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Students (Series 5000)

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 Students Policies are as follows:


Policy 5000 | Student Policies Goals

View the PDF version of the Student Policies Goals here.

Children and learning are the heart of Bethlehem Central. We cherish our students and challenge them so they develop the foundation to become thoughtful, responsible individuals. Through leadership and integrity, we pledge to provide this education encouraging all students to reach their potential.

The Board and district staff shall work together to achieve the following goals:

  1. Improve learning and achievement for all students by:
    1. Implementing targeted strategies to assist all students to meet and exceed Bethlehem Central, state, and national learning standards.
    2. Identifying and utilizing a range of assessment measures to evaluate student achievement and learning to guide the instructional program.
    3. Evaluating programs and initiatives to ensure effectiveness.
    4. Enhancing curriculum and professional development for all staff.
    5. Providing opportunities for introduction and exchange of best practices.
    6. Expanding the use of technologies to support K-12 instruction.
  2. Foster a positive and safe school culture and environment by:
    1. Promoting the respectful interaction of students, faculty, administrators, educational support personnel, parents, and the community.
    2. Developing strategies to help students feel connected to their community.
    3. Providing opportunities to involve a broader range of students in meaningful school and community activities.
    4. Expanding opportunities to meet the diverse personal and social needs of our student body.
    5. Strengthening pride in self, school, and community and instilling an appreciation of diversity.
    6. Including staff, students, and parents in decisions related to key issues at all schools.

In pursuit of these goals, we will communicate and collaborate through honesty, respect, openness, trust, and collective participation among faculty, educational support personnel, administration, students, parents, community members, and the Board of Education.

Adoption date: June 19, 2002

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Policy 5020.3 | §504 Policy

View the PDF version of the §504 Policy here.

Pursuant to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (§504), the Board of Education of the Bethlehem Central School District adopts the following policy that prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities, as defined by law, in any school program or activity and provides for Child Find to evaluate, identify and provide the accommodations and services necessary to afford access to students with disabilities attending its schools and/or receiving services from the District.

  1. The administrator of each building shall be directed to implement those procedures established pursuant to this policy.
  2. The District shall ensure that students who are suspected of having a disability under §504, as described herein, who are not identified as students with disabilities as defined under Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act, are evaluated and identified as disabled by the §504 Team and, if determined eligible, provided those supports necessary to afford the student access to the District’s programs and activities. The District shall arrange for a reevaluation of any student, so identified, prior to any change in placement and shall review such student’s plan when deemed necessary but at least once a year.
  3. The building administrator shall be responsible for assigning the appropriate individuals to participate in a §504 committee meeting to include at a minimum, a staff person familiar with the nature of the student’s disability, the evaluations completed and the curriculum and/or program in which the student’s participation may be affected, the Parent of the student, and the student, where appropriate.
  4. For purposes of this policy, a person with a disability is someone who:
    1. Has a mental or physical impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities such as caring for one’s self, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning and working;
    2. Who requires accommodations or supports and/or special education services to access District programs and /or activities.
  5. The District shall post annually in at least one publication distributed to all residents of the District procedures for requesting an evaluation of a child suspected of having a disability for an evaluation, identification and an appropriate plan and shall post its general policy of nondiscrimination in multiple locations and publications, as appropriate.
  6. It shall be the duty of the Director of Pupil Personnel to arrange periodically for training of new building administrators of their responsibilities under §504 to students with disabilities and to ensure that the same procedures, including notice of procedural safeguards with the name, address and telephone numbers for the District’s §504 Compliance Officer and the United States Department of Education are included.
  7. If the Parent or Person in Parental Relationship seeks to challenge any matter relating to the evaluation, identification or plan developed for a child with a disability or suspected of having a disability under §504, such person may file a complaint with the Director of Pupil Personnel Services, the §504 Compliance Officer of the District who shall immediately
  8. commence an investigation and issue a written determination of such complaint within thirty days of receipt of such complaint or request an impartial hearing. such hearing shall be scheduled in accordance with the procedures set forth under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act and shall provide for a one tier review by a hearing officer appointed by the Board of Education or designee.
  9. Inquiries about §504 issues, referrals to the §504 Team, or requests for an impartial hearing under §504 shall be directed to the building principal where the student is enrolled of if not enrolled, to the building the student would attend if enrolled in the public schools of the District.
  10. Inquiries and or complaints regarding this policy and it implementation may also be directed to United States Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, Region II, 32 Old Slip, 26th Floor, New York, NY 10005, 212/264-3313.

Authority: Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973

Adoption Date: June 19, 2002
Revised: April 2, 2008

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Policy 5030 | Student Complaints and Grievances

View the PDF version of the Student Complaints and Grievances Policy here.

The Board of Education believes it is necessary that students be made aware of the behavior that is expected of them, as outlined in district policies on school conduct and discipline. Building Principals are responsible for ensuring that appeal procedures are incorporated into discipline codes and/or student handbooks, explained to all students, and provided to all parents on an annual basis.

The Board encourages students to be active participants in the educational process. The Board strives to provide students with a sound educational environment, ensure that all students are treated fairly, and afford students the due process protections they are entitled to under the law. The Board understands that there may be times when students do not agree with school practices or feel as though they have been treated unfairly.

Many concerns about school practices can and should be addressed through the student government. Student handbooks may also provide valuable information. For other issues, the district has different channels for resolution of complaints, depending on the nature of the complaint. Understanding the Board policy on an issue is the first step towards resolving any complaints. Students are urged to follow the established Board policy, but should always feel free to discuss concerns with any school staff member or the Building Principal. School staff and administrators are expected to work with students toward an amicable resolution of the issue.

Below is a list of the issues and corresponding policies:

Issue  Policy (Policy number)
Civil rights; discrimination
  • Equal Opportunity (0100)
  • Code of Conduct (5300)
Disciplinary matters
  • Code of Conduct (5300)
District policies and practices
  • Student government and/or Complaints from the Public (1400)
Due process
  • Code of Conduct (5300)
Free speech
  • School-Sponsored Student Expression (5220);
  • Student Personal Expression (5225)
Harassment, hazing, bullying
  • Harassment, Hazing and Bullying (0115)
  • Code of Conduct (5300)
Privacy (lockers, searches)
  • Code of Conduct (5300)
School practices and environment
  • Student government and/or Complaints from the Public (1400)
  • Code of Conduct (5300)
Sexual harassment
  • Sexual Harassment (0110)
  • Code of Conduct (5300)
Student educational records
  • Student Records (5500)
Student rights and responsibilities
  • Code of Conduct (5300)
Teachers
  • Complaints from the Public (1400)

Cross-ref:

  • 0100, Equal Opportunity
  • 0110, Sexual Harassment
  • 0115, Harassment, Hazing and Bullying
  • 1400, Complaints from the Public
  • 5220, School-Sponsored Student Expression
  • 5225, Student Personal Expression
  • 5300, Code of Conduct
  • 5500, Student Records

Adoption date: October 19, 2011

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Policy 5030-R | Student Complaints and Grievances Regulation

View the PDF version of the Student Complaints and Grievances Regulation here.

Definitions

  • Grievant shall mean a student who alleges that there has been a violation of Title IX or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act or the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) statute or regulations which affect him/her.
  • Grievance shall mean any alleged violation of Title IX, Section 504 or the ADA statute or regulations.
  • Compliance Officer shall mean the employee designated by the Board of Education to coordinate efforts to comply with and carry out responsibilities under Title IX, Section 504 or the ADA.
  • Representative shall mean any person designated by the grievant as his/her counsel or to act on his/her behalf.

Individual complaints and grievances shall be handled in accordance with the following guidelines:

  1. For informal conciliation, students should confer with the appropriate teacher or school personnel to achieve prompt resolution. Students may appeal to the highest authority in the school building, i.e., the Building Principal, who has the final determination on all such matters.
  2. For resolution of matters where appeal procedures are prescribed by statute, e.g., student suspensions, the prescribed course of action will be followed.
  3. On issues affecting the student body, students may address the student government or student council in order to resolve such matters. Students may be afforded a conference with the Building Principal in accordance with the rules and procedures established by the student government.
  4. The resolution of student complaints alleging any action prohibited by Title IX, Section 504 or the ADA shall be dealt with in the following manner:

Stages

Stage I – Compliance Officer

  1. Within 30 school days after the events giving rise to the grievance, the grievant shall file a grievance in writing with the Compliance Officer. The Compliance Officer may informally discuss the grievance with the grievant. He/She shall promptly investigate the complaint. All employees of the school district shall cooperate with the Compliance Officer in such investigation.
  2. Within 15 school days of the receipt of the grievance, the Compliance Officer shall make a finding in writing that there has or has not been a violation of Title IX, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act or the ADA. In the event the Compliance Officer finds that there has been a violation, he/she shall propose a resolution of the complaint. If the grievant is not satisfied with the finding of the Compliance Officer, or with the proposed resolution of the grievance, the grievant may, within 15 school days after he/she has received the report of the Compliance Officer, file a written request for review by the Superintendent.

Stage II – Superintendent of Schools

  1. The Superintendent may request that the grievant, the Compliance Officer, or any member of the school district staff present a written statement to him/her setting forth any information that such person has relative to the grievance and the facts surrounding it.
  2. The Superintendent shall notify all parties concerned as to the time and place when an informal hearing will be held where such parties may appear and present oral and written statements supplementing their position in the case. Such hearing shall be held within 15 school days of the receipt of the appeal by the Superintendent.
  3. Within 15 school days of the hearing, the Superintendent shall render his/her determination in writing. Such determination shall include a finding that there has or has not been a violation of Title IX, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act or the ADA, and a proposal for equitably resolving the complaint.
  4. If the grievant is not satisfied with the determination of the Superintendent, the grievant may, within 15 school days after its receipt, file with the Clerk of the Board of Education, a written request for review by the Board. 

Stage III – Board of Education

  1. When a request for review by the Board has been made, the Superintendent shall submit all written statements and other materials concerning the case to the President of the Board.
  2. The Board shall notify all parties concerned of the time and place when a hearing will be held. Such hearing will be held within 15 school days of the receipt of the request of the grievant. All parties concerned shall have the right to present further statements and testimony at such hearing.
  3. The Board shall render a decision in writing within 15 school days after the hearing has been concluded.

Distribution of the Grievance Procedure

A copy of the procedure shall be distributed to all employees and to all students or their parents/guardians. A copy of this procedure shall be available for public inspection at reasonable times with the District Clerk or at the office of the Compliance Officer.

Adoption date: June 19, 2002

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Policy 5040 | Prayer in the Schools

View the PDF version of the Prayer in the Schools Policy here.

It is the policy of the Board of Education to not prevent, or otherwise deny participation in, constitutionally protected prayer in the district’s schools, consistent with guidance issued by the U.S. Secretary of Education, and applicable judicial decisions interpreting the religion clauses of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

This policy supersedes any other Board policy that might be inconsistent with it.

Adoption date: March 12, 2003

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Policy 5100 | Attendance

View the PDF version of the Attendance Policy here.

The Bethlehem Central School District (the District) and the Board of Education (the Board) recognize that regular school attendance is a major component of academic success. Through implementation of this policy, the Board expects to minimize the number of unexcused absences, tardiness, and early departures (referred to in this policy as “ATEDs”); encourage full attendance by all students; maintain an adequate attendance record keeping system; identify patterns of student ATEDs; and develop effective intervention strategies to improve school attendance.

Objectives

Through implementation of this policy, the Board expects:

  1. to encourage full attendance by all students;
  2. to accurately track the attendance, absence, tardiness, and early departure of students to and from the school;
  3. to ensure sufficient pupil attendance in classes so that pupils may achieve state-mandated education standards; and
  4. to track student location for safety reasons and to be accountable to parents regarding the location of children during school hours.

Notice

To be successful in this endeavor, it is imperative that all members of the school community are aware of this policy, its purposes, procedures, and the consequences of noncompliance. To ensure that students, parents, teachers and administrators are notified of and understand this policy, the following procedures shall be implemented.

  1. The attendance policy will be included in student handbooks and will be reviewed with students at the start of the school year.
  2. Parents will receive a plain language summary of this policy at the start of the school year.
  3. When a student cuts class or is absent without excuse, designated staff members will notify the student’s parent(s)/guardian(s) and review the attendance procedures with them.
  4. School publications will include periodic reminders of the components of this policy.
  5. The District will provide a copy of the attendance policy and any amendments thereto to faculty and staff. New staff will receive a copy upon their employment.
  6. All faculty and staff will meet at the beginning of each school year to review the attendance policy in order to clarify individual roles in its implementation.
  7. Copies of this policy will also be made available to any community member, upon request.

Register of Attendance

Every school is required to take attendance and record each pupil’s presence, absence, tardiness, or early departure, and whether such is excused or unexcused in the following manner:

  1. In non-departmentalized grades, attendance must be taken once a day.
  2. If students are released from school grounds for lunch, attendance must be taken again after lunch.
  3. In all other cases, attendance must be taken each period. Where a class extends for multiple periods, attendance for that class only must be taken once.
  4. Additionally, after attendance is taken, an individual student’s late arrival or early departure must be recorded.
  5. The building principal and/or designee will be responsible for reviewing pupil attendance records and initiating appropriate action to address unexcused pupil absence, tardiness, and early departure consistent with policy.

Excused and Unexcused Absences

Excused ATEDs are defined by the commissioner of Education as absences, tardiness, and early departures from class or school due to personal illness, illness or death in the family, impassable roads or weather, religiousobservance, quarantine, required court appearances, attendance at health clinics, approved college visits, approved cooperative work programs, military obligations, or such other reasons as may be approved by the appropriate building administrator (including, but not limited to, absences due to circumstances related to homelessness).

All other ATEDs are considered unexcused absences.

All ATEDs must be accounted for. It is the parent(s)/guardian(s)’s responsibility to notify the school office within at least twenty-four hours of the ATED and to provide a written excuse upon the student’s return to school. For homeless students, the homeless liaison will assist the student in providing or obtaining documentation if needed.

Coding System

The following coding system shall be used to indicate the nature and reason for a pupil missing all or part of scheduled instruction;

A = Absent, unexcused

AE = Absent, excused

D = Departure, unexcused

DE = Departure, excused

FT = Field Trip

Hi = Home Instruction

ISS = In-School Suspension

LA = Late Arrival

OSS = Out-of-School Suspension

T = Tardy, unexcused

TE = Tardy, excused

Next to the entry code, a reason will be selected for the student missing all or part of the scheduled instruction.

Disciplinary Consequences

Unexcused ATEDs will result in disciplinary action consistent with the District’s Code of Conduct. Students may also be denied the privilege of participating in or attending extracurricular events. However, absences related to homelessness shall not result in negative consequences where the District determines that it would be in the best interests of the student in retaining the student in school.

In addition, the building principal and/or designee will contact the student’s parent(s)/guardian(s) and the student’s guidance counselor. The building principal and/or designee shall remind parent(s)/guardian(s) of the attendance policy, explain the ramifications of unexcused ATEDs, stress the importance of class attendance, and discuss appropriate intervention strategies to correct the situation.

Attendance/Grade Policy

The Board of Education recognizes an important relationship between class attendance and student performance. Consequently, in each marking period a student’s final grade may be based on classroom participation as well as a student’s performance on homework, tests, papers, projects, etc.

Students are expected to attend all scheduled classes. Consistent with the importance of classroom participation, unexcused ATEDs will affect a student’s class participation grade for the marking period..

Minimum Attendance for Course Credit

Student attendance and class participation are vital to successful learning. In order for students to be successful in school and be prepared to take all state-mandated assessments, they must attend classes every day.

Additionally, to ensure that parent(s)/guardian(s) and students are aware of the implications of this minimum attendance requirement, the teacher or other designated staff member(s) will take the following action:

Elementary:

Absences Action Taken
1-9 Teacher maintains student’s daily attendance record. Notification of student’s absence to parent(s)/guardian(s) may be sent a letter from teacher/principal.
10-15 Teacher/principal may contact parent(s)/guardian(s) either by letter or phone call and request a parent(s)/guardian(s) meeting. A student attendance plan is developed with the parent(s)/guardian(s) by the fifteenth absence. Child Protective Services (CPS) may be contacted or a PINS (Person In Need of Supervision) petition may be filed by the school.
16 or more Based on the school administration’s assessment of the student’s attendance, Child Protective Services (CPS) may be contacted or a PINS (Person In Need of Supervision) petition may be filed by the school, if deemed appropriate.

Middle School:

Absences Action Taken
1-9 Teacher maintains student’s daily attendance record. Notification of student’s absence to parent(s)/guardian(s) may be sent a letter from teacher/principal. In addition, a parent/guardian will be notified for 3 or more consecutive unexcused absences,
10-15 Counselor/principal may contact parent(s)/guardian(s) either by letter or phone call and request a parent(s)/guardian(s) meeting. A student attendance plan is developed with the parent(s)/guardian(s) by the fifteenth absence. Child Protective Services (CPS) may be contacted or a PINS (Person In Need of Supervision) petition may be filed by the school.
16 or more Based on the school administration’s assessment of the student’s attendance, Child Protective Services (CPS) may be contacted or a PINS (Person In Need of Supervision) petition may be filed by the school, if deemed appropriate.

High School:

For high school students, a minimum number of attendance days are required to earn credit in full-year and half-year courses. Unexcused student absences, in excess of thirty (30) class meetings for a full-year course and fifteen (15) class meetings for a semester course, may result in the loss of opportunity to take further exams and quizzes.

Electronic notifications of student absences to parents, school counselors and administration are automatically sent at five days, ten days, fifteen days, and beyond. District counselors and administration discuss strategies and interventions, when necessary, to address chronic tardiness and absenteeism on a continuous basis. Principal conferences are conducted if absences are impacting student success.

Semester/Course Full Year Action Taken
5 10 Teacher maintains student’s class attendance record. Notification of student’s absence to parent(s)/guardian(s) will be sent through the student’s Aspen account.
10 20 Student is in jeopardy of losing the opportunity to complete exams and other course requirements. Teacher will notify parent(s)/guardian(s) of class absence via the Attendance Referral Form. The counselor and/or administrator may schedule a parent(s)/guardian(s) and student conference.
After 15  After 30 The teacher will contact the principal. A formal attendance review for all courses will be conducted. The principal will notify the student and parent(s)/guardian(s) of the course for which the opportunity to complete exams and other course testing requirements has been withheld. Student is eligible to receive only the grade received as of that date. If it is determined that the opportunity to complete exams and other course requirements has been withheld, the principal will notify the student and parent(s)/guardian(s).

Annual Review

The Board shall annually review student attendance data and make any revisions to the policy it deems necessary to improve student attendance.

Cross ref:

  • 4710, Grading Systems
  • 5151, Homeless Children
  • 5300, Code of Conduct

Ref:

  • 42 USC §11432(g)(1)(I) (McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act)
  • Education Law §§1709; 3024; 3025; 3202; 3205-3213; 3225
  • 8 NYCRR §§104.1; 175.6
  • Social Service Law §34-a

Adoption date: June 19, 2002
Revised date: October 15, 2003
Revised date: September 19, 2007
Revised date: January 6, 2016
Revised date: February 1, 2017
Revised date: July 2, 2018

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Policy 5150 | School Admissions Policy

View the PDF version of the School Admissions Policy here.

The District shall provide a public education to all persons residing in the District between the ages of five and twenty-one who have not received a High School diploma.

A veteran of any age who has not yet received his/her High School diploma and who has been discharged under conditions other than dishonorable is eligible to attend school.

A nonveteran under twenty-one years of age who has received a High School diploma shall be permitted to attend school or BOCES upon payment of tuition.

Upon registration, all new students shall be required to present:

  1. Proof of Age – examples of acceptable forms of documentation include, but are not limited to, a birth certificate, baptismal record, a passport (including a foreign passport); or, alternatively, an affidavit of the child’s age or any of the following documents as long as it was issued two or more years ago: official driver’s license; state or other government issued identification; school photo identification with date of birth; consulate identification card; hospital or health records; military dependent identification card; documents issued by federal, state or local agencies, such as local social service agency or Federal Office of Refugee Resettlement; court orders or other court-issued documents; Native American tribal document; or records from nonprofit international aid agencies and voluntary agencies.
  2. Record of Immunizations* and a Health Certificate from a licensed physician.
  3. Proof of District Residency – examples of acceptable forms of documentation include, but are not limited to: a copy of a resident lease or proof of ownership of a house or condominium, such as a deed or mortgage statement; a statement by a third party landlord, owner or tenant from whom the parent or person in a parental relation with the student leases or with whom they share property within the District, which may be sworn or unsworn; or other such statement by a third party relating to a parent or person in parental relation’s physical presence in the District; a pay stub; income tax form; telephone or utility bills or other bills sent to the student’s home address; membership documents based upon residency; official driver’s license, learner’s permit or nondriver identification or a state or other government-issued ID; voter registration document; or documents issued by federal, state or local agencies (e.g., local social service agency, Federal Office of Resettlement).
  4. Proof of Custody and/or Lawful Residence – acceptable forms of documentation include: a written affidavit indicating that the individual is the parent(s) with whom the student lawfully resides; or a written affidavit indicating that the individual is the person(s) in a parental relation to the child, over whom they have total and permanent custody and control and a description of how they obtained total and permanent custody and whether it was through guardianship or otherwise.

A judicial custody order or guardianship papers may be, but need not be, submitted. The District will also accept other proof of custody and/or lawful residence such as documentation which indicates that the child has been placed by a federal agency with a sponsor.

If the parent/guardian of a student seeking to enroll has limited English proficiency, the District will meaningfully communicate material information about enrollment as required by federal law. The District will provide parents/guardians of all newly enrolled students with appropriate information including student handbooks and information about access to special education services.

