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Section 7000: Students

Table of Content

ATTENDANCE

STUDENT PROGRESS

STUDENT CONDUCT

STUDENT ACTIVITIES

STUDENT WELFARE

STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES

Policy 7110 Comprehensive Student Attendance Policy

Statement of Overall Objectives

School attendance is both a right and a responsibility.  The School District is an active partner with students and parents in the task of ensuring that all students meet or exceed the New York State Learning Standards.  Because the School District recognizes that consistent school attendance, academic success and school completion have a positive correlation, the School District has developed, and, if necessary, will revise a Comprehensive Student Attendance Policy to meet the following objectives:

  1. To increase school completion for all students;
  2. To raise student achievement and close gaps in student performance;
  3. To identify attendance patterns in order to design attendance improvement efforts;
  4. To know the whereabouts of every student for safety and other reasons;
  5. To verify that individual students are complying with education laws relating to compulsory attendance;
  6. To determine the District’s average daily attendance for State aid purposes.

Description of Strategies to Meet Objectives

The School District will:

  1. Create and maintain a positive school building culture by fostering a positive physical and psychological environment where the presence of strong adult role models encourages respectful and nurturing interactions between adults and students.  This positive school culture is aimed at encouraging a high level of student bonding to the school, which in turn should lead to increased attendance.
  2. Develop a Comprehensive Student Attendance Policy based upon the recommendations of a multifaceted District Policy Development Team that includes representation from the Board of Education, administrators, teachers, students, parents and the community.  The District will hold at least one public hearing prior to the adoption of this collaboratively developed Comprehensive Student Attendance Policy.
  3. Maintain accurate record keeping via a Register of Attendance to record attendance, absence, tardiness or early departure of each student.
  4. Utilize data analysis systems for tracking individual student attendance and individual and group trends in student attendance problems.
  5. Develop early intervention strategies to improve school attendance for all students.

The parent/guardian will:

  1. Make sure the child attends school regularly and is on time. The parent/guardian will also see that the school receives written notification of the reason for absence, tardiness or early departure according to school procedures.
  2. Maintain reasonable communication with the school by providing current address and phone numbers.
  3. Support the school policy and mission regarding attendance by emphasizing the importance of being in school and attending classes.

The student will:

  1. Attend school and classes regularly and be on time.

Determination of Excused and Unexcused Absences, Tardiness and Early Departures

Based upon our District’s education and community needs, values and priorities, the School District has determined that absences, tardiness and early departures will be considered excused or unexcused according to the following standards.

  1. Excused:  An absence, tardiness or early departure may be excused if due to personal illness, illness or death in the family, impassable roads due to inclement weather, religious observance, quarantine, required court appearances, medical or dental appointment, attendance at health clinics, approved college visits, approved cooperative work programs, military obligations or other such reasons as may be approved by the Board of Education.
  2. Unexcused:  An absence, tardiness or early departure is considered unexcused if the reason for the lack of attendance does not fall into the above categories (e.g., family vacation, hunting, babysitting, hair cut, obtaining learner’s permit, road test, truancy, missing the bus, attendance at away contests or other performances which are not school approved, automobile problems, oversleeping).

The Principal reserves the right to determine if a reason is excused or not.

Unlawful Detention

When a pupil is absent with the knowledge and consent, stated or implied, of his/her parent or guardian for other than excused reasons, such as visiting, away, on vacation, shopping, or other reasons not included under “excused absences.”

Truancy

When a student is not in school and his/her parent of guardian expects him/her to be in school, that student is “truant.”

Coding System

The following coding system is used to record student absences, tardiness and early departures:

Present

A         Absent

T          Tardy

L          Band Lesson

Z          Absent with Note

U         Absent – Unexcused with Note

X         Tardy without Note

Y         Tardy Unexcused with Note

B         All-Day BOCES Student

C         Class Trip

D         Early Dismissal

E          Testing

F          BOCES Class Trip

H         Absent-Shadowing

O         Out-of School Suspension

P          Athletics

S          In-School Suspension

V         Vacation with Note

R         Tardy after 8:25 a.m. with Note

Q         Tardy after 8:25 a.m. without Note

N         Ill – Dismissed by Nurse.

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Student Attendance Recordkeeping/Data Collection

The record of each student’s presence, absence, tardiness and early departure shall be kept in a register of attendance in a manner consistent with Commissioner’s Regulations.  An absence, tardiness or early departure will be entered as “excused” or “unexcused” along with the District code for the reason.

Commencing July 1, 2003, attendance shall be taken and recorded in accordance with the following:

  1. For students in non-departmentalized kindergarten through grade eight (i.e., self-contained classrooms and supervised group movement to other scheduled school activities such as physical education in the gym, assembly, etc.), such student’s presence or absence shall be recorded after the taking of attendance once per school day, provided that students are not dismissed from school grounds during a lunch period.  Where students are dismissed for lunch, their presence or absence shall also be recorded after the taking of attendance a second time upon the student’s return from lunch.
  2. For students in grades 9 through 12 or in departmentalized schools at any grade level (i.e., students pass individually to different classes throughout the day), each student’s presence or absence shall be recorded after the taking of attendance in each period of scheduled instruction except that where students do not change classrooms for each period of scheduled instruction, attendance shall be taken in accordance with paragraph “a” above.
  3. Any absence for a school day or portion thereof shall be recorded as excused or unexcused in accordance with the standards articulated in this policy.
  4. In the event that a student at any instructional level from kindergarten through grade 12 arrives late for or departs early from scheduled instruction, such tardiness or early departure shall be recorded as excused or unexcused in accordance with the standards articulated in this policy.

A record shall be kept of each scheduled day of instruction during which the school is closed for all or part of the day because of extraordinary circumstances including adverse weather conditions, impairment of heating facilities, insufficiency of water supply, shortage of fuel, destruction of or damage to a school building, or such other cause as may be found satisfactory to the Commissioner of Education.

Attendance records shall also indicate the date when a student withdraws from enrollment or is dropped from enrollment in accordance with Education Law Section 3202(1-a).

At the conclusion of each class period or school day, all attendance information shall be compiled and provided to the designated school personnel who are responsible for attendance.  The nature of the absence, tardiness or early departure shall be coded on a student’s record in accordance with the established District/building procedures.

Student Attendance/Course Credit

The District believes that classroom participation is related to and affects a student’s performance and grasp of the subject matter and, as such, is properly reflected in a student’s final grade.  For purposes of this policy, classroom participation means that a student is in class and prepared to work.

Consequently, for each marking period a certain percentage of a student’s final grade will be based on classroom participation as well as the student’s performance on homework, tests, papers, projects, etc. as determined by the building administrator and/or classroom teacher.

Students are expected to attend all scheduled classes.  Consistent with the importance of classroom participation, unexcused student absences, tardiness, and early departures will affect a student’s grade, including credit for classroom participation, for the marking period.

At the middle school/senior high school level, any student with more than twenty-eight (28) absences in a course may not receive credit for the course. However, it is District policy that students with properly excused absences, tardiness and early departures for which the student has performed any assigned make-up work, assignments and/or tests shall not be counted as an absence for the purpose of determining the student’s eligibility for course credit.  District procedures will specify how student tardiness and early departures will be calculated and factored into the District’s minimum attendance standard (See Appendix B).

However, where a student earns a passing grade, credit will not be denied for the course(s).

For summer school and courses meeting 1/2 year or 1/4 year, the same policy will apply and a calculation of the absences will be prorated accordingly.

Transfer students and students re-enrolling after having dropped out will be expected to attend a prorated minimum number of the scheduled class meetings during their time of enrollment.

Students will be considered in attendance if the student is:

  1. Physically present in the classroom or working under the direction of the classroom teacher during the class scheduled meeting time; or
  2. Working pursuant to an approved independent study program; or
  3. Receiving approved alternative instruction.

Students who are absent from class due to their participation in a school sponsored activity are to arrange with their teachers to make up any work missed in a timely manner as determined by the student’s teacher. Attendance at school sponsored events where instruction is substantially equivalent to the instruction which was missed shall be counted as the equivalent of regular attendance in class.

Upon returning to school following a properly excused absence, tardiness or early departure, it shall be the responsibility of the student to consult with his/her teacher(s) regarding arrangements to make up missed work, assignments and/or tests in accordance with the time schedule specified by the teacher.

Notice of Minimum Attendance Standard/Intervention Strategies Prior to the Denial of Course Credit

In order to ensure that parents/persons in parental relation and students are informed of the District’s policy regarding minimum attendance and course credit, and the implementation of specific intervention strategies to be employed prior to the denial of course credit to the student for insufficient attendance, the following guidelines shall be followed:

  1. Copies of the District’s Comprehensive Student Attendance Policy will be mailed to parents/persons in parental relation and provided to students at the beginning of each school year or at the time of enrollment in the District.
  2. School newsletters and publications will include periodic reminders of the components of the District’s Comprehensive Student Attendance Policy.  Copies of the Attendance Policy will also be included in parent/student handbooks.
  3. At periodic intervals, a designated staff member(s) will notify, by telephone, the parent/person in parental relation of the student’s absence, tardiness, or early departure and explain the relationship of the student’s attendance to his/her ability to receive course credit. If the parent/person in parental relation cannot be reached by telephone, a letter shall be sent detailing this information.
  4. A designated staff member will review the District’s Attendance Policy with students who have excessive and/or unexcused absences, tardiness or early departures.  Further, appropriate student support services/personnel within the District, as well as the possible collaboration/referral to community support services and agencies, will be implemented prior to the denial of course credit for insufficient attendance by the student.

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Notice of Students who are Absent, Tardy or Depart Early Without Proper Excuse

A designated staff member shall notify by telephone the parent/person in parental relation to a student who is absent, tardy or departs early without proper excuse.  The staff member shall explain the District’s Comprehensive Student Attendance Policy, the District’s/building level intervention procedures, and, if appropriate, the relationship between student attendance and course credit. If the parent/person in parental relation cannot be reached by telephone, the staff member will provide such notification by mail.  Further, the District’s Attendance Policy will be mailed to the parent/person in parental relation to promote awareness and help ensure compliance with the policy.

If deemed necessary by appropriate school officials, or if requested by the parent/person in parental relation, a school conference shall be scheduled between the parent/person in parental relation and appropriate staff members in order to address the student’s attendance.  The student may also be requested to attend this conference in order to address appropriate intervention strategies that best meet the needs of the student.

Disciplinary Consequences

Unexcused absences, tardiness and early departures will result in disciplinary sanctions as described in the Cooperstown Central School District’s Code of Conduct and Discipline.  Consequences may include, but are not limited to, conferences and other interventions, in-school suspension, detention and denial of participation in, or attendance at, interscholastic and extracurricular activities.  Parents/persons in parental relation will be notified by designated District personnel at periodic intervals to discuss their child’s absences, tardiness or early departures and the importance of class attendance and appropriate interventions.  Individual buildings/grade levels will address procedures to implement the notification process to the parent/person in parental relation.

Notice to Parents

Elementary School

Parents/person(s) in parental relation of a student who are absent or tardy are asked to call the school the morning of such absence or tardiness.  A designated school employee will call the parent/person(s) in parental relation of all students who are found to be absent but for whom a call was not received.

Middle and High Schools

The parent/person(s) in parental relation of a student absent for the third consecutive day is contacted if the school has not heard from the home by then.  Cases where students have a history of poor attendance are handled on an individual basis by the building Principal or his/her designee.

Intervention Strategy Process

In order to effectively intervene when an identified pattern of unexcused absences, tardiness or early departures occur, designated District personnel will pursue the following:

  1. Identify specific element(s) of the pattern (e.g., grade level, building, time frame, type of unexcused absences, tardiness or early departures);
  2. Contact the District staff most closely associated with the element. In specific cases where the pattern involves an individual student, the student and parent/person in parental relation will be contacted;
  3. Discuss strategies to directly intervene with specific element;
  4. Recommend intervention to Superintendent or his/her designee if it relates to change in District policy or procedure;
  5. Implement changes, as approved by appropriate administration;
  6. Utilize appropriate District and/or community resources to address and help remediate student unexcused absences, tardiness or early departures; and
  7. Monitor and report short and long term effects of intervention.

Appeal Process

A parent/person in parental relation may request a building level review of their child’s attendance record.

Building Review of Attendance Records

Commencing with the 2003-04 school year, the building principal will work in conjunction with the building attendance clerk and other designated staff in reviewing attendance records at the end of each term. This review is conducted to identify individual and group attendance patterns and to initiate appropriate action to address the problem of unexcused absences, tardiness and early departures.

Annual Review by the Board of Education

The Board of Education shall annually review the building level student attendance records and if such records show a decline in student attendance, the Board shall make any revisions to the Policy and plan deemed necessary to improve student attendance.

Community Awareness

The Board of Education shall promote necessary community awareness of the District’s Comprehensive Student Attendance Policy by:

  1. Providing a plain language summary of the policy to parents or persons in parental relation to students at the beginning of each school year and promoting the understanding of such a policy to students and their parents/persons in parental relation;
  2. Providing each teacher, at the beginning of the school year or upon employment, with a copy of the policy; and
  3. Providing copies of the policy to any other member of the community upon request.

Education Law Sections 3024, 3025, 3202, 3205, 3206,

3210, 3211, and 3213

8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Sections 104.1, 109.2 and 175.6

Adopted:  11/16/05

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Policy 7111 Released Time of Students

Written requests from the parent/guardian for the release of students generally will be honored. The appropriate time and reason for absence shall be recorded on the attendance record, using the procedures mandated by the state.

The building principal shall assume this responsibility or shall designate an individual to review and approve all requests.

8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Section 109.2

Adopted:  11/16/05

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Policy 7112 Leaving School for Emergency Services

Students who are members of a fire company or an emergency service are not to leave the premises during school hours.  However, the Board grants the administration permission to release students for emergency service should they receive notice from a Chief or his/her designee that a major catastrophic happening is taking place and all available personnel are needed to deal with the event. These same procedures are to be followed for an event which takes place prior to school hours, and the student emergency personnel arrive late to school.

Adopted:  11/16/05

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Policy 7120 Age of Entrance

Kindergarten

Students who are legal residents of the School District and who reside with parents or guardians within the School District at the time of the opening day of school must be five (5) years of age or more on December 1 in order to register for Kindergarten.

A child who transfers into the School District at any time during the school year may be considered for admission to Kindergarten by the Superintendent provided:

  1. The parents were not legal residents of the School District on the opening day of school; and
  2. The child has been registered and enrolled in kindergarten in the district in which his/her parents were legal residents.

Other Grades

Admission of children to other grades shall involve a consideration of both chronological age and the readiness of the children to do the work of those grades.

Proof of Age

A student’s birth certificate or other satisfactory evidence of age shall be presented at the time of initial registration. The child shall be entered under his/her legal name.

Education Law Sections 1712, 3202 and 3212

NOTE: Refer also to Policy #7131 — Education of Homeless Children and Youth

Adopted:  11/16/05

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Policy 7121 Screening of New School Entrants

The School District has developed a plan for the diagnostic screening of all new entrants and students with low test scores.

A new entrant means a student entering the New York State public school system, pre-kindergarten through grade 12, for the first time, or re-entering a New York State public school with no available record of a prior screening.

Students with low test scores are students who score below level two on either the third grade English language arts or mathematics assessment for New York State elementary schools.

Such diagnostic screening will be utilized to determine which students:

  1. Have or are suspected of having a disability;
  2. Are possibly gifted; or
  3. Are possibly limited English proficient.

Such diagnostic screening shall be conducted:

  1. By persons appropriately trained or qualified;
  2. By persons appropriately trained or qualified in the student’s native language if the language of the home is other than English;
  3. In the case of new entrants, prior to the school year, if possible, but no later than December 1 of the school year of entry or within fifteen (15) days of transfer of a student into a New York State public school should the entry take place after December 1 of the school year;
  4. In the case of students with low test scores, within thirty (30) days of the availability of the test scores.

New Entrants

For new entrants, diagnostic screening shall include, but not be limited to the following:

  1. A health examination by a physician/physician’s assistant, or nurse practitioner or submission of a health certificate in accordance with Sections 901, 903, and 904;
  2. Certificates of immunization or referral for immunization in accordance with Section 2164 of the Public Health Law;
  3. Vision, hearing and scoliosis screenings as required by Section 136.3 of Commissioner’s Regulations;
  4. A determination of development in oral expression, listening comprehension, written expression, basic reading skills and reading fluency and comprehension, mathematical calculation and problem solving, motor development, articulation skills, and cognitive development using recognized and validated screening tools; and
  5. A determination whether the student is of foreign birth or ancestry and comes from a home where a language other than English is spoken as determined by the results of a home language questionnaire and an informal interview in English and the native language

Students with Low Test Scores

For students with low test scores, diagnostic screening shall include, but not be limited to:

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

No screening examination for vision, hearing, or scoliosis condition is required where a student, parent, or person in parental relation objects on the grounds that such examination conflicts with their genuine and sincere religious beliefs.

Results and Reports

The results of the diagnostic screening shall be reviewed and a written report of each student screened shall be prepared by appropriately qualified School District staff.  The report shall include a description of diagnostic screening devices used, the student’s performance on those devices and, if required, the appropriate referral.

If such screening indicates a possible disability, a referral, with a report of the screening, shall be made to the Committee on Special Education (CSE) or the Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE) no later than fifteen (15)  days after completion of such diagnostic screening.

If such screening indicates a possibly gifted child, the name and finding shall be reported to the Superintendent of Schools and to the parents/legal guardians no later than fifteen (15) calendar days after completion of such screening.  The term gifted child is defined as a child who shows evidence of high performance capability and exceptional potential in areas such as general intellectual ability, special academic aptitude and outstanding ability in visual and performing arts.  Such definition shall include those children who require educational programs or services beyond those normally provided by the regular school program in order to realize their full potential.

If such screening indicates a child identified as possibly being of limited English proficiency, such child shall be referred for further evaluation in accordance with Part 154 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education to determine eligibility for appropriate transitional bilingual or free-standing English as a Second Language (ESL) programs.

Reporting to Parents

Parents/guardians of children to be screened shall receive information in advance regarding the purpose of screening, the areas to be screened and the referral process.  The information shall be communicated either orally or in writing in the parents’ primary language(s).  This information will be provided during the registration interview.

Parents/guardians have the right to request information regarding their child’s performance during screening.  They shall have access to the screening results and obtain copies upon request.

Confidentiality of Information

The Board of Education’s policy and administrative regulations in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) shall apply to all information collected about a child through the screening program. In accordance with the policy and regulations, parents shall be informed of their right to privacy, their right to access to the records and their right to challenge those records should they be inaccurate, misleading or otherwise inappropriate.

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974

20 United States Code (USC) Section 1232(g)

Education Law Sections 901, 903, 904, 905, 914 and 3208(5)

Public Health Law Section 2164

8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Parts 117, 136, 142.2, and 154

NOTE:      Refer also to Policies  #7131 — Education of Homeless Children and Youth

#7512 — Student Physicals

#8240 — Instructional Programs:  Driver Education, Exceptionally

Talented and Creative Education and Physical Education

Adopted:   11/16/05

Amended: 04/23/08

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Policy 7130 Entitlement to Attend — Age and Residency

Ages of Attendance/Compulsory Attendance Age

According to Education Law, a student who becomes six (6) years of age on or before the first of December in any school year shall be required to attend full-time instruction from the first day that the District schools are in session in September of such school year, and a student who becomes six (6) years of age after the first of December in any school year shall be required to attend full-time instruction from the first day of session in the following September.  Except as otherwise provided in Education Law Section 3205(3), a student shall be required to remain in attendance until the last day of session in the school year in which the student becomes sixteen (16) years of age.

Central School Districts having a population of more than 4,500 inhabitants and employing a Superintendent of Schools, the Board of Education has chosen to require students who are not employed to attend full-time instruction until the end of the school year in which the student turns sixteen (16) years of age.  (Note:  The Board of Education shall have the power to require minors from sixteen (16) to seventeen (17) years of age who are not employed to attend full-time instruction until the end of the school year in which the student turns seventeen (17) years of age.)

All persons dwelling within the District who are between the ages of five (5) years and twenty-one (21) years and who have not received a high school diploma shall be entitled to enroll in the District.  A student who becomes five (5) years of age on or before the first of December shall be entitled to attend.

Undocumented children, like U.S. citizen children, have the right to attend school full-time as long as they meet the age and residency requirements established by state law.

Proof of Age

The State Education Department does not require districts to collect students’ social security numbers for any purpose. While school districts may need to collect certain data pursuant to State and/or federal laws, they should do so after a student has enrolled in school so as not to inadvertently give the impression that information related to immigration status will be used in making registration/enrollment determinations.

In accordance with Education Law, where a birth certificate or record of baptism is not available, a passport (including foreign passport) may be used to determine a child’s age for purposes of enrollment/registration in school. Should none of these be available, the District may consider certain other documentary or recorded evidence to determine a child’s age.

The following are examples of documentation that may be used to establish a student’s age. This list is not intended to be exhaustive, nor is it a list of required documentation.

  1. School photo ID with date of birth;
  2. Hospital or health records;
  3. State or other government-issued ID;
  4. Military dependent ID card;
  5. Native American Tribal document;
  6. Record(s) from non-profit international aid agencies and voluntary agencies (VOLAGs);
  7. Consulate identification card; and
  8. Official driver’s license.

Determination of Student Residency

The residence of children dwelling within the District boundaries shall be established in a manner consistent with State Law and the Regulations of the Commissioner.  The Board of Education or its designee shall determine whether a child is entitled to attend a District school. Any adverse residency decision by a school official, other than the Board or its designee, shall include written notice to the parent/person in parental relation of the procedures for obtaining review of the decision within the District.

Regulations will be developed to implement the terms of this policy.

Children Living With Noncustodial Parents

A child’s residence is usually determined by the residence of the custodial parent.  However, a noncustodial parent who resides in the District may enroll his/her child in a District school if he/she shares the day-to-day responsibilities for the child and the custodial parent designates the child’s residence with the noncustodial parent.

The residence of children dwelling within the District boundaries shall be established in a manner consistent with State Law and the Regulations of the Commissioner.

Homeless Children

The parent/person in parental relation to a homeless child; or the homeless child, together with the homeless liaison designated by the School District in the case of an unaccompanied youth; or the director of a residential program for runaway and homeless youth established pursuant to Article 19-H of the Executive Law, in consultation with the homeless child, where such homeless child is living in such program, may designate either the school district of current location, the school district of origin, or a school district participating in a regional placement plan as the district the homeless child shall attend.

Children of Activated Reserve Military Personnel

Students temporarily residing outside the boundaries of the District, due to relocation necessitated by the call to active military duty of the student’s parent or person in parental relation, will be allowed to attend the public school that they attended prior to the relocation.  However, the District is not required to provide transportation between a temporary residence located outside the District and the school the child attends.

Emancipated Minors

A determination of whether a student is to be designated as an emancipated minor in the Cooperstown Central School District will be based on evidence that the student is no longer under custody, control and support of his/her parents/persons in parental relation.  To establish emancipation, a minor may submit documentation of his/her means of support, proof of residency and an explanation of the circumstances surrounding the student’s emancipation, including a description of the student’s relationship with his/her parents/persons in parental relation.

These statements are renewable each school year. If at any time the above information is changed without prompt notification or proven to be false, the parent/person in parental relation and/or student may be subject to legal action.

Children Living With Persons Not Their Parents — Guardianship or Custody

In accordance with the Family Court Act and Domestic Relations Law, a person possessing a lawful order of guardianship or custody of a minor child who is not the parent of such child may enroll the child in public school in the school district where he/she and the child reside.

Therefore, upon application for enrollment by the guardian or custodian, the District shall enroll such a child for such time as the child resides with the guardian or custodian in the District upon verification that the guardian or custodian possess a lawful order of guardianship or custody for the child and that the guardian or custodian and the child properly reside in the same household within the District.

McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act, Section 722, as reauthorized by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001

Domestic Relations Law Section 74

Education Law Sections 2045, 3202, 3205, 3209, 3212(4), and 3218(1)(b), 3218(1)(d)

Family Court Act Section 657

8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Sections 100.2(x) and (y)

NOTE:      Refer also to Policy #7131 — Education of Homeless Children and Youth

Adopted:  11/16/05

Amended: 08/20/14

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Policy 7131 Education of Homeless Children and Youth

The parent/person in parental relation to a homeless child; or the homeless child, together with the homeless liaison designated by the School District in the case of an unaccompanied youth; or the director of a residential program for runaway and homeless youth established pursuant to Article 19-H of the Executive Law, in consultation with the homeless child, where such homeless child is living in such program, may designate either the school district of current location, the school district of origin, or a school district participating in a regional placement plan as the district the homeless child shall attend.

Pursuant to Commissioner’s Regulations, a “homeless child” means a child or youth who lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence, including a child who is:

  1. Sharing the housing of other persons due to a loss of housing, economic hardship or a similar reason;
  2. Living in motels, hotels, trailer parks or camping grounds due to the lack of alternative adequate accommodations;
  3. Abandoned in hospitals;
  4. Awaiting foster care placement; or
  5. A migratory child who qualifies as homeless in accordance with Commissioner’s Regulations.  As defined in the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, the term “migratory child” includes a child who is, or whose parent or spouse is, a migratory agricultural worker, including a migratory dairy worker, or a migratory fisher, and who has moved from one school district to another in the preceding 36 months, in order to obtain, or accompanies such parent or spouse in order to obtain, temporary or seasonal employment in agricultural or fishing work.
  6. A child or youth who has a primary nighttime location that is:
    1. A supervised, publicly or privately operated shelter designed to provide temporary living accommodations including, but not limited to, shelters operated or approved by the state or local department of social services, and residential programs for runaway and homeless youth established pursuant to Article 19-H of the Executive Law; or
    2. A public or private place not designed for, or ordinarily used as, a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings; including a child or youth who is living in a car, park, public space, abandoned building, substandard housing, bus or train station or similar setting.

The term “homeless child” shall not include a child in foster care or receiving educational services pursuant to Education Law Section 3202(4), (5), (6), (6a) or (7) or pursuant to Articles 81, 85, 87 or 88. For example, a child in a family home at board, a school for the mentally retarded, a hospital or other institution for the care, custody and treatment of children; youths under the direction of the Division for Youth incarcerated in county correctional facilities or youth shelters; or children residing in child care institutions or schools for the deaf or blind would not be considered “homeless.”

Enrollment, Retention and Participation in the Educational Program

Enrollment of homeless children shall not be delayed and their ability to continue or participate in the educational program shall not be restricted due to issues such as:

  1. Transportation;
  2. Immunization requirements;
  3. Residency requirements;
  4. Birth certificates, medical records, IEPs, school records and other documentation;
  5. Guardianship issues;
  6. Comprehensive assessment and advocacy referral processes;
  7. Resolution of disputes regarding school selection;
  8. Proof of social security numbers;
  9. Attendance requirements;
  10. Sports participation rules;
  11. Inability to pay fees associated with extracurricular activities such as club dues and sports uniforms; or
  12. Other enrollment issues.

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Educational Programs and Services

The School District shall provide homeless children and youth with access to all of its programs, activities and services to the same extent that they are provided to resident students.

Homeless children and youth shall be educated as part of the school’s regular academic program.  Services must be provided to homeless children and youth through programs and mechanisms that integrate homeless children and youth with their non-homeless counterparts, including programs for special education, vocational and technical education, gifted and talented students, before and after school, English language learners/limited English proficiency, Head Start, Even Start, and school nutrition.  Services provided with McKinney-Vento funds must expand upon or improve services provided as part of the regular school program.  Consequently, the School District shall ensure that homeless  children and  youth are not segregated in a  separate school, or in a  separate program within

the school, based on their status as homeless; and to the extent feasible consistent with the requirements of Commissioner’s Regulations, keep a homeless child or youth in the school of origin except when doing so is contrary to the wishes of the child’s or youth’s parent or guardian.  Further, the School District shall review and revise policies and practices, including transportation guidelines, that may act as barriers to the enrollment, attendance, school success, and retention of homeless children and youth in the School District.

All homeless children and youth are automatically eligible for Title I Part A services whether or not they meet the academic standards or live in a Title I school attendance area.  Homeless students may receive Title I educational or support services from schoolwide and targeted-assistance school programs.

Transportation

If the local social service district or the Office of Children and Family Services is not required to provide transportation, the designated district is responsible for providing the student’s transportation.  However, the school district of origin is responsible for the cost of transportation provided by the designated district.  Transportation responsibilities apply to all school districts regardless of whether or not they receive McKinney-Vento funds.  Where a homeless student designates the school district of current location as the district the student will attend, that district shall provide transportation to the student on the same basis as a resident student.  Where the homeless student designates the school district of origin, the district of current location, at the request of a parent/guardian, shall provide or arrange for transportation to and from the school of origin in accordance with law and/or regulation even if the district does not provide transportation to non-homeless students (except for preschoolers).  Transportation must be provided during the pendency of enrollment disputes.  If the designated district provides transportation for non-homeless preschool children, it must also provide comparable transportation services for homeless preschool children.

