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Policies, plans and regulations updated during the school year

Filed in Archive by on November 21, 2016

Updating the district’s policy manual is an ongoing process. While a complete list of policies is posted to the Web site, the Board of Education has a policy committee who review, revise, and adopt district policies and regulations as needed throughout the school year.

Below are the policies and regulations reviewed and adopted by the Board of Education during the 2019-20 school year, beginning in July 2019.


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

View the PDF version of Policy 4321.11 here.

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

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

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

Cross-ref: 4321 et seq. as appropriate.

Ref:

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

Adoption date: September 18, 2019

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Policy 4850 | Instructional Activities Involving Animals

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

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

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

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

Ref: Education Law §809(4)

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

Adoption date: September 18, 2019

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Policy 5280 | Interscholastic Athletics

View the PDF version of the Interscholastic Athletics Policy here.

Interscholastic athletics is an integral and desirable part of the secondary school educational program of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District). 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 carryover 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 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. Parent(s) and/or guardian(s) 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 (the Board) 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) and/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 may permit students in grades 10-12 to receive credit towards high school graduation equivalent to physical education for participation in interscholastic athletics as well as approved nonscholastic activities. Such credit will, in addition to other requirements, be contingent upon proven cardiovascular and physical fitness and competency in lifetime or carryover sports. Standards for such fitness and competency shall be developed by the administration.

Cross-ref: 5405, Wellness Policy on Nutrition and Physical Education
5405R, Wellness Policy on Nutrition and Physical Education Regulation
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.
Concussion Management and Awareness Act, July 1, 2012.
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
Revised date: August 7, 2019

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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
Amended and Reapproved: August 7, 2019


Policy 5420 | Student Health Services

View the PDF version of the Student Health Services here.

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

The schools of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) 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) and/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) and/or guardian(s) must submit a health certificate within thirty calendar days after entering school, and upon entering kindergarten, first, third, fifth, seventh, ninth and eleventh 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 principal or his/her 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) and/or guardian(s).

In order to enroll in school, students must also furnish documentation of required immunizations against certain communicable diseases, as set forth in state law and regulations, unless exempted from immunizations for medical reasons as permitted by state law and regulation.

Homeless students shall be admitted to school even if they do not have the required health or immunization records, but may be temporarily excluded if they show actual symptoms of a communicable disease that poses a significant risk of transmission to others (see “Communicable Diseases” below).

The McKinney-Vento liaison shall assist homeless students covered by that law in accessing health services described in this policy and accompanying regulation.

The Board recognizes that the state of New York may authorize and require the collection of data from health certificates in furtherance of tracking and understanding healthcare issues that affect children. The Board 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 within thirty calendar days after entering school, and upon entering kindergarten, first, third, fifth, seventh, ninth and eleventh grades.

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.

Each school in the District will include in its emergency plan a protocol for responding to healthcare 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 a time period as recommended by the school physician, county Health Department, and/or other medical provider.

During an outbreak of these communicable diseases, if the Commissioner of Health or his/her designee so orders, the district will exclude students from school who have an exemption from immunization or who are in the process of obtaining immunization.

It is the responsibility of the superintendent, 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 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 requires:

  1. The written request of the parent(s) and/or guardian(s), which shall give permission for administering the medication and relieve the Board 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

Training

The District will provide training, as necessary, to support the implementation of student health services according to the 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
5410, Anaphylaxis
5410-R, Anaphylaxis Regulation
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);916 (student self-administration
of rescue inhalers); 916-a (student self- administration of epinephrine; 916-b
(students with diabetes); 919 (provide and maintain nebulizers); 922
(naloxone); 6527 (emergency treatment: anaphylaxis; naloxone); 6909
(emergency treatment of anaphylaxis)
Public Health Law §§613 (annual survey); 2164 (immunization requirements); 3000-c
(emergency epinephrine); 3309 (naloxone)
8 NYCRR § 64.7 (administration of agents to treat anaphylaxis); § 135.4 (Physical
Education); Part 136 (school health services program; concussion,
anaphylaxis, medication, naloxone)
10 NYCRR Part 66-1 (immunization requirements); § 80.138 (naloxone)
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
Revised date: September 23, 2019

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Policy 5550 | Student Privacy

View the PDF version of the Student Privacy Policy here.

The Board of Education (the Board) of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) recognizes its responsibility to enact policies that protect student privacy, in accordance with law.  This is particularly relevant in the context of the administration of surveys that collect personal information, the disclosure of personal information for marketing purposes and in conducting physical exams.

Surveys

The Board recognizes that student surveys are a valuable tool in determining student needs for educational services. In accordance with law and Board policy, parental consent is required for minors to take part in surveys which gather any of the following information:

  1. political affiliations or beliefs of the student or the student’s parent;
  2. mental or psychological problems of the student or the student’s family;
  3. sex behavior or attitudes;
  4. illegal, anti-social, self-incriminating or demeaning behavior;
  5. critical appraisals of other individuals with whom respondents have close family relationships;
  6. legally recognized privileged or analogous relationships, such as those of lawyers, physicians and ministers;
  7. religious practices, affiliations or beliefs of the student or the student’s parent; or
  8. income (other than that required by law to determine eligibility for participation in a program or for receiving financial assistance under such program). 

In the event that the district plans to survey students to gather information included in the list above, the District will obtain written consent from the parent/guardian in advance of administering the survey. The notification/consent form will also apprise the parent/guardian of their right to inspect the survey prior to their child’s participation.

Marketing

It is the policy of the Board not to collect, disclose, or use personal information gathered from students for the purpose of marketing or selling that information or providing it to others for that purpose. This does not apply to the collection, disclosure, or use of personal information collected from students for the exclusive purpose of developing, evaluating, or providing educational products or services for, or to students or educational institutions such as: 

  1. College or other postsecondary education recruitment, or military recruitment;
  2. Book clubs, magazines and programs providing access to low-cost literary products;
  3. Curriculum and instructional materials used in schools;
  4. Tests and assessments used to provide cognitive, evaluative, diagnostic, clinical, aptitude, or achievement information for students or to generate other statistically useful data for the purpose of securing such tests and assessments, and the subsequent analysis and public release of the aggregate data from such tests and assessments;
  5. Student recognition programs; and
  6. The sale by students of products or services to raise funds for school-related activities.

In the event that such data is collected by the district, disclosure or use of student personal information will be protected by the district pursuant to the requirements of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). [For guidance regarding the disclosure of “directory information,” rather than personal information, see policy 5500, Student Records.]

Inspection of Instructional Material

Parents/guardians shall have the right to inspect, upon request, any instructional material, used as part of the educational curriculum for students.  “Instructional material” is defined as: “instructional content that is provided to a student, regardless of format including printed or representational materials, audio-visual materials, and materials in electronic or digital formats (such as materials accessible through the Internet).  It does not include tests or academic assessments.” 

A parent/guardian who wishes to inspect and review such instructional material shall submit a request in writing to the building principal.  Upon receipt of such request, arrangements shall be made to provide access to such material to within 30 calendar days after the request has been received.

Invasive Physical Examinations

Prior to the administration of any non-emergency, invasive physical examination or screening that is required as a condition of attendance, administered by the school not necessary to protect the immediate health or safety of the student or other students and not otherwise permitted or required by state law, a student’s parent/guardian will be notified and given an opportunity to opt their child out of the exam.  Hearing, vision and scoliosis screenings are not subject to prior notification.

Notification

Parents/guardians and eligible students shall be notified at least annually, at the beginning of the school year, and when enrolling students for the first time in district schools of this policy.  The District shall also notify parents/guardians within a reasonable period of time after any substantive change to this policy.

Cross-ref:

  • 5420, Student Health Services
  • 5500, Student Records

Ref: 

  • 20 USC §1232h (No Child Left Behind Act)
  • 34 CFR Part 98
  • Education Law §903
  • 8 NYCRR §136.3(b)  

Adoption date: September 18, 2019

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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 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

he 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. All 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 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 (the Board) 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. Final policy decisions are determined by the Board.

Adoption date: June 20, 2007
Revised date: September 19, 2007
Revised date: January 4, 2012
Revised date: December 4, 2013
Revised date: June 21, 2017
Revised date: September 23, 2019

Re-adopted: October 16, 2019

 

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

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

The Bethlehem Central School District (the District) will create an environment that supports healthy eating habits, good nutrition, physical education, and mental health.

Nutrition Services and Cafeteria Environment

The District will work towards the following goals to ensure 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 Districtwide 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 than 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), and
    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 parent(s) and/or guardian(s).
  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 parent(s) and/or guardian(s) and teaching staff to support the use of nonfood 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 incorporated into students’ schedules. The District will strive to meet requirements for physical education as outlined by the State Education Department.
  2. The District will have a written physical education curriculum for each grade level.
  3. The physical education program shall be provided adequate space and equipment and conform to all applicable safety standards.
  4. Physical education courses will be taught by a certified instructor.
  5. Physical education teachers will be provided professional development comparable to other teachers in the District.
  6. Sports or out of school activities may take the place of Physical Education at the secondary level according to State Education Department Regulations and Guidelines and/or BCSD 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 is 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.

Adoption date: June 20, 2007
Revised date: September 19, 2007
Revised date: July, 2011
Revised date: January 4, 2012
Revised date: December 4, 2013
Revised date: June 21, 2017
Revised date: September 23, 2019

Re-adopted: October 16, 2019

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Policy 6240 | Investments

View the PDF version of the Investments Policy here.

The Board of Education (the Board) recognizes its fiduciary responsibility under §39 of the General Municipal Law (GML) requiring a comprehensive investment policy outlining the policy of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) with regard to the investing, monitoring, and reporting of the District’s funds.

Therefore, the Board directs the superintendent or his/her designee to ensure that procedures and regulations are followed to safeguard District funds and to minimize risk, to ensure that investments mature when cash is required to finance operations, and to ensure a competitive rate of return. In accordance with this policy, the treasurer or his/her designee is authorized to invest and/or deposit all funds, including proceeds of obligations and reserve funds, in time-deposit accounts, certificates of deposit, short-term government securities, repurchase agreements, or other investment instruments permitted by law, subject to the investment regulations approved by the Board of Education.

All participants in the investment process shall seek to act responsibly as custodians of the public trust and shall avoid any transaction that might impair public confidence in the District’s ability to govern effectively. Investments shall be made with prudence, diligence, skill, judgment, and care, under circumstances then prevailing that a knowledgeable and prudent person acting in like capacity would use, not for speculation, but for investment, considering the safety of the principal as well as the probable income to be derived. Furthermore, all participants involved in the investment process shall refrain from personal business activity that could conflict with proper execution of the investment program, or which could impair their ability to make impartial investment decisions.

This policy will be reviewed annually by the Board and may be amended from time to time in accordance with the provisions of §39 of the General Municipal Law.

Ref: Education Law §§1604-a; 1723-a; 3651; 3652
Local Finance Law §165.00
General Municipal Law §§6-c-6-e; 6-j-6-n; 10; 11; 39

Adoption date: June 19, 2002
Amended date: July 7, 2015
Reapproved: July 5, 2016
Reapproved: July 12, 2017
Reapproved: July 2, 2018
Reapproved: August 7, 2019

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Policy 6410 | Authorized Signatures

View the PDF version of the Authorized Signatures Policy here.

The Board of Education (the Board) of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) authorizes the signature on checks issued against all accounts of the District to be that of the treasurer or, in his/her absence, the deputy treasurer.

The Board hereby authorizes the use of check-signing machines with safeguards for the District’s protection and with facsimile signatures of the treasurer and deputy treasurer. Said machines shall be maintained in the exclusive and secured possession of the treasurer and deputy treasurer, respectively.

The treasurer/deputy treasurer shall be present and shall control the affixing of his/her signature when checks are run. He or she should maintain a log of checks signed and should verify the sequence of check numbers that are used. The signing of blank checks is expressly forbidden.

Extraclassroom activity fund checks shall be signed by the central treasurer of the extracurricular activity fund, upon review of a payment authorization form signed by both the student treasurer and the club faculty advisor, along with appropriate supporting documentation.

Contracts authorized by Board resolution shall be signed by the Board president or, in his/her absence, the vice president, unless a different signatory is identified in the Board resolution. Purchase orders for goods and/or services identified in the various budget codes of the District budget may be executed by the purchasing agent responsible for the procurement of such goods and/or services.

The Board authorizes the payment in advance of audit of claims for all postage, in accordance with law.

Ref: Education Law §§1720; 1724; 2523
8 NYCRR §§170.1(c)(d); 172

Adoption date: June 16, 2010
Reapproved: August 7, 2019

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Policy 6500 | Allegations of Fraud

View the PDF version of the Allegations of Fraud here.

Covered Employees
All Board of Education members and officers, Bethlehem Central School District (the District) employees, and third-party consultants are required to abide by the District’s policies, administrative regulations, and procedures in the conduct of their duties. All applicable federal and/or state laws and regulations must be adhered to in the course of District operations and practices. Any individual who has reason to believe that financial improprieties or wrongful conduct is occurring within the District is required to disclose such information according to the reporting procedures found in Policy 6500-R, Allegations of Fraud Regulation.

Adoption date: February 28, 2007
Reapproved date: August 7, 2019

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Policy 6500-R | Allegations of Fraud Regulation

View the PDF version of the Allegations of Fraud Regulation here.

Reporting Process

The reporting procedures will follow the chain of command as established within the department or school building or as enumerated in the Organizational Chart of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District). The report will be made to the employee’s immediate supervisor. In the event that the allegations concern the immediate supervisor, the report shall be made to the next level of supervisory authority.

If the chain of supervisory command is not sufficient to ensure impartial, independent investigation, the allegation will be reported as applicable, to the internal auditor, the independent (external) auditor, the school attorney, members of the District Audit Committee, State Comptroller’s Office, or the president of the Board of Education (the Board).

Investigation and Reporting

Upon receipt of an allegation, the Board or its designated employee(s) will conduct a thorough investigation of the charges. To the extent possible, within legal constraints, all reports will be treated in a confidential manner. Disclosure may be necessary to complete a thorough investigation of the charges and/or to notify law enforcement officials. Any such disclosure will be provided on a “need-to-know” basis. Written records of the allegation and resulting investigation and outcome will be maintained in accordance with law.

If the District has knowledge of, or reason to know of, any occurrence of financial improprieties/fraud and/or wrongful conduct, the District will investigate such conduct promptly and thoroughly, even in the absence of a written report.

Based upon the results of the investigation, if the District determines that a District employee has engaged in financial improprieties/fraudulent and/or wrongful actions, appropriate disciplinary measures will be applied. These measures will be in accordance with legal guidelines, District policy and regulation, and any applicable collective bargaining agreement and may include termination of employment. Third parties who are found to have engaged in financial improprieties/fraud and/or wrongful conduct will be subject to appropriate sanctions.

In the event of an unresolved complaint and/or unsatisfactory determination by the investigating party, the complainant may appeal the determination by notifying, as applicable, the internal auditor, the independent (external) auditor, the school attorney, or the president of the Board. All complaints will be reported to the Board to determine further action.

Prohibition of Retaliation

The Board prohibits any retaliatory behavior directed against those individuals who, in good faith, report allegations of suspected financial improprieties/fraud and/or wrongful conduct as well as witnesses and/or any other individuals who participate in the investigation. Any act of retaliation is prohibited and subject to appropriate disciplinary action by the District.

Knowingly Makes False Accusations

Any individual who knowingly makes false accusations against another individual as to allegations of financial improprieties/fraud and/or wrongful conduct may also face appropriate disciplinary action.

Ref: Civil Service Law § 75-6

Adoption date: February 28, 2007
Revised date: August 7, 2019

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Policy 6640 | Inventories of Capital and Noncapital Assets

View the PDF version of the Inventories of Capital Assets Accounting policy here.