Upon your request, the student will be enrolled into the District and shall begin attendance on the next school day or as soon as practicable. Within three (3) business days of the student’s initial enrollment, the Board of Education (Board), or its designee, will review all of the registration/enrollment documentation submitted and determine whether the student is entitled to attend school in the District. If it is determined that the student does not reside in the District, the Board, within two (2) business days, will issue a written notification confirming the basis for this determination and the date the student is to be excluded from the District. The written notification will also confirm the parent’s right to appeal the Board’s decision to the New York Commissioner of Education within thirty (30) days and advise that the instructions, forms and procedures for an appeal, including translated instruction forms and procedures, can be found at the following:

  • Online at the Office of Counsel, www.counsel.nysed.gov;
  • By mail addressed to the Office of Counsel, New York State Education Department, State Education Building in Albany, New York 12234; or
  • Calling the Appeals Coordinator at (518) 474-8927.

Cross-ref:

  • 5151, Homeless Students
  • 5420, Student Health Services
  • 5152, Admission of Non-Resident Students

Ref:

  • Education Law §§903; 904; 3202; 3208; 4402(8)
  • Public Health Law §2164
  • 8 NYCRR §100.2(y)
  • Student Registration Guidance, New York State Department of Education, August 26, 2010 www.emsc.nysed.gov/sss/pps/residency/studentregistrationguidance082610.pdf
  • Educational Services for Recently Arrived Unaccompanied Children, New York State Education Department, September 10, 2014
  • Proposed Amendment of Section 100.2(y) of the Commissioner’s Regulations Relating to Student Enrollment, New York State Education Department, December 10, 2014
  • Information on the Rights of All Children to Enroll in School, U.S. Departments of Education and Justice, Revised May 8, 2014
  • Fact Sheet I and II: Information on the Rights of All Children to Enroll in School, http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/dcl-factsheet-201405.pdf
  • Plyler v. Doe 457 US 202 (1982)

Adoption date: March 15, 2015
Revised: December 16, 2015

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Policy 5151 | Homeless Children

View the PDF version of the Homeless Children Policy here.

The Board of Education recognizes its responsibility to identify homeless children within the district, encourage their enrollment and eliminate existing barriers to their education that may exist in district practices. The Board will provide homeless children attending the district’s schools with access to the same free and appropriate public education, including preschool education, as other children.

A homeless child is a child who lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence or who has a primary nighttime location in a public or private shelter designed to provide temporary living accommodations, or a place not designed for, or ordinarily used as, a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings. This definition also includes a child who shares the housing of others due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or similar reason; lives in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to the lack of alternative adequate accommodations; lives in a car, park, public space or abandoned building, substandard housing, bus or train station or similar setting; has been abandoned in a hospital or is awaiting foster care placement; or is a migratory child who qualifies as homeless. An unaccompanied youth is a homeless child for whom no parent or person in parental relation is available.

A homeless child has the right to attend school in either the district of origin (i.e., where he/she resided before becoming homeless), the district of current location, or a district participating in a regional placement plan. The homeless child is entitled to attend the designated school district on a tuition-free basis for the duration of his or her homelessness. If the child becomes permanently housed, the child is entitled to continue to attendance in the same school building until the end of the school year and for one additional year if that year constitutes the child’s terminal year in such building.

The Superintendent of Schools shall develop procedures necessary to expedite the homeless child’s access to the designated school. Such procedures shall include:

Admission:

Upon designation, the district shall immediately admit the homeless child to school, even if the child is unable to produce records normally required for enrollment, such as previous academic records, medical records, proof of residency or other documentation and even if there is a dispute with the child’s parents regarding school selection or enrollment.

Homeless children will have the same opportunity as other children to enroll in and succeed in the district’s schools. They will not be placed in separate schools or programs based on their status as homeless.

Transportation:

The district shall provide transportation for homeless students currently residing within the district as required by applicable law.

School Records:

For homeless students attending school out of the district, the district shall, within five days of receipt of a request for records, forward a complete copy of the homeless child’s records including proof of age, academic records, evaluation, immunization records and guardianship paper, if applicable.

The Superintendent shall also designate a liaison for homeless children and ensure that this person is aware of his or her responsibilities under the law. The liaison’s responsibilities shall include, but not be limited to, ensuring that:

  1. parents or guardians of homeless children are informed of the educational and related opportunities available to their children and are provided with meaningful opportunities to participate in the education of their children;
  2. parents and guardians and unaccompanied youth are fully informed of all transportation services available to them, and are assisted in accessing them;
  3. enrollment disputes involving homeless children are promptly mediated and resolved;
  4. school personnel in coordination with shelters and social service agencies and other appropriate entities identify homeless children, including homeless preschoolers;
  5. homeless children receive educational services, including Head Start and preschool services to which they are eligible, as well as referrals to health care and other appropriate services;

In accordance with law and regulation, the district will offer a prompt dispute resolution process (described in more detail in the accompanying administrative regulation).

In accordance with Commissioner’s regulations, the district shall collect and transmit to the Commissioner information necessary to assess the educational needs of homeless children within the State.

Ref:

  • 42 USC §§11431, et seq.
  • School Enrollment Guidelines on the McKinney-Vento Act, 67 Fed. Reg. 10,697-10,701 (March 8, 2002)
  • Education Law §§207; 305; 3202; 3205; 3209
  • Executive Law §§532-b; 532-e
  • Social Services Law §§17; 62; 397
  • 8 NYCRR §§100.2; 175.6

Adoption date: November 3, 2010

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Policy 5151-R | Homeless Children Regulation

View the PDF version of the Homeless Children Regulation here.

Each school in the district shall maintain forms provided by the Commissioner of Education for designating a homeless child’s district of attendance. These forms must be provided to any homeless child or parent or guardian who seeks to enroll a child in school. The district’s liaison for homeless students shall assist the homeless child and/or parent or guardian in understanding their rights under the law and provide them with information regarding the educational and related opportunities available to them.

School placement decisions for homeless children will be based on the “best interest of the child.” Unless doing so is contrary to the wishes of the child’s parent or guardian, to the extent possible, a homeless child will continue to attend the school of origin (the school the child attended when he or she became homeless).

If the district wishes to send a homeless child to a school other than the school or origin or a school requested by the parent or guardian, the Superintendent or designee shall provide the parent or guardian with a written explanation of its decision, together with a statement regarding the right to appeal the placement process. The Superintendent or designee shall refer any such dispute to the district’s liaison for the homeless for resolution. The homeless child must be enrolled in the school sought by the parent or guardian pending resolution of the dispute.

Admission Procedures

Upon designation, the Superintendent of Schools or designee shall immediately:

  1. review the designation form to ensure that it is complete;
  2. admit the homeless child even if the child or his/her parent or guardian is unable to produce records normally required for enrollment or there is an unresolved dispute regarding school selection or enrollment;
  3. where applicable, make a written request to the school district where a copy of the child’s records are located for a copy of the homeless child’s school records;
  4. notify the liaison for homeless children of the child’s admission. The liaison shall:
    1. notify the child and/or the parent or guardian of the educational and related opportunities available to homeless children including transportation;
    2. ensure that the child receives the educational services for which they are eligible, including Head Start and Even Start and preschool programs administered by the district;
    3. make necessary referrals to health care services, dental services, mental health services, and other appropriate services; and
    4. ensure that any enrollment disputes are mediated promptly and in accordance with law.

The Superintendent or designee shall forward a copy of the designation form to the Commissioner of Education and the school district of origin where applicable.

Transportation

Unless the homeless child is entitled to transportation provided by the Department of Social Services or Office of Children and Family Services, the district shall provide transportation services to the child in accordance with applicable law. A designated school district that must provide transportation to a homeless child may not provide transportation in excess of 50 miles one way, unless the Commissioner of Education determines that it is in the best interest of the child.

Dispute Resolution Process

If, after the Superintendent reviews the designation form (STAC-202), he/she finds that the student is either not homeless, not entitled to attend the district’s school, or not entitled to transportation (if requested) the Superintendent or designee will do the following:

  1. Contact the district’s homeless liaison to assist in dispute resolution process.
  2. Contact the student and parent (if available) and inform them of their opportunity to provide more information prior to the district making a final determination.

If, after consideration of any additional information and input from the homeless liaison, the Superintendent makes a final determination that a student is not homeless, or not entitled to enrollment or transportation, he/she must provide the student’s parent or guardian, or the student, if the student is an unaccompanied youth, with written notice that the student is not entitled to their request. This written notice must also:

  1. state the rationale/basis for the district’s determination;
  2. state the date as of which the student will be excluded from the district’s schools (or transportation);
  3. advise that the district’s final determination may be appealed to the Commissioner of Education (Commissioner);
  4. provide the name and contact information for the district’s homeless liaison;
  5. inform the student’s parent or guardian or the student, if the student is an unaccompanied youth, that the district’s homeless liaison is required to assist him/her in filing such an appeal; and
  6. include, as an attachment, the form petition needed to file an appeal to the Commissioner.

The Superintendent must ensure that the district’s final decision is delivered to the parent, guardian, or unaccompanied youth in a timely manner. The student must remain enrolled and provided with transportation (if requested) until the district makes a final determination and for a minimum of 30 days after the determination to give the student’s parent or guardian or unaccompanied youth the opportunity to appeal to the Commissioner.

If the parent/guardian or student commences an appeal to the Commissioner with a stay application within 30 days of the final determination, the homeless child or youth will be permitted to continue to attend the school s/he is enrolled in at the time of the appeal and/or receive transportation to that school until the Commissioner renders a decision on the stay application.

Adoption date: November 3, 2010

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Policy 5152 | Admission of Non-Resident Students

View the PDF version of the Admission of Non-Resident Students Policy here.

The Board of Education affirms that its primary responsibility is to provide the best possible educational opportunities for the children who are legal district residents and who are of legal age to attend school. However, non-resident students may be admitted to Bethlehem Central School District for a free public education only under the following circumstances:

Future Residents

The children of families who have signed a contract to buy or build a residence in the school district may be enrolled within six weeks of that date if the parents assume full responsibility for transportation of the student.

When a family has made binding financial arrangements to move into the school district within six weeks of the date of requested admission and the parents assume full responsibility for transportation of the student, the student may be enrolled without payment of tuition. Nonresident students may apply to be admitted on a tuition basis when the parents intend to move into the school district, but such move will not occur within six (6) weeks of such requested admission and the parents assume full responsibility for the transportation of the student. The Board will evaluate each request on the merits of the situation and decide whether or not the applicant will be admitted. Tuition rates shall be determined in accordance with a formula established by the Commissioner of Education.

Former Residents

When the family of a resident student moves outside the school district, the then non-resident student may continue on a non-tuition basis for the balance of the school year if the parents assume full responsibility for additional required transportation and in the judgment of the Superintendent of Schools, the individual remains a student in good standing for the duration of the year and if;

  1. The student is a senior and the move occurs after the school year has been in progress for a minimum of six full calendar weeks; or
  2. The move occurs after the mid-point of the school year.

Emancipated Minors

A student who is an “emancipated minor” residing in the district may attend school in the district upon satisfactory proof that he or she is emancipated, i.e., living separate and apart from his or her parent(s) and not financially dependent upon them or in need or receipt of foster care, except that the district may not require an affidavit from the parent(s) of the student where such would constitute a hardship due to the unwillingness or inability of such parent(s) to provide same.

Review of Residency Decisions

A determination as to the residency of a student for purposes of attending school in the district shall be the sole responsibility of the Board or its designee, provided, however, that nothing contained herein shall be deemed to prevent an initial determination of same by a school official or employee acting within the scope of his or her duties as established by the district, provided further, however, that in the event such an initial determination is adverse to the involved student it must include notification of the procedures for obtaining review of the decision by the Board of Education or its designee.

In the event of a review of a residency decision by the Board or its designee, the child’s parent or the person in parental relation to the child, or the child if it is asserted that he or she is an emancipated minor, as applicable, must be afforded the opportunity to submit information regarding the question of the student’s residency and consequent right to attend school in the district.

Any decision rendered by such Board or its designee which is adverse to the student must be in writing and provided within two (2) business days to the child’s parent, or the child, as applicable, and must include (a) the basis of the determination; (b) the date of exclusion from the district; and (c) a statement that the determination may be appealed to the Commissioner of Education within thirty (30) days from the date of same and that the procedures for perfecting such an appeal may be obtained from the Department of Education, Offices of Counsel.

Ref:

  • Education Law §3202

Adoption date: June 19, 2002

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Policy 5152-R | Admission of Non-Resident Students Regulation

View the PDF version of the Admission of Non-Resident Students Regulation here.

Student Addresses: Verification and Investigation

  1. Should a student’s address change at any time during his/her enrollment, residency must be confirmed by an acceptable document, e.g., a lease, a utility bill, a voter registration card.
  2. If a student’s address is not the address of his/her parent(s) or legal guardian(s), the Building Principal shall consult with the Attendance Office to confirm the procedures used in determining the student’s current address. The Attendance Office shall then investigate and provide specific evidence of the child’s false claim to residency.
  3. If the evidence indicates that a student’s address has been purposefully changed in order for him/her to attend a school in a district other than the one he/she is legally entitled to attend, he/she shall be immediately transferred to the appropriate district.
  4. Student admission shall not be delayed pending verification of the address. A verification and/or investigation shall take place after student admission has been effected.

Adoption date: June 19, 2002

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Policy 5152.1 | Admission of International Students

View the PDF of the Admission of International Students Policy here.

The Board of Education recognizes the cultural enrichment derived from welcoming nonimmigrant international students into the educational program. Thus, the Board encourages the attendance of nonimmigrant international students in the District’s High School.

Only nonimmigrant international students who possess a valid J-1 or F-1 visa to study in the United States will be admitted to the District’s High School. The Board retains the sole discretion to deny admission to any student not meeting all the requirements set forth in this policy and regulation.

International Exchange Students (J-1 Visa)

The Board encourages District participation in an international exchange student program. International exchange students will be admitted to the District High School for a one-year academic program.

  1. The District recognizes only those organizations designated as “Exchange Visitor Programs” by the U.S. Department of State, pursuant to federal regulations, as sponsoring organizations for the exchange of students. Any such organization must supply proof of designation prior to recognition.
  2. No international exchange students subject to this policy and regulation shall be brought into the District by a international exchange student program unless he or she has been accepted in writing as a student by the High School building principal or a designee.
  3. International exchange students will be allowed to attend school and will be provided bus transportation to and from school free of charge, per transportation guidelines set by the Board of Education.
  4. When an international exchange student is accepted for admission pursuant to this policy and regulation, the letter of acceptance shall include a statement that tuition shall be waived for the student.
  5. The District will accept no more than five international exchange students per school from any single international exchange program.
  6. The host family must have a student enrolled in the District High School during the one-year visit.

The Board may terminate the approval of an international student program when it would be in the best interests of the District to do so.

International Students with F-1 Visas

No F-1 students will be admitted into grades K-8. F-1 students may be admitted to the High School for one academic year upon the payment of tuition. The amount of tuition charged shall reflect the full, unsubsidized per capita cost of providing educational services to the student.

Immigrant Students

All school-aged immigrant children who have abandoned their residence in a foreign country and established residence in the District will be admitted to the District’s schools without payment of tuition.

Ref:

  • 22 CFR Part 62 (Exchange Visitor Program) §62.25 (Secondary School Students)
  • 8 CFR 214.2(j) (Special Requirements for Admission, Extension and Maintenance of Benefits for Exchange Aliens)
  • Education Law §1709(13)
  • Matter of Jones, 24 EDR 110 (1984)

Adoption date: January 20, 2016

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Policy 5152.1-R | Admission of International Students Regulation

View the PDF version of the Admission of International Students Regulation here.

The High School building principal shall review applications for the admission of international exchange students according to the guidelines established below.

  1. Students must be between the ages of 15 and 18 years and 6 months.
  2. The student must have demonstrated in his/her home school a level of scholastic achievement to indicate the possibility of success in the High School.
  3. The student must be proficient in the English language.
  4. The student’s records and credentials, including a translation into English, indicating all academic institutions attended, courses studied and grades received in secondary school must be available to school officials no less than three weeks prior to the departure from the student’s home or by June 15th for admission the following September.
  5. The student must be in good health and an immunization record must be provided.
  6. The student or the sponsoring organization must provide verification of health and accident insurance with a minimum limit of $50,000.
  7. The student must enroll for a full course of study, on a full-time basis.
  8. The student must agree to conform to established standards of acceptable behavior and conform to the rules and regulations of the High School.

All applications will be reviewed by the international student advisor, the appropriate counselor, and the High School building principal. After the review, a recommendation for the approval or rejection of the application will be submitted to the superintendent.

The District reserves the right to deny admission to any student not meeting all the requirements set forth in this policy and regulation.

Payment of Tuition

Any letter of acceptance furnished to an international exchange program on behalf of an international student with a J-1 visa will state that tuition will be waived, unless the Board determines otherwise. If Board opts to charge tuition, the letter of acceptance will state the cost of tuition and the terms of payment.

F-1 students will pay tuition for the amount of the full, unsubsidized per capita cost to the District of providing education to the student. Any letter of acceptance furnished to an international student with an F-1 visa must state the cost of tuition and the terms of payment.

Extracurricular Activities

The Board permits international exchange students to participate in all District extracurricular activities, provided they meet the District’s eligibility requirements and follow the District’s behavioral and academic rules. International students wishing to participate in interscholastic athletics must also:

  1. (for students with J-1 visas) be sponsored by an organization both approved by the U.S. Department of State and accepted by the Council on Standards for International Educational Travel (CSIET); and
  2. comply with all State Education Department and New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) rules and standards.

Registration; Graduation

  1. The international exchange student must present himself/herself for registration prior to the first day of classes for the current semester.
  2. At the time of registration, the international exchange student will be provided a form, to be signed by him/her; the host family; and, in the case of an international exchange student, a representative of the sponsoring organization, indicating compliance with the conditions as stated in this policy.
  3. The international exchange student will be granted a certificate upon completion of an approved course of study and will be allowed to participate in commencement exercises, as appropriate.

Termination of Progress

A student’s participation may be terminated at any time by school officials for failure to abide by established guidelines, including:

  1. failure of two or more courses of study without sufficient effort;
  2. failure to conform to established rules and regulations;
  3. failure to conform to the regulations established by the sponsoring organization; and/or
  4. excessive absences.

Suspension of Sponsoring Organization

Should the guarantee or documentation provided by a sponsoring organization prove invalid, further acceptance of international exchange students from that organization will be dependent upon proof of compliance with District policy and regulation.

Adoption date: January 20, 2016

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Policy 5153 | Student Assignment to Schools and Classes

View the PDF version of the Student Assignment to Schools and Classes Policy here.

The Board of Education directs that assignment of students to schools and classes be consistent with the best interests of students and the best use of the resources of the District. The Board also recognizes that diversity in school environments has been shown to have a positive impact on student achievement. Such diversity can be on the basis of race, ethnicity, sex and/or gender, religion or religious practice, disability, socioeconomic status, language, neighborhood, academic achievement, and/or academic potential. In addition, schools must prepare students for a future in which they interact with people from all backgrounds. While some aspects of student diversity are outside the scope of the Board’s control, the Board aspires to prevent student isolation where possible. This does not, however, prevent the District from placing students into classes based on academic ability when it’s in the best interest of those students.

Assignment of students to schools and classes may be based on current District population patterns, enrollment projections, building capacity, educational programs, students’ educational needs, transportation requirements, demographic factors such as those listed in the paragraph above, and the presence of diversity where possible. The District has the right to determine the proper placement for all students.

Assignment to Schools

Periodically, the Board will review the status of enrollment in the District’s schools to ensure that the goals of this policy are being met. If the goals are not being met, the Board will solicit input from stakeholders, including but not limited to administrators, teachers, staff, parents, and students, to assist in determining changes that could be made to the school assignment process that better aligns with this policy.

Assignment to Classes/Teachers

In assigning students to classes/teachers, the following criteria shall be considered: age, social and emotional maturity, demographic characteristics, and academic achievement in relation to individual ability, in order to assure appropriate assignments. It is the goal of the administration to create classes that can productively learn together.

Parent/Guardian Requests

The Board recognizes that parents/guardians may wish to make requests as to school, and/or class/teacher assignments. Parents may write a letter to the building principal describing the ideal learning environment for their child and the attributes that a teacher should have that would most benefit their student’s educational growth. This information will be considered as part of the placement process. However, the District has the right to determine the proper placement for all students Final decisions regarding all assignments of students to schools, classes, programs, and/or teachers rest with the District administration.

Cross-ref:

  • 4750, Promotion and Retention
  • 5110, Attendance Areas

Ref:

  • Education Law §§1709(3); 2503(4)
  • Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, 570 U.S. __, 133 S. Ct. 2411 (2013)
  • Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District No. 1, 551 U.S. 701 (2007)
  • Grutter v. Bollinger, 539 U.S. 306 (2003)
  • Gratz v. Bollinger, 539 U.S. 244 (2003)
  • Regents of the University of California v. Bakke, 438 U.S. 265 (1978)
  • Matter of Addabbo v. Donovan, 22 A.D.2d 383 (1965), aff’d, 16 N.Y.2d 619, cert denied, 382 U.S. 905 (1965)
  • Matter of Older v. Board of Education of the Union Free School District No. 1, Town of Mamaroneck, 27 N.Y.2d 333 (1971)
  • Appeal of Jones, 52 EDR Dec. No. 16,456 (2013)
  • Appeal of Roy, 51 EDR Dec. No. 16,279 (2011)
  • Appeal of Strade, 48 EDR 73 (2008)
  • Appeal of Knoer, 47 EDR 102 (2007)
  • Guidance on the Voluntary Use of Race to Achieve Diversity and Avoid Racial Isolation in Elementary and Secondary Schools (2011), U.S. Department of Education and Department of Justice (www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/guidance-ese-201111.html).
  • Coleman, A., Negron, F., and Lipper, K. Achieving Educational Excellence for All: A Guide to Diversity-Related Policy Strategies for School Districts (2011). The National School Boards Association, The College Board, and EducationCounsel, LLC (www.nsba.org/SchoolLaw/Publications/Education-Excellence-for-All.html).

Adoption date: June 19, 2002
Revised date: March 19, 2014

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Policy 5162 | Student Dismissal Precautions

View the PDF version of the Student Dismissal Precautions Policy here.

No student may be released from school to anyone other than the parent, guardian or child protective services personnel and law enforcement officers pursuant to law, unless the individual’s name seeking release of the student appears on a list provided by the parent or guardian.

