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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 since July 2018:


Policy 0000 | Educational Philosophy

View the PDF version of the Educational Philosophy Policy here.

The Board of Education is dedicated to providing all students with challenging opportunities that support intellectual, creative, and personal growth in an atmosphere promoting positive self-esteem and sound educational values. The primary responsibility of the Bethlehem Central School District is to provide the positive means to prepare educated, responsible members of the community.

The educational program will provide each child with the fundamental academic skills and basic knowledge required to think critically, make wise choices, and act with self-discipline and mutual respect.

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

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Policy 0100-R | Equal Opportunity and Nondiscrimination Regulation

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

The procedures set forth in this regulation do not supersede any protection complainants are provided under existing state or federal law.

Definitions

1. Complainant – shall mean an applicant, employee, or student who alleges that there has been a violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended; Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA); or associated regulations that affect him/her.

2. Complaint– shall mean any alleged violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended; Section 504 of the ADA; or associated regulations.

3. Compliance Officer – shall mean the employee designated by the Board of Education (the Board) of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) to coordinate efforts to comply with and carry out responsibilities under the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended; Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; the ADA; or associated regulations.

The resolution of applicant, staff, or student complaints alleging any action prohibited by the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended; Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; the ADA; or associate regulations shall be dealt with in the following manner:

A. Stage I–Compliance Officer

1. Within thirty days after the events giving rise to the allegation, the complainant shall file a complaint in writing with the compliance officer. The compliance officer may informally discuss the complaint with the complainant. He/she shall promptly investigate the matter. All employees and students of the District shall cooperate with the compliance officer in such investigation.

2. Within fifteen days of receipt of the complaint, the compliance officer shall make a finding in writing that there has or has not been a violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended; Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; and the ADA; or associated regulations. In the event the compliance officer finds that there has been a violation, he/she shall propose a resolution of the complaint.

3. If the complainant is not satisfied with the finding of the compliance officer, or with the proposed resolution of the complaint, the complainant may, within fifteen days after he/she has received the report of the compliance officer, file a written request for review by the superintendent.

B. Stage II–Superintendent of Schools

1. The superintendent may request that the complainant, the compliance officer, student, or any member of the District staff present a written statement to him/her setting forth any information that such person  has relative to the complaint and the facts surrounding it.

2. The superintendent shall notify all parties concerned as to the time and place when an informal hearing will be held, where such parties may appear and present oral and written statements supplementing their position in the case. Such hearing shall be held within fifteen school days of the receipt of the appeal by the superintendent.

3. Within fifteen days of the hearing, the superintendent shall render his/her determination in writing. Such determination shall include a finding that there has or has not been a violation of the Civil Rights Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; the ADA; or associated regulations and. if applicable, a proposal for equitably resolving the complaint.

4. If the complainant is not satisfied with the determination of the superintendent, the complainant may, within fifteen days after its receipt, file with the clerk of the Board a written request for review by the Board.

C. Stage IIIBoard of Education

1. When a request for review by the Board has been made, the superintendent shall submit all written statements and other materials concerning the case to the president of the Board.

2. The president of the Board shall notify all parties of the time and place when a hearing will be held. Such hearing will be held within fifteen school days of the receipt of the request of the complainant. All parties concerned shall have the right to present further statements and testimony at such hearing.

3. The Board shall render a decision in writing within fifteen days after the hearing has been concluded.

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

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Policy 0110 | Sexual Harassment

View the PDF version of the Sexual Harassment Policy here.

The Board of Education (the Board) of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) recognizes that harassment of students, employees (including all staff, applicants for employment, both paid and unpaid interns, exempt and non-exempt status, part-time, seasonal, and temporary workers, regardless of immigration status) and certain “non-employees” (which includes contractors, subcontractors, vendors, consultant and other persons providing services pursuant to a contract, or their employees) on the basis of sex, gender and/or sexual orientation is abusive and illegal behavior that harms targets and negatively impacts the school culture by creating an environment of fear, distrust, intimidation and intolerance. The Board further recognizes that preventing and remedying such harassment in schools is essential to ensure a healthy, nondiscriminatory environment in which students can learn and employees and “non-employees” can work productively.

Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination and is unlawful under federal, state, and (where applicable) local law. Sexual harassment includes harassment on the basis of actual or perceived or self-identified sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, and transgender status. Sexual harassment of a student can deny or limit the student’s ability to participate in or to receive benefits, services, or opportunities from the school’s program.

Sexual harassment includes unwelcome conduct which is either of a sexual nature, or which is directed at an individual because of that individual’s sex, when:

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

b. submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as the basis for decisions affecting an individual’s employment or a student’s education; or

c. the conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an employee’s or “non-employee’s” work or student’s school performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive work or educational environment, even if the complaining individual is not the intended target of the sexual harassment;

Sexual harassment can include unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature, or verbal, nonverbal or physical aggression, intimidation or hostility that is based on actual or perceived gender and sexual stereotypes. Examples of sexual harassment can be found in the accompanying regulation (0110-R).

The Board is committed to providing an educational and working environment that promotes respect, dignity and equality and that is free from all forms of sexual harassment. To this end, the Board condemns and strictly prohibits all forms of sexual harassment on school grounds, school buses and at all school-sponsored activities, programs and events, including those that take place at locations outside the District, or outside the school setting if the harassment impacts the individual’s education or employment in a way that violates their legal rights, including when employees and “non-employees” travel on District business, or when harassment is done by electronic means (including on social media). For employees, sexual harassment is considered a form of employee misconduct. Sanctions will be enforced against all those who engage in sexual harassment, and against supervisory and managerial personnel who knowingly allow such behavior to continue or engage in retaliation. Sexual harassment may subject the District to liability for harm done to targets. Harassers may also be individually subject to civil liability if sued in a court of law or criminal liability if prosecuted.

Under various state and federal laws, students, employees and “non-employees” have legal protections against sexual harassment in the school environment as described above. Those laws are listed in the references section. Additionally, local laws may apply to the District. The District’s Code of Conduct also addresses appropriate behavior in the school environment. Sexual harassment can occur between persons of all ages and genders.

In order for the Board to effectively enforce this policy and to take prompt corrective measures, it is essential that all targets of sexual harassment and persons with knowledge of sexual harassment report the harassment immediately. The District will promptly investigate all complaints of sexual harassment, either formal or informal, verbal or written. To the extent possible, all complaints will be treated in a confidential manner. Limited disclosure may be necessary to complete a thorough investigation. If the complainant reports that they feel unsafe at school due to the nature of the complaint, the District will determine if accommodations need to be made until the issue is resolved.

If, after appropriate investigation, the District finds that a student, an employee, “non-employee” or a third party has violated this policy, prompt corrective action will be taken in accordance with the applicable collective bargaining agreement, contract, District policy and state law. Individual nondisclosure agreements in connection with the resolution a sexual harassment claim may only be used as permitted by law, described in the accompanying regulation. Mandatory arbitration of sexual harassment claims is prohibited in all District contracts and agreements entered into on or after July 11, 2018.

All complainants and those who participate in sexual harassment complaints or the investigation of a complaint of sexual harassment have the right to be free from retaliation of any kind, when they do so with a good faith belief that sexual harassment has occurred. Such prohibited retaliation can include, but is not limited to, discipline, discrimination, demotion, denial of privileges, or any action that would keep a person from coming forward to make or support a sexual harassment claim. Such actions need not be job- or education-related, or occur in the workplace or educational environment, to constitute unlawful retaliation.

The superintendent is directed to develop and implement regulations for reporting, investigating and remedying allegations of sexual harassment. These regulations are to be attached to this policy. In addition, training programs shall be established for students, and annually for employees, to raise awareness of the issues surrounding sexual harassment and to implement preventative measures to help reduce incidents of sexual harassment. Age-appropriate instructional materials will be incorporated into the curriculum to educate students so that they can recognize and reduce the incidence of sexual harassment.

This policy shall be posted in a prominent place in each District facility, on the District’s website, and shall also be published in student registration materials, student, parent and employee handbooks, and other appropriate school publications.

A committee appointed by the superintendent may be convened annually to review this policy’s effectiveness and compliance with applicable state and federal law, and to recommend revisions to Board.

Ref:

Education Amendments of 1972, Title IX, 20 U.S.C.§1681 et seq. 
Title VII of Civil Rights Act (1964), 42 U.S.C. §2000-e; 34 CFR §100 et seq. 
Executive Law §296-d (prohibition of sexual harassment of non-employees)
Labor Law §201-g (required sexual harassment policy and training)
Civil Practice Law and Rules §§5003-b (nondisclosure agreements optional); 7515 (mandatory arbitration prohibited)
General Obligations Law §5-336 (nondisclosure agreements optional)
Davis v. Monroe County Board of Education, 526 U.S. 629, 652 (1999)
Gebser v. Lago Vista Independent School District, 524 U.S, 274 (1998)
Faragher v. City of Boca Raton, 524 U.S. 775 (1998)
Burlington Industries v. Ellerth, 524 U.S. 742 (1998)
Oncale v. Sundowner Offshore Services, Inc., 523 U.S. 75 (1998)
Franklin v. Gwinnett County Public Schools, 503 U.S. 60 (1992)
Meritor Savings Bank, FSB v. Vinson, 477 U.S. 57 (1986)
Office for Civil Rights Revised Sexual Harassment Guidance (January 19, 2001) 
Office for Civil Rights, Dear Colleague Letter: Sexual Harassment Issues (2006) 
Office for Civil Rights, Dear Colleague Letter: Bullying (October 26, 2010)

Adoption date: June 19, 2002
Revised Dates: October 17, 2018

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Policy 0110-E | Sexual Harassment Exhibit

View the PDF version of the Sexual Harassment Complain Form here.

Complaint Form for Reporting Sexual Harassment

New York State Labor Law requires all employers to adopt a sexual harassment prevention policy that includes a complaint form for targets to report alleged incidents of sexual harassment. This form is intended to be used by both students and employees.

If you believe that you have been subjected to sexual harassment, you are encouraged to complete this form to the best of your ability and submit it to the building principal or the Title IX Coordinator (director of human resources). This form can be submitted by mail, email, or hand delivered. You will not be retaliated against for filing a complaint.

If you are more comfortable reporting verbally or in another manner, the district should complete this form, provide you with a copy and follow its sexual harassment prevention policy by investigating the claims as outlined at the end of this form. For additional resources, visit: https://www.ny.gov/programs/combating-sexual-harassment-workplace.

Instructions for the District

If you receive a complaint about alleged sexual harassment, you must follow the district’s sexual harassment prevention policy by investigating the allegations through actions including:

  • Speaking with the complainant
  • Speaking with the alleged harasser
  • Interviewing witnesses
  • Collecting and reviewing any related documents

While the process may vary from case to case, all allegations should be investigated promptly and resolved as quickly as possible. The investigation should be kept confidential to the extent possible.

Document findings of the investigation and basis for your decision along with any corrective actions taken, and notify the complainant (if the complainant is a student, also notify the parent/guardian) and the individual(s) against whom the complaint was made. This may be done via email.

Adoption Date: October 17, 2018

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Policy 0110-R | Sexual Harassment Regulation

View the PDF version of the Sexual Harassment Regulation here.

This regulation is intended to create and preserve an educational and working environment free from unlawful sexual harassment on the basis of sex, gender, and/or sexual orientation in furtherance of the District’s commitment to provide a healthy and productive environment for all students, employees (including all staff, applicants for employment, both paid and unpaid interns. exempt and non-exempt status, part-time, seasonal, and temporary workers, regardless of immigration status) and “non-employees” (i.e., contractors, subcontractors, vendors, consultant and other persons providing services pursuant to a contract, or their employees) that promotes respect, dignity and equality.

Sexual Harassment Defined

Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination and is unlawful under federal, state, and (where applicable) local law. Sexual harassment includes harassment on the basis of actual or perceived or self-identified sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, and transgender status.

Sexual harassment includes unwelcome conduct which is either of a sexual nature, or which is directed at an individual because of that individual’s sex, gender, or sexual orientation, when:

1. submission to that conduct or communication is made a term or condition, either explicitly or implicitly, of an employee’s or “non-employee’s” employment or a student’s education (including any aspect of the student’s participation in school-sponsored activities, or any other aspect of the student’s education); or

2. submission to or rejection of that conduct or communication by an individual is used as the basis for decisions affecting an employee’s or “non-employee’s” employment or a student’s education; or

3. the conduct or communication has the purpose or effect of substantially or unreasonably interfering with an employee’s or “non-employee’s” work performance or a student’s academic performance or participation in school-sponsored activities, or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working or educational environment, even if the complaining individual is not the intended target of the sexual harassment.

Sexual harassment can include unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature, or verbal, nonverbal or physical aggression, intimidation or hostility that is based on actual or perceived gender and sexual stereotypes.

Unacceptable Conduct

School-related conduct that the District considers unacceptable and which may constitute sexual harassment includes, but is not limited to, the following:

1. rape, attempted rape, sexual assault, attempted sexual assault, forcible sexual abuse, hazing, and other sexual and gender-based activity of a criminal nature as defined under the State Penal Law;

2. unwelcome sexual advances or invitations or requests for sexual activity, including but not limited to those in exchange for grades, promotions, preferences, favors, selection for extracurricular activities or job assignments, homework, etc., or when accompanied by implied or overt threats concerning the target’s work or school evaluations, other benefits or detriments;

3. unwelcome and/or offensive public sexual display of affection, including kissing, hugging, making out, groping, fondling, petting, inappropriate touching of one’s self or others (e.g., pinching, patting, grabbing, poking), sexually suggestive dancing, and massages;

4. any unwelcome communication that is sexually suggestive, sexually degrading or derogatory or implies sexual motives or intentions, such as sexual remarks or innuendoes about an individual’s clothing, appearance or activities; sexual jokes; sexual gestures; public conversations about sexual activities or exploits; sexual rumors and “ratings lists;” howling, catcalls, and whistles; sexually graphic computer files, messages or games, etc;

5. unwelcome and offensive name calling or profanity that is sexually suggestive or explicit, sexually degrading or derogatory, implies sexual intentions, or that is based on sexual stereotypes or sexual orientation, gender identity or expression;

6. unwelcome physical contact or closeness that is sexually suggestive, sexually degrading or derogatory, or sexually intimidating such as the unwelcome touching of another’s body parts, cornering or blocking an individual, standing too close, spanking, pinching, following, stalking, frontal body hugs, etc.;

7. unwelcome and sexually offensive physical pranks or touching of an individual’s clothing, such as hazing and initiation, “streaking,” “mooning,” “snuggies” or “wedgies” (pulling underwear up at the waist so it goes in between the buttocks), bra-snapping, skirt “flip-ups,” “spiking” (pulling down someone’s pants or swimming suit); pinching; placing hands inside an individual’s pants, shirt, blouse, or dress, etc.;

8. unwelcome leers, stares, gestures, or slang that are sexually suggestive; sexually degrading or derogatory or imply sexual motives or intentions;

9. clothing with sexually obscene or sexually explicit slogans or messages;

10. unwelcome and offensive skits, assemblies, and productions that are sexually suggestive, sexually degrading or derogatory, or that imply sexual motives or intentions, or that are based on sexual stereotypes;

11. unwelcome written or pictorial display or distribution (including via electronic devices) of pornographic or other sexually explicit materials such as signs, graffiti, calendars, objects, magazines, videos, films, Internet material, etc.;

12. other hostile actions taken against an individual because of that person’s sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or transgender status, such as interfering with, destroying or damaging a person’s work or school area or equipment; sabotaging that person’s work or school activities; bullying, yelling, or name calling; or otherwise interfering with that person’s ability to work or participate in school functions and activities; and

13. any unwelcome behavior based on sexual stereotypes and attitudes that is offensive, degrading, derogatory, intimidating, or demeaning, including, but not limited to:

a. disparaging remarks, slurs, jokes about or aggression toward an individual because the person displays mannerisms or a style of dress inconsistent with stereotypical characteristics of the person’s sex;

b. ostracizing or refusing to participate in group activities with an individual during class projects, physical education classes or field trips because of the individual’s sex, gender expression or gender identity;

c. taunting or teasing an individual because they are participating in an activity not typically associated with the individual’s sex or gender.

For purposes of this regulation, action or conduct shall be considered “unwelcome” if the student, employee or non-employee did not request or invite it and regarded the conduct as undesirable or offensive.

Sexual harassment may occur on school grounds, school buses and at all school-sponsored activities, programs and events, including those that take place at locations outside the District, or outside the school setting if the harassment impacts the individual’s education or employment in a way that violates their legal rights, including when employees or “non-employees” travel on District business, or when the harassment is done by electronic means (including on social media).

