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Section 3000: Community Relations

Table of Content

SCHOOL COMMUNITY RELATIONS

PARTICIPATION BY THE PUBLIC

DISTRICT RECORDS

PUBLIC ORDER ON SCHOOL PROPERTY

EMERGENCY SITUATIONS

Policy 3110 School Sponsored Media

The principal of each building is responsible for the preparation of news releases concerning the activities within that building, and for reviewing them with the Superintendent prior to release.  Copies of all final news releases will be sent to the Superintendent’s Office.

In addition, a periodic newsletter may be prepared and mailed to each resident of the School District. Included in the newsletter will be information regarding school activities, a monthly calendar and other items of interest to the community.  The Board accepts the funding obligation for the necessary staff and production costs.

As the official spokesperson, the Superintendent or his/her designee shall issue all news releases concerning the District.  All statements of the Board will be released through the Office of the Superintendent and/or the District Clerk.

Adopted:  11/16/05

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Policy 3111 World Wide Web:  District Website

In order to support the vision and mission of the School District, the District will create and maintain a website for the following purposes:

  1. A place to showcase innovative student and staff educational projects, presentations, and learning experiences.
  2.  A gateway to District and community resources and to educational websites.
  3. A means for the community to access District information.
  4. A means of “opening up” communications among students, District personnel, the community, and associated organizations.

The District website may not be used for any commercial promotional activity.

Regulations will be developed for implementing guidelines as to staff/student access and usage of the District website.

Adopted:  03/19/08

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Policy 3112 School District Standards and Guidelines for Web Page Publishing

General Criteria

The availability of Internet access in the School District provides an opportunity for staff and students to access information and contribute to the School District’s presence on the World Wide Web. The District/school/classroom Websites must relate to curriculum or instructional matters, school authorized activities, or general information of interest to the public pertaining to the District or its schools. Staff and students are prohibited from publishing personal home pages or links to personal home pages as part of the District/school/classroom Web Page(s). Similarly, no individual or outside organization will be permitted to publish personal Web Pages as part of the District/school/classroom Web Page(s).

Internet access for the creation of Web Pages is provided by the District and accounts are created for staff members to post information. These accounts are username and password protected and give each user access to ONLY the portion of the district website that they are authorized to change.  Personnel designing information for the Web Pages must familiarize themselves with and adhere to District standards and procedures. Failure to follow District standards or responsibilities may result in disciplinary sanctions in accordance with law and/or the applicable collective bargaining agreement.

The District shall provide general training on relevant legal considerations and compliance with applicable laws and regulations including copyright, intellectual property, and privacy of student records as well as relevant District procedures to those staff members and students who are allowed to develop or place material on the District/school/classroom Web Page(s).

Content Standards

  1.  If at any time, the administration or Website Manager/designee(s) believes the proposed material does not meet the standards approved by the District, it will not be published on or can be removed from the Web. Decisions regarding access to active Web Pages for editing content or organization will be the responsibility of the Website Manager/designee(s).
  2. A Web Page must be sponsored by a member of the District faculty, staff or administration who will be responsible for its content, design, currency and maintenance. The sponsor is responsible for ensuring that those constructing and maintaining the Web Page have the necessary technical training and that they fully understand and adhere to District policies and regulations
  3. Staff or student work should be published only as it relates to a school/classroom authorized project or other school-related activity.
  4. The review of a Student Web Page (if considered a school-sponsored student publication) shall be subject to prior District review as would any other school-sponsored student publication.
  5. An authorized teacher who is publishing the final Web Page(s) for himself/herself or for a student will edit and test the Page(s) for accuracy of links and check for conformance with District standards and practices.
  6.  A disclaimer statement about the content of Web Pages must be part of individual sites:
    1. Example: “The District has made every reasonable attempt to ensure that our Web Pages are educationally sound and do not contain links to questionable material or material that can be deemed in violation of the School District’s Standards and Guidelines for Web Page Publishing Policy.”
  7. Commercial advertising or marketing on the District/school/classroom Web Page(s) (or the use of school-affiliated Web Pages for the pursuit of personal or financial gain) shall be prohibited unless otherwise authorized in accordance with law and/or regulation. Decisions regarding Website advertising must be consistent with existing District policies and practices on this matter. School-affiliated Web Pages may mention outside organizations only in the context of school programs that have a direct relationship to those organizations (e.g., sponsorship of an activity, student community service project).
  8. Web Pages may include faculty or staff names; however, other personal information about employees including, but not limited to, home telephone numbers, addresses, personal e-mail addresses, or other identifying information such as names of family members may be published only with the employee’s written permission.
  9.  All Web Pages must conform to the standards for appropriate use found in the District’s Acceptable Use Policy and accompanying Regulations regarding standards of acceptable use; examples of inappropriate behavior; and compliance with applicable laws, privacy, and safety concerns.
  10. All Web Pages must be approved through the designated process before being posted to the District/school/classroom Websites.
  11. All staff and/or students authorized to publish material on the District/school/classroom Web Page(s) shall acknowledge receipt of the District’s Web Page Standards and agree to comply with same prior to posting any material on the Web

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Release of Student Education Records

In accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), unless otherwise exempted in accordance with law and regulation, the District may release personally identifiable information contained in student education records only if it has received a “signed and dated written consent” from a parent or eligible student. Signed and dated written consent may include a record and signature in electronic form provided that such signature:

  1. Identifies and authenticates a particular person as the source of the electronic consent; and
  2. Indicates such person’s approval of the information contained in the electronic consent.

Student Directory Information

Per FERPA, Districts must publish an annual public notice informing parents or eligible students of their right to refuse the release of student directory information and indicating a time period for their response. Following such public notice and a reasonable response period, the District may release such information to an outside group without individual consent.

Parental/Eligible Student Consent Required and Privacy Concerns

Written parental/eligible student consent shall be obtained by the District before education records or personally identifiable information contained therein is released to any party unless:

  1. Such release is authorized by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, or its implementing regulations;
  2. The information released is “directory information” as designated by the District in accordance with FERPA. The District shall provide parents and eligible students with annual notification of their rights under FERPA and designation of directory information (i.e., disclosure of personally identifiable information contained in student records);
  3. For anything not specifically designated as “directory information” by the District, the District must receive a “signed and dated written consent” from the parent/eligible student prior to releasing such information (unless otherwise authorized per FERPA);
  4. Whenever possible, group photographs of students and/or the use of photographs where the student is not easily identifiable is preferable to the use of individual student photographs for safety reasons;
  5. Web Pages shall not include a student’s full name, telephone number, address, e-mail address or post such information of other family members or friends. Posting of student names will be limited to first name only;
  6. Online posting of school bus schedules and/or other specific activity schedules detailing dates/times/locations (e.g., field trips) is prohibited on school-affiliated Websites as such information can pose risks of child abduction or other security concerns. Password protected Websites may be authorized by the Superintendent/designee.