Parents are urged to make appointments with physicians, dentists, special tutors, etc., after school hours. If a request is necessary, parents should make note of the date, time and reason for the release. Children cannot be excused without advanced written request by parent/guardian, and must be released in care of parent/guardian, unless otherwise noted.

A student may be released to either parent unless a custodial parent supplies the Superintendent of Schools with a certified copy of a court order or divorce decree to the contrary.

The Superintendent shall develop procedures to enable parents and guardians to amend the list of persons authorized to obtain the release of their children.

Ref:

  • Education Law §3210(1)(c)

Adoption date: June 19, 2002

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Policy 5162-R | Student Dismissal Precautions Regulation

View the PDF version of the Student Dismissal Precautions Regulation here.

The Superintendent of Schools or his/her designee shall maintain a list of individuals who are authorized to obtain the release of students in attendance at the school. No student may be released to the custody of any individual not the parent or guardian of the student, unless the individual’s name appears upon the list.

Parents or guardians may submit a list of individuals authorized to obtain the release of their children from school at the time of the child’s enrollment. The signature of the parent or guardian must be on or attached to such list.

A parent or guardian may amend a list submitted pursuant to this regulation at any time, in writing.

Certified copies of any court orders or divorce decrees provided by the custodial parent, which restrict a parent’s ability to seek the release of their child, shall be maintained by the Superintendent.

If any individual seeks the release from school of a student he or she must report to the school office and present identification deemed satisfactory by the Superintendent or his/her designee, who must check the authorized list and relevant court orders or divorce decrees before a student may be released. Particular caution should be exercised when the person seeking the release of a child exhibits to the school official an out-of-state custody order.

Early excuses for emergency reasons should be requested in writing by a parent/guardian. Medical releases are handled through the Nurse’s Office. All other reasons for release must go through the Main Office, and students must be picked up in the Main Office. The person seeking the release must sign the register in the office.

In the event of an emergency, the Superintendent and/or designee may release a student to some individual not appearing on the approved list only if the parent or guardian has been contacted by the Superintendent and/or designee and has approved the release, and the Superintendent and/or designee determines that an emergency exists.

Adoption date: June 19, 2002

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Policy 5210 | Student Organizations

View the PDF version of the Student Organizations Policy here.

The Board of Education recognizes that education values inherent in student participation in the extracurricular life of the school, and supports the concept of the formation of student groups for such purposes as building sound social relationships, developing interests in an academic area, and gaining an understanding of the elements and responsibilities of good citizenship.

The Superintendent of Schools, with the aid of students, faculty and administration, is charged with developing procedures for registering and regulating student groups or clubs. Such procedure shall ensure that the district will register any group organized for a purpose not prohibited by Board policy or by law, if such group submits a list of its members designated as contacts, a copy of it s constitution and/or bylaws, and the constitution and bylaws of any off-campus organization with which if may be affiliated. Student groups may not restrict membership on the basis of race, sex, national origin or other arbitrary criteria.

Students desiring to form an extracurricular activity shall petition their Student Senate and Building Principal in writing. The petition shall state the purpose and describe the activities of the proposed extracurricular activity, and shall be signed by at lease seventeen students before it is presented to the Student Senate and Principal for action. A faculty advisor will be appointed to supervise the activity, according to school rules and regulations.

All extracurricular activities shall be approved by the Board. The Building Principal shall maintain an up-to-date register of all extracurricular activities that are approved or discontinued.

The Board prohibits the formation of any clubs, including fraternities or sororities, or any other secret society, that promotes exclusive membership, whose deliberations and activities have caused or created, or are likely to cause or create, a disruption of or interference with the school program.

Administrative regulations governing the use of school facilities shall abide by the Equal Access Act in the creation of a “limited open forum.” All non-curricula related student activities, regardless of religious or political content shall have the same opportunities as any other such activity to operate on school grounds.

Cross-ref:

  • 5252, Student Activities Funds Management

Ref:

  • Education Law §§207; 1709-a; 2503-a; 2554-a
  • Equal Access Act, 20 U.S.C. §§4071-4074
  • 8 NYCRR Part 172
  • Board of Education of the Westside Community Schools v. Mergens, 496 U.S. 226 (1990)
  • Garnett By Smith v. Renton School Dist. No. 403, 865 F.2d 1121 (9th Cir., 1989)
  • Thompson v. Waynesboro Area School Dist., 673 F.Supp. 1379 (M.D. Pa. 1987)
  • Student Coalition v. Lower Merion School Dist. Bd., 633 F.Supp. 1040 (E.D. Pa. 1986)
  • Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School Dist., 393 U.S. 503, 89 S.Ct. 733 (1969)
  • Healy v. James, 408 U.S. 169, 92 S.Ct. 2338 (1972)

Adoption date: June 19, 2002
Revised date: August 13, 2008

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Policy 5210.1 | Student Organizations and Activities

View the PDF version of the Student Organizations and Activities Policy here.

Student organizations have purposes and activities supportive of and consistent with the educational program of the Bethlehem Central School District (district) are encouraged and sanctioned. A sanctioned student organization is one which functions in accordance with the purpose and intent of this policy and pursuant to administrative rules and regulations promulgated to implement same, and must be approved by the Building Principal of the building in which the organization will carry on its primary activities.

In that the district receives, directly and indirectly, federal financial assistance, it is bound by the Equal Access Act which requires that non-sanctioned student groups have equal access to school facilities in accordance with the terms and provisions thereof, and administrative rules and regulations promulgated to govern the use of school facilities by such groups shall not conflict with the requirements of the Equal Access Act.

Administrative procedures promulgated for the sanctioning of student organizations pursuant to this policy shall take into consideration the organization’s purpose, membership, activities, financing, safeguarding of available funds, and supervision, as well as any affiliation with an outside organization, and in the event of any outside affiliation, such must be fully disclosed in writing, and include a copy of the charter or other organizational indicia of said outside organization, provided however that the membership in the local student organization shall be limited to enrolled students of the district.

The district considers participation in extracurricular activities to have an inherent educational value and therefore requires that any such organization or activity have meaningful physical, educational, social or cultural content and professional direction and management. Such organization or activity shall be open to all students who meet the specific school or activity requirements related to the purpose of such activity, and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, sex, national origin, religion, age (except where such organization or activity is age specific or qualified), economic status, marital status or disability.

Any student organization or activity, and any student group exercising its right to meet on school premises pursuant to the Equal Access Act, may be prohibited from meeting or otherwise holding its activities if, in the judgment of the Superintendent, is causes or creates or is likely to cause or create a disruption or interference with the operation of the school program or curriculum, or if it violates any rule or regulation governing same, promulgated pursuant hereto. The decision of the Superintendent of Schools may be appealed to the Board which may base its decision solely on the facts available to the Superintendent of Schools or, in its absolute and complete discretion, allow the effected Schools or, in its absolute and complete discretion, allow the effected organization or group to make a presentation of the facts supporting its position.

Each student organization, whether it be sanctioned or otherwise allowed to utilize the limited open forum, shall have a school district employee approved by the Building Principal as an advisor or sponsor, although no such advisor or sponsor shall actively participate in any religious meeting or activity.

The Superintendent of Schools, in consultation with district staff including the involved building administrator, shall develop, promulgate and implement appropriate rules and regulations to achieve the purposes of this policy.

The Superintendent of Schools, in consultation with district staff, including the involved building administrator, shall develop, promulgate and implement appropriate rules and regulations to achieve the purposes of this policy.

Adoption date: June 19, 2002

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Policy 5220 | Student Publications

View the PDF version of the Student Publications Policy here.

Students shall enjoy the constitutional right of freedom of expression. They shall have the right to express their views in speech, writing, or through any other medium or form, limited solely by those restrictions imposed on all citizens generally and those specifically applicable to children and youth in a school setting.

The Board of Education encourages student publications not only because they offer an educational activity through which students gain experience in reporting, writing, editing, and understanding responsible journalism, but also because they provide an opportunity for students to express their views and a means of communicating both within and beyond the school community.

All student publications will comply with the rules for responsible journalism. Libelous statements, unfounded charges and accusations, obscenities, false statements, materials advocating racial or religious prejudice, hatred, violence, the breaking of laws and school policies and/or regulations, or materials designed to disrupt the educational process will not be permitted. Expressions of personal opinion must be clearly identified as such, and bear the name of the author. Opportunity for the expression of opinions differing from those of the student publishers must be provided.

In addition, student newspapers and/or publications which are paid for by the school district and/or produced under the direction of a teacher as part of the school curriculum are not considered a public forum. In such cases, the Board reserves the right to edit or delete such student speech which it feels is inconsistent with the district’s basic educational mission.

Distribution of Literature

No person shall distribute any printed or written materials on school property without the prior permission of the Building Principal. To obtain such permission, the person wishing to distribute the material shall provide a copy to the Building Principal, with a written request that the Building Principal give permission for its distribution. This written request shall contain a brief statement of when, where and how the material is to be distributed. The Building Principal shall decide whether or not to give permission within two working days of the date of submission, and shall notify the applicant in writing of the decision.

Ref:

  • Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier, 484 US 260, 108 S Ct 562, (1988)
  • Bethel School District v. Fraser, 478 US 675 (1986)
  • Tinker v. DesMoines Independent Community School Dist., 393 US 503, (1969)
  • Thomas v. Board of Education, Granville Central School Dist., 607 F 2d 1043 (1979)
  • Trachtman v. Anker, et al., 563 F 2d 512 (1977)
  • Eisner v. Stamford Board of Education, 314 F Supp 832, modf’d. 440 F2d 803 (1971)
  • Frasca v. Andrew et al., 463 F Supp 1043 (1979)
  • Matter of Beil and Scariati, 26 EDR 109(1986)

Adoption date: June 19, 2002

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Policy 5251 | Student Fund Raising Activities

View the PDF version of the Student Fund Raising Activities Policy here.

All fund-raising activities must be voluntary. The Board will allow the following forms of solicitation:

  1. the sale of goods, services, or tickets to an event (social, musical, athletic, etc.), or items, where a portion of the funds go to school related activities or groups, or charitable purposes;
  2. fund-raising activities in coordination with businesses where a portion of the funds go to School related activities.
  3. the recruitment of students to participate in fund-raising activities to be conducted on/off school premises;
  4. the placement of a bin or collection box in a hallway or other common area for the voluntary donation of food, clothing or money.

The Superintendent of Schools is directed to set regulations for fund-raising activities taking place on school grounds, as long as those activities conform to Regent’s Rule 19.6 and the guidelines set forth below:

  1. no disruption of classes;
  2. all fund raising activities advertisements must have the approval of the building principal;
  3. school personnel are permitted to hang posters or distribute flyers notifying students of these activities.

Off School Premises

Fund-raising projects in which students canvass the public off school grounds, in connection with school related activities, will be kept to a minimum. Students are discouraged to solicit funds on a door-to-door basis, unless supervised by a parent or guardian.

Ref:

  • NYS Constitution, Article 8 §1
  • Education Law §414
  • 8 NYCRR §§ 19.6 (Rules of the Board of Regents); 172.1 et seq.
  • Appeal of Ponte, 38 EDR 280 (1998)
  • Guidelines Relating to Solicitation of Charitable Donations from School Children, SED, January 1994

Adoption date: May 20, 2009

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Policy 5252 | Student Extraclassroom Activities (ECA) Funds Management

View the PDF version of the Student Activities Funds Management Policy here.

The Board of Education (the Board) has the responsibility for the protection and supervision of the financial affairs of student clubs and extracurricular activities. The principal of the applicable school will recommend to the superintendent a competent or qualified faculty advisor for each club or organization, to be appointed by the Board.  The school auditor will annually audit all accounts.

All extraclassroom activity (ECA) funds are raised by students for club purposes, and include receipts from ticket sales and other fund raising events. ECA funds exclude taxes or other charges established by the Board.

All extraclassroom activity (ECA) funds must be handled in accordance with administrative regulations of the Board and financial procedures included in The Safeguarding, Accounting, and Auditing of Extraclassroom Activity Funds, published by the New York State Education Department (Revised 2015).

Cross-ref: 2210, Board Reorganizational Meeting

5210, Student Organizations

5210.1 Student Organizations and Activities

NOTE: no updates required to 2210, 5210, or 5210.1 based on the revisions to 5252-R

Ref: Education Law §207

8 NYCRR Part 172

Adoption date: June 19, 2002
Revised: February 28, 2007
Reviewed: March 20, 2017
Revised: February 8, 2018

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Policy 5252-R | Student Extraclassroom Activities (ECA) Funds Management

View the PDF version of the Student Activities Funds Management Regulation here.

Purpose

Extraclassroom activity funds are raised by students for club purposes, and include receipts from ticket sales and other fund raising events. ECA funds exclude taxes or other charges established by the Board of Education (the Board). Extraclassroom activity funds are those operated by and for the students. Moneys are usually collected voluntarily by students, and spent by them as they see fit so long as they abide by established regulations. All extraclassroom funds must follow the procedures for extracurricular funds as outlined in this regulation and The Safeguarding, Accounting, and Auditing of Extraclassroom Activity Funds as published by the NY State Education Department (Revised 2015).

Organizational Procedures for the Creation of New Clubs

  1. Students desiring to form an extraclassroom activity must petition their building principal in writing. The petition will state the purpose and describe the activities of the proposed club. Any new clubs that will use a volunteer staff advisor may be approved solely by the principal. If approved by the principal the club will be considered an informal school organization for the remainder of the school year and will be able to schedule activities and meetings.
  2. The faculty advisor of the informal school organization that starts a second school year may seek charter approval from their building principal. A club will be considered a chartered club during the school year and will be able to schedule activities, pending approval of the building principal and the BCTA president. Note: Only clubs chartered by January 31st of the school year can submit a request for an advisor stipend for the following year, aligned with the Bethlehem Central School District’s (the District) budget development process.
  3. In February, all newly formed chartered clubs in the High School and Middle School will be invited to submit a request to the school principal and the BCTA president to receive a stipend for the club advisorship. The school principal will then forward to the superintendent a request for a budget allocation for co-curricular stipends. This request will reflect priorities for clubs that meet the needs of students that are not currently fulfilled. The request will be part of the annual budgeting process. If a position is funded, a job description will be developed and the position will be posted for application.
  4. In May, the building principal will ask that all current advisors of new clubs complete a written evaluation of club activities that occurred during the school year.

Approved Extraclassroom Activities

All extraclassroom activities must be approved by the Board of Education. The school business administrator will maintain an up-to-date register of all extraclassroom activities that are approved or discontinued. By June 1st of each year, the High School and Middle School central treasurers, in conjunction with the High School and Middle School auditor, will provide the principal with the list of all clubs meeting the criteria for a bona fide student activity, who will provide it to the school business administrator. Additionally, the Board will annually approve or reapprove the extraclassroom activity.

Charter
Each extraclassroom activity will annually adopt a written charter that defines the purpose of the organization, duties of its officers, meeting dates, rules of procedure, and other such matters as are deemed necessary. The Charter of each extraclassroom activity will be approved by the advisor and the building principal.

Meetings

All extraclassroom activities should meet at least once monthly while school is in session. These meetings will be held on school property. Extraclassroom activities will not meet outside the school property unless they have received the consent of their building principal.

Appointment of Officers

The Board of Education will appoint to a one-year term, on the recommendation of the superintendent, members of the regular faculty to fill the following positions:

  1. Auditor (High School and Middle School)
  2. Faculty advisor(s)
  3. Central treasurer (High School and Middle School)

Faculty Advisor

Each extraclassroom activity must have a faculty advisor recommended by the superintendent and appointed by the Board of Education. The faculty advisor must attend all meetings of the extraclassroom activity, be responsible for the supervision of all programs in which the group participates, and ensure that the policies and regulations for operation of extracurricular clubs are followed.

Basic Procedures

  1. The High School and Middle School central treasurers will hold a September meeting that will be required for all club advisors and student treasurers for the purpose of reviewing the District and NYS Education Department guidelines and regulations. No account will be opened unless the advisor and treasurer attend this meeting.
  2. All accounts must have lockable boxes in which any funds to be deposited will be stored in the main office vault.
  3. No petty cash funds will be maintained by clubs.
  4. In order to verify recorded receipts, a club shall implement a process for verifying tickets sold. That process shall be recorded as part of the deposit record (i.e., prenumbered receipts, prenumbered tickets, etc.).
  5. All account deposits and payments must show the signatures of the student treasurer and the faculty  advisor of the club.  Without these signatures, the central treasurer will return the request to the club advisor without taking any action.
  6. Any interest earned through the investment of extracurricular funds (i.e., time deposit account, certificate of deposit, saving account) will be credited proportionally among all active clubs.
  7. Any loans made by the Student Association for cash flow purposes to any other account will be at the discretion of the central treasurers with notification provided to the advisor of the Student Association. All loans must be repaid by June 1st of the current year. At the close of the school year accounting 
  8. period (traditionally June 30th of each year), no account may show a negative balance. If an account has a deficit balance, it will be closed and the organization must petition the building principal to be reinstated as a recognized club and reimburse any loan provided by the Student Association.
  9. Costs related to the operation of the extracurricular accounts (i.e., copying/printing, deposit stamps, replacement checks, etc.) will be paid for by the Student Association of the building.

Carry Forward Funds

Funds must be raised and spent by students, for the purposes identified by the students. Thus, student clubs should have minimal carry forward balances from one year to the next. Clubs are permitted to make large purchases over the course of several years; however, the club minutes should reflect the need to maintain a larger balance and should authorize future members of the club to expend funds for those purchases. Other than reserving funds for future purchases, there should be a minimum carry forward balance to provide adequate funding for expenses that may be incurred early in the subsequent year, prior to collection of club revenues.

Clubs should help students learn how to responsibly manage funds for an organization. Students are encouraged to adopt annual budgets to demonstrate good oversight and planning.

Inactive Clubs and Leftover Funds

An inactive extraclassroom activity is defined as one having no financial activity for one full school year.  If an inactive club is identified, the building principal will direct the central treasurer to liquidate the leftover funds of this club in accordance with the following:

  1. Leftover funds of inactive or discontinued extraclassroom activities shall automatically revert to the account of the general student organization or student council.
  2. Inactive clubs must follow the organizational procedures set forth in this policy to reactivate previously existing activities.
  3. Leftover class funds remaining within six (6) months after a class graduates will be transferred to the Student Council, as per State Education Department administrative regulations.

Sales, Campaigns, and Fundraising Activities

The Faculty Advisor must get approval for all fundraising activities from the building principal. The building principal will provide information to the superintendent or his/her designee on sales, campaigns, and fundraising activities of all extraclassroom activity clubs, including the nature of the event, dates of operation, duration of sale or campaign, and means of solicitation (e.g., door-to-door, direct mailing, etc.).

Travel and Transportation

All overnight trips must receive approval from the superintendent. International travel must receive approval from the Board of Education. The faculty advisor must provide a written itinerary to each student, along with a copy of the Code of Student Conduct (Policy # 5300) and secure written permission from a student’s parent(s) and/or guardian(s) for all overnight and international travel. Every effort should be made to provide the educational travel opportunity to all eligible students. The faculty advisor must assure that there is sufficient adult supervision at all times.

District transportation may be provided, upon timely and proper request, to the Transportation Department. Each club will be responsible for the actual cost of the transportation and will be invoiced upon trip completion. Trip cost estimates may be obtained from the Transportation Department. Although use of a private carrier is permitted in certain circumstances, the faculty advisor is required to coordinate the request through the Transportation Department, who will ascertain that the driver(s) for the private carrier are properly insured, properly licensed, and that the vehicle is appropriate, legal, and safe.

Risk Management

The building principal must work with the school business administrator to assure that the District’s exposure to any risk resulting from club activities or fundraisers is minimized. In all cases where a vendor will be using District facilities to conduct its event, the District requires a certificate of insurance with the District named as an additional insured party. Periodically, the District may request that its primary liability insurance carrier conduct a review of the activities of its extraclassroom activities and may prohibit certain events based on the review results.

Tax Exempt Status

The extraclassroom activities of the District are not included in the exemption granted to the District from New York State Department of Taxation and Finance. Without exception, clubs and activities are prohibited from using the school’s tax exemption. The taxable status of all fundraising events will be enforced by the central treasurers. The central treasurers will be responsible for filing the periodic sales tax returns for the extraclassroom activity funds. Clubs must follow the guidelines for sales tax payments and collections as outlined in The Safeguarding, Accounting, and Auditing of Extraclassroom Activity Funds (Revised 2015)

Contracts, Commitments, and Guarantees

All commitments and contracts are the sole responsibility of the extraclassroom activity club involved in the transaction, regardless of change in advisors, membership, or officers.

Adoption date: February 28, 2007

Review date: March 20, 2017

Revised: February 8, 2018

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Policy 5280 | Interscholastic Athletics

View the PDF version of the Interscholastic Athletics Policy here.

Interscholastic athletics for boys and girls is an integral and desirable part of the District’s secondary school educational program. Individual and team sports shall be based upon comprehensive physical education instruction and intramural activities, seeking broad participation from all eligible secondary students. Lifetime or carry-over sports are to be particularly encouraged and supported. Parity in the number and kind of sports activities for girls and boys is a clear objective of the District.

Student eligibility for participation on interscholastic teams shall include:

  1. authorization by the school physician;
  2. written consent from parent(s) or guardian(s); and
  3. endorsement by the building principal based on established rules and various league and State Education Department regulations.

Although the District will take reasonable care to protect student athletes, students may still sustain injuries. In order to most effectively ensure student safety, open communication between students, parents, and coaches about the child’s medical condition is critical. Coaches, and other appropriate staff, will receive guidance and training regarding recognition of injuries and removal of the student athlete from play in the event of injury. Parents/guardians and/or students are expected to report injuries so that the student’s health can be protected.

In the case of a suspected or actual head injury, a student must be removed from play immediately. In order to resume participation following injury, including head injury, the student needs to receive medical clearance. The superintendent, in consultation with appropriate District staff, including the school physician, will develop regulations and procedures to guide the process of return to play.

