main content starts here

Instruction (Series 4000)

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 Instruction Policies are as follows:


Policy 4000 | Instructional Goals

View the PDF version of the Instructional Goals Policy here.

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

Academics

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

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

Character

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

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

Community

Strengthening family, school and community partnerships through transparent communication.

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

Wellness

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

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

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

[back to the top of page]


Policy 4010 | Equivalence in Instructional Staff and Materials

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

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

Cross-ref:

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

Ref:

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

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

[back to the top of page]


Policy 4200 | Curriculum Development

View the PDF version of the Curriculum Development Policy here.

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

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

Curriculum Development

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ref:

  • Education Law §§1709(3); 1711(5)

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

[back to the top of page]


Policy 4300 | Appointment of Surrogate Parents

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[back to the top of page]


Policy 4300-R | Appointment of Surrogate Parents Regulation

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

A Surrogate Parent must be Appointed When:

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

Qualifications of Surrogate Parents:

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

Procedures for Assigning Surrogate Parents:

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

Authority:

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

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

[back to the top of page]


Policy 4311.1 | Display of the Flag

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

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

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

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

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

Ref:

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

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

[back to the top of page]


Policy 4311.1-R | Display of the Flag Regulation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hoisting of the Flag

The flag shall be hoisted briskly and lowered ceremoniously.

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

Indoor Flags and Those Not on Movable Hoists

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

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

[back to the top of page]


Policy 4312 | Classroom Films and Videos

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

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

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

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

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

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

Intent of This Policy

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

Guidelines

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

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

Faculty Are Expected to:

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

Selection Criteria for Films and Videos

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

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

Procedures for Use of Commercial Films and Videos

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

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

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

These same procedures also apply towards internet-related content.

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

Excerpts of Video Materials

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

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

[back to the top of page]


Policy 4314 | Career Education

View the PDF version of the Career Education Policy here.

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

Ref:

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

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

[back to the top of page]


Policy 4315.1 | AIDS/HIV Instruction

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

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

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

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

Ref:

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

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

[back to the top of page]


Policy 4317 | Teaching About Substance Abuse

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ref:

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

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

[back to the top of page]


Policy 4320-R | Surrogate Parent Regulation

View the PDF version of the Surrogate Parent Regulation here.

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

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

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

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

[back to the top of page]


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[back to the top of page]


Policy 4321.1 | Appropriate Space For Special Education Programs

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

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

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

Authority:

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

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

[back to the top of page]


Policy 4321.2 | Preschool Students with Disabilities

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

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

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

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

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

Authority:

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

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

[back to the top of page]


Policy 4321.4 | Requests for Independent Evaluations at Public Expense

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

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

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

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

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

Cross-ref: 4321, Programs for Students with Disabilities

Ref:

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

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

[back to the top of page]


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

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

Procedures

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

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

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

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

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

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

Impartial Hearing Officer Request for Independent Educational Evaluation

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

Authority:

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

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

[back to the top of page]


Policy 4321.5 | Distribution and Implementation of the Individual Education Program

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

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

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

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

Implementation

Designated Professional

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

Confidentiality

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

Authority:

  • 8 N.Y.C.R.R. 200.2(b)(11)

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

[back to the top of page]


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

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

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

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

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

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

Cross-ref:     6700, Purchasing

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

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

8 NYCRR §§ 200.2(b)(10)

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

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


Policy 4321.7 | Districtwide & Statewide Assessments of Students with Disabilities

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

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

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

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

Adoption Date: April 2, 2008
April 17, 2019

[back to the top of page]


Policy 4321.8 | Impartial Hearing Officer Appointment & Compensation

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

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

Selection

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

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

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

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

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

Appointment

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

Compensation

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

Cancellation

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

Ref:

  • 8 NYCRR §§200.2; 200.5; 200.21

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

[back to the top of page]


Policy 4321.9 | Declassification of Students with Disabilities

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

General Policy Statement

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

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

[back to the top of page]


Policy 4321.9-R | Declassification of Students with Disabilities Regulation

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

Re-evaluation Prior to Declassification

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

Prior Notice and Consent to Conduct a Re-evaluation

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

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

Determination of the Extent of Re-evaluation

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

Consideration of Regular Education Support and Declassification Support Services

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

Consider Need for Continuation of Testing Accommodations and Second Language Waiver

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

Consider Need for Referral to the §504 Committee

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

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

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

[back to the top of page]


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CSE Responsibilities:

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

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

Provision of Services:

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

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

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

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

Consultation:

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

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

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

Data Collection and Reporting:

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

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

Ref:

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

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

[back to the top of page]


Policy 4321.11 |Public Report On Revisions to District Policies, Practices and Procedures Upon a Finding of Significant Disproportionality

View the PDF version of Policy 4321.11 here.

The Board of Education (the Board) of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) recognizes that, despite the District’s best efforts, there may be times when there might be a disproportionate representation of racial and ethnic groups in its special education programs and services, and/or with respect to the suspension of students with disabilities.  To minimize the risk of such an occurrence, the Board has endeavored to adopt policies, practices and procedures for the district that are consistent with the IDEA and Article 89 of New York’s Education Law, and their implementing regulations.

Nonetheless, upon learning of a significant disproportionality either in the suspension, identification, classification and/or placement of the District’s students with disabilities, the Board will immediately review the District’s policies, practices and procedures to determine whether they are fully compliant with the requirements of the IDEA and Article 89, or require revisions.  If changes are needed, the Board will take immediate steps to adopt and implement any and all necessary revisions.

The Board will inform the public of any revisions to the District’s policies, practices and procedures undertaken as a result of a finding of significant disproportionality.  The superintendent will notify school personnel responsible for implementing the revisions.

Cross-ref: 4321 et seq. as appropriate.

Ref:

  • Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, §§ 1412(a)(24); 1418(d); 
  • 34 CFR §§ 300.173; 300.646
  • 8 NYCRR §§ 200.2(b)(15).

Adoption date: September 18, 2019

[back to the top of page]


Policy 4321.14 | Student with Disabilities Participating in School District Programs

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

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

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


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

Authority: 8 N.Y.C.R.R. §200.2(b)(1)

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

[back to the top of page]


Policy 4325 | Academic Intervention Services

View the PDF version of the Academic Intervention Services Policy here.

The Board of Education (the Board) of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) is committed to providing academic intervention services to students at risk of not meeting the state learning standards. Such services may include additional instruction supplementing the instruction provided through the general curriculum and/or student support services such as guidance, counseling, attendance, and study skills that are needed to improve student’s academic performance.

Eligibility for Academic Intervention Services will be determined based on a student’s performance on state assessment exams and/or in accordance with the uniformly applied District-developed, District-adopted procedures, which are attached to this policy. Eligible students will receive services consistent with law and regulations that shall commence no later than the beginning of the semester following a determination that a student is eligible for such services.

Parental Notification and Involvement

Notification of District Eligibility Procedures

The District shall post on its website a description of the District-developed procedures for determining which students are eligible for academic intervention services, as specified in state regulations.

Notification on Commencement of Services

The building principal will notify the parents of a student determined to be in need of academic intervention services, in writing, upon the commencement of such services. Such notification will include:

  • A summary of the academic intervention services to be provided;
  • The reason the student needs such services; and
  • The consequences of not achieving expected performance levels.

Notification on Ending of Services

The principal will notify the parent in writing when academic intervention services are no longer needed. Such notification will include:

  • The criteria for ending services; and
  • The performance levels obtained on District-selected assessments, if appropriate.

In addition, the District/schools will provide for ongoing communication with parents that must include opportunities to consult with teachers and other professional staff, regular reports on the student’s progress, and information on ways to monitor and work with educators to improve the student’s performance.

All parental notifications and communications will be done in English and translated, when appropriate, into the native language or mode of communication of the parents.

Description of Academic Intervention Services

In accordance with the requirements of the Commissioner’s Regulations, the superintendent shall develop and maintain a description of the academic intervention and/or student support services to be provided to students in need of such services. This description, which will outline any variations in services in schools within the District, will delineate:

  • the District-wide procedures used to determine the need for academic intervention services, which are attached to this policy;
  • the academic intervention instructional and/or support services to be provided;
  • whether instructional services and/or support services are offered during the regular school day or during an extended school day or year; and
  • the criteria for ending services, including, if appropriate, performance levels that students must obtain on District-selected assessments.

This description of academic intervention services was presented to the Board for approval on January 18, 2017, and shall be reviewed every two years thereafter based on student performance results.

Ref:

  • 8 NYCRR 100.1(g); 100.2(r), (ee); 100.4(b)(4), (d)

Adoption date: June 19, 2002
Revised date: February 1, 2017
Revised date: February 27, 2019

[back to the top of page]


Policy 4326 | English Language Learners

View the PDF version of the English Language Learners Policy here.

The Board of Education (the Board) of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) believes that students who, by reason of foreign birth or ancestry, have limited English proficiency (referred to here as “English Language Learners” or ELLs), will be more effective learners of both the language and the curriculum if they receive instruction in both their native language and English. The District will therefore take steps to identify ELL students and provide them with an appropriate program of either Bilingual Education or English as a New Language.

Pursuant to this policy and the regulations of the commissioner of Education, the superintendent is directed to develop appropriate administrative regulations to ensure that students are:

  1. Screened to determine if the student is an ELL, in accordance with Parts 117 and 154 of the Commissioner’s Regulation, a process that will include interviews and assessments and will assign each ELL student to the appropriate subpopulation (newcomer, developing, long-term, former, or inconsistent/interrupted formal education).
  2. Identified, as appropriate, as an ELL student with a disability.
  3. Annually evaluated to determine continued ELL eligibility. Included in the evaluation shall be each student’s performance in English language proficiency and academic progress in content areas.
  4. Assured of access to appropriate instructional and support services, including guidance programs within the timeframes provided by Commissioner’s Regulations.
  5. Assured of having equal opportunities to participate in all school programs and extracurricular activities as non-ELL students.

The superintendent shall be responsible for ensuring that the commissioner is provided with a comprehensive plan that describes the District’s ELL program, and includes all information specified in the Commissioner’s Regulations, before the start of each school year. The District will also provide assurances that the District is providing appropriate school-related information to the parents (or persons in parental relation) of ELL students in English and the language they best understand.

The District will provide an orientation program annually for parents of newly enrolled ELL students. In addition, the District will meet individually with ELL parents at least once a year to discuss the goals of the ELL program, and their child’s language development (in both their native language and English), in addition to regular parent/teacher meetings.

In addition, the superintendent shall ensure that all teachers employed in any Bilingual and/or English as a New Language program are properly certified in accordance with the Commissioner’s regulations, and that all staff receives appropriate professional development on ELL students.

Cross-ref:

  • 4321, Programs for Students with Disabilities
  • 9700, Professional Development

Ref:

  • Education Law §3204
  • English Acquisition, Language Enhancement, and Academic Achievement Act, 20 USC §§6801 et seq.
  • Equal Educational Opportunities Act of 1974, §§201 et seq., 20 U.S.C. §§1701 et seq.
  • 8 NYCRR §§80-2.9; 80-2.10; 117; Part 154
  • Lau v. Nichols, 414 U.S. 563 (1974)
  • Rios v. Read, 480 F. Supp. 14 (1978)
  • Cintron v. Brentwood UFSD, 455 F. Supp 57 (1978)
  • Aspira of New York v. Board of Educ. (City of New York), 394 F. Supp. 1161 (1975)

Adoption date: June 19, 2002
Revised date: December 16, 2015
Re-approved date: March 20, 2019

[back to the top of page]


Policy 4326 E.1 | Programs for English Language Learners Exhibit

View the PDF version of the Programs for English Language Learners Exhibit here.

