is 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


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:

a. 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;

b. 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;

c. 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. District policy and federal law prohibit retaliation against complainants and witnesses;

3. the District will attempt to prevent any retaliation; and

4. the 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:

a. discussion with the accused, informing him or her of the District’s policies and indicating that the behavior must stop;

b. suggesting counseling and/or sensitivity training;

c. conducting training for the department or school in which the behavior occurred, calling attention to the consequences of engaging in such behavior;

d. requesting a letter of apology to the complainant;

e. writing letters of caution or reprimand; and/or

f. separating the parties.

9. Parent/Student/Employee/“Non-Employee” Involvement and Notification

a. Parents of student targets and accused students shall be notified within one (1) school day of allegations that are serious or involve repeated conduct.

b. The parents of students who file complaints are welcome to participate at each stage of both informal and formal investigation and resolution procedures.

c. 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.

d. 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.

e. 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:

a. A list of all documentation and other evidence reviewed, along with a detailed summary;

b. A list of names of those interviewed along with a detailed summary of their statements;

c. A timeline of events;

d. A summary of prior relevant incidents, reported or unreported;

e. A determination, based on a preponderance of the evidence, as to whether each incident of alleged conduct did or did not occur; and

f. 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 at https://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

[back to top of page]


Policy 0115 | Harassment, Hazing & Bullying

View the PDF version of the Harassment, Hazing & Bullying Policy here.

The Board of Education is committed to providing an educational and working environment that promotes respect, dignity and equality. The Board recognizes that harassment, hazing and bullying is detrimental to student learning and achievement, as well as the productivity and efficiency of the employees. It interferes with the mission of the district to educate its students and disrupts the operation of the schools. Such behavior affects not only the students or employees who are its targets but also those individuals who participate and witness such acts.

To this end, the Board condemns and strictly prohibits all forms of harassment, hazing and bullying on school grounds (including all school facilities, O&M, Transportation, Ed. Services Center), school buses and at all schoolsponsored activities, programs and events including those that take place at locations outside the district.

For the purposes of this policy, the terms “harassment”, “hazing”, and “bullying” collectively shall refer to any intentional written, verbal, or electronic communication or physical act which intimidates or threatens others.

If the harassment is of a sexual nature, the District’s policy and regulation on Sexual Harassment, Nos. 0110, and 0110-R provide additional information and clarification on the district’s responsibilities in this area.

In order for the Board to effectively enforce this policy and to take prompt corrective measures, it is essential that all victims and persons with knowledge of harassment, hazing and bullying report such behavior immediately to a school district staff member, who will immediately report it to a supervisor/director or the building administrator. The district will promptly investigate all complaints, formal or informal, verbal or written. To the extent possible, all complaints will be treated in a confidential manner, although disclosure may be necessary to complete a thorough investigation.

If, after appropriate investigation, the district finds that a student, an employee or a third party has violated this policy, prompt corrective action will be taken in accordance with the applicable collective bargaining agreement, district policy and state and federal law.

All complainants and those who participate in the investigation of a complaint have the right to be free from retaliation of any kind.

The Superintendent of Schools shall maintain and implement regulations for reporting, investigating and remedying allegations of harassment, hazing and bullying. These regulations are to be attached to this policy. In addition, training programs shall be established for students and employees to raise awareness of the issues surrounding harassment, hazing and bullying to implement preventative measures to help reduce incidents of harassment, hazing and bullying.

This policy shall be posted in a prominent place in each district facility and shall also be published in student registration materials, student, parent and employee handbooks, and other appropriate school publications.

Cross-ref:

  • 0110, Sexual Harassment
  • 5300, Code of Conduct

Ref:

  • Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. §12101 et seq.
  • Title VI, Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. §2000d et seq.
  • Title VII, Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. §2000e et seq.; 34 CFR §100 et seq.
  • Title IX, Education Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. §1681 et seq.
  • §504, Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. §794
  • Individuals with Disabilities Education Law, 20 U.S.C §§1400 et seq.
  • Executive Law §290 et seq. (New York State Human Rights Law)
  • Education Law §§313(3), 3201, 3201-a
  • Davis v. Monroe County Board of Education, 526 U.S. 629 (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)

Adoption date: May 19, 2010

[back to top of page]


Policy 0115-R | Harassment, Hazing & Bullying Regulation

View the PDF version of the Harassment, Hazing & Bullying Regulation here.