School District Liaison for Homeless Children and Youth

The School District shall designate an appropriate staff person, who may also be a coordinator for other federal programs, as the local educational agency liaison for homeless children and youth to carry out the duties as enumerated in law, Commissioner’s Regulations and applicable guidance issued by the U.S. and New York State Education Departments.  The District will inform school personnel, local service providers and advocates of the office and duties of the local homeless liaison.

Training

The District will train all school enrollment staff, secretaries, school counselors, school social workers, and principals on the legal requirements for enrollment.  School nutrition staff, school nurses, teachers, and bus drivers will receive training on homelessness that is specific to their field.

Outreach

The District will make every effort to inform the parents or guardians of homeless children and youth of the education, transportation and related opportunities available to their children including transportation to the school of origin.  The parent(s)/guardian(s) will be assisted in accessing transportation to the school they select, and will be provided with meaningful opportunities to participate in the education of their children.  Public notice of educational rights of homeless children and youth will be disseminated by the District in places where families and youth are likely to be present (e.g., schools, shelters, soup kitchens), and in comprehensible formats (e.g., geared for low literacy or other community needs).

Dispute Resolution

The District shall establish guidelines for the prompt resolution of disputes regarding school selection or enrollment of a homeless student and provide a written explanation, including a statement regarding the right to appeal to the parent or guardian if the School District sends the student to a school other than the school of origin or the school requested by the parent or guardian.

If there is a factual dispute over whether a student is homeless, the District will immediately enroll the student and then provide the parent/guardian the opportunity to submit verification of homelessness.  The student will remain enrolled until a final determination is made by the District and for a minimum of thirty (30) days after the final determination to allow the parent/guardian opportunity to appeal to the Commissioner of Education.  If the student files an appeal that contains a request for a stay within thirty (30) days of such final determination, the District must continue to enroll the student until the Commissioner rules on the stay request.

Record and Reporting Requirements

If the District, as the school district of origin, receives a request to forward student records to a receiving district, the records must be forwarded within five days.

The School District shall maintain documentation regarding all aspects of the District’s contact with and services provided to homeless students and youth for possible on-site monitoring by the State Education Department.

The District shall collect and transmit to the Commissioner of Education, at such time and in the manner as the Commissioner may require, a report containing such information as the Commissioner determines is necessary to assess the educational needs of homeless children and youths within the state.

McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act, as reauthorized by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001

42 United States Code (USC) Section 11431 et seq.

Education Law Section 3209

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

Adopted:  11/16/05

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Policy 7132 Non-Resident Students

As of March 6, 1996, Cooperstown Central School will no longer accept additional out-of-district (tuition) students, except as provided for in collective bargaining agreements.  Those students who are currently enrolled as tuition students may continue to attend Cooperstown Central School on a tuition basis as long as they are continually enrolled and tuition payments are made on time.  Siblings of current tuition students may be grandfathered under this amendment at the discretion of the Superintendent.

A resident student is defined as one whose custodial parent or legal guardian resides within the district, or the student has acquired the appropriate emancipation order.

Recognizing that it may be advantageous for Cooperstown Central School to accept tuition students in the future, this policy shall be reviewed each year and either reaffirmed or amended.

For current or grandfathered tuition students the following applies:

  1. Definition:
    1. A non-resident student is a child whose custodial parent or guardian does not reside within the legally constituted boundary of Cooperstown Central School District.
    2. A custodial parent is defined as the parent with whom the child physically resides more than 50% of the school year irrespective of agreements or court orders.
  2. Admission:
    1. Non-resident students will be accepted for attendance subject to the limitations in paragraph one above, unless the Superintendent determines that such attendance is not in the best interest of the district.
    2. A student who is a resident at the beginning of the semester but becomes a non-resident during that semester shall not be charged tuition for that semester.  At the conclusion of the semester the student is no longer eligible for resident or tuition student status.
    3. Children residing in foster homes, free family homes, or similar circumstances will be admitted in accordance with the law.  The district will bill for tuition to the appropriate agency or district, where applicable.
    4. For regulations pertaining to foreign exchange students see policy #7133.
  3. Tuition:
    1. Tuition charges will be set each Spring for the following school year by the Board of Education.
    2. The school tax payments of non-residents who own assessed property or are legally responsible for payment of school taxes on leased property in the school district must be deducted from the tuition charges levied against such non-residents.
    3. The annual tuition may be paid in two (2) equal installments, the first half payable September 15 and the second half payable February 15.  Alternate arrangements may be approved by the Superintendent.
    4. Nonpayment of the first half of tuition by November 15 and/or nonpayment of the second half of tuition by April 15 will result in the student’s loss of eligibility to attend school in the Cooperstown Central School District.
    5. At the Board meeting following November 15 and at the meeting following April 15, the Business Manager will notify the Board of those students losing eligibility because tuition has not been paid.
  4. Reporting:
    1. The Superintendent will provide the Board of Education with a semiannual report listing all non-resident students.

Education Law Sections 1709(13), 2045 and 3202

8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Section 174.2

NOTE:   Refer also to Policy #7131 — Education of Homeless Children and Youth

Adopted:  11/16/05

Revised:  4/18/12

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Policy 7133 Admission of Exchange Students

In order to increase knowledge of the peoples of the world and to promote mutual understanding, friendship, and goodwill, the Board welcomes the international exchange of students.  Participation in exchange programs can provide unique educational experiences for students, host families, and the community at large.

Cooperstown Central School will accept foreign exchange students who are participating in foreign exchange programs approved by the Board and who reside with a family within the legally constituted boundary of the Cooperstown School District on a first come, first served, space-available basis.

In approving a foreign exchange program, the Board will consider:

  1. The nature, background, and purpose of the sponsoring organization;
  2. The student and host family selection process used by the organization;
  3. The financial, contingency, and supervisory responsibilities of the sponsoring organization, student and family, and host family;
  4. The reciprocal nature of the program; and
  5. The administration is authorized to file with the US Immigration and Naturalization Service the forms necessary for such students to obtain a student visa.  The District will neither sponsor nor accept for admission students whose permanent residence is outside of the United States who are not participating in a recognized foreign student exchange program.

The above descriptive information must be provided in writing to the school and kept on file for each approved foreign exchange program.  The high school principal will maintain an up-to-date list of student foreign exchange programs approved by the Board.

Cooperstown Central School will also consider the admission of private foreign students residing with families within the District on a space-available basis after all approved foreign exchange program students have been accommodated.  For each private foreign student, background information on the student and provisions for financial and contingency responsibility and student supervision must be provided in writing to the School by the student’s and/or host family.  All such students will be required to pay nonresident tuition charges.

All foreign student and foreign exchange programs are considered cultural exchanges by Cooperstown Central School and the District does not grant academic credits to foreign exchange students.

Any organization or private sponsor intending to host a foreign student must contact the school during the spring or as soon as possible preceding the expected entry of the student in order to determine if space is available and to provide the necessary information.  Requests received after June 1 cannot be considered.

NOTE:  Refer also to Policy #7132 — Non-Resident Students

Adopted:  11/16/05

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Policy 7140 Involuntary Transfer of Students

Involuntary transfer of a student from regular classroom instruction to an appropriate educational setting in another school shall be in accordance with Education Law.

Education Law Sections 1709(3) and 3214(5)

Adopted:  11/16/05

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Policy 7150 Educational Services for Married/Pregnant Students

Married Students

The Board of Education will comply with state law in reference to married students attending school.

Pregnant Students

New York State Education Law provides that resident students over five (5) and under twenty-one (21) who have not received a high school diploma are entitled to attend school in the district in which they reside.  The law further requires that a school district provide for this instruction and also to provide for home instruction for those students of legal age who are unable to profit from instruction in school.

In view of the above, administrative regulations will be developed to implement the terms of this policy to provide instruction as required by the New York State Education Law for students who become pregnant. The Superintendent, or his/her designee, is directed to consult with the school physician and the student’s personal physician in determining the form of instruction.

The form of instruction may be any of the following or a combination of the following:

  1. Remain in school with provisions for special instruction, scheduling, and counseling where needed.
  2. Receive home instruction.
  3. Attend BOCES programs.

Education Law Sections 1604(20), 3202-1, 3205-1, 4401-1 and 4402-2

Adopted:  11/16/05

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Policy 7210 Student Evaluation, Promotion and Placement

Placement

Placement within the system, with respect to building, teacher, and grade or special class, shall be at the discretion of the school administration and shall be subject to review and change at any time. In making such decisions, the administrator or Building Principal will be guided by performance in class, past records, parent/guardian and teacher recommendations, standardized test scores, and any other appropriate sources of information, but the final decision shall rest with the school administration. Parents may request, in writing, teacher attributes that would best serve their child’s learning needs; however, requests for specific teachers will not be honored.

Promotion and Retention

The procedures to be followed by the staff regarding promotion and retention will be developed by the Superintendent and will be continually evaluated. Building Principals may establish written standards for promotion or retention within the school units to which the students are assigned, subject to the guidelines of the Superintendent and the approval of the Board of Education.

Testing Program

The Board of Education endorses and supports the use of ability, achievement, diagnostic, readiness, interest and guidance tests as part of the total educational process to the degree to which tests help the District to serve its students.

Alternative Testing Procedures

The use of alternative testing procedures shall be limited to:

  1. Students identified by the Committee on Special Education and/or Section 504 Team as having a disability. Alternative testing procedures shall be specified in a student’s Individualized Education Program or Section 504 Accommodation Plan; and
  2. Students whose native language is other than English (i.e., English language learners) in accordance with State Education Department Guidelines.

The alternative testing procedures employed shall be based upon a student’s individual needs and the type of test administered.

The District shall report the use of alternative testing procedures to the State Education Department on a form and at a time prescribed by the Commissioner.

Reporting to Parents/Guardians

Parents/guardians shall receive an appropriate report of student progress at regular intervals.

Report cards shall be used as a standard vehicle for the periodic reporting of student progress and appropriate school related data. Report cards, however, are not intended to exclude other means of reporting progress, such as interim reports, conferences, phone conversations, etc.

When necessary, attempts will be made to provide interpreters for non-English speaking parents/guardians.

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 USC Section 794 et seq.

Education Law Section 1709(3)

8 NYCRR Sections 100.2(g), 117 and 154

Adopted:  11/16/05

Amended:  12/18/13

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Policy 7211 Provision of Interpreter Services to Parents Who Are Hearing Impaired

The Board of Education assures parents or persons in parental relation who are hearing impaired the right to meaningful access to school initiated meetings or activities pertaining to the academic and/or disciplinary aspects of their children’s education. School initiated meetings or activities are defined to include, but are not limited to, parent-teacher conferences, child study or building-level team meetings, planning meetings with school counselors regarding educational progress and career planning, suspension hearings or any conferences with school officials relating to disciplinary actions.  The term “hearing impaired” shall include any hearing impairment, whether permanent or fluctuating, which prevents meaningful participation in School District meetings or activities.

Parents or persons in parental relation shall be notified of the availability of interpreter services to be provided at no charge, provided that a written request is made to the School District within fourteen (14) days of the scheduled event.  Exceptions to the time frame request may be made for unanticipated circumstances as determined by the principal/designee.  The District shall also notify appropriate school personnel as to the terms and implementation of this policy.

If interpreter services are requested, the District shall appoint an interpreter for the hearing impaired to interpret during the meeting or activity.  The District will arrange for interpreters through a District-created list or through an interpreter referral service.  The District shall also develop interagency agreements, as appropriate, to ensure that sign language interpreters are provided for eligible parents or persons in parental relation when District students attend out-of-District schools or programs.

In the event that an interpreter is unavailable, the School District shall make other reasonable accommodations which are satisfactory to the parents or persons in parental relation.  Examples of what constitutes reasonable accommodations in the event an interpreter cannot be located may include, but are not limited to, the use of:

  1. Written communications, transcripts, note takers, etc; and
  2. Technology, such as: a decoder or telecommunication device for the deaf, assistive listening devices, and closed or open captioning.

Education Law Section 3230

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

Adopted:  11/16/05

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Policy 7220 Graduation Requirements

In order to graduate from Cooperstown Central School District, a student must complete or may exceed the requirements set forth in Part 100 of the Commissioner’s Regulations.  The Board of Education reserves the right to establish requirements for graduation which exceed the minimum standards as defined by the New York State Regents.

8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Sections 100.1(i) and 100.5

Adopted:  11/16/05

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Policy 7221 Early Graduation

A student shall be eligible for early graduation in fewer than eight (8) semesters upon completion of all requirements for graduation, excluding physical education, as mandated by Commissioner’s Regulations. A student shall not be required to continue enrollment for the sole purpose of completing physical education requirements. The District, upon request from the student’s parent/guardian, may choose to grant the student a high school diploma prior to his/her completion of the eighth (8th) semester.

8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Section 100.5(a) and (e)

Adopted:  11/16/05

Policy 7222 Credential Options for Students with Disabilities

 

The Board of Education is committed to ensuring that students with disabilities are provided appropriate opportunities to earn a local high school diploma in accordance with the provisions of Section 100.5 of the Commissioner’s Regulations.  However, when necessary, the District may award high school individualized education program (IEP) diplomas to students with disabilities.

The administration shall develop regulations to implement this policy.

Local High School Diplomas

Students pursuing a local high school diploma must acquire a certain number of units of credit in specified courses and also meet subject sequence requirements. It is critical that students with disabilities be provided access to the required courses and testing programs needed for graduation with these awards.

High School Individualized Program (IEP) Diplomas

Each individualized education program (IEP) diploma awarded shall be accompanied by a written statement of assurance that the student named as its recipient shall continue to be eligible to attend school until the student has earned a high school diploma or until the end of the school year of such student’s twenty-first (21st) birthday, whichever is earlier.

The Superintendent shall report to the State Education Department, within fifteen (15) days after the June graduation, the total number and the names of the students awarded IEP diplomas that school year.

Regents Competency Test (RCT) Safety Net for Students with Disabilities

In October 2003, the Board of Regents approved an extension of the Regents Competency Test (RCT) “safety net” for students with disabilities who pursue a Regents or local high school diploma.

The following students qualify for the RCT safety net:

  1. Students with disabilities identified through a CSE. Specific language regarding the availability of the safety net does not have to be indicated on the student’s IEP.
  2. Students with disabilities identified through the Section 504 Multidisciplinary Team (MDT) if recommended and documented by the MDT on the student’s Accommodation Plan.
  3. Students with disabilities declassified while in grades 8-12 if recommended and documented by the CSE on the student’s IEP.

Students with disabilities entering 9th grade from the 1996-97 school year through the 2009-10 school year must take each Regents course and examination required for their entering class.

The safety net allows students with disabilities who fail a required Regents exam to meet the requirements for a local diploma by passing the RCT in that subject or the Department approved alternative. The school may administer the RCT before or after the Regents examination, but in all cases the student must take the required Regents examination in order to earn the local diploma.  The RCT exams will be available until the student graduates or reaches the age of 21.

8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Sections 100.6 and 100.9

Adopted:  11/16/05

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Policy 7223 Phase In Graduation Standard of 65 on Required Regents Examinations

The Board of Education supports the higher academic achievement standards established in accordance with Commissioner’s Regulations that sets 65 as the passing grade on all five Regents examinations required for high school graduation (i.e., the Regents comprehensive examination in English, a Regents examination in mathematics, the Regents examination in United States history and government, a Regents examination in science, and the Regents examination in global studies). However, the Board recognizes that additional time may be necessary for students to transition to these higher standards. Therefore, it is the policy of this District that the following phase in schedule of the 65 graduation standard on required Regents exams is established.

In order to obtain a local diploma, students who first enter grade 9 in September 2005, 2006 and 2007 must attain the following scores on the five required Regents examinations:

Students Entering Grade 9 in September 2005

Unless otherwise authorized pursuant to law and/or regulations, students who first enter grade 9 in September 2005 must attain a score of 65 or above on two of the five required Regents examinations and a score of 55 or above on the remaining three required Regents examinations.

Students Entering Grade 9 in September 2006

Unless otherwise authorized pursuant to law and/or regulations, students who first enter grade 9 in September 2006 must attain a score of 65 or above on three of the five required Regents examinations and a score of 55 or above on the remaining two required Regents examinations.

Students Entering Grade 9 in September 2007

Unless otherwise authorized pursuant to law and/or regulations, students who first enter grade 9 in September 2007 must attain a score of 65 or above on four of the five required Regents examinations and a score of 55 or above on the one remaining required Regents examination.

Students entering Grade 9 in 2008

Unless otherwise authorized pursuant to law and/or regulations, students must pass all five required Regents examinations at a score of 65 or above.

Regents Diplomas

Students who score 65 or above on all five required Regents examinations receive a Regents-endorsed diploma. Students who score 65 or above on eight Regents examinations will receive an Advanced Regents diploma.

Students with Disabilities

Students with disabilities will still have the safety net option of taking and passing the Regents Competency Test if they have not been successful on the corresponding Regents exam in order to earn a local diploma. This provision will continue for students with disabilities entering grade 9 prior to September 2010.

For students with disabilities who first enter grade 9 in September 2005 and thereafter, a score by the student of 55-64 may be considered as a passing score on any Regents examination required for graduation; and, in such event, the District may issue a local diploma to such student. This provision shall apply only to students with disabilities who are entitled to attend school pursuant to Education Law Section 3202 or 4402(5).

Appeals Process on Regents Examinations Passing Score to Meet Regents Diploma Requirements

The District has established an appeals process in which students who score within three points of 65 and have met other criteria enumerated in Commissioner’s Regulations that demonstrate they have achieved the State learning standards would be eligible to appeal.

Education Law Sections 3202 and 4402(5)

8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR)

Section 100.5

Adopted:  11/16/05

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Policy 7230 Dual Credit for College Courses

Students who wish to enroll in college level coursework shall meet all academic, grade level and coursework requirements as set forth by administrative guidelines.  Students who have demonstrated intellectual and social maturity may choose to matriculate at any one (1) of the colleges that have a cooperative agreement with our School District.  Such opportunities may include early admission to college, collegiate-level work offered in the high school, or other means of providing advanced work. Review and approval by the administration are necessary before any college courses may be taken during the school day.

The Board shall not be required to pay tuition and other related costs for those high school students enrolled in college courses.

Adopted:  11/16/05

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Policy 7240 Student Records:  Access and Challenge

The Cooperstown Central School District shall comply with the provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA). Under its provisions, parents/guardians and noncustodial parent(s), whose rights are not limited by court order or formal agreement, of a student under eighteen (18), or a student who is eighteen (18) years of age or older or who is attending an institution of post-secondary education, have a right to inspect and review any and all education records maintained by the School District.

Education Records

The term “education records” is defined as all records, files, documents and other materials containing information directly related to a student, and maintained by the education agency or institution, or by a person acting for such agency or institution (34 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Section 99.3). This includes all records regardless of medium, including, but not limited to, handwriting, videotape or audiotape, electronic or computer files, film, print, microfilm, and microfiche.

In addition, for students who attend a public school district, all records pertaining to services provided under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) are considered “education records” under FERPA. As such, they are subject to the confidentiality provisions of both Acts.

Personal notes made by teachers or other staff, on the other hand, are not considered education records if they are:

  1.   Kept in the sole possession of the maker;
  2. Not accessible or revealed to any other person except a temporary substitute; and
  3. Used only as a memory aid.

Additionally FERPA does not prohibit a school official from disclosing information about a student if the information is obtained through the school official’s personal knowledge or observation and not from the student’s education records.

Records created and maintained by a law enforcement unit for law enforcement purposes are also excluded.

Access to Student Records

The Board directs that administrative regulations and procedures be formulated to comply with the provisions of federal law relating to the availability of student records. The purpose of such regulations and procedures shall be to make available to the parents/guardians of students and noncustodial parent(s) whose rights are not limited by court order or formal agreement, or students who are eighteen (18) years of age or older or who are attending an institution of post-secondary education, student records, and files on students, and to ensure the confidentiality of such records with respect to third parties.

Under FERPA, unless otherwise exempted in accordance with law and regulation, the District may release personally identifiable information (PII) 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.

Exceptions

Directory Information and Limited Directory Information Disclosure

Directory information is information contained in an education record of a student that would not generally be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed. Limited Directory Information Disclosure means that the District may limit disclosure of its designated directory information to specific parties, for specific purposes, or both. The intent is to allow schools the option to implement policies that allow for the disclosure of student information for uses such as yearbooks, but restrict disclosure for more potentially dangerous purposes. The District shall limit disclosure of its designated directory information as otherwise specified in its public notice to parents of students in attendance and eligible students in attendance.

Health and Safety Emergency Exception

School districts must balance the need to protect students’ personally identifiable information with the need to address issues of school safety and emergency preparedness. Under FERPA, if an educational agency or institution determines that there is an articulable and significant threat to the health or safety of a student or other individuals, it may disclose information from education records, without consent, to any person whose knowledge of the information is necessary to protect the health and safety of the student or other individuals during the period of the health or safety emergency.

  1. If the student is under twenty-one (21) years of age and has violated an institutional rule or policy governing the use of alcohol or a controlled substance; or
  2. If the disclosure falls within any other exception to the consent requirements under FERPA or its Regulations, such as the disclosure of directory information or in compliance with a court order or lawfully issued subpoena.

Release of Information to the Noncustodial Parent

The District may presume that the noncustodial parent has the authority to request information concerning his/her child and release such information upon request.  If the custodial parent wishes to limit the noncustodial parent’s access to the records, it would be his/her responsibility to obtain and present to the school a legally binding instrument that prevents the release of said information.

Release of Information to Another Educational Institution

The District may disclose any and all educational records, including disciplinary records and records that were created as a result of a student receiving special education services under Part B of IDEA, to another school or postsecondary institution at which the student seeks or intends to enroll, or after the student has enrolled or transferred, so long as the disclosure is for purposes related to the student’s enrollment or transfer.  Parental consent is not required for transferring education records if the school’s annual FERPA notification indicates that such disclosures may be made.  In the absence of information about disclosures in the annual FERPA notification, school officials must make a reasonable attempt to notify the parent about the disclosure, unless the parent initiated the disclosure.  Additionally, upon request, schools must provide a copy of the information disclosed and an opportunity for a hearing.

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974

20 United States Code (USC) Section 1232(g)

34 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 99

School districts may release information from records to appropriate parties including, but not limited to, parents, law enforcement officials and medical personnel. A school district’s determination that there is an articulable and significant threat to the health or safety of a student or other individuals shall be based upon a totality of the circumstances, including the information available, at the time the determination is made. The school district must record the articulable and significant threat that formed the basis for the disclosure and maintain this record for as long as the student’s education records are maintained.

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Release of Information to Another Educational Institution

The District may disclose any and all educational records, including disciplinary records and records that were created as a result of a student receiving special education services under Part B of IDEA, to another school or postsecondary institution at which the student seeks or intends to enroll, or after the student has enrolled or transferred, so long as the disclosure is for purposes related to the student’s enrollment or transfer. Parental consent is not required for transferring education records if the school’s annual FERPA notification indicates that such disclosures may be made. In the absence of information about disclosures in the annual FERPA notification, school officials must make a reasonable attempt to notify the parent about the disclosure, unless the parent initiated the disclosure. Additionally, upon request, schools must provide a copy of the information disclosed and an opportunity for a hearing.

Audit/Evaluation Exception

The audit or evaluation exception allows for the disclosure of PII from education records without consent to authorized representatives of the Comptroller General of the U.S., the Attorney General, the Secretary of Education, and State or local educational authorities (“FERPA permitted” entities). Under this exception, PII form education records must be used to audit or evaluate a Federal or State

supported education program, or to enforce or comply with Federal legal requirements that relate to those education programs (audit, evaluation, or enforcement or compliance activity).

The District may, from time to time, disclose PII from education records without consent to authorized representatives of the entities listed above. The District may also, from time to time, designate its own authorized representative who may access PII without consent in connection with an audit or evaluation of an education program within the District. As an example, the District might designate a university as its authorized representative in order to disclose, without consent, PII from education records on its former students to the university. The university could then disclose, without consent, transcript data on those former students attending the university to allow the District to evaluate how effectively the District prepared its students for success in postsecondary education.

Studies Exception

This exception allows for the disclosure of PII from education records without consent to organizations conducting studies for, or on behalf of, schools, school districts or postsecondary institutions. Studies can be for the purpose of developing, validating, or administering predictive tests; administering student aid programs; or improving instruction.

The District may, from time to time, disclose PII from education records without consent to such organizations conducting studies for the District, in accordance with its obligations under FERPA.

In addition, other entities outside of the District may, from time to time, disclose PII from education records that the District has previously shared with that entity, to organizations conducting studies on behalf of the District. For example, a State Education Agency (SEA) may disclose PII from education records provided by the District without consent to an organization for the purpose of conducting a study that compares program outcomes across school districts to further assess the effectiveness of such programs with the goal of providing the best instruction.

Required Agreements for the Studies or Audit/Evaluation Exceptions

To the extent required by law, the District shall enter into a written agreement with organizations conducting studies for the District, or, with its designated authorized representatives in connection with audits or evaluations of education programs within the District. In the event that the District discloses PII from education records to its own designated authorized representative in connection with an audit or evaluation of an educational program within the District, it shall use reasonable methods to ensure to the greatest extent practicable that its designated authorized representative complies with FERPA and its regulations.

Challenge to Student Records

Parents/guardians of a student under the age of eighteen (18), or a student who is eighteen (18) years of age or older or who is attending an institution of post-secondary education, shall have an opportunity for a hearing to challenge the content of the school records, to ensure that the records are not inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the privacy of students, and to provide an opportunity for the correction or deletion of any such inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise inappropriate data contained therein.

Disclosures to Parents of Eligible Students

Even after a student has become an “eligible student” under FERPA (which is defined as a student who is eighteen (18) years of age or older or who is attending an institution of post-secondary education) an educational agency or institution may disclose education records to an eligible student’s parents, without the student’s consent:

  1. If the student is claimed as a dependent for Federal income tax purposes by either parent;
  2. In connection with a health or safety emergency;
  3. If the student attends an institution of postsecondary education, is under twenty-one (21) years of age and the disclosure is regarding the student’s violation of law, an institutional rule or policy governing the use of alcohol or a controlled substance at that institution; or
  4. If the disclosure falls within any other exception to the consent requirements under FERPA or its Regulations, such as the disclosure of directory information or in compliance with a court order or lawfully issued subpoena.

Release of Information to the Noncustodial Parent

The District may presume that the noncustodial parent has the authority to request information concerning his/her child and release such information upon request. If the custodial parent wishes to limit the noncustodial parent’s access to the records, it would be his/her responsibility to obtain and present to the school a legally binding instrument that prevents the release of said information.