Copyrighted Materials

All employees and students are prohibited from copying materials not specifically allowed by the copyright law, “Fair Use” guidelines, licenses or contractual agreements, or the permission of the copyright proprietor. Web Page publications must include a statement of copyright when appropriate and indicate that permission has been secured when including copyrighted materials or notice that such publication is in accordance with the “Fair Use” provisions of the Copyright Law.

Fair Use of Copyrighted Materials

Pursuant to Section 107 of the Copyright Law (“Fair Use” provisions), the use of copyrighted material for criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, or research may be permitted under certain circumstances.

However, any appropriation of someone else’s work on the Internet is a potential copyright infringement. “Fair Use” provisions may not apply when a project created by a teacher or student is accessed by others over the Internet. If there is a possibility that school-affiliated Web Page(s), which incorporate copyrighted works under the “Fair Use” provisions, could later result in broader dissemination, it will be necessary to seek the permission of the copyright holder. The complex interplay between copyright law and the “Fair Use” provisions in educational multimedia projects should be considered in development of Web Page publishing standards and reviewed by school counsel prior to District implementation for compliance with applicable law and regulations.

  1. Unless otherwise noted, always assume that work on the web is copyrighted. It is NOT necessary that the copyright symbol — © — be displayed for the work to be protected by copyright laws.
  2. Proper attribution must always be given.
  3. Obtaining permission(s) from the copyright holder(s) (whether text, graphics or music) should occur during the developmental process or project, rather than waiting to seek permission upon completion of the project.
  4. Unauthorized electronic transmission of copyrighted materials is illegal.

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Intellectual Property/ Works Made for Hire

All works completed by employees as part of their employment shall be considered “works made for hire” as described in the United States Code Annotated, Title 17, Copyrights to the extent permitted by law. This determination includes, but is not limited to, the following activities:

  1. Work prepared by an employee within the scope of his/her employment, whether tangible or intangible;
  2. Work specifically ordered or commissioned for use as a contribution to a collective work, as enumerated in law.

Any work created within the scope of such a relationship will be considered a work made for hire when a regular employment relationship exists.

Work covered under this policy is the property of the School District, not the creator of such work. The District shall own any and all rights to such works, or derivatives thereof, unless there is a written agreement to the contrary.

Student Work

Students are the copyright holders of their own original work. The District must receive written permission from both the parent and the student prior to publishing students’ original work on the District/school/classroom Websites.

Student Free Speech Issues (School-sponsored Publications)

In general, School Districts can exercise editorial control over the style and content of student expression in school-sponsored publications, theatrical productions, and other expressive activities that students, parents and members of the public might reasonably perceive to bear the imprimatur of the school.

However, the school’s actions in such a case must be reasonably related to legitimate pedagogical concerns and may not amount to viewpoint discrimination.

Consequences for Non-Compliance

Web Pages that do not comply with the above criteria are subject to revocation of approval and removal from the District/school/classroom Websites.

Staff

Faculty or staff posting non-approved or inappropriate material on a school-affiliated Website are subject to the imposition of discipline, including possible suspension or revocation of access to the District’s computer network, in accordance with law and applicable collective bargaining agreements. In the case that a violation may constitute a criminal offense, it will be reported to the appropriate authorities.

Students

Students posting non-approved or inappropriate material on a school-affiliated Website are subject to the imposition of discipline, including possible suspension or revocation of access to the District’s computer network, in accordance with applicable due process procedures and the District Code of Conduct. In the case that a violation may constitute a criminal offense, it will be reported to the appropriate authorities.

Oversight

The Superintendent of Schools or his/her designee shall have the authority to approve or deny the posting of any proposed Web Pages on school-affiliated Websites based upon compliance with the terms and conditions set forth in this policy as well as applicable District practices and procedures.

Adopted:   08/20/08

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Policy 3120 Relations with the Municipal Governments

It is the policy of the Board to establish and maintain a positive working relationship with the governing bodies of the municipality.  The Board shall also cooperate with municipal, county and state agencies whose work affects the welfare of the children of the District, including the County Social Service Department, the Board of Health, the Public Library, and all community emergency service agencies.

Relations with Governmental Authorities

The Board believes that a positive partnership with governmental authorities is essential to ensure the safe and complete education and development of District students.  The District will foster communication and cooperation with local, county, state and federal governmental authorities in order to provide a caring environment and support for school programs.

Relations with Police Authorities

If, in the judgment of a school employee it is necessary to call police authorities to the school property, whenever possible the Superintendent of Schools will be contacted prior to such action being taken.  If the Superintendent is unavailable, a building principal should be contacted.

The school staff will cooperate with police authorities in the performance of their duties, keeping in mind that the constitutional rights of individuals through due process of law are guaranteed. Every effort will be made to avoid undue embarrassment to students and parents.

Involvement of police authorities in the educational program of the school will continue to be encouraged.

Relations with Community Organizations

The Board believes that positive relations with community organizations are necessary to accomplish the task of providing for the complete education and development of District students.  Communication and cooperation between the District and various community organizations such as parent, extracurricular boosters, educational, youth, service and business organizations in order to provide a caring environment and community support for school programs is therefore encouraged.

In these relationships overall benefit to the students and the educational mission and programs of the District shall be paramount.

News Media Relations

The Board recognizes that one of its major responsibilities is to keep the public informed of school-related activities, events, actions and problems. Therefore, the Board encourages both the general public and the news media to attend all Board meetings except executive sessions.  In addition, the Board will strive to keep the public informed in the following manner:

  1. The Board president or his/her designee should be the official public spokesperson for the Board, and shall have the responsibility of reviewing and approving all Board-related press releases and other public relations materials as appropriate.
  2. In order for the Board to transact its business in a timely and organized manner, questions during a meeting from the news media or the public will be entertained only during set times on the agenda.  At the Board President’s discretion, the public or media may be allowed to ask questions or make comments on a specific topic at other times during a Board meeting.  After a Board meeting, the President or his/her designee will be available for questions or clarification of an issue.
  3.  When individual Board members receive requests from news media representatives for information, members will refer such requests to the Board President or an administrator as appropriate, except when the Board President may specifically delegate this responsibility to someone else.
  4. The intent of this policy is to provide accurate reports of Board business to the news media and to the public.  This policy does not prohibit individual Board members from expressing individual views.  However, a Board member must make it clearly understood that he/she is expressing his/her own opinion and not speaking for the Board.
  5. In the event that representatives of the news media are unable to attend a Board meeting, they will be provided, upon request, with a summary of important Board actions.

Adopted:  11/16/05

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Policy 3121 Shared Decision Making

The Cooperstown Central School District believes that all members of the community must be able to participate in the decision making process in order to better face the educational challenges ahead. The Board further supports the concept of Shared Decision Making as the most effective approach for involving all members of the educational community to identify educational issues, define goals, help develop policy and build the elements necessary to help all students meet standards of excellence. Hence, the Board resolves to implement the Shared Decision Making Philosophy and in collaboration with the Comprehensive District Education Plan Team, in accordance with the Shared Decision Making Plan.