This regulation sets forth detailed guidelines for reporting, investigating and remedying allegations of harassment, hazing and bullying.

Definitions

For the purposes of this policy, the terms “harassment”, “hazing”, and “bullying” collectively shall refer to any intentional written, verbal, or electronic communication or physical act which intimidates or threatens others when such conduct or communication:

  • interferes with a student’s academic performance or participation in school sponsored activities or an employee’s work performance;
  • creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive educational or work environment;
  • results in physical or emotional harm to a student or employee;
  • damages the property of a student or employee;
  • places a student or employee in reasonable fear of physical harm or damage to his/her property; or
  • the effect of substantially disrupting the orderly operation of the school.

“Bullying” is a form of harassment that consists of inappropriate behavior including threats or intimidation of others, treating others cruelly, terrorizing, coercing, or habitual put-downs and/or badgering others.

“Hazing” is a form of harassment which involves committing an act against a student or coercing a student into committing an act that creates a risk of emotional, physical or psychological harm to a person, in order for the student to be initiated into or affiliated with a student organization, or for any other purpose. The fact that the victim may consent to the act does not excuse the behavior or lessen the offense.

Reporting Complaints

Any victim or person with knowledge of harassment, hazing, and/or bullying by a student, district employee or third party related to the school should report the complaint to a school district staff member, who will immediately report it to a supervisor/director or the building administrator as soon as possible after the incident so that it may be effectively investigated and resolved.

In order to assist investigators, individuals should document the harassment, hazing, and/or bullying as soon as it occurs and with as much detail as possible including: the nature of the incident(s); dates, times, places it has occurred; name of perpetrator(s); witnesses to the incident(s); and the victim’s response to the incident. 

Confidentiality

It is district policy to respect the privacy of all parties and witnesses to complaints of harassment, hazing, and/or bullying. 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. district policy and applicable law prohibit retaliation against complainants and witnesses;
  3. the district will not tolerate any retaliation against complainants and witnesses; and
  4. the 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, hazing and/or bullying and preventing the harassment, hazing and/or bullying of other students or employees.

Investigation and Resolution Procedure

A. Initial (Building-level) Procedure

Whenever a complaint of harassment, hazing, and/or bullying is received, whether verbal or written, it will be subject to a preliminary review and investigation. Except in the case of severe or criminal conduct, the supervisor/director or the building administrator should make all reasonable efforts to resolve complaints at the building level. The goal of building level procedures is to end the harassment, hazing, and/or bullying and obtain a prompt resolution to a complaint. 

As soon as possible but no later than three working days following receipt of a complaint, the supervisor/director or the building administrator should begin an investigation of the complaint by:

  • Reviewing any written documentation provided by the victim(s).
  • Conducting separate interviews of the victim(s), alleged perpetrator(s), and witnesses, if any, and documenting the conversations.
  • Providing the alleged perpetrator(s) a chance to respond and notify him/her that if objectionable behavior has occurred, it must cease immediately and that the individual may be subject to discipline.

Parents of student victims and accused students should be notified within one school day of allegations that are serious or involve repeated conduct.

Where appropriate, informal methods may be used 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. mediation;
  5. requesting a letter of apology to the victim;
  6. writing letters of caution or reprimand; and/or
  7. separating the parties.

Appropriate disciplinary action shall be recommended and imposed in accordance with district policy, the applicable collective bargaining agreement or state and federal law.

The supervisor/director or the building administrator shall report back to both the victim 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. If the complaint involves a student, parents will receive the notification. The victim shall report immediately if the objectionable behavior occurs again or if the alleged perpetrator retaliates against him/her.

If a complaint contains evidence or allegations of serious or extreme harassment, hazing, or bullying, the complaint shall be referred promptly to the Superintendent. In addition, where the supervisor/director or the building administrator has a reasonable suspicion that the alleged harassment, hazing or bullying incident involves criminal activity, he/she should immediately notify the Superintendent, who shall then contact the school attorney, appropriate child protection and law enforcement authorities. 

Any party who is not satisfied with the outcome of the initial investigation by the supervisor/director or the building administrator may request a district-level investigation by submitting a written complaint to the Superintendent within 30 days.