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, 20 United States Code (USC) Section 1232g

34 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 99

NOTE: Refer also to Policies  #7242 — Student Directory Information

#7243 — Military Recruiters’ Access to Secondary School Students and Information on Students

#7643 — Transfer Students with Disabilities

Adopted:   11/16/05
Amended: 04/01/09
Amended: 4/18/12

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Policy 7241 Notification of Rights Under FERPA

Rights

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords parents and students over eighteen (18) years of age (“eligible students”) certain rights with respect to the student’s education records. These rights are:

  1. The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within forty-five (45) days of the day the School receives a request for access. Parents or eligible students should submit to the School Principal (or appropriate school official) a written request that identifies the record(s) they wish to inspect. The school official will make arrangements for access and notify the parent or eligible student of the time and place where the records may be inspected.
  2. The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the parent or eligible student believes are inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights under FERPA. Parents or eligible students who wish to ask the School to amend a record should write the School Principal (or appropriate school official), clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it should be changed. If the School decides not to amend the record as requested by the parent or eligible student, the School will notify the parent or eligible student of the decision and advise them of their right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the parent or eligible student when notified of the right to a hearing.
  3. The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent (see below for examples of such exceptions).
  4. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the School District to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the Office that administers FERPA are:

Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-5920

Disclosures that Elementary and Secondary Schools May Make Without Consent

FERPA permits the disclosure of PII from students’ education records, without consent of the parent or eligible student, if the disclosure is:

  1. To other school officials, including teachers, within the educational agency or institution whom the school has determined to have legitimate educational interests.
    A “school official” is a person employed by or under contract with the school as an administrator, supervisor, instructor, or support staff member (including health or medical staff and law enforcement unit personnel) or a person serving on the school board. A school official also may include contractors, consultants, volunteers or other parties outside of the school who performs an institutional service or function for which the school would otherwise use its own employees and who is under the direct control of the school with respect to the use and maintenance of PII from education records, such as an attorney, auditor, medical consultant, or therapist. “School official” also includes a parent or student volunteering to serve on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee; or a parent, student, or other volunteer assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility.
  2. To officials of another school, school system or institution of postsecondary education where the student seeks or intends to enroll, or where the student is already enrolled if the disclosure is for purposes related to the student’s enrollment or transfer.
    The School discloses education records without parental/student consent to officials of another school district in which a student seeks or intends to enroll. Cooperstown Central School district shall make a reasonable attempt to notify the parent or student of the records request.
  3. To authorized representatives of the U. S. Comptroller General, the U. S. Attorney General, the U.S. Secretary of Education, or State and local educational authorities, such as the State educational agency in the parent or eligible student’s State (SEA). Disclosures under this provision may be made in connection with an audit or evaluation of Federal- or State-supported education programs, or for the enforcement of or compliance with Federal legal requirements that relate to those programs. These entities may make further disclosures of PII to outside entities that are designated by them as their authorized representatives to conduct any audit, evaluation, or enforcement or compliance activity on their behalf.
  4. In connection with financial aid for which the student has applied or which the student has received, if the information is necessary to determine eligibility for the aid, determine the amount of the aid, determine the conditions of the aid, or enforce the terms and conditions of the aid.
  5. To organizations conducting studies for, or on behalf of, the school, in order to:
    1. Develop, validate, or administer predictive tests;
    2. Administer student aid programs; or
    3. Improve instruction.
  6. To accrediting organizations to carry out their accrediting functions.
  7. To parents of an eligible student if the student is a dependent for IRS tax purposes.
  8. To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena.
  9. To appropriate officials in connection with a health or safety emergency.
  10. Information the school has designated as “directory information.”

NOTE:  Refer also to Policies #7240 — Student Records: Access and Challenge

#7243 — Military Recruiters’ Access to Secondary School Students and Information on Students

This form has been adapted from the Model Notification of Rights under FERPA for Elementary and Secondary Schools from the U.S. Department of Education Family Policy Compliance Office Website.

Adopted:  4/18/12

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Policy 7242 Student Directory Information

Directory information is information contained in an education record of a student that would not generally be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed.

The District shall publish an annual public notice informing parents or eligible students (i.e., a student eighteen (18) years of age or older or who is attending an institution of post-secondary education) of the District’s definition of directory information, the parent/eligible student’s right to refuse the release of student directory information and indication of the 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.

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) defines student directory information as any of the items as indicated in the following list. The Cooperstown Central School District may release the following defined directory information:

  • name
  • address
  • telephone listing
  • date of birth
  • grade level
  • participation in sports and activities
  •  weight and height (for members of athletic teams)
  • dates of attendance
  • honors, degrees and awards
  • e-mail address
  •  photograph

Directory information does not include:

  1. A student’s social security number; or
  2. A student’s identification (ID) number, except as provided below.

Directory information includes a student ID number, user ID, or other unique personal identifier used by the student for purposes of accessing or communicating in electronic systems, or that is displayed on a student ID card or badge, but only if the identifier cannot be used to gain access to education records except when used in conjunction with one or more factors that authenticate the user’s identity, such as a personal identification number (PIN), password, or other factor known or possessed only by the authorized user. Parents and eligible students may not, by opting out of disclosure of directory information, prevent a school from requiring a student to wear or present a student identification card or a badge that displays information that may be directory information.

Limited Directory Information Disclosure

Limited Directory Information Disclosure means that that the District may limit disclosure of its designated directory information to specific parties, for specific purposes, or both. Allowing limited directory information disclosure may permit the District to use student directory information for such limited purposes as school yearbooks, honor roll lists, graduation programs, playbills and other similar uses, without obtaining individual consent. Limiting the disclosure of such information may be beneficial when the District perceives such disclosure as putting students at risk of becoming targets of marketing campaigns, news media or possible victims of criminal acts. The District shall limit its disclosure of its designated directory information as specified in its public notice to parents and eligible students.

Military Recruiter Access

The release of student directory information is not to be confused with the release of names, addresses and telephone listings of eligible students (i.e., a student seventeen (17) years of age or older or in the eleventh grade (or its equivalent) or higher) to Military Recruiters. In compliance with the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965, as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB), and the National Defense Authorization Act, the School District shall notify parents that by law it routinely releases this information to Military Recruiters upon request subject to a parents’/eligible students’ written request not to disclose such information.

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, 20 United States Code (USC) Section 1232(g)

34 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 99

NOTE:  Refer also to Policies #7240 — Student Records: Access and Challenge

#7243 — Military Recruiters’ Access to Secondary School Students and Information on Students

This form has been adapted from the Model Notification of Rights under FERPA for Elementary and Secondary Schools from the U.S. Department of Education Family Policy Compliance Office Web Site.

Adopted:   11/16/05
Amended: 04/01/09
Amended: 04/18/12

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Policy 7243 Military Recruiters’ Access to Secondary School Students and Information on Students

In compliance with the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB); and the National Defense Authorization Act, and in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), the School District shall comply with a request by a military recruiter for secondary students’ names, addresses, and telephone listings, unless a parent has “opted out” of providing such information.

Further, in compliance with the NCLB, the District shall give military recruiters the same access to secondary school students as they provide to postsecondary institutions or to prospective employers.

Under FERPA, the School District must provide notice to parents of the types of student information that it releases publicly.  This type of information, commonly referred to as “directory information,” which is released by the District includes — but is not limited to — such items as students’ names, addresses, and telephone listings.  The notice must include an explanation of a parent’s right to request that the information not be disclosed without prior written parental consent; and further requires that parents be notified that the School District routinely discloses students’ names, addresses, and telephone listings to military recruiters upon request, subject to a parent’s request not to disclose such information without written parental consent.

A single notice provided through a mailing, student handbook, or other method that is reasonably calculated to inform parents of the above information is sufficient to satisfy the parental notification requirements of both FERPA and the NCLB.  The notification shall advise the parent of how to opt out of the public, nonconsensual disclosure of directory information and the method and timeline within which to do so.

If a parent opts out of providing directory information (or any subset of such information) to third parties, the opt-out relating to their child’s name, address, or telephone listing applies to request for military recruiters as well.  For example, if the opt-out states that telephone numbers will not be disclosed to the public, the District may not disclose telephone numbers to military recruiters.

The Superintendent/designee shall ensure that appropriate notification is provided to parents informing them of their right to opt-out of the release of designated directory information without prior written parental consent.

Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, Section 9528

20 United States Code (USC) Section 7908 as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001

National Defense Authorization Act Section 544

10 United States Code (USC) Section 503

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974

20 United States Code (USC) Section 1232(g)

34 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Section 300.571

Education Law Section 2-a

8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Section 3.33

Adopted:  11/16/05

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Policy 7250 Student Privacy, Parental Access to Information, and Administration of Certain Physical Examinations to Minors

The Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA) governs the administration to students of a survey, analysis, or evaluation that concerns one or more of the following eight protected areas:

  1. Political affiliations or beliefs of the student or the student’s parent/guardian;
  2. Mental or psychological problems of the student or the student’s family;
  3. Sex behavior or attitudes;
  4. Illegal, anti-social, self-incriminating, or demeaning behavior;
  5. Critical appraisals of other individuals with whom respondents have close family relationships;
  6. Legally recognized privileged or analogous relationships, such as those of lawyers, physicians, and ministers;
  7. Religious practices, affiliations, or beliefs of the student or student’s parent/guardian; or
  8. Income (other than that required by law to determine eligibility for participation in a program or for receiving financial assistance under such program).

PPRA also concerns marketing surveys and other areas of student privacy, parental access to information, and the administration of certain physical examinations to minors.

General Provisions

The requirements of PPRA do not apply to a survey administered to a student in accordance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).  Further, PPRA does not supersede any of the requirements of FERPA.

The rights provided to parents/guardians under PPRA transfer from the parent/guardian to the student when the student turns 18 years old or is an emancipated minor under applicable State law.

The School District may use funds provided under Part A of Title V of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 to enhance parental/guardian involvement in areas affecting the in-school privacy of students.

Annual Parental Notification of Policies/”Opt Out” Provisions

The School District shall provide for reasonable notice of the adoption or continued use of this policy directly to the parents/guardians of students enrolled in the District.  At a minimum, the District shall provide such notice at least annually, at the beginning of the school year, and within a reasonable period of time after any substantive change in this policy.

Further, in the notification, the District shall offer an opportunity for parents/guardians to opt their child out of participation in the following activities:

  1. The administration of any survey containing one or more of the eight protected areas.
    1. U.S. Department of Education-Funded Surveys:  Prior written consent from parents must be obtained before students are required to submit to the survey.
    2. Surveys funded by sources other than U.S. Department of Education:  Notification may indicate the specific or approximate dates during the school year when surveys will be administered and provide an opportunity for the parent to opt his/her child out of participating upon receipt of the notification.
  2. Activities involving the collection, disclosure, or use of personal information collected from students for the purpose of marketing or for selling that information (or otherwise providing that information to others for that purpose).
  3. Any non-emergency, invasive physical examination or screening that is required as a condition of attendance; administered by the school and scheduled by the school in advance; and not necessary to protect the immediate health and safety of the student, or of other students.  The term “invasive physical examination” means any medical examination that involves the exposure of private body parts, or any act during such examination that includes incision, insertion, or injection into the body, but does not include a hearing, vision or scoliosis screening.

Specific Notification

In the event that the District does not identify the specific or approximate dates of the activities or surveys to be administered in the general annual notification, it shall “directly” notify, such as through U.S. Mail or e-mail, the parents of students who are scheduled to participate in the specific activities or surveys prior to participation and provide an opportunity for the parent to opt his/her child out of participation.

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U.S. Department of Education-Funded Surveys

In compliance with the Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA), the School District is committed to protecting the rights and privacy interests of parents/guardians and students with regard to surveys funded in whole or part by any program administered by the U.S. Department of Education (DOE).

The District shall make instructional materials available for inspection by parents/guardians if those materials will be used in connection with a DOE-funded survey, analysis, or evaluation in which their children participate. In addition, the School District shall obtain prior written parental/guardian consent before minor students are required to participate in any DOE-funded survey, analysis, or evaluation that reveals information concerning any of the eight protected areas.

Surveys Funded by Sources Other than U.S. Department of Education

The School District has developed and adopted this Board policy, in consultation with parents/guardians, regarding the following:

  1. The right of the parent/person in parental relation to inspect, upon request, a survey created by a third party (i.e., by a party other than the DOE) before the survey is administered or distributed by the school to a student.  Requests by parents/guardians to inspect such surveys are to be submitted, in writing, to the Building Principal at least ten (10) days prior to the administration or distribution of any survey.  Further, the District shall grant a request by the parent/guardian for reasonable access to such survey within a reasonable period of time after the request is received by the District.
  2. Arrangements shall be provided by the District to protect student privacy in the event of the administration or distribution of a survey to a student containing one or more of the eight protected areas, including the right of the parent/guardian of the student to inspect, upon request, any survey containing one or more of the eight protected areas.  Such requests must be submitted by the parent/guardian, in writing, to the Building Principal at least 10 days prior to the administration or distribution of any survey.
  3. Parents/guardians shall be granted, upon request, reasonable access and the right to inspect instructional materials used as part of the educational curriculum for the student within a reasonable period of time (defined by the School District, for the purposes of this policy, as 30 days) after such request is received by the District. Requests shall be submitted by parents/guardians, in writing, to the Building Principal.  The term “instructional material” means instructional content that is provided to a student, regardless of its format, including printed or representational materials, audiovisual materials, and materials in electronic or digital formats (such as materials accessible through the Internet).  The term does not include academic tests or academic assessments.
  4. The administration of physical examinations or screenings that the School District may administer to a student.Further, this law does not apply to any physical examination or screening that is permitted or required by State law, including physical examinations or screenings that are permitted without parental notification.In the implementation of this provision regarding the administration of physical examinations or screenings that the school may administer to the student, the School District incorporates by reference Board policies that address student health services, as applicable, including but not limited to policies regarding the administration of medication, immunization of students, and student physicals.
  5. Unless mandated/authorized in accordance with Federal or State law and/or regulation, it is policy of the Board of Education, to not permit the collection, disclosure, or use of personal information (the term “personal information” is defined as individually identifiable information including a student’s or parent/guardian’s first and last name; home address; telephone number; or Social Security number) collected from students for the purpose of marketing or for selling that information (or otherwise providing that information to others for that purpose), unless otherwise exempted pursuant to law as noted below.  Questions regarding the collection, disclosure, or use of personal information collected from students for such marketing purposes may be referred to the school attorney as deemed necessary by the Superintendent/designee.

This law is not intended to preempt applicable provisions of State law that require parental/guardian notification.

Please note: This sample policy prohibits such collection, disclosure or use except to the extent permitted by law; however, Boards of Education should consult with their school attorney to reflect District practice.

These requirements do not apply to the collection, disclosure, or use of personal information collected from students for the exclusive purpose of developing, evaluating, or providing educational products or services for, or to, students or educational institutions, such as the following:

  1. College or other postsecondary education recruitment, or *military recruitment
    *Military recruiter access to student information is governed by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) and the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2002.
  2. Book clubs, magazines, and programs providing access to low-cost literary products;
  3. Curriculum and instructional materials used by elementary schools and secondary schools;
  4. Tests and assessments used by elementary schools and secondary schools to provide cognitive, evaluative, diagnostic, clinical, aptitude, or achievement information about students (or to generate other statistically useful data for the purpose of securing such tests and assessments) and the subsequent analysis and public release of the aggregate data from such tests and assessments;
  5. The sale by students of products or services to raise funds for school-related or education-related activities;
  6. Student recognition programs.

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001

20 United States Code (USC) Sections 1232h(b) and 1232h(c)

34 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 98

NOTE:  Refer also to Policies #7121 — Screening of New School Entrants

#7243 — Military Recruiters’ Access to Secondary School Students and Information on Students

#7511 — Immunization of Students

#7512 — Student Physicals

#7513 — Administration of Medication

Adopted:  11/16/05

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Policy 7310 School Conduct and Discipline

The Board of Education acknowledges its responsibility to protect the educational climate of the District and to promote responsible student behavior.  Accordingly, the Board delegates to the Superintendent the responsibility for assuring the implementation of a Code of Conduct for the Maintenance of Order on School Property, including school functions, which shall govern the conduct of students as well as teachers, other school personnel, and visitors. The Board shall further provide for the enforcement of such Code of Conduct.  The District Code of Conduct shall be developed in collaboration with student, teacher, administrator, and parent organizations, school safety personnel and other personnel and shall incorporate, at a minimum, those components addressed in law and enumerated in Policy #3410 — Code of Conduct on School Property.  Specific components may vary as appropriate to student age, building levels, and educational needs.

In accordance with the Code of Conduct on School Property, areas addressing student conduct and behavior will further utilize the following strategies in promoting acceptable student behavior:

  1. A bill of rights and responsibilities of students that focuses upon positive student behavior, and is publicized and explained to all students on an annual basis;
  2. A Code of Conduct for student behavior setting forth prohibited student conduct and the range of penalties that may be imposed for violation of such Code, that is publicized and disseminated to all students and parents/guardians on an annual basis pursuant to law;
  3. Strategies and procedures for the maintenance and enforcement of public order on school property that shall govern the conduct of all persons on school premises, in accordance with Section 2801 of the Education Law and accepted principles of due process of law;
  4. Procedures within each building to involve student service personnel, administrators, teachers, parents/guardians and students in the early identification and resolution of discipline problems. For students identified as having disabilities, procedures are included for determining when a student’s conduct shall constitute a reason for referral to the Committee on Special Education for review and modification, if appropriate, of the student’s individualized education program;
  5. Alternative educational programs appropriate to individual student needs;
  6. Disciplinary measures for violation of the school policies developed in accordance with subparagraphs b) and c) of this paragraph. Such measures shall be appropriate to the seriousness of the offense and, where applicable, to the previous disciplinary record of the student. Any suspension from attendance upon instruction may be imposed only in accordance with Section 3214 of the Education Law; and
  7. Guidelines and programs for in-service education for all District staff to ensure effective implementation of school policy on school conduct and discipline.

Education Law Sections 2801 and 3214

8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Section 100.2(l)(2)

NOTE:  Refer also to Policy #3410 — Code of Conduct on School Property District Code of Conduct on School Property

Adopted:  11/16/05

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Policy 7311 Loss or Destruction of District Property or Resources

The District is authorized to seek restitution, through civil action when necessary, from the parent or guardian of an unemancipated student over the age of ten (10) and under the age of eighteen (18) where such student:

  1. Has willfully, maliciously, or unlawfully damaged, defaced or destroyed real or personal property in the care, custody and/or ownership of the District; or
  2. Has knowingly entered or remained in a District building, and wrongfully taken, obtained or withheld personal property owned or maintained by the District.

In instances where the District has sought and obtained a judgment from a court of competent jurisdiction, parent/guardian liability for civil damages shall not exceed five thousand dollars ($5,000).  Under certain circumstances, prior to the entering of a judgment in the sum total of five hundred dollars ($500) or more, a court may consider the parent’s or guardian’s financial inability to pay any portion or all of the amount of damages which are in excess of five hundred dollars ($500), and enter a judgment in an amount within the financial capacity of the parent or guardian.  However, no such judgment shall be entered for an amount which is less than five hundred dollars ($500).

False Reporting of an Incident and/or Placing a False Bomb

A School District is also authorized to seek restitution, as described in law, from a parent or guardian of an unemancipated student over the age of ten (10) and under the age of eighteen (18) where such student:

  1. Has falsely reported an incident; or
  2. Has placed a false bomb as defined in the New York State Penal Law.

Damages for falsely reporting an incident or placing a false bomb shall mean the funds reasonably expended by the School District in responding to such false report of an incident or false bomb, less the amount of any funds which have been or will be recovered from any other source as enumerated in law.

In seeking restitution, the School District shall file with the court, the County district attorney and defense counsel an affidavit stating that the funds reasonably expended for which restitution is being sought have not been and will not be recovered from any other source or in any other civil or criminal proceeding, except as provided for pursuant to General Obligations Law Section 3-112.

General Obligations Law Section 3-112

Penal Law Sections 60.27, 240.50, 240.55,

240.60 and 240.61

Adopted:  11/16/05

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Policy 7312 Student Dress Code

The responsibility for the dress and appearance of students shall rest with individual students and parents. They have the right to determine how the student shall dress, provided that such attire does not interfere with the operation of the school or infringe upon the general health, safety and welfare of District students or employees.  Student dress and appearance must be in accordance with the District Code of Conduct.  The administration is authorized to take action in instances where individual dress does not meet these stated requirements.

While the school administration may require students participating in physical education classes to wear certain types of clothing such as sneakers, socks, shorts, and tee shirts, they may not prescribe a specific brand which students must wear.

This policy does not mean that student, faculty, or parent groups may not recommend appropriate dress for school or special occasions.  It means that a student shall not be prevented from attending school or a school function, or otherwise be discriminated against, so long as his/her dress and appearance meet the above requirements.

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

Adopted:  11/16/05

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Policy 7313 Suspension of Students

The Superintendent and/or the Principal may suspend the following students from required attendance upon instruction:

  1.  A student who is insubordinate or disorderly; or
  2. A student who is violent or disruptive; or
  3. A student whose conduct otherwise endangers the safety, morals, health or welfare of others.

Suspension

Five School Days or Less

The Superintendent and/or the Principal of the school where the student attends shall have the power to suspend a student for a period not to exceed five (5) school days.  In the absence of the Principal, the designated “Acting Principal” may then suspend a student for a period of five (5) school days or less.

When the Superintendent or the Principal (the “suspending authority”) proposes to suspend a student for five (5) school days or less, the suspending authority shall provide the student with notice of the charged misconduct.  If the student denies the misconduct, the suspending authority shall provide an explanation of the basis for the suspension.

When suspension of a student for a period of five (5) school days or less is proposed, ticks in adoadministration shall also immediately notify the parent/person in parental relation in writing that the student may be suspended from school.

Written notice shall be provided by personal delivery, express mail delivery, or equivalent means reasonably calculated to assure receipt of such notice within twenty-four (24) hours of the decision to propose suspension at the last known address or addresses of the parents/persons in parental relation.  Where possible, notification shall also be provided by telephone if the school has been provided with a telephone number(s) for the purpose of contacting parents/persons in parental relation.

The notice shall provide a description of the incident(s) for which suspension is proposed and shall inform the student and the parent/person in parental relation of their right to request an immediate informal conference with the Principal in accordance with the provisions of Education Law Section 3214(3)(b). Both the notice and the informal conference shall be in the dominant language or mode of communication used by the parents/persons in parental relation.  At the informal conference, the student and/or parent/person in parental relation shall be authorized to present the student’s version of the event and to ask questions of the complaining witnesses.

The notice and opportunity for informal conference shall take place prior to suspension of the student unless the student’s presence in the school poses a continuing danger to persons or property or an ongoing threat of disruption to the academic process, in which case the notice and opportunity for an informal conference shall take place as soon after the suspension as is reasonably practical.

Teachers shall immediately report or refer a violent student to the Principal or Superintendent for a violation of the District’s Code of Conduct and a minimum suspension period.

More Than Five School Days

In situations where the Superintendent determines that a suspension in excess of five (5) school days may be warranted, the student and parent/person in parental relation, upon reasonable notice, shall have had an opportunity for a fair hearing.  At the hearing, the student shall have the right of representation by counsel, with the right to question witnesses against him/her, and the right to present witnesses and other evidence on his/her behalf.

Where the basis for the suspension is, in whole or in part, the possession on school grounds or school property by the student of any firearm, rifle, shotgun, dagger, dangerous knife, dirk, razor, stiletto or any of the weapons, instruments or appliances specified in Penal Law Section 265.01, the hearing officer or Superintendent shall not be barred from considering the admissibility of such weapon, instrument or appliance as evidence, notwithstanding a determination by a court in a criminal or juvenile delinquency proceeding that the recovery of such weapon, instrument or appliance was the result of an unlawful search or seizure.

Minimum Periods of Suspension

Pursuant to law, Commissioner’s Regulations and the District’s Code of Conduct, minimum periods of suspension shall be provided for the following prohibited conduct, subject to the requirements of federal and state law and regulations:

  1. Consistent with the federal Gun-Free Schools Act, any student who is determined to have brought a weapon to school or possessed a weapon on school premises shall be suspended for a period of not less than one (1) calendar year.  However, the Superintendent has the authority to modify this suspension requirement on a case-by-case basis.
  2. 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.  The definition of “repeatedly is substantially disruptive of the educational process or substantially interferes with the teacher’s authority” shall be determined in accordance with the Regulations of the Commissioner.
  3. 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), 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.

Suspension of Students with Disabilities

Generally, should a student with a disability infringe upon the established rules of the schools, disciplinary action shall be in accordance with procedures set forth in the District’s Code of Conduct and in conjunction with applicable law and the determination of the Committee on Special Education (CSE).

For suspensions or removals up to ten (10) school days in a school year that do not constitute a disciplinary change in placement, students with disabilities must be provided with alternative instruction or services on the same basis as non-disabled students of the same age.

If suspension or removal from the current educational placement constitutes a disciplinary change in placement because it is for more than ten (10) consecutive school days or constitutes a pattern because the suspensions or removals cumulate to more than ten (10) school days in a school year, a manifestation determination must be made.

Manifestation Determinations

A review of the relationship between the student’s disability and the behavior subject to disciplinary action to determine if the conduct is a manifestation of the disability must be made by a manifestation team immediately, if possible, but in no case later than ten (10) school days after a decision is made:

  1. By the Superintendent to change the placement to an interim alternative educational setting (IAES);
  2. By an Impartial Hearing Officer (IHO) to place the student in an IAES; or
  3. By the Board, District Superintendent, Superintendent or building principal to impose a suspension that constitutes a disciplinary change of placement.

The manifestation team shall include a representative of the District knowledgeable about the student and the interpretation of information about child behavior, the parent and relevant members of the CSE as determined by the parent and the District. The parent must receive written notice prior to the meeting to ensure that the parent has an opportunity to attend. This notice must include the purpose of the meeting, the names of those expected to attend and notice of the parent’s right to have relevant members of the CSE participate at the parent’s request.

The manifestation team shall review all relevant information in the student’s file including the student’s individualized education program (IEP), any teacher observations, and any relevant information provided by the parents to determine if:  the conduct in question was caused by or had a direct and substantial relationship to the student’s disability; or the conduct in question was the direct result of the District’s failure to implement the IEP.

Finding of Manifestation

If it is determined, as a result of this review, that the student’s behavior is a manifestation of his/her disability the CSE shall conduct a functional behavioral assessment and implement or modify a behavioral intervention plan.  Unless the change in placement was due to behavior involving serious bodily injury, weapons, illegal drugs or controlled substances, the student must be returned to the placement from which the student was removed unless the parent and the District agree to a change of placement as part of the modification of the behavioral intervention plan.

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No Finding of Manifestation

If it is determined that the student’s behavior is not a manifestation of his/her disability, the relevant disciplinary procedures applicable to students without disabilities may be applied to the student in the same manner and for the same duration for which they would be applied to students without disabilities, subject to the right of the parent/person in parental relation to request a hearing objecting to the manifestation determination and the District’s obligation to provide a free, appropriate public education to such student.

Provision of Services Regardless of the Manifestation Determination

Regardless of the manifestation determination, for subsequent suspensions or removals for ten (10) consecutive school days or less that in the aggregate total more than ten (10) school days in a school year but do not constitute a disciplinary change of placement, and for suspensions or other disciplinary removals in excess of ten (10) school days in a school year which do constitute a disciplinary change in placement for behavior, the CSE shall determine the services to be provided to students with a disability necessary for them to continue to participate in general education curriculum and progress toward meeting the goals set out in their IEP, and shall conduct or provide, as appropriate, a functional behavioral assessment, behavioral intervention services and modifications that are designed to address the behavior violation so it does not recur.

Interim Alternative Educational Setting (IAES)

Students with disabilities who have been suspended or removed from their current placement for more than ten (10) school days may, as determined by the CSE, be placed in an IAES which is a temporary educational setting other than the student’s current placement at the time the behavior precipitating the IAES placement occurred.

Additionally, the District may seek an order from a hearing officer for a change in placement of a student with a disability to an appropriate IAES for up to forty-five (45) school days if the District establishes, in accordance with law, that such student is substantially likely to injure himself/herself or others.

There are three (3) specific instances when a student with a disability may be placed in an IAES for up to forty-five (45) school days without regard to a manifestation determination:

  1. Where the student carries or possesses a weapon to or at school, on school premises, or to or at a school function under the jurisdiction of the District; or
  2. Where a student knowingly possesses or uses illegal drugs or sells or solicits the sale of a controlled substance while at school, on school premises, or at a school function under the jurisdiction of the District; or
  3. Where a student has inflicted serious bodily injury upon another person while at school, on school premises, or at a school function under the jurisdiction of the District.  Serious bodily harm has been defined in law to refer to one of the following:
    1. Substantial risk of death;
    2. Extreme physical pain; or
    3. Protracted and obvious disfigurement or protracted loss or impairment of the function of a bodily member, organ or mental faculty.

A school function shall mean a school-sponsored or school-authorized extracurricular event or activity regardless of where such event or activity takes place, including any event or activity that may take place in another state.

School personnel may consider any unique circumstances on a case-by-case basis when determining whether to order a change in placement for a student with a disability who violates a code of student conduct.

In all cases, the student placed in an IAES shall:

  1. Continue to receive educational services so as to enable the student to continue to participate in the general education curriculum, although in another setting, and to progress towards the goals set out in the student’s IEP, and
  2. Receive, as appropriate, a functional behavioral assessment and behavioral intervention services and modifications that are designed to address the behavior violation so that it does not recur.

The period of suspension or removal may not exceed the amount of time a non-disabled student would be suspended for the same behavior.

Suspension From BOCES

The BOCES principal may suspend School District students from BOCES classes for a period not to exceed five (5) school days when student behavior warrants such action.

In-School Suspension

In-school suspension will be used as a lesser discipline to avoid an out-of-school suspension.  The student shall be considered present for attendance purposes.  The program is used to keep each student current with his/her class work while attempting to reinforce acceptable behavior, attitudes and personal interaction.

BOCES Activities

BOCES activities, such as field trips and other activities outside the building itself, are considered an extension of the school program.  Therefore, an infraction handled at BOCES is to be considered as an act within the School District itself.