In order to provide accountability, oversight, and for assessing adequacy of insurance coverage, in accordance with “The Uniform System of Accounts for School Districts” and the recommendations of the State Comptroller’s Office, an inventory of fixed assets and other equipment and property of the District, valued at $100 or more, shall be maintained by building and department administrators, in the manner prescribed by the Business Office, with a copy of the property register provided to the Business Office. The lower threshold is intended to apply to those noncapital assets that are at greater risk for misappropriation.

All equipment and property should be clearly labeled as property of the District by the department making the acquisition. Moveable equipment or property subject to capitalization pursuant to policy 6645 shall also be tagged with an identifying asset number.

Classroom and office furniture is not required to be inventoried; however, because these items are typically purchased as part of a capital project, the capital project costs will be distinguished by component and included within depreciable assets.

Capital and noncapital assets subject to inventory would include the following items:

  • School buses and other moving vehicles (trucks and vans, automobiles, mowers, trailers, etc.);
  • Tools and smaller equipment used by Operations and Maintenance and Transportation;
  • Technology assets;
  • Assistive Technology assets;
  • Health Office equipment;
  • Science Department Lab Tools and Equipment;
  • Automatic External Defibrillators (AED) units;
  • Musical instruments; and
  • Athletic and physical education (P.E.) equipment

The Business Office shall develop and maintain a system of internal controls for all fixed assets and other inventoried District property, including a property register that shall be updated on an ongoing basis. Transfers of assets between departments are infrequent, but an updated location description should be noted during the annual reconciliation.

Departments are expected to inventory and monitor all capital and noncapital assets under their control. Such inventory should occur on a periodic basis, at least annually, with a report identifying all updated records to the school business administrator. The Business Office will ensure that periodic verifications of the records maintained at the department level are conducted, and may use the assistance of outside service providers in carrying out this responsibility.

Ref: Uniform System of Accounts for School Districts – Fiscal Section
General Municipal Law § 36

Cross-ref: 6645, Capital Assets Accounting
6900, Disposal of District Property

Adoption date: August 9, 2017
Revised date: August 7, 2019

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Policy 6645 | Capital Assets Accounting

View the PDF version of the Capital Assets Accounting Policy here.

Accounting of Fixed Assets

The school business administrator of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) shall be responsible for accounting for general fixed assets according to the procedures outlined by Generally Accepted Governmental Accounting Standards and the Uniform System of Accounts for School Districts. These records and accounts will serve to:

  1. Maintain a physical inventory of assets;
  2. Establish accountability; and
  3. Determine replacement costs to provide appropriate insurance coverage.

All fixed assets carrying a minimum value as specified below by category that have a useful life of five years or more and are tangible assets that are not appreciably affected by use or consumption shall be recorded.

Valuation

All assets will be recorded at cost (or fair market value if a donated asset) at the time of acquisition. The capitalized cost shall be the invoiced price including all necessary costs incurred to place the asset in service (i.e., shipping, handling, freight, duties, registration fees, installation costs, or insurance during transit).

Capitalization Threshold

Assets with a useful life of five years or more, and meeting the threshold listed below will be capitalized. The threshold to be used for financial reporting purposes (GASB #34) and categories of assets is as follows:

Land

Land improvements

$  5,000

$25,000

Buildings and improvements $50,000
Furniture and equipment

Vehicles

Restricted, grant-acquired assets

$  5,000

$  5,000

$  5,000

Some assets may, individually, fall below the capitalization threshold, but may be purchased in large quantities by the District (typically as part of a capital project or a technology acquisition). The District may choose to capitalize these assets as a group, as determined by the school business administrator.

Depreciation Method

All assets will be depreciated over their estimated useful life, using the straight-line method, with the half-year convention. The useful life will be estimated in the year of acquisition. Salvage value will only be assigned if deemed material, typically in excess of 10 percent of the asset’s cost.

Cross-ref:     6640, Inventories of Capital and Noncapital Assets
6900, Disposal of District Property

Adoption date: February 28, 2007
Revised date: August 9, 2017
Reapproved date: August 7, 2019

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Policy 6650 | Claims Auditor

View the PDF version of the Claims Auditor Policy here.

The Board of Education (the Board) of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) will annually designate and appoint a claims auditor for the District. The claims auditor shall serve at the pleasure of, and report directly to, the Board.

The claims auditor is responsible for formally examining, allowing, or rejecting all accounts, charges, claims, or demands against the District. The auditing process should determine:

  1. that the proposed payment is for a valid and legal purpose;
  2. that the obligation was incurred by an authorized District official;
  3. that the items for which payment is claimed were in fact received or, in the case of services, that they were actually rendered;
  4. that the obligation does not exceed the available appropriation; and
  5. that the submitted voucher is in proper form, mathematically correct, does not include previously paid charges, and is in agreement with the purchase order and contract upon which it is based.

The claims auditor shall provide periodic written reports as may be requested by the Board.

Ref: Education Law §§1604 (35); 1709(20-a); 1724; 2509; 2526; 2554(b)
8 NYCRR §170.2
Matter of Levy, 22 EDR 550 (1983)

Adoption date: October 19, 2005
Revised date: October 4, 2006
Revised date: August 9, 2017
Reapproved date: August 7, 2019

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Policy 6650-R | Claims Auditor Regulation

View the PDF version of the Claims Auditor Regulation here.

The claims auditor is responsible for formally examining all accounts, charges, claims or demands against the Bethlehem Central School District (the District).

Qualifications

Legal
The legal qualifications for appointment to the position of claims auditor in central and union-free school districts and city school districts in cities having a population of 125,000 or less are contained within Sections 1709-20(a) and 2526 of the Education Law, respectively.

Under these sections, individuals eligible for appointment to this office may not be a member of the Board of Education (the Board), the clerk or treasurer of the Board, the superintendent of the District, the official of the District responsible for business management, the person designated as purchasing agent, or clerical/professional personnel directly involved in accounting and purchasing functions of the District.

Knowledge and Skills
Although the Board recognizes that specific training is not required by law, experience and training in the areas of accounting and auditing are desirable.

The claims auditor needs to be fully knowledgeable in state and local bidding laws and regulations, as well as Board policies and regulations.

Appointment

The Board shall designate and appoint a claims auditor on an annual basis at the District’s reorganizational meeting in July.

Primary Relations

Board of Education
The claims auditor is an employee of, and directly responsible to, the Board. The claims auditor shall serve at the pleasure of the Board, and the position of claims auditor may be abolished by the Board at any time. The claims auditor may, at times, be requested to attend meetings of the Board, but is not expected to attend regularly.

Superintendent
The claims auditor shall recognize that the superintendent is the chief executive officer of the District. The claims auditor, while not responsible to the superintendent, shall work cooperatively with the superintendent and his/her staff in the best interest of the District.

Chief Business and Financial Officer
The claims auditor shall recognize that the chief business and financial officer is the chief business official of the District. The claims auditor, while not responsible to the chief business and financial officer, shall work cooperatively with that administrator and his/her staff in the best interest of the District.

Business Office Staff Members
The claims auditor is responsible for approving and allowing payment of claims, which have been processed and recommended by the Business Office. The claims auditor shall work cooperatively with the Business Office staff to ensure legal and business-like payment of claims.

In the event of a difference of opinion regarding the approval of a claim for payment that cannot be resolved by reviewing the questioned claim with the appropriate Business Office personnel (such as the chief business and financial officer ), the opinion of the claims auditor shall prevail and the item should be referred to the Board.

Duties and Responsibilities

The claims auditor is directly responsible to the Board. When the position of claims auditor has been established, and a qualified claims auditor has been appointed, the powers and duties of the Board with respect to auditing, allowing or rejecting all accounts, charges, claims, or demands against the District shall devolve upon and thereafter be exercised by such auditor, during the continuance of such office (Ed. Law 1709-20(a), 2526).

All claims must be presented to and approved prior to the payment by the claims auditor charged with the auditing function. Education Law allows certain claims (public utility services, postage and freight, and express charges) to be paid in advance of audit if the Board authorizes, by resolution, such claims to be paid in advance. All such claims must then be presented for audit.

When the claims are delivered to the claims auditor for approval, he/she should ascertain that at least the following tests have been performed prior to releasing the claim for payment.

  1. Track the numerical sequence of checks being approved.
  2. Prove the mathematical accuracy of all computations. This should include verification of extensions and additions and the recalculation of any discount.
  3. Determine that the charges are not duplicates of items already paid.
  4. Compare the voucher with the purchase order.
  5. Verify that the voucher is properly itemized. Vouchers for supplies or materials should show items as weight or quantity, size, grade, unit price, and total, as well as any other data appropriate to the commodity purchased (such as underlying contract/bid/quote documents). Vouchers for multiple deliveries of items, such as gasoline or fuel oil, should be supported by delivery tickets signed by the person accepting the delivery and identifying the equipment, storage area, or building in which each delivery was made. Delivery tickets furnish added proof that the District actually did receive the items for which it is paying.
  6. Determine that sufficient detail exists to properly describe the claim. A simple rule to remember on itemization is that the voucher must contain sufficient detail to permit a satisfactory audit by a person who is entirely unfamiliar with the transaction. Vouchers claiming reimbursement for authorized expenses incurred by District personnel, in addition to a copy of the authorization, should show the reason for incurring the expense as well as details of the various items, such as travel, lodging, and meals. Where possible, receipted bills should be attached to expense vouchers — a hotel bill is a good example of this type of bill. When a personal car is used for travel, the voucher should indicate the purpose of travel, the number of miles traveled, the dates and points of travel, and the rate per mile. The rate per mile should be the rate established by resolution of the Board and/or labor contracts. Expense vouchers should be submitted by the person incurring the expense and not by another individual as a part of general claims for all persons traveling to a common destination.
  7. Review the written request for travel advances for proper authorization prior to forwarding the request to the treasurer. When the claim for reimbursement is filed, the claims auditor should, in addition to tests previously mentioned for travel claims, make certain that the value of the advance has been deducted from the amount of the final claim. Where the amount of such advance exceeds the amount of the final claim, the voucher should be returned to the Business Office for recovery of the amount due to the District.
  8. Observe whether the official who gave rise to the claim has indicated his/her approval.
  9. Verify that the voucher is accompanied by the receipt from the employee who actually received the materials or equipment for which the claim is made. Normally, this is transmitted through signing and dating the receiving copy of the purchase order.

The claims auditor shall provide periodic written reports as may be requested by the Board. Exceptions shall be reported to the Board.

The audit of a voucher by the claims auditor should not be a casual review, but a deliberate and thorough process to determine that the proposed payment is proper and just. In summary, the audit process should ascertain that:

A. The proposed payment is for a valid and legal purpose, as per applicable policies, laws, rules, and regulations;

B. The obligation was incurred by an authorized District official and the goods or services for which payment is claimed were, in fact, received; and

C. The voucher is in proper form and mathematically correct, meets legal requirements, does not include any charges for taxes from which the District is exempt, includes any discounts to which the District is entitled, does not include charges previously claimed and paid, and is in agreement with an attached purchase order.

The foregoing discussion is limited to vendor claims for goods and services, and to claims for travel of officers and employees. However, the Board may, in its option, designate the claims auditor to review and certify payrolls in accordance of the provision of Section 170.2(b) of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education.


Certification

The claims auditor is required to provide the treasurer with evidence that claims have been audited and are eligible for payment. The evidence is provided through a warrant or order on which the audited vouchers have been listed. The warrant or order is directed to the treasurer and is certified by the claims auditor.

A warrant or order should specify:

  1. The number of the voucher or purchase order;
  2. The name of the claimant;
  3. The amount allowed;
  4. The fund and the appropriation account chargeable; and
  5. Any other information that might be deemed essential.

After conveying the warrant to the treasurer, the claims auditor should keep on file for reference a copy of the warrant bearing the signed certification. A copy of the suggested warrant certification is provided in exhibit 6650-E.

Ref: Education Law §§1709(20-a): 1724; 2509; 2526; 2554(b)
NYCRR, §170.2

Adoption date: October 19, 2005
Revised date: August 9, 2017
Reapproved date: August 7, 2019

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Policy 6660 | Independent Auditor

View the PDF version of the Independent Auditor Policy here.

The Board of Education (the Board) of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) shall appoint annually at its organizational meeting an independent certified public accountant to serve for one year as auditor and shall set the annual fees for such audit. The Board-designated independent certified public accountant shall review and report annually on the financial accounts of the District. The accounts to be audited shall include the General Fund, Trust and Agency, Capital Projects, Debt Service, School Lunch, Special Aid, and Classroom Activities Fund.

A certified written report shall be submitted to the Board by the date specified in Section 2116-a of the education law each year by the said Independent auditor concerning the condition and status of the accounts upon completion of the annual audit.

Ref: Education Law §§ 1700; 2526

Adoption date: October 19, 2005
Revised date: October 4, 2006
Revised date: August 7, 2019

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Policy 6660-R | Independent Auditor Regulation

View the PDF version of the Independent Auditor Regulation here.

The Board of Education (the Board) of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) will annually designate and appoint an independent auditor for the District. The independent auditor shall serve at the pleasure of the Board. The Board shall, at least once every five years, consider proposals from interested parties (including the incumbent).

The independent auditor is responsible for:

  1. Expressing an opinion as to whether the Board’s financial statements are fairly presented, in all material respects, in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States and reporting on the fairness of the additional supplementary information when considered in relation to the financial statements taken as a whole.
  2. Auditing internal control related to the financial statements and compliance with laws, regulations, and the provisions of contracts or grant agreements, noncompliance with which could have a material effect on the financial statements in accordance with Government Auditing Standards.
  3. Auditing internal control related to major programs and expressing an opinion on compliance with laws, regulations, and the provisions of contracts or grant agreements that could have a direct and material effect on each major program in accordance with the standards applicable to financial audits contained in Government Auditing Standards, issued by the Comptroller General of the United States; and the audit requirement of Title 2 U.S. Code of Federal Regulations Part 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards (Uniform Guidance).
  4. Advising about appropriate accounting principles and their application and assistance in the preparation of the Board’s financial statements, including the schedule of expenditures of federal awards.
  5. Examining, on a test basis, evidence supporting the amounts and disclosures in the financial statements and judgment about the number of transactions to be examined and the areas to be tested.
  6. Planning and performing the audit to obtain reasonable, rather than absolute, assurance about whether the financial statements are free of material misstatement, whether caused by error or fraud.
  7. Informing the Board of any material errors, fraud, or illegal acts that come to the auditor’s attention.
  8. Testing of documentary evidence supporting the transactions recorded in the accounts, which may include tests of the physical existence of inventories, and direct confirmation of receivables and certain other assets and liabilities by correspondence with selected individuals, creditors, and financial institutions.
  9. Obtaining an understanding of the design of relevant controls that have been placed in operation, as well as assessing control risk. Tests may be performed to assess the effectiveness of certain controls that are considered relevant to preventing and detecting errors and fraud that are material to the financial statements and to preventing and detecting misstatements resulting from illegal acts and other noncompliance matters that have a direct and material effect on the financial statements.
  10. Informing the District of any matters involving internal control and its operation that are considered to be reportable conditions under standards established by the American Institute of Certified Public Accounts. Reportable conditions involve matters relating to significant deficiencies in the design or operation of the internal control that, in the independent auditor’s judgment, could adversely affect the entity’s ability to record, process, summarize, and report financial data consistent with the assertions of management in the financial statements.

Adoption date: October 19, 2005
Revised date: August 7, 2019

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Policy 6670 | Petty Cash/Petty Cash Accounts

View the PDF version of the Petty Cash/Petty Cash Accounts Policy here.

The Board of Education (the Board) of the Bethlehem Central School District will annually establish a petty cash fund of $100 and designate the chief business and financial officer as the person responsible for such fund. This action will be taken at the annual organizational meeting held each July. Other petty cash funds may be established at the discretion of the Board.

Deposits to each petty cash fund may be made from time to time in amounts that shall not exceed payments made in cash from the fund, as indicated by receipts, receipted bills, or other evidence of payment in a form available for audit.

Payments from the funds may be made for materials, supplies, or services only when payment is required upon delivery.