Adopted:  11/16/05

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Policy 3130 Senior Citizens

The Board of Education will consider school related programs for senior citizens in accordance with Education Law and/or regulations of the Commissioner of Education.  Such programs include special use of school buildings or school buses, school lunches and partial tax exemptions.

Senior Citizen Passes

Residents of the Cooperstown Central School District aged sixty (60) and over are invited to attend most school sponsored athletic events, concerts, plays, productions, and other similar activities free of charge.

Senior Citizen Passes may be obtained at the District Office of the Superintendent of Schools located in the Middle/High School, or by completing a Senior Citizen Pass Application at an event.

Education Law Sections 1501-b(1)(a), 1501-b(1)(b) and 1709(22)

Real Property Tax Law Section 467

Adopted:  11/16/05

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Policy 3140 Flag Display

In keeping with State Education Law and Executive Law, the Board of Education accepts its duty to display the United States flag upon or near each public school building during school hours, weather permitting, and such other times as the statutes may require or the Board may direct.

When ordered by the President, Governor, or local official, to commemorate a tragic event or the death of an outstanding individual, the flag shall be flown at half-staff.  The Superintendent’s approval shall be required for the flag to be flown at half-staff upon any other occasion.  Regulations for seeking such approval shall be established in the Administrative Manual of the District.

The flag shall be displayed in every assembly room (i.e., the auditorium) including the room where the Board of Education meetings are conducted, as well as displayed in all rooms used for instruction.

Education Law Sections 418 and 419

Executive Law Sections 402 and 403

8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations

(NYCRR) Sections 1-108.3

Adopted:  11/16/05

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Policy 3150 School Volunteers

The Board recognizes the need to develop a school volunteer program to support District instructional programs and extracurricular activities.  The purpose of the volunteer program will be to:

  1. Assist employees in providing more individualization and enrichment of instruction;
  2. Build an understanding of school programs among interested citizens, thus stimulating widespread involvement in a total educational process;
  3. Strengthen school/community relations through positive participation.

Volunteers are persons who are willing to donate their time and energies to assist principals, teachers, and other school personnel in implementing various phases of school programs.  Volunteers shall serve in that capacity without compensation or employee benefits except for liability protection under the District’s insurance program.  It is expected that all volunteers will adhere to the District’s Rights and Responsibilities Handbook – Code of Conduct.

Administrative regulations will be developed to implement the terms of this policy.

Volunteer Protection Act of 1997,

42 United States Code (USC) Section 14501 et seq.

Education Law Sections 3023 and 3028

Public Officers Law Section 18

NOTE: Refer also to Policy #6540 — Defense and Indemnification of Board Members and Employees

Adopted:  11/16/05

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Policy 3210 Visitors to the School

All visitors shall be required to register upon arrival at school and state their business.  Visitations to classrooms for any purpose require permission in advance from the building principal in order to allow teachers the opportunity to arrange their schedules to accommodate such requests.

When individual Board members visit the schools, they must abide by the regulations and procedures developed by the administration regarding school visits.

Education Law Section 2801

Penal Law Sections 140.10 and 240.35

Adopted:  11/16/05

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Policy 3220 Public Expression at Meetings

All meetings of the Board shall be conducted in public, and the public has the right to attend all such meetings.  Public expression at such meetings shall be encouraged and up to thirty (30) minutes of the agenda shall provide for this privilege of the floor.  At its discretion, the Board may invite visitors to its meetings to participate in the Board’s discussion of matters on the agenda.

The Board of Education reserves the right to enter into executive session as specified in Policy #1730 — Executive Sessions.

NOTE: Refer also to Policy #1730 — Executive Sessions

Adopted:  11/16/05

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Policy 3230 Communications to the Board

Correspondence addressed to the Board, including complaints and requests concerning school policies, related procedures, and administrative and personnel matters will be brought to the attention of the Superintendent or the President of the Board.

Complaints

Complaints about administrative matters which do not involve policy issues will be handled first by the person in charge of the area involved.  If the issue is not resolved at that level, it will be referred to the appropriate building principal or business administrator.  Further appeal may be directed to the Superintendent and, finally, to the Board.

Policy Issues

Communications pertaining to policy issues will be recorded by the Clerk of the Board and brought promptly to the attention of the Board President.  If an immediate reply is possible, he/she will take appropriate action.  If a reply requires research in connection with a new policy or a change in existing policy, an interim reply will be made by the President and the communication referred to the Superintendent for initial action, with a copy going to the Board.

If, after study, it is judged that no policy action is needed, the Superintendent will prepare a reply for the President’s signature, with a copy to the Board.

If policy action is needed, the Superintendent will prepare and refer a recommendation, with supporting information, to the Board.

Administrative Matters

Administrative correspondence will be routed to the Superintendent who will determine if the matter warrants the attention of the President of the Board.  As appropriate, correspondence concerning administration will be accorded an interim reply or a prompt answer to the subject addressed.

Personnel Matters

Personnel matters not covered by collective bargaining agreements will be treated as administrative matters except that correspondence pertaining to actions of the Superintendent will be referred directly to the President of the Board.

Formal Appeals

Formal appeals directed to the Board of Education will be handled according to law.  Any decision of the Board may be appealed to the Commissioner of Education.  The appeal, however, must be filed within thirty days of the action being appealed.  (Appropriate procedures for an appeal are contained in Handbook One, State Education Department.)

Action by the Clerk of the Board

It is the responsibility of the clerk to maintain a record of Board and administrative correspondence including date received, subject, to whom assigned for action, and dates of interim and final reply.  Delays in the release of appropriate replies will be brought to the attention of the Superintendent and the President of the Board by the Clerk.  An interim reply should be made within three working days and a final reply, if possible, within two weeks.

Adopted:  11/16/05

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Policy 3240 Student Participation

Students provide an important channel of communication with parents and the entire community. Information concerning the schools may be properly disseminated through students.  The schools administrators shall review messages and materials prior to authorizing their dispersal through the student body.  Information submitted for distribution by outside agencies will only be disseminated based upon their inclusion in the Board approved list.

Adopted:  11/16/05

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Policy 3250 Affiliated Organizations

Philosophy

The District acknowledges that certain organizations use the name of the Cooperstown Central School District or the name of its schools to generate funds in order to support District activities.  Though not legally part of the District, the public often associates these organizations closely with Cooperstown Central School District functions and activities.

The Cooperstown Central School District considers the use of its name or the name of its schools to be a privilege. As such, organizations that use the District name or name of its schools must be recognized by the Board of Education as an “affiliated organization” and must comply with the requirements set forth in this policy.  Groups recognized by the Board as affiliated organizations may include parent- teacher groups, home-school organizations, various booster clubs and other organizations.