Dear Parent/Guardian:

Your child (insert child’s name) has been identified as an “English Language Learner” — a student in need of help to learn English — and the Bethlehem Central School District is recommending placement in a (insert name of program). We have determined (insert child’s name) eligibility, and placed (him or her) in such a program based on (insert reasons). Please review this letter, choose one of the options (see below) and sign and return the attached form within five school days.

(Child’s name) is performing at (insert status of child’s academic achievement). We have determined (his or her) level of English proficiency at (insert level) based on (insert how the District assessed that level).

We believe that placement in a (insert name of English instruction program) will help (insert child’s name) both to learn English and increase (his/her) level of academic performance. Attached is a series of questions and answers we hope will help you to better understand the program in which we have placed (insert child’s name) and the benefits of that program.

The District will hold regular meetings at least twice a year for parents/guardians of English learners and we encourage you to attend. At those meetings, we will provide you with information about New York State’s Learning Standards and the school’s expectations that will help you to better understand the goals of your child’s program, and suggest ways you can help (insert child’s name). In between meetings, we are always ready to listen and respond to any questions and recommendations you might have. District staff will also meet with you individually once a year, in addition to regular parent/teacher meetings, to discuss your child’s language development progress, English language proficiency assessment results, and language development needs in all content areas.

However, you should know that you have the right to:

  1. Request that (insert child’s name) be immediately withdrawn from the instructional bilingual program that the District has offered your child and schedule a meeting with the building principal and the District supervisor of bilingual education. At a minimum, however, (insert child’s name) must participate in an English as a New Language program.
  2. Request placement in another available program or method of instruction.
  3. Request assistance in selecting from among the various programs and methods of instruction available.
  4. Accept the District’s recommended placement.

Whatever your decision, we encourage you to help (insert child’s name) attain English proficiency and high academic achievement levels. Some ways in which you can do this include: (insert some examples).

If you have any questions about this notice or the attached information, please contact (insert the name of the building principal or the program’s coordinator). All of us in the District look forward to working with you to help (insert child’s name) improve (his or her) English and overall academic skills.

Sincerely,

Building Principal

Questions and Answers About Your Child’s English Instruction Educational Program

NOTE: In this exhibit, the District/school will have to fill in the answers to the questions below. Those answers will be specific to the individual child involved.

  1. What methods of instruction will be used in my child’s program?
  2. Does the District offer any other programs for English language learners?
  3. How do these other programs differ from the one offered my child in terms of methods of instruction, content, instructional goals, and the use of English and a native language in instruction?
  4. On what basis did the District select my child’s program as opposed to another one?
  5. How will my child’s program specifically help (him or her) learn English and meet age-appropriate academic achievement standards for grade promotion and graduation?
  6. My child is classified as a student with a disability. How will my child’s English learning program meet the objectives set out in (his or her) individualized education program (IEP)?

Adoption date: December 16, 2015
Re-approved date: March 20, 2019

[back to the top of page]


Policy 4327 | Temporary Home/Hospital Instruction

View the PDF version of the Temporary Home/Hospital Instruction Policy here.

The Board of Education (the Board) of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) recognizes its responsibility to ensure that students who are unable to attend school because of a serious health condition are furnished with an appropriate educational program. Therefore, the Board will provide eligible students, including residents attending nonpublic schools, with temporary home/hospital instruction consistent with this policy.

Eligibility for Home/Hospital Instruction

A student who is temporarily unable to attend school for at least two weeks due to a serious health condition, after which he/she can reasonably be expected to return to regular day classes or an alternative education program, is eligible to be instructed at home or in the hospital by an appropriately certified teacher. Whenever appropriate, home instruction will be delivered at the Bethlehem Public Library or other suitable public location.

A parent requesting home/hospital instruction for his or her child must provide satisfactory evidence, in the form of a signed statement of a licensed physician or psychiatrist, that the condition of the child precludes attendance at school.

The physician or psychiatrist’s request should provide the following information:

  1. the medical diagnosis being treated that necessitates this form of instruction;
  2. the probable duration of the student’s absence from school;
  3. any limitations concerning the kind and duration of instruction; and
  4. possible precautions that the teacher providing instruction should take during the period of instruction.

Additional medical documentation regarding the continued need for home/hospital instruction may be required on a biweekly basis, and must be satisfactory to the District.

Eligibility for home/hospital instruction for regular education students shall be determined by the Home/Hospital Instruction Team. Eligibility for home/hospital instruction for students with disabilities shall be determined by the Home/Hospital Instruction Team in conjunction with the Committee on Special Education (CSE) in accordance with the student’s Individual Education Program (IEP), with the services to be delivered in the least restrictive environment. For periods of home/hospital instruction, a public location such as the Bethlehem Public Library will be presumed to be the least restrictive environment, unless a public location for instruction is contraindicated by a student’s demonstrated medical needs.

Parental Responsibilities for Arranging for Home/Hospital Instruction

Although the Board has the responsibility to ensure that every student receives an appropriate instructional program during periods of illness or injury, parents are expected to assist the Board. If a parent knows in advance of a potential prolonged absence, the parent is expected to notify the appropriate school officials of the probable occurrence and request provision of home/hospital instruction. Where advance notice is not possible, parents should make every effort to obtain homework assignments until such a time as home/hospital instruction may begin.

Parents of resident students attending nonpublic schools should notify both the nonpublic and District school of the situation and request home instruction by the public school district of residence.

As soon as possible after receiving notice of a prolonged absence and approving a request for home/hospital instruction, the District will arrange for home instruction for the time periods prescribed by law. Parents or another adult are expected to be present during all teaching sessions in the home. If an adult is not available at home, an alternative site will be sought. Additional information is included in #4327-R.

The superintendent shall develop regulations specifying the procedures to follow to request home instruction and the procedures for providing such instruction.

Independent Medical Evaluation

The District reserves the right to obtain an Independent Medical Evaluation (IME) by a physician or psychiatrist of its choice whenever a student has been on home instruction for more than one month. Home instruction may cease to be provided if the parent does not reasonably cooperate in making the student available for the IME.

Applicability

This policy applies specifically to those students requesting home instruction due to a serious health condition. Arrangements for home instruction due to a disability under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Article 89 of the Education Law, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, or due to a student suspension will be provided consistent to applicable law, regulation, and District policy.

Cross-ref:

  • 5100, Student Attendance

Ref:

  • Education Law §1709(24)
  • Education Law §4401 et seq.
  • 8 NYCRR §175.21
  • New York State Education Department: “Revised Handbook on Services to Pupils Attending Non-Public Schools” (1990)

Adoption date: June 19, 2002
Revised date: May 18, 2011
Revised date: September 3, 2014
Revised date: March 20, 2019

[back to the top of page]


Policy 4327-R | Temporary Home/Hospital Instruction Regulation, Application & Approval

View the PDF version of the Temporary Home/Hospital Instruction Regulation, Application & Approval here.

A student of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) with a serious health condition that makes school attendance medically impossible shall receive individual instruction in a suitable public location such as the Bethlehem Public Library, the student’s home, or in a hospital or other residential health facility. This instruction applies to students incurring a physical or emotional condition after which they can reasonably be expected to return to regular day classes or an alternative education program.

Before approving home/hospital instruction, the District shall require satisfactory evidence, in the form of a signed statement of a licensed physician or psychiatrist, that the condition of the child medically prevents attendance at school. Section II of this form must be completely filled out by a licensed physician or psychiatrist in order to be considered, and must include the diagnosis and the length of time the student is anticipated to be absent from school. Many students with serious  health problems may still be able to attend school with modification. These modifications are determined through planning sessions with the family, student’s physician or psychiatrist, school nurse, and other school officials. In some cases, a temporary modification of the school schedule is sufficient to accommodate the student’s needs, and home instruction is not needed. The student may not be eligible for services if there is a contagious disease or other factors present that would jeopardize the health or safety of the teacher.

Eligibility for home/hospital instruction for regular education students shall be determined by the Home/Hospital Instruction Team. Eligibility for home/hospital instruction for students with disabilities shall be determined by the Home/Hospital Instruction Team in conjunction with the Committee on Special Education (CSE) in accordance with the student’s Individual Education Program (IEP), with the services to be in the least restrictive environment. For periods of home/hospital instruction, a public location such as the Bethlehem Public Library will be presumed to be the least restrictive environment, unless a public location for instruction is contraindicated by a student’s demonstrated medical needs.

Requests for extension of home instruction services beyond the period of time that is initially approved must be reviewed by the Home/Hospital Instruction Team. Additional documentation may be required on a biweekly basis, and must be satisfactory to the District.

Any child who is excused from school attendance for more than six months must have two signed statements from two different licensed medical physician or psychiatrists. Exception: If a physician or psychiatrist certifies that a student has a chronic physical condition unlikely to substantially improve within one year, then one signed statement is sufficient for services that extend beyond six months. This exception does not apply to students with mental health conditions.

If home/hospital instruction is approved, the student will not participate in any extracurricular activities, including, but not limited to, school dances and other social events, while on home/hospital instruction.

Elementary school students on home/hospital instruction will receive five hours of instruction per week and secondary school students will receive ten hours of instruction per week. To the extent possible, home/hospital instruction should be staggered proportionally throughout the week.

Sessions will be held in a suitable public location (i.e., a public library), a hospital or other medical facility, or the student’s home. An adult must always be present in the student’s home when services are being provided.

Tutoring is provided in coordination with the District calendar. No tutoring will occur on a school holiday or weekend, during summer months, or on other days when school is not in session.

Home instruction is not an alternative voluntary program for a student’s education. The purpose of home teaching is to minimize loss of instruction while a student is too ill to attend regular school. The severity of illness is determined through a doctor’s diagnosis, including consideration of any independent medical examination (IME) required by the District. Educational alternatives and modifications are considered before home teaching is authorized. The student is expected to return to regular school as soon as he/she is healthy enough to do so.

Independent Medical Evaluation

The District reserves the right to obtain an IME by a physician or psychiatrist of its choice whenever a student has been on home instruction for more than one month. Home instruction may cease to be provided if the parent does not reasonably cooperate in making the student available for the IME.

Application

  1. An Application for Home/Hospital Instruction must be completely filled out and submitted to the principal’s office. This form may be obtained from the school nurse’s office. The following information must be supplied by the physician or psychiatrist:
    1. The reason why home instruction is necessary.
    2. The medical condition including history, prognosis, and medication.
    3. Any limitations concerning the kind and duration of instruction.
    4. The length of time needed for home instruction.
    5. Possible precautions that the home/hospital bound teacher should take during the period of instruction.
  2. The physician or psychiatrists original signature is required (stamped signatures will not be accepted). Incomplete forms will not be accepted.
  3. The parent’s signature is required.
  4. The Home/Hospital Instruction Team will verify the need for home instruction and then approve or deny the request. This verification may include contacting the student’s physician or psychiatrist regarding diagnosis or treatment.
    1. If the student has an IEP or 504 Plan, the student’s CSE or 504 Team will be part of the Home/Hospital Instruction Team.
    2. If the student is being recommended for home instruction for a condition that is not temporary, the student may also be referred to the CSE to determine if the student should be classified as a student with a disability. Nonclassified students whose home instruction is expected to exceed sixty calendar days shall be referred to the child study team or 504 Team for evaluation.
  5. Parents shall be notified regarding approval or denial within five school days after receipt of the Application for Home/Hospital Instruction.
    1. Home instruction is authorized by the District, not the student’s physician or psychiatrist. The Home/Hospital Instruction Team will designate the location of the instruction.
    2. Home/hospital instruction will not be assigned when there are less than ten days remaining in the student’s school year.