In recognition of the importance of appropriately managing head injuries, the Board of Education authorizes the creation of a Districtwide Concussion Management Protocol that outlines procedures to follow in managing head injuries; as well as guidance in returning to play and/or activities following a concussion. The Concussion Management Protocol provides guidelines regarding the responsibilities of the school administrator, student, parent(s) or guardian(s), medical director, school nurse, athletic director, coach, athletic trainer, director of physical education, physical education teacher, classroom teacher, and guidance counselor, as appropriate.

In accordance with existing Regulations of the Commissioner of Education, the Board of Education may permit students in grades 11-12 to receive credit towards high school graduation equivalent to physical education for participation in interscholastic athletics as well as approved non-scholastic sports. Such credit will, in addition to other requirements, be contingent upon proven cardiovascular and physical fitness and competency in lifetime or carry-over sports. Standards for such fitness and competency shall be developed by the administration.

Cross-ref:

  • 5420, Student Health Services
  • 5280.1, Concussion Management

Ref:

  • Education Law §§ 305(42), 1709 (8-a); 3001-b 8 NYCRR §§135.4, 136.5
  • Guidelines for Concussion Management in the School Setting, New York State Education Department, June 2012. http://www.p12.nysed.gov/sss/schoolhealth/schoolhealthservices/ConcussionManageGuidelines.pdf
  • Concussion Management and Awareness Act, July 1, 2012. http://www.p12.nysed.gov/sss/schoolhealth/schoolhealthservices/Section136-5.html
  • Concussion Management Support Materials, www.nysphsaa.org
  • Santa Fe Indep. Sch. Dist. V. Doe, 520 U.S. 290 (2000) (constitutionality of student-led prayers at interscholastic athletic activities)

Adoption date: September 3, 2013

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Policy 5280.1 | Concussion Management Policy

View the PDF version of the Concussion Management Policy here.

The Board of Education seeks to provide a healthy and safe environment for all students participating in physical education classes, interscholastic sports, and intramural sports.

A mild traumatic brain injury (“concussion”) can cause harmful, long-term effects to brain functions. The potential for a concussion is greatest during activities where collisions can occur, such as during athletic, physical education, and recreational activities. This policy serves to provide guidelines to educate staff members, coaches, parents, and students as to concussions and to provide protocols for assessing and deciding when a student returns to play after suffering a suspected head injury/concussion.

Course of Instruction

Every coach, physical education teacher, nurse, and athletic trainer in the District shall complete, on an annual basis, a course of instruction relating to recognizing the symptoms of a suspected head injury/concussion and monitoring and seeking proper medical treatment for individuals who suffer a suspected head injury/concussion.

The course of instruction must include:

  • The definition of “concussion”;
  • Signs and symptoms of a concussion;
  • How such injuries may occur;
  • Practices regarding prevention; and
  • Guidelines for the return to school and certain school activities regardless of whether the injury occurred inside or outside of school.

Web Site

The District shall include information regarding concussions and current guidelines on the District’s Web site or reference how to obtain such information from the Web sites of the New York State Department of Education and the Department of Health.

Permission/Consent/Application Forms

All permission/consent/application forms regarding participation in interscholastic sports shall include information on suspected head injury/concussions.

Management and Recognition of Concussion

Management and recognition of a concussion should be performed by the coach, physical education teacher, athletic trainer, physician, nurse, or other appropriately trained individuals. The District will maintain a “Return to Play Protocol” in the appropriate building level nurse’s office. This form will be followed whenever a student is believed to have sustained or has sustained a suspected head injury/concussion.

The District will require the immediate removal from athletic activities of any student who has sustained, or who is believed to have sustained, a suspected head injury/concussion. In the event that there is any doubt as to whether a student has sustained a concussion, it shall be presumed that the student has been injured until proven otherwise. No such student will resume athletic activity until the student has been:

  1. . symptom free for not less than twenty-four hours; and
  2. evaluated by, and the District has received written and signed authorization from, the student’s private licensed physician that the student may participate in athletic and extracurricular activities; and
  3. cleared by the District’s medical director to participate in such activities.

Concussion Management Team

The District, in its discretion, may establish a concussion management team that may be composed of the athletic director, school nurse, school physician, coaches, certified athletic trainer, or other personnel designated by the District. If established, the concussion management team will oversee and implement the District’s concussion policies and procedures including, without limitation, the District’s “Return to Play Protocol” that will be followed whenever a student is believed to have sustained a suspected head injury/concussion.

Adopted: September 3, 2013

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Policy 5280.1-R | Concussion Management Policy Goals 

View the PDF version of the Concussion Management Policy Goals here.

The District has established this protocol to provide education regarding head injuries and concussion to District staff, parents, and students. This protocol also outlines procedures to follow in managing head injuries; as well as guidance in returning to play/activities following a concussion.

Goals of Concussion Management Include:

  • Education regarding head injuries and concussion;
  • Prompt emergency response to head injuries;
  • Appropriate medical follow-up; and
  • Return to play/activities guidance

General Guidelines

  • School Administrator Responsibilities
  • Student Responsibilities
  • Parent/Guardian Responsibilities
  • Medical Director Responsibilities
  • School Nurse Responsibilities
  • Athletic Director Responsibilities
  • Certified Coach Responsibilities (includes volunteer coaches)
  • Certified Athletic Trainer Responsibilities
  • Director of Physical Education Responsibilities
  • Physical Education Teacher Responsibilities
  • Teacher/Guidance Counselor Responsibilities

School Administrator Responsibilities

The school administrator will ensure that the District’s policies on concussion management are followed.

The School Administrator will:

  • Review the District’s concussion management policy/protocols with all staff.
  • Arrange for professional development, as needed, regarding concussion management for staff.
  • Provide guidance to District staff on Districtwide policies and protocols for emergency care and transport of students suspected of sustaining a concussion.
  • Develop plans to meet the needs of individual students diagnosed with a concussion after consultation with District staff.
  • Enforce District concussion management policies and protocols.
  • Encourage parent/guardian to communicate to District staff if their child is experiencing significant fatigue or other symptoms.
  • Encourage parent/guardian to communicate with the private medical provider on the status of their child and their progress with return to school activity.
  • Where appropriate, ask a parent/guardian to sign a release in order for District staff to provide information regarding the student’s progress to the private medical provider.

Paperwork for School Administrator Responsibilities:

  • Concussion Management Protocol
  • Concussion Signs and Symptoms Check List
  • Head Injury Information Fact Sheets
  • BCSD Sports Update Form
  • Suspected Head Injury Notification Form
  • Return to Play Protocol Following Head Injury/Concussion
  • Physician Evaluation Form Following Head Injury
  • BCSD Parental Release/Consent Form

Student Responsibilities

The Student Will:

  • Be educated about the prevention of head injuries.
  • Be familiar with signs and symptoms that must be immediately reported to the coach, athletic trainer, school nurse, parent/guardian, or other staff.
  • Report any head injury to coach, teacher, school nurse, parent, and/or trainer at time of injury.
  • Wear appropriate protective equipment for athletic activities.
  • Comply with all rules for safety.
  • Comply with BCSD Concussion Management Protocol.

Secondary Student Athletes Will Also:

  • Receive and review all documentation on head injury/concussion, as provided by BCSD, at time of sport sign up from health office; as well as from coach, as provided.
  • Return completed “BCSD Sports Update Form” with parent signature.

After Head Injury, the Student Will:

  • Maintain communication with school nurse, trainer, medical providers, and coaches regarding any symptoms or concerns.
  • Cooperate with treatment strategies, both at home and in school.
  • Comply with school nurse, trainer, medical provider, and coach regarding “Return to Play Protocol.”
  • Bring any physician documentation to health office and to trainer.

Paperwork for Student Responsibilities:

  • Head Injury Information Fact Sheets
  • BCSD Sports Update Form
  • Suspected Head Injury Notification Form
  • Return to Play Protocol Following Head Injury/Concussion

Parent/Guardian Responsibilities

The Parent/Guardian Will:

  • Be familiar with the signs and symptoms of concussions.
  • Assist in providing child with education regarding head injuries, safety, and wearing appropriate protective equipment.

If Child Sustains Injury Inside or Outside of School, the Parent Will:

  • Report any suspected head injury/concussion to the school nurse.
  • Receive “Suspected Head Injury Notification Form” and follow recommended directives from BCSD staff, i.e., coach, trainer, school nurse, school physician, as appropriate.

Following Child’s Injury, the Parent Will:

  • Provide medical documentation regarding child’s head injury/concussion, evaluation, and treatment recommendations in a timely manner.
  • Monitor their child’s physical and mental health as he/she transition back to school activities.
  • Provide a signed release for school nurse, or trainer, to speak with physician(s), as needed.
  • Comply with BCSD medication administration protocols.
  • Maintain communication with school nurse, coach, and trainer regarding student’s health status.
  • Comply with BCSD Concussion Management Protocol.

For Secondary Student Athletes, the Parent Will Also:

  • Receive and review head injury information fact sheets, as provided by BCSD
  • Complete “BCSD’s Sports Update Form,” including providing signatures indicating that they received head injury information fact sheets.

Paperwork for Parent/Guardian Responsibilities:

  • Completed BCSD Sport’s Update Form, including signatures
  • Head Injury Information Fact Sheets
  • Suspected Head Injury Notification Form
  • BCSD Parental Release/Consent Form
  • BCSD Medication Form
  • Return to Play Protocol Following Head Injury/Concussion

Medical Director Responsibilities

The Medical Director Will:

  • Collaborate with District administration in developing concussion management policies and protocols.
  • Assist District staff by acting as a liaison to the student’s medical provider and contacting that provider as necessary to discuss or clarify orders and plan of care.
  • Attend 504 and CSE meetings when requested by 504 or CSE chairperson.
  • Review medical provider’s written clearance for students to begin graduated physical activity, as needed.
  • Provide written protocols for the school nurse, and/or certified athletic trainer, to follow when accepting a private medical provider’s clearance.
  • Delegate the task of reviewing all medical provider’s written clearance for students to begin graduated physical activity to the school nurse, and/or certified athletic trainer, as appropriate. The medical director will be available for consultation to school nurses and athletic trainers, as needed.
  • Work with the District staff to monitor the progress of individual students with protracted recovery, multiple concussions, and atypical recovery.
  • Become educated in the use and interpretation of neurocognitive testing (e.g., IMPACT), if such tests are utilized by the District.

Paperwork for Medical Director Responsibilities:

  • Concussion Management Protocol
  • Concussion Signs and Symptoms Check List
  • Head Injury Information Fact Sheets
  • BCSD Sport’s Update Form
  • Suspected Head Injury Notification Form
  • Return to Play Protocol Following Head Injury/Concussion
  • Physician Evaluation Form Following Head Injury
  • BCSD Parental Release/Consent Form

School Nurse Responsibilities

The School Nurse Will:

  • Complete required NYSED approved course on concussions annually.
  • Assess students who have suffered a significant fall or blow to the head or body for signs and symptoms of a concussion.
  • Initiate discussion with parents/guardians, as needed, regarding student reported head injury.
  • Review medical documentation provided by parent, physician, and/or student
  • Inform school staff, as appropriate, regarding student’s head injury. School staff may include administrators, teachers, guidance counselors, coaches, athletic trainer, school physician, lunch/noon aides, and other staff as applicable.
  • Assist in the implementation of the private medical provider’s or other specialist’s requests for possible school accommodations.
  • Meet with student to assess and determine his/her progress toward recovery.
  • Maintain documentation regarding student’s head injury.
  • Discuss field trip policy with parents, teachers, and/or student regarding possible restrictions.
  • Adhere to confidentiality laws and guidelines.
  • Verify with school District’s medical director that student is cleared to participate in activity.

Regarding Secondary BCSD Student Athletes, the School Nurse Will Also:

  • Distribute head injury information fact sheets to students and parents during each sports season, along with “BCSD Sports Update Form.”
  • Maintain communication with coach, trainer, parent, student, and school physician, as needed.
  • Complete the “Return to Play Protocol” as directed and make appropriate notifications.

Paperwork for School Nurse Responsibilities:

  • Concussion Management Protocol
  • Concussion Signs and Symptoms Check List
  • Head Injury Information Fact Sheets
  • BCSD Sports Update Form
  • Suspected Head Injury Notification Form
  • Return to Play Protocol Following Head Injury/Concussion
  • Physician Evaluation Form Following Head Injury
  • BCSD Parental Release/Consent Form

Athletic Director Responsibilities

The Athletic Director Will:

  • Ensure that preseason consent forms include information on Concussion Management, as well as links to information on District protocols for concussion management.
  • Offer educational materials to parents/guardians and student athletes that educate them about concussions.
  • Inform the school nurse, certified athletic trainer, and/or medical director of any student who is suspected of having a concussion.
  • Ensure that any student identified as potentially having a suspected head injury/concussion is not permitted to participate in any athletic activities until written clearance is received.
  • Ensure that game officials, coaches, and/or parents/guardians are not permitted to determine whether a student with a suspected head injury can continue to play.
  • Educate coaches on District protocols on concussions and care of injured students during interscholastic athletics, including when to arrange for emergency medical transport.
  • Ensure that NYSPHAA (New York State Public High School Athletic Association) and other appropriate NYS athletic associations’ policies are followed and enforced for interscholastic athletics.
  • Support staff implementation of graduated return to play protocol.
  • Enforce District policies on concussions including training requirements for coaches and certified athletic trainers in accordance with Commissioner’s Regulation 135.4.

Paperwork for Athletic Director Responsibilities:

  • Concussion Management Protocol
  • Head Injury Information Fact Sheets
  • Guidelines and Procedures for Coaches
  • Suspected Head Injury Notification Form
  • CDC On-Field Reference Card, If Possible

Certified Coach Responsibilities (includes volunteer coaches)

The Certified Coach Will:

  • Complete required NYSED approved course on concussions annually.
  • Submit copy of certificate to athletic department annually as proof of completion of online training. Coaches who do not complete the training before the season starts for their sport will not be allowed to coach until they do so.
  • Learn, understand, and follow District policy regarding concussion management procedures, including any supporting documentation distributed by the health office, athletic office, or athletic trainer.
  • Make sure concussion awareness information and materials have been discussed with and understood by student-athletes and parents/guardians.
  • Recognize the symptoms of concussion.
  • Immediately remove any student-athlete from practice or event who displays or reports symptoms of a suspected head injury/concussion.
  • Make sure student-athlete is assessed and monitored by athletic trainer or trained personnel.
  • Make sure parents/guardians have been notified. In the case of any contests, parents must be notified as soon as possible.
  • Not allow student-athletes, who have sustained a head injury, to leave game site in their own private vehicle, even if prior permission is given by parent/guardian.
  • Remain with any student-athlete who has sustained a head injury until dismissed to ambulance or parents/guardians along with on-site evaluation form. The on-site evaluation form is given to student athlete or parents/guardians (triplicate form: copy to student; copy to health office; original goes to trainer).
  • Communicate information/concerns surrounding student injuries to athletic trainer.
  • Notify the health office by email or by a copy of the on-site evaluation form the first school day after injury.
  • Not allow student athlete to participate in practices or games until he/she has been officially cleared.
  • Carefully monitor student-athlete who has been cleared to return to play. If there are any recognizable post-concussion symptoms, the student-athlete should be pulled from activity and should be reassessed/evaluated by the athletic trainer immediately.

Paperwork for Coaches Responsibilities:

  • Head Injury Information Fact Sheets
  • Guidelines and Procedures for Coaches
  • Suspected Head Injury Notification Form
  • CDC On-Field Reference Card, If Possible

Certified Athletic Trainer Responsibilities

The Certified Athletic Trainer Will:

  • Complete required NYSED approved course on concussions annually.
  • Oversee student athletes taking baseline standardized computerized tests, as directed by District administration.
  • Evaluate student athletes who have suffered a significant fall or blow to the head or body for signs and symptoms of a concussion when present at athletic events.
  • Determine if signs and symptoms of concussion warrant emergency transport to the nearest hospital emergency room.
  • Refer parents/guardians of student athletes who have sustained a head injury to a medical provider for evaluation.
  • Provide parents/guardians with oral and/or written instructions on observing the student for concussive complications that warrant immediate emergency care.
  • Monitor the student athlete’s return to school activities; evaluate the student’s progress with each step; and communicate with the private medical provider, or other specialist, the school District’s medical director, school nurse, coaches, parents/guardians, and other appropriate District staff as needed.
  • Review a private physician’s written statement to clear a student for return to activities and consult with the school District’s medical director.
  • Oversee the administration of standardized computerized tests, post-injury, as indicated.
  • Maintain documentation on all student injuries.

Paperwork for Certified Athletic Trainer Responsibilities:

  • Concussion Management Protocol
  • Head Injury Information Fact Sheets
  • Guidelines and Procedures for Coaches
  • Suspected Head Injury Notification Form
  • Permission Forms for Standardized Computerized Testing

Director of Physical Education Responsibilities

The Director of Physical Education Will:

  • Offer educational materials to parents/guardians and student that educate them about concussions.
  • Inform the school nurse, certified athletic trainer, and/or, physical education staff of any student who is suspected of having a concussion.
  • Ensure that any student identified as potentially having a concussion is not permitted to participate in any physical education activities until written clearance is received.
  • Educate physical education staff on District protocols on concussions and care of injured students.
  • Support staff implementation of graduated return to play protocol.
  • Enforce District policies on concussions, including training requirements for physical education staff in accordance with Commissioner’s Regulation 135.4.

Paperwork for Athletic Director Responsibilities:

  • Concussion Management Protocol
  • Head Injury Information Fact Sheets
  • Guidelines and Procedures for Coaches
  • Suspected Head Injury Notification Form
  • CDC On-Field Reference Card, If Possible

Physical Education Teacher Responsibilities

The Physical Education Teacher Will:

  • Complete required NYSED approved course on concussions annually.
  • Submit copy of certificate to physical education department as proof of completion of online training.
  • Learn, understand and follow District policy regarding concussion management procedures, including any supporting documentation distributed by the health office, athletic office or athletic trainer.
  • Immediately remove any student who has taken a significant blow to head or body, or presents with signs and symptoms of a suspected head injury/concussion.
  • Contact the school nurse for assistance with any student injury.
  • Follow District emergency procedures for any student exhibiting signs and symptoms of a more significant concussion, when a nurse is unavailable (i.e., during extracurricular athletic activities such as intramurals).
  • Work in collaboration with school nurses to ensure that students diagnosed with a concussion do not participate in any athletic activities until the student has received medical clearance.
  • Ensure that students diagnosed with a concussion do not substitute mental activities for physical activities unless medical provider clears the student to do so (e.g., due to the need for cognitive rest, a student should not be required to write a report if they are not permitted to participate in PE class by their medical provider ).

Paperwork for Physical Education Teacher Responsibilities:

  • Head Injury Information Fact Sheets
  • Suspected Head Injury Notification Form
  • CDC On-Field Reference Card, If Possible

Teacher/Guidance Counselor Responsibilities

Teachers and guidance counselors can assist students in their recovery from a concussion by making accommodations that will minimize aggravating symptoms so that the student has sufficient cognitive rest. Section 504 plans may need to be considered for some students with severe symptoms requiring an extended time frame of accommodations.

The Guidance Counselor / Teacher Will:

  • Monitor the student closely and recommend appropriate academic accommodations for students who are exhibiting symptoms of post-concussion syndrome.
  • Communicate with school staff on a regular basis regarding student concerns.

Paperwork for Guidance / Teacher Responsibilities:

  • Head Injury Information Fact Sheets

References

  1. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) http://www.cdc.gov/concussion/index.html
  2. Concussion Management Protocols, Cynthia DiLaura Devore, M.D.
  3. ImPact Neurological Testing http://www.impacttest.com/index.php
  4. International Concussion Conference, Zurich 2008, http://www.nysphsaa.org/safety/pdf/Concussion%20Statement-Zurich2008.pdf
  5. New York State Assembly Concussion Management and Awareness Act http://assembly.state.ny.us/leg/?default_fld=&bn=S03953&term=2011&Summary=Y&Text=Y
  6. New York State Department of Health, “When in Doubt…Take Them Out”, http://www.health.ny.gov/prevention/injury_prevention/concussion.htm
  7. New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSA) http://www.nysphsaa.org/safety/
  8. New York Statewide School Health Services http://www.schoolhealthservicesny.com/
  9. New York State Education Department, “Coaching and Athletics Update”, October 2010; http://www.schoolhealthservicesny.com/files/filesystem/concussion%20and%20athletics%20n ysed%202010.pdf
  10. Prague International Conference on Concussion, 2004.

Adopted: September 9, 2013

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Policy 5280.1-F | Concussion Management Policy Form

View the PDF version of the Concussion Management Policy Form here.

Adopted: September 9, 2013

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Policy 5300 | Code of Conduct

View the PDF version of the Code of Conduct here.

Adoption Date: June 20, 2001
Revised: September 1, 2004
Revised: July 11, 2006
Reapproved: July 11, 2007
Reapproved: July 9, 2008
Reapproved: July 1, 2009
Amended and Reapproved: July 7, 2010
Amended and Reapproved: September 1, 2010
Amended and Reapproved: November 3, 2010
Amended and Reapproved: July 6, 2011
Amended and Reapproved: November 16, 2011
Amended and Reapproved: July 3, 2012
Reapproved: July 2, 2013 Reapproved: July 1, 2014
Amended and Reapproved: July 7, 2015
Reapproved: July 5, 2016
Re-approved: July 12, 2017
Amended and Reapproved: July 2, 2018

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Policy 5405 | Wellness Policy on Nutrition and Physical Education

View the PDF version of the Wellness Policy on Nutrition and Physical Education Policy here.

The well-being and support we can provide our students in maintaining a healthy lifestyle is the goal of our local wellness policy.