Affiliated organizations are expected to carry on their affairs in a manner that reflects the goals and values of the Board of Education and must employ good accounting practices.

Neither the Board of Education nor the District is responsible for the financial matters of affiliated organizations.

Requirements

Affiliated organizations shall maintain a current set of by-laws a written constitution, current listing of officers and provide updated copies of each to the Clerk of the Board of Education.  Affiliated Organizations shall file appropriate tax returns and other legal documentation required by New York State and the U.S. governments.

In addition, affiliated organizations shall deliver annually, no later than the second week of November, a copy of the IRS form 990 or an equivalent financial report which relates the financial operations of the organization to the District’s Business Official.  Upon examination of these documents the Business Official shall relate any pertinent comments to the Superintendent and the Board of Education.

Affiliated organizations shall be required to provide a yearly written and verbal report of activities and a listing of officers/board members to the Board of Education at a public meeting scheduled at the discretion of the Board Clerk.

All proposed fundraising activities must be approved by the Superintendent of Schools or his/her designee.  Fundraising activities involving gaming or raffles must be approved by the Superintendent of Schools.  All gaming activities or raffles must comply with Rules and Regulations established by New York State Racing and Wagering Board.  A copy of all required correspondence with the New York State Racing and Wagering Board shall accompany the required IRS form 990 or equivalent

financial report to the District’s Business Official for those organizations authorized to engage in legal gaming or host raffles.

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Collaboration

The Cooperstown Central School District recognizes the benefit that affiliated organizations provide for students of the district.  As such, affiliated organizations may be exempt from partial or full payment of fees incurred when using district buildings or facilities.  A determination as to whether fees shall be charged for any event sponsored by an affiliated organization shall be made by the Superintendent of Schools or his/her designee.   A calendar of fundraising events will be maintained by the district to avoid undue competition between groups.

Website Links

An affiliated organization may request that its web site be directly linked to the Cooperstown Central School District web site.  After a thorough review of the content on the affiliated organization’s site, the Superintendent of Schools or his/her designee may grant permission for the web site linkage.  It shall be the responsibility of the affiliated organization to ensure that any and all material posted on its web site comports with the goals and values of the Board of Education of the Cooperstown Central School District.

Delegation of Authority

The Superintendent of Schools or his/her designee shall be responsible for the administration of this policy.

Review

The Board of Education shall review and update the list of recognized affiliated organizations as needed, but not less than annually.

This policy is to be reviewed every three (3) years or as the Board of Education may deem necessary.

Affiliated Organizations of the Cooperstown Central School District

  • Angel Network
  • Cooperstown Parent Teacher Association
  • Cooperstown Alumni Association
  • Cooperstown All Sports Booster Club
  • Cooperstown Foundation for Educational Excellence
  • Friends of Music and Art

Adopted:  03/20/13

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Policy 3251 Parent/Teacher Organization

The Board of Education recognizes that the goal of the Parent/Teacher Organization is to develop a united effort between educators and the general public to secure for every child the highest achievement in physical, academic and social education.  Therefore, staff members and parents are encouraged to join the Parent-Teacher Organization and to participate actively in its programs.

Adopted:  11/16/05

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Policy 3252 Booster Clubs

Booster clubs or other related organizations may be created to promote community support and to raise funds for specific school activities or programs.  These groups must receive official Board approval and may not discriminate on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, color, national origin, ethnic background, disability, religion or any other arbitrary criteria.

Rules will be established to govern the activities of booster clubs and other related organizations. The Board further requires that:

  1. Financial records be maintained and made available, upon request, for Board and/or public inspection;
  2. Fund raising activities be approved in advance as per district procedures; and
  3. Groups wishing to make a contribution adhere to the District’s policy and regulations regarding the acceptance of gifts.

Violations to District policy may result in the dissolution of the club or organization.

New York State Civil Rights Law Section 40-c

Prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, creed, color, national origin, sex, marital status, sexual orientation or disability.

Adopted:  11/16/05

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Policy 3271 Solicitation of Charitable Donations From School Children

Direct solicitation of charitable donations from children in the District schools on school property during regular school hours shall not be permitted.  It will be a violation of District policy to ask District school children directly to contribute money or goods for the benefit of a charity during the hours in which District students are compelled to be on school premises.

However, this policy does not prevent the following types of fund raising activities:

  1. Fund raising activities which take place off school premises, or outside of regular school hours during before-school or after-school extracurricular periods;
  2. Arms-length transactions, where the purchaser receives a consideration for his/her donation. For example, the sale of goods or tickets for concerts or social events, where the proceeds go to charity, shall not be prohibited as the purchaser will receive consideration – the concert or social event – for the funds expended;
  3. Indirect forms of charitable solicitation on school premises that do not involve coercion, such as placing a bin or collection box in a hallway or other common area for the donation of food, clothing, other goods or money. However, collection of charitable contributions of food, clothing, other goods or funds from students in the classroom or homeroom is prohibited.

The Board of Education shall ultimately decide which organizations, groups, etc. can solicit charitable donations and for what purposes, as long as the activities comply with the terms of this policy and the Rules of the Board of Regents.

Regulations shall be developed by the administration to implement this policy.

8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Section 19.6

New York State Constitution Article VIII, Section 1

Education Law Section 414

NOTE: Refer also to Policy #7450 — Fund Raising by Students

Adopted:  11/16/05

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Policy 3272 Advertising in the Schools

Neither the facilities, the staff, nor the students of the School District shall be employed in any manner for advertising or otherwise promoting the interests of any commercial, political, or other non-school agency, individual or organization, except that:

  1. Schools may cooperate in furthering the work of any non-profit, community-wide, social service agency, provided that such cooperation does not restrict or impair the educational program of the schools or conflict with Section 19.6 of the Rules of the Board of Regents;
  2. The schools may use films or other educational materials bearing only simple mention of the producing firm;
  3. The Superintendent of Schools may, at his/her discretion, announce or authorize to be announced, any lecture or other community activity of particular educational merit;
  4. The schools may, upon approval of the Superintendent of Schools, cooperate with any agency in promoting activities in the general public interest that are non-partisan and non-controversial, and that promote the education and other best interests of the students.

No materials of a commercial nature shall be distributed through the children in attendance in the Cooperstown Central School District except as authorized by law or the Commissioner’s Regulations.

New York State Constitution Article 8, Section 1

8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Section 19.6

Adopted:  11/16/05

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Policy 3273 Soliciting Funds From School Personnel

Soliciting of funds from school personnel by persons or organizations representing public or private organizations shall be prohibited.  The Superintendent of Schools shall have the authority to make exceptions to this policy in cases where such solicitation is considered to be in the District’s best interest.  The Board of Education shall be notified of these instances.

Distribution of information about worthwhile area charities may be made through the Office of the Superintendent of Schools as a service to School District personnel.