Approval

(Steps if application is approved)

  1. The principal and/or designee is responsible for the arrangement and supervision of home teaching assignments. Upon receipt of a copy of an approved Application for Home/Hospital Instruction, the principal and/or designee will:
    1. contact the classroom teacher(s) for books and assignments; and
    2. have the student’s folder available for conference with the home/hospital bound teacher. The principal should expect the home/hospital bound teacher to contact her/him within one week after a student is placed on home instruction.
  2. Upon notification by the principal that a student is on home/hospital bound instruction, the teacher of the individual subject should make available to the principal all future assignments and tests, as administered, and changes in text materials, if any.
  3. The home/hospital bound teacher will pick up all pertinent books and materials at the school that the student is currently attending. All materials will be located in the main office of each building.
  4. Upon sending out the progress reports at the end of each marking period, the home/hospital bound teacher will consult the principal or designee concerning any concerns. If the student is a student with a disability, the CSE chairperson should also be contacted.
  5. Elementary students are to receive one hour of instruction per day. Secondary students are to receive two hours of instruction per day. However, the instruction schedule should be flexible enough to accommodate the schedule of the tutor, parent, and student. Instruction is only provided on days when school is in session.
  6. When a student is to return to school, the CSE chairperson or building principal will notify the home/hospital bound teacher and the transfer will be completed. Periodically, there will be a review by the director of Special Education and Student Services concerning the continued need of those students with a psychological condition receiving home/hospital bound instruction. A similar procedure will be followed by the school physician in the case of those students who have been placed on home/hospital bound instruction for medical reasons.
  7. Home instruction is not an alternative voluntary program for a student’s education. The purpose of home teaching is to minimize loss of instruction while a student is too ill to attend regular school. The severity of illness is determined through a doctor’s diagnosis, including consideration of any IME required by the District. Educational alternatives and modifications are considered before home teaching is authorized. The student is expected to return to regular school as soon as he/she is healthy enough to do so.

Return to School

  1. Each student must have a specific date of conclusion on the request for home/hospital instruction.
  2. The student is expected to return to school on the date approved on the Application for Home/Hospital Instruction.
  3. At least one week before the conclusion of home/hospital instruction, the parents and/or guardians should contact the school health and attendance office (Grades K-5) or the school counseling office (Grades 6-12) to make an appointment for the student’s re-enrollment at the regular school of attendance.
  4. When the physician or psychiatrist releases the student, he/she may return to school:
    1. If a student is returning to school at the end of the term originally prescribed by the physician or psychiatrist, no doctor’s release note is required.
    2. If a student is returning to school before the end of the term originally prescribed by the physician or psychiatrist, a doctor’s release note is required. The doctor’s early release certification will need to be brought to the school of residence prior to the student’s return to school.

All home/hospital placements automatically terminate at the end of the student’s instructional school year. Should the need for home/hospital instruction still exist for the next school year, the parent must reapply for the services.

Extending Home/Hospital Instruction

  1. If the student is unable to return to school on the date approved by the District, the parent and the physician or psychiatrist must complete a new Application for Home/Hospital Instruction.
  2. Additional medical documentation will be required on a biweekly basis, and must be satisfactory to the District.
  3. When a classified student exceeds thirty consecutive days on home instruction, the IEP team shall convene a meeting to review and, if appropriate, revise the student’s IEP.
  4. Refusal or failure by a parent and/or guardian to complete a new Application or to cooperate with the Home/Hospital Instruction Team may be deemed a violation of compulsory education laws.

Parent Responsibilities

It is the desire of the District to provide a positive and meaningful educational experience for a child while he/she is on Home/Hospital Instruction. The District will provide a credentialed teacher for five hours per week for elementary student and ten hours per week for secondary students. The teacher will work closely with your student’s regular classroom teacher(s) to ensure a current and relevant curriculum is being offered.

The District reserves the right to cancel Home/Hospital Instruction if the student is not benefiting from the program, or the conditions in which instruction is provided is not conducive to learning, or if the number of student absences is excessive.

The parent will be notified by the principal if the request for home instruction has been approved or denied, and the designated location for such instruction, within five days of submission of the physician or psychiatrists request for home instruction.

In order to provide the best possible instructional program during this time, the District requests that the parent participate in the following ways:

  1. Submit a signed and completed copy of the Application for Home/Hospital Instruction.
  2. Must have an adult present in the home during the instructional time. (No instruction can take place in the student’s home without an adult present.)
  3. Ensure that the student is present when the tutor arrives. For excused absences from home instruction, a student may be given additional assignments. Unexcused absences per District attendance policy will not be made up.
  4. Supervise the student in following through with assignments.
  5. Report any problems with home instruction to the building principal or his/her designee.
  6. Sign the home instruction teacher’s Hourly Time Sheet at the conclusion of each session, verifying that instruction was provided each day.
  7. Provide an environment for study that is quiet, well lit, and free from interruptions. Pets should be secured in an area away from the student/teacher study area. (Siblings should not be present in the room during instructional time.) If other arrangements need to be made, discuss this with the home instruction teacher.
  8. The home instruction teacher shall be in charge when instruction begins.
  9. Contact the home instruction teacher directly if the student is unable to complete instruction at the scheduled time. Make-up hours may be arranged during the same week as the absence only.
  10. Contact the office of the principal should you have any questions or concerns.

Home Teacher Responsibilities

The home instruction teacher for your child has been selected from properly credentialed teachers previously approved by the Board of Education (the Board). These home instruction teachers will be assigned by the principal or his/her designee.

  1. Home/hospital bound teachers must contact the parent or guardian to set up a time for instruction. If it is to be conducted in the home, the parent or guardian must be present during the period of instruction. The District recommends that instruction be held in a public place, such as the Bethlehem Public Library.
  2. Maintain an effective and ongoing working relationship with the student’s classroom teacher(s) in order to obtain instructional materials (e.g., textbooks, worksheets, tests, and course objectives) that provide for a program as consistent as possible with the program available in the school setting.
  3. Obtain the student’s schedule and/or IEP goals and strategies from appropriate staff.
  4. Submit required forms in a complete and timely manner as requested by the principal or his/her designee.
  5. Submit grades, upon request, for each student in each subject in which the student received instruction to the principal or his/her designee at the end of the home teaching period or the end of a grading period.
  6. Maintain all attendance records for each student on his/her roll and submit to the principal or his/her designee at the designated times.
  7. During the period of home/hospital instruction, the home instruction teacher will be considered the teacher of record. The home instruction teacher, when requested, will be responsible for the grading of the student and the submission of those grades to the principal or his/her designee, unless other arrangements are made between the classroom teacher and the home instruction teacher.
  8. Contact the principal or his/her designee if after two attempts to deliver the home instruction the student is not present or the parent or other adult over twenty-one designated by the parent is not present.
  9. Submit a separate time sheet for each student. Time sheets from home/hospital bound teachers are to be submitted weekly with the parent/guardian’s signature.
  10. Submit a final Progress Report to the principal when a student is to be transferred from home/hospital instruction to regular instruction. If the student is a student with a disability, the final Progress Report will also be submitted to the CSE chairperson.
  11. Regular home/hospital bound teachers are to meet with the principal or designee to coordinate all closing data.
  12. Submit time schedules at the beginning of the home/hospital bound program and as revised when additional students are assigned.
  13. Submit time sheets in a timely manner and making sure that the parent/guardian’s signature is in place prior to submission. If needed, additional time sheets may be used.

Adopted date: May 18, 2011
Revised date: September 3, 2014
Revised date: March 20, 2019

[back to the top of page]


Policy 4329 | Implementation of School-wide Approaches and Pre-Referral Intervention

View the PDF version of the Implementation of School-wide Approaches and Pre-Referral Intervention Policy here.

In accordance with the IDEA and Part 200 of the Commissioner’s Regulations, the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) has implemented a plan and policy to establish prereferral interventions to remediate a student’s educational performance to avoid, wherever possible, inappropriate referrals to the Committee on Special Education (CSE).

In keeping with this policy, it is the responsibility of the building Child Study Team (CST) or Pupil Services Team (PST) to investigate all possible avenues of general education support services to enable students to advance academically.

Prereferral support services may include, but are not limited to,

  • improvement services;
  • evaluations;
  • individual and group counseling;
  • consultation with staff and families;
  • curriculum and instructional modifications;
  • building level educational support;
  • Academic Intervention Services (AIS);
  • Bilingual and/or English as a Second Language (ESL) services; or
  • Training for faculty and staff to support above services for students.

These services may be provided before, during, or after the school day, or in the summer. They must be afforded to all students who do not meet the minimum designated standards on state assessments and to Limited English Proficient (LEP) students who do not achieve the annual Commissioner’s Regulations at 8 N.Y.C.R.R.154 performance standards. Consistent with the District AIS policy, supplemental instruction in English, Language Arts, Math, Social Studies, and Science as well as support services to address barriers to student progress such as attendance, discipline, health, family nutrition, and transient issues will be afforded to students who score a level two or below on state assessments or to students recommended by the Child Study Team.

The District shall provide diagnostic screening for any student who scores below level two on either the third grade English language arts or mathematics assessment for New York State elementary schools.

Diagnostic screening for such students shall include, but not be limited to:

  1. Vision and hearing screenings to determine whether a vision or hearing impairment is impacting the student’s ability to learn; and
  2. A review of the student’s instructional programs in reading and mathematics to ensure that explicit and research validated instruction is being provided in both areas.

Student progress shall be monitored periodically through screenings and ongoing assessments of the student’s reading and mathematics abilities and skills. If the student is determined to be making substandard progress in such areas of study, instruction shall be provided that is tailored to meet the student’s individual needs with increasingly intensive levels of targeted intervention and instruction.

Parents and/or guardians shall be notified regarding information about the performance data that will be collected and the general education services provided; strategies for increasing the student’s rate of learning; and the parents’ right to request an evaluation by the CSE to determine whether the student has a disability.

All schoolwide approaches to provide remediation activities to students who are at risk of not meeting graduation requirements will be considered prior to making referrals to the CSE. These schoolwide approaches shall serve as prereferral interventions prior to consideration of CSE support services. One of the schoolwide approaches the District may use to remediate a student’s performance prior to referral for special education is a response to intervention process. This scientific, research-based instruction will be implemented according to Section 100.2(ii) of the Commissioner’s Regulations (see RTI # 4330).

The referral form to the CSE shall enumerate all prereferral interventions made available to the student to enable the CSE to determine which of these interventions have been tried or the reason why no such attempts have been made. Each referral shall be reviewed to determine its appropriateness and whether prereferral interventions have been adequately utilized and if further interventions are deemed necessary.

If a building administrator initiates a referral to the CSE, it shall be forwarded to the CSE chairperson immediately.