Statement of Commitment

The Bethlehem Central School District (the District) is committed to providing a school environment that promotes and protects children’s health, well-being, and ability to learn by providing comprehensive curricula and experiences in Health and Physical Education that support healthy eating and physical activity. Therefore, it is the policy of the District that:

  1. All students in grades K-12 will have opportunities, support, and encouragement to be physically active before, during, and after school.
  2. A l l foods and beverages sold or provided by schools participating in the National School Lunch Program and/or School Breakfast Program will meet and/or exceed the minimum federal and state nutrition standards. This includes items in vending machines and a la carte/snack products that students have access to during the school day.
  3. In any school(s) where the District has opted not to participate in the National School Lunch Program and/or School Breakfast Program, the District will aim to provide nutritious food and beverage choices that conform to the most recent USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The District will provide financial support to the Food Service Department in order to maintain a free and/or reduced price student meal program at such schools.
  4. Schools will provide education to foster lifelong habits of healthful eating and physical activity.
  5. The District is committed to providing an environment in all of our schools where students will be supported by mental health services to ensure their achievement and success.
  6. The District will encourage and support staff to practice healthy nutrition and physical activity behaviors in and out of school.
  7. The superintendent, in conjunction with the Coordinated Health Team, will assist the Board of Education in its management, oversight, implementation, communication, and evaluation of the Wellness Policy and its established goals and objectives.
  8. At least once every three years, the District will evaluate compliance with the current Wellness Policy and update the policy to reflect improvements/changes to evidenced-based guidance and/or best practices that support student wellness.

To Achieve These Goals

The District will follow the Center for Disease Control’s Coordinated School Health Model. The Coordinated Health Team will consist of parents/community members; school administration; staff representatives from health and physical education, counseling, psychological and social services, health services, the director of Food Service, and teachers, and will be chaired by the superintendent, or his/her designee. The Health Team will act in an advisory role to provide input to the superintendent and the Board of Education. Final policy decisions are determined by the Board of Education.

Adopted: June 20, 2007
Revised: September 19, 2007
Revised: January 4, 2012
Revised: December 4, 2013
Revised: June 21, 2017

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Policy 5405-R | Wellness Policy on Nutrition and Physical Education Regulation

View the PDF version of the Wellness Policy on Nutrition and Physical Education Regulation here.

The District will create an environment that supports healthy eating habits, good nutrition, physical education, and a supportive mental health program in the following areas:

Nutrition Services & Cafeteria Environment

Improving the nutritional quality of all foods served to District students – in the cafeteria and vending machines – by considering the following actions/goals:

  1. Ensuring, at minimum, that breakfast and lunch are available and accessible to all students district-wide during the school day.
  2. Ensuring all K-8 students have adequate time to eat meals and encouraging all High School students to have a designated lunch period.
  3. All reimbursable meals will meet or exceed nutrition standards set forth in the Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010 (HHFKA).
  4. School meals programs will support replacing processed foods with cooked from scratch or whole foods whenever possible.
  5. Reducing foods and beverages with added sugar and minimizing refined carbohydrates in meals, beverages and snacks sold to students. At minimum, half of the grains served will be whole grain districtwide.
  6. Use of the following techniques from Cornell University’s Smarter Lunchrooms Program to promote healthy food and beverages choices:
    1. Whole fruit options displayed in bowls in the line of sight and reach of students.
    2. All staff members, especially those serving, have been trained to politely prompt students to select and consume the daily vegetable options with their meal.
    3. White milk is placed in an equally or more accessible location then flavored milk.
    4. Student surveys and taste testing opportunities are used to inform menu development, dining space décor and promotional ideas.
  7. Elimination of foods containing the following four ingredients:
    1. Trans Fat
    2. High Fructose Corn Syrup
    3. Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)
    4. Artificial Food Colorings
  8. Increasing hormone- and antibiotic-free beef, poultry and dairy products.
  9. Increasing the availability of vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free and lactose-free options, especially at the secondary level schools.
  10. Utilizing foods from local sources and/or school gardens, when able to within the financial constraints of the Food Service Department.
  11. Providing accurate information about the nutritional content and ingredients of foods and beverages sold at school with students and parents.
  12. All school food service staff, including the Food Service Director, will meet or exceed hiring and annual training requirements set by the USDA Professional Standards for Child Nutrition Professionals.
  13. Ensuring free, safe, unflavored drinking water and bottle filling stations are available for students in all schools and will be made available at meal times.
  14. Providing students with a pleasant environment in which to eat.
  15. Limiting the use of food and candy in the classroom as incentives through providing resources for parents and teaching staff to support the use of non-food based reward systems.
  16. Encouraging parents and staff to consider healthy food guidelines when bringing food for classroom parties or snacks. Parties should be scheduled so that they do not overlap with school meal programs whenever possible.
  17. Limiting the marketing of food or beverages in schools to items that meet or exceed the USDA Smart Snacks for Schools requirements.

Physical Education

Students should develop the knowledge and skills necessary to perform a variety of physical activities, maintain physical fitness, regularly participate in physical activity, understand the value and benefits of physical activity, and enjoy physical activity as an ongoing part of a healthy lifestyle.

  1. Physical education will be the environment where students learn, practice, and are assessed on developmentally appropriate motor skills, social skills, and knowledge.
  2. Physical education will be incorporated into students’ schedules. The District will strive to meet requirements for physical education as outlined by the State Education Department.
  3. The District will have a written physical education curriculum for each grade level.
  4. The physical education program shall be provided adequate space and equipment and conform to all the applicable safety standards.
  5. Physical education courses will be taught by a certified instructor.
  6. Physical education teachers will be provided professional development comparable to other teachers in the District.
  7. Sports may take the place of Physical Education at the secondary level according to State Education Department Regulations and Guidelines and/or BCSD pilot guidelines for academic credit.

Health Education

Students should develop the knowledge and skills necessary to achieve and maintain physical, social, and emotional health that will contribute to a better quality of life for the individual, the family, and the community.

  1. Health Education will be the environment where students learn, practice, and are assessed on developmentally appropriate health skills (Planning & Goal Setting, Decision Making, Stress Management, Communication, Health Advocacy)
  2. Health education will be incorporated into student’s schedules. The District will strive to meet requirements for health education as outlined by the State Education Department.
  3. The District will have a written health education curriculum for each grade level.
  4. Health education will be taught by a certified instructor.
  5. Health education teachers will be provided professional development comparable to other teachers in the District.
  6. Integrating nutrition education and school gardens in all schools by establishing curriculum at each grade level.

Recess/Intramurals at the Elementary School Level

Schools will provide a daily-supervised recess period, preferably outdoors, during which schools should encourage moderate to vigorous physical activity

  1. Where age appropriate, extracurricular activities such as physical activity clubs and intramurals will be provided and open to all students.
  2. Physical activity opportunities shall be offered daily during the school day.
  3. Staff members shall not deny participation in recess or other physical activities as a form of discipline for punishment unless the safety of students is in question.

The District facilities may be made available outside of school hours for physical activity programs offered by community-based organizations.

Adopted: June 20, 2007
Revised: September 19, 2007
Revised: July, 2011
Revised: January 4, 2012
Revised: December 4, 2013
Revised: June 21, 2017

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Policy 5410 | Anaphylaxis Policy

View the PDF version of the Anaphylaxis Policy here.

The incidence of severe allergic reactions has been rising at an alarming rate, especially with regard to food. Other common causes of anaphylaxis include allergies to latex, medications, and insect stings.

The Allergy and Anaphylaxis Management Act of 2007, specifically Public Health Law Section 2500-h effective January 3, 2007, requires the Commissioner of the New York State Department of Health, in consultation with the Commissioner of the New York State Education Department, establish an anaphylactic policy setting forth guidelines and procedures regarding anaphylaxis (see Public Health Law Section 2500-h for complete information). The law further requires that each school board consider and take action in response to this resource document. It is advisable that each local board of education develop a written anaphylactic policy.

In accordance with the recommendations of the New York State Department of Health and the New York State Education Department, Bethlehem Central School District’s Anaphylaxis Policy will include the following essential components:

  1. Procedures and treatment plans, including responsibilities for school nurses and other appropriate school personnel, for responding to anaphylaxis;
  2. A training course for appropriate school personnel for preventing and responding to anaphylaxis;
  3. Procedures and appropriate guidelines for the development of an individualized emergency health care plan for children at risk for anaphylaxis;
  4. A communication plan between the school building team and parent/guardian, the school nurse and the private health care provider, and the school nurse and building staff for intake and dissemination of information regarding students at risk for anaphylaxis; and
  5. Strategies for the reduction of the risk within the school setting, such as reasonable efforts to control exposure to anaphylactic causative agents, including food and other allergens, or opportunities for management within the classroom, such as carrying medications or supplies and self-medicating as appropriate.

Ref:

  • Allergy and Anaphylaxis Mgmt Act 2007
  • Public Health Law, § 2500h

Adoption Date: May 20, 2009

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Policy 5410-R | Anaphylaxis Policy Regulation

View the PDF version of the Anaphylaxis Policy Regulation here.

Pathophysiology and treatment

Allergic reactions can affect almost any part of the body and cause various symptoms. Anaphylaxis includes the most dangerous symptoms and is a lifethreatening medical emergency occurring in individuals after exposure to specific allergens.

Signs and symptoms of allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis, may include: hives; coughing; itching (of any part of the body); wheezing; swelling (of any body parts); throat tightness or closing; difficulty swallowing; red, watery eyes; runny nose; difficulty breathing; vomiting; impending sense of doom; diarrhea; dizziness; stomach cramps; fainting or loss of consciousness; drop in blood pressure or shock; change of voice; change of skin color.

Most anaphylactic reactions in schools are due to food allergies, although medications, stinging insects, or latex can also result in anaphylaxis.

Treatment of anaphylaxis is centered on treating the rapidly progressing effects of the histamine release in the body with epinephrine. An injection of epinephrine is the treatment of choice for anaphylaxis. Because anaphylaxis can lead to death or permanent damage within minutes, timely administration of epinephrine is critical. The risk of death from untreated anaphylaxis far outweighs the risk of administering epinephrine, even if administered inadvertently to someone not having an anaphylactic reaction. Antihistamines may also be used in the treatment of allergic reactions.

Creating an Allergen-Safe School Environment:

The most important aspect of the management of students with life-threatening allergies is avoidance. The risk of exposure to allergens for a student is reduced when the school, medical provider, parent/guardian, and student, work together to develop a management plan that includes both prevention as well as treatment in the event of an accidental exposure.

The following components are essential in managing severe allergies in the school environment:

  1. Procedures and treatment plans, including responsibilities for school nurses and other appropriate personnel, as described in the Bethlehem Central School District’s, “Managing Food Allergies in the School Environment”, will be followed. This document was originally developed with parents of food allergic children and school staff in 2003. It was updated in 2006, and in 2008, to address the recommended components of the Allergy and Anaphylaxis Management Act 2007.
  2. A training course will be offered to interested school staff in the prevention and recognition of severe allergic reactions and anaphylaxis, school management of the severely allergic students, the administration of epinephrine by Epi-pen, appropriate handling and disposal of Epi-pen, and the immediate care of the patient until medical help arrives. School health professionals will provide training and refresher training to any interested school staff whenever it is requested, but at a minimum they will offer training to non-medical school staff at least yearly.
  3. School nurses will develop Individualized Emergency Care Plans, (ECP), Individualized Healthcare Plans, (IHP), and Transportation Plans, as appropriate. Guidelines for managing severe allergies for overnight field trips at the secondary level have also been developed.
  4. Communication of a student’s severe allergy will begin with the parent/guardian to school staff. The school nurses will follow the guidelines in BCSD’s “Managing Food Allergies in the School Environment”, to ensure that all school staff is notified of a student’s food allergy. This notification may include the sharing of individualized emergency care plans, documentation of a “health alert” on a student’s record in BCSD’s database, and sharing the names of students with transportation, food services, lunch aides, and other school personnel, as appropriate.
  5. Strategies for risk reduction may include the following:
    • Providing allergen free tables in the cafeterias in the elementary schools, and as requested in the secondary schools;
    • Discouraging the sharing of snacks/food in all buildings;
    • Discouraging the eating of food on school buses, except in the cases of students with other health conditions, i.e. diabetes;
    • Students with food allergies may bring in a “safe box” of snacks from home. These snacks may be kept in the classroom or health office, and be used as needed during school events, i.e. classroom parties;
    • Elementary students may eat pre-packaged food items with all ingredients listed, or whole fruits/vegetables, offered at school events, with written parental permission provided;
    • Food allergy student assessments and subsequent education of students regarding their self-management skills will be provided by school nurses, as appropriate;
    • Students with food allergies will not perform cafeteria cleaning duties;
    • Parents of all students will be requested not to send in allergy containing food item(s) into the classroom for snacks or parties; and
    • School staff will raise awareness in regards to food allergies as appropriate.

In addition to the above items, action steps for anaphylaxis management may include the following:

  • Having standing emergency medical protocols for nursing staff per BCSD school physician(s);
  • Maintaining a school supply of life-saving epinephrine emergency medication;
  • Following NYSED guidelines and laws regarding medication orders for students with severe life-threatening conditions; and
  • Allowing self-directed students, as assessed by the school nurse, to carry life-saving medication with prior approval by the medical provider, as long as duplicate life-saving medication is also maintained in the health office in the event the self-carry student misplaces their medication

Sample Forms and Letters

The following sample forms and letters may be used in the management of severe allergies at BCSD:

  • Parent/Guardian Questionnaire of Child with Food Allergy
  • BCSD’s “Managing Food Allergies in the School Environment”
  • Food Allergy Student Assessment Form
  • Contract for Self-Administration Form
  • Epi-pen Training Checklist for School Staff
  • Emergency Care Plan for Severe Food Allergy (ECP)
  • Transportation Emergency Care Plan
  • Classroom Parent Letter (Elementary)

Adoption date: May 20, 2009

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Policy 5420 | Student Health Services

View the PDF version of the Student Health Services here.

The Board of Education recognizes that good student health is vital to successful learning and acknowledges its responsibility, along with that of parent(s) or guardian(s), to protect and foster a safe and healthful environment for the students.

The school shall work closely with students’ families to provide detection and preventive health services. In accordance with law, the school will provide vision, hearing, and scoliosis screening. Problems shall be referred to the parent(s) or guardian(s) who shall be encouraged to have their family physician provide appropriate care.

In order to enroll in school, a student’s parent(s) or guardian(s) must submit a health certificate within thirty calendar days after entering school, and upon entering second, fourth, seventh, and tenth grades. The examination, which has to conform to state requirements, must have been conducted no more than twelve months before the first day of the school year in question. If a student is unable to furnish the health certificate, the school will provide a physical examination by a licensed provider. A request for exemption from the physical examination, or the requirement to provide a health certificate, must be made in writing to the school principal or designee, who may require documents supporting the request. The only basis for exemption is a claim that the physical examination is in conflict with the genuine and sincere religious belief of the parent(s) or guardian(s).

The Board of Education recognizes that the State of New York may authorize and require the collection of data from health certificates in furtherance of tracking and understanding health care issues that affect children. The Board of Education supports these efforts and expects administrators to cooperate and to observe the appropriate laws and regulations in carrying out those responsibilities, including those that relate to student privacy.

In addition, students will be asked to provide a dental health certificate when they enroll in school and in accordance with the same schedule as the health certificate.

A permanent student health record shall be part of a student’s cumulative school record and should follow the student from grade to grade and school to school along with his/her academic record. This record folder shall be maintained by the school nurse.

Schools shall also provide emergency care for students in accidental or unexpected medical situations. Each school in the District will include in its emergency plan a protocol for responding to health care emergencies, including anaphylaxis and head injury. Parents/guardians will be notified of any emergency medical situation as soon as is practicable.

Communicable Diseases

It is the responsibility of the Board to provide all students with a safe and healthy school environment. To meet this responsibility, it is sometimes necessary to exclude students with contagious and infectious diseases, as defined in the Public Health Law, from attendance in school. Students will be excluded during periods of contagion for time period as recommended by the school physician, county Health Department, and/or other medical provider.

It is the responsibility of the superintendent of schools, working through District health personnel, to enforce this policy and to contact the county or local Health Department when a reportable case of a communicable disease is identified in the student or staff population.

Administering Medication to Students

Neither the Board of Education nor District staff members shall be responsible for the diagnosis or treatment of student illness. The administration of prescribed medication to a student during school hours shall be permitted only when failure to take such medicine would jeopardize the health of the student, or the student would not be able to attend school if the medicine were not made available to him/her during school hours, or where it is done pursuant to law requiring accommodation to a student’s special medical needs (e.g., Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973). “Medication” will include all medicines prescribed by a physician, including over-the-counter medications.

Before any medication may be administered to or by any student during school hours, the Board of Education requires:

  1. The written request of the parent(s) or guardian(s), which shall give permission for administering the medication and relieve the Board of Education and its employees of liability for such administration.
  2. The written order from the prescribing medical provider, including physician, nurse practitioner, physician’s assistant, or dentist, which will include the purpose of the medication, the dosage, the time at which or the special circumstances under which medication shall be administered, the period for which medication is prescribed, and the possible side effects of the medication.
  3. Both documents shall be kept on file in the office of the school nurse. In addition, in accordance with Education Law 919, the District shall make a nebulizer available on-site in school buildings where nursing services are provided. Students with a patient-specific order, who require inhaled medications, shall have access to the nebulizer. The District will ensure that it is maintained in working order

Life-Threatening Allergies and Anaphylaxis Management

The Board of Education recognizes its role and responsibility in supporting a healthy learning environment for all students, including those who have, or develop, life-threatening allergies. The District will work cooperatively with the student, his/her parent(s) or guardian(s), and healthcare provider to allow the child to participate as fully and as safely as possible in school activities. When a student has a known life-threatening allergy reported on his/her health form or if the District has been informed by the parent of the presence of a life-threatening allergy, the school nurse will develop an emergency healthcare plan with information received from the parent(s) or guardian(s) and the student’s medical provider, as appropriate. The plan will be maintained by the school nurse. The plan will guide prevention and response. If the student is eligible for accommodations based upon the IDEA, Section 504, or the Americans with Disabilities Act, the appropriate procedures will be followed regarding identification, evaluation, and implementation of accommodations.

Training

The District will provide training, as necessary, to support the implementation of student health services according to commissioner’s regulations.

Regulations

The superintendent or his/her designee shall develop comprehensive regulations governing student health services. Those regulations shall include the provision of all health services required by law, procedures for the maintenance of health records, and procedures for the administering of medication to students. The superintendent or his/her designee shall also develop protocols, in consultation with the school physician and other appropriate district staff, for the management of injury, with particular attention to concussion.

Cross-ref:

  • 4321, Programs for Students with Disabilities
  • 5020.3, Students with Disabilities and Section 504
  • 5280, Interscholastic Athletics
  • 5280.1, Concussion Management
  • 5550, Student Privacy
  • 8130, School Safety Plans and Teams
  • 9700, Staff Professional Development

Ref:

  • Education Law §§310 (provisions for appeal of child denied school entrance for failure to comply with immunization requirements); 901 et seq. (medical, dental, and health services, BMI reporting); 919 (provide and maintain nebulizers); 6909 (emergency treatment of anaphylaxis)
  • Public Health Law §§613 (annual survey); 2164 (immunization requirements)
  • 8 NYCRR § 64.7 (administration of agents to treat anaphylaxis); § 135.4 (Physical Education); Part 136 (school health services program)
  • Administration of Medication in the School Setting Guidelines, State Education Department, revised April 2002 Immunization Guidelines: Vaccine Preventable Communicable Disease Control, State Education Department, revised August 2000
  • Making the Difference: Caring for Students with Life-Threatening Allergies, New York State Department of Health, New York State Education Department, New York Statewide School Health Service Center, June 2008
  • Concussion Management Guidelines and Procedures, www.nysphsaa.org
  • Guidelines for Concussion Management in the School Setting, State Education Department, June 2012.
  • Concussion Management and Awareness Act, July 1, 2012

Adoption date: September 3, 2013

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Policy 5420-R | Student Health Services Regulations

View the PDF version of the Student Health Services Regulations here.

Immunization

Children must receive immunizations for diphtheria, polio, measles, mumps, rubella, hepatitis B, Haemophilus Influenzae Type b (Hib) and Varicella prior to entering or being admitted to school.

Parents must provide acceptable proof indicating required receipt of all vaccines in accordance with law and regulations. A child may be excluded from the immunization requirements based on a licensed physician’s determination that the vaccine poses a health risk for the student. This medical exemption must be signed by a physician licensed to practice in New York State and state the vaccine, the reason, and the length of time for exclusion. A child may also be excluded from the immunization requirements because the child’s parent/guardian holds a genuine and sincere religious belief which is contrary to the practice of immunization.

A child will not be admitted to school or allowed to attend school for more than 14 days without an appropriate immunization certificate or acceptable evidence of immunization. This period may be extended to 30 days on a case-by-case basis by the Building Principal if the child is transferring from another state or country and can show a good faith effort to get the necessary certification or other evidence of immunization.

When a student transfers out of the district, the parent/guardian will be provided with an immunization transfer record showing the student’s current immunization status which will be signed by the school nursing personnel or the school physician. A transcript or photocopy of the immunization portion of the cumulative health record will be provided to the new educational institution upon request.

Administering Medication to Students in School

The administration of prescribed medication to a student during school hours is permitted only when the medication is necessary to allow the student to attend school or failure to administer the medication would seriously affect the student’s health.

Parent(s) or guardian(s) must present the following information:

  1. an order from the family doctor containing the following information: student’s name, the date and name of the medicine, dosage and time to be administered;
  2. the medication in a properly labeled original pharmacy;
  3. a note from the parent(s) or guardian(s) giving the school permission for the medication to be taken by the child; or
  4. file a medication request form with the school-nurse teacher.

The school nurse shall develop procedures for the administration of medication, which require that:

  1. all medications will be administered by the a licensed person unless the child is self-directed;
  2. medications shall be securely stored in the office and kept in their original labeled container, which specifies the name of the child, the type of medication, the amount to be given and the times of administration;
  3. the school nurse shall maintain a record of the name of the student to whom medication may be administered, the prescribing health care provider, the dosage and timing of medication, including a signature of the school nurse or the adult who supervises the child taking his/her medication.

All medications shall be picked up by the parent(s) or guardian(s) at the end of the school year or the end of the period of medication, whichever is earlier. If not picked up within five days of the period of medication, the medication shall be discarded.

Administering medication on field trips and at after-school activities

Taking medication on field trips and at after-school activities is permitted if a student is self-directed in administering their own medication. On field trips or at other after-school activities, teachers or other school staff may carry the medication so that the self-directed student can take it at the proper time.