Adopted:  11/16/05

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Policy 3280 Community Use of School Facilities

It shall be the policy of the Board to encourage the greatest possible use of school buildings for community-wide activities.  This is meant to include use by recognized civic, social and fraternal and religious organizations in accordance with law.  Groups wishing to use the school facilities must secure written permission from the appropriate building principal and abide by the rules and regulations established for such use including restrictions on alcohol, tobacco and drug use.  The Superintendent, at his/her discretion, may consult with the Board of Education.  Reports may be made to the Board regarding community use of the school facilities.

Specific Requirements Relating to Boy Scouts and other Title 36 Patriotic Youth Groups

The Boy Scouts Act applies to any local educational agency (LEA) that has a designated open forum or limited public forum and that receives funds made available through the U.S. Department of Education (DOE).  It applies to any group officially affiliated with the Boy Scouts of America or any other youth group designated in Title 36 of the United States Code as a patriotic society.

Under this law, no covered entity shall deny equal access or a fair opportunity to meet, or discriminate against any group affiliated with the Boy Scouts of America or any other Title 36 patriotic youth group that wishes to conduct a meeting within the covered entity’s designated open forum or limited public forum.  No covered entity shall deny access or opportunity or discriminate for reasons including the membership or leadership criteria or oath of allegiance to God and country of the Boy Scouts of America or of the Title 36 patriotic youth group.  The statute applies regardless of the entity’s authority to make decisions about the use of its own school facilities.

For purposes of these regulations, an elementary or secondary school has a designated open forum whenever the school involved designates a time and place for one or more outside youth community groups to meet on school premises or in school facilities, including during the hours in which attendance at the school is compulsory, for reasons other than to provide the school’s educational benefits or services.

For purposes of these regulations, an elementary or secondary school has a limited public forum whenever the school involved grants an offering to, or opportunity for, one or more outside youth or community groups to meet on school premises or in school facilities before or after the hours during which attendance at the school is compulsory.

Access to facilities and the ability to communicate using school-related means of communication must be provided to any group officially affiliated with the Boy Scouts of America or any other Title 36 patriotic youth group on terms that are no less favorable than the most favorable terms provided to other outside youth or community groups.

No school, agency, or school served by an agency to which the Boy Scouts Act applies are required to sponsor any group officially affiliated with Boy Scouts or any other Title 36 patriotic youth group.

The obligation to comply with the Boy Scouts Act is not obviated or alleviated by any State of local law or other requirement.

Sunday Activities

It is the District’s intent to limit the use of buildings and property on Sundays.  However, a building principal may grant permission to school personnel to schedule school related activities on Sunday.

Sunday building usage by outside groups may be granted by the appropriate building principal as appropriate.  It is understood that in such circumstances a cleaner will be hired whose salary will be borne by the group using the building.

Education Law Section 414

34 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 108

NOTE: Refer also to Policies

  • #3410 — Code of Conduct on School Property
  • #5640 — Smoking/Tobacco Use
  • #7310 — School Conduct and Discipline
  • #7320 — Alcohol, Tobacco, Drugs and Other Substances (Students)

Adopted:  11/16/05
Amended:  1/11/11
Amended:  3/16/11
Amended:  3/19/14

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Policy 3281 Use of Facilities by the Boy Scouts of America & Patriotic Youth Groups. 3281

To the extent the District receives funds made available through the United States Department of Education and maintains a “designated open forum” or a “limited public forum,” as those terms are defined in federal regulation, it will not deny any group officially affiliated with the Boy Scouts of America or any other patriotic youth group listed in Title 36 of the United States Code equal access or a fair opportunity to meet. Likewise, the District will not discriminate against any such group that requests to conduct a meeting within the District’s designated open forum or limited public forum, including denying such access or opportunity or discriminating for reasons based on the group’s membership or leadership criteria or oath of allegiance to God and country.

The District will provide groups officially affiliated with the Boy Scouts of America or other Title 36 patriotic youth group access to facilities and the ability to communicate using school-related means of communication on terms that are no less favorable than the most favorable terms provided to other outside youth or community groups.

The District is not required to sponsor any group officially affiliated with Boy Scouts or any other Title 36 patriotic youth group.

20 USC Section 7905

36 USC Subtitle II

34 CFR Parts 75, 76 and 108

Refer also to Policy #3280 — Use of School Facilities, Materials and Equipment

Adopted:  03/19/14

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Policy 3282 Use of School-Owned Materials and Equipment

Except when used in connection with or when rented under provisions of Education Law Section 414, school-owned materials or equipment may be used by members of the community or by District employees and/or students for school related purposes only.  Private and/or personal use of school-owned materials and equipment is strictly prohibited.

The Board will permit school materials and equipment to be loaned to staff members when such use is directly or peripherally related to their employment and loaned to students when the material and equipment is to be used in connection with their studies or extracurricular activities.  Community members will be allowed to use school-owned materials and equipment only for educational purposes that relate to school operations.

Administrative regulations will be developed to assure the lender’s responsibility for, and return of, all such materials and equipment.

Education Law Section 414

Adopted:  11/16/05

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Policy 3290 Operation of Motor-Driven Vehicles on District Property

The use of motor-driven vehicles, including cars, snowmobiles, mini-bikes, motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles (ATV’s) and other such vehicles is prohibited on any school grounds or areas except for authorized school functions or purposes.

All student vehicles are to be registered with the high school principal and parked in authorized areas only.

Vehicle and Traffic Law Section 1670

Adopted:  11/16/05

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Policy 3310 Public Access to Records

Access to records of the District shall be consistent with the rules and regulations established by the State Committee on Open Government and shall comply with all the requirements of the New York State Public Officers Law Section 87.

A Records Access Officer shall be designated by the Superintendent, subject to the approval of the Board of Education, who shall have the duty of coordinating the School District’s response to public request for access to records.

Regulations and procedures pertaining to accessing District records shall be as indicated in the School District Administrative Manual.

Requests for Records via E-mail

If the District has the capability to retrieve electronic records, it must provide such records electronically upon request.  The District shall accept requests for records submitted in the form of electronic mail and respond to such requests by electronic mail using the forms supplied by the District.  This information shall be posted on the District website, clearly designating the e-mail address for such purposes of receiving requests for records via this format.

When the District maintains requested records electronically, the response shall inform the requester that the records are accessible via the internet and in printed form either on paper or other information storage medium.

The District shall respond to a request within five (5) business days of the receipt of a request.  Should all or part of the request need to be denied, the District shall respond in the manner set forth by the rules and regulations stipulated by the Committee on Open Government.

Education Law Section 2116

Public Officers Law Section 87 and 89

21 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Parts 1401 and 9760

Adopted:   11/16/05
Amended: 02/06/08

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Policy 3320 Confidentiality of Computerized Information

The development of centralized computer banks of educational data gives rise to the question of the maintenance of confidentiality of such data while still conforming to the New York State Freedom of Information Law.  The safeguarding of confidential data from inappropriate use is essential to the success of the District’s operation. Access to confidential computerized data shall be limited only to authorized personnel of the School District.