A student who is ineligible to attend a District school on a given day may also be ineligible to attend BOCES classes.  The decision rests with the Superintendent or his/her designee.

Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies

If a parent/person in parental relation wishes to appeal the decision of the  Building Principal and/or Superintendent to suspend a student from school, regardless of the length of the student’s suspension, the parent/person in parental relation must appeal to the Board of Education prior to commencing an appeal to the Commissioner of Education.

Procedure After Suspension

When a student has been suspended and is of compulsory attendance age, immediate steps shall be taken to provide alternative instruction which is of an equivalent nature to that provided in the student’s regularly scheduled classes.

When a student has been suspended, the suspension may be revoked by the Board of Education whenever it appears to be for the best interest of the school and/or the student to do so.  The Board of Education may also condition a student’s early return to school and suspension revocation on the student’s voluntary participation in counseling or specialized classes, including anger management or dispute resolution, where applicable.

Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement

Act of 2004 [Public Law 108-446 Section 615(k)(l)]

18 United States Code (USC) Section 921

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

20 United States Code (USC) Sections 1400 et seq.

20 United States Code (USC) Section 7151 as reauthorized by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001

34 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 300

Education Law Sections 2801, 3214 and 4402

Penal Law Section 265.01

8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Section 100.2(l)(2) and Part 201

Adopted:   11/16/05
Amended: 06/14/06
01/10/07

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Policy 7314 Student Use of Computerized Information Resources (Acceptable Use Policy)

The Board of Education will provide access to various computerized information resources through the District’s computer system (“DCS” hereafter) consisting of software, hardware, computer networks and electronic communications systems.  This may include access to electronic mail, so-called “on-line services” and the “Internet.”  It may include the opportunity for some students to have independent access to the DCS from their home or other remote locations.  All use of the DCS, including independent use off school premises, shall be subject to this policy and accompanying regulations.  Further, all such use must be in support of education and/or research and consistent with the goals and purposes of the School District.

One purpose of this policy is to provide notice to students and parents/guardians that, unlike most traditional instructional or library media materials, the DCS will allow student access to external computer networks not controlled by the School District where it is impossible for the District to screen or review all of the available materials.  Some of the available materials may be deemed unsuitable by parents/guardians for student use or access.  This policy is intended to establish general guidelines for acceptable student use.  However, despite the existence of such District policy and accompanying guidelines and regulations, it will not be possible to completely prevent access to computerized information that is inappropriate for students. Furthermore, students may have the ability to access such information from their home or other locations off school premises. Parents/guardians of students must be willing to set and convey standards for appropriate and acceptable use to their children when using the DCS or any other electronic media or communications.

Standards of Acceptable Use

Generally, the same standards of acceptable student conduct which apply to any school activity shall apply to use of the DCS.  This policy does not attempt to articulate all required and/or acceptable uses of the DCS; nor is it the intention of this policy to define all inappropriate usage. Administrative regulations will further define general guidelines of appropriate student conduct and use as well as proscribed behavior.

District students shall also adhere to the laws, policies and rules governing computers including, but not limited to, copyright laws, rights of software publishers, license agreements, and student rights of privacy created by federal and state law.

Students who engage in unacceptable use may lose access to the DCS in accordance with applicable due process procedures, and may be subject to further discipline under the District’s school conduct and discipline policy and the District Code of Conduct.  The District reserves the right to pursue legal action against a student who willfully, maliciously or unlawfully damages or destroys property of the District.  Further, the District may bring suit in civil court against the parents/guardians of any student who willfully, maliciously or unlawfully damages or destroys District property pursuant to General Obligations Law Section 3-112.

Student data files and other electronic storage areas will be treated like school lockers.  This means that such areas shall be considered to be School District property subject to control and inspection.  The computer coordinator may access all such files and communications without prior notice to ensure system integrity and that users are complying with the requirements of this policy and accompanying regulations.  Students should NOT expect that information stored on the DCS will be private.

Notification/Authorization

The District’s Acceptable Use Policy and accompanying Regulations will be disseminated to parents and students in order to provide notice of the school’s requirements, expectations, and student’s obligations when accessing the DCS.

Student access to the DCS will automatically be provided unless the parent has submitted written notification to the District that such access not be permitted. Procedures will be established to define the process by which parents may submit a written request to deny or rescind student use of the DCS in accordance with law, Commissioner’s Regulations and/or District policies and procedures.

Regulations will be established as necessary to implement the terms of this policy.

NOTE: Refer also to Policy #8271 — The Children’s Internet Protection Act: Internet Content Filtering/Safety Policy

Adopted:  11/16/05
Amended: 04/07/10

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Policy 7315 Electronic Communication by Students

Electronic communication devices will not be allowed to deter from the educational process or act as a disturbance to others. The District reserves the right to prohibit the use of any electronic communication device which interferes with instruction or extra-curricular activities.

Adopted:  11/16/05

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Policy 7316 Student Fees, Fines and Charges

Book Deposits

The administration may collect a book deposit, not to exceed $10, from each pupil in the Middle/High School, to insure that students care for and safeguard school textbooks and library books.

The deposit may be paid at the opening of the school year and refunded at the end of the school year, provided that all books entrusted to a student’s care are returned in acceptable condition.  Any cost for lost or damaged books will be deducted from the deposit.  Actual cost in excess of the deposit will be charged to the parent.

Adopted:  11/16/05

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Policy 7317 Student Use of Personal Technology

The Board of Education seeks to maintain a safe and secure environment for students and staff. Advances in technology have made it possible to expand the learning environment beyond traditional classroom boundaries. Using personal electronic devices during instructional time can enable students to explore new concepts, personalize their learning experience and expand their global learning opportunities. Additionally, the use of personal technology devices is ubiquitous in today’s society and standards for student use during non-instructional time should adapt to this change. This policy defines the use of personal technology during instructional and non-instructional times and reinforces the standard that all use, regardless of its purpose, must follow the guidelines outlined in the Student Acceptable Use Policy (AUP), the District’s Code of Conduct, and the Dignity for All Students Act.

Personal technology includes all existing and emerging technology devices that can take photographs; record audio or video; input text; upload and download media; and transmit or receive messages or images. Examples of personal technology includes, but are not limited to, iPods and MP3 players; iPad, Nook, Kindle, and other tablet PCs; laptop and netbook computers; personal digital assistants (PDAs), cell phones and smart phones such as BlackBerry, iPhone, or Droid, as well as any device with similar capabilities. Unacceptable devices shall include, but are not limited to, gaming devices or consoles, laser pointers, modems or routers, and televisions.

Instructional purposes include, but are not limited to, approved classroom activities, research, college admissions activities, career development, communication with experts, homework and other activities as deemed appropriate by school staff.

Personal technology use by students is permitted during the school day for educational purposes and/or in approved locations only. Teachers will indicate when and if classroom use is acceptable. Students are expected to act responsibly and thoughtfully when using technology resources. Students bear the burden of responsibility to inquire with school administrators and/or teachers when they are unsure of the permissibility of a particular use of technology prior to engaging in such use.

In general, the following color zones will define permissible use of technology:

Junior/Senior High School:

  • A red zone means that all use of electronic devices is prohibited and students found using devices in this zone will face consequences.  For example, during tests students will have their test results voided with no makeup opportunity.  Red zones are locker rooms and bathrooms; and
  • A yellow zone means that students can have their devices but they must be silent and out of sight.  Yellow zones are hallways**, School Based Health Center and auditorium;
  • Blue zones mean that devices are permitted for specific instructional use.  Blue zones are classrooms*, Library Media Center*, main office, gymnasium and wrestling room; and
  • Green zones mean that general and open use of the device is allowed.  Green zones are Cafeteria, faculty room and school buses.

**Hallways are yellow zone from 8:00 am – 3:00 pm and green zone in off hours.

*Classrooms and Library Media Center are red zone during any testing, i.e. State Assessment, Regents exams.

Elementary School:

  • A red zone means that all use of electronic devices is prohibited and students found using devices in this zone will face consequences.  For example, during tests students will have their test results voided with no makeup opportunity.  Red zones are all areas on campus other than classrooms and Library Media Center;
  • Blue zones mean that devices are permitted for specific instructional use.  Blue zones are classrooms and Library Media Center; and
  • Green zones mean that general and open use of the device is allowed.  Green zone are school busses.

Appropriate use of personal technology during non-instructional time is also allowed if students follow the guidelines in the AUP and Code of Conduct. Non-instructional use includes texting, calling and otherwise communicating with others during free periods and in common areas of the school building such as the hallways, cafeteria, study halls, buses and student lounges. Other non-instructional uses may include such things as Internet searches, reading, listening to music, and watching videos. This use during non-instructional time must be conducted in a safe and unobtrusive manner. Devices must be in silent mode to avoid disrupting others.

The District shall not be liable for the loss, damage, misuse, or theft of any personal technology brought to School. The District reserves the right to monitor, inspect, and/or confiscate personal technology when administration has reasonable suspicion to believe that a violation of school policy or criminal law has occurred.

The Board expressly prohibits use of personal technology in Red Zones, such as locker rooms, restrooms, Health Offices and any other areas where a person would reasonably expect some degree of personal privacy.

Students will not be permitted to use personal technology devices in school or at school functions until they have reviewed the Acceptable Use Policy, the applicable sections of the Code of Conduct and associated technology guidelines, and signed the Technology Use Agreement (#7317F) Permission Form with their parents. The District reserves the right to restrict student use of District-owned technologies and personal technology on school property or at school-sponsored events, at the discretion of the administration.

Students must follow the guidelines for use set out in the District Code of Conduct and the Acceptable Use Policy at all times. Consequences for misuse will follow guidelines in the District’s Code of Conduct. The District will develop regulations for the implementation of this policy that shall include, but are not limited to, instructional use, non-instructional use, liability, bullying and cyberbullying, and privacy issues.

NOTE:  Refer also to Policies  #7315 — Student Use of Computerized Information Resources

#7550 — Dignity for All Students

#7551 — Bullying in the Schools

#8271 — Internet Safety/Internet Content Filtering Policy

Adopted:  05/07/14

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Policy 7320 Alcohol, Tobacco, Drugs and Other Substances (Students)

The Board of Education recognizes that the misuse of drugs, alcohol, and/or tobacco is a serious problem with legal, physical, emotional, and social implications for the entire community.  Therefore, the consumption, sharing and/or selling, use and/or possession of alcoholic beverages, tobacco products, illegal drugs, counterfeit and designer drugs, or paraphernalia for the use of such drugs is prohibited at any school-sponsored event or on school property at all times.  The intentional abuse/misuse of prescription and/or over-the-counter drugs shall also be disallowed.  Persons shall be barred from entering school grounds or school-sponsored events when exhibiting behavioral or physical characteristics indicative of being under the influence of alcohol or other substances.  Parents and/or local authorities will be contacted, as necessary, for the safety of the student/individual exhibiting such behavior.

Through the collaborative efforts of staff, students, parents/guardians and the community as a whole, a comprehensive program shall be developed addressing alcohol, tobacco, drugs, and other substances to include the following elements:

Primary Prevention

Preventing or delaying alcohol, tobacco, drugs, and other substance use/abuse by students shall be the major focus of a comprehensive K through 12 program in which proactive measures of prevention and early intervention are emphasized.  This program shall include:

  1.  A sequential K through 12 curriculum based on recognized principles of effectiveness that is developed and incorporated into the total educational process. This curriculum shall be concerned with education and prevention in all areas of alcohol, tobacco, drugs, and other substances use/abuse;
  2.  Training school personnel and parents/guardians to reinforce the components of the policy through in-service and community education programs with up-to-date factual information and materials.
  3.  An effort to provide positive alternatives to alcohol, tobacco, drugs, and other substances use/abuse through the promotion of drug/tobacco/alcohol-free special events, service projects, and extracurricular activities that will develop and support a positive peer influence.

Intervention

Referrals to Intervention services will be made available for all students as needed.  These services will be provided by prevention professionals who are appropriately trained in this area.  The purpose of intervention is to eliminate any existing use/abuse of alcohol, tobacco, drugs, and other substances and to identify students considered to be at risk for use/abuse.  Intervention programming shall include:

  1.  Providing assessment of any individual who is referred and/or presents with altered perception or behavior reducing that individual’s ability to function appropriately in the academic environment.
  2. Referring students to community or other outside agencies when their use/abuse of alcohol, tobacco, drugs, and other substances requires additional counseling or treatment. Referral is a key link in school and community efforts and the process is basic to the dissemination of information regarding available counseling and health services (See Appendix 1);
  3. Providing a supportive school environment designed to continue the recovery process for students returning from treatment. A re-entry program may include continuing student and/or family counseling and emphasizing positive alternatives to alcohol, tobacco, drugs, and other substance use/abuse; and
  4.  Ensuring confidentiality as required by state and federal law.

Disciplinary Measures

Disciplinary measures for students consuming, sharing and/or selling, using and/or possessing alcoholic beverages, tobacco products, illegal drugs, counterfeit and designer drugs, or paraphernalia for the use of such drugs shall be outlined in the District’s Code of Conduct on School Property.

Staff Development

There will be training of District staff about the components of an effective alcohol, tobacco and other substances program.  Training shall include, but not be limited to, District policies and regulations and the staff’s role in implementing such policies and regulations.  Teachers shall be trained to implement the District’s K through 12 alcohol, tobacco, drugs and other substance prevention curricula; intervention staff shall be suitably trained to carry out appropriate services.

Implementation, Dissemination and Monitoring

It shall be the responsibility of the Superintendent to implement the alcohol, tobacco, drugs, and other substances Board policy by collaboration with school personnel, students, parents/guardians, and the community at large.

Additionally, copies of Board policy shall be disseminated to District staff, parents/guardians, and community members.  The Superintendent/designee shall periodically review the tobacco, drugs and alcohol abuse prevention program to determine its effectiveness and support appropriate modifications, as needed.

Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act, as reauthorized by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001

20 United States Code (USC) Section 7101 et seq.

NOTE:      Refer also to Policies #3280 — Community Use of School Facilities

#3410 — Code of Conduct on School Property

#5640 — Smoking/Tobacco Use

#7310 — School Conduct and Discipline

#8211 — Prevention Instruction

District Code of Conduct on School Property

Adopted:  11/16/05

Amended: 05/13/15

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Policy 7330 Searches and Interrogations

Students are protected by the Constitution from unreasonable searches and seizures.  A student may be searched and contraband seized on school grounds or in a school building by a School District employee only when the School District employee has reasonable suspicion to believe the student is engaging in proscribed activity which is in violation of school rules and/or illegal.

Factors to be considered in determining whether reasonable suspicion exists to search a student include:

  1. The age of the student;
  2. The student’s record and past history;
  3. The predominance and seriousness of the problem in the school where the search is directed; and
  4. The urgency to conduct the search without delay.

If reasonable suspicion exists to believe that a student possesses a weapon, it is permissible for a School District employee to search that student.

Lockers

Lockers are provided by the school for student use and the administration has the right to search lockers. A student may have exclusive use of a locker as far as other students are concerned but he/she does not have such exclusivity over the locker as it relates to the school authorities.

Inspections may be conducted by authorized school personnel and/or law enforcement officials, and may be conducted using dogs trained for the specific purpose of detecting illegal substances, contraband, or incendiary devices.

Police Use of Trained Narcotic Dogs for Locker Searches

The Cooperstown Central School District, in conjunction with the New York State Police, may use trained narcotic dogs to search student lockers for the presence of drugs, alcohol, or other contraband. However, such searches will be conducted when students are secured in the classroom and in accordance with other procedures developed by administration to help ensure the safety of students and staff while taking into consideration the constitutional rights of students.

Questioning of Students by School Officials

School officials have the right to question students regarding any violations of school rules and/or illegal activity.  In general, administration may conduct investigations concerning reports of misconduct which may include, but are not limited to, questioning students, staff, parents/guardians, or other individuals as may be appropriate and, when necessary, determining disciplinary action in accordance with applicable due process rights.

Should the questioning of students by school officials focus on the actions of one particular student, the student will be questioned, if possible, in private by the appropriate school administrator. The student’s parent/guardian may be contacted; the degree, if any, of parental/guardian involvement will vary depending upon the nature and the reason for questioning, and the necessity for further action which may occur as a result.

The questioning of students by school officials does not preclude subsequent questioning/interrogations by police authorities as otherwise permitted by law.  Similarly, the questioning of students by school officials does not negate the right/responsibility of school officials to contact appropriate law enforcement agencies, as may be necessary, with regard to such statements given by students to school officials.

School officials acting alone and on their own authority, without the involvement of or on behalf of law enforcement officials (at least until after the questioning of students by school authorities has been conducted) are not required to give the so-called “Miranda warnings” (i.e., advising a person, prior to any custodial interrogations as defined in law, of the right to remain silent; that any statement made by the individual may be used as evidence against him/her; and that the individual has the right to the presence of an attorney, either retained or appointed) prior to the questioning of students.

If deemed appropriate and/or necessary, the Superintendent/designee may also review the circumstances with School District legal counsel so as to address concerns and the course of action, if any, which may pertain to and/or result from the questioning of students by school officials.

Law Enforcement Officials

It shall be the policy of the Cooperstown Central School District that a cooperative effort shall be maintained between the school administration and law enforcement agencies. Law enforcement officials may be summoned in order to conduct an investigation of alleged criminal conduct on school premises or during a school-sponsored activity, or to maintain the educational environment.  They may also be summoned for the purpose of maintaining or restoring order when the presence of such officers is necessary to prevent injury to persons or property.

Administrators have the responsibility and the authority to determine when the assistance of law enforcement officers is necessary within their respective jurisdictions. The School District’s administrators shall at all times act in a manner that protects and guarantees the rights of students and parents.

Interrogation of Students by Law Enforcement Officials

If police are involved in the questioning of students on school premises, whether or not at the request of school authorities, it will be in accordance with applicable law and due process rights afforded students. Generally, police authorities may only interview students on school premises without the permission of the parent/guardian in situations where a warrant has been issued for the student’s arrest (or removal).  Police authorities may also question students for general investigations, general questions regarding crimes committed on school property.  In all other situations, unless an immediate health or safety risk exists, if the police wish to speak to a student without a warrant they should take the matter up directly with the student’s parent/guardian.

Whenever police wish to question a student on school premises, administration will attempt to notify the student’s parent/guardian.

If possible, questioning of a student by police should take place in private and in the presence of the Building Principal/designee.

Family Court Act Section 1024

Education Law Sections 1604(9) and (30), 1709(2) and (33), and 2801

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

Adopted:  11/16/05

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Policy 7340 Bus Rules and Regulations

The Cooperstown Central School District furnishes transportation to those students whose disability or distance from the school makes the service essential.  Except as otherwise mandated in a student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP), riding these buses is a privilege and may be withdrawn if the student does not comply with the rules and regulations set forth in this District.

Students riding school buses are expected to conform to the rules of conduct in order to permit the bus driver to transport his/her passengers safely.

The Board of Education, the Superintendent and/or his/her designee has the authority to suspend the transportation privileges of children who are disorderly and insubordinate on buses.  In these cases, the parents/guardians of the children involved become responsible for seeing that their children get to and from school safely.

Bus drivers shall be held responsible for reasonable and acceptable behavior of students while riding the school bus.

The Board directs the administration to establish rules and regulations for student conduct on buses, including applicable due process rights to be afforded students suspended from transportation privileges. These rules and regulations shall be promulgated to all concerned, including the non-public schools to which students are transported.

8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Section 156

20 United States Code (USC) Sections 1400-1485, Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

Adopted:  11/16/05

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Policy 7350 Corporal Punishment

Corporal punishment as a means of discipline shall not be used against a student by any teacher, administrator, officer, employee or agent of this School District.

However, if alternative procedures and methods which would not involve physical force do not work, then the use of reasonable physical force is not prohibited for the following reasons:

  1. Self-protection;
  2. Protection of others;
  3. Protection of property; or
  4. Restraining/removing a disruptive student.

Whenever a school employee uses physical force against a student, the school employee shall, within the same school day, make a report to the Superintendent describing in detail the circumstances and the nature of the action taken.

The Superintendent of Schools shall submit a written report semi-annually to the Commissioner of Education, with copies to the Board of Education, by January 15 and July 15 of each year, setting forth the substance of each written complaint about the use of corporal punishment received by the Cooperstown Central School District authorities during the reporting period, the results of each investigation, and the action, if any, taken by the school authorities in each case.

Rules of the Board of Regents Section 19.5

8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Section 100.2(l)(3)

Adopted:  11/16/05

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Policy 7360 Weapons in School and the Gun-Free Schools Act

Weapons in School

The possession of a weapon on school property, in District vehicles, in school buildings, or at school sponsored activities or settings under the control and supervision of the District regardless of location, is strictly prohibited, except by law enforcement personnel.  Any person possessing a weapon for educational purposes in any school building must have written authorization of the Superintendent of Schools or his/her designee.

The Penal Code of the State of New York shall be used to determine what is considered a weapon.

Penal Law Sections 265.01-265.06

Specific Penalties Imposed by the Gun-Free Schools Act

No student shall bring or possess any “firearm” as defined in federal law on school premises (including school buildings and grounds, District vehicles, school settings and/or school sponsored activities under the control and supervision of the District regardless of location).  For purposes of this policy, the term “firearm” includes any weapon (including a starter gun) which will or is designed to or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive; the frame or receiver of such weapon; any firearm muffler or silencer; or any “destructive device” (e.g., any explosive, incendiary, or poison gas, including bombs, grenades, rockets or other similar devices). The term does not include a rifle which the owner intends to use solely for sporting, recreational or cultural purposes; antique firearms; or Class C common fireworks.

In accordance with the Gun-Free Schools Act Section 3214(3)(d) of the Education Law, any student who brings or possesses a firearm, as defined in federal law, on school property, will be referred by the Superintendent to the appropriate agency or authority for a juvenile delinquency proceeding in accordance with Article 3 of the Family Court Act when the student is under the age of sixteen (16) except for a student fourteen (14) or fifteen (15) years of age who qualifies for juvenile offender status under the Criminal Procedure Law, and will be referred by the Superintendent to the appropriate law enforcement officials when the student is sixteen (16) years of age or older or when the student is fourteen (14) or fifteen (15) years of age and qualifies for juvenile offender status under the Criminal Procedure Law.

In addition, any student attending a District school who has been found guilty of bringing a firearm to or possessing a firearm on school property, after a hearing has been provided pursuant to Section 3214 of the Education Law, shall be suspended for a period of not less than one (1) calendar year and  any student  attending  a non-district  school who  participates in a  program  operated by the

School District using funds from the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 who is determined to have brought a firearm to or possessed a firearm at a District school or on other premises used by the School District to provide such programs shall be suspended for a period of not less than one (1) calendar year from participation in such program.  The procedures of Education Law Section 3214(3) shall apply to such a suspension of a student attending a non-district school. Further, after the imposition of the one (1) year penalty has been determined, the Superintendent of Schools has the authority to modify this suspension requirement for each student on a case-by-case basis. In reviewing the student’s one (1) year suspension penalty, the Superintendent may modify the penalty based on factors as set forth in Section 100.2 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education and in Commissioner’s Decisions. The determination of the Superintendent shall be subject to review by the Board of Education in accordance with Education Law Section 3214(3)(c) and by the Commissioner of Education in accordance with Education Law Section 310.

Student with a Disability

A student with a disability who is determined to have brought a firearm to school or possessed a firearm at school may be placed in an interim alternative educational setting, in accordance with federal and state law, for not more than forty-five (45) calendar days. If the parent or guardian requests an impartial hearing, the student must remain in the interim alternative placement until the completion of all proceedings, unless the parent or guardian and District can agree on a different placement.

A student with a disability may be given a long term suspension pursuant to the Gun-Free Schools Act only if a group of persons knowledgeable about the student, as defined in federal regulations implementing the IDEA, determines that the bringing of a firearm to school or possessing a firearm at school was not a manifestation of the student’s disability, subject to applicable procedural safeguards.

If it is determined that the student’s bringing of a firearm to school or possessing a firearm at school was a manifestation of the student’s disability, the Superintendent must exercise his/her authority under the Gun-Free Schools Act to modify the long term suspension requirement, and determine that the student may not be given a long term suspension for the behavior.  The Committee on Special Education may review the student’s current educational placement and initiate change in placement proceedings, if appropriate, subject to applicable procedural safeguards.

The District may offer home instruction as an interim alternative educational setting during the pendency of review proceedings only if the student’s placement in a less restrictive alternative educational setting is substantially likely to result in injury either to the student or to others.

The District may also seek a court order to immediately remove a student with a disability from school if the District believes that maintaining the student in the current educational placement is substantially likely to result in injury to the student or to others.

Students with disabilities continue to be entitled to all rights enumerated in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and Article 89 of the Education Law; and this policy shall not be deemed to authorize suspension of students with disabilities in violation of these laws.

This policy does not prohibit the District from utilizing other disciplinary measures including, but not limited to, out-of-school suspensions for a period of five days or less, or in-school suspensions, in responding to other types of student misconduct which infringe upon the established rules of the school. Additionally, this policy does not diminish the authority of the Board of Education to offer courses in instruction in the safe use of firearms pursuant to Education Law Section 809-a.

The District will continue to provide the suspended student who is of compulsory attendance age with appropriate alternative instruction during the period of the student’s suspension.

Gun-Free Schools Act as reauthorized by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001

18 United States Code (USC) Section 921(a)

Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

20 United States Code (USC) Sections 1400-1485 and 7151

Criminal Procedure Law Section 1.20(42)

Education Law Sections 310, 809-a, 3214, and Article 89

Family Court Act Article 3

8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Section 100.2 and Part 200

NOTE: Refer also to Policies #3411 — Unlawful Possession of a Weapon Upon School Grounds

Adopted:  11/16/05

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Policy 7410 Extracurricular Activities

The Board of Education considers extracurricular activities to be a valuable part of the program of the school and shall support these activities within the financial means of the District.

Limited Open Forum

The Board of Education maintains a limited open forum where secondary students may meet for voluntary student-initiated activities unrelated directly to the instructional program, regardless of religious, political or philosophical content.

To provide “a fair opportunity” to students who wish to conduct a meeting, the Board of Education, in accordance with the provisions of the Equal Access Act, shall ensure that:

  1. The meeting is voluntary and student-initiated;
  2. There is no sponsorship of the meeting by the school, the government, or its agents or employees;
  3. Employees or agents of the school or government are present at religious meetings only in a nonparticipatory capacity;
  4. The meeting does not materially and substantially interfere with the orderly conduct of educational activities within the school; and
  5. Nonschool persons may not direct, conduct, control, or regularly attend activities of student groups (20 USC Section 4071[c]).

The Board prohibits student organizations whose activities may be unlawful or may cause disruption or interference with the orderly conduct of the educational process.

Administration is responsible for establishing regulations governing the use of school facilities by student organizations.

Eligibility for Attendance

  1. Students who are suspended from school on a day of an athletic game or practice session, party, school dance, or other school affair scheduled after regular school hours are not eligible for participation or attendance at such events.
  2. In order for students to attend a school-sponsored function, it is necessary that students attend classes for a full day.  A full day is defined as being in attendance from 8:25 a.m. until 2:53 p.m. or having a legal excuse.

8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Sections 172.1 and 172.2

Education Law Sections 1709 and 1709-a, 2503-a, and 2554-a

Equal Access Act, 20 United States Code (USC) Sections 4071-4074

Adopted:  11/16/05

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Policy 7411 Censorship of School Sponsored Student Publications and Activities

The District may exercise editorial control over the style and content of student speech in school sponsored publications and activities that are part of the educational curriculum.

Adopted:  11/16/05

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Policy 7412 Student Council/Student Government

The Student Council (H.S.) and the Student Government (M.S.) constitute the official representative bodies of the students.  Acting in conjunction with their respective advisors and school principals, they are vested with the following powers:

  1. To present awards given by the Council or Government.
  2. To investigate matters of concern to the student body.
  3. To organize student elections within the school.
  4. To appoint standing committees to aid in carrying out their work.

Adopted:  11/16/05

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Policy 7420 Sports and the Athletic Program

Athletics are an integral part of a well-balanced educational program.  Therefore, the Board supports within its resources a broad sports program with equal access for both males and females, with emphasis on maximum participation, through interscholastic and intramural activity.  The District will comply with recommendations from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) regarding Title IX equal opportunity for males and females in the District’s total athletic program regarding any of the following factors which may be applicable:

  1. The nature and extent of the sports program to be offered (including the levels of competition, such as varsity, club, etc.);
  2. The provision of equipment and supplies;
  3. The scheduling of games and practice time;
  4. The provision of travel and per diem allowances;
  5. The nature and extent of the opportunity to receive coaching and academic tutoring;
  6. The assignment and compensation of coaches and tutors;
  7. The provision of locker rooms, practice and competitive facilities;
  8. The provision of medical and training facilities and services;
  9. The provision of housing and dining facilities and services;
  10. The nature and extent of support, publicity and promotion including cheerleading, bands, published programs distributed at games, and booster club activities.