If a student is going on a field trip but is not self-directed (i.e., fully aware and capable of understanding the need and assuming responsibility for taking medicine), then the district may:

  • permit the parent or guardian to attend the activity and administer the medication.
  • permit the parent to personally request another adult who is not employed by the school to voluntarily administer the medication on the field trip or activity and inform the school district in writing of such request.
  • allow the student’s health care provider to be consulted and, if he/she permits, order the medication time to be adjusted or the dose eliminated.

If no other alternative can be found, a licensed person must administer the medication.

Administering epi-pen in emergency situations.

The administration of epinephrine by epi-pen has become an accepted and extremely beneficial practice in protecting individuals subject to serious allergic reactions (e.g., individual has an anaphylactic reaction to a wasp sting or the ingestion of peanut butter).

Pursuant to Commissioner’s regulations, registered professional nurses may carry and administer agents used in non-patient specific emergency treatment of anaphylaxis.

In addition pursuant to SED guidelines, school nurses may provide training to unlicensed school staff in administering epi-pens, prescribed by a licensed prescriber, to a child who has been diagnosed with the potential for a severe reaction, in the event of the onset of a serious allergic reaction when a nurse is not available.

Student Medical Exams

In accordance with Section 903 of the state Education Law, each student shall have a physical exam given by the school doctor or family physician upon entrance to school at grades 1, 3, 7 and 10. Findings are to be kept on record at the school on forms that can be obtained from the school nurse.

Illness in School

If a student becomes ill in school:

  1. The nurse will determine if the student should remain in the health office or return to class.
  2. The nurse will call the parent, guardian or substitute parent if he/she feels the student should go home. In general, a parent or adult designee will pick up the student from school.
  3. The nurse will contact the Building Principal if he/she feels the child should be transported by bus to the home.
  4. If there is to be a change in bus routing in order to carry the student to his/her home, that decision will be made by the administrator and the transportation supervisor.
  5. If the route is to be changed, the transportation supervisor shall inform the bus driver.
  6. If no parent, guardian or substitute parent picks up the student at school, or if no parent/guardian or substitute parent will be home, the student will remain in the health office until such time as a parent, guardian or substitute parent becomes available to assume responsibility for the child.

Medical Emergency Information

All students shall have on file an updated a medical emergency record which shall state the name and telephone numbers of the following:

  1. the student’s parent(s) or guardian(s) at home and work;
  2. the student’s next of kin;
  3. a neighbor;
  4. the family physician;
  5. preferred hospital; and
  6. any allergies or serious health conditions

Adoption date: June 19, 2002
Revised: November 20, 2002

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Policy 5420-E.1-3 | Student Health Services Exhibit

View the PDF version of the Student Health Services Exhibit here.

Family Physician’s Request for the Administration of Internal Medication (Page 1)

Under certain unusual circumstances when it is necessary for a student to take internal medication during school hours, the school nurse, classroom teacher, or a designated member of the school staff may cooperate with the family physician and with the parent(s) or guardian(s). If the parent(s) or guardian(s) submits a written request to the school authorities, which is accompanied by a written request from the family physician indicating the frequency and dosage of the prescribed medication, then the school nurse, classroom teacher, or a designated member of the school staff may administer this medication.

In compliance with the above, please submit the following information:

  • Student’s Name
  • Address
  • Medication
  • Dosage
  • Frequency
  • Possible Side Effects
  • Does this medication require refrigeration?

Adoption date: June 19, 2002

Self-Medication Criteria (Page 2)

  • Student can identify medication
  • Student is knowledge of purpose of medication
  • Student is able to identify/associate specific symptom occurrence and need for medication administration
  • Student is capable/knowledgeable of medication dosage
  • Student is knowledgeable about method of medication administration
  • Student is able to state side effects/adverse reactions to his/her medication
  • Student is knowledge as to how to access assistance for self if needed in an emergency

Based on Assessment:

  • Student is not a candidate for self-medication program at this time.
  • Student is a candidate for self-medication program with supervision.

Adoption date: June 19, 2002
Revised: November 20, 2002

Authorization for Self-Administration of Medication at School and at After School Activities (Page 3)

To be completed by the licensed healthcare provider

Adoption date: June 19, 2002
Revised: November 20, 2002

Contract for Self-Administration of Medication (Page 4-5)

The Licensed prescriber’s order and parent permission have been obtained for the student to carry and use his/her medication.

Adoption date: June 19, 2002
Revised: November 20, 2002

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Policy 5420.2 | Request for Religious Exemptions from Immunizations

View the PDF version of the Request for Religious Exemptions from Immunizations here.

The Board of Education recognizes the need to balance the protection of public health against the constitutional right of parent/legal guardians to raise their children in accordance with their own religious views. To this end and in accordance with state law and regulation, parents have the right to request that their child receive an exemption from immunization based upon their genuine and sincere religious beliefs which are contrary to immunization.

The District has established regulations for processing such requests. Parents who wish to request an exemption from immunization on religious grounds are to contact the school nurse or building principal for information regarding the process and type of information required.

Ref:

  • Public Health Law §2164(9)
  • Lewis v. Sobol, 710 F.Supp. 506 (S.D.N.Y. 1989)
  • Sherr v. Northport-East Northport USFD, 672 F. Supp. 81 (E.D.N.Y. 1987)
  • Appeal of Quigley, 41 EDR 399 (2002)
  • Appeal of Swett, 34 EDR 492 (1994)

Adoption date: October 4, 2006
Revised date: January 6, 2016

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Policy 5421 | Parents as Medical Providers 

View the PDF version of the Parents as Medical Providers Policy here.

The New York State Education Department, Office of the Professions, Division of Medical Licensing, and the New York State Board of Medicine do not recommend and strongly discourage medical providers from treating their own children. Accordingly, because the District follows a “best practice” standard of care in our health offices, the District will not accept medical clearances, requests, forms, documents, prescriptions, certificates, or any other medical notice, etc., from a person in a parental relationship who is acting as his/her child’s health care provider. This includes a biological or adoptive parent, stepparent, and an unmarried partner living in the same home with a parent and child.

All medical orders, certificates, or other required statements or forms must be written by the child’s private primary care physician, or other treating health care provider who is not a person in parental relation. This includes but is not limited to:

  1. School health examinations;
  2. Medication orders, including permission for a student to carry and self-administer medication;
  3. Sports physicals;
  4. Medical approval for interscholastic team selection and classification;
  5. Return-to-school and return-to-interscholastic sports clearances;
  6. Concussion management medical documentation;
  7. Prescriptions for related services for students with disabilities, when required by law;
  8. Physical examinations for students with disabilities, when required by law; and
  9. Medical orders related to special heath needs.

Subject to approval by the school physician, the District may accept such medical orders, certificates, and other required forms from a child’s grandparent, aunt, uncle, cousin, or other nonparent family member, when such nonparent family member regularly serves as the child’s primary care physician or is otherwise serving as the child’s treating health care provider. A parent who is also a health care provider must complete all required parent documentation/permission to supplement the primary care physician or other treating health care provider’s information.

Cross Ref:

  • 5280, Interscholastic Athletics
  • 5280.1, Concussion Management
  • 5420, Student Health Services

Adopted: March 19, 2014

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Policy 5425 | Automated External Defibrillators

View the PDF version of the Automated External Defibrillators Policy here.

The Board of Education recognizes that cardiac emergencies may arise that justify the use of an Automated External Defibrillator (AED). To this end, the district shall provide and maintain AED equipment for use by qualified personnel.

The Board shall designate the School Physician to serve as an Emergency Health Care Provider to monitor the program and ensure that all designated responders are properly trained and that AEDs are properly maintained. The district and the Emergency Health Care Provider shall develop a written collaborative agreement which contains all the provisions for administration and use of this equipment including training requirements, location of AED units, the maintenance and inspection of AEDs, the identification of local emergency response providers and assurances that 911 will be called immediately for emergency assistance.

The Superintendent of Schools shall ensure that AED equipment is available on-site in each instructional school facility in quantities adequate to ensure ready and appropriate access for use during emergencies. School administrators shall ensure the presence of at least one staff person who is trained in the operation and use of an AED:

  • whenever public school facilities are used for school-sponsored or school-approved curricular or extracurricular events or activities, or
  • whenever a school-sponsored athletic contest is held at any location.

Where a school-sponsored competitive athletic event is held at a site other than a public school facility, the public school officials must assure that AED equipment is provided on-site.

Ref:

  • Education Law §912
  • Public Health Law §§3000-a(2); 3000-b
  • Cardiac Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) in Public School Facilities, Office of Regional and School and Community Services, State Education Department, July 2002

Adoption date: November 20, 2002

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Policy 5425-E | Automated External Defibrillators Exhibit

View the PDF version of the Automated External Defibrillators Exhibit here.

Emergency Health Care Provider, agree to abide by the following terms and conditions set forth by §3000-B of Article 30 or Public Health Law of the State of New York for the provision of Automated External Defibrillation (AED) by the PAD Provider:

  1. The PAD Provider and trained AED operator(s) shall operate under appropriate protocols for the use of an AED as outlined for the REMO Region by the Regional Emergency Medical Service Council and the Regional Emergency Medical Advisory Committee (REMAC) of the Hudson Mohawk Valleys.
  2. The PAD and Emergency Health Care Provider shall ensure that all persons designated to operate an AED successfully complete an AED training course, which has been approved by the New York State Department of Health.
  3. Prior to operation of an AED, the PAD Provider shall notify REMO of the existence, location, quantity, and type of all mobile and stationary AED(s) on the premises of the PAD Provider.
  4. The PAD Provider shall comply with §3000-B of Article 30 of the Public Health Law of the State of New York.
  5. The PAD Provider shall ensure that an ambulance service is immediately called.
  6. The PAD Provider shall ensure that the Emergency Health Care Provider is notified within 24 hours of each use of an AED.
  7. The PAD Provider shall ensure that all AED’s are maintained and tested according to manufacturer and/or government standards.
  8. The responsibilities of the Emergency Health Care Provider shall include but will not be limited to the following:
    1. Participating in the Regional EMS Council/REMAC of the Hudson Mohawk Valleys Quality Assurance Program via reporting to the Regional EMS Council within five business days of each use of an AED. Minimum required information to be reported shall include the name of the PAD Provider, date and time of incident, patient age and sex, estimated time form arrest to 1st AED shock, ambulance service, and patient outcome at incident site; and
    2. Monitoring the quality of patient care by the PAD Provider.
  9. The PAD Provider and Emergency Health Care Provider agree to file a Collaborative Agreement every two years from the date of the initial Collaborative Agreement. If the Emergency Health Care Provider changes, a new Collaborative Agreement shall be filed within five business days. Additionally, if the Emergency Health Care Provider resigns, they shall immediately notify REMO in writing.

Adoption date: November 20, 2002

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Policy 5440 | Drug and Alcohol Abuse

View the PDF version of the Drug and Alcohol Abuse Policy here.

The Board is committed to the prevention of alcohol and other substance use/abuse. This policy describes the philosophy of the district and the program elements the district will use to promote healthy life styles for its students and to inhibit the use/abuse of alcohol and other substances.

No student may use, possess, sell, or distribute alcohol or other substances, nor may use or possess drug paraphernalia, on school grounds or at school-sponsored events, except drugs as prescribed by a physician. The term “alcohol and/or other substances” shall be construed throughout this policy to refer to the use of all substances including, but not limited to, alcohol, inhalants, marijuana, cocaine, LSD, PCP, amphetamines, heroin, steroids, look-alike drugs, and any of those substances commonly referred to as “designer drugs.” The inappropriate use of prescription and over-the-counter drugs shall also be prohibited.

Additionally, the following persons shall be prohibited from entering school grounds or school-sponsored events: any person exhibiting behavior, conduct, or personal or physical characteristics indicative of having used or consumed alcohol and/or other substances, or any person who school personnel have reasonable grounds to suspect has used alcohol and/or other substances.

In order to educate students on the dangers associated with substance abuse, the health education curriculum shall include instruction concerning drug abuse for grades K-12.

Any staff member observing narcotics possession or usage by students shall report the incident immediately to the Superintendent of Schools or his/her designee. The Superintendent of Schools or his/her designee shall then seek immediate action. Any drugs or alcohol found shall be confiscated immediately, followed by notification of the parent(s)/guardian(s) of the student(s) involved and the appropriate disciplinary action taken, up to and including permanent suspension and referral for prosecution. In its effort to maintain a drug-free environment, the district shall cooperate to the fullest extent possible with local, state and/or federal law enforcement agencies.

The district will use the following principles as guides for the development of its substance use/abuse prevention efforts and for any disciplinary measures related to alcohol and other substances.

  • Alcohol and other substance use/abuse is preventable and treatable.
  • Alcohol and other substance use/abuse inhibits the district from carrying out its central mission of educating students.
  • The behavior of the Board, the administration, and all school staff should model the behavior asked of students.
  • While the district can and must assume a leadership role in alcohol and other substance use/abuse prevention, this goal will be accomplished only through coordinated, collaborative efforts with parents, students, staff, and the community as a whole.

Ref:

  • Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act, 20 U.S.C. §§3171 et seq.
  • 20 U.S.C. §114-5g
  • 42USC §§5101, 11841
  • 34 CFR Part 86
  • Education Law §§804; 912-a; 3214
  • General Municipal Law §239-u
  • Mental Hygiene Law §19.07(c)
  • Penal Law §§220.00 et seq.
  • Public Health Law, Article 33
  • 8 NYCRR §§100.2(c); 135.3
  • New Jersey v. T.L.O., 469 U.S. 325 (1985)
  • Odenheim v. Carlstadt-East Rutherford Region School District, 211 N.J. Super. 54, 510 AD2d 709 (1985)
  • People v. Scott D., 34 NY2d 483 (1974)
  • Matter of Wilson, 28 EDR 254 (1988)
  • Matter of Pollnow, 22 EDR 547 (1983)
  • Matter of Vetter, 20 EDR 547 (1981)
  • Matter of Rodriguez, 8 EDR 214 (1969)

Adoption date: June 19, 2002

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Policy 5450.1 | Notification of Sex Offenders

View the PDF version of the Notification of Sex Offenders here.

The Board of Education acknowledges the efforts of local law enforcement to notify the district when a person with a history of sex offenses against a child is being paroled or released into the community, in accordance with the provisions of the Sex Offender Registration Act, commonly known as Megan’s Law. The purpose of this notification is to protect members of the community, particularly children, by notifying them of the presence of individuals in their midst who may present a danger. Consistent with its duty to protect students under its care, the district shall cooperate with local law enforcement agencies in this endeavor.

Any information provided by local law enforcement officials pursuant to Megan’s Law shall be posted in an appropriate location in all school buildings. In addition, the Superintendent of Schools shall ensure the dissemination of any such information to all staff who might come into contact with the offender in the course of doing their jobs, including Building Principals, staff who issue visitors’ passes, bus drivers, custodians, playground monitors, security personnel, and coaches. All other staff members and community residents shall be informed of the posting requirement for such information established by this policy and of the availability of the information, upon request. Community residents shall also be reminded of the security measures and personal safety instruction provided at school. All staff requests for information provided by the law enforcement agencies shall be directed to the Building Principal. Requests for information from community residents shall be directed to the Bethlehem Police.

The Superintendent shall establish any necessary regulations for implementing this policy with the advice of the school attorney.

Cross-ref:

  • 1120, School District Records
  • 1240, Visitors to the Schools

Ref:

  • 42 U.S.C. §1407(d)
  • Correction Law, Article 6-C (Sex Offender Registration Act)
  • Doe v. Pataki, 1998 WL 230955 (S.D.N.Y. May 7, 1998) (current injunction)
  • Doe v. Pataki, 120 F.3d 1263 (2d. Cir. 1997), cert. denied, 118 Sup. Ct. 1066 (1998)

Adoption date: June 19, 2002
Revised: March 26, 2003
Revised: October 4, 2006

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Policy 5450.1-E | Notification of Sex Offenders Exhibit

View the PDF version of the Notification of Sex Offenders Exhibit here.

Dear Parents and Guardians,

In accordance with New York State’s Sex Offender Registration Act, local law enforcement agencies will, at their discretion, be notifying school administrators of sex offenders living or working in this district. Such information may include the offender’s address or zip code, photograph, crime of conviction, modus of operation, type of victim targeted and the description of any special conditions imposed on the offender. As of now we (have/have not) received such notification.

All information the district receives from local law enforcement will be posted in an appropriate location in all district buildings, and will be available to you upon request. In addition, any information received will be circulated to all staff who might come into contact with the offender in the course of doing their jobs, including Building Principals, staff who issue visitors’ passes, bus drivers, custodians, playground monitors, and coaches. All other staff members will be informed of the availability of the information. All staff have been directed to notify their supervisor if they observe any suspicious person(s) in an area where children congregate, and law enforcement officials will be notified if cases where the circumstances warrant it.

We are dedicated to the safety of our children while they’re in school. All of our schools have strict sign-in/sign-out procedures for our students, and all visitors must first report to the school’s main office for a visitor’s pass. In addition, our school curriculum includes teaching personal safety and stranger awareness skills.

We encourage you to talk to your children about personal safety. Books and other resources are available from school counselors, if necessary.

Specific questions about this matter may be directed to [Name, address and telephone of local law enforcement].

Please be assured that the school district will continue to take responsible and appropriate measures to protect our students.

Very truly yours,

Superintendent of Schools

Adoption date: June 19, 2002

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Policy 5460 | Suspected Child Abuse in a Domestic Setting

View the PDF version of the Suspected Child Abuse in a Domestic Setting Policy here.

The Board of Education recognizes that because of their sustained contact with school-aged children, employees are in an excellent position to identify abused, maltreated or neglected children and refer them for treatment and protection. The Board further recognizes the specific dictates of law that require school officials to report suspected instances of child abuse, and/or maltreatment (which includes neglect) in a domestic setting.

The purpose of mandatory reporting is to identify suspected abused and maltreated children as soon as possible, so that such children determined to be abused or maltreated can be protected from further harm and, where appropriate, can be offered services to assist them and their families.

School officials, who have reasonable cause to know or suspect that a child has been subjected to abuse or maltreatment, must immediately report this to the New York State Central Register for Child Abuse and Maltreatment (Central Register), as required by law. No conditions may be imposed that limit their responsibility to report. A school official is defined as:

  1. . Teacher
  2. Guidance Counselor
  3. Psychologist
  4. Nurse
  5. Social Worker
  6. Full- or Part-Time Paid Athletic Coach
  7. Administrator
  8. Any School Personnel Required to Hold a Teaching or Administrative License or Certificate.

The school official will also report the matter to the building principal.

The report shall be made according to the procedures outlined in Board policy regulation #5460-R.

School employees who are not school officials, as defined above, but who have reasonable cause to know or suspect that a child has been subjected to abuse or maltreatment are encouraged to report to the Central Register. However, the school employee must report the matter to the building principal. If the matter has not yet been reported to the Central Register, the building principal shall make the report, in accordance with state law. In being required to file such report, the building principal does not have discretion.

School employees or officials may not contact the child’s family or any other person to determine the cause of the suspected abuse or maltreatment. It is not the responsibility of the school official or employee to prove that the child has been abused or maltreated.

Any school official or employee who has cause to suspect that the death of any child is a result of child abuse or maltreatment must report that fact to the appropriate medical examiner or coroner.

In accordance with the law, any school official who fails to report an instance of suspected child abuse or maltreatment may be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor and may be held liable for the damages caused by the failure to report. The law grants immunity to persons who, in good faith, report instances of child abuse from any liability.

School employees will not be subject to retaliatory action, as defined in state law, as a result of making a report when they reasonably suspect that a child has been abused or maltreated.

The Board recognizes that knowingly reporting a false claim of child abuse is a violation of state law and this policy acknowledges that it is a crime to do so. The District will make every reasonable effort to ensure the integrity of the District’s child abuse reporting process and procedure.

School District Relationship with Local Social Service District

The school District will cooperate to the extent possible with authorized child protective services workers in investigations of alleged child abuse. The superintendent, or his or her designee, will represent the district when collaborating with local social service agencies to address instances of abuse or maltreatment, and in the development of policy and procedures regarding abuse or maltreatment (including educational neglect). In addition, the superintendent will share a copy of the District’s attendance policy #5100, with the local social service district.

The school District shall maintain an ongoing training program that will address the identification and reporting of child abuse and maltreatment, including the legal implications of reporting and not reporting. Attendance at sessions of this training program shall be required of all school officials. Attendance records shall be kept, and notations will be made in personnel files as to the dates of attendance.

The superintendent shall develop, with input from appropriate personnel, a plan for implementation of such a training program, to be approved by the Board. In addition, the policy and regulations will be included in all employee handbooks and distributed annually to all school officials who are not covered under existing handbooks. The superintendent will prepare and implement all regulations as are necessary to accomplish the intent of this policy.

Cross-ref:

  • Attendance, 5100

Ref:

  • Child Protective Services Act of 1973,
  • Social Services Law §§411 et seq. Social Services Law §34-a
  • Family Court Act §1012
  • Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, 20 U.S.C. §1232g, 45 CFR §99.36
  • Education Law §§3209-a, 3036
  • Penal Law 240.50

Adoption date: May 19, 2010
Revised date: March 18, 2015

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Policy 5460-R | Suspected Child Abuse in a Domestic Setting Regulation

View the PDF version of the Suspected Child Abuse in a Domestic Setting Regulation here.

New York State Law (Child Protective Service Act of 1973, as amended) provides for reporting of suspected cases of child abuse by school officials. These regulations are designed to implement this law within the District and to help protect students from the harmful effects of child abuse.

Definitions

The definition of child abuse and maltreatment is established by law.

Abused Child

According to Social Services Law and the Family Court Act, an abused child is a person less than 18 years of age whose parent or other person legally responsible for his or her care:

  1. inflicts or allows to be inflicted upon such child physical injury by other than accidental means that causes or creates a substantial risk of death, or serious or protracted disfigurement, or protracted impairment of physical or emotional health or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily organ; or
  2. creates or allows to be created a substantial risk of physical injury to such a child by other than accidental means that would be likely to cause death or serious or protracted disfigurement, or protracted impairment of physical or emotional health, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily organ; or
  3. commits, or allows to be committed, a sex offense against such child, as defined in the penal law, provided, however, that the corroboration requirements contained therein shall not apply to proceedings under this article.