Determining if Prohibited Conduct is Sexual Harassment

Complaints of sexual harassment will be thoroughly investigated to determine whether the totality of the behavior and circumstances meet any of the elements of the above definition of sexual harassment and should therefore be treated as sexual harassment. Not all unacceptable conduct with sexual connotations may constitute sexual harassment. In many cases (other than quid pro quo situations where the alleged harasser offers academic or employment rewards or threatens punishment as an inducement for sexual favors), unacceptable behavior must be sufficiently severe, pervasive and objectively offensive to be considered sexual harassment. If the behavior doesn’t rise to the level of sexual harassment, but is found to be objectionable behavior, the individual will be educated and counseled in order to prevent the behavior from continuing.

In evaluating the totality of the circumstances and making a determination of whether conduct constitutes sexual harassment, the individual investigating the complaint should consider:

1. the degree to which the conduct affected the ability of the student to participate in or benefit from his or her education or altered the conditions of the student’s learning environment or altered the conditions of the employee’s or “non-employee’s” working environment;

2. the type, frequency and duration of the conduct;

3. the identity of and relationship between the alleged harasser and the subject of the harassment (e.g., sexually based conduct by an authority figure is more likely to create a hostile environment than similar conduct by another student or a co-worker);

4. the number of individuals involved;

5. the age and sex of the alleged harasser and the subject of the harassment;

6. the location of the incidents and context in which they occurred;

7. other incidents at the school; and

8. incidents of gender-based, but non-sexual harassment.

Reporting Complaints

Any person who believes he or she has been the target of sexual harassment by a student, District employee or “non-employee” or third party related to the school is encouraged to report complaints as soon as possible after the incident in order to enable the District to promptly and effectively investigate and resolve the complaint. Any person who witnesses or is aware of sexual harassment of a student, employee, or “non-employee” is also encouraged to report the incident or behavior to the District. Targets are encouraged to submit the complaint in writing; however, complaints may be filed verbally.

Complaints should be filed with the building principal or the Title IX Coordinator (director of human resources).

Any school employee who receives a complaint of sexual harassment from a student shall inform the student of the employee’s obligation to report the complaint to the school administration, and then shall immediately notify the building principal and/or the Title IX Coordinator. School employees receiving complaints of sexual harassment from employees and “non-employees” shall either direct the complainant to the building principal or Title IX Coordinator, or may report the incident themselves. Supervisory and managerial personnel are required to report complaints of sexual harassment received by staff, and will be subject to discipline for failing to report suspected or reported sexual harassment, knowingly allowing sexual harassment to continue, or engaging in any retaliation.

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

Confidentiality

It is District policy to respect the privacy of all parties and witnesses to complaints of sexual harassment. To the extent possible, the District will not release the details of a complaint or the identity of the complainant or the individual(s) against whom the complaint is filed to any third parties who do not need to know such information. However, because an individual’s need for confidentiality must be balanced with the District’s legal obligation to provide due process to the accused, to conduct a thorough investigation, or to take necessary action to resolve the complaint, the District retains the right to disclose the identity of parties and witnesses to complaints in appropriate circumstances to individuals with a need to know. The staff member responsible for investigating complaints will discuss confidentiality standards and concerns with all complainants.

If a complainant requests that his/her name not be revealed to the individual(s) against whom a complaint is filed, the staff member responsible for conducting the investigation shall inform the complainant that:

1. the request may limit the District’s ability to respond to his/her complaint;

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

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

4. the District will take strong responsive action if retaliation occurs.

If the complainant still requests confidentiality after being given the notice above, the investigator will take all reasonable steps to investigate and respond to the complaint consistent with the request as long as doing so does not preclude the District from responding effectively to the harassment and preventing the harassment of other students or employees.

Investigation and Resolution Procedure

I. Initial (Building-level) Procedure

The building principal or the Title IX Coordinator shall conduct a preliminary review when they receive a verbal or written complaint of sexual harassment, or if they observe sexual harassment. Except in the case of severe or criminal conduct, the building principal or the Title IX Coordinator should make all reasonable efforts to resolve complaints at the school level. The goal of investigation and resolution procedures is to end the harassment and obtain a prompt and equitable resolution to a complaint. All persons involved in an investigation (complainants, witnesses and alleged harassers) will be accorded due process to protect their rights to a fair and impartial investigation. This investigation shall be prompt and thorough, and shall be completed as soon as possible.

Immediately, but no later than two (2) working days following receipt of a complaint, the building principal or Title IX Coordinator shall begin an investigation of the complaint according to the following steps:

1. Interview the target and document the conversation. Instruct the target to have no contact or communication regarding the complaint with the alleged harasser. Ask the target specifically what action he/she wants taken in order to resolve the complaint. Refer the target, as appropriate, to school social workers, school psychologists, crisis team managers, other school staff, or appropriate outside agencies for counseling services.

2. Review any written documentation of the harassment prepared by the target. If the target has not prepared written documentation, ask the target to do so, providing alternative formats for individuals with disabilities and young children, who have difficulty writing and need accommodation. If the complainant refuses to complete a complaint form or written documentation, the building principal or Title IX Coordinator shall complete a complaint form (see exhibit 0110-E) based on the verbal report.

3. Request, review, obtain and preserve relevant evidence of harassment (e.g., documents, emails, text messages, social media communications, phone records, etc.), if any exist.

4. Interview the alleged harasser regarding the complaint and inform the alleged harasser that if the objectionable conduct has occurred, it must cease immediately. Document the conversation. Provide the alleged harasser an opportunity to respond to the charges in writing.

5. Instruct the alleged harasser to have no contact or communication regarding the complaint with the target and to not retaliate against the target. Warn the alleged harasser that if he/she makes contact with or retaliates against the target, he/she will be subject to immediate disciplinary action.

6. Interview any witnesses to the complaint. Caution each witness to keep the complaint and his/her participation in the investigation confidential. Employees may be required to cooperate as needed in investigations of suspected sexual harassment, in a manner that is consistent with any applicable collective bargaining agreement.

7. Review all documentation and information relevant to the complaint.

8. Where appropriate, suggest mediation as a potential means of resolving the complaint. In addition to mediation, use appropriate alternative methods to resolve the complaint, including but not limited to:

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

b. suggesting counseling and/or sensitivity training;

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

d. requesting a letter of apology to the complainant;

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

f. separating the parties.

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

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

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

c. If either the target or the accused is a disabled student receiving special education services under an IEP or section 504/Americans with Disabilities Act accommodations, the committee on special education may be consulted to determine the degree to which the student’s disability either caused or is affected by the discrimination or policy violation. In addition, due process procedures required for persons with disabilities under state and federal law shall be followed.

d. The investigator shall report back to both the target and the accused, notifying them in writing, and also in person as appropriate regarding the outcome of the investigation and the action taken to resolve the complaint. The investigator shall instruct the target to report immediately if the objectionable behavior occurs again or if the alleged harasser retaliates against him/her.

e. The investigator shall notify the target that if he/she desires further investigation and action, he/she may request a District level investigation by contacting the superintendent. The investigator shall also notify the target of his/her right to contact the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights and/or a private attorney. Employees may also contact the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or the New York State Division of Human Rights.

10. Create a written report of the investigation, kept in a secure and confidential location, containing:

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

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

c. A timeline of events;

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

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

f. The final resolution of the complaint, together with any corrective action(s).

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

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

Any party who is not satisfied with the outcome of the initial investigation by the building principal or the Title IX Coordinator may request a District-level investigation by submitting a written complaint to the superintendent within thirty (30) days.

The building principal or Title IX Coordinator (i.e., the investigator) shall promptly submit a copy of all building-level investigation and interview documentation to the superintendent, following the receipt of any request for a District-level investigation.

II. District-level Procedure

The superintendent shall promptly investigate and resolve all sexual harassment complaints that are referred to him/her by a building principal or Title IX Coordinator, as well as those appealed to the superintendent following an initial investigation by a building principal or Title IX Coordinator. In the event the complaint of sexual harassment involves the superintendent, the complaint shall be filed with or referred to the Board president. The Board, on its own initiative or at the request of the superintendent, may refer the complaint to a trained investigator not employed by the District for investigation.

The District level investigation should begin as soon as possible but not later than three (3) working days following receipt of the complaint by the superintendent or Board president.

In conducting the District level investigation, the District will use investigators who have received training in sexual harassment investigation or who have previous experience investigating sexual harassment complaints.

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

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

The target and the alleged harasser have the right to be represented by a person of their choice, at their own expense, during sexual harassment investigations and hearings.

External Remedies

Targets have the right to register sexual harassment complaints with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR). The OCR can be contacted at (800) 421-3481, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20202-1100, or at https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr./docs/howto.html.

Employee targets also have the right to register complaints with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the New York State Division of Human Rights (DHR). The EEOC can be contacted at (800) 669-4000, https://www.eeoc.gov/employees/howtofile.cfm, info@eeoc.gov, or at 33 Whitehall Street, 5th Floor, New York, NY 10004 or 300 Pearl Street, Suite 450, Buffalo, NY 14202. The DHR can be contacted at (888) 392-3644, www.dhr.ny.gov/complaint, or at 1 Fordham Plaza, Fourth Floor, Bronx, NY 10458.

Nothing in these regulations shall be construed to limit the right of the complainant to file a lawsuit in either state or federal court, or to contact law enforcement officials if the sexual harassment involves unwanted physical touching, coerced physical confinement or coerced sex acts, which may constitute a crime. No District contract or collective bargaining agreement entered into after July 11, 2018 may include a binding arbitration clause for sexual harassment requiring arbitration before bringing a sexual harassment claim to a court.

Nondisclosure Agreements

The District may include nondisclosure agreements (to not disclose the underlying facts and circumstances of a sexual harassment complaint) in any sexual harassment settlement agreement or resolution only if it is the complainant’s preference. Any such nondisclosure agreement shall be provided to all parties. Complainants shall have twenty-one (21) days to consider any such nondisclosure provision before it is signed by all parties, and shall have seven (7) days to revoke the agreement after signing. Nondisclosure agreements shall only become effective after this seven-day period has passed.

Retaliation Prohibited

Any act of retaliation against any person who opposes sexually harassing behavior, or who has filed a complaint in good faith, is prohibited and illegal, and therefore subject to disciplinary action. Likewise, retaliation against any person who has, in good faith, testified, assisted, or participated in any manner in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing of a sexual harassment complaint is prohibited. For purposes of this policy, retaliation includes but is not limited to: verbal or physical threats, intimidation, ridicule, bribes, destruction of property, spreading rumors, stalking, harassing phone calls, discipline, discrimination, demotion, denial of privileges, any action that would keep a reasonable person from coming forward to make or support a sexual harassment claim, and any other form of harassment. Such actions need not be job- or education-related, or occur in the workplace or educational environment, to constitute unlawful retaliation. Any person who retaliates is subject to immediate disciplinary action, up to and including suspension or termination.

Discipline/Penalties

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

Students: Discipline may range from a reprimand up to and including suspension from school, to be imposed consistent with the student conduct and discipline policy and applicable law.

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

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

“Non-employees” (i.e., contractors, subcontractors, vendors, consultant and other persons providing services pursuant to a contract, or their employees): Penalties may range from a warning up to and including loss of District business.

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

False Complaints

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

Training

All students and employees shall be informed of this policy in student and employee handbooks, on the District website and student registration materials. A poster summarizing the policy shall also be posted in a prominent location at each school. All secondary school student body officers shall receive District training about the policy at the beginning of each school year. The District shall provide all existing employees with either a paper or electronic copy of the District’s sexual harassment policy and regulation, and shall provide the same to new employees before the employee starts his/her job.

In addition, age-appropriate curricular materials will be made available so that it can be incorporated in instruction K-12 to ensure that all students are educated to recognize and report sexual harassment.

All new employees shall receive copies of and training on this policy and regulation at new employee orientation or as soon as possible after starting their job. All other employees shall be provided with copies of this policy and regulation and training regarding this policy at least once a year in furtherance of the District’s commitment to a harassment-free learning and working environment. building principals, the Title IX Coordinator, and other administrative employees who have specific responsibilities for investigating and resolving complaints of sexual harassment shall receive yearly training on their responsibilities pursuant to this policy and regulation and related legal developments.

Annual employee training programs shall be interactive and include: (i) an explanation of sexual harassment consistent with guidance issued by the NYS Department of Labor and the NYS Division of Human Rights; (ii) examples of conduct that is unlawful sexual harassment; (iii) information on federal and state laws about sexual harassment and remedies available to victims of sexual harassment; (iv) information concerning employees’ right to make complaints and all available forums for investigating complaints; and (v) address the conduct and responsibilities of supervisors.

Building principals in each school and program directors shall be responsible for informing students and staff on a yearly basis of the terms of this policy, including the procedures established for investigation and resolution of complaints, general issues surrounding sexual harassment, the rights and responsibilities of students and employees, and the impact of sexual harassment on the target.

Adoption date: June 19, 2002
Revised Date: October 17, 2018

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Policy 0200 | School District Planning Program

View the PDF version of the School District Planning Program Policy here.

Planning and Evaluation

The Board of Education (the Board) of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) recognizes that comprehensive program planning and evaluation are essential educational practices allowing for informed decision making by both staff and the community. Wherever possible, community and staff expertise will be used in the District’s planning and evaluation process.

To these ends, the superintendent shall:

1. develop a process by which program areas are budgeted;
2. develop three to five year enrollment projections; and
3. implement evaluation procedures for new and existing programs.

The Board and the superintendent will review all program plans, evaluation designs, and reports for information and/or acceptance.

Objectives, Program Measurements and Schedule of Reports

Consistent with the Board’s belief in comprehensive planning, the superintendent shall facilitate the participatory development of District goals on a biennial basis. The superintendent shall report annually to the Board outlining the effectiveness of programs in meeting their objectives, per midyear/end-of-year goal assessment reports.

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

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Policy 0320 | Evaluation of Superintendent

View the PDF version of the Evaluation of Superintendent Policy here.

The Board of Education (the Board) of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) recognizes that student growth, District progress, and community satisfaction are all affected by the performance of the superintendent. The superintendent cannot function effectively without periodic feedback about his/her performance. Therefore, the Board recognizes its responsibilities to evaluate the superintendent.

At the beginning of each year of the superintendent’s appointment, the Board and the superintendent will meet to discuss a plan of performance review and accountability for that school year. Such a plan will be directly related to the approved job description of the superintendent and shall center on performance standards keyed to his/her job responsibilities. The superintendent’s evaluation will gauge his/her success in meeting the established performance standards.

Ref: 8 NYCRR §100.2(o)(2)

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

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Policy 0330 | Evaluation of Professional Staff

View the PDF version of the Evaluation of Professional Staff Policy here.

The Board of Education (the Board) of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) recognizes that a well-developed and rigorously administered evaluation process is key to securing and maintaining an effective District workforce. The Board views the evaluation of professional staff as an essential growth tool for improving individual performance and the District’s overall ability to meet its educational objectives. To these ends, the performance of all professional staff will be reviewed and evaluated at least annually in accordance with the regulations of the commissioner. The purposes of teacher and administrator evaluations are:

1. to clarify the duties and responsibilities of staff;
2. to enrich, develop, and improve effective professional skills and performance by:

a. informing each staff member of how his or her performance is perceived in relation to the expectations of the District; and
b. identifying an individual’s strengths and weaknesses;

3. to enhance the instructional program by providing individual staff members with methods by which performance may be improved; and
4. to provide the Board and the superintendent with accurate and timely assessments of employee performance to enable them to fulfill their legal responsibilities in making personnel decisions, including the granting of tenure or voting disciplinary charges. 

As part of its oversight responsibilities for the District, the Board shall ensure that evaluations are conducted regularly, that the results of the evaluations are thoroughly documented, and that administrators are properly trained to conduct evaluations. The superintendent is responsible for administering the evaluation process.

The procedures and guidelines for formal observations and evaluations of teachers and administrators shall be those agreed to with the employee organization(s) representing such professional staff and set forth in their respective collective bargaining agreements.

Ref:
Education Law §3031
8 NYCRR §100.2(o)(1)

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

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Policy 0335 | Evaluation of Administrative Staff

View the PDF version of the Evaluation of Administrative Staff Policy here.

The Board of Education (the Board) of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) views the evaluation of administrators as an essential growth tool for improving the District’s overall ability to meet its educational objectives. To this end, the evaluation process for all administrators will be conducted on a yearly basis and will be directly related to their approved job descriptions. The format of the evaluation will be centered on performance standards keyed to the administrator’s job responsibilities.

Performance standards will be developed at the beginning of each school year and agreed upon by the administrator and his/her supervisor. At the end of the school year, a joint appraisal will be conducted between the administrator and his/her supervisor to gauge the administrator’s success in meeting the performance standards.

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

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Policy 0340 | Evaluation of Support Staff

View the PDF version of the Evaluation of Support Staff Policy here.