It shall be a violation of the District’s policy to release confidential computerized data to any unauthorized person or agency. Any employee who releases or otherwise makes improper use of such computerized data shall be subject to disciplinary action.

However, if the computerized information sought is available under the Freedom of Information Law and can be retrieved by means of existing computer programs, the District is required to disclose such information.

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974

20 United States Code (USC) 1232(g)

34 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 99

Public Officers Law Section 84 et seq.

Adopted:  11/16/05

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Policy 3410 Code of Conduct on School Property

The District has developed and will amend, as appropriate, a written Code of Conduct for the Maintenance of Order on School Property, including school functions, which shall govern the conduct of students, teachers and other school personnel, as well as visitors and/or vendors. The Board of Education shall further provide for the enforcement of such Code of Conduct.

For purposes of this policy, and the implemented Code of Conduct, school property means in or within any building, structure, athletic playing field, playground, parking lot or land contained within the real property boundary line of the District’s elementary or secondary schools, or in or on a school bus; and a school function shall mean a school-sponsored extracurricular event or activity regardless of where such event or activity takes place, including those that take place in another state.

The District Code of Conduct has been developed in collaboration with student, teacher, administrator, and parent organizations, school safety personnel and other school personnel.

The Code of Conduct shall include, at a minimum, the following:

  1. Provisions regarding conduct, dress and language deemed appropriate and acceptable on school property and at school functions, and conduct, dress and language deemed unacceptable and inappropriate on school property; provisions regarding acceptable civil and respectful treatment of teachers, school administrators, other school personnel, students and visitors on school property and at school functions; the appropriate range of disciplinary measures which may be imposed for violation of such Code; and the roles of teachers, administrators, other school personnel, the Board of Education and parents/persons in parental relation to the student;
  2. Provisions prohibiting discrimination and harassment against any student, by employees or students on school property or at a school function, that creates a hostile environment by conduct, with or without physical contact and/or verbal threats, intimidation or abuse, of such a severe nature that:
    1. Has or would have the effect of unreasonably and substantially interfering with a student’s educational performance, opportunities or benefits, or mental, emotional and/or physical well-being; or
    2. Reasonably causes or would reasonably be expected to cause a student to fear for his/her physical safety.Such conduct shall include, but is not limited to, threats, intimidation, or abuse based on a person’s actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practices, disability, sexual orientation, gender as defined in Education Law Section 11(6), or sex; provided that nothing in this subdivision shall be construed to prohibit a denial of admission into, or exclusion from, a course of instruction based on a person’s gender that would be permissible under Education Law Sections 3201-a or seq.), or to prohibit, as discrimination based on disability, actions that would be permissible under 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973;
  3. Standards and procedures to assure security and safety of students and school personnel;
  4. Provisions for the removal from the classroom and from school property, including a school function, of students and other persons who violate the Code;
  5. Provisions prescribing the period for which a disruptive student may be removed from the classroom for each incident, provided that no such student shall return to the classroom until the Principal (or his/her designated School District administrator) makes a final determination pursuant to Education Law Section 3214(3-a)(c) or the period of removal expires, whichever is less;
  6.  Disciplinary measures to be taken for incidents on school property or at school functions involving the use of tobacco, the possession or use of illegal substances or weapons, the use of physical force, vandalism, violation of another student’s civil rights, harassment and threats of violence;
  7. Provisions for responding to acts of discrimination and harassment against students by employees or students on school property or at a school function pursuant to clause (b) of this subparagraph;
  8. Provisions for detention, suspension and removal from the classroom of students, consistent with Education Law Section 3214 and other applicable federal, state and local laws, including provisions for school authorities to establish procedures to ensure the provision of continued educational programming and activities for students removed from the classroom, placed in detention, or suspended from school, which shall include alternative educational programs appropriate to individual student needs;
  9. Procedures by which violations are reported and determined, and the disciplinary measures imposed and carried out;
  10. Provisions ensuring the Code of Conduct and its enforcement are in compliance with state and federal laws relating to students with disabilities;
  11. Provisions setting forth the procedures by which local law enforcement agencies shall be notified of Code violations which constitute a crime;
  12. Provisions setting forth the circumstances under and procedures by which parents/persons in parental relation to the student shall be notified of Code violations;
  13. Provisions setting forth the circumstances under and procedures by which a complaint in criminal court, a juvenile delinquency petition or person in need of supervision (“PINS”) petition as defined in Articles 3 and 7 of the Family Court Act will be filed;
  14. Circumstances under and procedures by which referral to appropriate human service agencies shall be made;
  15. A minimum suspension period for students who repeatedly are substantially disruptive of the educational process or substantially interfere with the teacher’s authority over the classroom, provided that the suspending authority may reduce such period on a case-by-case basis to be consistent with any other state and federal law. For purposes of this requirement, as defined in Commissioner’s Regulations, “repeatedly is substantially disruptive of the educational process or substantially interferes with the teacher’s authority over the classroom” shall mean engaging in conduct which results in the removal of the student from the classroom by teacher(s) pursuant to the provisions of Education Law Section 3214(3-a) and the provisions set forth in the Code of Conduct on four (4) or more occasions during a semester, or three (3) or more occasions during a trimester, as applicable;
  16. A minimum suspension period for acts that would qualify the student to be defined as a violent student pursuant to Education Law Section 3214(2-a)(a). However, the suspending authority may reduce the suspension period on a case-by-case basis consistent with any other state and federal law;
  17. A Bill of Rights and Responsibilities of Students which focuses upon positive student behavior and a safe and supportive school climate, which shall be written in plain-language, publicized and explained in an age-appropriate manner to all students on an annual basis; and
  18. Guidelines and programs for in-service education programs for all District staff members to ensure effective implementation of school policy on school conduct and discipline, including but not limited to, guidelines on promoting a safe and supportive school climate while discouraging, among other things, discrimination or harassment against students by students and/or school employees; and including safe and supportive school climate concepts in the curriculum and classroom management.

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The District’s Code of Conduct shall be adopted by the Board of Education only after at least one (1) public hearing that provided for the participation of school personnel, parents/persons in parental relation, students, and any other interested parties.

The Code of Conduct shall be reviewed on an annual basis, and updated as necessary in accordance with law. The District may establish a committee pursuant to Education Law Section 2801(5)(a) to facilitate review of its Code of Conduct and the District’s response to Code of Conduct violations. The School Board shall re-approve any updated Code of Conduct or adopt revisions only after at least one (1) public hearing that provides for the participation of school personnel, parents/persons in parental relation, students, and any other interested parties. The District shall file a copy of its Code of Conduct and any amendments with the commissioner, in a manner prescribed by the Commissioner, no later than thirty (30) days after their respective adoptions.