Neglected or maltreated child

According to the Family Court Act, a neglected or maltreated child is a person less than 18 years of age:

  1. whose physical, mental, or emotional condition has been impaired or is in danger of becoming impaired as a result of the failure of his or her parents or other person legally responsible for his or her care to exercise a minimum degree of care:
    1. in supplying the child with adequate food, clothing, shelter, or education in accordance with provisions of Part One, Article 65 of the Education Law, or medical, dental, optometrical or surgical care though financially able to do so or offered financial or other reasonable means to do so; or
    2. in providing the child with proper supervision or guardianship, by unreasonably inflicting or allowing to be inflicted harm, or a substantial risk thereof, including the infliction of excessive corporal punishment; or by using a drug or drugs; or by using alcoholic beverages to the extent that he/she loses self-control of his/her actions; or by any other acts of a similarly serious nature requiring the aid of the court; or
  2. who has been abandoned by his/her parent(s) or other person legally responsible for his/her care.

Impairment of emotional health and impairment of mental or emotional condition

Impairment of emotional health and impairment of mental or emotional condition includes a state of substantially diminished psychological or intellectual functioning in relation to, but not limited to, such factors as failure to thrive, control of aggressive or self-destructive impulses, ability to think and reason, or acting out of misbehavior, including incorrigibility, ungovernability, or habitual truancy. This is provided, however, that such impairment must be clearly attributable to the unwillingness or inability of the parent, guardian, or custodian to exercise a minimum degree of care toward the child.

Educational Neglect

In order for a report of educational neglect to be accepted, three elements need to be established:

  1. Excessive absence from school by the child;
  2. Reasonable cause to suspect that the parent is aware or should have been aware of the excessive absenteeism and the parent has contributed to the problem or is failing to take steps to effectively address the problem; and
  3. Reasonable cause to suspect educational impairment or harm to the child or imminent danger of such impairment or harm

Person Legally Responsible

A person legally responsible for any of the above includes the child’s custodian, guardian, or any other person responsible for the child’s care at the relevant time. Custodian may include any person continually or at regular intervals found in the same household as the child when the conduct of such person causes or contributes to the abuse or neglect of the child.

Reporting Procedures and Related Information:

  1. All school officials must, when they have reasonable cause to suspect that a child is abused or maltreated, report it to the New York State Central Register for Child Abuse and Maltreatment (800- 342-3720). A school official, under state law, is defined as:
    1. Teacher
    2. Guidance Counselor
    3. Psychologist
    4. Nurse
    5. Social worker
    6. Full- or Part-Time Athletic Coach
    7. Administrator
    8. Any School Personnel Required to Hold a Teaching or Administrative License or Certificate.
  2. Personnel have the right to request that information that would identify the individual making the report be withheld if furnishing such data might prove detrimental to the safety or interest of that individual.
  3. The school official must also report the matter to the building principal who will determine if any additional steps need to be taken by the school District (for instance, contacting the school physician, social worker or other support services).
  4. In the event that a school employee, who is not required to report under the law (such as a bus driver, custodian, cafeteria monitor, etc.), has reasonable cause to suspect that a child is abused or neglected, he/she is encouraged to make a report to the Central Register. The employee must, by District policy, report the matter to the building principal.
  5. If the building principal is informed of a case of suspected child abuse or maltreatment that has not yet been reported to the Central Register, the building principal is required to:
    1. phone the New York State Central Register for Child Abuse and Maltreatment (800-342-3720) and inform them verbally of the problem;
    2. contact the above agency by telephone facsimile machine on a form supplied by the commissioner of Social Services; and
    3. file a written report with the local child protective services agency and the Central Register within 48 hours after the above report; and
    4. determine if additional steps need to be taken by the school District, as outlined in step 2 above.
  6. The building principal may take color photographs or cause photographs to be taken of the areas of visible trauma on the child, and/or, if medically indicated, cause an examination to be performed. Such actions may be performed at public expense if they will provide appropriate documentation when filing the report. Photographic equipment shall be kept at the school and be available for this purpose.
  7. The written report that must be filed shall include all information that the commissioner of Social Services may require
    1. If it should be necessary for Child Protective Services to interview a child at school to ascertain whether he/she has been abused or maltreated, or to obtain documentation of such acts, the interview should be conducted in the presence of a school official, unless circumstances require otherwise. The school official shall examine and verify the credentials of Child Protective Services worker(s) before allowing such worker(s) to either interview the child or to examine the child’s records.
    2. If sexual abuse is indicated, the presence of a same-sex staff member during the interview is appropriate.
  8. . The building principal shall request a summary report of the investigation of a case referred to Child Protective Services so the District can take appropriate next steps.
  9. The school District shall maintain an ongoing training program that will address the identification and reporting of child abuse and maltreatment, including the legal implications of reporting and not reporting. Attendance at sessions of this training program shall be required of all school officials. Attendance records shall be kept, and notations will be made in personnel files as to the dates of attendance.
  10. Only one report of any suspected abuse is required.
  11. School personnel who, in good faith, make a report or take photographs of injuries and bruises have immunity from any liability, civil or criminal. The good faith of any person required to report cases of child abuse or maltreatment is presumed.
  12. School employees or officials may not contact the child’s family or any other person to determine the cause of the suspected abuse or maltreatment. It is not the responsibility of the school official or employee to prove that the child has been abused or maltreated.
  13. School personnel who have reasonable cause to suspect that a child has died as a result of child abuse or maltreatment shall report that fact to the appropriate medical examiner or coroner.
  14. Any person required to report suspected cases of child abuse or maltreatment and who fails to do so may be found guilty of a class A misdemeanor and may be held civilly liable for the damages caused by this failure.
  15. Any school employee who fails to comply with this policy is subject to discipline in accordance with collective bargaining agreements and/or policy.
  16. The District shall maintain an ongoing training program that will address identification and reporting of child abuse and maltreatment. Attendance at sessions of this training program shall be required of all school officials.
  17. Employee handbooks shall include a copy of these regulations and the related Board policy concerning child abuse and reporting requirements.

Adoption date: June 19, 2002
Revised date: March 18, 2015

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Policy 5465 | Child Abuse in an Educational Setting

View the PDF version of the Child Abuse in an Educational Setting Policy here.

The Board of Education recognizes that children have the right to an educational setting that does not threaten their physical and emotional health and development. Child abuse by school personnel and school volunteers violates this right and therefore is strictly prohibited.

Allegations of child abuse by school personnel and school volunteers shall be reported in accordance with the requirements of Article 23-B of the Education Law.

Required Reporters

Any person holding any of the following positions shall be required to promptly report written and oral allegations of child abuse in an educational setting:

  • school board member
  • teacher
  • school nurse
  • school guidance counselor
  • school psychologist
  • school social worker
  • school administrator
  • other school personnel required to hold a teaching or administrative license or certificate.

For purposes of this policy, persons holding these positions shall be referred to as “required reporters.”

Other district employees may, of course, report allegations of child abuse allegedly committed by district staff and volunteers and are encouraged to do so.

Definitions

For purposes of this policy, “educational setting” means the buildings and grounds of the district, the vehicles provided by the district to transport students to and from school buildings, field trips, co-curricular and extra-curricular activities both on and off school district grounds, all co- curricular and extra-curricular activity sites, and any other location where direct contact between an employee or volunteer and a child has allegedly occurred.

“Child” means a person under the age of 21 enrolled in a New York State school district, other than New York City.

“Child abuse” generally refers to any intentional or reckless act by an employee or a volunteer against a child which injures or kills a child or creates a risk of injury or death, or constitutes child sexual abuse, or involves the actual or attempted dissemination of indecent materials to minors. If a required reporter or any other district employee has a question as to whether alleged conduct constitutes “child abuse,” he or she shall promptly raise the question to the Principal of the building where the abuse is alleged to have occurred. The Principal shall consult Article 23-B of the Education Law or the school attorney, if necessary, to determine whether the allegations constitute child abuse.

Reporting Requirements

Required reporters and any other district employee deciding to report an allegation of child abuse by district staff or volunteers shall complete a written report as soon as practical after receiving the allegation, but in no event shall a required reporter wait more than one workday to file a report.

The required reporter shall personally file the report with the Principal of the school in which the child abuse allegedly occurred.

If the alleged abuse did not occur in a school building, the report shall be filed with the Principal of the school attended by the alleged victim.

If the alleged abuser is an employee or volunteer of another district, the report shall be sent to the Superintendent of the district where the alleged child victim attends school and to the Superintendent of the district where the abuse allegedly occurred (if different). The report shall be prepared on a standard form supplied by the district. Each Building Principal shall keep a supply of the forms available in his or her office.

Upon receiving a written report, the Principal shall determine whether there is reasonable suspicion to believe that an act of child abuse has occurred. If the person making the allegation of abuse is someone other than the child or the child’s parent, the Principal shall contact the person making the report to learn the source and basis for the allegation.

If the Principal determines there is reasonable suspicion, he or she shall promptly notify the parent of the alleged child victim (assuming that the parent is not the person who originally reported the alleged abuse). The notice shall be given by telephone (if possible) and in writing, sent via overnight mail to the parent.

The notice shall inform the parent of his or her rights and responsibilities related to the allegations of abuse.

The Principal shall also promptly provide a copy of the written report to the Superintendent and send a copy to the appropriate law enforcement authorities. In no event shall the Principal delay in sending the report to law enforcement because of an inability to contact the Superintendent.

The Superintendent shall send to the Commissioner of Education any written report forwarded to the local law enforcement authorities where the employee or volunteer alleged to have committed an act of child abuse holds a certificate or license issued by the department.

Rights of Employees and Volunteers

Employees

Pending resolution of the allegations, no employee against whom an allegation of child abuse has been made shall be permitted to have unsupervised contact with any district student. Any employee against whom an allegation of child abuse has been made and against whom the district intends to take adverse action shall be entitled to receive a copy of the report and to respond to the allegations.

Volunteers

Pending resolution of the allegations, no volunteer against whom an allegation of child abuse shall be permitted to render volunteer services to the district. Any volunteer against whom an allegation of child abuse has been made and against whom the district decides to take adverse action shall be entitled to receive a copy of the report and to respond to the allegations.

Confidentiality

All reports and other written material submitted pursuant to this policy and Article 23-B of the Education Law shall be confidential and may not be re-disclosed except to law enforcement authorities involved in investigating the alleged abuse or except as expressly authorized by law or pursuant to a court-ordered subpoena. The Principal and Superintendent shall exercise reasonable care to prevent unauthorized disclosure.

Penalties

Required Reporters

Any required reporter who willfully fails to make a written report of alleged child abuse required by Article 23-B of the Education Law shall be subject to criminal penalties provided for in law, as well as disciplinary sanctions imposed in accordance with law and any applicable collective bargaining agreement.

Administrators

Any administrator who (1) willfully fails to submit a written report of alleged child abuse to an appropriate law enforcement authority as required by Article 23-B of the Education Law, or (2) makes any agreement to withhold from law enforcement authorities, the Superintendent or the Commissioner, the fact that an allegation of child abuse in an educational setting on the part of any employee or volunteer has been made in return for the employee’s or volunteer’s resignation or voluntary suspension from his or her position, or (3) willfully discloses a confidential record shall be subject to criminal penalties provided for in law, as well as disciplinary sanctions imposed in accordance with law and any applicable collective bargaining agreement. In addition, the Commissioner of Education may, following an administrative determination, impose a civil penalty of up to five thousand dollars on any administrator who fails to submit a report of child abuse to an appropriate law enforcement authority.

Record Retention

Any report of child abuse by an employee or volunteer that does not result in a criminal conviction shall be expunged from the records kept by the district with respect to the subject of the report after five years from the date the report was made.

Training

The Superintendent shall be responsible for establishing and implementing on an ongoing basis a training program for all required reporters on the procedures required under Article 23-B. The program shall include at a minimum all the elements specified in Commissioner’s regulations.

Ref:

  • Education Law §§1125-1133
  • 8 NYCRR § 100.2 (hh) (Reporting of Child Abuse in an Educational Setting)

Adoption date: June 19, 2002

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Policy 5470 | Provision of Special Education & Related Services to Students with Disabilities Enrolled in Non-Public Schools

View the PDF version of the Provision of Special Education & Related Services to Students with Disabilities Enrolled in Non-Public Schools Policy here.

Pursuant to applicable federal and State law and regulation, the Board of Education of the Bethlehem School District hereby adopts the following policies and procedures with respect to the provision of special education and related services to be provided to children with disabilities voluntarily enrolled by their parents in private or parochial (non-public) schools who are seeking services from their districts of residence. (This policy is not applicable to students who have been placed in non-public schools by the Committee on Special Education or by the Committee on Preschool Special Education.)

  1. The District shall offer a free appropriate public education to all children with disabilities enrolled by their parents in non-public schools located in the District pursuant to contracts entered into with the child’s District of Residence except that for the children attending such schools who do not reside in the state of New York where an out of state district does not provide for such contract, the District shall provide those evaluations and services to the extent required by federal law.
  2. Pursuant to N.Y. Education Law Section 3602-c, the District shall arrange for services for children residing within New York in accordance with the following procedures.
    • The district shall provide those services requested by the child’s school district of residence pursuant to a contract entered into between the parties.
    • The determination of where the services will be offered shall remain within the discretion of the school district except where the law requires otherwise. In all other cases, the District shall retain its discretion to offer these services (i) at the public school; (ii) at the non-public school or (iii) at another site.
    • Where the district offers the service at a location other than the non-public school, the District shall provide transportation, where necessary, to enable the student access these services.
    • For resident students enrolled in non-public schools outside the District, the District shall contract for provision of services with the District in which the non-public school is located. (the District of Location).
  3. The decision regarding the location of services offered to a student with a disability enrolled in a nonpublic school shall be made by the Director of Pupil Personnel Services on a case-by-case basis based on consideration of all relevant factors including financial and efficiency considerations. Under no circumstances shall a decision regarding the location of services obligate the school district to provide the same or similar services at a like location in any other case or in subsequent years. Furthermore, the district specifically retains the right, in its discretion, to change the location at which services shall be provided at any time.
  4. The Board of Education directs the Director of Pupil Personnel Services to notify parents of children with disabilities who may enroll their child in a private school of the June 1 deadline for requesting such services by publishing notice of deadline in the school calendar or by attaching an addendum to the district’s Notice of Procedural Safeguards.
  5. The Board of Education further directs the Director of Pupil Personnel Services to schedule a consultation meeting with representatives of all non-public schools located within the district to meet the following obligations:
    1. Advise and document how non-public school personnel or a parent may refer to the public school a resident non-public school student for an evaluation if suspected of having a disability. The district’s activities attendant to its non-public school Child Find obligations shall be comparable to activities undertaken for students with disabilities enrolled in the district.
    2. Encourage attendance by representatives of the non-public school at district meetings of the Committee on Special Education (CSE) or Committee on Preschool Education (CPSE) for children enrolled in their schools. The district’s efforts to secure the attendance of representatives of the nonpublic schools for students attending there shall be documented by the Committee on Special Education (CSE) or Committee on Preschool Education (CPSE) chairperson, as appropriate.
    3. Discuss the manner in which the district proposes to provide services to students with disabilities enrolled in the non-public schools, and to provide private school representatives and parents enrolled there with a genuine opportunity to express their views regarding how and where services might be provided and how such services will be evaluated.
    4. Advise representatives of the non-public school of the June 1 deadline for requesting such services and the parents’ obligation to put such request in writing to the chairperson of the Committee on Special Education (CSE).
  6. The Board of Education directs the Director of Pupil Personnel Services to ensure that monies expended to provide special education and related services to non-public school children meets or exceeds a proportionate amount of federal funds received by the district relative to the number of non-public school disabled students enrolled in private schools by their parents located in the district.

Authority:

  • NYS Education Law § 3602-c
  • Ed Law §3602-c
  • 34 CFR 300.450-462

Adoption date: November 1, 2006

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Policy 5500 | Confidentiality of Educational Records (FERPA)

View the PDF version of the Confidentiality of Educational Records (FERPA) Policy here.

Pursuant to applicable federal and State law and regulations, the Board of Education of the Bethlehem Central School District hereby adopts the following policies and procedures with respect to the confidentiality of, and access to, educational records.

Annual Notice

The District shall provide annual public notice to parents as defined in law and eligible students (over 18 years of age) of their rights to:

  • Access and confidentiality of the student educational records;
  • Seek amendment of a student’s educational record that they believe to be inaccurate, misleading or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights and the procedures for requesting such an amendment;
  • Consent to disclosure of personally identifiable information contained in the student educational record;
  • Request that the District not disclose directory information, as defined herein; and
  • Obtain a copy of this Policy.

Such notice shall also advise parents and eligible students of the Board’s policy to disclose educational records to school officials with legitimate educational interests. For the purpose of this policy, such individuals shall include: a person employed by the District as an administrator, supervisor, teacher, instructor, or support staff member (including health or medical staff); a member of the Board of Education; a person with whom the District has contracted to perform a special task related to the student’s educational program, (medical, professional and/or instructional consultants, specialists, therapists, etc.); or a person assisting another school official in performing his or her official duties.

The Right to Inspect and Review Records

A request from a parent or eligible student to review a record shall be granted without unnecessary delay and not later than 45 days after the request is made, and in any case involving a student with a disability, prior to a meeting regarding the student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) or an impartial hearing pertaining to such student.

The right of a parent or eligible student to inspect that student’s educational records shall include the right to:

  • A response from appropriate District personnel to reasonable requests for explanations and interpretations of the record;
  • Request copies of the records if the failure to provide them would effectively prevent the parent from exercising the right to inspect and review such records; and
  • Have a representative of the parent inspect and review such records upon the District’s receipt of proper written consent.

The District retains the right to charge $.25 per page for copies of such records unless the imposition of such fee effectively prevents the parents or eligible student from exercising the right to inspect and review the records requested.

Confidentiality of Educational Records

The District shall obtain written parental consent prior to disclosing or releasing personally identifiable information other than directory information, as defined herein, to anyone other than to school officials with legitimate educational interests, as defined herein, or to other appropriately authorized officials as allowed by law.

Records Management Officer

The Board designates the Director of Pupil Personnel Services to serve as Records Management Officer for the District, and to:

  • Develop and maintain a list of employees, identified by name and title, who have access to student records;
  • With respect to each student, maintain a written Access Log of parties, (except the parents and authorized employees as defined herein), who have requested or obtained access to an educational record, collected, maintained or used, including the name of the party, the date access was given, and the purpose for which the party was authorized to access the records;
  • Establish a system to ensure that any record including information on more than one child provides only the information relating to the child of the parent requesting such information or authorizing its release to a third party;
  • Provide to parents, on request, a list of the types and locations of educational records that the school district maintains, collects or uses pertaining to their child;
  • Ensure the confidentiality of any personally identifiable information at all stages including its collection, storage, disclosure and destruction;
  • Schedule training for staff necessary to ensure maintenance of the confidentiality of records pursuant to federal and State law and regulation;
  • Inform parents when personally identifiable information is no longer needed to provide educational services to the child. At the parents request, any such information must be destroyed. However, a permanent record of the student’s name, address, phone number, his or her grades, attendance record, classes attended, grade level completed, and year completed may be maintained without limitation; and
  • Maintain records documenting compliance with all applicable laws and regulations for a period of at least five (5) years.

The Right to Request an Amendment to Educational Records

The Board of Education designates the Director of Pupil Personnel Services to review and act on, as appropriate, parental requests to amend in an educational record that the parent believes contains information which is inaccurate, misleading or constitutes an invasion of privacy. If such request is denied, the Director of Pupil Personnel Services shall notify the parent in writing of the right to request a hearing. Such hearing shall be scheduled within 30 business days of the receipt of a written request and shall be heard by the Director of Pupil Personnel Services who shall appoint an alternate hearing officer if he/she may have direct interest in the outcome of the hearing.

Notice of the hearing shall include:

  • Notice of the time, date and location of the hearing;
  • Notice of the right to present evidence; and
  • Notice of the right to be assisted or represented by a person of the parents’ choice, including an attorney.

Following such hearing, the hearing officer shall issue a written decision within a reasonable time, which shall include a summary of the evidence and the basis for the decision. If the hearing officer declines to amend the record, the decision shall advise the parents’ of their right to include with the record a statement of the reasons for their disagreement with the determination which shall be maintained by the district as part of the record and disclosed if such record is disclosed.

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

Authority:

  • 8 NYCRR Part 185
  • 8 NYCRR 200.2 (b)
  • 8 NYCRR 200.5 (f)
  • 8 NYCRR 200.16 (g)
  • 34 CFR 76.734
  • 34 CFR Part 99
  • 34 CFR 300.560 – 300.577
  • NYS Education Law §2(13); 225
  • Public Officers Law §87(2)(a)
  • Arts and Cultural Affairs Law, Article 57-A
  • Matter of Board of Education of City of New York v. Regan, 131 Misc.2d 514 (1986)

Adoption: June 19, 2002
Amended: February 4, 2009

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Policy 5500-R | Student Records Regulations

View the PDF version of the Student Records Regulations here.

It is recognized that the confidentiality of student records must be maintained. The following necessary procedures have been adopted to protect the confidentiality of student records.

Section 1. Pursuant to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) it shall be the policy of this school district to permit parents/guardians and “eligible students” to inspect and review any and all official records, files and data directly related to that student, including all materials that are incorporated into each student’s cumulative record folder. For the purpose of this regulation, “eligible students” are those students who are 18 or older or former students who are attending any school beyond the high school level. The rights created by FERPA transfer from the parents/guardians to the student once the student attains eligible student status.

Section 2. Parents/guardians or the eligible student will have an opportunity for a hearing to challenge the content of the student’s school records, to insure that the records are not inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the privacy or other rights of the student, and to provide an opportunity for the correction or deletion of any such inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise inappropriate data contained therein.