The Board of Education (the Board) of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) believes that the evaluation of support staff is an essential component of supervision and decision making regarding staff promotions and retention. The Board therefore directs the superintendent to develop standards and procedures for the evaluation of all support staff.

Each support staff member will be formally evaluated in accordance with the terms of the applicable collective bargaining agreement or, if the support staff member is not represented by an employee organization, each year by his/her immediate supervisor or other designated person.

The purposes of support staff evaluations are:

  1. to provide an objective basis for employee improvement; and
  2. to ensure that employees meet performance standards.

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

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Policy 1000 | Community Relations Goals

View the PDF version of the Community Relations Goal Policy here.

The Board of Education (the Board) strives to conduct Bethlehem Central School District (the District) affairs through a continuing, open dialogue between the community and the schools. Given District residents’ high level of interest in the education of children, the Board wishes to maintain its high level of sensitivity to the needs and desires of the community and to act expeditiously to meet changing needs and conditions.

To this end, the Board establishes the following goals for community involvement:

1.     to provide a variety of means whereby residents of the District may have the opportunity to contribute their best thinking to the orderly planning of education for children in the District;
2.     to keep the community accurately informed about its schools;
3.     to understand community attitudes and aspirations for the schools;
4.     to encourage contributions from the parent-teacher organizations of the District so that school personnel and parents cooperate to advance the educational welfare of the children;
5.     to handle all complaints from the public by the administrative officer in charge of the unit of the District organization closest to the complainant. However, such complaints may be carried to the superintendent and/or the Board if the problem cannot be resolved at that level;
6.     to promote a spirit of cooperation among the Board, the schools, and the community;
7.     to develop and maintain the confidence of the community in the Board and the District staff;
8.     to expand the public understanding of all aspects of the school system and stimulate public interest in the District;
9.     to facilitate dissemination of information to the community concerning issues and activities in the schools using not only traditional modes of communication, such as a District newsletter, but also current modes of digital communication;
10.  to ascertain the community’s opinions and desires with respect to the operations of the District, and to incorporate that knowledge into its actions;
11.  to develop arrangements among civic and community organizations for sharing of resources, especially in the creation of programs designed to benefit students; and
12.  to develop and maintain an effective means of communication with the people of the district.

Notwithstanding the above, the final decisions in these areas will rest with the Board.

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

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Policy 1050 | Annual District Meeting and Election

View the PDF version of the Annual District Meeting and Election Policy here.

The Bethlehem Central School District (the District) shall hold an annual meeting and election at which the District’s authorized voters will elect members of the Board of Education (the Board) and vote on the District budget for the coming school year. The annual District meeting and election will be held on the third Tuesday in May, unless this date conflicts with religious observances on that day, in which case the annual meeting and election will be held on the second Tuesday in May.

The District clerk shall publish a notice of the time and place of the annual meeting and election at least four times within the seven weeks prior to the meeting, in two newspapers having general circulation within the District. The first publication of the notice shall be at least forty-five days prior to the meeting. The notice shall also contain notice of any other matter required by law.

Copies of the budget to be voted upon at the annual meeting election will be available in each District school building for District residents upon request, at the time of the annual meeting and election, and fourteen days (other than Saturday, Sunday, and holidays) prior to the meeting.

The Board will appoint assistant clerks and election inspectors necessary for the annual meeting and election at a Board meeting held before the annual meeting and election.

Propositions

The Board has the authority, under Education Law, to adopt reasonable rules and regulations concerning the submission of petitions to the Board to place propositions on the ballot that may amend the budget. Pursuant to those provisions, the Board establishes the following guidelines:

1.     Unless otherwise provided by Education Law, petitions for the submission of a proposition must contain a minimum of twenty-five signatures of qualified voters of the District, or 5 percent of the eligible voters who voted in the previous annual election of the members of the Board of Education, whichever is greater.
2.     Petitions must be filed with the District clerk at least thirty days prior to the annual meeting, except for petitions relating to a proposition that must be included in the notice of the annual meeting (e.g., changing the number of Board members). Such petitions must be submitted sixty days in advance of the annual meeting to facilitate the preparation and printing of the ballots.
3.     Propositions must include the specific appropriations necessary for the purposes listed.
4.     Wording of a petition must comply with legal requirements. If the wording does not comply, it may be changed or altered by the Board, or the Board may reject a petition for failure to comply.

Propositions received in accordance with these specifications will be placed on the ballot as amendments and will be voted upon by the voters in the same manner as the proposed budget, except that the Board shall not be required to place any proposition on the ballot that is within the exclusive province of the Board, or otherwise forbidden by law. No proposition involving the budget may be submitted to the voters more than twice.

The Board may also, on its own motion, submit propositions.

Ref:
Education Law §§416(3); 1608(2); 1716(2) 1804(4); 1906(1); 2002(1); 2003(1)(2); 2004(1)-(7); 2009; 2021;2022(1), (4)-(5); 2035(2); 2601-a(2)
General Construction Law §60
Matter of Hebel, 34 EDR 319 (1994)
Matter of Martin, 32 EDR 567 (1993)
Matter of Como, 30 EDR 214 (1990) 

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

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Policy 1120 | School District Records

View the PDF version of the School District Records Policy here.

It is the policy of the Board of Education (the Board) to inform members of the public about the administration and operation of the public schools in accordance with the Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) of the state of New York.

The superintendent shall develop regulations ensuring compliance with the FOIL Law and setting forth the procedures to be followed to obtain access to Bethlehem Central School District (the District) records, and submit such regulations to the Board for approval. The superintendent shall designate, with Board approval, a records access and records management officer, pursuant to law.

Retention and Destruction of Records

The Board hereby adopts the Records Retention and Disposition Schedule ED-1 issued pursuant to Article 57-A of the Arts and Cultural Affairs Law, which contains the legal minimum retention periods for District records. In accordance with Article 57-A, the District will dispose of only those records described in the schedule after they have met the minimum retention periods set forth in the schedule. The District will dispose of only those records that do not have sufficient administrative, fiscal, legal, or historical value to merit retention beyond the established legal minimum periods.

The superintendent will establish procedures in the event that the District is served with legal papers. The superintendent will communicate with applicable parties, including the school attorney and the records management official, to ensure that, when appropriate, a litigation-hold is properly implemented. The litigation-hold is intended to prevent the destruction or disposal of records that may need to be produced as part of discovery. It is the intention of the Board to comply with applicable rules and regulations regarding the production of necessary documents, data, files, etc. The Board directs the superintendent to institute such procedures to implement this policy.

Cross-ref:
8630, Computer Resources and Data Management

Ref:
Public Officers Law §84 et seq. (Freedom of Information Law)
Education Law §2116
Arts and Cultural Affairs Law §57.11
Local Government Records Law, Article 57-A
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, 16, 26
8 NYCRR Part 185 (Appendix I)

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

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Policy 1120R | School District Records Regulation

View the PDF version of the School District Records Regulation here.

The following comprises the rules and regulations relating to the inspection and production of Bethlehem Central School District (the District) records:

Designation of Officers

A. The records access officer shall be the chief business and financial officer. He/she shall:

1. receive requests for records of the Board of Education (the Board) and make such records available for inspection or copying when such requests are granted; and

2. monitor and utilize the Commissioner’s Listing of Records, as described below.

The superintendent, with the Board’s approval, shall designate a records management officer for the District. The records management officer will develop and oversee a program for the orderly and efficient management of District records.

Definition of Records

A. A record is defined as any information kept, held, filed, produced, or reproduced by, with, or for the District in any physical form whatsoever, including, but not limited to, electronic communications, reports, statements, examinations, memoranda, opinions, folders, files, books, manuals, pamphlets, forms, papers, designs, drawings, maps, photos, letters, microfilms, digital storage materials, rules, regulations, or codes.

B. The records access officer will have the responsibility for compiling and maintaining the following records:

1. a record of the final vote of each member of the Board on any proceeding or matter on which the member votes;

2. a record setting forth the name, school or office address, title, and salary of every officer or employee of the District; and

3. a reasonably detailed current list, by subject matter, of all records in possession of the District, whether or not available for public inspection and copying.

C. No record for which there is a pending request for access may be destroyed. However, nothing in these regulations shall require the District to prepare any record not possessed or maintained by it.

Access to Records

A. Time and place records may be inspected: Records may be requested from, and inspected or copied at, the Office of the Records Access Officer, at the Education Center, 700 Delaware Avenue, Delmar, NY, 12054, during the business days on which the District offices are open.

B. Fees: The fee for documents up to 9 x 14 inches is 25 cents per page. For documents larger than 9 x 14 inches, tape or cassette records, or computer printouts, the cost will be based on the cost of reproduction or program utilized. Fees are subject to periodic review and change. However, no fee shall be charged for records sent via e-mail, the search for or inspection of records, certification of documents, or copies of documents that have been printed or reproduced for distribution to the public. The number of such copies given to any one organization or individual may be limited, at the discretion of the records access officer.

C. Procedures: Requests to inspect or secure copies of records shall be submitted in writing, either in person, by mail or via e-mail, to the records access officer.

D. All requests for information shall be responded to within five business days of receipt of the request. If the request cannot be fulfilled within five business days, the records access officer shall acknowledge receipt of the request and advise on the approximate date when the request will be granted or denied.

E. If a request cannot be granted within twenty business days from the date of acknowledgment of the request, the District must state in writing both the reason the request cannot be granted within twenty business days, and a date certain within a reasonable period when it will be granted depending on the circumstances of the request.

F. Denial of access: When a request for access to a public record is denied, the records access officer shall indicate in writing the reasons for such denial, and the right to appeal.

G. Appeal: An applicant denied access to a public record may file an appeal by delivering a copy of the request and a copy of the denial to the superintendent within thirty days after the denial from which such appeal is taken.

H. The applicant and the New York State Committee on Open Government will be informed of the superintendent’s determination in writing within ten business days of receipt of an appeal. The superintendent shall transmit to the NYS Committee on Open Government photocopies of all appeals and determinations.

Records Exempted from Public Access

The provisions of this regulation relating to information available for public inspection and copying shall not apply to records that:

A. are specifically exempted from disclosure by state and/or federal statute;

B. if disclosed would constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy;

C. if disclosed would impair present or imminent contract awards or collective bargaining negotiations;

D. are confidentially disclosed to the Board and compiled and maintained for the regulation of commercial enterprise, including trade secrets, or for the grant or review of a license;

E. are compiled for law enforcement purposes and which, if disclosed, would:

1. interfere with law enforcement investigations or judicial proceedings;

2. deprive a person of a right to a fair trial or impartial adjudication;

3. identify a confidential source or disclose confidential techniques or procedures, except[CM8]  routine techniques or procedures; or

4. reveal criminal investigative techniques or procedures, except routine techniques and procedures;

F. records that, if disclosed, would endanger the life or safety of any person;

G. records that are interagency or intra-agency communications, except to the extent that such materials consist of:

1. statistical or factual tabulations of data;

2. instructions to staff which affect the public;

3. final Board policy determinations; or

4. external audits, including but not limited to, audits performed by the comptroller and the federal government;

H. records that are examination questions or answers that are requested prior to the final administration of such questions; or

I. records that are computer access codes.

    Prevention of Unwarranted Invasion of Privacy

    To prevent an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy, the records access officer may delete identifying details when records are made available. An unwarranted invasion of personal privacy includes, but shall not be limited to:

    A. disclosure of confidential personal matters reported to the Board that are not relevant or essential to the ordinary work of the Board;

    B. disclosure of employment, medical or credit histories, or personal references of applicants for employment, unless the applicant has provided a written release permitting such disclosures;

    C. sale or release of lists of names and addresses in the possession of the Board if such lists would be used for private, commercial or fund-raising purposes;

    D. disclosure of information of a personal nature when disclosure would result in economic or personal hardship to the subject party and such records are not relevant or essential to the ordinary work of the Board; or

    E. disclosure of items involving the medical or personal records of a client or patient in a hospital or medical facility.

    Unless otherwise deniable, disclosure shall not be construed to constitute an unwarranted invasion of privacy when identifying details are deleted, when the person to whom records pertain consents in writing to disclosure, or when upon representing reasonable proof of identity, a person seeks access to records pertaining to him or her.

    Listing of Records

    Pursuant to Section 87(3)(c) of the Public Officers Law, the current records retention schedule for school districts, published by the commissioner of education, shall serve as the list by subject matter of all records in the possession of the District, whether or not available under the law.

    Litigation-Hold

    The superintendent will designate a “discovery” team, comprised of the school attorney, director of technology, the records access and records management officer, and other personnel as needed. The discovery team will convene in the event that litigation is commenced to plan to respond to the request for records. The superintendent, with assistance from the director of technology, will ensure that measures are put in place to preserve applicable records.

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

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    Policy 1130 | Media Relations

    View the PDF version of the Media Relations Policy here.

    The Board of Education (the Board) invites and welcomes the active participation of all forms of mass media, print and electronic, in educating the public and improving education within the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) and the wider community. The Board and superintendent will make every reasonable effort to cooperate with the media by providing accurate information about District operations, to the extent permissible by statute and regulation.

    The Board president is designated as the spokesperson for the Board when the Board is making a statement on an issue. No other individual member of the Board will speak for, or in name of, the Board unless by explicit direction of the Board. Board members should emphasize to the media when asked to speak as a Board member that they can only speak as private citizens unless they have been empowered to speak on behalf of the entire Board.

    The superintendent is designated as the spokesperson for the District.

    All staff intending to release information to the media should first notify the superintendent. The superintendent shall establish all necessary procedures to govern day-to-day interactions between the schools and the news media.

    The Board and the superintendent agree that social media can be useful for communicating with the community. All postings to social media sites will be treated with the same care and consideration as any other communication that the superintendent, or his/her designee, generates on behalf of the District. Postings will adhere to the standards set in the Board’s “Acceptable Use” policy (# 4526).

    The Board of Education strongly suggests that active Board members do not comment about issues, concerns, or matters of the District on social media. If Board members choose to maintain a social networking presence, the Board member must ensure that it is clear the postings do not represent the Board as a whole.

    Cross-ref:
    4526, Acceptable Use
    8630, Computer Resources and Data Management

    Ref:
    Arts and Cultural Affairs Law §61.09

    Adoption date: March 7, 2012
    Revised date: November 28, 2018

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    Policy 1130.1 | Social Media Guidelines

    View the PDF version of the Social Media Guidelines here.

    The following guidelines address procedures and best practices for professional-use social media accounts created to represent Bethlehem Central School District (the District) groups, departments, programs, etc., and the District as a whole, and do not apply to personal/individual accounts.

    Definitions

    Social Media: Includes all methods of interaction online in all forms of user-generated and distributed content including, but not limited to, blogs and social networking sites (Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, etc.).

    Professional Use: Refers to the creation of social media accounts by staff or students to advance a program or function of the District or represent the District on social media. Content includes or reflects the opinions or representation of the District or group within/governed by the District.

    Personal Use: Refers to the use of social media for personal use, although this may include some work-related or school-related activities such as networking or promoting a District program or service. Content reflects the personal opinion of the account holder.

    Guidelines for Professional-Use Social Media Accounts

    Upon prior approval, students or employees may use social media for educational or promotional purposes. A student’s or employee’s professional use of social media must be preapproved by the superintendent, or his/her designees, in consultation with the building principal, and follow the guidelines set forth in the District’s Acceptable Use Policy #4526, the Bethlehem Central Social Media Handbook, the Terms of Service of the social network used, and New York State law.

    Dignity for All Students Act

    Section VIII of the Dignity for All Students Act (DASA), “Guidance on Bullying and Cyberbullying,” outlines the District’s responsibility to address cyberbullying not only within our schools, but also incidents that occur off school property that could “foreseeably disrupt” the school environment. This guidance includes any conduct taking place on social media and at any time of the day. Any student disciplinary actions as it relates to conduct on social media and cyberbullying will follow the District’s Code of Conduct (Policy #5300).

    Monitoring of Bethlehem Central School District Sponsored Accounts

    The District’s communications office is responsible for reviewing and approving all social media applications for the District, in consultation with the District superintendent, technology office, Board of Education (the Board), and members of the District leadership team. An application form can be found in the Bethlehem Central Social Media Handbook.

    The communications office reserves the right, with superintendent approval, to remove content posted to, or within the comment sections of, District social media sites that:

    • is off-topic;
    • contains personal attacks;
    • contains spam;
    • contains offensive language;
    • contains private/confidential information; and/or
    • contains viewpoints that are not those of the commenter (such as when an account is hacked or used by another person).

    Appropriate Use When Utilizing Social Media

    District employees are expected to follow the same behavioral standards online as they would in real life. The same laws, professional expectations, and guidelines for interacting with students, parents, alumni, District staff, media, and other District stakeholders apply online as in the real world. Employees are responsible for anything they post to social media sites.