Cross-ref: 6700, Purchasing

Ref: Education Law §§1604(26); 1709(29)
8 NYCRR §170.4

Adoption date: June 19, 2002
Revised date: August 7, 2019

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Policy 6670-R | Petty Cash/Petty Cash Accounts Regulation

View the PDF version of the Petty Cash/Petty Cash Accounts Regulation here.

The custodian of each petty cash fund in the Bethlehem Central School District will be responsible for the following method of record keeping:

  1. deposits to petty cash will be made in amounts that shall not exceed payments made in cash from the fund;
  2. payments made from the funds will be indicated by receipts, receipted bills, or other evidence of payments in a form available for audit;
  3. disbursements will be acknowledged by the signature of the individual receiving payment;
  4. each disbursement will be properly budget-coded prior to the disbursement of funds; and
  5. a request to replenish the petty cash fund will be accompanied by a summary sheet, signed by the custodian of the fund, with all expenditures properly accounted.

The custodian will disburse petty cash only for payment for materials, supplies, and services, only when payment is required upon delivery.

Petty cash funds will be reauthorized by Board of Education (the Board) action at the organization meeting of the Board in July.

Adoption date: June 19, 2002
Revised date: August 7, 2019

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Policy 6680 | Internal Audit Function

View the PDF version of the Internal Audit Function Policy here.

The Board of Education (the Board) of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) recognizes its responsibility to ensure sound fiscal management of the District. To this end, the Board establishes an internal audit function to include:

  • Development of a risk assessment of District operations, including but not limited to a review of financial policies and procedures and the testing and evaluation of District internal controls;
  • An annual review and update of such risk assessment; and
  • Preparation of reports, at least annually or more frequently as the Board may direct, which analyze significant risk assessment findings, recommend changes for strengthening controls and reducing identified risks, and specify time frames for implementation of such recommendations.

To fulfill this function, the District may use intermunicipal cooperative agreements, BOCES shared services, or independent contractors as long as such personnel or entities performing the internal audit function comply with the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education and meet professional auditing standards for independence between the auditor and the District. The District may also use existing personnel to fulfill this function, but only if such persons shall not have any responsibilities for other business operations of the District while performing such function.

Personnel or entities performing this function shall report directly to the Board. The District’s Audit Committee shall assist in the oversight of this internal audit function.

Ref: Education Law §2116-b

Adoption date: October 19, 2005
Reapproved date: August 7, 2019

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Policy 6690 | Audit Committee

View the PDF version of the Audit Committee Policy here.

Purpose

The Board of Education (the Board) of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) will designate and appoint an Audit Committee for purposes of overseeing and carrying out the Board’s audit policies and the performance of related duties and responsibilities. Three members shall be appointed to serve on the committee on an annual basis. A quorum of the Audit Committee shall be two members of the committee. Employees of the District are prohibited from serving on the committee.

Policy

The Audit Committee shall:

  1. Recommend internal and independent audit plans to the Board, specifying the areas of District operations to be reviewed for compliance with legal and regulatory requirements, operating efficiency, and effectiveness;
  2. Receive and review the resulting internal audit reports, and propose recommendations to the Board for action as may be necessary and appropriate;
  3. Receive and review the report of the independent auditor on any findings commented on during the annual audit report, and the management response thereto, and propose recommendations to the Board for action as may be necessary and appropriate;
  4. Oversee the selection of the claims auditor, internal auditor, and the independent auditor, pursuant to the relevant Board policies, and make recommendations to the Board for appointment to said positions.

The Audit Committee may conduct an executive session in accordance with law and Commissioner’s Regulations. Any member of the Board who is not a member of the Audit Committee may be allowed to attend an executive session if authorized by a resolution of the Board.

It is not the intent of the Board that the Audit Committee participate in or be responsible for the day-to-day operations of the District or in the decisions that are the responsibility of the superintendent or chief business and financial officer, or the other District’s administrators.

Ref: Education Law §2116-c

Adoption date: October 19, 2005
Reapproved date: August 7, 2019

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Policy 6705 | Sweatshop-Free Purchasing

View the PDF version of the Sweatshop-Free Purchasing Policy here.

The Bethlehem Central School District (the District) is opposed to the abuses of child labor and otherwise substandard working conditions in the manufacturing of products and materials offered for sale to school districts, and in an effort to ensure that apparel utilized by the District is not manufactured in such conditions, it hereby promulgates the following policy:

To be eligible to be vendor or other supplier of apparel to the District, a vendor, either directly or by its supplier or manufacturer, must as a part of its bid documents affirmatively state to the District the following:

  1. that no person younger than the age allowed by the law of the country in which the particular product, or material for the product was produced, was employed or otherwise engaged in the production or manufacturing of the apparel and that, in no event, was a person younger than the age of fourteen years so employed;
  2. that if the laws of the country in which the particular product or material for the product was produced provide for compulsory education, no person required to attend upon such education was employed during the hours education is normally provided; and
  3. that the manufacturer of the particular product or of the materials for said product is otherwise in full compliance with the laws, rules, and regulations governing the involved workplace, including, but not limited to, laws, rules, and regulations governing or relating to wage and benefit levels.

In addition, such a vendor must, as part of its bid, acknowledge the following:

  1. that a bid not complying with the above requirements will be rejected; 
  2. that determination of compliance will be solely at the discretion of the District; and
  3. that the vendor will be held strictly responsible for the information provided pursuant to this requirement, whether such is upon said vendor’s direct knowledge or based upon affirmations or information provided to said vendor by a manufacturer or supplier.

Adoption date: September 18, 2002
Reapproved date: August 7, 2019

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Policy 6705-E | Sweatshop-Free Purchasing Exhibit

View the PDF version of the Sweatshop-Free Purchasing Policy here.

Policy

Please be advised that the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) has adopted a policy to ensure that apparel purchased or otherwise acquired by it is manufactured and supplied by employers that do not utilize underage labor or maintain or allow sweatshop conditions in its manufacture or the manufacture of the materials used in same.

Pursuant to the above-mentioned policy, the District will only use vendors or other suppliers that comply with its terms and conditions as set forth more particularly below and that otherwise meet the requirement of law relative to competitive bidding. Accordingly, the District will require that all covered vendors provide specific information regarding the work conditions under which the involved merchandise was manufactured. Failure to provide all such information will disqualify that vendor from consideration in the bidding process. In addition, should it come to light a bid is let that the information provided by the successful bidder was false or erroneous, the contract or awarded may be terminated.

Standards

To be eligible to be a vendor or other supplier of apparel to the District, a vendor, either directly or by its supplier or manufacturer, must as part of its bid documents affirmatively state to the District by execution and submission of this statement with its bid, the following:

  1. that no person younger than the age allowed by the law of the country in which the particular product, or material for the product was produced, was employed or otherwise engaged in the production or manufacturing of the apparel, and that in no event was a person younger than the age of fourteen years so employed;
  2. that if the laws of the country in which the particular product or material for the product was produced provided for compulsory education, no person required to attend upon such education was employed during the hours when such education is normally provided; and
  3. that the manufacturer of the particular product, or of the materials for said product, is otherwise in full compliance with the laws, rules, and regulations governing the involved workplace.

Failure to Comply

Any bid not complying with the above requirements will be rejected.

Determination of compliance will be solely at the discretion of the District.

The vendor will be held strictly responsible for the information provided pursuant to this requirement whether such is upon said vendor’s direct knowledge or based upon affirmations or information provided to said vendor by a manufacturer or supplier.

This document is part of your bid and must be signed and submitted with that bid. By signing this document you affirmatively state that you and your suppliers and manufacturers are in compliance with this policy and that you acknowledge the penalties for failure to provide same or for falsely or erroneously providing same whether directly or through the statements of your supplier or manufacturer.

Adoption date: September 8, 2002
Revised date: August 7, 2019

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Policy 6830 | Travel Expense Reimbursement

View the PDF version of the Travel Expense Reimbursement Policy here.

Bethlehem Central School District (the District) employees, officials, and members of the Board of Education (the Board) will be reimbursed for reasonable, actual, and necessary out-of-pocket expenses that are legally authorized and incurred while traveling for school-related activities.

Only expenses necessary to the purpose of the travel are reimbursable. The Business Office will issue tax exemption certificates as appropriate.

The Board will consider and determine which meetings and conferences may be attended by Board members. The District superintendent will determine, in the first instance, whether attendance by District staff at any conference or professional meeting is in the best interest of the District and eligible for reimbursement of expenses under this policy.

To obtain reimbursement, the claimant must complete and sign a claim form, attach all receipts or other expense documentation, and proof of attendance together with a copy of the approved conference attendance request form, and submit the same to the appropriate administrator. Reimbursement will only be made after such claim has been audited and allowed.

Transportation

To be eligible for reimbursement, transportation must be by a reasonable and economical method. Mileage will be reimbursed at the federal Internal Revenue Service rate. Gasoline will not be reimbursed. Parking and tolls are eligible.

Lodging

To be eligible for reimbursement, lodging must be at an accommodation that is reasonably priced and economical. Reasonable is determined based on the predetermined rate secured by the organization sponsoring the event, or within the federal travel reimbursement rate for a specified region/location.

Meals

To be eligible for reimbursement, meals and tips must reasonable, and within the federal travel reimbursement rates for a specified region/location, including adjustments as may be required for the first or last day of travel. Alcoholic beverages are not reimbursable.

Personal Expenses

The District does not reimburse persons traveling on District-related business for personal expenses including, but not limited to, entertainment, health club facilities, and telecommunications/internet costs unrelated to District business.

Cross-ref: 9170, Meals and Refreshments

Ref: Education Law §§1604(27); 1709(30); 1804; 2118; 3023; 3028
General Municipal Law §77-b

Adoption date: June 19, 2002
Revised date: February 28, 2007
Revised date: February 8, 2018
Reapproved date: August 7, 2019

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Policy 7100 | Facilities Planning

View the PDF version of the Facilities Planning Policy here.

The Board of Education (the Board) of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) is ultimately responsible for the regular operation and orderly development of the District’s physical plant. In carrying out this responsibility, the Board is concerned with both short-term and long-range planning.

The Board delegates to the superintendent the responsibility for formulating and implementing, subject to approval by the Board, the following plans for school building facilities:

  1. Comprehensive long-range facilities development plan – This plan shall be kept current and re-evaluated at least annually. It will include an appraisal of the following:

a. educational philosophy of the District, with resulting administrative organization and program requirements;

b. present and projected pupil enrollments;

c. space use and state-rated pupil capacity of existing facilities;

d. priority of need of maintenance, repair, or modernization of existing facilities, including consideration of the obsolescence and retirement of certain facilities; and

e. the provision of additional facilities.

2. Five year capital facilities plan – This plan will include the following:

a. a yearly breakdown of the estimated expenses for construction, additions, alterations, major repairs, system replacement and repairs, and maintenance and energy consumption; and

b. a Districtwide building inventory including the number and type of facilities; the age, capacity, use, and size of each building; and each building­s safety ratings, energy sources, probable useful life, major system repairs needed, and asbestos reports.

Ref: 8 NYCRR Part 155 (Educational Facilities)

Adoption date: June 19, 2002
Revised date: August 7, 2019

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Policy 7360 | Construction Contracts, Bidding and Award

View the PDF version of the Construction Contracts, Bidding and Award Policy here.

All construction contracts for the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) in excess of $20,000 and purchases of equipment at a cost in excess of $10,000 must be advertised, bid on, and awarded to the lowest responsible bidder in accordance with the District’s policy and procedures for competitive bidding. No school building may be erected, purchased, repaired, enlarged, or remodeled at an expense that will exceed $100,000, nor may an advertisement for bids for the execution of the plans and specifications for a school building be placed, until the plans and specifications have been submitted to and approved by the commissioner of Education. Such plans and specifications will show in detail the ventilation, heating, and lighting of such buildings. Construction documents that have been modified subsequent to the commissioner’s approval may not be advertised for bid until the commissioner has approved such modifications. The successful contractor will enter into a formal contract, prepared by the District attorney, detailing all aspects of the construction to take place.

Every District contract for construction, alteration, or repair of any public building or public works, or for the manufacture, sale, or distribution of material, equipment, or supplies, shall contain provisions prohibiting discrimination on account of race, creed, color, religion, national origin, disability, marital status, age, sex, sexual orientation and/or gender identity.

All contractors to whom a contract has been awarded must provide a performance bond obtained through a bonding company licensed to do business in New York State. The required amount of such bond shall be included in the Statement of General Conditions set forth in the advertisement or notice for bids.

All contractors shall guarantee that prevailing rates of wage, as provided for in the Labor Law §220, shall be paid to all workers on public projects in the District.

Ref: Education Law §§408; 2556
General Municipal Law §§101; 103; 103-d; 106; 108; 109
Labor Law §§220; 220-e; 222; 222-a

Adoption date: June 19, 2002
Revised date: August 7, 2019

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Policy 7365 | Construction Safety

View the PDF version of the Construction Safety Policy here.

The Board of Education (the Board) of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) recognizes the District’­s responsibility to provide a safe school environment for students and staff during construction and maintenance projects.

The superintendent shall be responsible for ensuring that District procedures for safeguarding the safety and health of students and staff are consistent with state law and regulation, including the Uniform Code of Public School Building Inspections, Safety Rating and Monitoring and the Uniform Safety Standards for School Construction and Maintenance Projects. Specifically, the superintendent shall be responsible for the following items at the specified phase of the construction project.

Preconstruction

  1. Ensuring proper planning for the safety of building occupants during construction or maintenance activities.
  2. Hiring a New York State-licensed architect or engineer for projects costing more than $5,000.
  3. Ensuring safety issues are addressed for bid specifications and contract documents.
  4. Providing notice to parents, staff, and the community in advance of any construction project costing $10,000 or more to be conducted in an occupied school building. The notice is to be given at least two months prior to the date on which construction is to begin, except in the case of emergency construction projects, in which case notice will be given as soon as practical. The notice will provide information on the District­’s obligation to provide a safe school environment during construction projects. The notice may be given by publication in the District newsletter, direct mailings, or by holding a public hearing on the project.
  5. Revising the District­’s emergency management plan, when appropriate, to accommodate the construction process, including a revised emergency exit plan and emergency evacuation and relocation procedures during the construction process.

During Construction

  1. Monitoring of construction and maintenance activities to check for safety violations and to ensure that certificate of occupancy requirements are continuously maintained.
  2. Ensuring that all areas to be disturbed through renovation or demolition are tested for lead and asbestos.
  3. Investigating and responding to health and safety complaints.
  4. Conducting fire drills during construction to familiarize students and staff with revised emergency procedures.
  5. Ensuring compliance with statutory and regulatory requirements regarding noise abatement, exits, ventilation, air quality, fire and hazard prevention, chemical fumes, gases and other contaminants, asbestos and lead paint abatement, and radon testing and mitigation.

Postconstruction

  1. Conducting a walk-through inspection with the Health and Safety Committee to confirm the area is ready to be reopened for use.

Cross-Ref.: 7100, Facilities Planning
8110, School Building Safety
8112, Health and Safety Committee
8130, School Safety Plans and Teams

Ref: Education Law §§ 409-d (Comprehensive Public School Building Safety Program;
409-e (Uniform Code of Public School Buildings Inspection, Safety Rating
and Monitoring)
8 NYCRR Part 155.4 (Uniform Code of Public School Building Inspections, Safety
Rating and Monitoring); 155. 5 (Uniform Safety Standards for School
Construction and Maintenance Projects)
9 NYCRR Parts 600-1250 (Uniform Fire Prevention & Building Code)

Adoption date: June 19, 2002
Reapproved date: August 7, 2019

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Policy 8111 | Reporting of Hazards

View the PDF version of the Reporting of Hazards Policy here.

The Board of Education (the Board) of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) recognizes its responsibility to provide an environment that is reasonably secure from known hazards. The Board therefore directs the superintendent and all professional and support staff members to comply with occupational safety and health regulations, including the Hazard Communication Standard and “Right-to-Know” legislation.

