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Governance & Operations (Series 2000)

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 Governance & Operations Policies are as follows:


Policy 2000 | Board Operational Goals

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

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

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

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

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

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Policy 2100 | School Board Legal Status

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ref:

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

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

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Policy 2110 | School Board Powers & Duties

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

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

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

Ref:

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

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

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Policy 2111.1 | Board Member School Visits

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

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

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

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

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Policy 2120.1 | Candidates and Campaigning

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

Nominations

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

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

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

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

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

Reporting Expenditures

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

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

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

Electioneering

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

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

Ref: Education Law §2018; 2031-a

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

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Policy 2120.2 | Voting Procedures

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

Eligibility to Vote

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

A. a citizen of the United States;

B. at least eighteen years of age;

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

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

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

2. persons adjudged mentally incompetent by a court.

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

Voting

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

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

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

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

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

Absentee Ballots

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ref:

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

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

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Policy 2120.2-E | Voting Procedures Exhibit

View the PDF version of the Voting Procedures Exhibit here.

Adoption date: June 19, 2002

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Policy 2121 | Board Member Qualifications

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

The qualifications of a candidate for the office of member of the Board of Education are that the candidate be:

  1. able to read and write;
  2. a qualified voter of the district; and
  3. a resident of the school district for at least one year prior to election.

Not more than one member of a family residing in the same household shall be a member of the Board of Education in any school district.

No employee of the school district may be a member of the Board, except as permitted by law.

Ref:

  • Education Law §§2102; 2103; 2502(7)

Adoption date: June 19, 2002

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Policy 2160 | School District Officer and Employee Code of Ethics

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

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

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

Statutory Conflicts of Interest

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

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

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

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

Code of Ethics

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Distribution and Training

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

Reporting Concerns

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

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

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

Penalties

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

Ref:

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

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

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Policy 2210 | Board Organizational Meeting

View the PDF version of the Board Organizational Meeting Policy.

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

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

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

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

I. Oath of Office

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

II. Election of Board Officers

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

III. Appointment of District Officers

The Board shall appoint the following district officers:

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

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

  • District Clerk

IV. Appointment of Other Positions

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

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

V. Bonding of Personnel

The Board may bond the following personnel handling District funds:

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

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

VI. Designations

The Board shall designate/approve:

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

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

    VII. Authorizations

    A. of person to certify payrolls;

    B. of school purchasing agent;

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

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

    E. to designate authorized signatures on checks;

    F. of superintendent to approve budget transfers;

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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    Policy 2220 | Board Officers

    View the PDF version of the Board Officers Policy here.

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

    Duties of the President of the Board

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

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

    Duties of the Vice President

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

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

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

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    Policy 2230 | Appointed Board Officials

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

    District Clerk

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

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

    District Treasurer

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

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

      Tax Collector

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

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

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

      Ref:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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      Policy 2270 | School Attorney

      View the PDF version of the School Attorney Policy here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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      Policy 2310 | Regular Meetings

      View the PDF version of the Regular Meetings Policy here.

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

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

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

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

      Cross-ref:
      2210, Board Reorganizational Meeting

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

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      Policy 2320 | Special Meeting

      View the PDF version of the Special Meeting Policy here.

      Special/Emergency Board Meetings

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

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

      Special District Meetings

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

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

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

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

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      Policy 2330 | Executive Sessions

      View the PDF version of the Executive Sessions Policy here.

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

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

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

      Matters that may only be considered in executive session are:

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

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

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

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

      Ref:

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

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

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      Policy 2340 | Notice of Meetings

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

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

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

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

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

      Ref:

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

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

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      Policy 2342 | Agenda Preparation and Dissemination

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

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

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

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

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

      Cross-ref:         2350, Board Meeting Procedures

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

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      Policy 2350 | Board Meeting Procedures

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      To address the Board of Education, please:

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

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

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

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      Policy 2360 | Minutes

      View the PDF version of the Minutes Policy here.

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

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

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

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

      Ref:

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

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

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      Policy 2382 | Broadcasting & Taping of Board Meeting

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

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

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

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

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

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

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      Policy 2410 | Policy Development, Adoption, Implementation and Review

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

      Policy Development and Adoption

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Policy Review

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

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

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

      Policy Dissemination

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

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

      Ref:

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

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

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      Policy 2520 | Board Member Training

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Ref: Education Law §2102-a

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

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