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

Authority: 8 N.Y.C.R.R. 200.2(b)(7)
8 N.Y.C.R.R. 117.3(c)(4)
8 N.Y.C.R.R. 117(2)(e)
8 N.Y.C.R.R. 117.3(d)
8 N.Y.C.R.R. 117(c)

Adopted: February 4, 2009
Reapproved date: April 17, 2019

[back to the top of page]


Policy 4330 | Implementation of Response to Intervention

View the PDF version of the Implementation of Response to Intervention Policy here.

In accordance with regulations of the Commissioner of Education, the Board of Education (the Board) of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) adopts the following policy and procedures to ensure that all students suspected of having a learning disability will receive appropriate instruction in reading and mathematics in general education before the District initiates a referral to the Committee on Special Education (CSE) for an evaluation. Such procedures may include as part of the District’s general education program, a process referred to as Response to Intervention (RTI). In accordance with the Commissioner’s Regulations, all elementary schools within the District shall have fully implemented a RTI program for all students in kindergarten through the end of fifth grade who are identified as not meeting age or grade norms in reading or mathematics.

The basic components of the RTI process shall include:

  • Scientific, research-based core instruction in reading and mathematics. Reading instruction shall address: phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary development, fluency, and comprehension.
  • Screening for all students in grades K-5 at least three times per year to identify those who are not making academic progress at the expected rates.
  • Research-based interventions matched to a student’s targeted need at increasing levels of intensity for those students who do not make satisfactory progress in their levels of performance and/or in their rate of learning to meet age or grade level standards.
  • Repeated assessments of targeted skill areas using curriculum-based measures to determine if interventions are resulting in student progress toward age or grade level standards.
  • A building-based team to establish at-risk criteria (cut scores), review screening data, and make decisions related to student performance and intervention need.
  • Written notice to the parents when a student is identified, in accordance with this policy, as needing more intensive reading or mathematics instruction than the instruction provided to all students in the general education classroom

The Board of Education designates the superintendent to establish a Districtwide RTI Team, which shall be comprised, at a minimum, of the following representatives: principal of each public school building, assistant superintendent for educational programs, director of Special Education and Student Services; a chairperson of the Committee on Special Education, English Language Arts supervisor, Math supervisor, school psychologist, a regular education teacher, a special education teacher, and whomever else the superintendent deems appropriate.

It shall be the responsibility of the Districtwide Team to develop, review, and amend, as necessary, an RTI policy that includes the following components:

  • The criteria for determining the appropriate levels of intervention, including the frequency of assessment and the assessment tools to be used;
  • The types, intensity, and range of interventions provided to students at each tier and the number of tiers of intervention prior to referral to the CSE;
  • The amount and nature of student performance data to be collected;
  • The manner and frequency of Performance Monitoring; and
  • The data necessary for District personnel to request a referral to the CSE.

The Board of Education designates the existing Building Level Teams (Child Study Team)

Using an RTI model to conduct the following tasks in accordance with the policy established by the Districtwide Committee:

  • Collect, review, and analyze data pursuant to this policy;
  • Identify those students who require instruction at a more intensive level;
  • Notify the parents of students receiving RTI intervention that the student is involved in the RTI process; the techniques, strategies, or programs used; and notice of the parent’s right to request an evaluation for special education;
  • Review the appropriateness of the interventions used and the grouping of students to maximize effectiveness;
  • Recommend changes in students’ instructional programs based upon the analysis of the data; and
  • Request a referral to the CSE and for the principal to complete the request for referral form, where appropriate.

Professional Staff Development

The assistant superintendent for educational programs, in consultation with the director of Special Education and Student Services, shall develop and implement a training program for all teachers assigned to provide students with research-based reading and math interventions on the specific intervention techniques and consistency of implementation as well as assessment administration, data collection, and charting of performance data as required in accordance with this policy.

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

Authority: 8 N.Y.C.R.R. 100.2(ii)

Adoption date: February 4, 2009
Revised date: February 27, 2019

[back to the top of page]


Policy 4331 | Use of Time Out Rooms

View the PDF version of the Use of Time Out Rooms Policy here.

The Board of Education (the Board) of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) recognizes that students with disabilities sometimes exhibit inappropriate behaviors that impede learning. As a result, students with disabilities may require specific approaches to behavior intervention so that they can continue to benefit from their educational program.

Purpose

The Time Out Room offers a quiet and safe area for students with disabilities who have a Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP) that provides for Time Out Room use when the student is:

  1. Overwhelmed;
  2. Experiencing overstimulation;
  3. Out of control; or
  4. Presenting a danger to themselves or others.

The Time Out Room is designed to provide the student with a place to safely de-escalate, regain control, and prepare to meet expectations to return to class.

The Time Out Room may also be used for unanticipated situations that pose an immediate concern for the physical safety of the student or others.

Some students, whose BIP and Individualized Education Program (IEP) allow for use of the Time Out Room, are taught to move into the room on their own, as a quiet de-escalating space.

Room Description/Procedures

The Time Out Room must:

  1. Provide for continuous visual and auditory monitoring of the student;
  2. Be of an adequate width, length, and height to allow a student to move about and recline comfortably;
  3. Utilize wall and floor coverings and be designed to prevent injury to the student;
  4. Provide for adequate light and ventilation;
  5. Be clean and free of potentially dangerous objects and/or fixtures;
  6. Meet all local fire and safety codes; and
  7. Be unlocked when a student is inside with a door that can be opened from the inside.

Time Limitations for the Use of the Time Out Room

A student’s IEP must specify when the student has a BIP that includes a Time Out Room. The student’s IEP and BIP must identify the maximum length of time the student may remain in a Time Out Room, based on the student’s age and individual needs.

In the event of any unanticipated emergency for a student who does not have a BIP that provides for use of a Time Out Room, the student may remain in the Time Out Room for a maximum of thirty minutes.

Training, Monitoring, and Documentation

All staff authorized to place a student in a Time Out Room will be trained on the District’s policy related to the use of the Time Out Room and related behavior management practices. Training for staff will be provided annually as needed.

Only trained staff authorized by the principal may place a student in a Time Out Room.

The Time Out Room, when in use, must be constantly monitored by staff, who must be able to see and hear the student at all times.

The BIP shall require data collection designed to assess the effectiveness of the use of the Time Out Room is decreasing the behaviors targeted in that plan and on the student’s IEP.

Time Out Room Log and Monthly Review

For any student with a disability who is sent to a Time Out Room, a record must be made on a time out log to include the following, at a minimum:

  1. The student’s name;
  2. The precipitating event that led the staff member to place the student in a Time Out Room;
  3. Name(s) of staff member(s) involved;
  4. The total amount of time the student remained in a Time Out Room;
  5. Whether the student has a BIP that provides for use of a Time Out Room and, if so, the maximum amount of time permitted; and
  6. A description of the student’s ability to resume classroom activities after leaving a Time Out Room.

Each time the Time Out Room is used for a student, it must be documented and a copy of the Time Out log must be sent to the principal, Committee on Special Education (CSE) chairperson, and the director of Special Education Support Services (SESS).

The effectiveness of this therapeutic intervention will be reviewed monthly by the case manager, teacher, and other appropriate staff, and the effectiveness of the behavior management plan will be reviewed at the same time. Copies of these monthly reviews will be sent to the principal, case manager, and CSE chairperson.

Parent Notification and Inspection

Before an IEP with a BIP that provides for a Time Out Room is implemented, parents must:

  1. Receive prior written notice;
  2. Be offered an opportunity to view the Time Out Room; and
  3. Be provided with a copy of this policy.

A parent shall receive a copy of the log report issued each time the student is placed in a Time Out Room. Whenever possible, parents shall be notified on the same day as the Time Out Room placement.

This policy shall remain in full force and effect unless modified by the Board of Education. The director of Special Education and Student Services will be responsible for implementation and oversight of this policy.

Authority:

  • 8 N.Y.C.R.R. 200.22(c)

Adoption date: February 4, 2009
Revised date: March 16, 2016
Revised date: June 21, 2017
Re-approved date: March 20, 2019

[back to the top of page]


Policy 4452 | Individual Help/Tutoring

View the PDF version of the Individual Help/Tutoring  Policy here.

The Board of Education (the Board) of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) recognizes the professional responsibility of its staff to provide individual help to those students who can benefit from such services.

Individual Help

All subject teachers should make themselves available on a weekly basis to provide extra help for students who need it. Teachers may require a student to attend who is not performing at a level consistent with their abilities. If no improvement is shown, the teacher should contact the parent. The student may be referred to the counselor and the parent so notified. Each teacher should place on the student and parent portal the day and location of his/her extra help sessions. If convenient for both student and teacher, special help may be given to students by appointment during the school day.

It is suggested that when the teacher deems it advisable that a child be invited to spend extra time with the teacher the parent should be notified. Children should always be under the direct supervision of the teacher.

Tutoring

To protect both the District and the teachers from charges of conflict of interest, the following rules relating to tutoring have been established:

  1. No teacher shall tutor a student from his/her own class(es) outside of the school for pay. Tutoring activity by a teacher must not impinge upon the teacher’s efficiency, effectiveness, or availability in the District.
  2. No teacher shall tutor for pay a student from other classes during school hours or on school property.
  3. Teachers may tutor for pay students not assigned to the teacher’s class(es) during nonschool hours and off school grounds.
  4. Students shall not be dismissed from school for the purpose of receiving private tutoring.
  5. Persons not employed by the District shall not be permitted to tutor students on school grounds.

Cross References:

  • 2160, School District Officer & Employee Code of Ethics

Adoption date: March 16, 2016
Revised date: May 4, 2016
Revised date: March 20, 2019

[back to the top of page]


Policy 4511 | Textbook Selection and Adoption

View the PDF version of the Textbook Selection and Adoption Policy here.

The Board of Education (the Board) of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) delegates responsibility to the professional staff for the selection of textbooks, library resources, and other instructional materials.

The superintendent or designee shall establish objectives and criteria for selection of textbooks and a method for selecting staff members who shall serve in the selection and recommendation process.

The following criteria are to be considered in the selection of textbooks:

  1. qualifications of the author(s) on the subject;
  2. adaptability to existing instructional program;
  3. accuracy of the information presented;
  4. sufficient scope to meet the requirements of the curriculum as developed locally and approved by the State Education Department;
  5. objectivity and impartiality in treatment of subject matter and freedom from bias and prejudice;
  6. high quality format in respect to typography, arrangement of materials or pages, cover design, size, and margins;
  7. appropriateness to grade level as to vocabulary, sentence structure, and organization;
  8. meet grade-to-grade requirements: they should contain supplementary aids to learning, when desirable and necessary, such as a table of contents, introduction, study activities, exercises, questions, problems, selected references, bibliography, index, glossary, and appendices;
  9. should include appropriate illustrative materials: pictures, maps, charts, graphs, diagrams, etc., which clarify the text and enrich the content;
  10. should fairly represent the many ethnic and cultural groups and their contribution to American heritage; and
  11. a reasonable balance of viewpoints regarding controversial issues should be presented.

The following criteria are to be considered in the selection of literary works for classroom use in teaching literature, as well as the assignment of such works to particular grade levels:

  1. use of a compositional style that contributes to the reader’s critical and appreciative understanding of the work;
  2. sophisticated use of literary devices (i.e., metaphor, point of view, tone) to further student understanding of written concepts;
  3. levels of student maturity and experience necessary for empathic reading of literature;
  4. capacity of a work to capture student interest;
  5. thematic treatment that promotes sound and healthy values for students;
  6. intrinsic qualities that establish a work as a significant part of the literary heritage; and
  7. sufficient variety to avoid duplication of theme, plot, setting, etc., unless such duplication affords opportunities for comparison and contrast or serves to reinforce understanding.