The interscholastic athletic program shall conform to the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education as well as the established rules of the New York State Public High Schools Athletic Association and the State Education Department.

Interscholastic sports teams that have a season’s overall record of .500 or division record of .400 or better at the end of the regular season may participate in sectional or intersectional competition.  Any individual or individuals who qualify for sectional or intersectional competition may also participate.  The decision to participate shall be made by the coach and the Athletic Director.

Eligibility for interscholastic athletic competition requires that the students:

  1. Provide written parental/guardian consent;
  2. Pass satisfactorily the medical examination administered by the school physician/nurse practitioner or the student’s personal physician.  The school physician/nurse practitioner retains final approval on all physicals performed by the student’s personal physician; and
  3. Meet the requirements for interscholastic competition as set forth by the Commissioner’s Regulations and the New York State Public High School Athletic Association.

Booster Clubs

The School District has a responsibility under Title IX to ensure that boys’ and girls’ programs are provided with equivalent benefits, treatment, services and opportunities regardless of their source. When determining equivalency, benefits, services and opportunities attained through the use of private funds (e.g., “booster clubs”), such funds are considered in combination with all benefits, services and opportunities.

Private fundraising, including student-initiated fundraising, is permissible under Title IX. Further, compliance with Title IX does not mean that teams must “share” proceeds from fundraising activities. It does, however, place a responsibility on the District to ensure that benefits, services, treatment and opportunities overall, regardless of funding sources, are equivalent for male and female athletes.

In accordance with OCR, in order for the District to be in continuing compliance with Title IX requirements, the District must assure that services, benefits and opportunities in its athletic programs are provided on an equivalent basis to both boys and girls, including those services, benefits and opportunities that are provided through the use of outside financial assistance such as donations, fundraising by coaches, and booster clubs.

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Selection/Classification Process

The level of competition at which a student may participate will be determined by the following guidelines:

  1. Junior High/Modified programs for grades 7-9;
  2. Junior Varsity/Varsity programs for grades 9-12;
  3. Selection Classification – Grades 7 and 8:  This procedure is in compliance with the New York State Education Department
    Selection/Classification Procedures and Standards, established August, 1992 and revised August, 1995. Should the State Education Department amend a procedure in the future to something more restrictive than the procedure outlined herein, the new procedure shall take precedence. The intent of the program is to allow students who are exceptional as compared to their peers to compete at a level which matches their ability.  In no case will placement decisions be based on securing an adequate number of students to fill out a squad.
    Cooperstown Central School will utilize an adapted version of selection classification as follows:  In the sport of wrestling, the full program will be allowed. Seventh and eighth grade exceptional athletes may wrestle at the varsity level. This is due to the equitable weight classes found in wrestling.
    In sports that have a junior varsity level, eighth grade students could be eligible if recommended by the Athletic Director, physical education teacher and coach.
    In swimming, track, cross-country, golf, tennis and bowling, eighth graders may participate in Selection Classification and try out at the varsity level if invited by the Athletic Director, physical education teacher, and coach.
    The final decision to selectively classify rests with the Selection Classification Committee (Athletic Director, MS teacher, M/HS nurse, Physical Education Department Chair and all coaches of the sport in question). The Selection Classification Committee will only consider requests if submitted two (2) weeks prior to the beginning of the JV or V sports season.

A review of this policy will be conducted annually.

Upon successful completion of the Athletic Performance Testing, the coach of the team that the student is attempting to qualify for must complete a Sports Skill Evaluation of the student.  As per New York State Public High School Athletic Association regulations, students may try out for up to three days (eight days for football), before a final determination on placement is made.  Students who seek to compete at advanced levels must demonstrate both skill level and level of psychological maturity, which is consistent with other athletes at that level.  The coach must keep the best interests of the athlete as the top priority.  The intent of the program is to allow students who are exceptional, as compared to their peers, to compete at a level which matches their ability.  In no case will placement decisions be based on securing an adequate number of students to fill out a squad.

The Athletic Director will submit a roster of all athletes who are selectively classified to Section III and to all opponent schools.  At this point, the student is now considered to have been selectively classified.

The Athletic Director will be responsible for maintaining a permanent record for each student who is selectively classified.  The record will contain the following:

  • INDIVIDUAL ATHLETIC PROFILE FORM
  • PARENTAL PERMISSION
  • DEVELOPMENTAL SCREENING
  • ATHLETIC PERFORMANCE TESTING RESULTS
  • COACH’S SPORT SKILL EVALUATION
  • NOTIFICATION OF QUALIFICATIONS

Student Athletic Injuries

No student should be allowed to practice or play in an athletic contest if he/she is suffering from an injury. The diagnosis of and prescription of treatment for injuries is strictly a medical matter and should under no circumstances be considered within the province of the coach. A coach’s responsibility is to see that injured players are given prompt and competent medical attention, and that all details of a doctor’s instructions concerning the student’s functioning as a team member are carried out. No student will be allowed to practice or compete if there is a question whether he/she is in adequate physical condition.

A physician’s certificate may be required before an athlete is permitted to return to practice or competition.

Athletic Program – Safety

The District will take reasonable steps to see that physical risks to students participating in the interscholastic athletic program shall be kept at a minimum by:

  1. Requiring medical examinations of participants;
  2. Obtaining appropriately certified and/or licensed officials to coach all varsity, junior varsity, and modified games; and
  3. Ensuring that equipment is both safe and operative within approved guidelines.

8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Section 135

Adopted:   11/16/05
Amended: 08/16/06
04/18/07
02/06/08
10/01/08

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Policy 7430 Contests for Students, Student Awards and Scholarships

Contests for Students

Distribution of educational material, essay contests, and poster contests must be approved in advance by the building principals if the sponsoring organization wishes to involve students in the project on school time. Samples of informational material should accompany the request.  Upon the judgment of the principal, the request may be forwarded to the Superintendent and the Board of Education for approval.

Student Awards and Scholarships

The School District may obtain and award to its students awards and scholarships.  The Board of Education, having been entrusted by law, will hold in trust gifts, grants, bequests and legacies given or bequeathed to the Cooperstown Central School District and shall apply the same and/or their interest and proceeds according to the instruction of the donors and according to the procedures established by the administration.

Funds may be deposited in the school’s Trust and Agency Fund at the request of the donating person or organization based upon the following guidelines:  a minimum deposit of $2,000 for annual awards to be conferred at the High School Scholastic Awards and $10,000 for annual awards or scholarships to be conferred at graduation.  Prior to the establishment of such an account, it will be necessary for the donating person or organization to define the criteria for the selection of the recipient.

Education Law Sections 1604(30), 1709(12-a) and 2503(1)

Adopted:  11/16/05

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Policy 7440 Musical Instruments

  1. All instrumental music students shall be expected to own or rent their instrument – particularly the common and less expensive instruments (flute, clarinet, trumpet, saxophone, etc.).  In certain circumstances, students may borrow these instruments.
  2. Students will not be required to own or rent the less common and more expensive instruments. Instruments in this category are as follows:  oboe, bassoon, tuba, French horn, trombone, baritone horn, tenor and baritone saxophones, bass trombone and percussion instruments. School-owned instruments in this classification will be disbursed upon decisions by the instrumental music staff. Decisions will be dependent upon the individual student’s talent and merit and the need for a balanced instrumentation at each grade level.
  3. Students and parents/guardians will assume responsibility for proper care of school-owned instruments and will pay for damages to same.
  4. The District will only transport in its vehicles those instruments meeting certain safety standards as indicated in the New York State Department of Transportation Regulations.

17 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Section 720.22

Adopted:  11/16/05

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Policy 7450 Fund Raising by Students

Fund raising projects in which students sell merchandise, provide services, or in other ways solicit money for school activities may be sponsored by school organizations with the express approval of the building principal. Any such plan shall have a clearly defined purpose and, in general, shall contribute to the educational experience of students and shall not conflict with instructional programs or state mandates. Fund raising activities away from school property shall be held to a minimum.

Door to door sales projects undertaken by any organization using the Cooperstown Central School District name shall require previous approval of the Board of Education or its designee.  Profits shall be used to enhance school programs by providing money for expenditures not normally funded by the District.

All participation shall be voluntary, with written parent/legal guardian consent for children in grades K through 8.

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 #3271 — Solicitation of Charitable Donations From School Children

Adopted:  11/16/05

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Policy 7460 Constitutionally Protected Prayer in the Public Schools

In accordance with the most recent Guidance Document issued by the U.S. Department of Education implementing the requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, the Board of Education affirms the responsibilities of the School District, consistent with applicable statutory/case law pertaining to the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, to allow students and staff to engage in constitutionally protected prayer within the District schools.

Accordingly, no Board of Education policy shall prevent, or otherwise deny participation in, constitutionally protected prayer in District schools, consistent with the Guidance Document and applicable law as enumerated above.

The Board rescinds any other policy that may be inconsistent with the mandates of this policy, which shall supersede any and all Board policies to the contrary.

Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, Section 9524, as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001

United States Constitution, First Amendment

Equal Access Act,

20 United States Code (USC) Sections 4071-4074

NOTE: Refer also to Policy #8360 — Religious Expression in the Instructional Program

Adopted:  11/16/05

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Policy 7511 Immunization of Students

The Board of Education recognizes its responsibility under the Public Health Law to ensure that the children under its charge are immunized against measles, polio, diphtheria, mumps, rubella, *Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), **hepatitis B, ***varicella, ****pertussis (commonly known as whooping cough) and tetanus.  The Board, therefore, requires that a physician’s certificate or some other acceptable evidence of immunization be submitted for all children entering and presently attending school.

The Board directs the administration not to permit any child lacking evidence of immunization to remain in school for more than fourteen (14) days, or thirty (30) days for an out-of-state transferee who can show an effort to obtain the necessary evidence or certification.  The administration should notify the local health authority of the name and address of the child, as well as to provide the parent/person in parental relation to the child who has been denied admission or attendance a statement of his/her duty regarding immunization and a consent form prescribed by the Commissioner of Health.  The school shall cooperate with the local health authorities to provide a time and place for the immunization of children lacking the same.

The only exceptions to this policy are as follows:

  1. If a child whose parent, parents, or persons in parental relation hold genuine and sincere religious beliefs which are contrary to the practices required, no certificate shall be required as a prerequisite to such child being admitted or received into school or attending school; and
  2. If a physician will certify that administering a vaccine to a particular child is detrimental to the child’s health, the requirement may be waived by the Board.

A student denied entrance or attendance due to failure of meeting health immunization standards may appeal to the Commissioner of Education.

* Applicable only to Pre-K, Nursery and Day Care.

** Shall apply to children born on or after January 1, 1993, beginning with their enrollment in any public, private or parochial kindergarten, elementary, intermediate or secondary school, and to children born on or after January 1, 1995, beginning with their enrollment in any school, as defined in Public Health Law Section 2164(1)(a).  Also, on or after September 1, 2000, all children are to be immunized against hepatitis B prior to enrollment in the seventh (7th) grade in any public, private or parochial intermediate or middle school.

*** Shall apply to children born on or after January 1, 1998 who will enter grades kindergarten and above; all children born on or after January 1, 2000 and enrolled in any school; and effective January 1, 2005, all children born after January 1, 1994 and prior to January 1, 1998 upon such child’s initial promotion to, entry into or enrollment in sixth grade.

****Shall apply to all children born on or after January 1, 2005 beginning with their enrollment in any school for entry and attendance as defined by Public Health Law Section 2164.

Public Health Law Section 2164

Education Law Section 914

10 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Subpart 66-1

NOTE:  Refer also to Policy #7131 — Education of Homeless Children and Youth

Adopted:  11/16/05

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Policy 7512 Student Physicals

Health Examination

Each student enrolled in District schools must have a satisfactory health examination conducted by the student’s physician, physician assistant or nurse practitioner within twelve  (12) months prior to the commencement of the school year of:

  1. The student’s entrance in a District school at any grade level;
  2. Entrance to pre-kindergarten or kindergarten;
  3. Entry into the 2nd, 4th, 7th and 10th grades.

The District may also require an examination and health history of a student when it is determined by the District that it would promote the educational interests of the student.

In addition, the District requires a certificate of physical fitness for:

  1. All athletes prior to their first sport of the school year, then only those who were injured or ill during their first sport before participating in a second sport during the school year; and
  2. All students who need work permits.

Health Certificate

Each student must submit a health certificate attesting to the health examination within thirty (30) days after his or her entrance into school and within thirty (30) days after his or her entry into the 2nd, 4th, 7th and 10th grades.  The health certificate shall be filed in the student’s cumulative record.  The health certificate must:

  1. Describe the condition of the student when the examination was given;
  2.  State the results of any test conducted on the student for sickle cell anemia;
  3. State whether the student is in a fit condition of health to permit his/her attendance at public school and, where applicable, whether the student has defective sight or hearing, or any other physical disability which may tend to prevent the student from receiving the full benefit of school work or from receiving the best educational results, or which may require a modification of such work to prevent injury to the student;
  4. Include a calculation of the student’s body mass index (BMI) and weight status category.  Weight status categories for children and adolescents shall be defined by the Commissioner of Health.
  5. Be signed by a duly licensed physician, physician assistant, or nurse practitioner, who is authorized by law to practice in New York State consistent with any applicable written practice agreement; or authorized to practice in the jurisdiction in which the examination was given, provided that the Commissioner of Health has determined that such jurisdiction has standards of licensure and practice comparable to those of New York.  A certificate signed by a chiropractor is not acceptable except for a scoliosis evaluation.

Examination by Health Appraisal

The Principal or the Principal’s designee will send a notice to the parents of, or person in parental relationship to, any student who does not present a health certificate, that if the required health certificate is not furnished within thirty (30) days from the date of such notice, an examination by health appraisal will be made of such student by the Director of School Health Services.

The Director of School Health Services shall cause such students to be separately and carefully examined and tested to ascertain whether any such student has defective sight or hearing, or any other physical disability which may tend to prevent the student from receiving the full benefit of school work or from receiving the best educational results, or which may require a modification of such work to prevent injury to the student.

The physician, physician assistant or nurse practitioner administering such examination shall determine whether a one-time test for sickle cell anemia is necessary or desirable and, if so determined, shall conduct such test and include the results in the health certificate.

Unless otherwise prohibited by law, if it is ascertained that any students have defective sight or hearing, or a physical disability or other condition, including sickle cell anemia, which may require professional attention with regard to health, the Principal or Principal’s designee shall notify, in writing, the student’s parents or persons in parental relation as to the existence of such disability or condition.  If the parents or persons in parental relation are unable or unwilling to provide the necessary relief and treatment for such students, such fact shall be reported by the Principal or Principal’s designee to the Director of School Health Services, who then has the duty to provide relief for such students.

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Health Screenings

The District will provide:

  1. Scoliosis screening at least once each school year for all students in grades 5 through 9.  The positive results of any such screening examinations for the present of scoliosis shall be provided in writing to the student’s parent or person in parental relation within ninety (90) days after such finding;
  2. Vision screening to all students who enroll in school including at a minimum color perception, distance acuity, near vision and hyperopia within six (6) months of admission to the school.  In addition, all students shall be screened for distance acuity in grades Kindergarten, 1, 2, 3, 5, 7 and 10 and at any other time deemed necessary.  The results of all such vision screening examinations shall be provided in writing to the student’s parent or person in parental relation and to any teacher of the student.  The vision report will be kept in a permanent file of the school for at least as long as the minimum retention period for such records;
  3. Hearing screening to all students within six months of admission to the school and in grades Kindergarten, 1, 3 5, 7 and 10, as well as at any other time deemed necessary.  Screening shall include, but not be limited to, pure tone and threshold air conduction screening.  The results of any such hearing tests shall be provided in writing to the student’s parent or person in parental relation and to any teacher of the student.

The results of all health screenings (dental, hearing, vision and scoliosis) shall be recorded on appropriate forms signed by the health professional making the examination, include appropriate recommendations, and be kept on file in the school.  The health records of individual students will be kept confidential in accordance with the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and any other applicable federal and State laws.

Accommodation for Religious Beliefs

No health examinations, health history, examinations for health appraisal, screening examinations for sickle cell anemia and/or other health screenings shall be required where a student or the parent or person in parental relation to such student objects thereto on the grounds that such examinations, health history and/or screenings conflict with their genuine and sincere religious beliefs.  A written and signed statement from the student or the student’s parent or person in parental relation that such person holds such beliefs shall be submitted to the Principal or Principal’s designee, in which case the Principal or Principal’s designee may require supporting documents.

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA)

20 United States Code (USC) Section 1232(g)

Education Law Sections 901-905, 912 and 3217

8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Part 136

NOTE:  Refer to Policies #5690 – Exposure Control Program
#5691 – Communicable Diseases
#5692 – Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Related Illnesses
#7121 – Screening of New School Entrants
#7131 – Education of Homeless Children and Youth
#7511 – Immunization of Students

Adopted:   11/16/05
Amended: 08/02/06
02/06/08

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Policy 7513 Administration of Medication

Under certain circumstances, when it is necessary for a student to take medication during school hours, the school’s registered nurse may administer the medication if the parent or person in parental relation submits a written request accompanied by a written request from a physician indicating the frequency and dosage of prescribed medication.  The parent or person in parental relation must assume responsibility to have the medication delivered directly to the health office in a properly labeled original container.

Procedures for taking medications off school grounds or after school hours while participating in a school-sponsored activity will be in accordance with State Education Department Guidelines.

Emergency Medication

The administration of emergency medication (injectable, including “epi-pens,” and/or oral) to a student for extreme hypersensitivity may be performed by any school staff member responding to the emergency.  Such a response would fall under the Good Samaritan exemption for rendering emergency care during a life threatening situation.

Use of Inhalers in Schools

The School District permits students who have been diagnosed by a physician or other duly authorized health care provider as having a severe asthmatic condition to carry and use a prescribed inhaler during the school day.  Prior to permitting such use, the school health office must receive the written permission of the prescribing physician or other duly authorized health care provider, and parental consent, based on such physician’s or provider’s determination that the student is subject to sudden asthmatic attacks severe enough to debilitate that student.

A record of such physician or health care provider/parental permission shall be maintained in the school health office.

Health office personnel will maintain regular parental contact in order to monitor the effectiveness of such self-medication procedures and to clarify parental responsibility as to the daily monitoring of their child to ensure that the medication is being utilized in accordance with the physician’s or provider’s instructions.  Additionally, the student will be required to report to the health office on a periodic basis as determined by health office personnel so as to maintain an ongoing evaluation of the student’s management of such self-medication techniques, and to work cooperatively with the parents and the student regarding such self-care management.

Students who self-administer medication without proper authorization, under any circumstances, will be referred for counseling by school nursing personnel.  Additionally, school administration and parents will be notified of such unauthorized use of medication by the student, and school administration may also be involved in determining the proper resolution of such student behavior.

Education Law Sections 916, 6527(4)(a) and 6908(1)(a)(iv)

Public Health Law Section 3000-a

Adopted:  11/16/05

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Policy 7514 Health Records

The school shall keep a convenient, accurate, and up-to-date health record of every student.  Insofar as the health records include confidential disclosures or findings, they shall be kept confidential.  Individual records may be interpreted by the nurse to administrators, teachers, and counselors, consistent with law.

Education Law Section 905

8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Part 136

Adopted:  11/16/05

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Policy 7520 Accidents and Medical Emergencies

Procedures shall be established and maintained by the Superintendent for the handling of student injuries and medical emergencies that occur on school property and during school activities.

Student Emergency Treatment

All staff members of the School District are responsible to obtain first aid care of students who are injured or become ill while under school supervision.

In most instances first aid should be rendered, and then the parent should be contacted to come to school and transport the student to the family physician.  Beyond first aid, the medical care of the student is the parent’s responsibility.  However, the student’s welfare is always the primary concern, and it is the responsibility of school personnel to exercise good judgment and care under all circumstances.

The Board of Education encourages all staff members to become qualified to give emergency treatment through instruction in first aid Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and Automated External Defibrillators.

Transporting an Ill or Injured Student

In the event of an illness or injury to a student, an ambulance may be called if warranted.  This solution will be used after other alternatives, including parent/person in parental relation contact, have been made.

Insurance

The Board of Education shall approve provisions for all students to be covered by group insurance.

Such student accident insurance policies are to be a co-insurance with family coverage(s) as primary.

Education Law Sections 1604(7-a, b) and 1709(8-a, b)

Adopted:  11/16/05

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Policy 7521 Students with Life-Threatening Health Conditions

Students come to school with diverse medical conditions which may impact their learning as well as their health. Some of these conditions are serious and may be life-threatening.

Students, parents, school personnel and health care providers must all work together to provide the necessary information and training to allow children with chronic health problems to participate as fully and safely as possible in the school experience.

All students within the District with known life-threatening conditions should have a comprehensive plan of care in place: an Emergency Care Plan (ECP) and/or Individualized Healthcare Plan (IHP), and if appropriate an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or Section 504 Plan.

School Health Team

The District will convene a team comprised of appropriate members to ensure that health information is complete, appropriate accommodations are prepared, and any necessary medication and environmental protocols are in place for students with life-threatening health conditions.  Pertinent team members could include and will vary dependent upon an individual child’s health care needs:

  1. Parents/Guardians and Students;
  2. School District Administration;
  3. School Medical Director;
  4.  School Nurse;
  5. Teachers;
  6. Guidance Counselor/Social Worker;
  7. Teaching Assistants and Teacher Aides;
  8. Food Service Personnel;
  9. Custodial Staff;
  10. Transportation Personnel;
  11. Athletic Director, Coaches and After School Volunteers.

Anaphylaxis

Although anaphylaxis can affect almost any part of the body and cause various symptoms, the most dangerous symptoms include breathing difficulties and a drop in blood pressure or shock which are potentially fatal. Treatment for anaphylaxis includes immediate removal of the allergen, and treating the rapidly progressing effects of histamine release in the body with epinephrine and antihistamines.

Particularly for those students with chronic life-threatening conditions such as diabetes, seizure disorders, asthma and allergies (food, insect sting, latex, medications, etc.) which may result in severe, life-threatening reactions to various environmental triggers, it is necessary that the District work cooperatively with the parent(s) and the healthcare provider to:

  1. Immediately develop an Emergency Care Plan (ECP) for each at risk student to ensure that all appropriate personnel are aware of the student’s potential for a life-threatening reaction;
  2. If appropriate, develop an Individualized Healthcare Plan that includes all necessary treatments, medications, training and educational requirements for the student. If the student is eligible for accommodations based upon the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 or the Americans with Disabilities Act, the appropriate procedures will be followed regarding evaluation and identification;
  3. Provide training by licensed medical personnel (e.g. registered professional nurse) for all adults in a supervisory role in the recognition and emergency management of a specific medical condition for specific students;
  4. Obtain specific legal documents duly executed in accordance with New York State law; appropriate health care provider authorization in writing for specific students that includes the frequency and conditions for any testing and/or treatment, symptoms, and treatment of any conditions associated with the health problem; and directions for emergencies;
  5. Secure written parent permission and discuss parental responsibility that includes providing the health care provider’s orders, providing any necessary equipment, and participation in the education and co-management of the child as he/she works toward self-management;
  6. Allow self-directed students, as assessed by the school nurse, to carry life saving medication with prior approval by the medical provider, and according to health practice and procedures, as long as duplicate life saving medication is also maintained in the health office in the event the self-carrying student misplaces their medication;
  7. Assure appropriate and reasonable building accommodations are in place within a reasonable degree of medical certainty.

In addition, the District will:

  1. Provide training for all staff in the recognition of an anaphylactic reaction;
  2. Have standing emergency medical protocols for nursing staff;
  3. Request the School Medical Director to write a non-patient specific order for anaphylaxis treatment agents for the school’s registered professional nurse to administer in the event of an unanticipated anaphylactic episode;
  4. As permitted by New York State law, maintain stock supplies of life saving emergency medications such as epinephrine and antihistamine in all health offices for use in first time emergencies;
  5. Ensure that Building-level and District-wide school safety plans include appropriate accommodations for students with life-threatening health conditions;
  6. Encourage families to obtain medic-alert bracelets for at risk students;
  7. Educate students regarding the importance of immediately reporting symptoms of an allergic reaction.

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Creating an Allergen-Safe School Environment

Avoidance of exposure to allergens is the key to preventing a life-threatening anaphylactic reaction. Educating the entire school community about life-threatening allergies is crucial in keeping students with such allergies safe. The risk of accidental exposure or cross-contamination is always present, particularly for students with food allergies. The school setting is a high-risk environment for accidental ingestion of a food allergen due to the presence of a large number of students, increased exposure to food allergens, and cross-contamination of tables, desks and other surfaces.

To guard against accidental exposure to allergens, monitoring of the following high-risk areas and activities is crucial:

  1. Cafeteria;
  2. Food sharing;
  3. Hidden ingredients in art, science and other projects;
  4. Transportation;
  5. Fundraisers and bake sales;
  6. Parties and holiday celebrations;
  7. Field trips;
  8. Before and after school programs.

Use of Epinephrine Auto-Injector Devices (Epi-Pens) in the School Setting

The administration of epinephrine by epi-pen to a student with a known severe allergy needing an anaphylactic treatment agent may be performed by a school staff member responding to an emergency situation when such use has been prescribed by a licensed prescriber. However, a registered professional nurse/nurse practitioner/physician/physician’s assistant must have trained the staff member to administer the epi-pen for that emergency situation and given him/her approval to assist the student in the event of an anaphylactic reaction.

Documentation of training must be maintained in the Anaphylaxis Protocol for Non-Licensed School Staff Members for each affected student. The emergency response by non-licensed school staff members is permitted under the Medical Practice Act (Education Law Section 6527(4)(a)) and the Nurse Practice Act (Education Law Section 6908 (1)(a)(iv)) and is covered by the “Good Samaritan Law” (Public Health Law Section 3000-a).

Medication Self-Management

The District will work toward assisting students in the self-management of their chronic health condition based upon the student’s knowledge level and skill by:

  1. Adequately training all staff involved in the care of the child;
  2. Assuring the availability of the necessary equipment and/or medications;
  3. Providing appropriately trained licensed persons as required by law;
  4. Providing additional appropriately trained adults to complete delegated tasks as allowed by law;
  5. Developing an emergency plan for the student; and
  6. Providing ongoing staff and student education.

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

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), 20 United States Code (USC) Sections 1400-1485

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

34 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 300

Education Law Sections 6527 and 6908

Public Health Law Sections 2500-h and 3000-a

Adopted:    11/16/05
Amended:   03/18/09

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Policy 7522 Concussion Management

The Board of Education of the Cooperstown Central School District recognizes that concussions and head injuries are commonly reported injuries in children and adolescents who participate in sports and recreational activity and can have serious consequences if not managed carefully. Therefore, the District adopts the following policy to support the proper evaluation and management of head injuries.  This policy is developed in accordance with New York State law.

Concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury. Concussion occurs when normal brain functioning is disrupted by a blow or jolt to the head or body resulting in rapid acceleration/deceleration of the brain. Recovery from concussion will vary. Avoiding re‐injury and over‐exertion until fully recovered are the cornerstones of proper concussion management.  While district staff will exercise reasonable care to protect students, head injuries may still occur.

Physical education teachers, coaches, nurses and other appropriate staff will receive training to recognize the signs, symptoms and behaviors consistent with a concussion. Any student exhibiting those signs, symptoms or behaviors while participating in a school sponsored class, extracurricular activity, or interscholastic athletic activity shall be removed from the game or activity immediately.  The student will not be permitted to return to activity until authorized by a healthcare provider.  Once a student is evaluated by a physician it is required that the results and any diagnosis be shared with the school nurse.

If a student sustains a concussion at a time other than when engaged in a school‐sponsored activity, the District expects the parent/legal guardian to report the condition to the school nurse so that district personnel can support the appropriate management of the condition. The student shall not return to school or activity until authorized to do so by a physician. The District has the right to request evaluations be performed by more than one physician before a final decision is made regarding return to activity, including physical education class and after‐school sports. Any student who continues to have signs or symptoms upon return to activity must be removed from play and re-evaluated by a physician.