    The Board requires that all District employees maintain a professional, ethical relationship with students that is conducive to an effective, safe learning environment. The District recognizes that teachers will have direct contact and instructional conversations via electronic means (i.e., email, Google Classroom). Staff members should act as role models for students at all times, whether on or off school property, both during and outside of school hours, and with caution when using communications tools including, but not limited to, email, texts, phone calls, publicly accessible websites, blogs, and/or social networking sites.

    Staff must establish appropriate personal boundaries with students and not engage in any behavior that could reasonably lead to even the appearance of impropriety.

    Note the following guidelines:

    • Follow any and all guidelines detailed in the Bethlehem Central School District Social Media Handbook.
    • Refrain from reporting, speculating, discussing, or giving any opinions on topics related to the District or employees of the District that could be considered sensitive, confidential, or disparaging.
    • Bethlehem Central logos and/or visual identity cannot be used for personal social media use without prior approval from the superintendent. To use such information, contact the District’s Communications Office.
    • A personal social media account is not an appropriate place to distribute District news, although staff members are encouraged to share and talk about news posted to the District website or Facebook page. Employees with information and news to announce to the public or media should contact the District’s Communications Office.
    • The District does not routinely monitor personal online accounts, but will address issues that violate personnel, social media, or other guidelines or board policies and state laws (such as DASA).
    • Remember that District computers and resources are to be used only for job-related purposes and educational purposes for students, as detailed in the District’s Acceptable Use Policy (#4526)
    • Respect copyright and fair use: When posting, be mindful of the copyright and intellectual property rights of others and of the District.
    • Guidelines regarding use of student photographs and information apply to online publications, including social media.
    • Confidential information should never be posted online.

    Cross References:

    • 5300, Code of Conduct
    • 4526.2, Acceptable Use

    Adopted: May 4, 2016
    Revised: December 19, 2018

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    Policy 1222 | Relations with Parents-Schools Support/Booster Organizations

    View the PDF version of the Relations with Parents-Schools Support/Booster Organizations Policy here.

    The Board of Education (the Board) recognizes that parent-support groups (such as Parent-Teacher Association/Organization (PTA/PTO), the Bethlehem Music Association (BMA), etc.) or “booster” organizations provide important support to Bethlehem Central School District (the District) schools, and can be a valuable means of stimulating community interest in the aims and activities of the District. Booster organizations may be defined in three ways:

    1. an organization that is created to foster community support and raise funds for a specific curricular activity (e.g., athletics, speech and debate, and/or musical groups); or

    2. an organization that is created to foster community support and raise funds for the school’s general curricular program; or

    3. an organization that otherwise supports school-related activities and/or scholarships.

    Parents and other interested members of the community who wish to organize a booster club for the purpose of supporting a school program are encouraged to do so, as long as the activities of such organizations do not interfere unduly with the educational program, or disrupt District operations in any way. To this end, booster organizations must follow these guidelines:

    1. be voluntary and support a school activity;

    2. submit an activity schedule, in advance, to the superintendent or his/her designee for prior approval (any time the support organization uses the name of the District, or any language suggesting that the District has endorsed, sponsored, or otherwise approved of the club’s activities, there must be prior approval by the superintendent or his/her designee);

    3. seek advance approval from the superintendent or his/her designee for any use of school facilities and/or equipment, following procedures outlined in administrative regulation 1500-R, “Public Use of School Facilities Regulation”;

    4. avoid interference with the decision-making of any student group;

    5. understand and respect the authority of District employees in the administration of their duties; and

    6. assume all financial responsibility for their organization including, but not limited to, the provision of adequate insurance coverage, as appropriate.

    If a parent-school support/booster organization wishes to make a contribution of money, service time, or tangible property (e.g., equipment or supplies), a representative of the organization should first meet with the superintendent or his/her designee. The superintendent or his/her designee must identify the District’s terms and conditions of accepting such gifts, and seek the Board’s official approval, in a timely manner.

    Cross-ref: 1800, Gifts from the Public

    Adoption date: May 20, 2009
    Re-approved date: December 19, 2018

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    Policy 1225 | Relationship with Local Education Foundation

    View the PDF version of the Relationship with Local Education Foundation Policy here.

    The Board of Education (the Board) recognizes the value of the Bethlehem Central Community Foundation (BCCF) and its efforts to support the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) by enhancing the resources available to our schools and students.

    To help ensure that the BCCF’s fund-raising efforts and its planning of activities are in concert with the District’s mission and goals, the trustees of the BCCF are invited to meet with the Board on an annual basis. The Board of Education designates a Board member as a liaison to the BCCF Board of Trustees.

    BCCF activities, if they involve the use of District facilities or resources, must be planned in accordance with Policy 1500, “Public Use of School Facilities.” Donations offered by the BCCF will be considered in accordance with Policy 1800, “Gifts from the Public.” The superintendent is charged with sharing the applicable policies and procedures with the Board of Trustees of the BCCF.

    The Board of Education recognizes the BCCF as a separate legal entity from the District. The Board encourages the leadership of the BCCF to coordinate its fund-raising efforts with other school-community organizations such as the Parent-Teacher Association/Organization (PTA/PTO), the Bethlehem Music Association (BMA), etc.

    Cross-ref:
    1500, Public Use of School Facilities
    1800, Gifts From the Public
    2160, School Board Officer and Employee Ethics

    Adoption Date: July, 1, 2009
    Revised Date: August 9, 2017
    Reapproved Date: December 19, 2018

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    Policy 1400 | Public Complaints

    View the PDF version of the Public Complaints Policy here.

    Constructive criticism of the schools, when accepted by a Board of Education (the Board) in a receptive spirit, may serve to improve the quality of the educational program or to equip the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) schools to do their tasks more effectively. While no community member should be denied the right to bring complaints to the Board, that person may have his/her complaints referred through administrative channels for solution before Board investigation or action.

    The Board recognizes the right of community members to register individual or group concerns regarding instruction, District programs, materials, operations, and/or staff members. The main goal of the District is to resolve such concerns specifically with the parties involved, whenever possible.

    Public complaints about the District will be directed to the proper administrative personnel. Complaints about specific classroom practices shall be directed to the teacher concerned. If the matter is not settled satisfactorily, the complainant shall then contact the principal; if there is no resolution on this level, the superintendent or his/her designee shall be contacted. The superintendent shall refer the issue to the Board for final resolution, if necessary.

    All matters referred to the superintendent and/or the Board shall be in writing. Concerns registered directly to the Board as a whole or to an individual Board member shall be referred as soon as is reasonably possible to the superintendent for investigation, report, and/or resolution.

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

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    Policy 1420 | Complaints About Instructional Materials

    View the PDF version of the Complaints About Instructional Materials Policy here.

    The Board of Education (the Board) recognizes its responsibility for the selection of instructional materials. The Board expects Bethlehem Central School District (the District) teachers and administrators to recommend books and other materials in accord with sound educational principles and practices, and to use them effectively in the classrooms. However, the Board also recognizes the right of community members to voice concerns and/or complaints regarding the implementation of a particular curriculum and/or instructional material.

    Any criticism of instructional materials that cannot be resolved at the building level shall be submitted in writing to the superintendent. An Instructional Material Review Committee, consisting of the District’s assistant superintendent, building principal, department supervisor and a teacher, will be designated by the superintendent to examine the challenged material.

    The committee shall make recommendations to the superintendent concerning the disposition of the complaint, and the superintendent will issue a decision. This decision may be appealed to the Board, and the decision of the Board shall be final.

    Ref:

    • Education Law §§1709(15); 1711(5)(f)
    • Board of Educ., Island Trees UFSD v. Pico, 457 US 853 (1982)

    Cross Ref: 4312, Classroom Films and Videos

    Adoption date: October 19, 2011
    Revised date: October 17, 2018

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    Policy 1420-R | Complaints About Instructional Materials Regulation

    View the PDF version of the Complaints About Instructional Materials Regulation here.

    The following procedures shall apply to the handling of complaints concerning any textbook, library book or material, and any other instructional material used in Bethlehem Central School District (the District) schools.

    1. When a person has a complaint concerning a textbook, library book, or other instructional material and protests its use in class or its availability in a school library, the principal shall hold an informal meeting with the complainant and the teacher, librarian, or other staff member who is using or providing the book or material. At this meeting, the complainant will be asked to make clear his or her objections to the material; the teacher or librarian will be asked to explain the educational value of the material.

    2. If the complaint is not resolved informally, the complainant may file a formal written complaint with the superintendent.

    3. Upon receiving a formal written complaint, the superintendent shall designate an Instructional Review Committee, consisting of the District’s assistant superintendent, building principal, department supervisor and a teacher to examine the challenged material.

    4. The committee shall:

    a. read and examine the challenged materials;

    b. consider the specific objections to the material voiced by the complainant;

    c. weigh the values and faults of the material as a whole;

    d. consider written or oral presentations made to the committee, if any;

    e. where appropriate, solicit advice or opinion from other District faculty and/or relevant professional organizations such as the American Library Association, the National Council of Teachers of English, and the National Council of Social Studies Teachers; and

    f. submit a report to the superintendent containing its recommendations concerning any complaint.

    5. The superintendent shall review the report of the committee, make a decision, and notify the complainant and appropriate staff.

    6. If the complainant is not satisfied with the superintendent’s decision, he/she may refer the complaint to the Board of Education (the Board). The superintendent will deliver a copy of his/her decision and the committee’s report to the Board for its consideration. The final decision shall be made by the Board.

    Adoption date: October 19, 2011
    Revised date: October 17, 2018

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    Policy 1510 | Public Sales on School Property

    View the PDF version of the Public Sales on School Property Policy here.

    The Board of Education (the Board) is aware of the importance of training each generation to be charitable, however, the Board will not provide agencies, groups, or individuals with unrestricted access to the captive audience of a school group. Therefore, except for those activities listed in the administrative regulations following this policy, solicitations, collections, and distribution of materials will not be permitted in school buildings, without prior approval of the superintendent.

    Any fund drive must be sponsored by the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) , or a school-related organization (e.g., the Parent-Teacher Association).

    The District will not provide lists of parents, students, their addresses, or phone numbers for the above-mentioned purpose.

    Fund drives sponsored by the District requiring door-to-door solicitation must have the prior approval of the superintendent.

    Cross-ref:
    5660, Student Gifts and Solicitations

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

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    Policy 1510-R | Public Sales on School Property Regulation

    View the PDF version of the Public Sales on School Property Regulation here.

    Door to Door Solicitations

    No student may be asked to go door-to-door under Bethlehem Central School District (the District) auspices without the prior approval of the superintendent. Collection and solicitation will be considered for approval in the following situations:

    1.     There has been a well-established tradition of door-to-door soliciting;
    2.     All net proceeds collected will be used for school purposes;
    3.     Each person contacted in the home determines the amount they contribute; and
    4.     The project involves a broad base rather than something of a limited scope.

    Fund-raising activities sponsored by organizations represented by the Bethlehem Central President’s Council shall be approved only during nonschool hours. These activities shall be conducted as to minimize the amount of school time required and to emphasize school spirit.

    All activities shall be voluntary and no identifying devices shall be used for students who contribute or participate.

    Literature that is sponsored by organizations that are represented by the President’s Council may be distributed at the discretion of the superintendent.

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

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    Policy 1530 | Smoking on School Premises

    View the PDF version of the Smoking on School Premises Policy here.

    Due to the health hazards associated with smoking, which includes a cigarette, e-cigarette (including a vape or juul), cigar, pipe, or using chewing or smokeless tobacco, and in accordance with federal and state law, the Board of Education (the Board) prohibits smoking or other tobacco use in all school buildings, on Bethlehem Central School District (the District) property, and at District-sponsored activities, whether such activities are sponsored on or off District property.

    The District’s smoking policy shall be prominently posted in each building. The Board designates the superintendent or his/her designee as the agent responsible for informing individuals smoking in a nonsmoking area that they are in violation of Article 13 of the Public Health Law and/or federal Pro-Children Act of 1994.

    Ref:
    Education Law §§409(2); 3020-a(4)
    Goals 2000: Educate America Act §§1041 et seq. (The Pro-Children Act of 1994)
    Public Health Law Article 13-E §§206; 340; 347

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

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    Policy 1600 | Relations with Other Local Government Authorities

    View the PDF version of the Relations with Other Local Government Authorities Policy here.

    The Board of Education (the Board) recognizes the interdependence of the Board and other governmental units and realizes the necessity for close cooperation between local school government and other local governmental agencies.

    The Board will be ready to cooperate with other governmental agencies whenever it is appropriate.

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

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    Policy 1740 | Relationship with Nonpublic Schools

    View the PDF version of the Relationship with Nonpublic Schools Policy here.

    In recognition of its responsibility under state law and regulation, the Board of Education (the Board) shall make available required public school materials, equipment, and services to resident students who attend nonpublic schools.

    Textbook Loan

    The Board recognizes that section 701 of the Education Law requires all Boards to purchase and to loan, upon individual request, textbooks to all children residing in the district who are attending grades kindergarten through twelve in any public or nonpublic school that complies with the compulsory education law.

    It is also understood that the textbooks must be “loaned free” to the children, but Boards may make reasonable rules and regulations regarding such loan(s).

    Therefore, the following rules and regulations shall govern the loan of textbooks to residents of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) attending nonpublic schools:

    1. The textbooks shall remain the property of the District.
    2. The textbooks shall be returned at the end of the nonpublic school year.
    3. If lost or destroyed, the textbooks shall be paid for in the same fashion as the students attending District schools.

    Instructional Computer Hardware and Software Loan

    The Board recognizes its responsibility to loan instructional computer hardware and software, upon request, to all pupils legally attending nonpublic elementary or secondary schools located in the District. The District shall loan instructional computer hardware and software on an equitable basis. However, software and hardware purchased with any local, federal, or state funds, other than Instructional Computer Hardware or Software Aid funds, are not required to be loaned to nonpublic school students.

    In addition, the District will only purchase and loan software programs that do not contain material of a religious nature.

    The Board authorizes the superintendent to establish any and all rules, regulations, and procedures necessary to implement and maintain this policy. The superintendent will specify the date by which requests must be received by the District and provide notice to all nonpublic schools within the District of that date.

    Ref:
    Education Law §§701; 751-754; 1709; 3204; 3602-c
    8 NYCRR §175.25; 21.3
    Mitchell v. Helms, 530 U.S. 793 (2000)
    Russman v. Sobol, 85 F.3d 1050 (2d Cir. 1996)
    Zobrest v. Catalina Foothills Sch. Dist., 509 U.S. 1 (1993)
    Aguilar v. Felton, 473 U.S. 402 (1985)
    Board of Educ. v. Allen, 392 U.S. 236 (1968)

    Adoption date: February 4, 2009
    Re-approved date: November 28, 2018

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    Policy 1741 | Homeschooled Students 

    View the PDF version of the Homeschooled Students Policy here.

    The Board of Education (the Board) shall ensure that children instructed at home are taught by a competent instructor and receive an education substantially equivalent to that offered in the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) schools.

    Notice of Intention to Instruct at Home

    Parents/guardians who wish to educate their children at home must annually provide written notice to the superintendent, by July 1st of each school year, of their intention to educate their children at home for the coming school year. Parents/guardians who wish to commence home instruction after the start of the school year, or who establish residence in the District after the start of the school year, must provide written notice to the superintendent of their intention to educate their children at home within fourteen days following the commencement of the home instruction. For the purposes of this Policy, the school year begins July 1st and ends June 30th.

    Procedures for the Development and Review of an Individualized Home Instructional Plan (IHIP)

    A. Within ten business days of receipt of a notice of intention to instruct at home, the District shall send to the parents/guardians a copy of Section 100.10 of the Commissioner’s Regulations and a form on which to submit an individualized home instruction plan (IHIP) for each child who is to be taught at home.
    B. Within four weeks of receipt of such materials, or by August 15th, whichever is later, the parents/guardians must submit the completed IHIP form to the District. The District will provide assistance in preparation of the form, if requested by the parents/guardians.
    C. Within ten business days of receipt of the IHIP, or by August 31st, whichever is later, the District will either notify the parents/guardians that the IHIP complies with the applicable requirements of Section 100.10 of the Commissioner’s Regulations, or will give the parents/guardians written notice of any deficiency in the IHIP.
    D. Within fifteen days of receipt of a notice of deficiency in the IHIP, or by September 15th, whichever is later, the parents/guardians will submit a revised IHIP that corrects any such deficiencies.
    E. Within fifteen days of receipt of the revised IHIP, or by September 30th, whichever is later, the superintendent will review the revised IHIP and will notify the parents/guardians that the revised IHIP complies with the applicable requirements of Section 100.10 of the Commissioner’s Regulations.