Cross-ref:

  • 1420, Complaints about Curricula or Instructional Materials

Ref:

  • Education Law §§701 et seq.; 1711; 2508; 2566

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

[back to the top of page]


Policy 4526 | Acceptable Use Policy

View the PDF version of the Computer Use in Instruction Policy here.

The Board of Education (the Board) provides a wide range of technology resources to advance the educational mission of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) and manage District operations. Pursuant to District Policy #8630 concerning District Technology Resources and Data Management, the Board has established this Acceptable Use Policy (AUP).

Capitalized terms in this Policy have the same meaning as the same terms set forth in Policy #8630.

This AUP is applicable to all Users of District Technology and Data, including all students, staff, Board members, volunteers, vendors, and visitors who are authorized to access District Technology and Data. All use of District Technology and Data is subject to this AUP and the District Code of Conduct, regardless of whether such use occurs at school or outside of school. Pursuant to the Code of Conduct and this AUP, all Users of District Technology are required to conduct themselves in a responsible, decent, ethical, and polite manner.

The superintendent, working in conjunction with the District’s director of Technology (DOT) shall prepare an appropriate Regulation to define the specific acceptable uses of District Technology and Data (the AUP Regulation). The AUP Regulation shall be made available to all Users, who shall be required to acknowledge receipt of, and agree to comply with, the AUP Regulation before being provided access to District Technology and Data.

Any violation of the AUP Regulation may be grounds for discipline, which may include termination of access to District Technology and Data or other appropriate sanctions under the circumstances.

Cross-ref:

  • 1130.1 Social Media Guidelines
  • 4526.1 Internet Safety
  • 8630 Technology Resources and Data Management 8635 Information Security Breach & Notification

Adoption date: August 9, 2017
Re-approved date: March 20, 2019

[back to the top of page]


Policy 4526-R | Acceptable Use Regulation

View the PDF version of the Computer Use in Instruction Regulation here.

This Acceptable Use Regulation (AUP Regulation) establishes the general rules for use of District Technology pursuant to the Acceptable Use Policy No. 4526 (AUP or Policy No. 4526) of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District).

Capitalized terms in this Regulation have the same meaning as the same terms set forth in Policy No. 4526.

  1. Notice of User Rights and Limitation of District Obligations

    A. No Expectation of Privacy. Users have no expectation of privacy regarding use of District Technology or storage of Data on District Technology, including, but not limited to, Data contained in any User account, on the District’s computer network or authorized cloud computing solution, or on any device issued by the District to any student.

    B. Access Is a Privilege. Access to District Technology and Data is a privilege, not a right. The District reserves the right to prohibit or limit any use that is not for educational purposes; interferes with the normal operation of the District; or violates any law, policy, or regulation.

    C. No Warranties. The District makes no warranties of any kind, express or implied, relating to access to, or use of, District Technology or Data. Further, the District assumes no responsibility for the quality, availability, accuracy, nature, or reliability of the service and/or information provided. Users of District Technology use such technology at their own risk. Each User is responsible for verifying the integrity and authenticity of all information obtained through use of District Technology, including any information obtained from the Internet. The District is not liable for any claims, losses, damages, suits, expenses, or costs of any kind incurred, directly or indirectly, by any user or his/her parents and/or guardians arising out of the use of District Technology.

    D. Limits on Filtering Technology. No Internet filtering/blocking software is 100 percent effective. The District is not responsible for failure of such software to block or prevent access to all potentially objectionable content.

    E. Limits on Security Controls. No security controls are 100 percent effective to eliminate all threats. The District is not responsible for failure of any reasonable security controls to preserve the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of District Technology or Data.

  2. Use of District Technology

    A. Educational and District Uses. District Technology is provided to support student learning and manage the District’s operations. All Users are expected to use District Technology for educational and other District purposes. Educational purposes include academic or classroom instruction, research, and other learning opportunities consistent with the District’s educational mission.

    B. Prohibited Uses. The following uses are specifically prohibited.

      1. Any use that violates this Regulation or any other District Regulation or Policy, including but not limited to the Code of Conduct [see Policy # 5300];
      2. Any use that violates applicable law;
      3. Posting any material or information that may result in disruption of normal school operations;
      4. Cyberbullying and/or harassing other Users [see Policy # 5810 (Cyberbullying) and Policy # 5300 (Code of Conduct)];
      5. Accessing, uploading, downloading, creating, or distributing pornographic, obscene, or sexually explicit material;
      6. Copyright infringement;
      7. Gambling;
      8. Vandalizing the account or Data of another User;
      9. Accessing another User’s account or confidential records without permission;
      10. Attempting to read, delete, copy, or modify the electronic mail of other system Users and deliberately interfering with the ability of other system Users to send and/or receive email;
      11. Using another person’s account name, with or without permission;
      12. Revealing the personal address, telephone number, or other personally identifying information of a student unless written permission has been given by a parent or guardian;
      13. Sharing your personal ID or password with another User;
      14. Using any methods or means to bypass the District’s Internet filtering system, including, but not limited to, use of a Virtual Private Network (VPN);
      15. Intentionally or knowingly disrupting or damaging District Technology or Data, including creating, installing, sharing, or distributing a computer virus or similar damaging code, application, or program;
      16. Using District Technology for personal financial gain;
      17. Downloading, installing, or using software without permission;
      18. Email broadcasting or spamming;
      19. Using District Technology to send anonymous messages or files;
      20. Using a false/fictitious identity in any electronic communication; or
      21. Forging or attempting to forge email messages.

    C. Personal Devices. Personal Devices owned by Users may be used to connect to the District’s computer network, including wireless Internet access points maintained by the District. Personal Devices that may be used include, but are not limited to, laptop computers, smartphones, and tablets. All activities conducted while connected to the District computer network are subject to monitoring, copying, review, access, and storage by the District. The District is not liable for any damages, expenses, or costs associated with the use of a Personal Device to access District Technology, or in the event such a Personal Device is lost, damaged, or stolen.

    D. District-Issued Devices. The District may issue devices to Students or Staff for use in school and outside of school. Parents and/or guardians, students, and Staff will receive (and must acknowledge receipt of and agree to follow) the specific guidelines regarding rights and responsibilities relating to use of these District-owned, leased, or controlled devices. The District reserves the right to inspect or examine all District-issued devices to ensure compliance with this Regulation and other applicable policies and regulations.

    E. Internet Safety. In accordance with the Children’s Internet Protection Act of 2001 and the Protecting Children in the 21st Century Act of 2008, the District has adopted an Internet Safety Policy and a Regulation that specifically govern use of District Technology to access the Internet (4526.1/4526.1-R). All Users are required to abide by the requirements of the District’s Internet Safety Policy and Regulation.

    F. Social Media. The District has adopted Social Media Guidelines that specifically govern use of Social Media relating to the District and District activities [see Policy # 1130.1]. All Users are required to abide by the requirements of the District’s Social Media Guidelines.

    G. Data Storage. The District uses a variety of approved solutions for storing Data. Some Data may be stored on servers located in the District, while other Data may be stored by third party vendors (for example, remote cloud storage). The District’s director of Technology (DOT) is responsible for communicating to Users how and where Data should be stored.

    H. Security Incidents. If a User identifies a security problem involving District Technology or Data, the User must notify the District’s Information Technology (IT) staff or other responsible school official immediately. Under no circumstances should the User demonstrate the security issue to another User or encourage any other User to exploit or replicate the security problem.

  3. Violations

    A. Violations of the Acceptable Use Policy and this Regulation shall be reported to the principal, who shall take appropriate action in accordance with authorized disciplinary procedures set forth in the District’s Acceptable Use Policy or other applicable policies.

    B. Penalties for students may include, but are not limited to, the restriction or revocation of computer access privileges, suspension, and other discipline consistent with the Code of Conduct.

    C. Penalties for staff and other authorized Users may include, but are not limited to, revocation of computer access privileges and other discipline allowed pursuant to contract and/or law, up to and including termination.

    D. In addition, the District may pursue legal options for damage to District Technology or Data, or for other damages suffered by the District.

    E. Violations that appear to be criminal in nature will be reported to the appropriate law enforcement authorities.

Adoption date: August 9, 2017
Re-approved date: March 20, 2019

[back to the top of page]


Policy 4526-E.1-2 | Computer Network for Education Exhibits

View the PDF version of the Computer Network for Education Exhibits here.

Adoption date: June 19, 2002

[back to the top of page]


Policy 4526.1 | Internet Safety Policy

View the PDF version of the Internet Safety Policy here.

It is the policy of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) to comply with the Children’s Internet Protection Act of 2001 and the Protecting Children in the 21st Century Act of 2008 (collectively, the “Internet Safety Laws”).

The District recognizes that the Internet Safety Laws require the District to undertake reasonable efforts to:

  • Block or filter access to certain material, including obscene pictures, child pornography, and other material harmful to minors;
  • Monitor online activities of minors; and
  • Educate minors concerning appropriate online behavior.

In addition, all use of District Technology to access the Internet must comply with the District’s Technology Resources and Data Management Policy and Regulation [Policy # 8630 and 8630-R] and Acceptable Use Policy and Regulation [Policy # 4526 and Policy # 4526-R].

As set forth in the District’s Acceptable Use Regulation, the District cannot guarantee that technological measures will prevent minors from accessing inappropriate content. The District will educate students about appropriate online behavior. Parents and/or guardians are expected to supervise and monitor students’ use of the Internet when children are using District Technology outside of school.

The superintendent of the District is hereby directed to establish a Regulation setting forth appropriate procedures and procure appropriate technology to comply with the Internet Safety Laws and the District’s Acceptable Use Policy. These procedures and technology shall include:

  • Acquisition and deployment of Internet blocking and/or filtering software;
  • Monitoring of online activities facilitated by District Technology;
  • Restrictions on disclosure of students’ personal information online;
  • Restrictions on unauthorized online access by students, including hacking and other unlawful activities; and
  • Education and training on safety and security of minors relating to the use of email, chat rooms, and other online communications.
  • Consistent with the Internet Safety Laws, the superintendent’s Regulation also shall establish appropriate procedures to allow exceptions to this Internet Safety Policy for adults conducting bona fide research or other lawful activities.

Cross-Reference

  • 1130.1 Social Media Guidelines
  • 4526 Acceptable Use
  • 8630 Technology Resources and Data Management
  • 8635 Information Security Breach & Notification

Adoption date: August 9, 2017
Re-approved date: March 20, 2019

[back to the top of page]


Policy 4526.1-R | Internet Safety Regulation

View the PDF version of the Internet Safety Regulation here.

The following rules and regulations implement the Internet Safety Policy adopted by the Board of Education (the Board) of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) to make safe for children the use of District computers for access to the Internet.

Definitions

A. Capitalized Terms. Unless otherwise stated herein, all capitalized terms shall have the same definitions as those set forth in the District’s Internet Safety Policy [Policy # 4526.1] and Acceptable Use Policy [Policy # 4526].