The District will assemble a Concussion Management Team (CMT), whose responsibility will be to coordinate mandatory training for all coaches as well as provide information to parents, students, and teachers.  Training will include the signs and symptoms of concussions, post concussion and second impact syndromes, and return to play protocol.  The CMT will act as a liaison for any student returning to school and/or play following a concussion.  The CMT will consist of the following people:

  • School Nurse
  • School Physician or Nurse Practitioner
  • Athletic Coordinator
  • Athletic Trainer
  • Other, as deemed appropriate by the Board of Education

Training for Coaches

A course of instruction on concussion management will be required to be completed by all coaches, physical education teachers, nurses, and athletic trainers on a biennial basis.  The course will include a definition of concussions, signs and symptoms of a concussion, how those injuries occur, practices for prevention and guidelines for return to school and play.  The District will utilize the NFHS Learning Center’s online course entitled Concussion in Sports – What You Need to Know to properly certify its coaches, nurses, physical education teachers, and athletic trainers.

Baseline Testing

Student-athletes that wish to participate in the sports of football and soccer must undergo computer-based neurocognitive testing prior to being approved for participation.  The Cooperstown Central School District Interscholastic Athletics Program will utilize ImPact, a research-based computer test to provide baseline testing for all football and soccer players prior to the start of the season.  Additionally, any student with a history of concussion or suspicion of concussion will receive baseline testing at the discretion of the CMT.  During the season, student-athletes that suffer a concussion or are suspected to have suffered a concussion will receive follow-up testing utilizing ImPact to see if the results differ from the baseline test.  The results will assist with the diagnosis and management of concussions for each individual.

Return to Play Protocol

Return to play following a concussion involves a stepwise progression once the individual is symptom free.  No student-athlete should return to play while symptomatic.  Students are prohibited from returning to play the day the concussion is sustained. The attached Concussion Checklist (3rd Revision) must be completed by a coach or physician as soon as possible after the injury is sustained.  The form will be kept on file with the school nurse.   Once the student-athlete is symptom free at rest for 24 hours and has a signed release by a physician, he/she may begin the return to play protocol progression outlined below.  Each progression should be completed in sequence with a minimum of 24 hours between steps.

  1. No exertional activity until asymptomatic for 24 hours.
  2. Light aerobic exercise such as walking or stationary bike, etc. No resistance training.
  3. Sport specific exercise such as skating, running, etc.  Progressive addition of resistance training may begin.
  4. Non-contact training/skill drills.
  5. Full contact training in practice setting.
  6. Return to competition

If any concussion symptoms recur, the athlete will drop back to the previous level and may try to progress after 24 hours of rest.

The student-athlete should also be monitored for recurrence of symptoms due to mental exertion, such as reading, working on a computer, or taking a test.

Adopted:  4/4/12

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Policy 7530 Child Abuse and Neglect/Maltreatment

The Cooperstown Central School District subscribes to all of the provisions of Title 6 – Child Protective Services of the Social Services Law (Sections 411-428).  Our purpose is to provide protective services to abused and neglected/maltreated children as described by the law, and to make all school personnel within the District aware of our legal responsibilities under this law.

Regulations shall be developed, maintained and disseminated by administration regarding the:

  1. Mandatory reporting of suspected child abuse or neglect/maltreatment;
  2. Reporting procedures and obligations of persons required to report;
  3. Provisions for taking a child into protective custody;
  4. Mandatory reporting of deaths;
  5. Immunity from liability and penalties for failure to report;
  6. Obligations for provision of services and procedures necessary to safeguard the life of a child; and
  7. Provision of information in recognizing signs of unlawful methamphetamine laboratories for all current and new school officials (i.e., “mandated reporters”) who, as part of their usual responsibilities, visit children’s homes.

Additionally, an ongoing training program for all current and new school officials shall be established and implemented to enable such staff to carry out their reporting responsibilities.

School Officials Required to Report

The definition of a “school official” who is mandated to report cases of child abuse or neglect/maltreatment to the State Central Register (SCR) pursuant to Social Services Law Section 413(1) includes, but is not limited to, school teachers, school guidance counselors, school psychologists, school social workers, school nurses, school administrators or other school personnel required to hold a teaching or administrative license or certificate.

All mandated reporters shall make the report themselves and then immediately notify the Building Principal or his/her designee. The Building Principal or his/her designee shall be responsible for all subsequent administration necessitated by the report.

Any report shall include the name, title and contact information for every staff member who is believed to have direct knowledge of the allegations in the report.

Prohibition of Retaliatory Personnel Action

Social Services Law Section 413(1) also prohibits a school from taking any retaliatory personnel action against an employee because such employee believes that he/she has reasonable cause to suspect that a child is an abused or neglected/ maltreated child and that employee makes a report to SCR pursuant to Social Services Law. Further, no school or school official shall impose any conditions, including prior approval or prior notification, upon any staff member specifically designated a mandated reporter.

Pursuant to Labor Law Section 740(1)(e), “retaliatory personnel action” means the discharge, suspension or demotion of an employee, or other adverse employment action taken against an employee in the terms and conditions of employment.

Report Form

The Revised May 2007 New York State Office of Children and Family Services “Report of Suspected Child Abuse or Maltreatment” Form LDSS-2221A may be accessed at: http://www.ocfs.state.ny.us/main/cps/

Education Law Section 3209-a

Family Court Act Section 1012

Labor Law Section 740(1)(e)

Social Services Law Sections 411-428

Adopted:  11/16/05
Amended:  08/20/14

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Policy 7540 Suicide

The suicide of a student has an extremely disturbing effect on the school and the local community.  Unfortunately, there has been a significant increase in the number of adolescents who choose suicide as a way to resolve their problems.  It is the intent of this District to alert school personnel to the implications of suicide by a student, to help the school and the community cope with the aftermath of such a tragic event should it occur, to recommend ways of identifying children and adolescents at risk of attempting suicide and to suggest ways to prevent such occurrences.

Suicide prevention will be incorporated into the curriculum to make students aware of this growing problem.  This will be done in a manner so as not to glamorize the situation but to educate students in regard to this policy.

The administration is responsible for informing staff of regulations and procedures of suicide prevention, intervention, and post-intervention that have been developed by the administration.

Adopted:  11/16/05

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Policy 7550 Complaints and Grievances by Students

While students have the responsibility to abide by the policies and regulations of the District, they shall also be afforded opportunity to present complaints and grievances free from interference, coercion, restraint, discrimination or reprisal.  Administration shall be responsible for:

  1. Establishing rules and regulations for the redress of complaints or grievances through proper administration channels;
  2. Developing an appeals process;
  3. Ensuring that students have full understanding and access to these regulations and procedure; and
  4. Providing prompt consideration and determination of student complaints and grievances.

Complaints and Grievances Coordinator

Additionally, the Board shall ensure compliance with Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA).  The Superintendent shall designate a District employee as the Title IX/Section 504/ADA Coordinator; and regulations and procedures shall be implemented to resolve complaints of discrimination based on sex or disability.

Prior to the beginning of each school year, the District shall issue an appropriate public announcement which advises students, parents/guardians, employees and the general public of the District’s established grievance procedures for resolving complaints of discrimination based on sex or disability.  Included in such announcement will be the name, address and telephone number of the Title IX/Section 504/ADA Coordinator.

The Title IX/Section 504/ADA Coordinator shall also be responsible for handling complaints and grievances regarding discrimination based on race, color, creed, religion, national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, age, military status, or marital status.

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 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.

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973,

29 United States Code (USC) Section 794 et seq.

The Americans With Disabilities Act,

42 United States Code (USC) Section 12101 et seq.

Prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability.

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972,

20 United States Code (USC) Section 1681 et seq.

Prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex.

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.

New York State 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.

Age Discrimination in Employment Act,

29 United States Code Section 621

NOTE: Refer also to Policy #3420 — Anti-Harassment in the School District

Adopted:  11/16/05

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7551 Sexual Harassment of Students

The Board of Education affirms its commitment to non-discrimination and recognizes its responsibility to provide for all District students an environment that is free of sexual harassment and intimidation.  Sexual harassment is a violation of law and stands in direct opposition to District policy.  Therefore, the Board prohibits and condemns all forms of sexual harassment by employees, school volunteers, students, and non-employees such as contractors and vendors which occur on school grounds and at all school-sponsored events, programs and activities including those that take place at locations off school premises.  Generally, sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct or communication of a sexual nature when:

  1. Submission to or rejection of such sexually harassing conduct and/or communication by a student affects decisions regarding any aspect of the student’s education, including participation in school-sponsored activities;
  2. Conditions exist within the school environment that allow or foster obscene pictures, lewd jokes, sexual advances, requests for sexual favors or other harassing activities of a sexual nature; and
  3. Such conduct and/or communication 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 creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive learning environment; and/or effectively bars the student’s access to an educational opportunity or benefit.

The Board acknowledges that in determining whether sexual harassment has occurred the totality of the circumstances, expectations, and relationships should be evaluated including, but not limited to, the ages of the harasser and the victim; the number of individuals involved; and the type, frequency and duration of the conduct.  The Board recognizes that sexual harassment can originate from a person of either sex against a person of the opposite or same sex, and from a third party such as a school visitor, volunteer, or vendor, or any other individual associated with the School District.  Sexual harassment may occur from student-to-student, from staff-to-student, from student-to-staff, as well as staff-to-staff.

In order for the Board to enforce this policy, and to take corrective measures as may be necessary, it is essential that any student who believes he/she has been a victim of sexual harassment in the school environment, as well as any other person who is aware of and/or who has knowledge of or witnesses any possible occurrence of sexual 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 sexual 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.  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 any disclosure will be provided on a “need to know” basis.

Based upon the results of the 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 District policy and regulation, the Code of Conduct, and applicable laws and/or regulations.  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, the Code of Conduct 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 will be subject to appropriate sanctions as warranted and in compliance with law.

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 sexual harassment.  Follow-up inquiries shall be made to ensure that harassment has not resumed and that all those involved in the investigation of the sexual 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 sexual harassment.  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 sexual 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 sexual 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 training in the investigation of sexual 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 sexual harassment will be published in appropriate school publications such as teacher/employee handbooks, student handbooks, and/or school calendars.

Regulations will be developed for reporting, investigating and remedying allegations of sexual harassment.  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 sexual 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 sexual 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 training in the investigation of sexual 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 sexual harassment will be published in appropriate school publications such as teacher/employee handbooks, student handbooks, and/or school calendars.

Civil Rights Act of 1991

42 United States Code (USC) Section 1981(a)

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964,

42 United States Code (USC) Section 2000-e et seq.

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972,

20 United States Code (USC) Section 1681 et seq.

34 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR)

Section 100 et seq.

29 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR)

Section 1604.11(a)

Executive Law Sections 296 and 297

Adopted:  11/16/05

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Policy 7552 Bullying: Peer Abuse in the Schools

The Board of Education is committed to providing a safe and productive learning environment within its schools.  Bullying of a student by another student is strictly prohibited on school property, in school buildings, on school buses, and at school sponsored events and/or activities whether occurring on or off campus.  The Board of Education shall require the prohibition of bullying – along with the range of possible intervention activities and/or sanctions for such misconduct – to be included in the District Code of Conduct for all grade levels.

For purposes of this policy, the term “bullying” among children is defined, in general, as: “a variety of negative acts carried out repeatedly over time.  It involves a real or perceived imbalance of power, with a more powerful child or group attacking those who are less powerful.”  Bullying can take three forms:

  1.  Physical (including, but not limited to, hitting, kicking, spitting, pushing, taking personal belongings);
  2.  Verbal (including, but not limited to, taunting, malicious teasing, name calling, making threats); and
  3. Psychological (including, but not limited to, spreading rumors; manipulating social relationships; or engaging in social exclusion, extortion, or intimidation).

Engages in Cyberbullying Behavior

As with other forms of bullying, cyberbullying is an attempt to display power and control over someone perceived as weaker. Cyberbullying involving District students may occur both on campus and off school grounds and may involve student use of the District Internet system or student use of personal digital devices while at school, such as cell phones, digital cameras, and personal computers to engage in bullying.

Cyberbullying includes, but is not limited to, the following misuses of technology: harassing, teasing, intimidating, threatening, or terrorizing another student or staff member by way of any technological tool, such as sending or posting inappropriate or derogatory e-mail messages, instant messages, text messages, digital pictures or images, or Web site postings (including blogs).

Cyberbullying has the effect of:

  1. Physically, emotionally or mentally harming a student;
  2. Placing a student in reasonable fear of physical, emotional or mental harm;
  3. Placing a student in reasonable fear of damage to or loss of personal property; and
  4. Creating an intimidating or hostile environment that substantially interferes with a student’s educational opportunities.

Also, cyberbullying that occurs off-campus, that causes or threatens to cause a material or substantial disruption in the school, could allow school officials to apply the “Tinker standard” where a student’s off-campus “speech” may be subject to formal discipline by school officials when it is determined that the off-campus speech did cause a substantial disruption or threat thereof within the school setting [Tinker v. Des Moines Indep. Sch. Dist. 393 U.S. 503 (1969)]. Such conduct could also be subject to appropriate disciplinary action in accordance with the District Code of Conduct and possible referral to local law enforcement authorities.

Reports of Allegations of Bullying/Cyberbullying Behavior

Any student who believes that he/she is being subjected to bullying/cyberbulling behavior, as well as any other person who has knowledge of or witnesses any possible occurrence of bullying/cyberbulling, shall report the bullying/cyberbulling to any staff member or the Building Principal.  The staff member/Building Principal to whom the report is made (or the staff member/Building Principal who witnesses bullying/cyberbulling behavior) shall investigate the complaint and take appropriate action to include, as necessary, referral to the next level of supervisory authority and/or other official designated by the District to investigate allegations of bullying/cyberbulling.  Investigation of allegations of bullying/cyberbulling shall follow the procedures utilized for complaints of harassment within the School District.  Allegations of bullying/cyberbulling shall be promptly investigated and will be treated as confidential and private to the extent possible within legal constraints.

Prevention and Intervention

Personnel at all levels are responsible for taking corrective action to prevent bullying/cyberbulling behavior of which they have been made aware at School District sites or activities and/or reporting such behavior to their immediate supervisor.  Further, staff training shall be provided to raise awareness of the problem of bullying/cyberbulling within the schools and to facilitate staff identification of and response to such bullying/cyberbulling behavior among students.

Prevention and intervention techniques within the District to prevent against bullying/cyberbulling behavior and to support and protect victims shall include building-level and classroom-level strategies and activities as determined by administration.  Individual intervention will be provided by appropriate staff members to bullies, victims and their parents to help ensure that the bullying/cyberbulling stops

Prohibition of Retaliatory Behavior (Commonly Known as “Whistle-Blower” Protection)

The Board prohibits any retaliatory behavior directed against complainants, victims, witnesses, and/or any other individuals who participate in the investigation of allegations of bullying/cyberbulling.  Follow-up inquiries and/or appropriate monitoring of the alleged bully and victim shall be made to ensure that bullying/cyberbulling behavior has not resumed and that all those involved in the investigation have not suffered retaliation.

Rules against bullying/cyberbulling shall be publicized District-wide and shall be disseminated as appropriate to staff, students and parents.  Disciplinary sanctions for violation of this policy shall be outlined in the District Code of Conduct as enumerated above and may also be incorporated in staff and student handbooks.

Civil Service Law Section 75-b

NOTE:      Refer also to Policies  #3410 — Code of Conduct on School Property

#3420 — Anti-Harassment in the School District

#7551 — Sexual Harassment of Students

#7553 — Hazing of Students

District Code of Conduct

Adopted:  11/16/05
Amended: 04/07/10

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Policy 7553 Hazing of Students

The Board of Education is committed to providing a safe, productive and positive learning environment within its schools.  Hazing activities are demeaning, abusive and/or illegal behaviors that harm victims, and are inconsistent with the educational goals of the District by negatively impacting the school environment.  Hazing of a student by another student or group of students is strictly prohibited on school property; in school buildings; on school buses; by school sponsored groups, clubs or teams; and at school sponsored events and/or activities whether occurring on or off-campus.  Hazing of a student refers to soliciting, encouraging, aiding, or engaging in “hazing” behavior as defined pursuant to District policy, regulation and/or law.  The Board of Education shall require the prohibition of hazing – along with the range of possible intervention activities and/or sanctions for such misconduct – to be included in the District Code of Conduct for all grade levels.

For purposes of this policy, the term “hazing” among students is defined as any humiliating or dangerous activity expected of a student to join a group, regardless of their willingness to participate.  Hazing behaviors include, but are not limited to, the following general categories:

  1. Humiliation:  socially offensive, isolating or uncooperative behaviors.
  2. Substance abuse:  abuse of tobacco, alcohol or illegal drugs.
  3. Dangerous hazing:  hurtful, aggressive, destructive, and disruptive behaviors.

Incorporated within this definition are various forms of physical, emotional and/or sexual abuse which may range in severity from teasing/embarrassing activities to life threatening actions.

Even if the hazing victim participated “willingly” in the activity, or there was no “intent” by the hazer to harm or injure another individual, hazing is still hazing and against District policy, the District Code of Conduct and may be in violation of New York State Law.  However, hazing of students does not need to rise to the level of criminal activity for such conduct to be in violation of District rules and subject to appropriate disciplinary sanctions.  Any hazing activity, whether by an individual or a group, shall be presumed a forced activity and in violation of Board policy, regardless of the “willingness” of the student to participate.

Any student who believes that he/she is being subjected to hazing behavior, as well as students, school employees or third parties who have knowledge of or witness any possible occurrence of hazing, shall report the incident to any staff member or the building principal.  Anonymous student complaints of hazing behavior will also be investigated by the District.  The staff member/building principal to whom the report is made (or the staff member/building principal who witnesses  hazing  behavior) shall investigate the complaint/incident and take appropriate action to include, as necessary, referral to the next level of supervisory authority and/or other official designated by the District to investigate allegations of hazing.  Investigations of allegations of hazing shall follow the procedures utilized for complaints of harassment within the School District.  Allegations of hazing shall be promptly investigated and will be treated as confidential and private to the extent possible within legal constraints.

Prohibition of Retaliation

The Board of Education prohibits any retaliatory behavior directed against complainants, victims, witnesses, and/or any other individuals who participate in the investigation of allegations of hazing.  Follow-up inquiries and/or appropriate monitoring of the alleged hazer(s) and victim(s) shall be made to ensure that hazing behavior has not resumed and that all those involved in the investigation of allegations of hazing have not suffered retaliation.  Any act of retaliation is subject to appropriate disciplinary action by the District.

Knowingly Makes False Accusations

Students who knowingly make false accusations against another individual as to allegations of hazing may also face appropriate disciplinary action.

District Responsibility/Training

Personnel at all levels are responsible for taking corrective action to prevent hazing behavior of which they have been made aware at School District sites; by school sponsored groups, clubs or teams; and at school sponsored events and/or activities whether occurring on or off-campus.  Further, as may be applicable, personnel are to report such hazing behavior to their immediate supervisor.  Staff training shall be provided to raise awareness of the problem of hazing within the schools and to facilitate staff identification of, and response to, such hazing behavior among students.

Prevention and intervention techniques within the District to help prevent hazing behavior and to support and protect victims shall include building-level and classroom-level strategies and activities as determined by administration.  Individual intervention will be provided by appropriate staff members to hazers, victims and their parents to help ensure that the hazing stops.

Rules against hazing shall be publicized District-wide and shall be disseminated as appropriate to staff, students and parents.  Disciplinary sanctions for violation of this policy shall be outlined in the District Code of Conduct and may also be incorporated in staff and student handbooks.  In addition, allegations of hazing behavior may result in referral to law enforcement officials as necessary.

New York State Penal Law Sections 120.16 and 120.17

Education Law Sections 1709-a, 2503-a, 2554-a and 2801

8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR)

Section 100.2(l)(2)

NOTE:  Refer also to Policies #3410 — Code of Conduct on School Property

#3420 — Anti-Harassment in the School District

#7551 — Sexual Harassment of Students

#7552 — Bullying:  Peer Abuse in the Schools

District Code of Conduct

Adopted:  11/16/05

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Policy 7560 Notification of Sex Offenders

In accordance with the Sex Offender Registration Act (“Megan’s Law”), the Board of Education supports the New York State Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) in its effort to inform the community in certain circumstances of the presence of individuals with a history of sex offenses, particularly against children, in the school locality.  This policy is enacted in order to minimize the possibility that the sex offender will come in contact with school-age children, and to assist law enforcement agencies in preventing further criminal activity from occurring.  Furthermore, the District shall cooperate with local police authorities and the local community in promoting and protecting the safety and well being of its students.

It is the policy of the Board of Education to disseminate all information which the District receives from local police authorities in conjunction with Megan’s Law to designated staff members who might have possible contact with the offender during the course of their school duties including, but not limited to, building principals, supervisors, teachers, office personnel, coaches, custodians, bus drivers, and security personnel.  The Superintendent reserves the right to automatically disseminate such information to additional members of the staff, designated supervisors of non-school groups that regularly use District facilities and have children in attendance, parents/guardians of District students, and other community residents who, in the opinion of the Superintendent, have an immediate need to be notified of such data in order to protect the safety of our students.

All staff members shall be informed of the availability of the information received by the District pursuant to Megan’s Law upon written request to the applicable building principal/designee or supervisor.  Community residents shall be notified of the availability of this information, with written requests directed to the District Office.

Staff members shall inform their immediate supervisor if they observe within the school building, on school grounds, at school activities, or at or near bus routes any individual whose description matches the information which was provided to the District by local law enforcement authorities.  Such law enforcement officials will be notified of this information by the District as appropriate.

Information that is disseminated to the School District pursuant to Megan’s Law may be disclosed or not disclosed by the District in its discretion.  Any information which the School District receives regarding a sex offender from a source other than the Sex Offender Registry, and which is maintained independent of the requirements of Megan’s Law, will be available from the District, upon written request, in accordance with the requirements of the Freedom of Information Law.

Implementation

Administrative regulations shall be developed to implement this policy.

Correction Law Article 6-C

Public Officers Law Section 84 et seq.

Adopted:  11/16/05

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Policy 7570 Supervision of Students

Students working on any activity must be supervised by the teacher or staff member in charge of the activity.  This applies to all in school and extracurricular activities as well as sports activities and events.  Permission to hold practices or meetings must not be granted unless a teacher or staff member is definitely in charge.

  1. District personnel will be fully responsible for the supervision of all students in either their class or their after school activities.
  2. Coaches will maintain supervision over the dressing rooms by personally being present during the dressing periods.  Coaches are responsible for the supervision of their athletes at the end of practice.  This may entail bus duty, or making sure students have transportation home.
  3. Teachers and/or assigned school personnel in the elementary grades will be responsible for the playground supervision of all the children under their jurisdiction during the recess periods and before the regular afternoon sessions.  The principal will distribute the responsibility so that the playground situation will be properly controlled.
  4. Students are not to be sent on any type of errand away from the building without the consent of the principal.

NOTE:  Refer also to Policy #5730 — Transportation of Students:  Transportation to School Sponsored Events

Adopted:  11/16/05

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Policy 7580 Dignity For All Students

The Board of Education recognizes that learning environments that are safe and supportive can increase student attendance and improve academic achievement. A student’s ability to learn and achieve high academic standards, and a school’s ability to educate students, is compromised by incidents of discrimination or harassment, including but not limited to bullying, taunting and intimidation. Therefore, in accordance with the Dignity for All Students Act, Education Law, Article 2, the District will strive to create an environment free of discrimination and harassment and will foster civility in the schools to prevent and prohibit conduct which is inconsistent with the District’s educational mission.

 

The District condemns and prohibits all forms of discrimination and harassment of students based on actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender, or sex by school employees or students on school property and at school-sponsored activities and events that take place at locations off school property. In addition, any act of discrimination or harassment, outside of school sponsored events, which can reasonably be expected to materially and substantially disrupt the education process may be subject to discipline.

Dignity Act Coordinator

At least one (1) employee at every school shall be designated as the Dignity Act Coordinator(s). The Dignity Act Coordinator(s) will be thoroughly trained to handle human relations in the areas of race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender (identity or expression) and sex. The Board of Education shall appoint the Dignity Act Coordinator(s) and share the name(s) and contact information with all school personnel, students, and parents/persons in parental relation.

If a Dignity Act Coordinator vacates his/her position, another school employee shall immediately be designated for an interim appointment as Coordinator, pending approval from the Board of Education, within thirty (30) days of the date the position was vacated. In the event a Coordinator is unable to perform the duties of the position for an extended period of time, another school employee shall immediately be designated for an interim appointment as Coordinator, pending return of the previous Coordinator to the position.

Training

Training will be provided each school year for all District employees in conjunction with existing professional development training to raise staff awareness and sensitivity of harassment and discrimination directed at students that are committed by students or school employees on school property or at a school function. Training will include ways to promote a supportive school environment that is free from discrimination and harassment, emphasize positive relationships, and demonstrate prevention and intervention techniques to assist employees in recognizing and responding to harassment and discrimination, as well as ensuring the safety of the victims.

Instruction in grades Kindergarten through 12 shall include a component on civility, citizenship and character education. Such component shall instruct students on the principles of honesty, tolerance, personal responsibility, respect for others, observance of laws and rules, courtesy, dignity and other traits which will enhance the quality of their experiences in, and contributions to, the community. For the purposes of this policy, “tolerance,” “respect for others” and “dignity” shall include awareness and sensitivity to discrimination or harassment and civility in the relations of people of different races, weights, national origins, ethnic groups, religions, religious practices, mental or physical abilities, sexual orientations, genders and sexes.

Rules against discrimination and harassment will be included in the Code of Conduct, publicized District-wide and disseminated to all staff and parents. An age-appropriate summary shall be distributed to all students at a school assembly at the beginning of each school year.

Reports and Investigations of Discrimination and Harassment

The District will investigate all complaints of harassment and discrimination, either formal or informal, and take prompt corrective measures, as necessary. Complaints will be investigated in accordance with applicable policies and regulations. If, after an appropriate investigation, the District finds that this policy has been violated, corrective action will be taken in accordance with District policies and regulations, the Code of Conduct, and all appropriate federal or state laws.

The District will annually report material incidents of discrimination and harassment to the State Education Department as part of the Uniform Violent and Disruptive Incident Reporting System (VADIR).

Prohibition of Retaliatory Behavior (Commonly Known as “Whistle-Blower” Protection)

Any person who has reasonable cause to suspect that a student has been subjected to discrimination or harassment by an employee or student, on school grounds or at a school function, who acts reasonably and in good faith and reports such information to school officials or law enforcement authorities, shall have immunity from any civil liability that may arise from making such report. The Board prohibits any retaliatory behavior directed at complainants, victims, witnesses and/or any other individuals who participated in the investigation of a complaint of discrimination or harassment.

Education Law Sections 10-18 and 801-a

8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Section 100.2(1)(2)

 

NOTE:      Refer also to Policies  #1330 — Appointments and Designations by the Board of Education
#3410 — Code of Conduct on School Property
#3420 — Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment in the School District
#3430 — Uniform Violent and Disruptive Incident Reporting System (VADIR)
#7551 — Sexual Harassment of Students
#7552 — Bullying in the Schools
#7553 — Hazing of Students
#8130 — Equal Educational Opportunities
#8242 — Civility, Citizenship and Character Education/Interpersonal Violence Prevention Education

Adopted:  6/13/12

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Policy 7610 Special Education: District Plan

A District plan shall be developed and updated every two (2) years describing the Special Education program in the Cooperstown Central School District.  The District plan shall include the following:

  1. A description of the nature and scope of special education programs and services currently available to students residing in the District, including but not limited to descriptions of the District’s resource room programs and each special class program provided by the District in terms of group size and composition.
  2. Identification of the number and age span of students (school age and preschool) to be served by type of disability and recommended setting.
  3. The method to be used to evaluate the extent to which the objectives of the program have been achieved.
  4. A description of the policies and practices of the Board of Education to ensure the allocation of appropriate space within the District for special education programs that meet the needs of students and preschool children with disabilities.
  5. A description of the policies and practices of the Board of Education to ensure that appropriate space will be continually available to meet the needs of resident students and preschool students with disabilities who attend special education programs provided by Boards of Cooperative Educational Services.
  6. A description of how the District intends to ensure that all instructional materials to be used in the schools of the District will be made available in a usable alternative format for each student with a disability at the same time as such instructional materials are available to non-disabled students.
  7. The estimated budget to support such plan.
  8. The date on which such plan was adopted by the Board of Education.
  9. A description of how the District plan is consistent with the special education space requirements plan for the region as developed by the Board of Cooperative Educational Services.

The District plan, with personally identifiable student information deleted, shall be filed and available for public inspection and review by the Commissioner.