    1. If the revised IHIP is not determined to be in compliance with the applicable requirements of Section 100.10 of the Commissioner’s Regulations, then the superintendent will notify the parents/guardians in writing and state the reasons for such determination. Such notice will also contain the date of the next regularly scheduled meeting of the Board, held at least ten days after the date of the mailing of such notice, and will advise that if the parents/guardians desire to contest the determination of noncompliance, then the parents/guardians must notify the Board at least three business days prior to such meeting. At the Board meeting, the parents/guardians have the right to present proof of compliance, and the Board will make the final determination of compliance or noncompliance.
    2. Within thirty days after receipt of such determination, the parents/guardians have the right to appeal any final determination of noncompliance to the commissioner of Education.

    IHIP

    A. Content

    Each child’s IHIP shall contain:

    1. Child’s name, age, and grade level.
    2. A list of the syllabi, curriculum materials, textbooks, or plans of instruction to be used in each of the required subjects listed in Section 100.10(e) of the Commissioner’s Regulations.
    3. The date for submission to the District of the parents’ or guardians’ quarterly reports. These reports will be spaced in even and logical periods.
    4. The names of the individuals providing instruction.
    5. A statement (if applicable) that the child will be meeting the compulsory educational requirements of Education Law §3205 through attendance as a full-time student at a degree-granting institution (defined as at least twelve semester hours per semester or its equivalent), the name of the degree-granting institution, and the subjects to be covered.

    B. Attendance Requirements

    Each child will receive instruction, pursuant to his/her IHIP, as follows:

    1. The substantial equivalent of 180 days of instruction must be provided each school year.
    2. The cumulative hours of instruction for grades one through six are 900 hours per school year. The cumulative hours of instruction for grades seven through twelve are 990 hours per school year.
    3. Absences are permitted on the same basis as provided in the applicable policy of the District for its own students.
    4. Records of attendance must be maintained by the parents or guardians and will be made available to the District upon request.

    C. Quarterly Reports

    On or before the dates specified in the IHIP, a quarterly report for each child will be furnished by the parents or guardians to the District. The quarterly report will contain the following:

    1. The number of hours of instruction during the quarter.
    2. A description of the material covered in each subject listed in the IHIP.
    3. Either a grade for the child in each subject or a written narrative evaluating the child’s progress.
    4. In the event that less than 80 percent of the amount of the course material in any subject for that quarter has been covered, a written explanation describing the reasons why.

    D. Annual Assessment

    At the time of the filing of the fourth quarter report, as specified in the IHIP, the parents or guardians must also file an annual assessment, in accordance with Section 100.10 of the Commissioner’s Regulations.

    The annual assessment must include either:

    1. The results of a commercially published norm-referenced achievement test that meets the requirements of Section 100.10(h)(1) of the Commissioner’s Regulations. If this option is selected, parents/guardians may not administer or score the achievement test.
    2. An alternative form of evaluation that meets the requirements of Section 100.10(h)(2) of the Commissioner’s Regulations, but only as set forth below:
      1. The alternative form of evaluation (written narrative) for grades one through three may be used each school year.
      2. The alternative form of evaluation (written narrative) for grades four through eight may be used only every other school year.
      3. The alternative form of evaluation (written narrative) may not be used for grades nine through twelve.
      4. The written narrative must be prepared by a New York State-certified teacher, home instruction peer group review panel, or other person chosen by the parents or guardians with the consent of the superintendent.

    If a dispute arises between the parents or guardians and the superintendent, including disputes over the administration of commercially published norm-referenced achievement tests or the use of alternative evaluation methods, the parents or guardians may appeal to the Board. If the parents or guardians disagree with the determination of the Board, then the parents or guardians may appeal to the commissioner of Education within thirty days of receipt of the Board’s final determination.

    Special Education

    A student with an approved IHIP, who is a resident of the District and has a disability, or is suspected of having a disability, is eligible to receive services from the District, in accordance with law, regulation, and District policy. Parents or guardians must request special education services in writing to the Board by June 1st of each school year, unless the child is first identified as a classified student with a disability or moves into the District after June 1st. In that case, the parents or guardians must request the services within thirty days after the student is identified as a classified student with a disability or of moving into the District.

    The Committee on Special Education (CSE) shall develop an individualized education services plan (IESP) for each eligible homeschooled student with a disability. The CSE shall determine the location where special education and/or related services will be available to each homeschooled student, pursuant to his/her IESP.

    Participation in Extracurricular Activities

    Students instructed at home by their parents/guardians are not entitled to participate in interscholastic sports, intramural sports, and/or any other extracurricular activities.

    Instructional Materials

    The Board authorizes the superintendent to loan instructional materials, if available, to students receiving home instruction. The superintendent or his/her designee shall determine the availability of resources and develop appropriate procedures.

    Ref:

    • Education Law §§3204(2); 3210(2)(d); 3602-c(2-c)
    • 8 NYCRR §100.10
    • Appeal of Ponte, 41 EDR 174 (2001)
    • Matter of Abookire, 33 EDR 473 (1994)
    • State Education Department Memorandum, “New Requirements for the Provision of Special Education Services to Home-Instructed (“Homeschooled”) Students, July 2008

    Adoption date: January 4, 2012 
    Revised date: February 6, 2013
    Re-approved date: November 28, 2018

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    Policy 1800 | Donations, Gifts, and Grants to the District

    View the PDF version of the Donations, Gifts, and Grants to the District Policy here.

    Unsolicited Gifts and Donations from the Public

    The Board of Education (the Board) welcomes and appreciates gifts and donations from the public. Gifts and donations of money, property, equipment, and materials may be accepted by the Board, except that the superintendent may accept on behalf of the Board gifts and donations having a value less than $500.00 dollars. This policy does not cover personal gifts to staff. See policy 2160, “School District Officer and Employee Code of Ethics,” for guidance on that issue.

    The Board reserves the right to refuse to accept any gift that does not contribute towards the achievement of the goals of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District), or the ownership of which would deplete the resources of the District. In accepting or rejecting gifts and donations, the Board will review the following factors:

    1.  The terms of the gift must identify:

    a. the subject of the gift;

    b. the purpose of the gift;

    c. the beneficiary or beneficiaries if any; and

    d. all conditions or restrictions that may apply.

    2. The gift must not benefit a particular or named individual or individuals.

    3. If the purpose of the gift is an award to a single student, the determination of the recipient of such award shall be made on the basis that all students shall have an equal opportunity to qualify for it in conformance with federal and state law.

    4. If the gift is in trust, the obligation of the investment and reinvestment of the principal shall be clearly specified and the application of the income or investment proceeds shall be clearly set forth.

    5. No gift or trust will be accepted by the Board unless:

    a. it is in support of, and a benefit to, all or to a particular public school in the District; or

    b. it is for a purpose for which the District could legally expend its own funds; or

    c. it is for the purpose of awarding scholarships to students graduating from the District.

    Any gift rejected by the Board shall be returned to the donor or his/her estate within sixty days, together with a statement indicating the reasons for the rejection of such gift.

    Soliciting and Accepting Gifts, Grants, or Donations

    Prior to seeking any grant or donation, the applicant must obtain prior approval from the District. Teachers seeking grants or donations for their classroom must obtain approval from the building principal. Other staff or administrators seeking grants or donations to benefit an entire school or the District as a whole must obtain prior approval from the superintendent or his/her designee. Grant applications for funding of more than $500.00 require prior approval by the Board.

    Approval shall depend on factors including, but not limited to: compatibility with the District’s educational program and standards; availability of existing District resources; whether ownership would deplete District resources; and its impact on the equitable distribution of District resources.

    All grants and donations must benefit the District and be congruent with the following principles:

    1. The District’s mission, vision, core values, and beliefs.

    2. The District and school goals that positively impact student performance.

    3. The District’s instructional priorities and strategies.

    4. Equity in funding.

    5. Conform to District governance and decision-making procedures of the Board, central office, and building-level staff.

    6. Provide a value or benefit that is greater than the obligation under the grant award.

    7. Not violate management and/or bargaining unit rights and responsibilities.

    8. Not carry any conditions that would divert school or District efforts away from the District’s primary mission.

    The Board reserves the right to deny approval of solicitation of any funding or grant application that does not contribute towards the achievement of the District’s goals, or which would deplete the resources of the District. The Board may approve seeking grants that require a match of District funds or resources when the initiative has been identified as a priority by the Board and when such funds are planned as part of the District budget process or can be accommodated by the current budget.

    All solicited grants and donations must be formally accepted by the Board.

    Coordinating with Support Organizations

    The District requires independent support organizations (e.g., booster clubs, Parent-Teacher Association/Organization (PTA/PTO), education foundations) seeking to make a contribution of money or property to first meet with the superintendent or his/her designee to identify the terms and conditions of the proposed gift and the needs of the District. The Board must approve such gifts and donations prior to any public announcement of the contribution.

    Accounting for, and Oversight of, All Donations, Gifts, and Grants

    All gifts, donations, grants, funds, property, and materials received by the District become the property of the District. Such items may not be returned without the approval of the Board. All items are subject to the same controls and regulations as other District property, and shall be deposited or inventoried accordingly.

    It is the goal of the Board to properly account for all District resources and to monitor the distribution of those resources to minimize disparities between schools within the District.

    Cross-ref:
    1222, Relationship with Booster Organizations
    1225, Relationship with Local Educational Foundations
    2160, School District Officer and Employee Code of Ethics
    5251, Student Fund Raising Activities

    Ref: Education Law §1709(12)

    Adoption date: June 19, 2002
    Revised date: March 16, 2016
    Revised date: October 17, 2018

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    Policy 1925 | Interpreters for Parents with Hearing Loss

    View the PDF version of the Interpreters for Parents with Hearing Loss Policy here.

    The Board of Education (the Board) recognizes that those Bethlehem Central School District (the District) parents with hearing loss must be afforded an opportunity equal to that afforded other parents to participate in meetings or activities pertaining to the academic and/or disciplinary aspects of their child’s education. Accordingly, and pursuant to law, the District will provide an interpreter for parents with hearing loss for school-initiated academic and/or disciplinary meetings or activities including, but not limited to:

    • Parent/teacher conferences;
    • Child/study or building-level team meetings;
    • Planning meetings with school counselors regarding educational progress;
    • Career planning;
    • Suspension hearings or other conference with school officials relating to disciplinary actions.

    The District will provide an interpreter for the parent with hearing loss if a written request for the service has been submitted to and received by the District within ten days prior to the scheduled meeting or activity. If an interpreter is unavailable, the District will then make other reasonable accommodations that are satisfactory to the parents (e.g., notetaker, transcript,, or virtual interpreter services). These services will be made available by the district at no cost to the parents.

    The Board directs the superintendent to maintain a list of available interpreters and to develop procedures to notify parents of the availability of interpreter services, the time limitation for requesting these services, and of the requirement to make other reasonable accommodations satisfactory to the parents should an interpreter not be available.

    Parents with hearing loss are requested to submit the attached form to request accommodation for their disability.

    Ref:
    Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, 42 U.S.C. §§12131-12134
    Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. §794
    Education Law §3230
    8 NYCRR §100.2(aa)
    Rothschild v. Grottenthaler, 907 F.2d 286 (2d Cir. 1990)

    Adoption date: June 19, 2002
    Revised date: October 17, 2018

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    Policy 2000 | Board Operational Goals

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

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

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

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

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

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    Policy 2100 | School Board Legal Status

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Ref:

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

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

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    Policy 2110 | School Board Powers and Duties

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

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

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

    Ref:

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

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

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    Policy 2111.1 | Board Member School Visits

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

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

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

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

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    Policy 2120.1 | Candidates and Campaigning

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

    Nominations

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

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

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

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

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

    Reporting Expenditures

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

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

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

    Electioneering

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

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

    Ref: Education Law §2018; 2031-a

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

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    Policy 2210 | Board Organizational Meeting

    View the PDF version of the Board Organizational Meeting Policy.

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

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

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

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

    I. Oath of Office

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

    II. Election of Board Officers

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

    III. Appointment of District Officers

    The Board shall appoint the following district officers:

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

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

    • District Clerk

    IV. Appointment of Other Positions

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

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

    V. Bonding of Personnel

    The Board may bond the following personnel handling District funds:

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

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

    VI. Designations

    The Board shall designate/approve:

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

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

      VII. Authorizations

      A. of person to certify payrolls;

      B. of school purchasing agent;

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

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

      E. to designate authorized signatures on checks;

      F. of superintendent to approve budget transfers;

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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      Policy 2220 | Board Officer

      View the PDF version of the Board Officers Policy here.

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

      Duties of the President of the Board

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

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

      Duties of the Vice President

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

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

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

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      Policy 2230 | Appointed Board Officials

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

      District Clerk

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

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

      District Treasurer

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

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

        Tax Collector

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

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

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

        Ref:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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        Policy 2270 | School Attorney

        View the PDF version of the School Attorney Policy here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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        Policy 2310 | Regular Meetings

        View the PDF version of the Regular Meetings Policy here.

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

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

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

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

        Cross-ref:        
        2210, Board Reorganizational Meeting

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

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        Policy 2320 | Special Meetings

        View the PDF version of the Special Meeting Policy here.

        Special/Emergency Board Meetings

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

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

        Special District Meetings

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

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

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

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

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        Policy 2340 | Notice of Meetings

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

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

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

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

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

        Ref:

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

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

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        Policy 2342 | Agenda Preparation and Dissemination

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

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

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

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

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

        Cross-ref:         2350, Board Meeting Procedures

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

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        Policy 2350 | Board Meeting Procedures

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

        To address the Board of Education, please:

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

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

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

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        Policy 2382 | Broadcasting and Recording of Board Meeting

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

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

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

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

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

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

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        Policy 2410 | Policy Development, Adoption, Implementation and Review

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

        Policy Development and Adoption

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

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

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

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

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

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

        Policy Review

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

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

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

        Policy Dissemination

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

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

        Ref:

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

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

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        Policy 2520 | Board Member Training

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

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

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

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

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

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

        Ref: Education Law §2102-a

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

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        Policy 3000 | Administrative Goals

        View the PDF version of the Administrative Goals Policy here.

        The Board of Education (the Board) believes that proper administration is vital to a successful educational program. The coordination and supervision of all aspects of the operations of the schools of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District), pursuant to the policies of the Board, are necessary for the development and maintenance of an effective learning environment. Administrative duties and functions are to be assessed in terms of their contributions to the improvement of education in the District. The superintendent, as chief executive officer of the District, is to provide the leadership necessary to support this objective.

        District administration is to be organized so that all divisions and departments of the central office and all schools operate within a system guided by Board policies, which are implemented through the superintendent. All personnel will have the necessary authority and responsibility (clearly defined and correlated to their roles) to carry out their respective assignments within this framework. Accountability will rest with these same personnel for the effectiveness with which their duties are performed.

        Major goals of District administration will be:

        1. to effectively manage the District’s various departments, units, and programs;
        2. to provide professional advice and counsel to the Board and to advisory groups established by Board action. This includes the review of policy alternatives and the subsequent recommendations from among them; and
        3. to perform managerial duties that will best assure effective learning programs, including but not limited to:
          1. ensuring the effective implementation of Board policy;
          2. addressing the on-site needs of the District’s schools;
          3. providing leadership by keeping abreast of current educational developments;
          4. arranging for effective staff development programs;
          5. coordinating cooperative efforts at improving learning programs, facilities, equipment, and materials; and
          6. providing channels for the upward flow of information necessary and useful in the design and development of school policy.

        Adoption date: June 19, 2002
        Reapproved date: November 28, 2018

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        Policy 3120 | Duties of the Superintendent

        View the PDF version of the Duties of the Superintendent Policy here.

        The Board of Education (the Board) recognizes the need for the superintendent of Schools to have clearly identified responsibilities and the commensurate amount of responsibility to carry out these responsibilities. Therefore, a job description outlining the responsibilities and authority of the position will be developed by the Superintendent for approval by the Board.

        The responsibilities of the Superintendent shall include the following:

        Relationship with the Board

        1. preparation of reports and materials for the Board;
        2. presentation of reports to the Board;
        3. making recommendations to the Board;
        4. keeping the Board informed about operations in the district;
        5. implementing Board actions; and advising the Board on the need for new and/or revised policies and ensuring that all policies of the Board are implemented.

        Community Relations

        1. maintaining contacts with the media;
        2. interpreting District problems and concerns for the community and the public;
        3. interpreting educational programs for the community;
        4. responding to the concerns raised by the community; and
        5. making periodic communications through publications, reports, newsletters, etc., to the community.

        Staff Personnel Management

        1. hiring District personnel;
        2. utilizing employed personnel;
        3. administering personnel policies and procedures;
        4. administering a salary and benefits program;
        5. administering the personnel evaluation program;
        6. maintaining current administrative job descriptions; and
        7. maintaining an administrative organization chart showing the relationship among the various administrators and staff.