B. Child Pornography. Any visual depiction, including any photograph, film, video, picture, or computer-generated image or picture, whether made or produced by electronic, mechanical, or other means, of sexually explicit conduct, where the production of such visual depiction involves the use of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct. Child Pornography also includes any such visual depiction that:

    1. is or appears to be, of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct;
    2. has been created, adapted, or modified to appear that an identifiable minor is engaging in sexually explicit conduct; or
    3. is advertised, promoted, presented, described, or distributed in such a manner that conveys the impression that the material is, or contains a visual depiction of, a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct.

C. Harmful to Minors. Any picture, image, graphic image file, or other visual depiction that:

    1. taken as a whole and, with respect to minors, appeals to the prurient interest in nudity, sex, or excretion;
    2. depicts, describes, or represents, in a patently offensive way with respect to what is suitable for minors, an actual or simulated sexual act or sexual contact, actual or simulated normal or perverted sex acts, or a lewd exhibition of the genitals; and
    3. taken as a whole lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value as to minors.

D. Obscene. Any picture, image, graphic image file, or other visual depiction that:

    1. the average person, applying contemporary community standards, would find the image, taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest;
    2. describes, in a patently offensive way, sexual conduct; and
    3. taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.

Mandatory Blocking and Filtering Measures

A. As set forth in Policy # 8630, the superintendent, or his or her designee, shall secure information about, and ensure the purchase or provision of, a technology protection measure that blocks access to visual depictions on the Internet that:

1. as to adults, are obscene or child pornography; and

2. as to children, are obscene, child pornography, or harmful to minors.

B. The District’s director of Technology (DOT) shall be responsible for the installation and proper use of any blocking or filtering measure obtained by the District.

C. The DOT and/or his or her designee may disable or relax the District’s Internet blocking and filtering technology only for adult staff members conducting research related to the discharge of their official responsibilities. In such cases, the DOT and/or his designee shall monitor the activities of adult Users for whom the blocking and filtering technology measure has been disabled to ensure that such Users are not accessing prohibited materials.

Monitoring of Online Activities

A. The DOT shall be responsible for monitoring to ensure that online activities of Users are consistent with the District’s Internet Safety Policy, this Regulation, and the District’s Acceptable Use Policy and Regulation.

B. The DOT may inspect, copy, review, and store at any time, and without prior notice, any and all usage of District Technology for accessing the Internet, as well as any and all information transmitted or received during such use.

C. During the school day and/or at school events, staff are authorized to monitor student use of District Technology.

D. Parents and/or guardians of students bear the responsibility for setting and conveying standards that their children should follow when accessing the Internet, both inside and outside of school. In addition, parents and/or guardians may opt out of allowing their children to access the Internet using District Technology.

E. Parents and/or guardians must supervise and monitor student use of District Technology outside of school to ensure such use complies with the Internet Safety Policy, this Regulation, and the District’s Acceptable Use Policy and this Regulation.

Training

A. The DOT shall provide training to staff and students on the requirements of the Internet Safety Policy and this Regulation at the beginning of each school year.

B. The training of Users shall highlight the various activities prohibited by the Internet Safety Policy and the responsibility of staff to monitor student online activities.

C. The District shall provide age-appropriate instruction to students regarding appropriate online behavior. Such instruction shall include, but not be limited to, (i) positive interactions with others online, including on social networking sites and in chat rooms; (ii) proper online social etiquette; (iii) protection from online predators and personal safety; and (iv) how to recognize and respond to cyberbullying and other threats.

D. Students shall be directed to consult with their classroom teacher if they are unsure whether their contemplated activities when accessing the Internet are appropriate.

E. Users will be advised that unauthorized access (hacking) and other unlawful activities are prohibited.

F. Users will be advised not to disclose, use, or disseminate personal information about students when accessing the Internet or engaging in authorized forms of direct electronic communication.

G. Users will be informed of the range of possible consequences attendant to a violation of the Internet Safety Policy and this Regulation.

Violations

A. Violations of the Internet Safety Policy and this Regulation shall be reported to the principal who shall take appropriate action in accordance with authorized disciplinary procedures set forth in the District’s Acceptable Use Policy or other applicable policies.

B. Penalties for students may include, but are not limited to, the restriction or revocation of computer access privileges, suspension, and other discipline consistent with the Code of Conduct.

C. Penalties for staff and other authorized users may include, but are not limited to, revocation of computer access privileges and other discipline allowed pursuant to contract and/or law up to and including termination.

D. In addition, the District may pursue legal options for damage to District Technology or Data, or for other damages suffered by the District.

E. Violations that appear to be criminal in nature will be reported to the appropriate law enforcement authorities.

Adoption date: August 9, 2017
Re-approved date: March 20, 2019

[back to the top of page]


Policy 4526.2 | Cloud Storage Guidelines

View the PDF version of the Cloud Storage Policy here.

To more efficiently and cost-effectively manage the Technology Resources of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District), the District has contracted with cloud storage providers to provide remote data hosting services. These Cloud Storage Guidelines set forth the District’s guidelines for use of cloud storage.

Cloud Storage Providers

a. The following Cloud Storage Providers are authorized for use:

i. DropBox Business (paid business version only);

ii. Google Apps for Education (GAFE); and

iii. Google Classroom.

b. No other Cloud Storage Provider or solution may be used without permission of the District’s director of Technology (DOT). (Aspen data are hosted on District servers and these are not considered a cloud service provider.)

Official District Accounts

a. Staff members will be provided, and must use, only official District accounts for the District’s approved Cloud Storage Providers. The DOT will provide staff members with training on use of cloud storage solutions. Staff members must remember to sign out of official accounts when those accounts are not in use.

b. We understand that staff members may have their own private accounts with cloud storage providers, such as Dropbox, that they use for personal purposes. Private accounts cannot be used for transferring any District Data. In addition, personal information (data) should not be transferred to or from a District-owned or leased device for any reason.

Locations for Specific Data

a. Highly confidential data should be stored only on District servers (M: drives and departmental drives/folders), including HIPAA transactional data (with the exception of Health Office Anywhere) and financial data.

b. Information that is not highly confidential, including personally identifiable information (PII), may be stored in GAFE or Google Classroom.

c. External storage drives (including thumb and jump drives) are not permitted for storage of any HIPAA data, financial data, PII, student records, or staff records.

Adoption date: August 9, 2017
Revised date: March 20, 2019

[back to the top of page]


Policy 4531 | Field Trips

View the PDF version of the Field Trips Policy here.

The Board of Education (the Board) recognizes that field trips can be an integral component of a student’s educational experience. However, a field trip must be more than just an enjoyable, supplemental experience. Field trips are to be directly tied to the academic program. A field trip shall be:

1. a means to apply learning in the field; and/or
2. a means to conduct research; and/or
3. a means to work directly with original source materials; and
4. curricular in nature.

Building principals, supervisors, and teachers will determine the frequency and content of class field trips. Each student must secure the permission of his/her parent(s) and/or guardian(s) before participating in such activity.

Factors relevant in consideration of approval of such field trips may include the relationship to the curriculum, the distance of the trip, availability of transportation, the cost involved, weather conditions, and full utilization of transportation. All requests for field trips must be submitted to the superintendent in a time frame established by the superintendent.

Participation in field trips shall be limited to students who attend schools in  the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) and participate in the District’s general education and/or special education curriculum. This shall not include:

1. students who are homeschooled by their parents;
2. students who are parentally placed in a private school including, but not limited to, students with disabilities who receive special education and/or related services from the District pursuant to the “dual enrollment law,” N.Y. Educ. Law § 3602-c; and
3. students who are placed by the Committee on Special Education in an external placement, including a BOCES program (regardless of location), a day treatment program, a residential facility, or other private school placement.

The superintendent or his/her designee has final authority for approval or cancellation of all field trips.

Cross-ref.:
Policy 5252, Student Activity Funds Management
Policy 5252-R, Student Activity Funds Management Regulation

Adoption date: June 19, 2002
Revised date: October 15, 2003
Revised date:
February 28, 2018
Re-approved date: December 19, 2018

[back to the top of page]


Policy 4531-R | Field Trips and Excursions Regulation

View the PDF version of the Field Trips and Excursions Regulation here.

Guidelines for Field Trips

To ensure the success of all District field trips, the following guidelines should be followed:

1. Teachers will receive permission from the principal for proposed trips, before bringing the trip to the attention of parents and students.
2. Field trip requests should be presented to the principal and/or assistant principal in a time frame established by the superintendent. Upon the submission of the field trip request, it will be reviewed and scheduled if approved.
3. Middle and High School students in all sections of a course should participate.
4. Approval of the field trips will be dependent upon the direct connection of the trip to the curriculum and the value of the learning experience, balanced against the loss of classroom instruction for students and teacher chaperones.
5. Middle or High School field trips should be avoided after December recess through midyear examinations and after May 15. The faculty asks that those teachers planning field trips avoid, where possible, scheduling a trip during the last two/three days of a marking period. This will help to avoid conflicts with testing or deadlines for projects.
6. During the field trip experience, students will be under the supervision of an adult or teacher chaperone. Plans for the field trip are to include educational goals, proposed activities to achieve these goals, and the identification of specific advisors responsible for student supervision during proposed activities. It is the responsibility of the teacher sponsor of the field trip to secure adequate teacher and parental supervision for all aspects of the trip.
7. For trips involving more than $100 of expense, parents/guardians of the students on the trip must be provided with information about the cancellation/refund policy of the agency or entities connected with the trip.
8. All students and chaperones are expected to abide by the District Code of Conduct during the entirety of the field trip.

Responsibility (Procedures to be the same for day and overnight trips)

An employee of the District will be responsible for any school-sponsored overnight field trip. The sponsor will be a school advisor, teacher, or coach.

The maximum chaperone to student ratio is 1:25 for teacher-student, 1:10 for parent/chaperone-student. The maximum chaperone to student ratio for overnight trips is 1:10. Numbers higher than this require special approval. When volunteers are used as chaperones, the sponsor shall provide pre-trip orientation.

Overnight Field Trip Guidelines

Overnight field trips may provide positive academic and social learning experiences for students. They need to be very carefully planned to meet the special requirements of student well-being over an extended period of time and provide sponsorship protection for the District. Overnight field trips must meet all the requirements for a single-day field trip as well as the additional following guidelines:

1. Transportation (procedures are to be the same for day trips)

Except as provided below, District transportation is the required mode of conveyance. Public transportation will require screening by the transportation supervisor. Adults may drive their children to and from overnight field trip sites with the sponsor’s permission and written parent consent. Drivers under twenty-one years of age will not be permitted.

The normal passenger load ratings may not be exceeded when transporting students on an overnight field trip. All passengers in private vehicles must be provided with seat belts. Sponsors and/or approved chaperones must accompany students on any vehicle that transports students on a school-sponsored and/or approved trip.

District bus transportation will be provided whenever possible. All District transportation assignments will be determined by the availability of buses and funds as allocated by the District transportation coordinator. The teacher/coach planning a trip for which District transportation is not available may consider a charter school coach and will need to:

  • Call the transportation supervisor for names of preapproved charter coach companies.
  • Arrange for preapproved charter transportation to be preinspected by Bethlehem Central transportation supervisor and/or their designee.
  • Call the transportation supervisor to confirm the trip and notify the supervisor of the contractor selected to complete the trip.

2. Scheduling (Procedures to be the same for day trips)

Schedules and application materials for overnight trips must be submitted to the building principal and subject supervisor, as applicable, forty-five days in advance to allow the necessary time for the approval process. Applications for day trips should be submitted three weeks in advance of the field trip experience.