The Board of Education shall ensure community awareness of its Code of Conduct by:

  1. Posting the complete Code of Conduct on the Internet website, if any, including any annual updates and other amendments to the Code;
  2. Providing copies of a summary of the Code of Conduct to all students in an age-appropriate version, written in plain language, at a school assembly to be held at the beginning of each school year;
  3. Providing a plain language summary of the Code of Conduct to all parents or persons in parental relation to students before the beginning of each school year and making the summary available thereafter upon request;
  4. Providing each existing teacher with a copy of the complete Code of Conduct and a copy of any amendments to the Code as soon as practicable following initial adoption or amendment of the Code. New teachers shall be provided a complete copy of the current Code upon their employment; and
  5. Making complete copies available for review by students, parents or persons in parental relation to students, other school staff and other community members.

Privacy Rights

As part of any investigation, the District has the right to search all school property and equipment including District computers. Rooms, desks, cabinets, lockers, computers, etc. are provided by the District for the use of staff and students, but the users do not have exclusive use of these locations or equipment and should not expect that materials stored therein will be private.

Education Law Sections 801-a, 2801 and 3214

Family Court Act Articles 3 and 7

Vehicle and Traffic Law Section 142

8 NYCRR Section 100.2(l)(2)

NOTE:  Refer also to District Code of Conduct on School Property

Adopted:  11/16/05
Amended:  6/13/12

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Policy 3411 Unlawful Possession of a Weapon Upon School Grounds

It shall be unlawful for any person to knowingly possess any air-gun, spring-gun or other instrument or weapon in which the propelling force is a spring, air, piston or CO2 cartridge upon school grounds or in any District building without the express written authorization of the Superintendent or his/her designee.

Additionally, the possession of any weapon, dangerous object, object that can be reasonably considered a weapon or substance that could cause harm or irritation to another individual, as defined in the New York State Penal Code, on school property or in school buildings is prohibited, except by law enforcement personnel or upon written authorization of the Superintendent/designee.

Unlawful possession of a weapon upon school grounds may be a violation of the New York State Penal Law, and is a violation of School District policy and the Code of Conduct.

Penal Law Sections 265.01-265.06

NOTE:  Refer also to Policy #7360 — Weapons in School and the Gun-Free Schools Act

Adopted:  11/16/05

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Policy 3412 Threats of Violence in School

The School District is committed to the prevention of violence against any individual or property in the schools or at school activities whether such acts and/or threats of violence are made by students, staff, or others.  Threats of violence against students, school personnel and/or school property will not be tolerated whether or not such threats occur on school grounds or during the school day.

Any acts and/or threats of violence, including bomb threats, whether made orally, in writing, or by e-mail, shall be subject to appropriate discipline in accordance with applicable law, District policies and regulations, as well as the Code of Conduct for the Maintenance of Order on School Property and collective bargaining agreements, as may be necessary.

While acknowledging an individual’s constitutional rights, including applicable due process rights, the District refuses to condone acts and/or threats of violence which threaten the safety and well being of staff, students and the school environment.  Employees and students shall refrain from engaging threats or physical actions which create a safety hazard for others.

All staff who are made aware of physical acts and/or threats of violence directed to students or staff are to report such incidents to the building principal/designee, who shall report such occurrences to the Superintendent.  Additionally, the building principal/designee will also report occurrences of violence, whether involving an actual confrontation or threat of potential violence, to the school psychologist and/or Director of Special Education if applicable.  Local law enforcement agencies may be called as necessary upon the determination of the Superintendent/designee.

Students are to report all acts and/or threats of violence, including threats of suicide, of which they are aware by reporting such incidents to the school hotline, a faculty member, or the building principal.

The District reserves the right to seek restitution, in accordance with law, from the parent/guardian and/or student for any costs or damages which had been incurred by the District as a result of the threats or acts of violence in the schools.

This policy will be enforced in accordance with applicable laws and regulations, as well as collective bargaining agreements and the Code of Conduct as may be necessary.  Additionally, this policy will be disseminated, as appropriate, to students, staff, and parents and will be available to the general public upon request.

Appropriate sanctions for violations of this policy by students will be addressed in the Code of Conduct.

Adopted:  11/16/05

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Policy 3420 Anti-Harassment in the School District

The Board of Education affirms its commitment to nondiscrimination and recognizes its responsibility to provide an environment that is free of harassment and intimidation.   Harassment is a violation of law and stands in direct opposition to District policy.  Therefore, the Board prohibits and condemns all forms of harassment on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, political affiliation, sex, sexual orientation, age, marital status, military status, veteran status, or disability by employees, school volunteers, students, and non-employees such as contractors and vendors as well as any third parties who are participating in, observing, or otherwise engaging in activities subject to the supervision and control of the District.

Sexual orientation is defined as heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality, or asexuality, whether actual or perceived.

The Board also prohibits harassment based on an individual’s opposition to discrimination or participation in a related investigation or complaint proceeding under the anti-discrimination statutes.  This policy of nondiscrimination and anti-harassment will be enforced on School District premises and in school buildings; and at all school-sponsored events, programs and activities, including those that take place at locations off school premises.

It is intended that this policy apply to the dealings between or among employees with employees; employees with students; students with students; employees/students with vendors/contractors and others who do business with the School District, as well as school volunteers, visitors, guests and other third parties.  All of these persons are hereinafter referred to collectively as “the named group.”

For purposes of this policy, harassment shall mean communication (verbal, written or graphic) and/or physical conduct based on an individual’s actual or perceived race, color, creed, religion, national origin, political affiliation, sex, sexual orientation, age, marital status, military status, veteran status, or disability that:

  1. Has the purpose or effect of substantially or unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or is used as a basis for employment decisions (including terms and conditions of employment) affecting such individual; and/or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment;
  2. Has the purpose or effect of substantially or unreasonably interfering with a student’s academic performance or participation in an educational or extracurricular activity, or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive learning environment; and/or effectively bars the student’s access to an educational opportunity or benefit;
  3. Otherwise adversely affects the employment and/or educational opportunities and benefits provided by the District.

The School District will act to promptly investigate all complaints, either verbal or written, formal or informal, of allegations of harassment based on any of the characteristics described above; and will promptly take appropriate action to protect individuals from further harassment.

In order for the Board to enforce this policy, and to take corrective measures as may be necessary, it is essential that any employee, student, or other member of the above named group who believes he/she has been a victim of harassment in the school environment and/or at programs, activities and events under the control and supervision of the District, as well as any individual who is aware of and/or who has knowledge of, or witnesses any possible occurrence of harassment, immediately report such alleged harassment; such report shall be directed to or forwarded to the District’s designated complaint officer(s) through informal and/or formal complaint procedures as developed by the District.  Such complaints are recommended to be in writing, although verbal complaints of alleged harassment will also be promptly investigated in accordance with the terms of this policy.  In the event that the complaint officer is the alleged offender, the report will be directed to the next level of supervisory authority.