        Business and Fiscal Management

        1. determining the educational needs of the District;
        2. forecasting financial requirements;
        3. preparing the budget;
        4. management of budget allocations;
        5. cost accounting and cost effectiveness management;
        6. procurement of equipment, materials, supplies, etc.; and
        7. making financial reports.


        Facilities Management

        1. planning and providing for physical facilities;
        2. management and maintenance of buildings and grounds;
        3. providing for the security and safety of personnel and property;
        4. planning for and managing modifications, renovations, expansions, and discontinuation of facilities; and
        5. directing the utilization of facilities.

        Curriculum and Instructional Management

        1. keeping current with trends and developments in curriculum and instruction;
        2. initiating new programs, modifying existing programs, and discontinuing others;
        3. directing the supervision of instruction;
        4. monitoring the effectiveness of instructional programs; and
        5. planning and direction of in-service and staff development; and
        6. management of state and federal programs and projects.

        Management and Student Services

        1. providing comprehensive student personnel services;
        2. managing enrollment and attendance policies and procedures;
        3. managing student behavior and discipline;
        4. providing for the health and safety of students; and
        5. acting as a liaison with community agencies concerned with student services.

        Comprehensive Planning

        1. developing and implementing short- and long-range planning;
        2. developing management systems;
        3. training administrators and supervisors in planning;
        4. developing accountability procedures; and
        5. evaluating planning results.

        Professional and Personal Development

        1. keeping current with advances in the professional field;
        2. representing the District at local, state, and national meetings of interest to education;
        3. contributing to the profession by writing and speaking; and
        4. participating in local, state, and national professional organizations.

        Ref:     Education Law §§1604(8); 1711; 1804

        Adoption date: June 19, 2002
        Revised date: November 28, 2018

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        Policy 3240 | Staff Relationships

        View the PDF version of the Line and Staff Relations Policy here.

        The following principles shall govern the administrative operation of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District):

        1. The superintendent shall have specific responsibility for overseeing the District educational programs.
        2. Responsibility shall flow from the Board of Education (the Board), to the superintendent, to building principals, to teachers.
        3. Each member of the staff shall be informed as to whom he/she is responsible and for what functions.
        4. Whenever possible, each member of the staff shall be made responsible to only one immediate supervisor for any one function.
        5. Each staff member shall be informed as to whom he/she can appeal in case of disagreement with an immediate supervisor.
        6. Each staff member shall be informed as to whom he/she should report to for help in carrying out his/her functions.

        Line of Responsibility

        Each employee in the District shall be responsible to the Board through the superintendent.

        All personnel shall refer matters requiring administrative action to the administrative officer immediately in charge of the area in which the problem arises.

        Administrative officers shall refer such matters to the next higher authority when deemed necessary.

        All employees shall have the right to appeal any decision made by an administrative officer to the next higher authority and, through appropriate successive steps, to the Board.

        Adoption date: June 19, 2002
        Revised date: 
        November 28, 2018

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        Policy 4531 | Field Trips Policy

        View the PDF version of the Field Trips Policy here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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        Policy 4531-R | Field Trips Regulation

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

        Guidelines for Field Trips

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

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

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

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

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

        Overnight Field Trip Guidelines

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

        3. Accommodations/Special Conditions

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

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

        4. Health Care

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

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

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

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

        5. Insurance

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

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

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

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        Policy 4831 | Service Animals Policy

        View the PDF version of the Service Animals Policy here.

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

        Definitions

        A. Service Animal:

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

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

        B. Individual with a Disability:

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

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

        Service Animal Determinations

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

        Requirements for Service Animals

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

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

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

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

        Exclusion of Service Animals

        A service animal may be excluded only when:

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

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

        Service Animals in Training

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

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

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

        Adoption: October 17, 2018

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        Policy 4855 | Therapy Dogs Policy

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

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

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

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

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

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

        Therapy Dog Standards and Procedures

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

        A. Requests:

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

        B. Training and Certification:

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

        C. Health and Vaccination:

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

        D. Control:

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

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

        E. Identification:

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

        F. Health and Safety:

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

        G. Supervision and Care of Therapy Dogs:

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

        H. Authorized Area(s):

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

        I. Insurance:

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

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

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

        2. The Therapy Dog is not housebroken;

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

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

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

        Parent Notice

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

        Allergic Reactions

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

        Damages to School Property and Injuries

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

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

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        Policy 5100 | Attendance

        View the PDF version of the Attendance Policy here.

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

        Objectives

        Through implementation of this policy, the Board expects:

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

        Notice

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

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

        Register of Attendance

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

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

        Excused and Unexcused Absences

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

        All other ATEDs are considered unexcused absences.

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

        Coding System

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

        A = Absent, unexcused

        AE = Absent, excused

        D = Departure, unexcused

        DE = Departure, excused

        FT = Field Trip

        Hi = Home Instruction

        ISS = In-School Suspension

        LA = Late Arrival

        OSS = Out-of-School Suspension

        T = Tardy, unexcused

        TE = Tardy, excused

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

        Disciplinary Consequences

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

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

        Attendance/Grade Policy

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

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

        Minimum Attendance for Course Credit

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

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

        Elementary:

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

        Middle School:

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

        High School:

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

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

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

        Annual Review

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

        Cross ref:

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

        Ref:

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

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

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        Policy 5300 | Code of Conduct

        View the PDF version of the Code of Conduct here.

        View the Code of Conduct here.

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

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        Policy 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 of schools 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
        Re-approved: July 5, 2016
        Re-approved: July 12, 2017
        Re-approved: July 2, 2018

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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 of schools 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 
        Re-approved: July 5, 2016 
        Re-approved: July 12, 2017
        Re-approved: July 2, 2018

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        Policy 6240-R | Investments Regulation

        View the PDF version of the Investments Regulation here.

        Delegation of Authority

        The Treasurer is authorized to invest all available Bethlehem Central School District (the “District”) funds, including proceeds of obligations and Reserve Funds, in the permitted investment instruments as defined in this regulation.

        Securing Deposits and Investments

        All deposits and investments at a bank or trust company, including all demand deposits, certificates of deposit and special time deposits (hereinafter, collectively, “deposits”) made by officers of the Bethlehem Central School District that are in excess of the amount insured under the provisions of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act shall be secured by:

        1. A pledge of “eligible securities” with an aggregate “market value” (as provided by the GML, Section 10) that is at least equal to the aggregate amount of deposits by the officers. Eligible securities include the following:
          1. Obligations issued, or fully insured or guaranteed as to the payment of principal and interest, by the United States of America, an agency thereof or a United States government-sponsored corporation.
          2. Obligations issued or fully insured or guaranteed by the State of New York; obligations issued by a municipal corporation, school district or district corporation of this State; or obligations of any public benefit corporation that under a specific State statute may be accepted as security for deposit of public moneys.
        2. A pledge of a pro rata portion of a pool of eligible securities, having in the aggregate a market value at least equal to the aggregate amount of deposits from all such officers within the State at the bank or trust company.
        3. An “eligible surety bond” payable to the government for an amount at least equal to 100 percent of the aggregate amount of deposit and the agreed-upon interest if any, executed by an insurance company authorized to do business in New York State, whose claims-paying ability is rated in the highest rating category by at least two nationally recognized statistical rating organizations. The Board of Education shall approve the terms and conditions of the surety bond.
        4. An “eligible letter of credit,” payable to the Bethlehem Central School District as security for the payment of 140 percent of the aggregate amount of deposits and the agreed-upon interest, if any. An “eligible letter of credit” shall be an irrevocable letter of credit issued in favor of the Bethlehem Central School District, for a term not to exceed 90 days, by a qualified bank (other than the bank where the secured money is deposited). A qualified bank is either one whose commercial paper and other unsecured short-term debt obligations (or, in the case of a bank that is the principal subsidiary of a holding company, whose holding company’s commercial paper and other unsecured short-term debt obligations) are rated in one of the three highest rating categories by at least one nationally recognized statistical rating organization, or one that is in compliance with applicable federal minimum risk-based capital requirements.
        5. An “irrevocable letter of credit” issued in favor of the Bethlehem Central School District by a federal home loan bank whose commercial paper and other unsecured short-term debt obligations are rated in the highest rating category by at least one nationally recognized statistical rating organization, as security for the payment of 100 percent of the aggregate amount of deposits and the agreed-upon interest, if any.

        Diversification

        To the extent feasible, investments and deposits shall be made in and through local or regional financial institutions. Concentration of investments in a single financial institution should be avoided. Diversification of investments and deposits is encouraged.

        Designations of Depositories

        Depositories are approved by the Board of Education at the annual reorganizational meeting.

        Collateralization and Safekeeping

        All investments made pursuant to this investment policy will comply with the following conditions:

        1. Collateral
          1. Savings accounts, money market accounts, time deposit accounts and certificates of deposit will be fully secured by insurance of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or by obligations of New York State, the United States, New York State school districts and federal agencies whose principal and interest are guaranteed by the United States. The market value of collateral will at all times exceed the principal amount of the certificate of deposit. Collateral will be monitored no less frequently than on a weekly basis.
          2. Collateral will not be required with respect to the direct purchase of obligations of New York State, the United States and federal agencies, the principal and interest of which are guaranteed by the United States Government.
        2. Delivery of Securities
          1. Payment of funds may only be made upon receipt of collateral or other acceptable form of security, or upon the delivery of government obligations whether such obligations are purchased outright, or pursuant to a repurchase agreement. Written confirmation of delivery shall be obtained from the custodial bank.
          2. Every Repurchase Agreement will make payment to the seller contingent upon the seller’s delivery of obligations of the United States to the Custodial Bank designated by the District, which shall not be the repurchase, or in the case of a book-entry transaction, when the obligations of the United States are credited to the Custodian’s Federal Reserve account. The seller will not be entitled to substitute securities. Repurchase Agreements shall be for periods of 30 days or less. The Custodial Bank shall confirm all transactions in writing to insure that the District’s ownership of the securities is properly reflected in the records of the Custodial Bank.
        3. Written Contracts
          1. Written contracts are required for certificates of deposit and custodial undertakings and Repurchase Agreements. With respect to the purchase of direct obligations of U.S., New York State, or other governmental entities in which monies may be invested, the interests of the District will be adequately protected by conditioning payment on the physical delivery of purchased securities to the District or custodian, or in the case of book- entry transactions, on the crediting of purchased securities to the Custodian’s Federal Reserve System account. All purchases will be confirmed promptly in writing to the school district.
          2. The following written contracts are required:
            1. Written agreements will be required for the purchase of all certificates of deposit.
            2. A written contract will be required with the Custodial Bank(s).
            3. Written contracts shall be required for all Repurchase Agreements. Only credit-worthy banks and primary reporting dealers shall be qualified to enter into a Repurchase Agreement with the District.

        The written contract will stipulate that only obligations of the United States may be purchased and that the District shall make payment upon delivery of the securities or the appropriate book-entry of the purchased securities. No specific Repurchase Agreement will be entered into unless a Master Repurchase Agreement has been executed between the District and the trading partners. While the term of the Master Repurchase Agreement may be for a reasonable length of time, a specific Repurchase Agreement will not exceed thirty (30) days.

        Permitted Investments

        Permitted investments include the following:

        1. Savings Accounts or Money Market Accounts of designated banks;
        2. Certificates of Deposit issued by a bank or trust company located in and authorized to do business in New York State;
        3. Demand Deposit Accounts in a bank or trust company located in and authorized to do business in New York State;
        4. Obligations of New York State;
        5. Obligations of the United States Government (U.S. Treasury Bills and Notes);
        6. Repurchase Agreements involving the purchase and sale of direct obligations of the United States; (No more than 30% of the Bethlehem Central School District’s total invested funds at the time of investment may be invested in Repurchase Agreements.)
        7. All funds may be invested in Revenue Anticipation Notes or Tax Anticipation Notes of other Districts and municipalities, with the approval of the State Comptroller.

        Authorized Financial Institutions and Dealers

        1. The Board will designate a commercial bank or trust company authorized to do business in the State of New York to act as Custodial Bank of the District’s investments. However, securities may not be purchased through a Repurchase Agreement with the Custodial Bank.
        2. When purchasing eligible securities, the seller will be required to transfer the securities to the District’s Custodial Bank.

        Purchase of Instruments

        The chief business and financial officer or treasurer (or other officer having custody of money) is authorized to contract for the purchase of investments:

        1. Directly, from an authorized trading partner,
        2. By participation in a cooperative investment agreement with other authorized municipal corporations pursuant to Article 5-G of the General Municipal Law and in accordance with Article 3-A of the General Municipal Law.

        All purchased obligations, unless registered or inscribed in the name of the local government, shall be purchased through, delivered to and held in the custody of a bank or trust company. Such obligations shall be purchased, sold, or presented for redemption or payment by such bank or trust company only in accordance with prior written authorization from the officer authorized to make the investment. All such transactions shall be confirmed in writing to the Bethlehem Central School District by the bank or trust company.

        Any obligation held in the custody of a bank or trust company shall be held pursuant to a written custodial agreement as described in General Municipal Law Section 10(3)(a). The agreement shall provide that securities held by the bank or trust company, as agent of, and custodian for, the Bethlehem Central School District, will be kept separate and apart from the general assets of the custodial bank or trust company and will not be commingled with or become part of the backing of any other deposit or other bank liability. The agreement shall also describe how the custodian shall confirm the receipt and release of the securities. Such agreement shall include all provisions necessary to secure the local government’s perfected interest in the securities, and the agreement may also contain other provisions that the governing board deems necessary. The security and custodial agreements shall also include all other provisions necessary to provide the Bethlehem Central School District with a perfected interest in the securities.

        The chief business and financial officer or treasurer (or other officers having custody of money) can direct the bank or trust company to register (and hold the evidences of investments in investments in the name of its nominee), or may deposit or authorize the bank or trust company to deposit, or arrange for their deposit, with a federal reserve bank or other book-entry transfer system operated by a federally regulated entity. The records of the bank or trust company shall show, at all times, the ownership of such evidences of investments, and they shall be, when held in the possession of the bank or trust company, at all times, kept separate from the assets of the bank or trust company. All evidences of investments delivered to a bank or trust company shall be held by the bank or trust company pursuant to a written custodial agreement as set forth in General Municipal Law Section 10(3)(a), and as described earlier in the section. When any such evidences of investments are so registered in the name of a nominee, the bank or trust company shall be absolutely liable for any loss occasioned by the acts of such nominee with respect to such evidence of investments.

        Courier Service

        The chief business and financial officer (or officer authorized by law to make deposits) may, subject to the approval of the Board of Education by resolution, enter into a contract with a courier service for the purpose of causing the deposit of public funds with a bank or trust company. The courier service shall be required to obtain a surety bond for the full amount entrusted to the courier, payable to the Bethlehem Central School District and executed by an insurance company authorized to do business in the State of New York, with a claims-paying ability that is rated in the highest rating category by at least two nationally recognized statistical rating organizations, to insure against any loss of public deposits entrusted to the courier service for deposit or failure to deposit the full amount entrusted to the courier service.

        The Bethlehem Central School District may agree with the depositary bank or trust company that the bank or trust company will reimburse all or part of, but not more than, the actual incurred by the Bethlehem Central School District in transporting items for deposit through a courier service. Any such reimbursement agreement shall apply only to a specified deposit transaction, and may be subject to such terms, conditions and limitations as the bank or trust company deems necessary to ensure sound banking practices, including, but not limited to, any terms, conditions or limitations that may be required by the banking department or other federal or State authority.

        Annual Review and Amendments

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

        Internal Controls

        1. The chief business and financial officer or designee will authorize the purchase and sale of all securities and execute contracts for investments and deposits on behalf of the District. Oral directions concerning the purchase or sale of securities will be confirmed in writing. The District will pay for purchased securities upon the simultaneous delivery or book-entry thereof.
        2. The District will encourage the purchase and sale of securities through a competitive process involving telephone solicitation or group e-mails for at least three quotations.
        3. The independent auditors will audit the investment proceeds of the District for compliance with the provisions of this Investment Regulation. 
        4. Investment reports will be furnished monthly to the Board of Education if any investments are made using permitted investments as defined in Permitted Investments, Section A, #4, 5, 6 or 7.

        Definitions

        Agent Bank: A commercial bank or trust company under contract with the Bethlehem Central School District to receive, pay for, safeguard and account for investment securities purchased by the Bethlehem Central School District. Other responsibilities will be defined in the agent bank agreement.

        Banks: As defined in Article III of the State Banking Law.

        Broker/Dealer: A financial firm, other than a commercial bank, engaged in the sale of U.S. Treasury obligations. Certificate of Deposit: A negotiable receipt from a commercial bank or trust company for deposit of funds for a specified period of time at a specified rate of interest. A certificate of deposit ranges from 14 days to one year, and the minimum amount is generally $100,000.