Any additions to the athletic schedule — including competitions sponsored by the New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NAPHSSA) — may not be able to meet these time requirements and may be approved by the building principal and superintendent.

All application materials will include a detailed itinerary of student activities during the field trip. The itinerary must be followed unless there are unforeseen circumstances. Any changes made should be reported as soon as possible to a direct supervisor.

All field trip forms should be completed and forwarded to the building principal and subject supervisor. Faculty should be notified of a field trip through the distribution of an alphabetical list of all students participating in the trip at least several days in advance. A copy of this list shall be filed with the building principal and subject supervisor’s secretary at the same time.

All students participating on the trip must provide a signed permission slips that are to be retained by the teacher. Students who miss class because of their participation in a field trip are responsible for making up all missed work.

3. Accommodations/Special Conditions

To the extent possible, living accommodations should be previewed by the sponsor of the trip. Private accommodations shall be previewed by the sponsor, another school district or a school-contracted organization (i.e., a tour company or student exchange organization).

Telephone contact points and persons should be a part of all trip itineraries.

4. Health Care

The school nurse is responsible for maintaining student safety while students participate in school-related functions. These responsibilities include: communication from the health office to instructors/chaperones regarding a student’s special needs and medication administration.

After the health office is notified of a field trip, any student requiring medication or possessing a health concern will be notified by the nurse. Parents will be contacted and a medication plan will be initiated. Such a plan requires proper paperwork to be on file in the health office.

When deemed necessary, only the appropriate dosage of medication should accompany a student in a properly labeled container. Only students with a preexisting diagnosis will be provided medication coverage.

Situations that are of an emergency nature which occur during the course of the field trip experience should involve local rescue squads and police. Communication to the principal and parents shall take place as soon as possible and accident reports filed with the school insurance secretary. A faculty member should remain with an ill or injured student at all times until a parent is able to assume responsibility for their child.

5. Insurance

The premium for any additional insurance coverage for an overnight trip to protect the District must be borne by the participating group. Parents should be informed of the type of insurance coverage, including medical insurance as required. In the event of cancellation of the trip by the tour company and/or superintendent or his/her designee, the parents and guardians will not be reimbursed by the District. The following notice should be given in writing to each parent considering the trip and prior to signing the appropriate permission slip:

  • In the event the trip must be canceled by the superintendent or his/her designee due to terrorist action, government advisory, or other unforeseen circumstances not in effect at the time of the trip approval, the District will not be held financially responsible for costs accrued as a result of that action.

Adoption date: June 19, 2002
Revised date: October 15, 2003
Revised date: December 19, 2018

[back to the top of page]


Policy 4710 | Grading System

View the PDF version of the Grading System Policy here.

Grading is considered a positive tool to indicate achievement and development in each class or subject in which a student is enrolled. The Board of Education (the Board) of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) recognizes that the classroom teacher has the primary responsibility to evaluate students and determine student grades.

The District will use a uniform grading system. Classroom teachers will evaluate students and assign grades according to the established system. Grading will be based, in part, upon student improvement, achievement, and participation in classroom discussions and activities. Parent(s) and/or guardian(s) will be informed regularly, at least two times a year, of their child’s progress. The use of marks and symbols will be appropriately explained.

Each student is an individual with his/her own abilities and capabilities. Hence, when a student’s achievement is evaluated, attention should be given to his/her unique characteristics and to accepted standards of performance in the educational setting.

A student is expected to complete the assigned class work and homework as directed. The student is also expected to participate meaningfully in class discussions and activities in order to receive course credit. If work is missed due to absence, the student is expected to make up the work. The student and/or the student’s parent(s) and/or guardian(s) should discuss with the student’s teacher an appropriate means of making up the missed work. With the possible exception of absences intended by the student as a means of gaining an unfair academic advantage (e.g., to secure more time to study for a test), every effort will be made to provide students with the opportunity and assistance to make up all work missed as a result of absence from class.

The professional judgment of the teacher should be respected. Once a grade is assigned to a student by a teacher, the grade may only be changed by a District administrator after notification to the teacher of the reason for such change. Should an administrator enforce a grade change, he/she shall be prepared to report to the superintendent and/or the Board.

Grade Modifications

Modifications to the District grading policy are allowed in certain circumstances with the approval of the department supervisor and building principal. Modified grading is sometimes allowed for students with excessive absences due to medical reasons, and for students participating in courses with substantial modifications to the curriculum, such as a student eligible for Academic Intervention Services (AIS), a student whose primary language is a language other than English, and a student with disabilities who require a modified curriculum and modified grading.

When it has been determined that a student requires modified grades, the grade to be received by the student should be a measure of how successfully he or she has succeeded in meeting individual goals.

Cross-ref:

  • 4712, Student Progress Reports to Parents
  • 5100, Student Attendance

Ref:

  • Education Law §§3202; 3205 et seq.
  • Matter of Nathaniel D., 32 EDR 67 (1992)
  • Matter of Hegarty, 31 EDR 232 (1992)
  • Matter of Shepard, 31 EDR 315 (1992)
  • Matter of Handicapped Child, 32 EDR 83 (1992)
  • Matter of Ackert, 30 EDR 31 (1990)
  • Matter of Augustine, 30 EDR 13 (1990)
  • Matter of Boylan, 24 EDR 421 (1985)
  • Matter of Burns, 29 EDR 103 (1989)
  • Matter of Chipman, 10 EDR 224 (1971)
  • Matter of Dickershaid, 26 EDR 112 (1986)
  • Letter to Runkel, 25 IDELR 387 (1996)

Adoption date: June 19, 2002
Revision: October 17, 2007
Revision: March 19, 2014
Revised date: February 27, 2019

[back to the top of page]


Policy 4712 | Student Progress Reports to Parents

View the PDF version of the Student Progress Reports to Parents Policy here.

An important aspect of the instructional program of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) is reporting student progress to parents. The goal is to communicate as often as is necessary and as effectively as possible with the parents of each child, and to encourage parents to communicate with the school.

The District’s formal reporting system includes report cards and/or forms developed by the professional staff and issued periodically, scheduled conferences between parents and teachers, and interim reports issued as needed or required. Parents are urged to visit the school and to confer with guidance counselors and teachers as deemed necessary.

Staff members are urged to maintain informal contact with parents through telephone calls and emails.

In accordance with the provisions of Title I, parents/guardians shall be provided with reports on their child’s progress. In addition, the parents/guardians of students with special education needs shall be provided with semiannual progress reports. Copies of letters sent to parents/guardians relating to a particular situation or problem will be kept in the student’s folder.

Each student who receives Title I or Special Education Services will be monitored and evaluated frequently for academic progress.

Cross-ref:

  • 1900, Parental Involvement
  • 4710, Grading System

Ref:

  • 34 CFR §200.34(c)(l)(i) (ESEA Title I Program in Local Educational Agencies)
  • 8 NYCRR Part 149, subparts 149-1; 149-3

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

[back to the top of page]


Policy 4720 | Testing Programs

View the PDF version of the Testing Programs Policy here.

The Board of Education (the Board) of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) believes that standardized testing programs can provide a meaningful source of information about the curriculum and overall student achievement. The Board, therefore, authorizes a program of testing to help accomplish the following objectives:

  1. to evaluate strengths and weaknesses of the current curriculum and methods of instruction;
  2. to provide one means to evaluate student growth through individual, intra-District, and inter-District comparison;
  3. to provide teachers with diagnostic information that will enable them to better address the instructional needs of their students; and
  4. to provide a basis for longitudinal study of student achievement.

Information gained through the use of testing programs will be used to design educational opportunities for students to better meet their individual and collective needs.

The Board views this purpose to be a primary function of schools. The Board recognizes that tests provide only a limited source of information, and will therefore be used only in conjunction with all other information known about a student or to assist the student in improving his/her work.

Records of the results of standardized tests shall be maintained in accordance with the Board’s policy on student records.

Ref:

  • 8 NYCRR §§100.3(b)2; 100.4(d)1; 100.5(a)4; 100.5(b)5; 100.5(c)5

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

[back to the top of page]


Policy 4750 | Promotion and Retention of Students

View the PDF version of the Promotion and Retention of Students Policy here.

It is essential that each child experience both challenge and success from school activities. To this end, the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) will make every effort to place each student in the most appropriate learning level for a successful educational experience.

District curriculum guides indicate goals for achievement by the “average” student at each grade level. However, academic growth, like physical growth, does not take place at the same pace or time for all individuals. Certain students may achieve mastery in a shorter period, while others need additional time. Early identification and intervention, promotion, and retention are methods of meeting the needs of such children.

The following guidelines shall govern student progression:

Early Identification/Intervention

Classroom teachers are expected to make every effort to identify early those students at risk of failing. The principal and the parents and/or guardians must be notified promptly if retention is anticipated, and a special support program shall be designed for each child identified as in danger of failing. Such support services may include, but are not limited to, individualized assistance before, during, or after the school day; remedial classes; a change in instructional program; and, where appropriate, referral to the Committee on Special Education for evaluation.

Promotion/Retention

Elementary schools

At the elementary level, students who pass all subjects will be promoted. Students who do not make satisfactory progress in one or more basic subjects (English Language Arts, Mathematics, Social Studies, and Science) shall have their cases considered on an individual basis and may be retained. Retention shall be limited to those situations where the best interest of the child is reasonably assured. Diligent effort shall be made to use all available resources to determine the child’s appropriate placement.

Middle schools

Students who pass all subjects but one shall have the failure evaluated and a determination made as to the reason for the failure. The student may be required to repeat the subject, but in typical cases shall be promoted with recommendation for either summer school or assignment to a more appropriate academic ability group. The decision shall be arrived at by consensus from a case conference approach involving the teacher, principal, and guidance counselor.

Students who fail two subjects shall have their cases considered on an individual basis through a case conference approach described above.

Students who fail more than two subjects may fail for the year and may be retained.

High School

In general, promotion from one class to the next shall be contingent upon the passing of all required subjects and the accumulation of four or five units of credit at each level.

Retention

A decision to retain shall be arrived at by consensus from a case conference approach involving the teacher, principal, other appropriate school personnel, and parents and/or guardian. Factors to be considered include teacher recommendation; classroom achievement; assessments; social and emotional development; results of the family conference; and, for identified students, recommendations by the Committee on Special Education. If a consensus cannot be reached, the decision of the principal shall be final.

No student will be retained without an appropriate educational plan defining how the student will be supported in the next academic year. Once the educational plan has been implemented, the student will be monitored regularly.

Ref:

  • Education Law §§1709; 2503(4); 3202
  • 8 NYCRR §100.4
  • Isqwith v. Levitt, 285 App. Div. 833; 137 N.Y.S.2d 497 (1955)
  • Matter of Eckert, 13 EDR 270 (1979)
  • Op. Counsel, 1 EDR 775 (1952)

Adopted: May 18, 2011
Revised date: February 27, 2019

[back to the top of page]


Policy 4772 | Graduation Policy

View the PDF version of the Graduation Policy here.

The graduation or commencement ceremony is a time to celebrate the honors and achievements of the graduating class. The Bethlehem Central School District (the District) will establish the date for graduation ceremonies.

Participation in the graduation ceremony and related activities will be predicated on satisfactory completion of all graduation requirements, or as otherwise described in this policy. Exceptions may be made under extraordinary circumstances with the permission of the superintendent. A student who has earned either a Career Development and Occupational Studies Commencement Credential (CDOS) or Skills and Achievement Commencement Credential (SACC) by the time his/her ninth-grade cohort reaches graduation may, but is not required to, participate in that graduation ceremony.