8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Part 155 and Section 200.2(c)

Adopted:  11/16/05

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Policy 7611 Children with Disabilities

The Board of Education recognizes the existence of individual differences in the intellectual, social, emotional and physical development of children attending school in the District. In recognizing these differences the Board supports a system of services offered in the least restrictive environment for children with disabilities which includes:

  1. Education in regular classes with or without support services, education in a resource room, education for part of the day in a special class, full time education in a special class, home instruction and education in a residential setting.
  2. Providing for the education of students with disabilities with non-disabled peers to the extent appropriate.
  3. Consideration of the location of a school program(s) to a student’s residence, before placement into an educational program.
  4. Adoption of written policies and procedures ensuring that students with disabilities are provided appropriate opportunities to earn a high school diploma in accordance with Commissioner’s Regulations.
  5. Allocation of appropriate space within the District for special education programs that meet the needs of students with disabilities.
  6.  Assurance that appropriate space will be available to meet the needs of resident students with disabilities who attend special education programs provided by BOCES.

20 United States Code (USC) Sections 1400-1485, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) State Law – Education Law Sections 4401-4407

8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Sections 100.5 and 100.9, 200.2(b)(3) and (c)(2)(v), and 200.6(a)(1)

NOTE:  Refer also to Policy #7615 — Least Restrictive Environment

Adopted:  11/16/05

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Policy 7612 Grouping by Similarity of Needs

The Board of Education will provide appropriate special education and related services to students with disabilities. For those students for whom an appropriate education requires that they be placed together for purposes of special education, the following guidelines shall apply:

  1. That each student with a disability shall be identified, evaluated and placed as determined by the Committee on Special Education (CSE).
  2. The Committee shall determine written goals and corresponding short-term instructional objectives for each student with a disability by considering the special and individual needs of each student with a disability.
  3. The Committee shall recommend to the Board of Education appropriate educational programs and services for each student with a disability based upon the CSE evaluation.
  4. The CSE shall provide information to those teachers and professionals who arrange instructional groups for students with disabilities. Information shall include physical, psychological and social information as well as achievement test results.
  5. The curriculum and instruction provided to students with disabilities who are grouped by similarity of needs shall be consistent with the individual needs of each student in the group.
  6. Students with disabilities may be grouped according to:
    1. Academic or educational achievement and learning characteristics;
    2. Social needs;
    3. Physical development; and
    4. Management needs.
  7. When grouping students by similarity of needs, the social needs or physical development of a student shall not be the sole determinant for placement of a student in a special education program.
  8. The management needs of such students may vary, provided that environmental modifications, adaptations, or human or material resources required to meet the needs of any one student in the group are provided and do not consistently detract from the opportunities of other students in the group to benefit from instruction.

8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Sections 200.2(b)(3) and 200.6(a)(3)

Adopted:  11/16/05

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Policy 7613 The Role of the Board in Implementing a Student’s Individualized Education Program

The Board of Education shall establish at least one Committee on Special Education and one Committee on Preschool Special Education.  The Board shall also establish, as necessary, Subcommittees on Special Education to ensure timely evaluation and placement of students with disabilities.

Committee on Special Education

The Board of Education shall, upon completion of its review of the student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP), arrange for the appropriate special education programs and services to be provided to a student with a disability as recommended by the Committee on Special Education (CSE). The Board shall notify the parent/guardian of its action in accordance with federal and state law and regulations.

For a student not previously identified as having a disability, the CSE shall provide a recommendation to the Board which shall arrange for the appropriate special education programs and services to be provided within sixty (60) school days of the date of receipt of consent to evaluate.  For a student with a disability referred for review, a recommendation shall be provided to the Board which shall arrange for the appropriate special education programs and services to be provided within sixty (60) school days of the referral for review.  However, if such recommendation of the CSE is for placement in an approved in-state or out-of-state private school, the Board shall arrange for such special education programs and services for students with disabilities within thirty (30) days of the Board’s receipt of the recommendation of the CSE.

If on review of the recommendation of the CSE, the Board of Education disagrees with such recommendation, the Board shall follow one of the following procedures:

  1. The Board may remand the recommendation to the CSE with a statement of the Board’s objections or concerns and a request that a timely meeting be held to review and consider such objections or concerns.  The CSE shall consider the Board’s objections or concerns, revise the IEP where appropriate, and resubmit a recommendation to the Board.  If the Board continues to disagree with the recommendation of the CSE, the Board may continue to remand the recommendation to the original committee for additional reviews of its objections or concerns, or establish a second CSE to develop a new recommendation in accordance with the following paragraph, provided that the Board arranges for the programs and services in accordance with the student’s IEP within the timelines as outlined above; or, in the alternative,
  2. The Board may establish a second CSE to develop a new recommendation for the student.  If the Board disagrees with such new recommendation, the Board may remand the recommendation to the second CSE with a statement of the Board’s objections or concerns and a request that a timely meeting be held to review and consider such objections or concerns. The second CSE shall consider the Board’s objections or concerns, revise the IEP where appropriate, and resubmit a recommendation to the Board.  If the Board continues to disagree with the recommendation of the second CSE, the Board may continue to remand the recommendation for additional reviews of its objections or concerns by the second CSE, provided that the Board arranges for the programs and services in accordance with the student’s IEP, as developed by the second CSE, within the timelines as outlined above.

Pursuant to Commissioner’s Regulations, the Board may not select the recommendation of the original CSE once it has established a second CSE.

The Board shall provide the student’s parents/guardians with a copy of the statement of its objections or concerns and notice of due process rights in accordance with Section 200.5 of the Regulations of the Commissioner.

Committee on Preschool Special Education

Upon receipt of the recommendation of the Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE), the Board of Education shall arrange for the preschool student with a disability to receive such appropriate programs and services in accordance with the student’s IEP, commencing with the July, September or January starting date for the approved program, unless such services are recommended by the CPSE less than thirty (30) school days prior to, or after, the appropriate starting date selected for the preschool student with a disability; in that case, such services shall be provided no later than thirty (30) days from the recommendation of the CPSE.

If the Board disagrees with the recommendation of the CPSE, the Board shall send the recommendation back to the CPSE with notice of the need to schedule a timely meeting to review the Board’s concerns and to revise the IEP as deemed appropriate.  The Board of Education shall provide such notice as required by federal and state law and regulations.

Subcommittee on Special Education

The number of Subcommittees on Special Education will be determined by the CSE and the CSE will be responsible for the oversight and monitoring of the activities of each subcommittee to assure compliance with the requirements of applicable state and federal laws and regulations.

Each Subcommittee may perform the functions for which the CSE is responsible, except:

  1. When a student is considered for initial placement in a special class; or
  2. When a student is considered for initial placement in a special class outside of the student’s school of attendance; or
  3. When a student is considered for placements in a school primarily serving students with disabilities or a school outside the District.

Subcommittees shall report annually to the CSE regarding the status of each student with a disability within its jurisdiction.  Upon receipt of a written request from the parent or person in parental relation to a student, the Subcommittee shall refer to the CSE any matter in which the parent disagrees with the Subcommittee’s recommendation concerning a modification or change in the identification, evaluation, educational placement or provision of a free appropriate education to the student.

Education Law Sections 4402 and 4410

8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Sections 200.2(d)(1), 200.4(c) and (d), 200.5 and 200.16(e)

NOTE:  Refer also to Policies  #7631 — Appointment and Training of Committee on Special Education (CSE)/Subcommittee on Special Education Members
#7632 — Appointment and Training of Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE) Members

Adopted:  11/16/05

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Policy 7614 Preschool Special Education Program

The Board recognizes the need for educational programs for three (3) and four (4) year old children with disabilities and directs that administrative practices and procedures be developed to:

  1. Ensure the timely evaluation and placement of each preschool child with a disability residing in the District so the child has the opportunity to participate in preschool programs.
  2. Establish a Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE) which shall be comprised in accordance with applicable federal and state law and regulation.
  3. Ensure that parents have received and understand the request for consent for evaluation and re-evaluation of a preschool aged child.

Evaluations for Preschool Children with Disabilities

The District is required to collect entry assessment data in the three (3) outcome areas on all preschool children who receive an initial evaluation.  As currently required by Commissioner’s Regulation Section 200.5, a parent must be fully informed about the proposed initial evaluation and must provide consent for an initial evaluation.  This would include a description of the proposed evaluation.

The CPSE will receive entry-level assessment results in the three (3) outcome areas from approved preschool evaluators conducting initial evaluations on all preschool children suspected of having disabilities.  The CPSE will then meet to determine the child’s eligibility for preschool education programs and/or services and complete the Child Outcomes Summary Form to determine the child’s entry level of functioning in the three (3) outcomes areas for all preschool children evaluated and found to be eligible.  The form is to be kept in the student’s record until the exit assessment information is due as a way to summarize complex assessment information in a format so that the data can be aggregated and reported to the State Education Department (SED).

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act(IDEA), 20 United States Code(USC) Section 1400 et seq.

Education Law Section 4410

8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Sections 200.2(b)(2), 200.2(b)(5) and 200.5

NOTE: Refer also to Policy #7632 — Appointment and Training of Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE) Members

Adopted:   11/16/05
09/03/08

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Policy 7615 Least Restrictive Environment

Least restrictive environment means that placement of students with disabilities in special classes, separate schools or other removal from the regular educational environment occurs only when the nature or severity of the disability is such that even with use of supplementary aids and services, education in regular classes cannot be satisfactorily achieved. The placement of an individual student with a disability in the least restrictive environment shall:

  1. Provide the special education and related services, as well as supplementary aids and services, needed by the student;
  2. Provide for education of the student to the maximum extent appropriate to the needs of the student with other students who do not have disabilities; and
  3. Be as close as possible to the student’s home.

The District has an obligation, pursuant to law and regulation, to educate students with disabilities in the least restrictive environment. The School District shall ensure that:

  1. Each student with a disability shall be educated with nondisabled students to the maximum extent appropriate;
  2. Each student with a disability shall be removed from the regular educational environment only when the nature or severity of the student’s disability is such that education in regular classes with the use of supplementary aids and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily; and
  3. To the maximum extent appropriate to the student’s needs, each student with a disability shall participate with nondisabled students in nonacademic and extracurricular services and activities.

The District shall ensure that a continuum of alternative placements, in accordance with law and/or regulation, will be available to meet the needs of students with disabilities for special education and related services. To enable students with disabilities to be educated with nondisabled students to the maximum extent appropriate, specially designed instruction and supplementary services may be provided in the regular class. Such services may include, but are not limited to, consultant teacher services and other group or individual supplemental or direct special education instruction.

20 United States Code (USC) Sections 1400-1485,

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

34 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 300

State Law – Education Law Sections 4401-4410-a

8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR)

Sections 100.5, 100.9, 200.1(cc), 200.2(b), 200.4, and 200.6

Adopted:  11/16/05

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Policy 7616 Prereferral Intervention Strategies in General Education (Prior to a Referral for Special Education)

The School District shall establish a plan for implementing schoolwide approaches and prereferral interventions in order to remediate a student’s performance prior to referral for special education.

The provision of programs and/or services for students starts with consideration/implementation of instruction in the general education curriculum, with appropriate supports and/or modifications as may be necessary.  In implementing prereferral intervention strategies, the District may utilize resources/strategies already in place for qualified students including, but not limited to, services available through Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and Educationally Related Support Services and Academic Intervention Services as defined in Education Law and/or Commissioner’s Regulations.  All of these programs may be considered as possible components of Prereferral/Intervention Instructional Support Plans.  The District will ensure that they have a system in place, with appropriate personnel, for developing, implementing and evaluating prereferral intervention strategies.

The District will provide general education support services, instructional modifications, alternative instructional approaches, or alternative program options to address a student’s performance prior to a referral to a Committee on Special Education (CSE).  Formal Instructional Support Teams (IST) or other school-based teams (e.g., Direct Student Support Teams or Child Study Teams), will be formed in accordance with law and/or regulations as may be applicable as well as District guidelines.  The IST will include representatives from general and special education as well as other disciplines and include individuals with classroom experience.  Parents/persons in parental relation to students will be involved in developing prereferral strategies to address the educational needs of their child.  Additionally, the District will seek collaboration between outside agencies and the school prior to a referral of the student to the CSE in order to address necessary student support services.

Administration shall ensure that appropriate opportunities exist for collaboration between general educators and special educators, and that consultation and support are available to teachers and other school personnel to assist parents/persons in parental relation to students and teachers in exploring alternative approaches for meeting the individual needs of any student prior to formal referral for special education.

The determination of prevention and prereferral intervention strategies/services shall consider the student’s strengths, environment, social history, language and cultural diversity in addition to the teacher’s concerns.  The building administrator will further ensure that all staff are familiar with intervention procedures and procedures for operating an IST.

Prereferral/Intervention Instructional Support Plans shall be proactive in their strategies to meet the broad range of student needs and to improve student performance.  Prereferral/Intervention strategies and/or Instructional Support Plans are to be reviewed and evaluated to determine their effectiveness, and modified as may be appropriate.  Appropriate documentation of the prevention and/or intervention strategies implemented shall be maintained.

However, should a referral be made to the CSE during the course of implementing prereferral/intervention instructional support services, the CSE is obligated in accordance with law to continue its duties and functions, and must meet mandatory time lines in evaluating the student for special education services and implementation of an individualized education program, if applicable.

Educational Related Support Services

Educational related support services (ERSS) means curriculum and instructional modification services; direct student support team services; assessment and non-career counseling services; special instruction to eligible students with disabilities as defined in Education Law Section 4401, which does not generate excess cost aid including related services but excluding transportation and transition services; and to eligible, qualified students pursuant to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.  These services are provided to eligible students, individually or in groups, and may include those related consultation services provided to their families and related school personnel in order to enhance the academic achievement and attendance of such students.  Educational related support services shall also mean speech and language improvement services as defined in Commissioner’s Regulations.

ERSS may be utilized as a component of any Prereferral/Intervention Instructional Support Plan.

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973

For students who are qualified for services pursuant to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, but are not classified as students with disabilities as defined in Education Law Section 4401, Section 504 Accommodation Plans may address instructional support services that can be utilized as components of any prereferral/intervention strategies as deemed necessary and/or appropriate.

Academic Intervention Services

Academic intervention services means additional instruction which supplements the instruction provided in the general curriculum and assists students in meeting the State learning standards as defined in Commissioner’s Regulations and/or student support services which may include guidance, counseling, attendance, and study skills which are needed to support improved academic performance. However, such services shall not include services provided to students with limited English proficiency pursuant to Commissioner’s Regulations or special education services and programs as defined in Education Law Section 4401.  Academic intervention services are intended to assist students who are at risk of not achieving the State learning standards in English language arts, mathematics, social studies and/or science, or who are at risk of not gaining the knowledge and skills needed to meet or exceed designated performance levels on State assessments.

The District has developed a description of the academic intervention services offered to grades K-12 students in need of such services.  The District will review and revise this description every two years based on student performance results.

Parental notification of students who have been determined to need academic intervention services will be provided as per Commissioner’s Regulations.

In implementing prevention and/or prereferral intervention support strategies in order to remediate a student’s performance prior to referral for special education, the utilization of academic intervention services, as enumerated in Commissioner’s Regulations, may be included as a component of any such Prereferral/Intervention Instructional Support Plan.

Education Law Sections 3602(32), 4401 and 4401-a

8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Sections 100.1(g), (p), (r), (s), and (t);

100.2(v), 100.2(dd)(4), 100.2(ee), 200.2(b)(7), 200.4(a)(2) and (9); 200.4(c); and Part 154

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

Adopted:  11/16/05

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Policy 7617 Declassification of Students with Disabilities

The School District shall establish and implement a plan for the appropriate declassification of students with disabilities which must include:

  1. The regular consideration for declassifying students when appropriate;\
  2. A reevaluation of the student prior to declassification; and
  3. The provision of educational and support services to the student upon declassification.

Eligibility Determinations

The School District must evaluate a student with a disability prior to determining that a student is no longer a student with a disability as defined in accordance with Commissioner’s Regulations, and the District shall provide a copy of the evaluation report and the documentation of eligibility to the student’s parent.  The District is not required to conduct a reevaluation of a student before the termination of a student’s eligibility due to graduation with a local high school or Regents diploma or exceeding the age eligibility for a free appropriate public education.  However, the parent must receive prior written notice, in accordance with Commissioner’s Regulations, before the student’s graduation from high school with a local or Regents diploma or before he/she receives an Individualized Education Program (IEP) diploma.  The results of any reevaluations must be addressed by the Committee on Special Education (CSE) in a meeting to review and, as appropriate, revise the student’s IEP.

Prior to the reevaluation, the School District shall obtain informed parental consent unless otherwise authorized pursuant to law and/or regulation.  Parental consent need not be obtained if the District can demonstrate that it has taken reasonable measures to obtain that consent, and the student’s parents fail to respond.  The District must have a record of its attempts to obtain parental consent. Should the student’s parents refuse consent for the reevaluation, the District may continue to pursue the reevaluation by using mediation and/or due process procedures.

The District shall take whatever action is necessary to ensure that the parent understands the proceedings at the meeting of the CSE, including arranging for an interpreter for parents with deafness or whose native language is other than English.

Individual Evaluation

As part of any reevaluation, a group that includes the CSE and other qualified professionals, as appropriate, shall review existing evaluation data on the student including evaluations and information provided by the parents of the student, current classroom-based assessments and observations, and observations by teachers and related services providers.

On the basis of that review, and input from the student’s parents, the CSE and other qualified professionals, as appropriate, shall identify what additional data, if any, are needed to determine:

  1. In the case of a reevaluation of a student, whether the student continues to have such a disability;
  2. The present levels of performance and educational needs of the student;
  3. In the case of a reevaluation of a student, whether the student continues to need special education; and
  4. Whether any additions or modifications to the special education services are needed to enable the student to meet the measurable annual goal set out in the Individualized Education Program (IEP) of the student and to participate, as appropriate, in the general curriculum.

If additional data are not needed, the District must notify the parents of that determination and the reasons for it and of the right of the parents to request an assessment to determine whether, for purposes of services provided in accordance with law and Commissioner’s Regulations, the student continues to be a student with a disability.  The District is not required to conduct the assessment unless requested to do so by the student’s parents.

The CSE shall arrange for an appropriate reevaluation of each student with a disability at least every three (3) years by a multidisciplinary team or group of persons, including at least one (1) teacher or other specialist with knowledge in the area of the student’s disability.  The reevaluation shall be sufficient to determine the student’s individual needs, educational progress and achievement, the student’s ability to participate in instructional programs in regular education and the student’s continuing eligibility for special education.  The results of any reevaluations must be addressed by the CSE in reviewing and, as appropriate, revising the student’s IEP.

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Recommendation for Declassification

If the student has been receiving special education services, but it is determined by CSE that the student no longer needs special education services and can be placed in a regular educational program on a full-time basis, the recommendation shall:

  1. Identify the declassification support services, if any, to be provided to the student; and/or the student’s teachers; and
  2. Indicate the projected date of initiation of such services, the frequency of provision of such services, and the duration of these services, provided that such services shall not continue for more than one (1) year after the student enters the full-time regular education program.

Declassification Support Services

When appropriate, the District shall provide declassification support services to students who have moved from special education to a full-time regular educational program in accordance with the recommendation of the CSE.

Declassification support services means those services provided by persons appropriately certified pursuant to Part 80 of Commissioner’s Regulations, or holding a valid teaching license in the appropriate area of service, to a student or the student’s teacher to aid in the student’s move from special education to full-time regular education, including:

  1. For the student, psychological services, social work services, speech and language improvement services, noncareer counseling, and other appropriate support services; and
  2. For the student’s teacher, the assistance of a teacher aide or a teaching assistant, and consultation with appropriate personnel.

Procedural Safeguards Notice

The District shall use the procedural safeguards notice prescribed by the Commissioner of Education.  The District will further ensure that the procedural safeguards notice is provided in the native language of the parent or other mode of communication used by the parent, unless it is clearly not feasible to do so.  If the native language or other mode of communication of the parent is not a written language, the District shall take steps to ensure that the notice is translated orally or by other means to the parent in his/her native language or other mode of communication; that the parent understands the content of the notice; and that there is written evidence that all due process procedures, pursuant to law and/or regulation, have been met.

20 United States Code (USC) Sections 1400-1485, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

34 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 300

State Law – Education Law Sections 4401-4410-a

8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Sections 100.1(q), 100.2(u), 200.2(b)(8), 200.4(b)(4) and (5), 200.4(c)(3), 200.4(d)(1), and 200.5

Adopted:  11/16/05

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Policy 7618 District Policy Regarding Response to Intervention (RTI) Process

In accordance with Commissioner’s Regulations, the School District has established administrative practices and procedures for implementing District-wide initiatives that address a Response to Intervention (RTI) process applicable to all students. For students suspected of having a potential learning disability, the District will provide appropriate RTI services pursuant to Commissioner’s Regulations prior to a referral to the Committee on Special Education (CSE) for evaluation.

Minimum Requirements of District’s RTI Program

The District’s RTI process shall include the following basic components:

  1. Scientific, research-based instruction in reading and math provided to all students in the general education class by qualified personnel.  Instruction in reading, per Commissioner’s Regulations, shall mean scientific, research-based reading programs that include explicit and systematic instruction in phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary development, reading fluency (including oral reading skills) and reading comprehension strategies;
  2. Screenings shall be provided to all students in grades K-8 at least three (3) times per year to identify those students who are not making academic progress at expected rates;
  3. Scientific, research-based instruction matched to student’s targeted need with increasing levels of intensity for those students who do not make satisfactory progress in their levels of performance and/or in their rate of learning to meet age or grade level standards;
  4. Repeated assessments of targeted skill areas which should include curriculum based measures to determine if interventions are resulting in student progress toward age or grade level standards;
  5. A building-based team to establish at-risk criteria (cut scores), review screening data, and make decisions related to student performance and necessary interventions;
  6. Written notification to the parents when the student requires an intervention beyond that provided to all students in the general education classroom that provides information about:
    1. The amount and nature of student performance data that will be collected and the general education services that will be provided.
    2. Techniques, strategies, and/or programs that will be used to address deficit areas to increase the student’s rate of learning; and
    3. The parent’s right to request an evaluation for special education programs and/or services.

Structure of Response to Intervention Program

The District’s RTI program will consist of multiple tiers of instruction/assessments to address increasingly intensive levels of targeted intervention to promote early identification of student performance needs and/or rate of learning, and to help raise achievement levels for all students.

RTI Teams, whose members may include, but are not limited to regular education teachers, special education personnel, the school psychologist, reading and math specialists, designated administrators, and other individuals deemed appropriate by the District, will be available for each building/grade level classification to address the implementation of the District’s RTI process.

The RTI Team’s responsibilities shall include, but are not limited to the following:

  1. Identifying the interventions appropriate for each level of the tiered model and criteria for movement in and out of each level;
  2. Reviewing and analyzing data collected pursuant to this policy;
  3. Making decisions regarding the appropriateness of interventions used and the grouping of students to maximize effectiveness;
  4. Recommending changes in student’s instructional programs based upon the analysis of the data; and
  5. Determining whether students are making progress and when or if a referral to the CSE is appropriate.

Criteria for Determining the Levels of Intervention to be Provided to Students

All students in grades K-8 shall be assessed a minimum of three (3) times a year using DIBELS, AIMS-WEB, Scott Foresman placement tests, and Stanford reading test, in the general outcome areas of reading and math to identify those students who are at risk.

Students who score below the established benchmarks or below the cut score of 1 standard deviation below the mean on the DIBELS, and/or AIMS-WEB screening shall be considered for additional classroom or Tier II intervention.

Progress monitoring of students at risk shall be conducted weekly using DIBELS and/or AIMS-WEB to determine if the interventions are resulting in student progress toward established benchmarks and/or grade/age level standards.

Types of Interventions

The District will provide multiple tiers of increasingly intensive levels of targeted intervention and instruction for those students who do not make satisfactory progress in their levels of performance and/or in their rate of learning to meet age or grade level standards.

It is expected that use of the Tier Level of instruction will be specific to each student’s needs and will be an ongoing process, with students entering and exiting tiers of intervention according to the analysis of student performance data and progress monitoring.

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Tier I Instruction

Tier I instruction is provided to all students in the general education setting.  The use of scientific, research-based instruction in the areas of reading and math will be provided by the general education teacher and/or other qualified personnel as appropriate, and will emphasize proactive, preventative core instructional strategies in the classroom setting.  Classroom interventions in the form of additional learning and practice opportunities are provided as appropriate.

The analysis of Tier I student performance data will be used to identify those students who need additional intervention at the Tier II level of instruction.

Tier II Instruction

In general, Tier II instruction will consist of small group, targeted interventions for those students identified as being “at risk” who fail to make adequate progress in the general education classroom.  Tier II instruction will include programs and intervention strategies designed to supplement Tier I interventions provided to all students in the general education setting.

Tier II instruction may be provided by specialized staff such as reading and math teachers, tutors, speech therapists, school psychologists and/or school counselors as determined by the RTI Team.

Students who fail to demonstrate adequate progress in reading and/or math as determined by progress monitoring data shall receive targeted interventions in the specific areas of difficulty.  The frequency, duration, and intensity of the intervention will be modified based upon the student’s response and review of the assessment data.

Targeted interventions are research-based and implemented with integrity and fidelity consistent with identified area of need.  Intervention results are progress monitored on a consistent basis for the purpose of timely reviews by the teacher and the RTI team to determine adequate progress.  Data results shall be documented and lead to the termination or continuation of the intervention including extension of intervention duration at this Tier, long-term support or movement to a more intensive instructional approach.

At the conclusion of Tier II instruction, the RTI Team will review the student’s progress and make a determination as to whether Tier II interventions should be maintained; the student returned to the general education classroom if satisfactory progress is shown; or referred for Tier III instruction.

Tier III Instruction

Tier III instruction is the provision of more intensive instructional interventions, tailored to the needs of the individual student; and is provided to those students who do not achieve adequate progress after receiving interventions at the Tier II level.  Tier III instruction may include longer periods of intervention program and services than those provided in the first two Tiers based upon the significant needs of the student.

Tier III instruction will be provided by those specialists, as determined by the RTI Team, best qualified to address the individual student’s targeted area(s) of need.  If deemed appropriate by the Team, and in accordance with applicable law and regulation, a referral of the student may be made to the Committee on Special Education.  Based on the review of data, the Building Team shall determine whether a Tier III student is making adequate progress to meet age or grade level standards and requires long-term planning for continued success, or if a referral to the Committee on Special Education is needed for continuation of specialized instruction in reading or math.  Upon the recommendation of the Team that a student should be referred to the CSE, the District shall initiate a referral without delay.

Progress monitoring on a continuous basis is an integral part of Tier III; and the student’s response to the intervention process will determine the need/level of further intervention services and/or educational placement.

Amount and Nature of Student Performance Data to be Collected

The RTI Team will determine the amount and nature of student performance data that will be collected to assess, on an ongoing basis, student performance results and address ongoing academic needs as warranted.  Such data collection will reflect the Tier Level of intervention provided to the student.  Student performance data will also be used to review the District’s RTI program and make modifications to the program as deemed necessary.

The data collected shall reflect the general outcome areas of reading and math that are critical to student achievement and are aligned with State standards.

Manner and Frequency for Progress Monitoring

The RTI/Building Team shall monitor the progress of those students receiving intervention services beyond that provided to all students in the general education classroom.  The Team shall meet with the student’s teacher(s) and will determine if further adjustments need to be made to the student’s current instructional program and/or a change made to the Tier Level of intervention provided.  Monitoring of student progress shall be an ongoing part of the RTI program from the initial screening to completion of the RTI process as applicable.  Parents may also request that the progress of their child be reviewed by the RTI/Building Team.

Fidelity measures (e.g., an observational checklist of designated teaching behaviors in accordance with the RTI process being implemented) will also be completed by Team members to assess whether the intervention was implemented as intended and uniformly applied.  Clear benchmarks will be established for student performance and performance charts will be plotted at the completion of the instructional period/intervention process.

Staff Development

All staff members involved in the development, provision and/or assessment of the District’s RTI program, including both general education and special education instructional personnel, shall receive appropriate training necessary to implement the District’s RTI program.  Staff development will include the criteria for determining the levels of intervention provided to students, the specific intervention techniques, fidelity of implementation, collection of student performance data, and the manner and frequency for monitoring progress.

Parent Notification

Written notification shall be provided to parents when their child requires an intervention beyond that provided to all students in the general education classroom.  Such written notice shall include the following information:

  1. The amount and nature of student performance data that will be collected and the general education services that will be provided as part of the RTI process;
  2. Strategies for increasing the child’s rate of learning; and
  3. The parents’ right to request an evaluation for special education programs and/or services.