Upon receipt of an informal/formal complaint, the District will conduct a thorough investigation of the charges.  However, even in the absence of an informal/formal complaint, if the District has knowledge of any occurrence of harassment, the District will investigate such conduct promptly and thoroughly. To the extent possible, within legal constraints, all complaints will be treated as confidentially and privately as possible.  However, disclosure may be necessary to complete a thorough investigation of the charges and/or to notify law enforcement officials as warranted, and any disclosure will be provided on a “need to know” basis.

Based upon the results of this investigation, if the District determines that an employee and/or student has violated the terms of this policy and/or accompanying regulations, immediate corrective action will be taken as warranted.  Should the offending individual be a student, appropriate disciplinary measures will be applied, up to and including suspension, in accordance with applicable laws and/or regulations, District policy and regulation, and the District Code of Conduct.  Should the offending individual be a school employee, appropriate disciplinary measures will be applied, up to and including termination of the offender’s employment, in accordance with legal guidelines, District policy and regulation, and the applicable collective bargaining agreement(s).  Third parties (such as school volunteers, vendors, etc.) who are found to have violated this policy and/or accompanying regulations and/or the Code of Conduct, will be subject to appropriate sanctions as warranted and in compliance with law.  The application of such disciplinary measures by the District does not preclude the filing of civil and/or criminal charges as may be warranted.

The Board prohibits any retaliatory behavior directed against complainants, victims, witnesses, and/or any other individuals who participated in the investigation of a complaint of harassment.  Follow-up inquiries shall be made to ensure that harassment has not resumed and that all those involved in the investigation of the harassment complaint have not suffered retaliation.

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Finding That Harassment Did Not Occur

At any level/stage of investigation of alleged harassment, if a determination is made that harassment did not occur, the Complaint Officer will so notify the complainant, the alleged offender and the Superintendent of this determination. Such a finding does not preclude the complainant from filing an appeal pursuant to District policy or regulation and/or pursuing other legal avenues of recourse.

However, even if a determination is made that harassment did not occur, the Superintendent/designee reserves the right to initiate staff awareness and training, as applicable, to help ensure that the school community is not conducive to fostering harassment in the workplace.

In all cases, the Superintendent will inform the Board of Education of the results of each investigation involving a finding that harassment did not occur.

Knowingly Makes False Accusations

Employees and/or students who knowingly make false accusations against another individual as to allegations of harassment may also face appropriate disciplinary action.

Regulations will be developed for reporting, investigating, and remedying allegations of harassment based on the characteristics described above.  An appeal procedure will also be provided to address any unresolved complaints and/or unsatisfactory prior determinations by the applicable complaint officer(s).  Such regulations will be developed in accordance with federal and state law as well as any applicable collective bargaining agreement(s).

The Superintendent/designee(s) will affirmatively discuss the topic of harassment with all employees and students, express the District’s condemnation of such conduct, and explain the sanctions for such harassment.  Appropriate training and/or “awareness” programs will be established for staff and students to help ensure knowledge of and familiarity with the issues pertaining to harassment in the schools, and to disseminate preventative measures to help reduce such incidents of prohibited conduct.  Furthermore, special training will be provided for designated supervisors and managerial employees, as may be necessary, for the investigation of harassment complaints.

A copy of this policy and its accompanying regulations will be available upon request and may be posted at various locations in each school building.  The District’s policy and regulations on anti-harassment will be published in appropriate school publications such as teacher/employee handbooks, student handbooks, and/or school calendars.

This policy should not be read to abrogate other District policies and/or regulations or the District Code of Conduct prohibiting other forms of unlawful discrimination, inappropriate behavior, and/or hate crimes within this District.  It is the intent of the District that all such policies and/or regulations be read consistently to provide the highest level of protection from unlawful discrimination in the provision of employment/educational services and opportunities.  However, different treatment of any member of the above named group which has a legitimate, legal and nondiscriminatory reason shall not be considered a violation of District policy.

Age Discrimination in Employment Act, 29 United States Code (USC) Section 621

Americans With Disabilities Act, 42 United States Code (USC) Section 12101 et seq.

Prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability.

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 United States Code (USC) Section 794 et seq.

Prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability.

Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 United States Code (USC) Section 2000-d et seq.

Prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color or national origin.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 United States Code (USC) Section 2000-e et seq.

Prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin.

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 United States Code (USC) Section 1681 et seq.

Prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex.

Civil Rights Law Section 40-c

Prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, creed, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, marital status or disability.

Executive Law Section 290 et seq.

Prohibits discrimination on the basis of age, race, creed, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, disability, military status, or marital status.

Military Law Sections 242 and 243

NOTE: Refer also to Policies

  • #6121 — Sexual Harassment of District Personnel
  • #6122 — Complaints and Grievances by Employees
  • #7550 — Complaints and Grievances by Students
  • #7551 — Sexual Harassment of Students

Adopted:  11/16/05

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Policy 3430 Uniform Violent and Disruptive Incident System

In compliance with the Uniform Violent and Disruptive Incident System, the District will record each violent or disruptive incident that occurs on school property or at a school function. In accordance with the manner prescribed, the District will submit an annual report of violent and disruptive incidents (on the Summary of Violent and Disruptive Incidents form) from the previous school year to the Commissioner of Education.  Summary data will be used to determine the rate of violent and disruptive incidents in each school and to identify schools as persistently dangerous, as required by the No Child Left Behind Act.

The District will utilize the Individual Violent or Disruptive Incident Report form for the reporting of individual incidents by each building and/or program under its jurisdiction and for the tally count of incidents into the Summary Form.  Copies of such incident reports will be retained for the time prescribed by the Commissioner in the applicable records retention schedule.  These reports will be available for inspection by the State Education Department upon request.

All personally identifiable information included in a violent or disruptive incident report will be confidential and will not be disclosed to any person for any purpose other than that specified in Section 2802 of the Education Law, except as otherwise authorized by law.

The District will include a summary of the District’s annual violent or disruptive incident report in its School District Report Card in the format prescribed by the Commissioner.

Reporting Guidelines

The District will utilize the New York State Education Department’s website to obtain copies of the forms, directions, glossary and additional information at www.emsc.nysed.gov/irts/.

Education Law Section 2802

8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Section 100.2 (gg)

Adopted:  11/16/05

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Policy 3510 Emergency Closings

In the event it is necessary to close school for the day due to inclement weather or other emergency reasons, announcement thereof shall be made over local radio and television stations and the District Website as designated by the Board of Education.

When school is closed, all related activities, including athletic events and student activities, will ordinarily be suspended for that day and evening.

The attendance of personnel shall be governed by their respective contracts.

Adopted:  11/16/05

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