        Collateral: Securities pledged to secure repayment of certificates of deposit and money market accounts.

        Joint Custody Accounts: Account for the handling of securities purchased or held as collateral maintained in the names of both the district and the financial institution with whom they are dealing. The account is maintained by a third party (trust department is acceptable), which would provide written confirmation of securities held to the District. Written joint custody agreements are required, specifying such points as failure of the financial institution to return funds to the District at maturity and authorizing the custodian to release securities directly to the District.

        Mark to Market: The act of determining the current value of the securities.

        Primary Dealer: The largest and soundest broker/dealers as designated by the Federal Reserve Bank.

        Repurchase Agreement: Consists of a broker/dealer or bank selling U.S. Treasury securities for cash to the Bethlehem Central School District and, at the same time, agreeing to buy them back on an established date and at an agreed upon price including interest. These short-term investments usually range from overnight to six months in term. Repurchase Agreements start at $100,000. Payment is made against the delivery of the securities. Delivery is required.

        Treasury Obligations: Consist of U.S. Government Treasury Bills, Bonds and Notes.

        Treasury Bills: Short-term, direct obligations of the U.S. Government that are usually issued with maturities of three months, six months, or one year. Bills are offered in bearer form and are issued in amounts of $10,000 and up, in multiples of $5,000. Bills do not bear a stated interest rate; the interest is calculated by taking the difference between the discount price paid at purchase and the face amount (par) collected at maturity.

        Treasury Bonds and Notes: Direct obligations of the U.S. Government to pay a specified rate of interest for a specified period of time on the face value (par) of the instrument. Interest is paid semiannually, and the life of the notes is usually limited to ten years or under; bonds generally have maturities of 10-30 years. Treasury notes with a maturity through three years can usually be purchased in $5,000 denominations and require a $5,000 minimum purchase. Treasury notes with a term longer than three years, and Treasury Bonds, can usually be purchased in $1,000 denominations and require a $1,000 minimum purchase.

        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 
        Re-approved: July 7, 2010 
        Revised: July 6, 2011 
        Re-approved: July 3, 2012 
        Re-approved: July 2, 2013 
        Re-approved: July 1, 2014 
        Re-approved: July 7, 2015 
        Re-approved: July 5, 2016 
        Re-approved: July 12, 2017
        Re-approved: July 2, 2018

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        Policy 6700 | Purchasing

        View the PDF version of the Purchasing Policy here.

        The Board of Education (the Board) of the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) views purchasing as serving the educational program by providing necessary supplies, equipment and related services. Purchasing will be centralized in the business office under the general supervision of the purchasing agent designated by the Board.

        It is the goal of the Board to purchase competitively, without prejudice or favoritism, and to seek the maximum educational value for every dollar expended. Competitive bids or quotations shall be solicited in connection with purchases pursuant to law. The General Municipal Law requires that purchase contracts for materials, equipment and supplies involving an estimated annual expenditure exceeding $20,000 and public work contracts involving an expenditure of more than $35,000 will be awarded only after responsible bids have been received in response to a public advertisement soliciting formal bids. Purchases of the same commodity cannot be artificially divided for the purpose of avoiding the threshold. Similar procurements to be made in a fiscal year will be grouped together for the purpose of determining whether a particular item must be bid.

        Any purchases funded by federal grants and programs must be in compliance with the requirements of Title 2: Grants and Agreements, of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Part 200 – Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards (“Uniform Guidance”), §§200.318-200.326.

        The District’s purchasing activity will strive to meet the following objectives:

        A) To effectively supply all administrative units in the school system with needed materials, supplies, and contracted services;

        B) To obtain materials, supplies and contracted services at the lowest prices possible consistent with the quality and standards needed as determined by the purchasing agent in conformance with state law and regulation and in cooperation with the requisitioning authority. The educational and physical welfare of the students is the foremost consideration in making any purchase;

        C) To ensure that all purchases fall within the framework of budgetary limitations and that they are consistent with the educational goals and programs of the District;

        D) To maintain an appropriate and comprehensive accounting and reporting system to record and document all purchasing transactions; and

        E) To ensure, through the use of proper internal controls, that loss and/or diversion of District property is prevented.

        Opportunities shall be provided to all responsible suppliers to do business with the District. Suppliers whose place of business is situated within the District may be given preferential consideration only when bids or quotations on an item or service are identical as to price, quality, and other factors.

        Where permitted by law, purchases will may be made through available cooperative BOCES bids, or by “piggybacking” onto contracts of the United States or agencies thereof or the federal General Services Administration (GSA), the New York State contracts of the Office of General Services (OGS), departments or agencies of New York State, any New York State county, or any state or any county or political subdivision or district therein, or county contracts whenever such purchases are in the best interests of the District or will result in cost savings to the district. In addition, the District will make purchases from correctional institutions and severely disabled persons through charitable or non-profit-making agencies, as provided by law.

        It is the District’s responsibility to review each “piggybacking” contract corresponding to a proposed purchase, upon the advice of counsel as necessary, to determine whether the original contract does not conflict with state law or regulation, and meets the following requirements:

        A. the contract must have been let by the United States, or any agency thereof, any state, or any other political subdivision or district therein;

        B. the contract must have been made available for use by other governmental entities, including New York State local governments;

        C. the contract must have been let to the lowest responsible bidder or on the basis of best value, in a manner consistent with General Municipal Law §103. Those main elements are: (a) public solicitation of bids or offers; (b) secure or confidential bids or offers; (c) use of a common standard for bidders or offers to compete fairly; and (d) awarded to the lowest responsible bidder, or responsible offeror of best value, which optimizes quality, cost and efficiency.

        In accordance with law, the Bethlehem Central School District (the District) shall give a preference in the purchase of instructional materials to vendors who agree to provide materials in alternative formats. The term “alternative format” shall mean any medium or format for the presentation of instructional materials, in addition to traditional print textbook, that is needed as an accommodation for a disabled student enrolled in the District (or program of a BOCES), including but not limited to Braille, large print, open and closed captioned, audio, or an electronic file in a format compatible with alternative format conversion software that is appropriate to meet the needs of the individual student.

        The Board is also aware of the need to reduce exposure of students and staff to potentially harmful chemicals and substances used in cleaning and maintenance. In accordance with law, regulation and guidelines set forth by the Office of General Services (OGS), the District will purchase and utilize environmentally sensitive cleaning and maintenance products in its facilities whenever feasible. Environmentally sensitive cleaning and maintenance products will be procured in accordance with standard purchasing procedures as outlined in this policy and regulation. Cleansers purchased must, first and foremost, be effective so that the District may continue to purchase non-green products as necessary.

        In order to ensure that the District avails itself of advantageous purchasing opportunities, the Board authorizes the director of technology and information systems to represent the District in applying for federal programs designed to discount prices for goods and services. Specifically, the director of technology and information systems will abide by the rules and regulations associated with applying for telecommunications service discounts through the Universal Service Fund (E-Rate), in addition to complying with the local purchasing policies set forth by the Board. As with all purchasing activity, appropriate documentation of the application and purchase through any federal program will be maintained by the business office.

        Competitive Bidding

        Purchase contracts and public works contracts subject to competitive bidding will be awarded to the lowest responsible bidder. However, the Board authorizes that purchase contracts may be awarded on the basis of best value, as defined in State Finance Law §163. Other exceptions to competitive bidding are outlined below.

        In addition, the Board authorizes the receipt of sealed bids for purchase contracts in electronic format, pursuant to the provisions of General Municipal Law §103(1), which addresses proper documentation, authentication, security, and confidentiality of electronic bids.

        The District shall comply with the requirements of General Municipal Law §103-g, which prohibits, with few exceptions, competitive bidding contracts with entities that invest significantly in the Iranian energy sector, as outlined in the accompanying regulation.

        Exceptions to Competitive Bidding

        Competitive bidding, even if the dollar value of the purchase meets the threshold established above, is not required in the following circumstances:

        A. emergencies where time is a crucial factor

        B. procurements for which there is no possibility of competition (sole source items); or

        C. professional services that require special skill or training (see policy 6741 for guidance on purchasing professional services); or

        D. purchases such as surplus or second-hand items from governmental entities, certain food and milk items, or goods and services from municipal hospitals; or

        E. where the District is purchasing through (or is “piggybacking” onto) the contract of another governmental entity, where the original contract complies with the requirements of New York State law for competitive bidding.

        Purchasing when Competitive Bidding Not Required

        Goods and services that are not required by law to be procured by the District through competitive bidding will be procured in a manner so as to ensure the prudent and economical use of public monies, in the best interests of the taxpayers, to facilitate the acquisition of goods and services of maximum quality at the lowest possible cost under the circumstances, and to guard against favoritism, improvidence, extravagance, fraud and corruption.

        Alternative proposals or quotations will be secured by requests for proposals, written or verbal quotations or any other appropriate method of procurement, except for procurements:

        A. under a county contract;

        B. under a state contract;

        C. under a federal contract;

        D. under a contract of another political subdivision;

        E. of articles manufactured in state correctional institutions (correction LAN, 184 & 186); or

        F. from agencies for the blind and severely disabled.

        “Piggybacking” onto the contract of other governmental agencies is permitted where the original contract is in conformance with the goals of this section.

        General Purchasing Provisions

        The superintendent of schools, with the assistance of the purchasing agent, shall be responsible for the establishment and implementation of the procedures and standard forms for use in all purchasing and related activities in the District. Such procedures shall comply with all applicable laws and regulations of the state and the commissioner of education.

        No Board member, officer or employee of the District shall have an interest in any contract entered into by the Board or the District, as provided in Article 18 of the General Municipal Law.

        Comments will be solicited from those administrators involved in the procurement process before enactment of the District’s policies regarding purchasing and from time to time thereafter.

        The Board shall annually review and, when needed, update this policy and corresponding regulation.

        The unintentional failure to fully comply with the provisions of section 104-b of the General Municipal Law or the District’s policies regarding procurement will not be grounds to void action taken nor give rise to a cause of action against the District or any officer or employee of the District.

        Cross-ref: 9120.1, Conflict of Interest

        Ref:
        Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act of 2010 (Public Law 111-195)
        Education Law §§305(14); 409-i; 1604(29-a); 1709(4-a)(9)(14)(22); 2503(7-a); 2554(7-a)
        General Municipal Law §§102; 103; 103-g; 104; 104-b; 109-a; 800 et seq.
        State Finance Law §§ 97-g(3), (4), (5); 163; 163-b; 165-a
        County Law §408-a(2)
        8 NYCRR Part 114
        Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Part 200

        Adoption date: January 5, 2011
        Re-adoption date: July 6, 2011
        Re-approved: July 3, 2012
        Re-approved: July 2, 2013
        Re-approved: July 1, 2014
        Re-approved: July 7, 2015
        Re-approved: July 5, 2016
        Re-approved: July 12, 2017
        Re-approved: July 2, 2018
        Revised date: October 17, 2018

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        Policy 6700-E | Purchasing Exhibits

        View the PDF version of the Purchasing Exhibits here.

        Explanations of Other Methods of Competition to be Used for Non-Bid Procurements

        Emergencies: Informal solicitation of quotes or otherwise, to the extent practicable under the circumstances.

        Leases of Personal Property: Section 1725 of the Education Law requires that a District will be subject to competitive bidding requirements for purchase contracts when it enters into a lease of personal property.

        Second-Hand Equipment from Federal and State Governments: Section 103(6) of the General Municipal Law provides a statutory exception to the competitive bidding requirement by permitting the purchase of surplus and second-hand supplies, materials or equipment without competitive bidding from the federal or state governments or from any other political subdivision or public benefit corporation with the state.

        Certain Food and Milk Purchases: Section 103(a) and (10) of the General Municipal Law provides a statutory exception to the competitive bidding requirement by permitting a Board of Education to separately purchase eggs, livestock, fish and dairy products (including milk), juice, grains and varieties of fresh fruits and vegetables directly from producers, growers or certain processors without bidding.

        Certain Municipal Hospital Purchases: Section 103(8) of the General Municipal Law provides a statutory exception to the competitive bidding requirement by permitting the purchase of goods, supplies and services from municipal hospitals under joint contracts and arrangements entered into pursuant to section 2803-a of the Public Health Law.

        Sole Source: Section 103 of the General Municipal Law provides a statutory exception to the competitive bidding requirement in limited situations where there is only one possible source from which to procure goods or services required in the public interest (such as in the case of certain patented goods or services or public utility services).

        Adoption date: June 19, 2002
        Re-approved: January 5, 2011
        Re-approved: July 1, 2014
        Revised date: July 1, 2015
        Re-approved: July 5, 2016
        Re-approved: July 12, 2017
        Revised date: October 17, 2018

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        Policy 6700-R | Purchasing Regulation

        View the PDF version of the Purchasing Regulation here.

        The following sets forth the procedures for the procurement of goods and services by the Bethlehem Central School District (the District):

        I. Definitions

        Best Value: optimizing quality, cost and efficiency. The basis for best value shall reflect, whenever possible, objective and quantifiable analysis, and may also take into consideration small businesses or certified minority- or women-owned businesses as defined in State Finance Law §163.

        Purchase Contract: a contract involving the acquisition of commodities, materials, supplies or equipment. With respect to the district’s best value determinations, the term purchase contract includes contracts for service work, but excludes contracts necessary for the completion of a public work contract covered by the prevailing wage provisions of article 8 of the Labor Law, such as for building construction.

        Public Work Contract: a contract involving services, labor or construction

        II. General Municipal Law

        The General Municipal Law requires that purchase contracts for materials, equipment and supplies involving an estimated annual expenditure exceeding $20,000 and public work contracts involving an expenditure of more than $35,000 will be awarded only after responsible bids have been received in response to a public advertisement soliciting formal bids. Similar procurements to be made in a fiscal year will be grouped together for the purpose of determining whether a particular item must be bid.

        III. Competitive Bidding Required

        A. Method of Determining Whether Procurement is Subject to Competitive Bidding

        1. The District will first determine if the proposed procurement is a purchase contract or a contract for public work.

        2. If the procurement is either a purchase contract or a contract for public work, the District will then determine whether the amount of the procurement is above the applicable monetary threshold as set forth above.

        3. The District will also determine whether any exceptions to the competitive bidding requirements (as set forth below) exist (refer to section IV).

        4. All advertised bids shall include the following statement required by General Municipal Law 103-g: “By submission of this bid, each bidder and each person signing on behalf of any bidder certifies, and in the case of a joint bid each party thereto certifies as to its own organization, under penalty of perjury, that to the best of its knowledge and belief that each bidder is not on the list created pursuant to paragraph (b) of subdivision 3 of section 165-a of the state finance law.”

        B. Contract Combining Professional Services and Purchase

        In the event that a contract combines the provision of professional services and a purchase, the District, in determining the appropriate monetary threshold criteria to apply to the contract, will determine whether the professional service or the purchase is the predominant part of the transaction.

        C. Opening and Recording Bids; Awarding Contracts

        The purchasing agent or departmental directors will be authorized to open and record bids. Contracts will be awarded to the lowest responsible bidder or a purchase contract bid of best value (as recommended by the purchasing agent), who has furnished the required security after responding to an advertisement for sealed bids.

        In order to be considered a responsible bidder, entities must certify that they are not on the list created and maintained by the State Office of General Services cataloging significant investment in the Iranian energy sector. Such statement may be submitted electronically pursuant to General Municipal Law §103(1).

        Entities that cannot make this certification may only be awarded the bid if:

        1. The entity’s investment activities in Iran were made before April 12, 2012; the investment activities in Iran have not been expanded or renewed after that date; and the entity has adopted, publicized, and is implementing a formal plan to cease the investment activities in Iran and to refrain from engaging in any new investments in Iran; or

        2. The District makes a determination, in writing, that the goods or services are necessary for the District to perform its functions and that, absent such an exemption, the District would be unable to obtain the goods or services for which the contract is offered.

        In addition, the Board of Education (the Board) authorizes the receipt of sealed bids for purchase contracts in electronic format, pursuant to the provisions of General Municipal Law §103(1), which addresses proper documentation, authentication, security, and confidentiality of electronic bids.

        D. Documentation of Competitive Bids

        The District will maintain proper written documentation which will set forth the method in which it determined whether the procurement is a purchase or a public work contract. Proper written documentation will also be required when a contract is not awarded to the vendor submitting the lowest bid, setting forth the reasons therefore.

        E. Determination of Best Value

        Goods and services procured and awarded on the basis of best value are those that the District determines optimize quality, cost, and efficiency, among responsive and responsible bidders or offerors. Where possible, the determination shall be based on an objective and quantifiable analysis of clearly described and documented criteria as they apply to the rating of bids or offers.