The superintendent will direct appropriate personnel to develop and oversee a written hazard communication program. Such a program will include the following:

  1. the acquisition, maintenance, and review of Safety Data Sheets for all known hazardous materials on District property;
  2. the compilation of a hazardous materials inventory;
  3. employee training in hazardous materials management and protection; and
  4. the recording of all incidents involving exposure to known hazardous materials. Records of employees who have been exposed to substances with enforceable exposure standards shall be kept for forty years.

The District will comply with the requirements for the visual notification of pesticide spraying as set forth in the Environmental Conservation Law.

It is the responsibility of the entire school community to report any unsafe building or equipment conditions to the main office of the building as soon as possible. In addition, designated administrators will provide notice of hazardous materials to current and former employees within seventy-two hours of a request.

If students observe other students acting in an unsafe manner, students should report this behavior to the nearest available staff member.

Cross-ref: 1120, School District Records
8115, Pesticides and Pest Management

Ref: 29 CFR §1910.1200 and 12 NYCRR Part 800 (Hazard Communication Standard)
40 CFR §763.95
Public Health Law, Article 48 and Labor Law, Article 28 (“Right-to-Know” Law)
Environmental Conservation Law §33-0101
State v. GTE Valeron Corp, 155 AD2d 166 (1990)
12 NYCRR §801.3

Adoption date: June 19, 2002
Revised date: September 23, 2019

Re-adopted: October 16, 2019


Policy 8112 | Health and Safety Committee

View the PDF version of the Health and Safety Committee Policy here.

The Board of Education (the Board) of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) recognizes the importance of the participation of District staff and parents in promoting a safe, secure, and healthy school environment. In accordance with the Commissioner­’s Regulations, the Board or designee will appoint a Health and Safety Committee composed, at a minimum, of representation from District officials, staff, and bargaining units.

The committee will participate in monitoring the condition of occupied school buildings to ensure that they are safe and maintained in a state of good repair. The superintendent will ensure that the committee is appropriately involved in all of the activities required by the Commissioner’­s Regulations. Specifically, the committee will:

  1. Participate in the investigation and disposition of health and safety complaints.
  2. Ensure that at least one member of the committee participates in the annual visual inspection.
  3. Consult with District officials in completing safety ratings of all occupied school buildings.
  4. Monitor safety during school construction projects, including periodic meetings to review issues and address complaints related to health and safety resulting from the project.
  5. Upon completion of a construction project, conduct a walk-through inspection to ensure the area is ready to be reopened for use.

Expanded Health and Safety Committee

During construction projects, the Health and Safety Committee will be expanded to include the architect, construction manager, and contractor. This expanded committee will:

  1. Participate in the investigation and disposition of health and safety complaints regarding the construction or maintenance project.
  2. Meet periodically to review issues and address complaints regarding health and safety arising from construction.
  3. Monitor safety during construction projects.
  4. After the work is completed, conduct a walk-through inspection to confirm that the area is ready to be reopened for use.

Cross-Ref.: 7365, Construction Safety
8110, School Building Safety
8220, Buildings and Grounds Maintenance and Inspection

Ref.: 8 NYCRR Part 155.4 (Uniform Code of Public School Building Inspections, Safety
Rating and Monitoring)

Adoption date: June 19, 2002
Revised date: August 7, 2019

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Policy 8115 | Pesticides and Pest Management

View the PDF version of the Pesticides and Pest Management Policy here.

The Board of Education (the Board) of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) is committed to maintaining the integrity of school buildings and grounds while protecting the health and safety of students and staff and maintaining a productive learning environment.

The Board recognizes that pests can pose a significant risk to health and property and there may be significant risks inherent in using chemical pesticides in the school environment. Provisions will be made for a least toxic approach to integrated pest management (IPM) for all school buildings and grounds in accordance with the Commissioner­’s Regulations. Integrated pest management is a systematic approach to managing pests focusing on long-term prevention or suppression with minimal impact on human health, the environment, and nontargeted organisms.

Notification of Pesticide Application

Board of Education approval is required for any application of certain pesticides/herbicides. All District staff and parent(s) and/or guardian(s) will be notified of pesticide applications performed at any school facility, upon request. A notice will be sent at the beginning of the school year that will include:

  1.   Notification of periodic pesticide applications throughout school year.
  2.   The availability of forty-eight-hour prior written notification of pesticide applications to parents and staff who request such notice.
  3.   Instructions on how to register with the school to receive this prior written notification.
  4.   The contact information for the school representative who can provide further information.

A separate notice will be sent to staff and parent(s) and/or guardian(s) within two days of the end of winter and spring recess and within ten days of the end of the school year that includes the date, location, and product used for each pesticide application which required prior notification and each emergency application.

The superintendent and/or the Health and Safety Coordinator shall ensure the dissemination of this policy and conduct any training necessary to ensure that all staff are fully informed about pesticides and pest management.

Cross-ref:

  • 8110, School Building Safety
  • 8220, Building and Grounds Maintenance and Inspection

Ref:

  • Environmental Conservation Law, Art.33 (Pesticides)
  • Education Law 409-h (Requirements for Notification of Pesticide Applications)
  • 6 NYCRR Part 325 (Application of Pesticides)
  • Child Safe Playing Fields Act (Education Law 409k)
  • 8 NYCRR 155.4 (Uniform Code of Public School Building Inspections, Safety
    Rating and Monitoring)
  • Desmond Americana v. Jorling, 153 AD2d 4 (3rd Dept. 1989)
  • IPM Workbook for New York State Schools, Cornell Cooperative Extension
  • Community IPM Program with support from New York State Dept. of
    Environmental Conservation, August 1998

Adoption date: June 19, 2002
Revised date: September 18, 2019

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Policy 8123 | Hygiene Precautions and Procedures

View the PDF version of the Hygiene Precautions and Procedures here.

The Board of Education (the Board) of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District), in order to promote and ensure the health and safety of all students and staff, adopts the following policy on hygiene and sanitary procedures for dealing with exposure to, or contact with, blood and other body fluids.

To prevent and/or minimize the transmission of contagious or communicable diseases or infections within the school community, all employees of the District shall utilize appropriate precautions when providing first aid or otherwise dealing with situations that involve exposure to, or contact with, blood and other body fluids. Such precautionary measures will be followed uniformly in all instances and shall be applicable in all buildings and facilities throughout the District.

The superintendent or designee is responsible for developing appropriate procedures to implement this policy and for informing all staff of such procedures and ensuring compliance with them. The failure by any employee to utilize such procedures may form the basis for disciplinary action.

Cross-ref: 5420, Student Health Services

Ref: National School Lunch Agreement
State Sanitary Code, Chapter 1, part 14 (“Service Food Establishments”)

Adoption date: June 19, 2002
Revised date: September 23, 2019

Re-adopted: October 16, 2019

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Policy 8123-R | Hygiene Precautions and Procedures

View the PDF version of the Hygiene Precautions and Procedures Policy Regulation here.

The following procedures shall be followed by all employees of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) when providing first aid or otherwise dealing with situations where there is the possibility for exposure to, or contact with, blood or other body fluids.

  1. Except in extraordinary, life-threatening circumstance, all employees must wear rubber gloves to prevent contact with blood or other body fluids when treating or cleaning open cuts, scrapes, abrasions, etc., or spills of blood or other body fluids.
  2. All spills of blood or other body fluids should be cleaned up first with soap and water and then with a 10 percent solution of household bleach. Gloves shall be worn throughout the cleanup process.
  3. If possible, feces should be disposed of in a toilet with normal flushing. All disposable materials, including gloves and contaminated materials used in the cleanup process, should be placed in a plastic bag and sealed. The sealed plastic bag should then be placed in a second plastic bag and disposed of properly.
  4. Mops and reusable items used to clean up spills should be disinfected with the bleach solution and then washed out before storage or reuse.
  5. Toys and/or other personal nondisposable items should be cleaned with warm, soapy water and disinfected with the bleach solution before reuse by another person or being stored away. A normal laundry cycle is adequate for other nondisposable items, including clothing. It is recommended that all nondisposable items be double bagged until they can be cleaned.
  6. All persons must wash their hands with soap and water after cleaning up any spill of blood or other body fluid.
  7. A supply of rubber gloves, bleach solution, and plastic bags (known as the hygiene kit) shall be maintained in each classroom and in all other locations within the District where a potential for direct exposure to blood or other body fluids exists, such as the gym, cafeteria, maintenance facility, bus garage, etc. The school nurse shall periodically check the status of each hygiene kit in the building or facility for which she/he is responsible. Bleach solutions will be replaced at least once each semester. An additional supply of rubber gloves shall be maintained in the nursing office in each school building or in the appropriate supervisor’s office at other locations.

Adoption date: June 19, 2002

Revised date: September 23, 2019

Re-adopted: October 16, 2019

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Policy 8123.1 | Contagious Diseases

View the PDF version of the Contagious Diseases Policy here.

The Board of Education (the Board) of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) believes that effective precautions and work practice controls are the best methods for the containment of potentially infectious materials and provide employees, students, and others in the school community with the best protection against such exposure to contagious diseases.

Consistent with this belief and federal regulations, the superintendent shall establish a written Exposure Control Plan designed to eliminate or minimize employee exposure to, or contact with, blood or other potentially infectious material.

The Exposure Control Plan shall include:

  1. a list of job classifications in which occupational exposure to blood or other infectious materials occur;
  2. the schedule and method of implementation required by federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations; and
  3. documentation of the route(s) of exposure, and the circumstances under which the exposure incident occurred.

The District shall ensure that a copy of the Exposure Control Plan is accessible to all employees.

The Exposure Control Plan shall be reviewed and updated at least annually and whenever necessary to reflect new or modified tasks and procedures that affect occupational exposure and to reflect new or revised employee positions with occupational exposure.

Cross-ref: 5420, Student Health Services

Ref: 29 CFR §1910.1030

Note: The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires school districts to develop a written Exposure Control Plan, though not necessarily a policy.

Adoption date: April 2, 2008

Revised date: September 23, 2019

Re-adopted: October 16, 2019

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Policy 8130 | School Safety Plans and Teams

View the PDF version of the School Safety Plans and Teams Policy here.

Emergencies and violent incidents in schools are critical issues that must be planned for and addressed in an expeditious and effective manner. The Board of Education (the Board) of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) recognizes its responsibility to maintain a comprehensive Districtwide School Safety Plan and Building-Level Emergency Response Plan(s) regarding crisis intervention and emergency response and management.

Taken together, the District and building plans shall provide a comprehensive approach to addressing school safety and violence prevention, and provide the structure where all individuals can fully understand their roles and responsibilities for promoting the safety of the entire school community. The plans shall be designed to prevent or minimize the effects of serious violent incidents and emergencies and to facilitate the District’s coordination with local and county resources. The plans shall also address risk reduction/prevention, response, and recovery with respect to a variety of emergencies and violent incidents in District schools.

In accordance with state law and regulation, the District shall have the following school safety teams and plans to deal with crisis intervention and emergency response and management:

Comprehensive Districtwide School Safety Team and Plan

The Board will appoint a Districtwide school safety team that includes, but is not be limited to, a representative from the Board; student, teacher, administrator, and parent organizations; school safety personnel; and other school personnel. This team shall be responsible for the development and review of a comprehensive Districtwide school safety plan. The plan shall cover all District buildings and shall address crisis intervention and emergency response and management at the District level. It shall include all those elements required by law and regulation. The Board will annually approve the Districtwide school safety plan.

A copy of the plan shall be available in the District offices for inspection by the public.

Building-Level Emergency Response Teams and Plans

Each principal shall be responsible for annually assigning a school safety team that includes representation from teachers, administrators, school safety personnel, other school personnel, local law enforcement officials, and local ambulance and other emergency response agencies. The school safety team shall be responsible for the development and review of a building-level emergency response plan for each District building. The plan(s) shall address communication, emergency response, and evacuation at the building level and shall include all procedures required by law and regulation.

Within each building, the school safety team shall designate:

  1. an emergency response team that includes appropriate school personnel; local law enforcement officials; and representatives from local, regional, and/or state emergency response agencies to assist the school community in responding to a serious violent incident or emergency; and
  2. a post-incident response team that includes appropriate school personnel, medical personnel, mental health counselors, and other related personnel to assist the community in coping with the aftermath of a serious violent incident or emergency.

The principal shall be responsible for conducting at least one test every school year of the emergency response procedures under this plan including procedures for sheltering and early dismissal.

To maintain security, and in accordance with law, the building-level emergency response plan(s) shall be confidential and shall not be subject to disclosure under the Freedom of Information Law or any other law.

Team Appointments

On an annual basis, the members of the District level team will be appointed by the Board while the building principal will assign the building-level team members. The Board and the principals will make an effort to include other persons beyond those groups identified in law and policy who can contribute to ensuring continuity among the plans.

Annual Review and Report

Each plan shall be reviewed by the appropriate school safety team by September 1st every year and updated as needed. In conducting the review, the building-level teams shall consider any changes in personnel, local conditions, and other factors, including an evaluation of the results of the annual test of the emergency response procedures that may necessitate updating of plans.

The superintendent shall be responsible for filing the District-level school safety plan and any amendments to the plan with the commissioner of Education within thirty days after their adoption. Each principal shall be responsible for filing the building-level safety plan for his or her building and any amendments to the plan with the appropriate local law enforcement agency and the state police within thirty days after their adoption.

Cross-Ref: 5300, Code of Conduct
8134, Emergency Closings

Ref: Education Law §2801-a (school safety plans)
Executive Law §2B (state and local natural and manmade disaster preparedness)
8 NYCRR Part 155 (Educational Facilities)
Project SAVE Guidance Document for School Safety Plans, New York State
Education Department, April 2001

Adoption date: June 19, 2002
Revised date: August 7, 2019

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Policy 8134 | Emergency Closing

View the PDF version of the Emergency Closing Policy here.

The superintendent of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) may close the schools or dismiss students/staff early when hazardous weather or other emergencies threaten the health or safety of students and personnel. The superintendent may delegate this authority to another staff member in the event of his/her absence. Such action is never to be taken lightly, for public education is one of the principal functions of the community and should be maintained at a normal level except in extreme circumstances.

Schools will not be closed merely to avoid inconvenience. While it may be prudent, under certain circumstances, to excuse all students from attending school, to delay the opening hour, or to dismiss students early, the superintendent has the responsibility to ensure that administrative, supervisory, and operational activity is continued to the extent possible. School closing and delayed starting times will be announced over local radio, television stations, through School Messenger and posted on the District webpage. If no report is heard, it can be assumed the schools are in session, and are opening on time.

In making the decision to close schools, the superintendent may consider many factors, including the following, which relate to the safety and health of children:

  1. weather conditions, both existing and predicted;
  2. driving, traffic, and parking conditions affecting public and private transportation facilities;
  3. actual occurrence or imminent possibility of any emergency condition that would make the operation of schools difficult or dangerous; and
  4. inability of teaching personnel to report for duty, which might result in inadequate supervision of students.the superintendent may consider advice from traffic and weather authorities, building principals, and school officials.

Students, parents, and staff will be informed early in each school year of the procedures that will be used to notify them in case of emergency closing.

Ref: Education Law §3604(7)

Adoption date: June 19, 2002
Revised date: September 18, 2019


Policy 8212 | Vandalism

View the PDF version of the Vandalism Policy here.

The Board of Education (the Board) of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) believes that students and faculty should respect property and take pride in the schools of the District. Any incidents of vandalism or theft of District property and the names of the person(s) responsible shall be reported to the superintendent or designee.

After repair or replacement of property, a bill for labor and materials shall be sent to the responsible party with a request for payment. The Board may determine that legal action against a vandal and/or his/her parents and/or guardians should be brought to recover costs for damages caused by a willful, malicious, or unlawful act of the child (for up to $5,000 per state law). The Board will direct the District attorney to institute and prosecute such a suit. The Board will also determine whether to offer monetary rewards for information leading to the arrest and conviction of vandals or thieves of District property (up to $1,000 per state law). All information pertaining to the investigation will be forwarded to the District attorney and the Albany County district attorney.