B. District-level Procedure

The Superintendent shall promptly investigate and resolve all harassment, hazing and bullying complaints that are referred to him/her, as well as those appealed to the Superintendent following an initial investigation by a supervisor/director or the building administrator. In the event the complaint involves the Superintendent, the complaint shall be filed with or referred to the Board President, who shall refer the complaint to an appropriate individual for investigation.

The district level investigation should begin as soon as possible but not later than three working days following receipt of the complaint by the Superintendent or Board President.

In conducting the formal district level investigation, the district will endeavor to use individuals who have received formal training regarding such investigations or that have previous experience investigating such complaints.

If a district investigation results in a determination that harassment, hazing, or bullying did occur, prompt corrective action will be taken to end the misbehavior. Where appropriate, district investigators may suggest mediation as a means of exploring options of corrective action and informally resolving the complaint.

No later than 30 days following receipt of the complaint, the Superintendent (or in cases involving the Superintendent, the Board-appointed investigator) will notify the victim and alleged perpetrator, in writing, of the outcome of the investigation. If additional time is needed to complete the investigation or take appropriate action, the Superintendent or Board-appointed investigator will provide all parties with a written status report within 30 days following receipt of the complaint.

Where incidents involve violations of civil rights, such as to issues of race, color, national origin, creed, religion, marital status, sex, age, sexual orientation, disability or predisposing genetic characteristics, and any other class protected by law, the victim and the alleged perpetrator have the right to be represented by a person of their choice, at their own expense, during investigations and hearings. In addition, victims have the right to register complaints with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights. 

Employee victims also have the right to register complaints with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the New York State Division of Human Rights. Nothing in these regulations shall be construed to limit the right of the complainant to file a lawsuit in either state or federal court.

Retaliation Prohibited

Any act of retaliation against a person that files a complaint of harassment, hazing, or bullying is prohibited and potentially illegal, and therefore subject to disciplinary action. Likewise, retaliation against any person who has testified, assisted, or participated in any manner in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing of a harassment, hazing, or bullying 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, and any other form of harassment. Any person who retaliates is subject to immediate disciplinary action, up to and including suspension or termination.

Discipline/Penalties

Any individual who violates this policy by engaging in prohibited harassment, hazing, or bullying 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.
  • Vendors: 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.

Training

All students and employees shall be informed of this policy in student and employee handbooks and student registration materials. A poster summarizing the policy shall also be posted in a prominent location at each school.

All employees shall receive information about this policy and regulation at least once a year. Administrative employees who have specific responsibilities for investigating and resolving complaints of harassment, hazing and bullying shall receive yearly training on this policy, regulation and related legal developments.

Principals in each school shall be responsible for informing students and staff on a yearly basis of the terms of this policy, including the procedures for filing a complaint and the impact of harassment, hazing, and bullying on the victim and the bystander.

Adoption date: July 7, 2010

[back to top of page]


Policy 0150 | HIV/AIDS Policy

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

The Board of Education recognizes the public concern over the health issues surrounding Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). The Board recognizes, based upon the current state of medical knowledge, that the virus associated with AIDS is not easily transmitted and there is no evidence that AIDS or the HIV virus can be transmitted by casual social contact in the open school setting.

The Board further recognizes the privacy rights of students diagnosed with HIV infection or AIDS and their right to a free appropriate public education; the rights of HIV infected employees to privacy and reasonable accommodations; the rights of all non-infected individuals to a safe environment; and the rights of all students to instruction regarding the nature, transmission, prevention, and treatment of HIV infection, pursuant to the Commissioner’s Regulation, Part 135.3.

No individual shall be denied access to any program or activity sponsored by or conducted on the grounds of the district, solely on the basis of his/her status as an HIV-infected individual.

Students

It is the policy of the Board that:

  1. A student’s education shall not be interrupted or curtailed solely on the basis of his/her HIV status. HIV-infected students shall be afforded the same rights, privileges, and services available to every other student.
  2. No student shall be referred to the Committee on Special Education solely on the basis of his/her HIV status. A student who is infected with HIV shall be referred to the Committee on Special Education (CSE) only when the student’s disability interferes with his/her ability to benefit from instruction. Such referral shall be made in accordance with Part 200 of Commissioner’s Regulations.
  3. If a student who is HIV-infected requires special accommodations to enable him/her to continue to attend school, the student shall be referred to the appropriate multi-disciplinary team as required by §504 of the Rehabilitation Act.
  4. No disclosure of HIV related information involving a student shall be made without first obtaining the informed consent of the parent, guardian or student on the Department of Health (DOH) approved form. (See the generic Department of Health Authorization of Release of Confidential HIV Related Information.)