Section 3. A letter shall be sent annually to parents/guardians of students currently in attendance and eligible students currently in attendance informing them of their rights pursuant to FERPA. See Exhibit 5500-E.1. The district shall provide translations of this notice, where necessary, to parents/guardians and eligible students in their native language or dominant mode of communication. (See Policy 5500 for further information on the notice requirements.)

Section 4. To implement the rights provided for in sections 1 and 2 the following procedures are adopted:

  1. A parent/guardian or an eligible student who wishes to inspect and review student records shall make a request for access to the student’s school records, in writing, to the Assistant Superintendent of Business. Upon receipt of such request, arrangements shall be made to provide access to such records within 45 days after the request has been received. If the record to which access is sought contains information on more than one student, the parent/guardian or eligible student will be allowed to inspect and review only the specific information about the student on whose behalf access is sought.
  2. A parent/guardian or an eligible student who wishes to challenge the contents of the student’s school records shall submit a request, in writing, to the Assistant Superintendent of Business identifying the record or records which they believe to be inaccurate, misleading or otherwise in violation of the privacy or other rights of the student together with a statement of the reasons for their challenge to the record.
  3. Upon receipt of a written challenge, the Assistant Superintendent of Business shall provide a written response indicating either that he/she:
    1. finds the challenged record inaccurate, misleading or otherwise in violation of the student’s rights and that the record will be corrected or deleted; or
    2. finds no basis for correcting or deleting the record in question, but that the parent/guardian or eligible student will be given an opportunity for a hearing. The written response by the Assistant Superintendent of Business shall be provided to the parent/guardian or eligible student within 14 days after receipt of the written challenge. The response shall also outline the procedures to be followed with respect to a hearing regarding the request for amendment.
  4. Within 14 days of receipt of the response from the Assistant Superintendent of Business, a parent/guardian or eligible student may request, in writing, that a hearing be held to review the determination of the Assistant Superintendent of Business.
  5. The hearing shall be held within 10 days after the request for the hearing has been received. The hearing will be held by the Superintendent of Schools, unless the Superintendent has a direct interest in the outcome of the hearing, in which case the Superintendent will designate another individual who does not have a direct interest in the outcome of the hearing to hold the hearing.
  6. The parent/guardian or eligible student shall be given a full and fair opportunity to present evidence at the hearing. The parent/guardian or eligible student may, at their own expense, be assisted or represented by one or more individuals of his or her own choice, including an attorney.
  7. The Superintendent or other individual designated by the Superintendent will make a decision in writing within 14 days after the hearing.
  8. After the hearing, if the Superintendent or the individual designated by the Superintendent decides not to amend the record, the district will inform the parent/guardian or eligible student that they have the right to place a statement in the record commenting on the contested information or stating why he/she disagrees with the decision of the district. Any statement placed in the record will be maintained with the contested part of the student record for as long as the record is maintained. Further, the statement will be disclosed by the district whenever it discloses the portion of the record to which the statement relates.

Section 5. Except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure of student records without consent, student records, and any material contained therein which is personally identifiable, are confidential and will not be released or made available to persons other than parents/guardians or eligible students without the prior written consent of the parents/guardians or eligible student.

Exceptions to FERPA’s prior consent requirement include, but are not limited to disclosure:

  1. To other school officials within the district who have been determined to have legitimate educational interests.
  2. To officials of another school, school system or post secondary institution where the student seeks or intends to enroll.
  3. To authorized representatives of the Comptroller General of the United States, the U.S. Secretary of Education, or state and local education authorities in connection with an audit or evaluation of a federal or state supported education program or in compliance with legal requirements related to those programs.
  4. In connection with the student’s application for or receipt of financial aid.
  5. To state and local officials or authorities in compliance with state law that concerns the juvenile justice system and the system’s ability to effectively serve, prior to adjudication, the student whose records are being released.
  6. To organizations conducting studies for, or on behalf of, education agencies or institutions, in order to develop tests, administer student aid, or improve instruction.
  7. To accrediting organizations to carry out their accrediting functions.
  8. To parents of a dependent student, as defined by the Internal Revenue Code.
  9. To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena. Prior to complying with a judicial order or subpoena, the district will make a reasonable effort to notify the parent/guardian or eligible student, unless the district has been ordered not to disclose the existence or content of the order or subpoena.
  10. In connection with a health or safety emergency.
  11. To teachers and school officials in other schools who have legitimate educational interests in the behavior or the student when the information concerns disciplinary action taken against the student for conduct that posed a significant risk to the safety or well-being of that student, other students, or other members of the school community.
  12. To provide information that the district has designated as “directory information.”
  13. To provide information from the school’s law enforcement unit records.

Section 6. Whenever a student record or any material contained therein is to be made available to third persons, other than those covered by the exceptions authorized by FERPA, the parent/guardian or eligible student must file a written consent to such action. The written consent must specify the records to be released, the reasons for such release, and to whom. If the parent or eligible student so requests, the district will provide him or her with a copy of the records disclosed. In addition, if the parent of a student who is not an eligible student so requests, the district will provide the student with a copy of the records disclosed.

Section 7. Unless specifically exempted by FERPA, all persons requesting access to such records will be required to sign a written form which indicates the legitimate educational interest that such person has in inspecting the records. Such form will be kept with the student’s file and will be maintained with the student’s file as long as the file is maintained. See Exhibit 5500-E.4.

Retention and Disposition of Student Records

The Board has adopted the Records Retention and Disposition Schedule ED-1 issued pursuant to Article 57-A of the Arts and Cultural Affairs Law, which contains the legal minimum retention periods for district records. The Board directs all district officials to adhere to the schedule and all other relevant laws in retaining and disposing of student records. In accordance with Article 57-A, the district will dispose of only those records described in the schedule after they have met the minimum retention periods set forth in the schedule. The district will dispose of only those records that do not have sufficient administrative, fiscal, legal or historical value to merit retention beyond the established legal minimum periods.

Adoption date: June 19, 2002

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Policy 5500-E.1-5 | Student Records Exhibits

View the PDF version of the Student Records Exhibits here.

Dear Parent or Eligible Student:

This is to advise you of your rights with respect to student records pursuant to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). FERPA is a federal law designed to protect the privacy of student records. The law gives parents and students over 18 years of age (referred to in the law as “eligible students”) the following rights:

  1. The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days of the day the district receives a request for access.
    • Parents or eligible students should submit to the Building Principal a written request that identifies the records they wish to inspect. The Principal will make arrangements for access and notify the parent or eligible student of the time and place where the records may be inspected.
  2. The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the parent or eligible student believes are inaccurate or misleading.
    • Parents or eligible students may ask the district to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate or misleading by writing the Principal, clearly identifying the part of the record they want changed, and specifying why it is inaccurate or misleading.
    • If the district decides not to amend the record as requested by the parent or eligible student, the district will notify the parent or eligible student of the decision and advise them of their right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the parent or eligible student when notified of the right to a hearing.
  3. The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
    • One exception which permits disclosure without consent is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the district as an administrator, supervisor, instructor, or support staff member (including health or medical staff and law enforcement unit personnel); a person serving on the school board; a person or company with whom the district has contracted to perform a special task (such as an attorney, auditor, medical consultant, or therapist); or a parent or student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks.
    • A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility.
    • Upon request, the district discloses education records without consent to officials of another school district in which a student seeks or intends to enroll.
  4. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the district to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The Office that administers FERPA is:

Notification of Directory Information Designations

In addition to the rights outlined above, FERPA also gives the school district the option of designating certain categories of student information as “directory information.” The Board directs that “directory information” include a student’s name, town or village of residence, participation in school activities or sports, grade level, most recent school attended, photograph and honors or awards received.

You may object to the release of any or all of this “directory information”; however, you must do so in writing within 10 business days of receiving this notice. If we do not receive a written objection, we will be authorized to release this information without your consent. For your convenience, you may note your objections to the release of directory information on the enclosed form and return it to the Building Principal.

Sincerely,

BUILDING PRINCIPAL

Adoption date: June 19, 2002

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Policy 5602 | Discrimination of Harassment

View the PDF version of the Discrimination of Harassment Policy here.

It shall be the policy of the Bethlehem Central School District to provide and maintain a learning and work environment which promotes respect, dignity, diversity and equality for all and which is free from unlawful forms of discrimination based on sex, race, color, religion, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, marital status and any other class protected by law. Harassment based on these characteristics is not only a form of unlawful discrimination, but is also a form of misconduct which will not be tolerated in the Bethlehem learning and work environment.

In order to provide for the effective implementation and enforcement of this policy, the Bethlehem administration shall develop, subject to Board approval, appropriate regulations and procedures to accompany this policy. All management and supervisory staff shall be trained in all facets of this policy and the attendant regulations and procedures. Students and non-supervisory staff shall participate in appropriate opportunities designed to promote awareness and understanding of this policy, as well as their rights and responsibilities.

All allegations of discriminatory harassment and/or retaliation shall be investigated thoroughly, in accordance with required procedures, and if substantiated, will be met with appropriate corrective and/or disciplinary action commensurate with the seriousness of the offense(s), and in accordance with the parameters of State Law, educational requirements and/or applicable collective bargaining agreements.

References:

  • Title VII of the Civil Rights Act (1964), 42 USC 2000-e
  • 34 Code of Federal Regulations, Section 100 et. Seq.

Adopted: September 20, 2006

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Policy 5602-R | Discrimination of Harassment Regulation

View the PDF version of the Discrimination of Harassment Regulation here.

Reporting Complaints

Any employee or student who believes that he or she has been the victim of an act of discrimination, harassment, or who has seen anyone engaging in any of the prohibited activities listed in policy 5602, must report the harassment at once to the building administrator (e.g., Principal). Complaints should be made in writing; however, complaints may be filed verbally.

In addition, any school employee who receives a complaint of sexual harassment from a student shall inform the student of the employee’s obligation to report the complaint to the school administration, and then shall immediately notify the Title IX Compliance Officer. The Title IX Compliance Officer is the Pupil Personnel Services Director (c/o PPS Office, Bethlehem Central School District, 700 Delaware Ave., Delmar, NY 12054, (518) 439-8886.)

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

Confidentiality

Complaints will be kept in the strictest confidence compatible with the district’s ability to conduct a thorough investigation and/or take action to resolve the complaint. The building administrator will inform the Superintendent of Schools of all complaints.

Investigations and Corrective Actions

Once a complaint is made, the district will conduct a prompt and thorough investigation. If the alleged harassment involves the individuals who would ordinarily conduct the investigation, an alternative means of investigation will be used.

  1. Initial (Building-level) Procedure. The Principal shall conduct a preliminary review when they receive a verbal or written complaint of discrimination/harassment, or if they observe acts of discrimination/harassment. Except in the case of severe or criminal conduct, the Principal should make all reasonable efforts to resolve complaints informally at the school level. The goal of informal investigation and resolution procedures is to end the harassment and obtain a prompt and equitable resolution to complaint.
  2. The parents of students who file complaints are welcome to participate at each stage of both informal and formal investigation and resolution procedures
  3. If either the victim or the accused is a disabled student receiving special education services under an IEP or section 504/Americans with Disabilities Act accommodations, the committee on special education will be consulted to determine the degree to which the student’s disability either caused or is affected by the discrimination or policy violation. In addition, due process procedures required for persons with disabilities under state and federal law shall be followed.
  4. The Principal or Title IX Compliance Officer (i.e., the investigator) shall submit a copy of all investigation and interview documentation to the Superintendent.
  5. The investigator shall report back to both the victim and the accused, notifying them in writing, and also in person as appropriate regarding the outcome of the investigation and the action taken to resolve the complaint. The investigator shall instruct the victim to report immediately if the objectionable behavior occurs again or if the alleged harasser retaliates against him/her.
  6. The investigator shall notify the victim that if he/she desires further investigation and action, he/she may request a district level investigation by contacting the Superintendent of Schools. The investigators shall also notify the victim of his/her right to contact the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights and/or a private attorney. Employees may also contact the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or the New York State Division of Human Rights.

If the initial investigation results in a determination that harassment did occur, the investigator will promptly notify the Superintendent, who shall then take prompt disciplinary action in accordance with district policy, the applicable collective bargaining agreement or state law.

If a complaint received by the Principal or the Title IX Compliance Officer contains evidence or allegations of serious or extreme harassment, such as employee to student harassment, criminal touching, quid pro quo (e.g., offering an academic or employment reward or punishment as an inducement for sexual favors), or acts which shock the conscience of a reasonable person, the complaint shall be referred promptly to the Superintendent. In addition, where the Principal or the Title IX Compliance Officer has reasonable suspicion that the alleged harassment involves criminal activity, he/she should immediately notify the Superintendent, who shall then contact appropriate child protection and law enforcement authorities. Where criminal activity is alleged or suspected by a district employee, the accused employee shall be suspended pending the outcome of the investigation, consistent with all contractual or statutory requirements.

Division of Human Rights. Nothing in these regulations shall be construed to limit the right of the complainant to file lawsuit in either state or federal court.

Retaliation Prohibited

Employees and students who in good faith make a report of discrimination/harassment will be protected against adverse actions or retaliation as a result of their report. Persons who believe that they have been retaliated against in violation of this policy should follow the same procedure outlined above for complaints of harassment.

For purposes of this policy, retaliation includes but is not limited to: verbal or physical threats, intimidation, ridicule, bribes, destruction of property, spreading rumors, stalking, harassing phone calls, and any other form of harassment. Any person who retaliates is subject to immediate disciplinary action, up to and including suspension or termination.

Discipline/Penalties

Any individual who violates the harassment policy by engaging in prohibited discrimination/harassment will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action. Disciplinary measures available to school authorities include, but are not limited to following:

Students

Discipline may range from a reprimand up to and including suspension from school, to be imposed consistent with the Bethlehem Central School District Student Code of Conduct policy and applicable law.

Employees

Discipline may range from a warning up to and including termination, to be imposed consistent with all applicable contractual and statutory rights.

Volunteers

Penalties may range from a warning up to and including loss of volunteer assignment.

Vendors

Penalties may range from a warning up to and including loss of district business.

Other individuals

Penalties may range from a warning up to and including denial of future access to school property.

False Complaints

False or malicious complaints of discrimination/harassment may result in corrective or disciplinary action taken against the complainant.

Adoption date: September 20, 2006

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Policy 5660 | Student Gifts and Solicitations

View the PDF version of the Student Gifts and Solicitations Policy here.

Only those organizations granted approval by the Board of Education shall have permission to solicit donations and contributions from students. Though the Board is well aware of the importance of training each generation to be charitable, it cannot exercise parental judgment in the evaluation of worthy causes; the Board cannot provide agencies, groups, or individuals the captive audience of a school student group.

Accordingly, solicitations, collections, and distribution of materials or things will not be permitted in school, without prior approval by the Board through the Superintendent of Schools. Furthermore, no lists of students or parents addresses or phone numbers may be provided for the above purposes, and no students may be asked to go door-to-door under district auspices without prior Board approval through the Superintendent of Schools.

Ref:

  • NYS Constitution, Article 8§1
  • Education Law §414
  • Rules of the Board of Regents §19.6
  • Guidelines Relating to Solicitation of Charitable Donations from School Children
  • SED, January 1994
  • Matter of Schanbarger, 11 EDR 70

Adoption date: June 19, 2002

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Policy 5710 | Violent or Disruptive Incident Reporting

View the PDF version of the Violent or Disruptive Incident Reporting Policy here.

The Board of Education is committed to promoting and maintaining the safety of all students, staff and visitors to the schools. Consistent with this commitment and in accordance with state law and regulation, the district shall submit an annual report to the Commissioner of Education regarding violent or disruptive incidents in the form prescribed by the Commissioner.

Reporting Requirement

Each Building Principal shall be responsible for preparing on a regular basis a report of all the violent or disruptive incidents that have occurred in the building and forwarding the report to the Superintendent of Schools. The Superintendent shall be responsible for compiling the reports received from the Building Principals into the annual report and submitting the report to the Commissioner. The report shall contain all the information required by law and shall be filed with the Commissioner on or before September 30 of each year.

Each Building Principal shall be responsible for assuring that copies of each report at the building level are retained for the period prescribed in the records retention schedule issued by the State Education Department and published as Appendix I to the Commissioner’s Regulations.

Confidentiality

Any violent or disruptive incident report prepared in accordance with law shall be available for inspection by the State Education Department upon request. All names and other personally identifiable information included in any report shall be confidential and shall not be disclosed to any person for use by any person for purposes other than the reporting purposes in Education Law §2802, except as otherwise authorized by law.

Ref:

  • Education Law §2802 (Uniform Violent Incident Reporting System)
  • 8 NYCRR 100.2 (gg) (Uniform Violent Incident Reporting System)
  • 8 NYCRR 185.11 (Appendix I) (Records Retention and Disposition Schedule ED-1)

Adoption date: June 19, 2002

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Policy 5810 | Cyberbullying and Cyberthreats

View the PDF version of the  Cyberbullying and Cyberthreats Policy here.

The Bethlehem Central School District Board of Education is committed to providing a safe and nurturing environment within the school district free from cyberbullying and cyberthreats. The increasing frequency of internet predatory practices necessitates that the District take proactive measures to secure the educational process.

Cyberbullying means being cruel to others by sending or posting harmful materials using the Internet or a cellular phone.

Cyberthreat means online material that threatens or raises concerns about violence to others, or to one’s self. There are two (2) kinds of cyberthreats: direct threats or distressing material. Direct threats are actual threats to hurt another person. Distressing material is online material that provides clues indicating that the person is emotionally upset, and that the person is contemplating hurting another person, one’s self or committing suicide.

Cyberbullying or cyber threatening material, either in the form of text or images, posted on personal web sites, blogs or transmitted via email, discussion groups, message boards, chat rooms, instant messages, or via cellular phones is prohibited.

The use of the District’s internet system, cellular devices on school district property, cellular devices not on district property or the use of an internet system not owned or operated by the District to bully or harass other students, faculty and staff is prohibited.

Off-campus cyberbullying or cyberthreats – regardless of the form in which the message is transmitted – endangering the health, welfare or safety of students, faculty or staff within the District or adversely affecting the educational process is prohibited. Students engaging in this type of conduct will be disciplined according to the District’s Code of Conduct or as outlined within this policy.

Any student or anyone who believes a student has been subjected to cyberbullying or to cyberthreats within the meaning of this policy shall report the bullying or threats to a teacher or an administrator immediately. The building principal shall immediately take the appropriate disciplinary actions pursuant to the District’s Code of Conduct, or as outlined within this policy.

Consequences

  1. Disciplinary actions regarding cyberbullying or cyberthreats shall be consistent with the District’s Code of Conduct.
  2. Violations can result in, but may not be limited to, loss of District internet/email access privileges, restitution for expenses incurred by the District to investigate and/or suspension.
  3. If a suicide threat is included, appropriate support services will be implemented by school administrators.
  4. When applicable, law enforcement agencies may be contacted.

Cross-Ref:

  • Computer Use Policy 4526
  • Instructional Technology 4526.1
  • Instructional Technology Regulations 4526.1-R
  • Code of Conduct 5300

Ref:

  • Education Law §3214.
  • Appeal of A.R., Decision No. 14,477 (October 19, 2000).
  • Appeal of K.S., Decision No. 15,063 (June 18, 2004).
  • Appeal of S.W., Decision No. 15,226 (May 12, 2005).
  • In the Matter of Ann Coghlan, 262 A.D.2d 949 (4th Dept. 1999). www.cyberbully.org

Adopted: March 5, 2008

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Policy 5910 | Student Drivers

View the PDF version of the Student Drivers Policy here.

In its discretion, the District may permit licensed student drivers to drive themselves to the BOCES Career and Technical School to or from school.

As a condition of a student driving himself/herself to the BOCES Career and Technical School, the District requires written parent/guardian consent and liability release in the form attached and students must also read and sign the form. If a student wishing to drive himself/herself to the BOCES Career and Technical School is over the age of eighteen (18) or is otherwise emancipated, only the student (not the parent/guardian) needs to sign the Release Agreement.

The District Superintendent may develop administrative regulations pertaining to student drivers.

Adoption Date: July 1, 2009

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Policy 5910-R | Student Drivers Regulation

View the PDF version of the Student Drivers Regulation here.

All student drivers and, as applicable, their parents/legal guardians agree to comply with the following rules and regulations. Student drivers who fail to comply with the following rules and regulations may have their school-related driving privileges suspended or revoked.

  1. The student driver must maintain, at all times, an appropriate and valid driver’s license for the type of vehicle he/she will be driving, and such vehicle must be current on its registration and inspection.
  2. The student driver must maintain adequate automobile insurance coverage.
  3. The student driver shall:
    1. Wear a seat belt at all times (unless he/she has an acceptable medical exemption);
    2. Drive safely and courteously;
    3. Obey all traffic, vehicle safety and parking laws or regulations (including but not limited to laws or regulations regarding the use of cellular phones or other electronic devices while driving);
    4. Practice defensive driving techniques.

Adoption Date: July 1, 2009

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Policy 5910-E | Student Drivers Exhibit

View the PDF version of the Student Drivers Exhibit here.

Adoption Date: July 1, 2009

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Policy 5950 | Military Recruiters Opt-Out Policy

View the PDF version of the Military Recruiters Opt-Out Policy here.

Release of Certain Student Information Under the “No Child Left Behind Act”

Pursuant to the No Child Left Behind Act, the school district must disclose to military recruiters and institutions of higher learning, upon request, the names, addresses and telephone numbers of high school students. The district must also notify parents of their right and the right of their child to request that the district not release such information without prior written parental consent.

Parents and students wishing to exercise their option to withhold their consent to the release of the above information to military recruiters and/or institutions of higher learning must sign and return the attached form to the Building Principal by October 1.

Ref:

  • ESEA § 9528 (20 U.S.C. § 7908)
  • No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (P.L. No 107-110)
  • National Defense Authorization Act 2002 (P.L. No 107-107)
  • 10 U.S.C. § 503 and § 544
  • FERPA

Adoption Date: July 1, 2009

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Policy 5950-E | Military Recruiters Opt-Out Exhibit

View the PDF version of the Military Recruiters Opt-Out Exhibit here.

Adoption Date: July 1, 2009

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