Cross-ref: 5300, Code of Conduct

Ref: Family Court Act §§757; 758-a
General Obligations Law §3-112
Education Law §§1604(35), (38); 1709(36),(38); 2509-g(15)
General Municipal Law §789

Adoption date: June 19, 2002
Revised date: September 23, 2019

Re-adopted: October 16, 2019


Policy 8332 | Use of Cell Phones

View the PDF version of the Use of Cell Phones Policy here.

The Board of Education (the Board) of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) recognizes that certain District employees may need to respond to urgent matters that require them to be reached promptly. The Board authorizes cell phones to be issued to employees pursuant to an annual review and affirmation of the business purpose that requires a phone to be provided by the District.

A list of job titles requiring District-owned cell phones shall be maintained in the Business Office and reported to the Board each year at its reorganizational meeting in July. The District shall establish the level of service contract and all such contracts shall be secured in accordance with the District’s purchasing policy.

Employees shall make every attempt to use their cell phones for business purposes only. In the event an employee uses a District-owned cell phone for other than business purposes, he/she shall keep communication to a reasonable length and reimburse the District within thirty days if non-business expenses are incurred under the service plan. Failure to follow these guidelines and to reimburse the District may result in revocation of the phone and discipline of the employee.

As with any District-owned equipment, employees must take proper care of cell phones and take all reasonable precautions against damage, loss, or theft, which must be reported immediately to the Business Office.

Adoption date: June 15, 2005
Revised date: October 4, 2006
Re-Adopted: July 6, 2011
Revised date: September 23, 2019

Re-adopted date: October 16, 2019


Policy 8334 | Use of Credit Cards

View the PDF version of the Use of Credit Cards Policy here.

The Board of Education (the Board) of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) permits the use of District credit cards (including credit arrangements such as gas credit cards and store credit accounts) by certain school officials to pay for actual and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of work-related duties and to purchase goods for the District. A list of those job titles that will be issued a District credit card will be maintained in the Business Office and reported to the Board each year at its reorganizational meeting in July.

The District shall establish a credit line not to exceed $5,000 for each card issued.

Credit cards may only be used for legitimate business expenditures. The use of credit cards is not intended to circumvent the District’s policy on purchasing. Users must submit detailed documentation, including itemized receipts for commodities, services, travel, and/or other actual and necessary expenses, which have been incurred in connection with school-related business for which the credit card has been used.

Users must take proper care of these credit cards and take all reasonable precautions against damage, loss, or theft, which must be reported immediately to the Business Office and to the appropriate financial institution.

Purchases that are unauthorized, illegal, represent a conflict of interest, are personal in nature, or violate the intent of this policy may result in credit card revocation and discipline of the employee.

The superintendent, or his/her designee, shall provide a copy of this policy to each cardholder and inform them of the procedures governing the use of the credit card.

Cross-ref: 6700, Purchasing
6830, Expense Reimbursement

Ref: Education Law §§1724(1); 2524(1) (itemized, audited, and approved vouchers required)
Opns. St. Compt. No. 79-202 (use of multi-purpose credit cards by municipal employees)
Opns. St. Compt. No. 79-494
Opns. St. Compt. No. 78-897 (gas credit cards)

Adoption date: June 15, 2005
Re-adopted: July 6, 2011
Re-adopted: July 3, 2012
Revised date: September 23, 2019

Re-adopted: October 16, 2019


Policy 8412 | Walking Distance to a Bus Stop

View the PDF version of the Walking Distance to a Bus Stop Policy here.

The Board of Education (the Board) of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) recognizes the need for safety and accountability for bus drivers to pick up children at assigned bus stops. Bus stops are assigned to children based on the proximity of their neighborhood of residence to a central area for meeting the school bus. Furthermore, it is the expectation that school bus drivers will stay on schedule and not create any changes to routes without the approval of the director of Transportation or his/her designee.

The purpose of this policy is to state the District’s official walking distance to assigned bus stops for the appropriate educational level:

  1. Grade K-5 is up to 1/10 of a mile from home to the bus stop.
  2. Grades 6-8 is up to 1/2 of a mile from home to the bus stop.
  3. Grades 9-12 is up to one mile from home to the bus stop.
  4. Any exceptions to the above guidelines will be at the discretion of the director of Transportation.

Parent(s) and/or guardian(s) are responsible for the safety of their children to and from the bus stop. Buses will not stop for pick up or drop off except at the assigned stop. No accommodations will be made for passengers requesting a drop off at a house on the route.

Any bus driver who arbitrarily stops anywhere other than the assigned bus stop, on their own and without the approval of the director of Transportation or his/her designees, will be subject to disciplinary actions and possible suspension from work.

Adoption date: July 7, 2010
Revised date: February 6, 2013
Revised date: September 23, 2019

Re-adopted: October 16, 2019


Policy 8413 | Public School Transportation

View the PDF version of the Public School Transportation Policy here.

Resident pupils are eligible for transportation between their home/childcare location and the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) school they legally attend, in accordance with State Education law and regulations and Board of Education policies.

K-12 students who wish to utilize an established bus route other than the one they have been assigned (i.e., late bus route, drop off to an alternate residence) must have a written bus pass in their possession before they are allowed to board the alternate bus. Bus passes must be completely filled out and signed by the school principal or his/her designee(s). Bus passes will not be used to provide drop off at a student’s work location or at a day camp or afterschool program operated for the purpose of religious education, sports, or recreation.

Students are not entitled to “door-to-door” transportation. It is the responsibility of the parent(s), guardian(s), or daycare provider(s) to ensure safe travel to and from the bus stop and supervision of the students while waiting for the bus.

Ref: Education Law

Adoption date: September 19, 2007
Revised date: February 6, 2013
Revised date: September 23, 2019

Re-adopted: October 16, 2019


Policy 8413.1 | Nonpublic School Transportation

View the PDF version of the Nonpublic School Transportation Policy here.

Resident pupils attending nonpublic schools outside of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) will be transported up to a maximum of fifteen miles from their home to the school, in accordance with state regulations. Non-public schools located within the district are eligible for transportation in accordance with District policies.

Transportation requests for students attending nonpublic schools must be received by the District’s Transportation Department no later than April 1st preceding the beginning of the next school year, and must be resubmitted for every school year thereafter no later than April 1st. If a student moves into the District later than April 1st, the request must be received within thirty days of establishing residence in the District.

All late requests, however, shall be considered by the Board of Education (the Board) on the basis of the merits of each case. Criteria used by the Board in judging whether to accept a late request may include, but not be limited to, the following:

  1. State Education regulations and law.
  2. Whether transportation will require additional cost and/or lengthen the ride time for other students and, if so, the reasonableness of the excuse for the late request.

Nonpublic schools will be expected to schedule the opening or closing hours of school within reasonable times of the Bethlehem opening and closing. The District will not provide transportation to nonpublic schools on days when public schools are scheduled to be closed. Nonpublic school requests for late bus transportation for students attending nonpublic schools may be considered, but such consideration will be limited to the type and timing of late bus transportation approved for students attending the public schools of the District. The transfer routes for nonpublic transportation will not be considered late bus transportation.

Cross-ref: 8411, School Bus Scheduling and Routing
8411-R, School Bus Scheduling and Routing Regulation
8412, Walking Distance to a Bus Stop
8413, Public School Transportation

Ref: Education Law

Adoption date: September 19, 2007
Revised date: February 6, 2013
Revised date: September 23, 2019

Re-adopted: October 16, 2019


Policy 8630 | Technology Resources and Data Management

View the PDF version of the Technology Resources and Data Management Policy here.

The Board of Education (the Board) of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) recognizes that computers, computer networks, and other technological resources are needed for instruction, as well as management of District business. The Board also recognizes that District Technology is used to create, store, and transfer data created by students, staff, and other authorized users. This Technology Resources and Data Management Policy sets forth the Board’s expectations regarding management of District Technology and Data.

Definitions

  1. “District Technology” includes:
    1. All District-owned, leased, or controlled computer equipment, software, applications, and other electronic devices (including, but not limited to, Chromebooks, laptops, smartphones, databases, webpages, and email accounts, social media accounts, etc.);
    2. The District’s computer network, including network components located on school premises and remote components, such as District-authorized cloud storage solutions (e.g., Google Classroom); and
    3. District-owned, leased, or controlled wired and wireless connections used to access the District’s computer network or the internet.
  2. “Data” includes:
    1. Data accessed, created, compiled, stored, or maintained on District Technology, regardless of whether such Data was created for District purposes and regardless of who owns the legal rights to such Data; and
    2. Data accessed, created, compiled, stored, or maintained on any District-authorized cloud storage solution, regardless of whether such Data was created for District purposes and regardless of who owns the legal rights to such Data.
  3. “Personal Device” includes any computing device not owned, leased, or controlled by the District.
  4. “User” includes any person who is authorized to access District Technology or Data, including students, staff, Board members, contractors, and visitors.

Management Responsibilities

  1. The superintendent is responsible for designating a Director of Technology (DOT) to oversee the installation, use, management, and disposal of District Technology and Data.
  2. The superintendent, working in conjunction with the designated purchasing agent for the District and the DOT, is responsible for:
    1. Preparing a comprehensive multiyear technology plan for Board approval, which may be revised from time to time (subject to Board approval) to reflect changing technology and District needs;
    2. Purchasing, distributing, and/or installing District Technology pursuant to the Board-approved technology plan, including devices that may be issued directly to students for their use both in school and outside of school;
    3. Adopting reasonable and appropriate procedures relating to the access, use, storage, and disposal of District Technology and Data;
    4. Adopting reasonable and appropriate internet filtering technologies required to comply with the District’s Internet Safety Policy and Regulation (4526.1/4526.1-R);
    5. Adopting reasonable and appropriate technical, administrative, and physical safeguards to protect the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of District Technology and Data;
    6. Preparing reasonable and appropriate notices and training programs for Users relating to appropriate use of District Technology, Data, and Internet Safety;
    7. Adopting reasonable procedures to create and manage administrative and individual User accounts, including maintaining District access rights to all such accounts;
    8. Implementation of all other District policies relating to District Technology and Data, including but not necessarily limited to:
      1. Policy No. 4526 and Regulation No. 4526-R concerning Acceptable Use of District Technology;
      2. Policy No. 4526.1 and Regulation No. 4526.1-R concerning Internet Safety; and
      3. Policy No. 8635 and Regulation No. 8635-R concerning Information Security Breach and Notification.

User Rights and Limitation of District Obligations

  1. No Expectation of Privacy. Users have no expectation of privacy regarding use of District Technology or storage of Data on District Technology, including, but not limited to, Data contained in any User account, on the District’s computer network, on any authorized cloud computing solution, or on any device issued by the District to any student, staff member, or other person.
  2. No Warranties. The District makes no warranties of any kind, express or implied, relating to access to, or use of, District Technology or Data. Further, the District assumes no responsibility for the quality, availability, accuracy, nature, or reliability of the service and/or information provided. Users of District Technology use such technology at their own risk. Each User must understand that information obtained from the internet or other online sources is not necessarily reliable and the User is solely responsible for any subsequent use of information obtained from the internet or other online source.
  3. Limits on Filtering Technology. No internet filtering/blocking software is 100 percent effective. The District is not responsible for the failure of such software to block or prevent access to all potentially objectionable content.
  4. Limits on Security Controls. No security controls are 100 percent effective to eliminate all threats. The District is not responsible for the failure of any reasonable security controls to preserve the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of District Technology or Data.

Cross-Reference: 1130.1 Social Media Guidelines
4526 Acceptable Use
4526.1 Internet Safety
8635 Information Security Breach and Notification

Adoption date: August 9, 2017
Revised date: September 23, 2019

Re-adopted: October 16, 2019


Policy 8630-R | Technology Resources and Data Management Regulation

View the PDF version of the Technology Resources and Data Management Regulation here.

This Technology Resources and Data Management Regulation (Regulation) establishes the general rules for procurement, management, and disposal of Bethlehem Central School District (the District) Technology Resources and Data pursuant to the District’s Technology Resources and Data Management Policy #8630.

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

Administration

  1. The District’s Director of Technology (DOT) is responsible for overseeing the installation, management, use, and disposal of District Technology and Data.
  2. Responsibilities delegated to the DOT include:
    1. Deploying, maintaining, and retiring of District Technology pursuant to the District’s multiyear technology plan and consistent with Policy # 6900 relating to disposal of District property;
    2. Identifying technology vendors to supply technology solutions that meet the requirements of the District’s multiyear technology plan and working to procure such technology solutions consistent with Policy # 6700 regarding purchasing;
    3. Developing guidelines for issuance and use of District-owned, leased, or controlled devices to students and staff, including use of such devices in school and outside the school setting;
    4. Monitoring, examining, and auditing use of District Technology, including the District’s computer network, to confirm compliance with all applicable District policies and regulations;
    5. Conducting due diligence on third-party suppliers, including cloud service providers, to confirm compliance with all applicable District policies and regulations;
    6. Developing and implementing procedures for backup and storage of Data, including facilitation of the District’s disaster recovery plan, compliance with Policy # 1120 (School District Records), and use of third-party cloud storage providers;
    7. Developing, acquiring, and implementing reasonable technical, administrative, and physical safeguards to protect the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of District Technology and Data;
    8. Maintaining all consents and/or acknowledgments signed by Users relating to Acceptable Use, Internet Safety, and Technology Resources and Data Management and documenting receipt of such consents in a database or other convenient format;
    9. Working with the superintendent and other appropriate school officials to ensure appropriate staffing for District Technology management functions;
    10. Disseminating and interpreting District policy and regulations governing District Technology and Data;
    11. Providing notices, training, and educational materials relating to the appropriate use of District Technology and management of Data to Users;
    12. Providing technical support to Users, including support for devices issued by the District to students for use both in school and outside the school setting;
    13. Restricting and/or terminating access of any person to District Technology or Data for failure to comply with applicable policies and regulations; and
    14. All other tasks necessary to implement and comply with policies and regulations relating to District Technology and Data

User Account Management

Student internet access is addressed in policy # 4526 and regulation # 4526-R, Computer Use for Instruction. District employees and third-party users are governed by the following regulations:

  1. Staff, students, and Board members will be issued user accounts or otherwise be granted access to use District Technology appropriate to their needs in connection with instruction and operation of the District, which may include access to the District’s computer network, email, and cloud computing services.
  2. From time to time, other Users with a legitimate need, including vendors or volunteers, may be issued accounts or otherwise granted access to use District Technology for a limited period of time and strictly limited to that User’s specific needs.
  3. Prior to granting access to District Technology or Data, all Users shall be notified of their obligations, the limitations of their rights, and limitations of the District’s obligations with respect to District Technology and Data.
  4. The DOT and/or his/her designee may retain master administrative passwords or use other means to access, inspect, monitor, suspend, or terminate any administrative or User account at any time and for any reason consistent with law and/or any District policy or regulation.

Adoption date: August 9, 2017
Revised date: September 23, 2019

Re-adopted: October 16, 2019

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Policy 8635 | Information Security Breach & Notification

View the PDF version of this Information Security Breach & Notification Policy here.

The Board of Education (the Board) of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) acknowledges the state’s concern regarding the rise in identity theft and the need for prompt notification when security breaches occur. To this end, the Board directs the superintendent, in accordance with appropriate business and technology personnel, to establish regulations that:

  1. Identify and/or define the types of private information that is to be kept secure. For purposes of this policy, “private information” does not include information that can lawfully be made available to the general public pursuant to federal or state law or regulation.
  2. Include procedures to identify any breaches of security that result in the release of private information.
  3. Include procedures to notify persons affected by the security breach as required by law.