Employees

It is the policy of the Board that:

  1. No employees shall be prevented from continuing in his/her employment solely on the basis of his/her HIV status; such employees are entitled to all rights, privileges, and services accorded to other employees and shall be entitled to reasonable accommodations to the extent that such accommodations enable such individuals to perform their duties.
  2. No disciplinary action or other adverse action shall be taken against any employee solely on the basis of his/her status as an HIV infected or a person with AIDS. Such action will only be taken where, even with the provision of reasonable accommodations, the individual is unable to perform his/her duties.
  3. All employees shall have access to the district’s exposure control plan as required by the federal Office of Safety and Health Association (OSHA).
  4. In accordance with OSHA regulations, training in universal precautions and infection control shall be offered to all employees and shall be provided to every employee with potential occupational exposure.

Confidentiality

Any information obtained regarding the HIV status of an individual connected to the school shall not be released to third parties, except to those persons who are:

  1. named on an Authorization for Release of Confidential HIV Related Information form;
  2. named in a special HIV court order; or
  3. as indicated in Public Health Law §2782, when necessary to provide health care to the individual (i.e., to the school physician and the school nurse).

If disclosure occurs pursuant to a signed release or order, the information shall only be released to those listed on such forms or order, for the time period specified and only for the purpose stated on the form or order. The law specifically prohibits redisclosure or the use of a general authorization to release confidential AIDS related information. Individual, separate releases must be executed specifically granting permission for any further release of such information. When information is disclosed, a statement prohibiting further redisclosure, except when in compliance with the law, must accompany the disclosure.

Any employee who breaches the confidentiality of a person who is HIV infected shall be subject to disciplinary action in accordance with applicable law and/or collective bargaining agreement.

To protect the confidentiality of an HIV infected individual, any documents identifying the HIV status of such individuals shall be maintained by the school nurse (or another authorized individual) in a secure file, separate from the individual’s regular file. Access to such file shall be granted only to those persons named on the Department of Health approved Authorization for Release of Confidential HIV Related Information form, or through a special HIV court order.

HIV/AIDS Testing

No school official shall require a student or employee to undergo an HIV antibody test or other HIV-related test. In accordance with OSHA regulations in the event of an incident involving the exposure one individual to a potentially infectious body fluids of another individual, particularly blood or any other fluid which contains visible blood, an HIV test may be requested but NOT required. The request and refusal must be documented.

However, school officials shall not be precluded from requiring a student or employee to undergo a physical examination pursuant to Education Law §§903 and 913, when other illness is suspected (e.g., tuberculosis), as long as no HIV antibody test or other HIV-related test is administered without the individual’s informed consent as required by Public Health Law §27-F.

To implement this policy, the Superintendent of Schools is directed to arrange for staff training, to distribute copies of this policy to all employees of the district, and to include it in the district’s student handbook, and to establish an advisory council to make recommendations on the development, implementation, and evaluation of HIV/AIDS instruction as a part of comprehensive health education.

Cross-ref:

  • 4315.1, AIDS Instruction
  • 5420, Student Health Services
  • 5420-R, Student Health Services Regulation
  • 8123, Hygiene Precautions and Procedures

Ref:

  • 29 USC §§794 et seq. (Rehabilitation Act of 1973)
  • 20 USC §§1400 et seq. (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act)
  • 42 U.S.C. §12132, et seq. (Americans with Disabilities Act)
  • 34 CFR Part 104
  • 29 CFR Part 1910.1030
  • Executive Law §296 (Human Rights Law)
  • Education Law §§903; 913
  • Public Health Law, Article 27-F
  • 8 NYCRR §§29.1(g); l35.3; 136.3
  • An Implementation Package for HIV/AIDS Policy in New York State School Districts, NYS HIV/AIDS Prevention Education Program, June 17, 1998

Adoption date: June 19, 2002

[back to top of page]


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

[back to top of page]


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

[back to top of page]


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:

a. informing each staff member of how his or her performance is perceived in relation to the expectations of the District; and
b. 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

[back to top of page]


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

[back to top of page]


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

[back to top of page]