        In evaluating and determining to accept a higher priced offer, the District generally should use a cost-benefit analysis to show quantifiable value or savings from non-price factors that offset the price differential of the lower price offers. These non-price factors can include, but are not limited to, reliability of a product or service, efficiency of operation, energy efficiency of a product, difficulty/ease of maintenance, useful lifespan, ability to meet needs regarding timeliness of performance, and experience of a service provider with similar contracts.

        The District must document its evaluation of the non-price factors in writing. The basis for the District’s best value award must reflect, whenever possible, objective and quantifiable analysis.

        F. Purchase of Instructional Materials

        In accordance with Education Law, the District shall give a preference in the purchase of instructional materials to vendors who agree to provide materials in alternative formats (i.e., any medium or format for the presentation of instructional materials, in addition to a traditional print textbook, that is needed as an accommodation for a disabled student enrolled in the district, including but not limited to Braille, large print, open and closed captioned, audio or an electronic file in an approved format).

        The District will establish and follow a plan to ensure that every student with a disability who needs his or her instructional materials in an alternative format will receive those materials at the same time that they are available to non-disabled students.

        G. Leases of Personal Property

        In addition to the above-mentioned competitive bidding requirements, section 1725 of the Education Law requires that the District will be subject to competitive bidding requirements for purchase contracts when it enters into a lease of personal property. This includes bus leases as well.

        H. Environmentally Sensitive Cleaning and Maintenance Products

        The District will purchase and utilize environmentally sensitive cleaning and maintenance products whenever feasible. The Purchasing Agent will consult with the Green Guidelines provided by the Office of General Services.

        Any legal issues regarding the applicability of competitive bidding requirements will be presented to the school attorney for review.

        IV. Exceptions to Competitive Bidding Requirements

        The District will not be subject to competitive bidding requirements when the Board of Education, in its discretion, determines that one of the following situations exists:

        A. Emergency situations where:

        1. the situation arises out of an accident or unforeseen occurrence or condition;

        2. a District building, property, or the life, health, or safety of an individual on District property is affected; or

        3. the situation requires immediate action that cannot await competitive bidding.

        However, when the Board passes a resolution that an emergency situation exists, the District will make purchases at the lowest possible costs, seeking competition by informal solicitation of quotes or otherwise, to the extent practicable under the circumstances.

        Documentation: The District will maintain records of verbal (or written) quotes, as appropriate;

        B. When the District purchases surplus or second-hand supplies, materials or equipment from the federal or state governments or from any other political subdivision or public benefit corporation within the state.

        Documentation: The District will maintain market price comparisons (verbal or written quotes) and the name of the government entity;

        C. When the District separately purchases eggs, livestock, fish and dairy products (other than milk), juice, grains and species of fresh fruits and vegetables directly from New York State producers or growers or associations of producers and growers, subject to the requirements of General Municipal Law section 103(9) and Commissioner’s Regulations section 114.3.

        Documentation: The District will maintain documentation consistent with section 114.3 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education;

        D. When the District separately purchases milk directly from licensed milk processors employing less than forty (40) people. The amount expended in any fiscal year by the District may not exceed an amount equal to twenty-five cents multiplied by the number of days in the school year multiplied by the total enrollment of the District or exceed the current market price.

        Documentation: The District will maintain documentation consistent with section 114.4 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education;

        E. When the District purchases goods, supplies and services from municipal hospitals under joint contracts and arrangements entered into pursuant to section 2803-a of the Public Health Law.

        Documentation: The District will maintain the legal authorization, Board authorization and market price comparisons;

        F. When there is only one possible source from which to procure goods or services required in the public interest.

        Documentation: The District will maintain written documentation of the unique benefits of the item or service purchased as compared to other items or services available in the marketplace; that no other item or service provides substantially equivalent or similar benefits; and that, considering the benefits received, the cost of the item or service is reasonable, when compared to conventional methods. In addition, the documentation will provide that there is no possibility of competition for the procurement of the goods; or

        G. When the District purchases professional services that require special skill or training, such as but not limited to, audit, medical, legal or insurance services, or property appraisals.

        Documentation: The District will use an RFP process for any professional services in excess of $20,000.

        V. Quotes When Competitive Bidding Not Required

        Goods and services that are not required by law to be procured by the District through competitive bidding will be procured in a manner so as to ensure the prudent and economical use of public monies in the best interests of the taxpayers. Alternative proposals or quotations will be secured by requests for proposals, written or verbal quotations or any other appropriate method of procurement, as set forth below.

        A. Methods of Documentation

        1. Verbal Quotations: the telephone log or other record will set forth, at a minimum: the date, item or service desired, price quoted, name of vendor, and name of vendor’s representative;

        2. Written Quotations: vendors will provide, at a minimum: the date, description of the item or details of service to be provided, price quoted, and name of contact.

        3. Requests for Proposals: the District will utilize (an RFP process) to engage professional services providers for any professional services in excess of $20,000.

        Refer to Exhibits 6700-E.1 and 6700-E.2 for further requirements as to type and number of quotes or other required documentation.

        B. Purchases/Public Work: Methods of Competition to be Used for Non-Bid Procurements; Documentation to be Maintained

        The District will require the following methods of competition be used and sources of documentation maintained when soliciting non-bid procurements in the most cost-effective manner possible:

        1. Purchase Contracts up to $20,000 and Public Work Contracts up to $35,000: refer to Exhibit 6700-E.1 for required number of verbal or written quotes, depending on dollar volume of purchases.

        2. Emergencies: Verbal quotes, insofar as practicable under the exigent circumstances. Documentation will include notations of verbal quotes.

        3. Property, Casualty and Liability Insurance: “Requests for Proposals” (RFPs) should be issued on a seven (7) year cycle.

        4. Professional Services: Documentation will include an RFP if services exceed $20,000 and written proposals if services are less than $20,000.

        5. Second Hand Equipment from Other Governments: Documentation will include market price comparisons (verbal or written quotes) and the name of the government.

        6. Written Quotes for Certain Food and Milk Purchases: Documentation will be consistent with sections 114.3 and 114.4 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education.

        7. Certain Municipal Hospital Purchases: Documentation will include the legal authorization, Board authorization, and market price comparisons.

        8. Sole Source: Documentation will include, among other things, the unique benefits of the patented item as compared to other items available in the marketplace; that no other item provides substantially equivalent or similar benefits; and that considering the benefits received, the cost of the item is reasonable, when compared to conventional methods. In addition, the District will document that there is no possibility of competition for the procurement of the goods.

        VI. Exceptions to Competitive Bidding Requirements

        The district will not be required to secure alternative proposals or quotations for those procurements:

        A. under a county contract;

        B. under a state contract;

        C. under a federal contract;

        D. under a contract of another political subdivision;

        E. of articles manufactured in state correctional institutions; or

        F. from agencies for the blind and severely disabled.

        “Piggybacking” onto the contract of other governmental agencies is permitted where competitive bidding requirements would otherwise apply, and the original contract is in conformance with the goals of the District’s policy and regulation for purchasing when competitive bidding is not required. Factors relevant to the decision to piggyback” may include cost, staff time, delivery arrangements, quality of goods and services, and suitability of such goods and services to the District’s needs. The District will keep documentation indicating why “piggybacking” is in the best interests of the District, copies of the original contract, and that the originating contract was let in a manner consistent with applicable competitive bidding requirements.

        VII. Procurements from Other than the “Lowest Responsible Dollar Offeror”

        The District will provide justification and documentation of any contract awarded to an offeror other than the lowest responsible dollar offeror, setting forth the reasons why such award is in the best interests of the District and otherwise furthers the purposes of section 104-b of the General Municipal Law.

        VIII. Internal Control

        The Board authorizes the superintendent of schools, with the assistance of the purchasing agent, to establish and maintain an internal control structure to ensure, to the best of their ability, that the District’s assets will be safeguarded against loss from unauthorized use or disposition, that transactions will be executed in accordance with the law and District policies and regulations, and recorded properly in the financial records of the District.

        Comments will be solicited from those administrators involved in the procurement process before enactment of the District’s regulations regarding purchasing and from time to time thereafter.

        All District regulations regarding the procurement processes will be reviewed by the Board at least annually.

        No person employed by the district shall participate in the selection, award, or administration of any contract on behalf of the District for the purchase, sale or lease of real or personal property, services of any nature, or for insurance with any business in which an immediate family member has a financial or other interest in, or a tangible personal benefit from, said business. (# 9120.1, Conflict of Interest).

        Any proposed purchases from businesses owned by an employee of the District must be reviewed and approved in advance by the chief business and financial officer.

        The unintentional failure to fully comply with the provisions of section 104-b of the General Municipal Law or the District’s regulations regarding procurement will not be grounds to void action taken or give rise to a cause of action against the District or any officer or employee of the District.

        Re-adoption date: January 5, 2011
        Re-adopted date: July 1, 2014
        Re-approved: July 7, 2015
        Re-approved: July 5, 2016
        Re-approved: July 12, 2017
        Revised date: October 17, 2018

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        Policy 8413.2 | Transportation to Childcare Locations for Grades K-8

        View the PDF version of the Transportation to Childcare Locations for Grades K-8 Policy here.

        The Bethlehem Central School District (the District) shall provide transportation to students in grades K-8 between before/after childcare locations and school, but only for children attending public or nonpublic schools located within the school district boundaries.

        Transportation requests for students attending childcare locations must be received by the District 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 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:

        A. Requirements under State Education regulations and law.

        B. Whether transportation will require additional cost and/or lengthens the ride time for other students and, if so, the reasonableness of the excuse for the late request.

        Approved requests received during the school year may take up to five business days to process. Parents are strongly advised to call the Transportation Department before finalizing daycare location plans after April 1st.

        Requests for changes to childcare locations may be made before August 1st and after the third Monday in September. (No changes will be made within this period of time to allow the Transportation Department to adjust to the opening of school and to manage the bus runs efficiently.)

        A childcare location shall mean a place situated within the school district, other than the child’s home, where care for less than twenty-four hours a day is provided on a regular basis. This definition includes, but is not limited to, a variety of childcare services such as New York State licensed daycare centers and in-home care by relatives and nonrelatives. In-home shall mean at the home of the affected child and or the home of the relative or nonrelative, which is within the child’s school zone boundary. Child daycare, as defined in Section 390 of the Social Service law, shall not refer to care provided in: (A) a day camp, as defined in the state sanitary code (except as permitted below, for students attending District programs during the summer), or (B) an after-school program operated for the purpose of religious education, sports, or recreation.

        Because the District has more than one elementary school, such transportation will be restricted to childcare locations within the attendance zone of the school the child attends, except where the childcare program is licensed or registered pursuant to Section 390 of the Social Services Law. Transportation to such licensed or registered programs is not limited to a school attendance zone, but is provided anywhere within the school district boundaries. The parent or guardian requesting childcare transportation to a licensed NYS daycare location outside the child’s school attendance zone acknowledges that the request may require a longer ride time and may include a transfer point.

        Children are eligible for such transportation where the distance between the childcare location and school exceeds the District’s eligibility distance for transportation between home and school. Consequently, a child may be eligible for transportation to or from a childcare location even though not eligible for transportation to or from home.

        Students Attending District Summer Programs

        Students participating in District programs during the summer are entitled to District transportation in accordance with this policy. If a student is attending a NYS-licensed day camp, in accordance with NYS sanitary code, they may be eligible for District transportation if the following requirements are met:

        A. The day camp must be located within District boundaries.

        B. The day camp must operate as a NYS OCFS-licensed, school-age day care facility during the school year.

        C. The day camp must operate their program on-site, Monday through Friday, and have appropriate staffing and care for a child arriving at the program before or after the District’s summer program.

        Transportation requests for students attending childcare locations must be received by the District no later than June 1st preceding the beginning of the summer program, and must be resubmitted for every school year thereafter no later than June 1st.

        Ref: Education Law

        Adoption date: September 19, 2007
        Revised date: February 6, 2013
        Revised Date: October 17, 2018

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        Policy 8505 | Meal Charge Policy

        View the PDF version of the Meal Charge Policy here.

        The District’s goal is to provide student with access to nutritious no-or low-cost meals each school day to ensure that a pupil whose parent/guardian has unpaid school meal fees is not shamed or treated differently than a pupil whose parent/guardian does not have unpaid meal fees. The purpose of this policy is to ensure compliance with federal and state requirements for the USDA Child Nutrition Program, and to provide oversight and accountability for the collection of outstanding student meal balances, while also ensuring that students are not stigmatized, distressed, or embarrassed,

        Unpaid charges place a large financial burden to our school. Charging of items outside of the reimbursable meals (a la carte items, adult meals, etc.) is expressly prohibited. The Board of Education recognizes that, on occasion, students may not bring meal money to school, and will allow limited charging of school meals as follows:

        Grades K-8

        Students in grades K-8 will be provided with their meal of choice from the available reimbursable meal choices for that specific school day if requested. Parent/guardian(s) may provide written permission to the school to withhold a meal if they do not want the school to allow their child(ren) to charge meals.

        The service of a charged meal will not appear any different than service of a regular meal. School staff will not discuss a student’s account status with them unless specifically asked by the student.

        High School (9-12)

        Students in grades 9-12 will not be allowed to charge school meals without prior permission from the Food Service director or office staff.

        District Staff

        Staff members may purchase food from the District’s food services. However, all purchases must be paid for at the point of sale. Staff members are not allowed to charge meals or a la carte items to be repaid later.

        General Guidelines

        A computerized point of sale (POS) system will be used to discreetly record all charged meals. Meals will meet USDA meal pattern requirements and be included on federal and state meal reimbursement claims. The District will work with students and their families to ensure that each child’s nutritional needs are met each day. No student who requests one will be denied a meal at school.

        The District will post this policy and an income based application for free/reduced meals on the District website and include policy information in the back-to-school packets annually. A free, printed copy of the income based application for free/reduced meals may be requested from the District food service department or school office. If the District becomes aware that a student who has not submitted a meal application is eligible for free or reduced priced meals, the District will complete and file an application on behalf of the student using administrative prerogative per federal regulations 7 CFR, Part 245.6 (d). District liaisons for homeless, foster, and migrant students will coordinate with the food service department to ensure such students are receiving free meals in accordance with federal law. At a minimum, the District will conduct monthly direct certification with NYSSIS to maximize free eligibility to students who qualify.

        Staff will be trained annually and throughout the year as needed on the procedures for managing meal charges using an approved training program. Staff training includes ongoing eligibility certification for free or reduced price meals.

        Prohibition Against Meal Shaming

        In the case of a student who cannot pay for a meal or who has accrued meal debt, the following actions are expressly prohibited:

        a. Announcing or publicizing the names of children with unpaid meal charges

        b. Sending clearly marked notices home with children who have an outstanding balance

        c. Using hand stamps, wristbands, stickers, or other physical markers to identify children with outstanding meal charges

        d. Requiring children with unpaid meal charges to do chores or other work

        e. Throwing a child’s meal in the trash

        f. Taking any action directed at the student to collect unpaid meal charges

        g. Discussing any outstanding meal debt in the presence of other students

        h. Serving alternate meals (i.e., cheese sandwich)

        i. Using a debt collector

        Communication and Collection

        A. The District will make available an online payment and account management system that provides parents with the ability to track purchases, account balances, and to set scheduled alerts and payments.

        B. School food service employees will not communicate account balance information with K-8 students unless a specific request is made by the student. Furthermore, any information relayed to students from school staff will be done in a discrete, polite and nonjudgmental fashion.

        C. On a weekly basis, the Food Service office will send email notifications to the primary parent/guardian of students who have outstanding negative balances.

        D. Parents/guardians will be contacted via any available method on file after a negative balance goes unpaid for more than two weeks and/or if the student owes money for five or more meals.

        E. The District will make every attempt to determine if the student is directly certified to be eligible for free meals. If a student cannot be directly certified, the District will make at least two attempts to contact the parent or guardian to fill out a free/reduced meal application. The District will provide assistance with the application, determine if there are other issues within the household that have caused the child to have insufficient funds to purchase a school meal, and offer any other assistance that is appropriate.

        Account Balances, Refunds, and Transfers

        All negative balances must be paid prior to the end of each school year. If a negative balance remains at the end of the school year, the district may transfer funds from sibling accounts to cover the balance due. If there are remaining funds on a student account at the end of the school year, those funds will be carried over to the next school year. When students leave the District or graduate, the District will attempt to contact the parent/guardian and return funds for amounts greater than $5.00. Residual balances remaining after one full school year from the time the student transferred out of the District will be applied for the benefit of economically disadvantaged families. Parents/guardians may request the funds be transferred between students at any time during the school year in writing, by email, or by phone request.

        Ref: Guidance Memo, State Education Department, Child Nutrition Program; “Student Meal Charge Policy,” May 2017

        Adoption Date: July 1, 2009
        Revised Date: December 20, 2017
        Revised Date: October 17, 2018

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