Additionally, pursuant to Labor Law §203-d, the District will not communicate employee “personal identifying information” to the general public. This includes Social Security number, home address, or telephone number, personal email address, internet identification name or password, surname of parent(s) and/or guardian(s) prior to marriage, or driver’s license number. In addition, the District will protect employee Social Security numbers in that such numbers shall not: be publicly posted or displayed; be printed on an ID badge, card, or time card; be placed in files with unrestricted access; or be used for occupational licensing purposes. Employees with access to such information shall be notified of these prohibitions and their obligations.

Any breach of the District’s computerized data that compromises the security, confidentiality, or integrity of personal information maintained by the District shall be promptly reported to the superintendent and the Board.

Ref: State Technology Law §§201-208
Labor Law §203-d

Adoption date: January 4, 2012
Reapproved date: September 18, 2019

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Policy 8635-R | Information Security Breach & Notification Regulation

View the PDF version of the Information Security Breach & Notification Regulation here.

The Board of Education (the Board) of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) acknowledges the state’s concern regarding the rise in identity theft and the need for prompt notification when security breaches occur. To this end, the Board directs the superintendent, in accordance with appropriate business and technology personnel, to establish regulations that:

Definitions

“Private information” shall mean personal information (i.e., information such as name, number, symbol, mark, or other identifiers that can be used to identify a person) in combination with any one or more of the following data elements, when either the personal information or the data element is not encrypted or encrypted with an encryption key that has also been acquired:

  1. Social Security number;
  2. Driver’s license number or nondriver identification card number; or 
  3. Account number, or credit or debit card number, in combination with any required security code, access code, or password that would permit access to an individual’s financial account.

Note: “Private information” does not include publicly available information that is lawfully made available to the general public pursuant to state or federal law or regulation.

“Breach of the security of the system” shall mean unauthorized acquisition or acquisition without valid authorization of computerized data that compromises the security, confidentiality, or integrity of personal information maintained by the District. Good-faith acquisition of personal information by an officer, employee, or agent of (and for the purposes of) the District is not a breach of the security of the system, provided that the private information is not used or subject to unauthorized disclosure.

To successfully implement this policy, the District shall inventory its computer programs and electronic files to determine the types of personal, private information that is maintained or used by the District, and review the safeguards in effect to secure and protect that information.

Procedure for Identifying Security Breaches

In determining whether information has been acquired, or is reasonably believed to have been acquired, by an unauthorized person or a person without valid authorization, the District shall consider:

  1. Indications that the information is in the physical possession and control of an unauthorized person, such as a lost or stolen computer, or other device containing information.
  2. Indications that the information has been downloaded or copied.
  3. Indications that the information was used by an unauthorized person. Examples include, but are not limited to:
    1. fraudulent accounts opened;
    2. instances of identity theft reported; and/or
    3. any other instance of identity or information theft.
  4. Any other factors that the District shall deem appropriate and relevant to such determination.

Security Breaches — Procedures and Methods for Notification

Once it has been determined that a security breach has occurred, the following steps shall be taken:

  1. If the breach involved computerized data owned or licensed by the District, the District shall notify those New York State residents whose private information was, or is reasonably believed to have been, acquired by a person without valid authorization. The disclosure to affected individuals shall be made in the most expedient time possible and without unreasonable delay, consistent with the legitimate needs of law enforcement, or any measures necessary to determine the scope of the breach and to restore the reasonable integrity of the system. The District shall consult with the New York State Office of Cyber Security & Critical Infrastructure Coordination (CSCIC) to determine the scope of the breach and restoration measures.
  2. If the breach involved computer data maintained by the District, the District shall notify the owner or licensee of the information of the breach immediately following discovery, if the private information was, or is reasonably believed to have been, acquired by a person without valid authorization.

Note:  The notification requirement may be delayed if a law enforcement agency determines that such notification impedes a criminal investigation. The required notification shall be made after the law enforcement agency determines that such notification does not compromise the investigation.

The required notice shall include (a) District contact information; (b) a description of the categories of information that were, or are reasonably believed to have been, acquired without authorization; and (c) which specific elements of personal or private information were, or are reasonably believed to have been, acquired. This notice shall be directly provided to the affected individuals by:

  1. Written notice.
  2. Electronic notice, provided that the person to whom notice is required has expressly consented to receiving the notice in electronic form; and that the District keeps a log of each such electronic notification. In no case, however, shall the District require a person to consent to accepting such notice in electronic form as a condition of establishing a business relationship or engaging in any transaction.
  3. Telephone notification, provided that the District keeps a log of each such telephone notification.

However, if the District can demonstrate to the state attorney general that (a) the cost of providing notice would exceed $250,000; or (b) that the number of persons to be notified exceeds 500,000; or (c) that the District does not have sufficient contact information, substitute notice may be provided. Substitute notice would consist of all of the following steps:

  1. E-mail notice when the District has such address for the affected individual;
  2. Conspicuous posting on the District’s website, if they maintain one; and
  3. Notification to major media.

Notification of State and Other Agencies

Once notice has been made to affected New York State residents, the District shall notify the state attorney general, the Consumer Protection Board, and CSCIC as to the timing, content, and distribution of the notices and approximate number of affected persons.

If more than 5,000 New York State residents are to be notified at one time, the District shall also notify consumer reporting agencies as to the timing, content, and distribution of the notices and the approximate number of affected individuals. A list of consumer reprinting agencies will be furnished, upon request, by the Office of the State Attorney General.

Adoption date: January 4, 2012
Revised date: September 18, 2019

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Policy 8700 | Insurance

View the PDF version of the Insurance Policy here.

The Bethlehem Central School District (the District) shall purchase insurance coverage necessary to protect the District to an optimum extent from loss of property and judgments and awards arising out of liability claims. The Board of Education (the Board) shall select a broker who shall advise it in the administration of the insurance program. 

The superintendent shall have general knowledge of the provisions of all insurance policies carried by the District. The superintendent shall annually review the insurance program for the purpose of considering if there are prudent adjustments to be made in coverage resulting from, but not limited to, expansion of the District’s risks, relevant new laws, and superseding conditions that make changes in coverage appropriate. At the time of accident or loss, he/she shall see that action is taken necessary to protect the interests of the District.

The Board shall purchase with District funds the type and amount of insurance appropriate to protect itself as a corporate body, its individual members, its appointed officers, and its employees from financial loss arising out of any claim, demand, suit, or judgment by reason of alleged negligence or other act resulting in accidental bodily injury to any person or accidental damage to the property of any person within or without the school buildings while the above-named insured are acting in the discharge of their duties within the scope of their employment and/or under the direction of the Board. Such purchase will take into account the price of insurance, appropriate deductibles, and other relevant factors.

Premiums for such accident insurance as is deemed appropriate for students in grades pre-kindergarten through twelve, participating in interscholastic, intramural, and physical education sports activities, or while engaged in practice preparation for such games, sports, or contests, will be paid from the General Fund.

Ref: Education Law §§1709(8)(8-a)(8-b); 3023; 3028; 3811
General Municipal Law §§6-n; 50-c and 50-e
Lynd v. Heffernan, 286 AD 597 (3d Dept. 1955)
Surdell v. City of Oswego, 91 Misc.2d 1041 (1977)

Adoption date: June 19, 2002
Revised date: September 18, 2019

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Policy 9520.2 | Family and Medical Leave

View the PDF version of the Family and Medical Leave Policy here.

Consistent with the federal Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA), the Board of Education (the Board) of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) recognizes the right of eligible employees to take up to twelve weeks of unpaid leave during any twelve-month period for certain family and medical reasons (Basic FMLA Leave), and to take up to twenty-six weeks of unpaid leave in a single twelve-month period to care for a military-covered service member who has a serious injury or illness that was incurred in the line of duty (Military Caregiver FMLA Leave). Any such leave shall be provided in accordance with FMLA, applicable District policies and collective bargaining agreements.

In order to be eligible for leave under FMLA, a District employee must (a) have worked for the District for at least twelve months, (b) have worked at least 1,250 hours in the immediately preceding twelve months, and (c) be employed at a worksite where at least fifty employees are employed by the District within a seventy-five-mile radius of that worksite.

Eligible employees must be taking Basic FMLA Leave for one of the following reasons:

  1. For the birth of the employee’s child, to care for the child after birth, or for placement with the employee of a child for adoption or foster care;
  2. To care for a spouse, child, or parent with a serious health condition;
  3. For the serious health condition of the employee that makes the employee unable to perform the functions of their job; and
  4. For specific qualifying exigencies arising when an employee’s spouse,child, or parent is on covered active military duty, or is called to covered active military duty.

Eligible employees must be taking Military Caregiver FMLA Leave to care for a covered service member (as defined by FMLA) who is the employee’s spouse, child, parent, or other next-of-kin, and who has a serious injury or illness.

When FMLA leave is foreseeable, then at least thirty days prior to the date when the leave is to begin, in accordance with procedures established by the District:

  • All employees wishing to take leave under FMLA shall notify the Director of Human Resources of his/her request for such leave.

If such leave is not foreseeable, then notice shall be given as early as is practical.

Under the law, FMLA leave is unpaid. However, FMLA permits employees to choose, or employers to require employees, to use accrued paid leave while taking FMLA leave. Where an employee chooses, or the District requires an employee, to use accrued paid leave while taking leave under FMLA, such employee must comply with the terms of any applicable collective bargaining agreement or other applicable paid leave policy. 

The District shall maintain group health insurance coverage for any employee on FMLA leave, whenever such insurance was provided before the leave was taken, on the same terms as if the employee had continued to work. If necessary, arrangements will be made for employees to pay their share of insurance premiums while on leave.

Except as otherwise provided by FMLA, an employee who takes leave under FMLA will be able to return to the same job or a job with equivalent pay, benefits, and other employment terms. The taking of FMLA leave cannot result in the loss of any benefit that accrued prior to the start of such leave.

The District shall post a notice prepared or approved by the secretary of Labor stating the pertinent provisions of FMLA, including information concerning enforcement of the law. A copy of this Board Policy and corresponding administrative regulations shall be distributed to current employees and to each new employee upon hire.

Ref: 29 U.S.C. §§2601-2654 (the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993)
29 C.F.R. Part 825

Adoption date: May 18, 2011
Revised date: September 23, 2019

Re-adopted: October 16, 2019


Policy 9520.2-R | Family and Medical Leave Regulation

View the PDF version of the Family and Medical Leave Regulation here.

In accordance with the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA), the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) will grant to eligible employees up to twelve weeks of unpaid leave during any twelve-month period for certain family and medical reasons (Basic FMLA Leave), and up to twenty-six weeks of unpaid leave in a single twelve-month period to care for a military-covered service member who has a serious injury or illness that was incurred in the line of duty (Military Caregiver FMLA Leave). Any such leave shall be provided in accordance with FMLA, applicable District policies, and collective bargaining agreements.

Eligible Employees

In order to be eligible for leave under FMLA, a District employee must (a) have worked for the District for at least twelve months, (b) have worked at least 1,250 hours in the immediately preceding twelve months, and (c) be employed at a worksite where at least fifty employees are employed by the District within a seventy-five- mile radius of that worksite.

In accordance with FMLA, a full-time classroom teacher is presumed to meet the 1,250 hour requirement, in the absence of evidence to the contrary. “Teacher” is defined by FMLA and includes an employee employed principally in an instructional capacity whose principal function is to teach and instruct students. The term “teacher” does not include teacher assistants or aides who do not have as their principal function actual teaching or instructing, nor auxiliary personnel such as counselors, psychologists, curriculum specialists, cafeteria workers, maintenance workers, bus drivers, or other primarily noninstructional employees.

Reasons for Leave

Eligible employees must be taking Basic FMLA Leave for one of the following reasons:

  1. For the birth of the employee’s child or to care for the child after birth (so long as such leave
    concludes within twelve months from the date of the child’s birth) or for placement with the employee of a child for adoption or foster care (so long as such leave concludes within twelve months from the date of the child’s placement);
  2. To care for a spouse, partner, child, or parent with a serious health condition;
  3. For the serious health condition of the employee that makes the employee unable to perform the functions of their job; and
  4. For specific qualifying exigencies arising when an employee’s spouse, child, or parent is on covered active military duty, or is called to covered active military duty. “Qualifying exigencies” are defined by FMLA and include, by example, attending certain military events, arranging for alternative childcare, addressing certain legal and financial arrangements, attending certain counseling sessions, and attending postdeployment reintegration briefings.

Eligible employees must be taking Military Caregiver FMLA Leave to care for a covered service member (as defined by FMLA) who is the employee’s spouse, child, parent, or other next-of-kin, and who has a serious injury or illness.

A “serious health condition” is defined by the FMLA and includes an illness, impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves either an overnight stay in a medical care facility, or continuing treatment by a healthcare provider for a condition that either prevents the employee from performing the function of the employee’s job, or prevents the qualified family member from participating in school or other daily activities. Subject to certain conditions, the continuing treatment requirement may be met by a period of incapacity of more than three consecutive calendar days combined with at least two visits to a healthcare provider or one visit and a regimen of continuing treatment, or incapacity due to pregnancy, or incapacity due to a chronic condition. Other conditions may meet the definition of continuing treatment.

A “serious injury or illness,” in the case a covered service member, is defined by FMLA and includes: (a) for a member of the Armed Forces, an injury or illness that incurred in the line of active duty (or existed before the beginning of the active duty and was aggravated by service in the line of active duty) and that may render the member medically unfit to perform the duties of the member’s office, grade, rank, or rating; and (b) for certain veterans who were members of the Armed Forces, a qualifying (as defined by the secretary of Labor) injury or illness that was incurred by the member in the line of active duty (or existed before the beginning of active duty and was aggravated by service in the line of active duty) and that manifested itself before or after the member became a veteran.

Period of Leave

An eligible employee is entitled to take up to a total of twelve weeks of Basic FMLA Leave in a twelve-month period. For purposes of calculating such twelve-month period, the period is measured forward from the date on which an employee uses any Basic FMLA Leave.

An eligible employee is entitled to take up to a total of twenty-six weeks of Military Caregiver FMLA Leave during a “single twelve-month period.” The “single twelve-month period” is measured forward from the date on which an employee first begins Military Caregiver FMLA Leave.

During each single twelve-month period, an eligible employee is limited to a combined total of twenty-six weeks of Basic FMLA Leave and Military Caregiver FMLA Leave, of which no more than twelve weeks may be attributable to Basic FMLA Leave.

In certain instances, spouses who are both employed by the District may be entitled to only an aggregate total of twelve or twenty-six weeks of leave under this policy, as applicable.

Procedure for Requesting Leave

When FMLA leave is foreseeable, then at least thirty days prior to the date when the leave is to begin, in accordance with procedures established by the District:

  • Teachers and administrators wishing to take leave under FMLA shall notify the superintendent of their request for such leave; and
  • All other employees wishing to take leave under FMLA shall notify the chief business and financial officer of their request for such leave.

If such leave is not foreseeable, then notice shall be given as early as is practical.

Employees must provide sufficient information in order for the District to determine if the requested leave qualifies under FMLA, and the anticipated timing and duration of such leave. Employees also may be required to provide a certification and periodic recertification supporting the need for leave.

Notification of Eligibility and Designation of FMLA Leave

Absent extenuating circumstances, the District will notify an employee in writing of their eligibility for leave under FMLA within five business days after the employee submits their request for leave, or after the District is otherwise aware of the employee’s need for such leave. Such notice will specify any additional information required, as well as the employee’s rights and responsibilities while on such leave. If the District determines that an employee is not eligible for leave under FMLA, the District will notify the employee in writing and provide a reason for the ineligibility.

The District also will inform an employee if their leave will be designated as leave under FMLA and the amount of leave counted against the employee’s FMLA leave entitlement. If the District determines that the requested leave is not FMLA leave, the District will notify the employee and provide a reason.

Use of Accrued Leave Time Under FMLA

Under the law, FMLA leave is unpaid. However, FMLA permits employees to choose, or employers to require employees, to use accrued paid leave while taking FMLA leave. Where an employee chooses, or the District requires an employee, to use accrued paid leave while taking leave under FMLA, such employee must comply with the terms of any applicable collective bargaining agreement or other applicable paid leave policy.