A student with a disability who participates in graduation ceremonies by earning only a Career Development and Occupational Studies Commencement Credential (CDOS) or a Skills and Achievement Commencement Credential (SACC) is entitled to continue his/her educational program until the end of school year in which the student turns twenty-one years old, or until he/she earns a Regents or local high school diploma.

The superintendent shall develop regulations to implement this policy, to be adopted by the Board. The District shall provide annual written notice to all students and their parent(s) and/or guardian(s) of the requirements of this policy and associated regulations.

Cross-Ref:

  • 4321, Programs for Students with Disabilities Under the IDEA and New York’s Education Law Article 89
  • 4321.9, Declassification of Students with Disabilities
  • 4773, Diploma and Credential Options for Students with Disabilities

Ref:

  • Education Law §3204(4-b)
  • 8 NYCRR §§100.5; 100.6

Adopted: April 10, 2018
Revised date: March 20, 2019


Policy 4772-R | Graduation Policy Regulation

View the PDF version of the Graduation Policy Regulation here.

A student who has earned either a Career Development and Occupational Studies Commencement Credential (CDOS) or a Skills and Achievement Commencement Credential (SACC), but not a high school diploma, shall be allowed to participate in the graduation ceremony of the student’s graduating class.

The Bethlehem Central School District (the District) shall retain a record of each student’s ninth grade cohort. Each year, the principal shall determine whether each student who entered ninth grade with the current year’s graduating class is eligible to participate in that year’s graduation ceremony, pursuant to state law, Board of Education policy, and this regulation.

During the school year in which the ninth grade cohort enters twelfth grade, the principal shall submit to the superintendent or his/her designee the name(s) of all students who are on track and expected to earn either a CDOS or SACC, but not a Regents or local high school diploma, by the time of graduation.

For each student so identified, the superintendent or his/her designee shall communicate with the student and/or his/her parent(s) and/or guardian(s) to ascertain whether the student wishes to participate in the graduation ceremonies of that year’s graduating class by discussing the matter with the student and his/her parent(s) and/or guardian(s) either in person, in writing, by telephone, or via email.

For any student who meets such requirements and wishes to participate in the graduation ceremony, the superintendent shall facilitate the student’s participation in the graduation with the building principal, the student, and his/her parent(s)/guardian(s). Notification that the student may participate in that year’s graduation ceremony will be provided prior to graduation.

The District shall provide annual written notice to all students and their parent(s) and/or guardian(s) of the requirements of this regulation and associated policy.

Adoption date: April 10, 2018
Re-approved date: March 20, 2019


Policy 4831 | Service Animals Policy

View the PDF version of the Service Animals Policy here.

The Bethlehem Central School District (the District) recognizes the right of an individual with a disability to be accompanied on District property by a service animal.

Definitions

A. Service Animal:

Except as otherwise expressly required by federal or state law, the term “service animal” shall be limited to a dog that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability.

The term “service animal” shall not include an emotional support animal or comfort animal of any kind.

B. Individual with a Disability:

The term “individual with a disability” shall mean a student, employee, or visitor to the District’s property who has a disability covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (Section 504), or New York State Human Rights Law (HRL).

For purposes of this policy, an individual with a disability may be referred to below as an “owner” or “handler” of a service animal.

Service Animal Determinations

1. When an individual with a disability is initially accompanied by a service animal on District property, or requests to be accompanied by a service animal on District property, a District administrator may make the following inquiries of such individual, or a parent of a student with a disability:

a. Is the dog a service animal required because of a disability?

b. What work or task has the dog been trained to perform?

2. The “work or task” that the dog is trained to perform must:

a. be directly related to the disability of the dog’s owner or handler – that is, the dog must perform work or a task that the owner or handler cannot independently perform without the dog; and

b. must not be limited to the natural behavior of a dog; and

c. must not be limited to providing emotional support or comfort.

3. District administrators are not permitted to request or require:

a. proof of training (such as any type of certification for the dog); or

b. a demonstration of the work or task performed by the dog; or

c. a service animal vest or ID tag to be worn by the dog.

Requirements for Service Animals

1. A service animal must be under the control of its owner or handler at all times, through the use of a leash, harness, or other tether, except: (a) at times when the use of a leash, harness, or other tether would interfere with the service animal’s safe and effective performance of the work or task that it is trained to perform; or (b) when the owner’s or handler’s disability prevents the use of these devices, and the owner or handler uses other effective means (such as oral commands) to control the service animal.

2. The owner or handler of the service animal is solely responsible for caring for and supervising the service animal, which includes toileting, feeding and grooming the service animal. The District is not responsible for caring for or supervising a service animal.

3. Any request for reasonable accommodation for a student with a disability who requires assistance with a service animal should be addressed to the director of Special Education and Student Services.

4. The owner or handler of the service animal must submit to the District proof of registration in conformance with any applicable local registration requirements for all dogs, and proof of the service animal’s current vaccinations and immunizations from a licensed veterinarian.

Exclusion of Service Animals

A service animal may be excluded only when:

1. the animal is out of control and the owner/handler does not take effective action to control it; or
2. the animal is not housebroken.

Allergies or fear of a service animal experienced by other students, employees, or visitors are not grounds to exclude a service animal. District administrators are directed to balance and reasonably accommodate the needs of the individual who is accompanied by the service animal, and any individual who is allergic to, or fearful of, the service animal.

Service Animals in Training

A service animal who is in training (and not yet capable of performing any work or task for an individual with a disability) will not be permitted on the District’s property, except to the extent required by New York State law. Specifically, a person who is qualified to train dogs to aid and guide persons with a disability may be accompanied by a dog under such training only while such a qualified person and the dog are engaged in such training activities.

While the District recognizes the right of any student or employee with a disability to train his or her own service animal outside of school or work hours, a student or employee will not be permitted to be accompanied by a service animal in training during school or work hours, because the student or employee is expected to then be engaged in school or work activities, and thus will not then be engaged in training activities with the service animal in training.

References:
36 C.F.R. § 36.302(c)
N.Y. Civil Rights Law § 47-b

Adoption: October 17, 2018

[back to the top of page]


Policy 4850 | Instructional Activities Involving Animals

View the PDF of the Instructional Activities Involving Animals Policy here.

The Board of Education (the Board) of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) recognizes that the study of living things is essential to effective instruction in the life sciences.  The primary goals for demonstrations and investigations involving animals are to achieve an interest in and an understanding of the life processes, to demonstrate biological principles, and to teach proper care and handling of animals.  Therefore, the Board requires that any such instructional activities, investigations, and projects be well-planned and adequately supervised, and be conducted with a respect for life and an appreciation of the health and safety of both animals and students.

The Board also recognizes that some students have a moral or religious objection to dissection or otherwise harming or destroying animals.  In accordance with state law, students shall have the right to opt out of dissection activities, provided that the student performs an alternative project approved by the student’s teacher.  The objection must be substantiated in writing by the student’s parent or guardian.

At the start of the school year, teachers of courses that include animal dissection shall give notice to the students in those classes of their opt-out rights and responsibilities under the law and this policy.  Such notice shall be shared with parents of those students, and also be available upon request.

Ref: Education Law §809(4)

Responsible Use of Live Animals and Dissection in the Science Classroom, National
Science Teachers Association Position Statement, revised March 2008
(www.nsta.org/about/positions/animals.aspx)

Adoption date: September 18, 2019

[back to the top of page]


Policy 4855 | Therapy Dogs Policy

View the PDF version of the Therapy Dogs Policy & Therapy Dog Request Form here.

The Bethlehem Central School District (the District) supports the use of Social Service Dogs by teachers, other qualified school personnel, or qualified nonemployee volunteers (the Owner) for the benefit of its students, subject to the conditions of this policy.

A Therapy Dog is a dog that has been individually trained and certified to work with its Owner to provide specified services and functions to District students. Therapy Dogs, for the purposes of this policy, are not “service animals” as that term is used in the American with Disabilities Act or New York State law.

Therapy Dogs are the personal property of the Owner and are not owned by the District.

Nothing herein shall enlarge or abridge the right of any student, employee, or visitor to be accompanied on District property by his/her own service dog, to the extent required by federal or state law.

Nothing herein shall permit a student, employee, or visitor to be accompanied by his or her own comfort animal or emotional support animal for his or her own personal use or individual benefit on District property.

Therapy Dog Standards and Procedures

The following requirements must be satisfied before a Therapy Dog will be allowed in school buildings or on school grounds:

A. Requests:

All individuals who wish to bring a Therapy Dog for the benefit of students to District property must submit a written application to the superintendent or his/her designee. A copy of the application is attached. The request must be renewed each school year or whenever a different Therapy Dog will be used.

B. Training and Certification:

The Owner must submit one of the following: (1) Social Service Dog International Certification for Social Service Dogs; or (2) Therapy Dogs International Certification. The certification must remain current at all times that the Therapy Dog is present in any District school building.

C. Health and Vaccination:

The Therapy Dog must be clean, well groomed, in good health, housebroken, and immunized against diseases common to dogs. The Owner must submit proof of current licensure from the local licensing authority and proof of the Therapy Dog’s current vaccinations and immunizations from a licensed veterinarian.

D. Control:

A Therapy Dog must be under the control of the Owner through the use of a leash or other tether unless the use of a leash or other tether would interfere with the Therapy Dog’s safe, effective performance of its services for student.

The Therapy Dog must not disrupt the educational process by barking, seeking attention, or engaging in any other disruptive behavior.

E. Identification:

The Therapy Dog must have appropriate identification clearly indicating that it is a Therapy Dog.

F. Health and Safety:

The Therapy Dog must not pose a health and safety risk to any student, employee, or other person at school.

G. Supervision and Care of Therapy Dogs:

The Owner is solely responsible for the supervision and care of the Therapy Dog, including any feeding, exercising, and clean up while the animal is in a District building or on District property. The District is not responsible for providing any care, supervision, or assistance for a Therapy Dog.

H. Authorized Area(s):

The Owner shall only allow the Therapy Dog to be in areas in District buildings or on District property that are authorized by District administrators.

I. Insurance:

The Owner must submit a copy of an insurance policy that provides liability coverage for the Therapy Dog while in a District building or on District property.Exclusion or Removal from School

A Therapy Dog may be excluded from a District building or District property if a District administrator determines any of the following:

1. The Owner does not have control of the Therapy Dog;

2. The Therapy Dog is not housebroken;

3. The Therapy Dog presents a direct and immediate threat to others in the District building or on District property; or

4. The Therapy Dog’s presence otherwise interferes with the educational process.

The Owner shall be required to remove the Therapy Dog from the District building or District property immediately upon such a determination.

Parent Notice

The superintendent or his/her designee shall ensure that parents are notified in writing prior to the Therapy Dog being permitted to enter a District building. Such notice may be electronic.

Allergic Reactions

If any student or school employee assigned to a classroom in which a Therapy Dog is permitted suffers an allergic reaction to the Therapy Dog, the Owner of the animal will be required to remove the animal to a different location designated by an administrator.

Damages to School Property and Injuries

The Owner of a Therapy Dog is solely responsible and liable for any damage to a District building or District property or injury to personnel, students, or others caused by the animal.

Adoption: August 9, 2017
Revised: February 8, 2018
Revised: October 17, 2018

[back to the top of page]