The District requires employees to use the following accrued paid time prior to taking unpaid FMLA leave:

Type of FMLA Leave Type of Accrued Time Which Must Be Substituted
Basic FMLA Leave for an employee’s own serious health condition Accrued vacation time, personal time, sick time and any other accrued paid leave
Basic FMLA Leave for the serious health condition of the employee’s spouse, child, or parent Accrued vacation time, personal time, sick time and any other accrued paid leave
Military Caregiver FMLA Leave Accrued vacation time, personal time, sick time and any other accrued paid leave
Any other kind of FMLA leave Accrued vacation time, personal time, sick time and any other accrued paid leave

Substituted paid leave will run concurrently with the 12- or 26-week FMLA period. 

For employees taking an unpaid leave (pursuant to established District policies) that is also an FMLA-qualifying leave, the District will require such unpaid leave to run concurrently with the FMLA leave.

Maintenance of and Effect on Benefits

The District shall maintain group health insurance coverage for any employee on FMLA leave, whenever such insurance was provided before the leave was taken, on the same terms as if the employee had continued to work. Arrangements will be made for employees to pay their share of insurance premiums while on leave. The District may, as permitted by the FMLA, recover premiums paid by the District to maintain an employee’s insurance coverage if that employee fails to return to work from FMLA leave.

Seniority will continue to accrue during any paid FMLA leave. Seniority will not accrue during any unpaid FMLA leave, provided that the employee must be notified in writing that the unpaid FMLA leave will not be counted for purses of seniority.

Intermittent Leave

In certain circumstances, FMLA leave may be taken intermittently or on a reduced schedule basis, rather than in one block. Intermittent leave is leave taken in separate blocks of time due to a single qualifying reason. A reduced leave schedule is a leave schedule that reduces an employee’s usual number of working hours per work week, or hours per workday.

An eligible employee may use intermittent or reduced schedule leave:

  1. Because of the employee’s own serious health condition, to care for a parent or child with a serious health condition, or for Military Caregiver FMLA Leave if there is a medical need for such leave and such medical need can be best accommodated through leave on an intermittent or reduced schedule basis; or
  2. For Basic FMLA Leave due to qualifying exigencies arising when an employee’s spouse, child, or parent is on covered active military duty, or is called to covered active military duty.

An eligible employee may take intermittent leave or reduced schedule leave after the birth or placement of a healthy child, only if the District agrees. Special rules apply if a teacher desires to take intermittent or reduced schedule leave.

Employees requesting intermittent or reduced schedule leave must attempt to schedule their leave so as not to disrupt the District’s operations. The District may, in certain circumstances, assign an employee to an alternative position with equivalent pay and benefits that better accommodates the employee’s intermittent or reduced leave schedule.

Return from Leave

Except as otherwise provided by FMLA, an employee who takes leave under FMLA will be able to return to the same job or a job with equivalent pay, benefits, and other employment terms. The taking of FMLA leave cannot result in the loss of any benefit that accrued prior to the start of such leave.

In addition, special rules apply if a teacher desires to take FMLA leave near the end of an academic term.

  • If a teacher begins FMLA leave more than five weeks before the end of a term, the District may require the employee to continue taking leave until the end of the term if: (i) the leave will last at least three weeks and (ii) the employee would return to work during the three-week period before the end of the term.
  • If a teacher begins leave during the five-week period before the end of a term because of the birth of a child; the placement of a child for adoption or foster care; to care for a spouse, child, or parent with a serious health condition; or to care for a covered service member, the District may require the employee to continue to take leave until the end of the term if: (i) the leave will last more than two weeks; and (ii) the employee would return to work during the two week period before the end of the term.
  • If a teacher begins leave during the three-week period before the end of the term because of the birth of a child; the placement of a child for adoption or foster care; to care for a spouse, child, or parent with a serious health condition; or to care for a covered service member, the District may require the employee to continue to take leave until the end of the term if the leave will last more than five working days.

In the case of an employee who is required to take leave until the end of an academic term, only the period of FMLA leave until the employee is ready and able to return to work shall be charged against the employee’s FMLA leave entitlement; however, the District shall maintain the employee’s group health insurance for the additional leave period required by the District to the end of the term.

Prior to returning from FMLA leave, the District may require that an employee present a certification of fitness to return to work when the absence was caused by the employee’s serious health condition.

Failure to return from any leave may result in the employee’s termination. 

Enforcement

FMLA makes it unlawful for any employer to interfere with, restrain, or deny the exercise of any right provided under FMLA, or to discharge or discriminate against any person for opposing any practice made unlawful by FMLA or for involvement in any proceeding under FMLA. FMLA does not affect any federal or state law prohibiting discrimination. An employee who disagrees with any determination by the District regarding a request for leave, or who believes that he or she has been retaliated against for requesting or taking FMLA leave, may file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Labor or commence a private lawsuit.

Notice of Policy

The District shall post a notice prepared or approved by the secretary of Labor stating the pertinent provisions of FMLA, including information concerning enforcement of the law. A copy of the Board Policy and these regulations shall be distributed to current employees and to each new employee upon hire.

Adoption date: May 18, 2011
Revised date: September 18, 2019

Re-adopted: October 16, 2019


Policy 9170 | Meals and Refreshments

View the PDF version of the Meals and Refreshments Policy here.

The Board of Education (the Board) recognizes that, occasionally, it may be appropriate to provide refreshments and/or meals at Bethlehem Central School District (the District) meetings or events that are being held for a District or educational purpose. Any expenditure on such refreshments and/or meals must be approved in advance by the appropriate building administrator. Refreshments consist of light snacks and beverages, which may be provided as is professionally customary, for meetings during nonmeal periods. Meal requests may be approved when:

  • Officers and/or employees of the District will be prevented from taking time off for food consumption due to a pressing need to complete the business at hand;
  • The District is faced with business of an immediate nature and meetings of District employees are essential at mealtime;
  • The District wishes to recognize the services provided by volunteers or other unsalaried members of the District (in such cases, however, only the meals of those being recognized may be reimbursed and the cost of the meals must be reasonable).

Examples of authorized expenditures include, but are not limited to, refreshments and/or meals for staff on teacher orientation day at the beginning of each year, staff recognition including opening day and at year-end, refreshments during professional development on Superintendent’s Conference Day or faculty meetings, community/district meetings, assessment day grading of tests, receptions for volunteers, and other meetings at which District business is conducted.

Expenditures must be reasonable, actual, and necessary. Reasonable is defined as a nominal per person amount for refreshments, and within the federal travel reimbursement rate schedules for meals. Necessary is defined as professionally customary and as is approved by the appropriate administrator. All expenses must be appropriately documented, including the date, purpose of the meeting, and the group in attendance, and submitted to the District’s Business Office for the purposes of audit and possible reimbursement.

Cross-ref: 6830, Travel Expense Reimbursement

Ref: NY Constitution, Art. VIII, 1 (constitutional prohibition against gifts)
Education Law §2118
Ops. St. Compt. 77-667; 79-522; 82-66; 82-213 82-298; 83-57; 98-2

Adoption date: June 15, 2005
Revised date: February 8, 2018
Revised date: September 23, 2019

Re-adopted: October 16, 2019


Policy 9241 | Hiring Procedures for Summer Employment

View the PDF version of the Hiring Procedures for Summer Employment Policy here.

The Board of Education (the Board) of the Bethlehem Central School District (The District) insists on a clear, complete, and consistent procedure for hiring personnel for summer employment in the District. These procedures will follow the established protocols regarding the hiring of District personnel (see Policy # 9240).

Summer work opportunities include, but are not limited to, the following categories: extended school year educational programs, summer school, technology services, operations and maintenance services, and transportation. “Summer employment” is identified as work scheduled during the period of time following the conclusion of a school year and the beginning of the new school year. Such work experiences are funded by the District budget and are supervised by District administrators.

The Board directs the superintendent to ensure that the following procedures are being followed when employees are hired for summer work opportunities:

  1. Positions for summer work employment are posted as vacancies for a period of ten days within the internal District community.
  2. Each vacancy will consist of a job description of duties and responsibilities expected of the candidate in fulfilling the job.
  3. Anyone applying for a vacancy shall be considered for an interview assuming they have demonstrated experience for the job in question. It is incumbent upon the candidate to indicate this experience on the job application for the position in order to be asked to interview.
  4. Priority preference for hiring individuals for summer work opportunities will be given to internal District employees first who meet the needs of the assignments that are posted, and next to candidates outside of the District personnel should there be the need. 
    • Note: The school administration has the right to determine if a candidate meets the needs of the assignment. Exceptions to #4 will be any concerns of a disciplinary nature or if the candidate is unable to perform the essential functions of the position.
  5. Summer work employees will be paid an hourly rate, as determined by the Board of Education for the year of employment, and may be subject to contractual requirements as may be specified within collective bargaining agreements.

All summer employees will be evaluated periodically on their work performance as determined by the administrators of the program. These evaluations may be considered in planning for succeeding summer employment needs.

Adoption date: October 6, 2010
Revised date: June 15, 2011
Revised date: September 23, 2019

Re-adopted: October 16, 2019


Policy 9320 | Drug-Free Workplace

View the PDF version of the Drug-Free Workplace Policy here.

The Board of Education of the Bethlehem Central School District prohibits the illegal, improper, or unauthorized manufacture, distribution, dispensing, possession, or use of any controlled substances in the workplace. “Workplace” shall mean any site on school grounds, at school-sponsored activities, or any place in which an employee is working within the scope of their employment or duties. “Controlled substances” shall include all drugs that are banned or controlled under federal or state law, including those for which a physician’s prescription is required, as well as any other chemical substance that is deliberately ingested to produce psychological or physiological effects, other than accepted foods or beverages.

The superintendent or his/her designee shall implement related regulations which outline the requirements of the federal Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988.

Ref: Drug-Free Workplace Act (DFWA), 41 U.S.C. §§702-707
Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. §812
21 CFR §§1300.11-1300.15
34 CFR Part 85 (U.S. Dept. of Ed. Regulations under the DFWA)
Civil Service Law §75
Education Law §3020-a
Patchogue-Medford Congress of Teachers v. Board of Education, 70 NY2d 57 (1987)

Adoption date: June 19, 2002
Revised date: September 23, 2019


Policy 9320-R | Drug-Free Workplace Regulation

View the PDF version of the Drug-Free Workplace Policy Regulation here.

The superintendent of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) shall certify to any federal agency making a direct grant to the District that the District will provide a drug-free workplace, in accordance with the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988.

The superintendent or their designee shall establish a drug-free awareness program to inform employees about:

  1. the dangers of drug abuse in the workplace;
  2. the District’s policy of maintaining a drug-free workplace;
  3. any available drug counseling, rehabilitation, and employee assistance programs; and
  4. the penalties that may be imposed upon employees for drug abuse violations.

The superintendent or their designee shall publish a statement notifying District employees that the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession, or use of a controlled substance is prohibited in the workplace (as defined by District policy). The statement shall specify the actions that will be taken against employees for violations of such prohibition. Each employee shall receive a copy of this statement and the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988.

Each employee, as a condition of employment on any direct federal grant, shall:

  1. abide by the terms of the statement; and
  2. notify their immediate supervisor, who shall notify the superintendent, of any criminal drug statute conviction for a violation occurring in the workplace within five days of such conviction.

The superintendent shall notify the Board of Education of any such conviction(s), and shall notify the granting agency within ten days after receiving notice of such conviction(s) from any source.

Within thirty days of such conviction(s), the District shall initiate appropriate disciplinary action against any employee so convicted in the manner provided for by law, up to and including dismissal, and/or require their satisfactory participation in a drug abuse assistance or rehabilitation program approved for such purposes by federal, state, or local health law enforcement or other appropriate agency.

The District shall make a “good faith effort” to continue to maintain a drug-free workplace through implementation of these regulations.

Adoption date: June 19, 2002
Revised date: September 23, 2019

Re-adopted: October 16, 2019


Policy 9460 | Incidental Teaching

View the PDF version of the Incidental Teaching Policy here.

The Board of Education (the Board) of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) authorizes the superintendent to assign a teacher to teach a subject not covered by the teacher’s certificate for up to five classroom hours a week when the superintendent believes it is in the interests of the District. In order to accomplish this, the superintendent shall, pursuant to the regulations of the commissioner of Education:

  1. determine that the teacher being assigned on an incidental basis has sufficient teaching experience and knowledge of the subject to teach it in a competent manner.

In addition, the superintendent shall ensure that the District informs parent(s) and/or guardian(s) about incidental teaching assignments by at least one of the following methods: public discussion at a Board meeting, publication in a newsletter, or posting letters to parent(s) and/or guardian(s).

The information provided should include the teacher’s experience and knowledge of the subject matter so parent(s) and/or guardian(s)  are aware of the teacher’s qualifications to teach the subject.

If a parent(s) and/or guardian(s)  appeals an incidental teaching assignment, the appeals process shall begin with the filing of a written complaint with the principal. If the complaint remains unresolved at this level, the complaint is appealable to the superintendent. If still unresolved, the parent may appeal to the Board for a final determination. If the complaint concerns a particular teacher’s qualifications, the Board may meet in executive session to discuss the issue.

Ref: 8 NYCRR §80.2(c)(7) [The Commissioner’s Regulations require all districts who wish to use
teachers on an “incidental” basis to adopt a written policy on incidental teaching,
including provision for an appeals process.]

Adoption date: June 19, 2002
Revised date: September 23, 2019

Re-adopted: October 16, 2019


Policy 9500 | Compensation and Benefits

View the PDF version of the Compensation and Benefits Policy here.

The Board of Education (the Board) of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) believes that the District’s employees should receive fair compensation and benefits for the work they provide in serving the children of our community. To this end, the superintendent shall be responsible for establishing and administering the compensation and benefits to the District’s employees.

The Board and the District will comply with all applicable federal and state laws that require minimum compensation, overtime, and benefits be provided to certain employees.

Determination of Employment Status
Before enrolling an individual in the District’s compensation and benefits program, the District will determine the individual’s employment status. In accordance with regulations issued by the state comptroller and as set forth by the Internal Revenue Service, the Director of Human Resources will determine if the person is an employee and thus entitled to benefits. If the individual is not an employee based on the specified criteria, they will not be enrolled in any of the benefit programs offered by the District or the state. When the District hires an attorney, physician, engineer, architect, accountant, or auditor as an employee and not an independent contractor, the Board president must certify to the applicable New York State retirement system the factors supporting that determination using the form prescribed by the state comptroller. The Board president shall be responsible for reporting to the appropriate retirement system those individuals eligible for membership. This reporting shall take place at the time of an individual’s employment, and at the intervals required by the appropriate retirement system.

Employees Covered by Collectively Negotiated Agreements
The compensation and benefits (except for state retirement system benefits) for employees who are represented by recognized or certified employee organizations are established by collectively negotiated agreements between the employee organizations and the District. The District will negotiate in good faith over these issues, as required by law, and fully comply with the requirements of the Taylor Law and the applicable collectively negotiated agreements.

The Board reserves its right to approve all additional funding required by the provisions of a tentatively collectively negotiated agreement, in addition to any right of ratification that is secured by the District’s negotiation representative(s).

Employees Not Covered by Collectively Negotiated Agreements
The compensation and benefits for employees who are not represented by recognized or certified employee organizations shall be determined by the Board upon recommendation of the superintendent.

Ref: Consolidated Omnibus Budget and Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA), 42 USC §§
300bb-1 et seq. (federal law that requires the continuation of health insurance
benefits under certain circumstances)
Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), 29 USC §§ 200 et seq. (federal law that requires a
minimum wage and overtime for non-exempt employees)
Family and Medical Leave Act 0f 1993 (FMLA). 29 USC §§ 2610 et seq. (federal law that
requires an unpaid leave of absence for certain family and medical situations)
Civil Service Law §§ 200 et seq. (“Taylor Law”, requires school districts to negotiate with
unions)
Education Law § 3005-b (requires a minimum sick leave allotment and accumulation for
teachers)
Local Finance Law § 2.00(5)(e) (designates Board of Education President as Chief Fiscal
Officers)
2 NYCRR Part 315.2 and 315.3 (criteria for determining employment status)

Adoption date: July 9, 2008
Revised date: September 23, 2019

Re-adopted: October 16, 2019


Policy 9520.2 | Family and Medical Leave

View the PDF version of the Family and Medical Leave Policy here.

Consistent with the federal Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA), the Board of Education (the Board) of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) recognizes the right of eligible employees to take up to twelve weeks of unpaid leave during any twelve-month period for certain family and medical reasons (Basic FMLA Leave), and to take up to twenty-six weeks of unpaid leave in a single twelve-month period to care for a military-covered service member who has a serious injury or illness that was incurred in the line of duty (Military Caregiver FMLA Leave). Any such leave shall be provided in accordance with FMLA, applicable District policies and collective bargaining agreements.

In order to be eligible for leave under FMLA, a District employee must (a) have worked for the District for at least twelve months, (b) have worked at least 1,250 hours in the immediately preceding twelve months, and (c) be employed at a worksite where at least fifty employees are employed by the District within a seventy-five-mile radius of that worksite.

Eligible employees must be taking Basic FMLA Leave for one of the following reasons:

  1. For the birth of the employee’s child, to care for the child after birth, or for placement with the employee of a child for adoption or foster care;
  2. To care for a spouse, child, or parent with a serious health condition;
  3. For the serious health condition of the employee that makes the employee unable to perform the functions of their job; and
  4. For specific qualifying exigencies arising when an employee’s spouse,child, or parent is on covered active military duty, or is called to covered active military duty.

Eligible employees must be taking Military Caregiver FMLA Leave to care for a covered service member (as defined by FMLA) who is the employee’s spouse, child, parent, or other next-of-kin, and who has a serious injury or illness.

When FMLA leave is foreseeable, then at least thirty days prior to the date when the leave is to begin, in accordance with procedures established by the District:

  • All employees wishing to take leave under FMLA shall notify the Director of Human Resources of his/her request for such leave.

If such leave is not foreseeable, then notice shall be given as early as is practical.

Under the law, FMLA leave is unpaid. However, FMLA permits employees to choose, or employers to require employees, to use accrued paid leave while taking FMLA leave. Where an employee chooses, or the District requires an employee, to use accrued paid leave while taking leave under FMLA, such employee must comply with the terms of any applicable collective bargaining agreement or other applicable paid leave policy. 

The District shall maintain group health insurance coverage for any employee on FMLA leave, whenever such insurance was provided before the leave was taken, on the same terms as if the employee had continued to work. If necessary, arrangements will be made for employees to pay their share of insurance premiums while on leave.

Except as otherwise provided by FMLA, an employee who takes leave under FMLA will be able to return to the same job or a job with equivalent pay, benefits, and other employment terms. The taking of FMLA leave cannot result in the loss of any benefit that accrued prior to the start of such leave.

The District shall post a notice prepared or approved by the secretary of Labor stating the pertinent provisions of FMLA, including information concerning enforcement of the law. A copy of this Board Policy and corresponding administrative regulations shall be distributed to current employees and to each new employee upon hire.

Ref: 29 U.S.C. §§2601-2654 (the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993)
29 C.F.R. Part 825

Adoption date: May 18, 2011
Revised date: September 23, 2019

Re-adopted: October 16, 2019


Policy 9520.2-R | Family and Medical Leave Regulation

View the PDF version of the Family and Medical Leave Policy here.

In accordance with the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA), the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) will grant to eligible employees up to twelve weeks of unpaid leave during any twelve-month period for certain family and medical reasons (Basic FMLA Leave), and up to twenty-six weeks of unpaid leave in a single twelve-month period to care for a military-covered service member who has a serious injury or illness that was incurred in the line of duty (Military Caregiver FMLA Leave). Any such leave shall be provided in accordance with FMLA, applicable District policies, and collective bargaining agreements.

Eligible Employees

In order to be eligible for leave under FMLA, a District employee must (a) have worked for the District for at least twelve months, (b) have worked at least 1,250 hours in the immediately preceding twelve months, and (c) be employed at a worksite where at least fifty employees are employed by the District within a seventy-five- mile radius of that worksite.

In accordance with FMLA, a full-time classroom teacher is presumed to meet the 1,250 hour requirement, in the absence of evidence to the contrary. “Teacher” is defined by FMLA and includes an employee employed principally in an instructional capacity whose principal function is to teach and instruct students. The term “teacher” does not include teacher aides who do not have as their principal function actual teaching or instructing, nor auxiliary personnel such as counselors, psychologists, curriculum specialists, cafeteria workers, maintenance workers, bus drivers, or other primarily noninstructional employees.

Reasons for Leave

Eligible employees must be taking Basic FMLA Leave for one of the following reasons:

  1. For the birth of the employee’s child or to care for the child after birth (so long as such leave concludes within twelve months from the date of the child’s birth) or for placement with the employee of a child for adoption or foster care (so long as such leave concludes within twelve months from the date of the child’s placement);
  2. To care for a spouse, partner, child, or parent with a serious health condition;
  3. For the serious health condition of the employee that makes the employee unable to perform the functions of their job; and
  4. For specific qualifying exigencies arising when an employee’s spouse, child, or parent is on covered active military duty, or is called to covered active military duty. “Qualifying exigencies” are defined by FMLA and include, by example, attending certain military events, arranging for alternative childcare, addressing certain legal and financial arrangements, attending certain counseling sessions, and attending post-deployment reintegration briefings.

Eligible employees must be taking Military Caregiver FMLA Leave to care for a covered service member (as defined by FMLA) who is the employee’s spouse, child, parent, or other next-of-kin, and who has a serious injury or illness.

A “serious health condition” is defined by the FMLA and includes an illness, impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves either an overnight stay in a medical care facility, or continuing treatment by a healthcare provider for a condition that either prevents the employee from performing the function of the employee’s job, or prevents the qualified family member from participating in school or other daily activities. Subject to certain conditions, the continuing treatment requirement may be met by a period of incapacity of more than three consecutive calendar days combined with at least two visits to a healthcare provider or one visit and a regimen of continuing treatment, or incapacity due to pregnancy, or incapacity due to a chronic condition. Other conditions may meet the definition of continuing treatment.

A “serious injury or illness,” in the case a covered service member, is defined by FMLA and includes: (a) for a member of the Armed Forces, an injury or illness that incurred in the line of active duty (or existed before the beginning of the active duty and was aggravated by service in the line of active duty) and that may render the member medically unfit to perform the duties of the member’s office, grade, rank, or rating; and (b) for certain veterans who were members of the Armed Forces, a qualifying (as defined by the secretary of Labor) injury or illness that was incurred by the member in the line of active duty (or existed before the beginning of active duty and was aggravated by service in the line of active duty) and that manifested itself before or after the member became a veteran.

Period of Leave

An eligible employee is entitled to take up to a total of twelve weeks of Basic FMLA Leave in a twelve-month period. For purposes of calculating such twelve-month period, the period is measured backwards from the date on which an employee uses any Basic FMLA Leave.

An eligible employee is entitled to take up to a total of twenty-six weeks of Military Caregiver FMLA Leave during a “single twelve-month period.” The “single twelve-month period” is measured forward from the date on which an employee first begins Military Caregiver FMLA Leave.

During each single twelve-month period, an eligible employee is limited to a combined total of twenty-six weeks of Basic FMLA Leave and Military Caregiver FMLA Leave, of which no more than twelve weeks may be attributable to Basic FMLA Leave.

In certain instances, spouses who are both employed by the District may be entitled to only an aggregate total of twelve or twenty-six weeks of leave under this policy, as applicable.

Procedure for Requesting Leave

When FMLA leave is foreseeable, then at least thirty days prior to the date when the leave is to begin, in accordance with procedures established by the District:

  • All employees wishing to take leave under FMLA shall notify the Director of Human Resources of their request for such leave.

If such leave is not foreseeable, then notice shall be given as early as is practical.

Employees must provide sufficient information in order for the District to determine if the requested leave qualifies under FMLA, and the anticipated timing and duration of such leave. Employees also may be required to provide a certification and periodic recertification supporting the need for leave.

Notification of Eligibility and Designation of FMLA Leave

Absent extenuating circumstances, the District will notify an employee in writing of their eligibility for leave under FMLA within five business days after the employee submits their request for leave, or after the District is otherwise aware of the employee’s need for such leave. Such notice will specify any additional information required, as well as the employee’s rights and responsibilities while on such leave. If the District determines that an employee is not eligible for leave under FMLA, the District will notify the employee and provide a reason for the ineligibility.

The District also will inform an employee if their leave will be designated as leave under FMLA and the amount of leave counted against the employee’s FMLA leave entitlement. If the District determines that the requested leave is not FMLA leave, the District will notify the employee and provide a reason.

Use of Accrued Leave Time Under FMLA

Under the law, FMLA leave is unpaid. However, FMLA permits employees to choose, or employers to require employees, to use accrued paid leave while taking FMLA leave. Where an employee chooses, or the District requires an employee, to use accrued paid leave while taking leave under FMLA, such employee must comply with the terms of any applicable collective bargaining agreement or other applicable paid leave policy.

The District requires employees to use the following accrued paid time while taking unpaid FMLA leave:

Type of FMLA Leave Type of Accrued Time Which Must Be Substituted
Basic FMLA Leave for an employee’s own serious health condition Accrued vacation time, personal time, sick time, and any other accrued paid leave
Basic FMLA Leave for the serious health condition of the employee’s spouse, child, or parent  Accrued vacation time, personal time, sick time, and any other accrued paid leave
Military Caregiver FMLA Leave Accrued vacation time, personal time, sick time, and any other accrued paid leave
Any other kind of FMLA leave Accrued vacation time, personal time, sick time, and any other accrued paid leave

For employees taking an unpaid leave (pursuant to established District policies) that is also an FMLA-qualifying leave, the District will require such unpaid leave to run concurrently with the FMLA leave.

Maintenance of and Effect on Benefits

The District shall maintain group health insurance coverage for any employee on FMLA leave, whenever such insurance was provided before the leave was taken, on the same terms as if the employee had continued to work. Arrangements will be made for employees to pay their share of insurance premiums while on leave. The District may, as permitted by the FMLA, recover premiums paid by the District to maintain an employee’s insurance coverage if that employee fails to return to work from FMLA leave.

Intermittent Leave

In certain circumstances, FMLA leave may be taken intermittently or on a reduced schedule basis, rather than in one block. Intermittent leave is leave taken in separate blocks of time due to a single qualifying reason. A reduced leave schedule is a leave schedule that reduces an employee’s usual number of working hours per work week, or hours per workday.

An eligible employee may use intermittent or reduced schedule leave:

  1. Because of the employee’s own serious health condition, to care for a parent  or child with a serious health condition, or for Military Caregiver FMLA Leave if there is a medical need for such leave and such medical need can be best accommodated through leave on an intermittent or reduced schedule basis; or
  2. For Basic FMLA Leave due to qualifying exigencies arising when an employee’s spouse, child, or parent  is on covered active military duty, or is called to covered active military duty.

An eligible employee may take intermittent leave or reduced schedule leave after the birth or placement of a healthy child, only if the District agrees. Special rules apply if a teacher desires to take intermittent or reduced schedule leave.

Employees requesting intermittent or reduced schedule leave must attempt to schedule their leave so as not to disrupt the District’s operations. The District may, in certain circumstances, assign an employee to an alternative position with equivalent pay and benefits that better accommodates the employee’s intermittent or reduced leave schedule.

Return from Leave

Except as otherwise provided by FMLA, an employee who takes leave under FMLA will be able to return to the same job or a job with equivalent pay, benefits, and other employment terms. The taking of FMLA leave cannot result in the loss of any benefit that accrued prior to the start of such leave.

In addition, special rules apply if a teacher desires to take FMLA leave near the end of an academic term.

  • If a teacher begins FMLA leave more than five weeks before the end of a term, the District may require the employee to continue taking leave until the end of the term if: (i) the leave will last at least three weeks and (ii) the employee would return to work during the three-week period before the end of the term.
  • If a teacher begins leave during the five-week period before the end of a term because of the birth of a child; the placement of a child for adoption or foster care; to care for a spouse, child, or parent [CM8] with a serious health condition; or to care for a covered service member, the District may require the employee to continue to take leave until the end of the term if (i) the leave will last more than two weeks; and (ii) the employee would return to work during the two week period before the end of the term.
  • If a teacher begins leave during the three-week period before the end of the term because of the birth of a child; the placement of a child for adoption or foster care; to care for a spouse, child, or parent with a serious health condition; or to care for a covered service member, the District may require the employee to continue to take leave until the end of the term if the leave will last more than five working days.

In the case of an employee who is required to take leave until the end of an academic term, only the period of FMLA leave until the employee is ready and able to return to work shall be charged against the employee’s FMLA leave entitlement; however, the District shall maintain the employee’s group health insurance for the additional leave period required by the District to the end of the term.

Prior to returning from FMLA leave, the District may require that an employee present a certification of fitness to return to work when the absence was caused by the employee’s serious health condition.

Failure to return from any leave may result in the employee’s termination.

Enforcement

FMLA makes it unlawful for any employer to interfere with, restrain, or deny the exercise of any right provided under FMLA, or to discharge or discriminate against any person for opposing any practice made unlawful by FMLA or for involvement in any proceeding under FMLA. FMLA does not affect any federal or state law prohibiting discrimination. An employee who disagrees with any determination by the District regarding a request for leave, or who believes that he or she has been retaliated against for requesting or taking FMLA leave, may file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Labor or commence a private lawsuit.

Notice of Policy

The District shall post a notice prepared or approved by the secretary of Labor stating the pertinent provisions of FMLA, including information concerning enforcement of the law. A copy of the Board Policy and these regulations shall be distributed to current employees and to each new employee upon hire.


Policy 9700| Staff Development

View the PDF version of the Staff Development Policy here.

The Board of Education (the Board) of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) believes that professional growth helps ensure the success of educational programs and improves the effectiveness of the school, as well as individual staff members. The Board encourages instructional staff, support personnel staff, and administrative staff to take graduate courses and participate in other activities that would enhance their effectiveness.

In addition, the Board also recognizes its responsibility to encourage staff development through goal-setting, budgetary commitment, and monitoring of staff development activities. The Board’s decision to implement in-service activities, conference attendance, workshop participation, etc., is done in light of the fiscal constraints imposed on the Board. It is the Board’s responsibility to make the most effective use of the resources available in providing a strong educational program for the children of the District. In-service activities will be weighed against other essential expenditures of resources.

In-service programs will be conducted in the District by the superintendent or other appropriate personnel at least annually. The superintendent, or designee, is directed to provide for the selection of subjects pertinent to the curriculum in the schools, and to build from these subjects in-service or staff development courses that will help teachers in new methods acceptable to the schools, or to help them to improve techniques already in use. Such programs will also familiarize the professional staff with the provisions and purposes of the District Code of Conduct, to ensure its effective implementation. Instructional and support personnel are encouraged to participate in in-service activities.

The superintendent, or designee, has authority to approve release time and expenses for individual staff member’s attendance at professional training conferences, study councils, in-service courses, workshops, summer study grants, school visitations, professional organizations, etc., within budgetary constraints. Prior approval must be obtained from the superintendent, or designee. In addition, the staff member may be requested by the administration to prepare a report or summary of the meeting attended.

Support Staff

In-service activities for support staff will be provided within the financial constraints of the District. Attendance at such activities will be with the prior approval of the superintendent, or designee. In addition, the staff member may be requested by the administration to prepare a summary report of the meeting attended.

Ref: Education Law §3604(8)
8 NYCRR Part 80; §100.2(e)(vii)

Adoption date: June 19, 2002
Revised date: September 23, 2019

Re-adopted: October 16, 2019