34 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Sections 300.309 and 300.311

Education Law Sections 3208, 4002, 4401, 4401-a, 4402, and 4410

8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Sections 100.2(ii), 200.2(b)(7), 200.4(j)(3)(i), and 200.4(j)(5)(i)(g)

Adopted: 03/19/08

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Policy 7619 Additional Procedures for Identifying Students With Learning Disabilities

In accordance with Regulations of the Commissioner of Education, the District will follow all applicable procedures for referral and evaluation of students suspected of having a learning disability, including the additional requirements enumerated in Commissioner’s Regulations Section 200.4(j) for identifying students with learning disabilities and determining eligibility for special education.

Per Commissioner’s Regulations, learning disability means a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, which manifests itself in an imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or to do mathematical calculations, as determined in accordance with Section 200.4(j). The term includes such conditions as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia and developmental aphasia. The term does not include learning problems that are primarily the result of visual, hearing or motor disabilities, of mental retardation, of emotional disturbance, or of environmental, cultural or economic disadvantage.

The individual evaluation must include information from an observation of the student in routine classroom instruction and monitoring of the student’s performance that was either done before the student was referred for an evaluation or from an observation of the student’s academic performance in the regular classroom after the student has been referred for an evaluation and parental consent is obtained.

The determination of eligibility for special education for a student suspected of having a learning disability must be made by the Committee on Special Education (CSE), which shall include the student’s regular education teacher and at least one person qualified to conduct individual diagnostic examinations of students (such as a school psychologist, teacher of speech and language disabilities, speech/language pathologist or reading teacher).

To ensure that underachievement in a student suspected of having a learning disability is not due to lack of appropriate instruction in reading or mathematics, the CSE must, as part of the evaluation procedures, consider whether the student has received appropriate instruction in reading and mathematics in the regular education setting by qualified personnel. The CSE must also consider data-based documentation of repeated assessments of achievement at reasonable intervals.

A student may be determined to have a learning disability if, when provided with learning experiences and instruction appropriate for the student’s age or State-approved grade-level standards, the student does not achieve adequately in one or more of the following areas: oral expression, listening comprehension, written expression, basic reading skills, reading fluency skills, reading comprehension, mathematics calculation, mathematics problem solving; and the student either does not make sufficient progress when using a process based on the student’s response to scientific, research-based intervention (Response to Intervention) or the student exhibits a pattern of strengths and weaknesses in performance, achievement, or both as determined by the CSE using appropriate assessments in accordance with Commissioner’s Regulations.

Written Report/Written Certification by CSE

When determining eligibility for a student suspected of having a learning disability, the CSE shall prepare a written report containing a statement of all the factors enumerated in Commissioner’s Regulations.

Each CSE member must certify in writing whether the above referenced written report reflects the member’s conclusion regarding the eligibility determination. If the report does not reflect the member’s conclusion, the CSE member must submit a separate statement presenting his/her conclusions.

8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Sections 100.2(ii), 200.1(pp), 200.1(zz)(6), 200.4(b), 200.4(c), 200.4(j), and 200.5(b)

Adopted:   03/19/08

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Policy 7620 Students with Disabilities Participating in School District Programs

All students with disabilities residing in the District, including those of preschool age, shall be provided with full access and opportunity to participate in School District programs, including extracurricular programs and activities, that are available to all other students enrolled in the public schools of the District. Parents/guardians of students with disabilities, including those students placed in out-of-District programs, shall receive timely notice of such District programs and activities.

8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Section 200.2(b)(1) and (2)

Adopted:  11/16/05

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Policy 7621 Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973

The Board of Education affirms its compliance with those sections of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 dealing with program accessibility.

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act prohibits discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities in federally assisted programs or activities solely on the basis of disability.  The District shall make its program and facilities accessible to all its students with disabilities.

The District shall also identify, evaluate and extend to every qualified student with a disability under Section 504 a free, appropriate public education, including modifications, accommodations, specialized instruction or related aids and services, as deemed necessary to meet their educational needs as adequately as the needs of non-disabled students are met.

The District official responsible for coordination of activities relating to compliance with Section 504 is the Superintendent of Schools.  This official shall provide information, including complaint procedures, to any person who feels his/her rights under Section 504 have been violated by the District or its officials.

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973,

29 United States Code (USC) Section 794 et seq.

NOTE: Refer also to Policy #7550 — Complaints and Grievances by Students

Adopted:  11/16/05

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Policy 7631 Appointment and Training of Committee on Special Education (CSE)/ Subcommittee on Special Education Members

Committee on Special Education (CSE) Membership

The Board of Education shall appoint a Committee on Special Education (CSE) whose membership shall include, but not be limited to, the following members:

  1. The parent(s) of the student;
  2. At least one (1) regular education teacher of such student (if the student is, or may be, participating in the regular education environment);
  3. At least one (1) special education teacher of the student, or, where appropriate, at least one (1) special education provider (i.e., related service provider) of such student;
  4. A representative of the School District who is qualified to provide or administer or supervise special education and who is knowledgeable about the general curriculum and about the availability of resources of the District;
  5. An individual who can interpret the instructional implications of evaluation results, who may be a CSE member selected from the regular education teacher, the special education teacher or provider, the school psychologist, or the School District representative described above, or a person having knowledge or special expertise regarding the student as determined by the District;
  6.  At the discretion of the parent or the District, other individuals who have knowledge or special expertise regarding the student, including related services personnel as appropriate.  The determination of knowledge or special expertise shall be made by the party (parents or School District) who invited the individual to be a member of the committee;
  7. Whenever appropriate, the student with a disability;
  8. A school psychologist;
  9. A school physician, if requested in writing at least seventy-two (72) hours prior to the meeting by the parents of the student or the School District; and
  10. An additional parent residing in the District who is a parent of a student with a disability, a parent of a student who has been classified and is no longer eligible for an individualized education program (IEP) or a parent of a disabled child who has graduated.  This parent member may serve for a period of five (5) years beyond the student’s declassification or graduation, provided that the parent shall not be employed by or under contract with the School District; and provided further that such parent shall not be a required member if the parents of the student request, in writing, that the additional parent member not participate in the meeting.

Subcommittee on Special Education Membership

The Board of Education shall appoint, as necessary, a Subcommittee on Special Education whose membership shall include, but not be limited to, the following members:

  1.  The parent(s) of the student;
  2. At least one (1) regular education teacher of such student (if the student is, or may be, participating in the regular education environment);
  3. At least one (1) special education teacher, of the student, or where appropriate, at least one (1) special education provider (i.e., related service provider) of such student;
  4. A representative of the School District who is qualified to provide or administer or supervise special education and who is knowledgeable about the general curriculum and about the availability of resources of the District;
  5. A school psychologist, whenever a new psychological evaluation is reviewed or a change to a program option with a more intensive staff/student ratio, as set forth in Section 200.6(f)(4) of the Regulations of the Commissioner, is considered;
  6. At the discretion of the parent or the Committee, other individuals who have knowledge or special expertise regarding the student, including related services personnel as appropriate.  The determination of knowledge or special expertise shall be made by the party (parents or School District) who invited the individual to be a member of the subcommittee;
  7. An individual who can interpret the instructional implications of evaluation results, who may be a member described in letters “b” through “f” of this subheading; and
  8. Whenever appropriate, the student with a disability

Training

The training of qualified personnel is essential to the effective implementation of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education regarding the education of all students with disabilities.

The CSE/CPSE Chairperson shall be responsible to the Superintendent for establishing administrative practices and procedures for training all District personnel responsible for carrying out the provisions of Part 200 of the Commissioner’s Regulations as well as members of the Committee on Special Education.

Education Law Section 4402

8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Sections 200.2(b)(3) and 200.3

20 United States Code (USC) Sections 1400-1485,

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

34 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR)

Sections 300.342-344

NOTE: Refer also to Policies  #7613 — The Role of the Board of Education in Implementing a Student’s Individualized Education Program

#7632 — Appointment and Training of Committee on Preschool Special Education Members

Adopted:  11/16/05

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Policy 7632 Appointment and Training of Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE) Members

Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE) Membership

The Board of Education shall appoint a Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE) whose membership shall include, but not be limited to, the following members:

  1. The parent(s) of the preschool child;
  2. At least one (1) regular education teacher of such child (if the child is, or may be, participating in the regular education environment);
  3. At least one (1) special education teacher of the child or, where appropriate, at least one (1) special education provider (i.e., related service provider) of such child;
  4. A representative of the School District who is qualified to provide, or supervise the provision of, special education and who is knowledgeable about the general curriculum and about the availability of preschool special education programs and services and other resources of the District and the municipality (who shall serve as Chairperson of the CPSE);
  5. An individual who can interpret the instructional implications of evaluation results, who may be a member of the team selected from the regular education teacher, the special education teacher or provider, the school psychologist, the School District representative described above, or a person having knowledge or special expertise regarding the student as determined by the District;
  6. At the discretion of the parent or the District, other individuals who have knowledge or special expertise regarding the child, including related services personnel as appropriate.  The determination of knowledge or special expertise shall be made by the party (parents or School District) who invited the individual to be a member of the committee;
  7. An additional parent of a child with a disability who resides in the School District and whose child is enrolled in a preschool or elementary level education program provided that such parent shall not be employed by or under contract with the School District or municipality; and provided further that such parent shall not be a required member if the parents of the child request, in writing, that the additional parent member not participate in the meeting;
  8. For a child’s transition from early intervention programs and services (Infant and Toddler Programs), the appropriately licensed or certified professional from the County Early Intervention Program. This professional must attend all meetings of the CPSE conducted prior to the child’s initial receipt of services; and
  9. A representative from the municipality of the preschool child’s residence.  Attendance of the appointee of the municipality is not required for a quorum.

Training

The training from qualified personnel is essential to the effective implementation of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education regarding the education of all students with disabilities.

The CSE/CPSE Chairperson shall be responsible to the Superintendent for establishing administrative practices and procedures for training all District personnel responsible for carrying out the provisions of Part 200 of the Commissioner’s Regulations as well as members of the Committee on Preschool Special Education.

Education Law Section 4410

20 United States Code (USC) Sections 1400-1485,

Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

34 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 300

8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Sections 200.2(b)(3) and 200.3

NOTE: Refer also to Policies #7613 — The Role of the Board of Education in Implementing a Student’s Individualized Education Program
#7614 — Preschool Special Education Program
#7631 — Committee on Special Education/Subcommittee on Special Education Members

Adopted:  11/16/05

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Policy 7640 Student Individualized Education Program (IEP):  Development and Provision

Development of Individualized Education Program

The Board of Education directs that the Committee on Special Education (CSE) or Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE) shall have prepared a written statement (program) for each child with a disability.

Such an Individualized Education Program (IEP) will be developed by the CSE or CPSE upon referral, and reviewed or revised, whichever is appropriate, for every child with a disability at least annually or in the event that the program no longer appears to be appropriate to meet the student’s needs and ability level.

Provision of Individualized Education Program

The Board of Education directs that the Superintendent/designee(s) establish administrative practices and procedures to ensure that each regular education teacher, special education teacher, related service provider and/or other service provider who is responsible for the implementation of a student’s IEP is provided a paper or electronic copy of such student’s IEP prior to the implementation of such program.  For purposes of this policy, “other service provider” means a representative of another public school district, charter school, Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) or school enumerated in Articles 81, 85 or 89 of the Education Law where the student receives or will receive IEP services.  Further, the District will designate at least one school official who shall be responsible for maintaining a record of the personnel who have received IEP copies for each student.

Any copy of a student’s IEP shall remain confidential in compliance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, and District policy regarding confidentiality of student records; and shall not be disclosed to any other person other than the parent of such student, except in accordance with federal and state laws and/or regulations. Appropriate training and information will be provided to designated school personnel, as applicable, to ensure the confidentiality of such information.  Procedures will be established to ensure that copies of students’ IEPs are stored in secure locations and retrieved or destroyed when such professionals are no longer responsible for implementing a student’s IEP.

The Chairperson of the CSE, CSE subcommittee, or CPSE shall designate for each student one or, as appropriate, more than one professional employee of the School District with knowledge of the student’s disability and education program who will be responsible to, prior to the implementation of the IEP, inform each regular education teacher, special education teacher, related service provider, other service provider, supplementary school personnel and other provider and support staff person of his/her responsibility to implement the recommendations on a  student’s IEP, including the responsibility to provide specific accommodations, program modifications, supports and/or services for the student in accordance with the IEP.  In selecting the professional staff person(s), the Chairperson could select him/herself for this responsibility, another administrator, or a teacher, related service provider or other professional based on the particular circumstances of the student’s disability and education program.

The School District shall also ensure that each teaching assistant, teacher aide and each other provider responsible for assisting in the implementation of a student’s IEP has the opportunity to review a copy of the student’s IEP prior to the implementation of such program.  Further, each paraprofessional and such other provider responsible for assisting in the implementation of a student’s IEP shall have ongoing access to a copy of the IEP, which may be the copy provided to the student’s special education teacher or the teacher or related service provider under whose direction the supplementary school personnel or other provider works.  However, the District may, at its discretion, provide a copy of the IEP to teaching assistants and/or teacher aides.

A copy of a student’s IEP shall be provided to the student’s parents at no cost to the student’s parents.

Individual Re-evaluations of Individualized Education Program

A committee on special education (CSE/CPSE) shall arrange for an appropriate re-evaluation of each student with a disability if conditions warrant a re-evaluation, or if the student’s parent or teacher requests the re-evaluation; however, a re-evaluation must take place at least once every three years.  The re-evaluation will be conducted by a multi-disciplinary team or group of persons, including at least one teacher or other specialist with knowledge in the area of the student’s disability.  The re-evaluation shall be sufficient to determine the student’s individual needs, educational progress and achievement, the student’s ability to participate in instructional programs in regular education and the student’s continuing eligibility for special education.  The results of any re-evaluations must be addressed by the CSE/CPSE in reviewing, and as appropriate, revising the student’s IEP.

Use of Recording Equipment at IEP Meetings

The Board of Education shall allow recording equipment to be used at meetings regarding individualized education programs for students with disabilities.

Education Law Section 4402(7)

Education Law Articles 81, 85 and 89

8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Sections 200.1(hh), 200.2(b)(11), 200.4(b)(4), 200.4(e)(3), 200.4(f), and 200.16(e)(6)

Adopted:  11/16/05

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Policy 7641 Transition Services

The Board of Education will provide transition services for students with disabilities who are fifteen (15) and older (and at a younger age if determined appropriate).  Additionally, beginning at age fourteen (14), and updated annually, the student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) must include a statement of transition service needs under the applicable components of the student’s IEP that focuses on the student’s courses of study.  As defined by the Commissioner’s Regulations, transition services means a coordinated set of activities for a student with a disability, designed within an outcome-oriented process, that promotes movement from a school to post-school activities. Post-school activities include, but are not limited to, post-secondary education, vocational training, integrated competitive employment (including supported employment), continuing and adult education, adult services, independent living, or community participation.  The coordinated set of activities must be based on the individual student’s needs, taking into account the student’s preferences and interests and shall include needed activities in the following areas:

  1. Instruction;
  2. Related services;
  3. Community experiences;
  4. The development of employment and other post-school adult living objectives; and
  5. If appropriate, acquisition of daily living skills and functional vocational evaluation.

20 United States Code (USC) Sections 1400-1485,

Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

34 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR)

Sections 300.343, 300.347 and 300.348

Education Law Section 4401

8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR)

Sections 200.d, 200.4(c)(2)(v), 200.4(c)(4), 200.4(fff) and 200.5(c)(2)(viii)

Adopted:  11/16/05

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Policy 7642 Twelve Month Special Services and/or Programs

The School District shall provide, directly or by contract, special services and/or programs during July and August to those students whose disabilities are severe enough to exhibit the need for a structured learning environment of twelve (12) months duration in order to prevent substantial regression as determined by the Committee on Special Education or Committee on Preschool Special Education.  Written consent of the parent is required prior to initial provision of special education services in a twelve-month special service and/or program.

8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Sections 200.1(qq), 200.5(b)(1)(iii), 200.6(j) and 200.16(h)(3)(v)

Adopted:  11/16/05

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Policy 7650 Identification and Register of Children with Disabilities

The School District of residence is required to locate and identify all students with disabilities who reside in the District with the exception of students with disabilities who are parentally placed in nonpublic schools outside the district of residence, including students who do not attend public school.  Therefore, it is the policy of the Board of Education to conduct a census in order to have all children with disabilities within its jurisdiction under the age of twenty-one (21) identified, located and evaluated, including children of preschool age, homeless children, children who are wards of the State as defined in Commissioner’s Regulations and children in all public and private agencies and institutions.

Procedures must be established to locate, identify and evaluate all nonpublic elementary and secondary school students with disabilities, including religious-school children, to ensure the equitable participation of parentally placed private school students with disabilities and an accurate count of such students.  The District will consult with representatives of private schools and representatives of parents of parentally placed private school students on the child find process.  Any student suspected of having a disability is to be referred to the applicable Committee on Special Education (CSE) for evaluation and possible identification as a students with disability.

Census data shall be reported by October 1 to the Committee on Special Education (CSE)/Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE) as appropriate.  The CSE/CPSE will maintain and revise annually a register and related summary reports containing the data requirements indicated in Commissioner’s Regulations including the number of students enrolled in private schools by their parents who are evaluated to determine if they are students with disabilities, the number of such students who are determined to have a disability and the number who received special education services.

Nonpublic School Students with Disabilities Who are Parentally Placed

If the School District boundaries encompass a nonpublic school, the District, as the district of location, must develop and implement methods to identify, locate and ensure the identification and evaluation of students with disabilities who have been, or are going to be, parentally placed in such nonpublic school.

The child find activities must be similar to activities for students with disabilities in the public schools and must be completed in a time period comparable to that for other students attending public schools in the School District.

As the public school district of location, the District must consult with the nonpublic schools where students are parentally placed to determine an accurate count of students with disabilities attending such schools and receiving special education services.

The new requirements do not pertain to parental placements of preschool children with disabilities in private day care or preschool programs or to CSE placements of students with disabilities in approved private schools, Special Act School Districts, and State-supported or State-operated schools, nor does it apply to Charter schools.  These requirements only pertain to students with disabilities parentally placed in elementary and secondary nonpublic schools.

Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement

Act of 2004 [Public Law 108-446 Section 6121

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA),

20 United Stated Code (USC) Section 1400 et seq.

34 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR)_Part 300

Education Law Sections 3240-3242, 3602-c(2-a) and 4402(1)(a)

8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Sections 200.2(a) and 200.4

NOTE: Refer also to Policy #7160 — School Census

Adopted:   11/16/05
Amended: 02/06/08

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Policy 7651 Provision of Special Education Services to Nonpublic School Students With Disabilities Who Are Parentally Placed

Beginning with the 2007-2008 school year, the Cooperstown Central School District is responsible for child find, including individual evaluations, Committee on Special Education (CSE) meetings, provision of special education services, and due process to parentally placed nonpublic school students attending nonpublic schools located in the geographic region of the public school district.

The new requirements do not pertain to parental placements of preschool children with disabilities in private day care or preschool programs or to CSE placements of students with disabilities in approved private schools, Special Act School Districts, and State-supported or State-operated schools, nor does it apply to Charter schools. These requirements only pertain to students with disabilities parentally placed in elementary and secondary nonpublic schools.

Parental Consent Needed by the School District of Location

Federal law and regulations require the following:

  1. If a student with a disability is parentally placed, or is going to be parentally placed in a nonpublic school that is not located in the school district where the student legally resides, parental consent must be obtained by the school district of location before any personally identifiable information about the student is shared between officials in the public school district of residence and officials in the public school district of location. Therefore, parent consent is required before sharing Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) and other education records between the district of residence and the district of location.
  2. If a parent who has placed a student with a disability in a nonpublic school at his/her own expense does not provide consent for the initial evaluation or the reevaluation, or the parent fails to respond to a request to provide consent, the district of location may not use the due process hearing to override lack of parental consent; and the district of location is not required to consider the student as eligible for special education services.

Consultation Requirements with Nonpublic Schools

The school district of location must consult with nonpublic school representatives and representatives of parents of parentally placed nonpublic school students with disabilities enrolled in nonpublic elementary and secondary schools located within the boundaries of the school district.  The school district must engage in consultation regarding the child find process and services generally; consultation is not specific to individual students.  Individual services are determined by the CSE.  The consultation process must be timely and meaningful and include discussion of the following topics:

Child Find

The child find process must include discussion on how parentally placed nonpublic school students suspected of having a disability can participate equitably, including the procedures to be followed by the district of location and nonpublic school to identify students who may have disabilities.

Provision of Special Education Services

Consultation must address how, where and by whom special education and related services will be provided to such students, including a discussion of types of services, such as direct services and alternate service delivery mechanisms.

If the school district disagrees with the views of the nonpublic school officials on the provision of services or the types of services, whether provided directly or through a contract, the school district shall provide to the nonpublic school officials a written explanation of the reasons why the school district chose not to provide services directly or through a contract.

Use of Federal Funds

Consultation must also include determination of the proportionate amount of federal funds available to serve parentally placed nonpublic school students with disabilities, including the determination of how the amount was calculated.

School districts must obtain a written affirmation signed by the representatives of participating private schools that timely and meaningful consultation has occurred.  If such representatives do not provide the required affirmation within a reasonable time period, a school district may forward documentation of the consultation process to the State Education Department.

Child Find Requirements (Including Individual Evaluations and Reevaluations)

Child find is the practical method the public school district of location will develop and implement to identify, locate and ensure the evaluation and identification of students with disabilities who are parentally placed in nonpublic schools. The child find activities must be similar to activities undertaken for students with disabilities in the public schools and must be completed in a time period comparable to that for other students attending public schools in the school district. The child find obligations also include parentally placed nonpublic school children who reside outside New York State.

The district of location must have procedures for conducting evaluations and reevaluations of students enrolled in nonpublic schools located within their district within required timeframes and at no cost to parents. The reevaluation requirements apply to all eligible parentally placed nonpublic school students with disabilities, even those not currently receiving services.

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Development of Individualized Education Programs (IEPs)/Individualized Education Services Programs (IESPs) and Provision of Special Education Services for New York State Resident Students

The CSE of the district of location will be responsible to develop an Individualized Education Program (IEP)/Individualized Education Services Program (IESP) for New York State students with disabilities enrolled by their parents in nonpublic schools located in the geographic region of the public school. It is called an IESP to distinguish it from the IEP that would be developed if the student were enrolled in the public school district where he/she resides.  The IESP developed for parentally placed nonpublic school students must be developed consistent with the manner in which the IEPs of all students with disabilities are developed and the services to be provided cannot be determined based on the proportionate share of federal funds. The CSE of the district of location must ensure that a representative of the nonpublic school where the student attends is included in the meeting where the IESP is developed. If the representative cannot attend, the school district must use other methods to ensure participation by the private school, including individual or conference telephone calls. The IESP must be reviewed periodically, but not less than annually.

The school district of location is also responsible to provide special education services pursuant to the IESP developed for each eligible student. The parent must request special education services in writing to the school district by June 1 preceding the school year for which the request for services is made. Exceptions to the June 1 request for services deadline must be provided in accordance with law.

The parents of a private school student with disabilities must submit a written request for such services to the Board of Education of the school district of location on or before June 1 preceding the school year for which the request is made.

  1. Where a student is first identified as a student with a disability after June 1 preceding the school year for which the request is made, and prior to April 1 of such current school year, the request must be submitted within 30 days after the student is first identified.
  2.  But for students first identified after March 1 of the current school year, any request for services submitted on or after April 1 of such current year will be deemed a request for services in the following school year.

School districts of location that provide services to non-resident students who are New York State residents may recover costs of services, evaluation, and CSE administration directly from a students’ school district of resident, if parental consent is obtained for the release of personally identifiable information about the student.

  1. Absent such parental consent, school districts of location must submit a claim to the Commissioner in a form prescribed by the Commissioner that includes the address of the student’s permanent residence (including the student’s school district of residence), and a certification by school officials at the private school attended by the student that such address is the student’s address of record.  Upon certification by the Commissioner of the amount of the claim, the State Comptroller will deduct such amount from any State funds due to the student’s school district of residence.
  2. The amount charged by a school district of location may not exceed the actual cost to that district after deducting any costs paid with federal or State funds.
  3. he Commissioner of Education will establish a dispute resolution mechanism for use when a school district of resident disagrees with the amount of tuition or costs charged by the school district of location.

Transportation

If special education services are to be provided to a student at a site other than the nonpublic school, the district of location is responsible to provide the special education services, including, as applicable, arranging and providing transportation necessary for the student to receive special education services.  The proportionate share of IDEA Part B dollars could be used for such purpose.

The school district of residence remains responsible to provide transportation to parentally placed nonpublic school students from the student’s home to the nonpublic school.

Services Plans for Out-of-State Children

Out-of- State Students Attending New York State Schools

The school district of location must provide, as appropriate, special education services to an eligible student who legally resides in another State and who is parentally placed in a nonpublic school located in New York State. The services to be provided to out-of-State students must be documented on a Services Plan that is developed by the CSE of the district of location.  The Services Plan is the written plan that describes the specific special education and related services that the district of location will provide to the student, consistent with the services that the school district of location has determined through the consultation process and in relation to the proportionate shares of federal IDEA Part B dollars, to be provided to the student.

The Services Plan must, to the extent appropriate, be developed, reviewed and revised by the CSE of school district of location consistent with the requirements for development of an IEP. The parent(s) of the student must be invited to the meeting and the district of location must also ensure that a representative of the nonpublic school where the student attends be included in the meeting where the services plan is developed. If the nonpublic school representative cannot attend, the school district must use other methods to ensure participation by the nonpublic school, including individual or conference telephone calls. The services plan must be reviewed periodically, but not less than annually.

New York State Resident Students Attending Out-of-State Schools

The parents of a New York State resident student who place their child in a non-public school in another State must contact the school district in the other State where the school is located to determine their child’s eligibility for services.  The out-of-state district is responsible for developing a Services Plan which will indicate the services to which the child is entitled.

Services provided to private school students with disabilities, including materials and equipment, must be secular, neutral and non-ideological.

Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (Public Law 108-446)

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), 20 United States Code (USC) Section 1400 et seq.

34 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 300

Education Law Sections 3242, 3602-c, 4401-a, 4402, 4404, 4405, and 4410-b

8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Part 200

Adopted:  03/19/08

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Policy 7660 Parent Involvement for Children with Disabilities

The Board of Education recognizes the rights of the parent/guardian to be fully informed of all information relevant to the identification, or change in identification, evaluation and educational placement of a child with a disability.

All due process procedures for parents/guardians and children in the Commissioner’s Regulations shall be observed by the School District.

Surrogate Parents

In the event that no parent or guardian for a child with a disability can be identified or after reasonable efforts, the whereabouts of the parent or guardian cannot be determined, or the child with a disability is a ward of the state, the Board shall assign an individual to act as a surrogate for the parents or guardians.  The person selected as a surrogate shall have no interest that conflicts with the interest of the child he/she represents, and shall have knowledge and skills that ensure adequate representation of the child.

It is the duty of the School District to determine whether a child needs a surrogate parent and to assign a surrogate parent in the manner permitted under New York State law.

Education Law Sections 4401 and 4402

8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Section 200.5

Adopted:  11/16/05

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Policy 7670 Impartial Hearings/Selection of Impartial Hearing Officers

The School District is committed to making every effort to amicably resolve differences involving the educational programs for students with disabilities.  When outside assistance is needed to aid in resolving a disagreement about the identification, evaluation, educational placement or provision of a free appropriate education for a student with a disability, mediation is encouraged.  For those exceptional circumstances where a more formal method is required, the impartial hearing process will be utilized.  The impartial hearing officer (IHO) renders a written decision after the parties present and refute evidence before him/her.  The decision of the IHO is final and binding on both parties unless appealed to the State Review Officer (SRO).

Impartial Hearing Process/Prehearing Conference

The following is an overview of the impartial hearing process/prehearing conference:

  1. Either the parent or the School District may request an impartial hearing.  If a parent makes the request, it must be in writing to the Board of Education describing the nature of the dispute and a proposed resolution of the problem.  The District will provide a form for this purpose.  However, the District may not deny or delay a parent’s right to an impartial hearing if the written request is not complete. If the District is the party initiating an impartial hearing, the District will provide prior written notice to the parent including a statement of the action proposed and any explanation of why the District proposes to take such action.
  2. Upon receipt of or initiation of a request for an impartial hearing, the District will inform the parent of the availability of mediation, of any free or low-cost legal and other relevant services available in the area, and provide the parent with a copy of the District’s Procedural Safeguards Notice.
  3. The District must immediately [but not later than two (2) business days after receipt of the written request for the hearing] initiate the process to select an IHO.  The District selects the IHO through a rotational selection process in accordance with regulatory timelines. The Superintendent’s Secretary/District Clerk will be responsible for contacting IHOs and maintaining appropriate records.
  4. The IHO must be certified by the Commissioner of Education, be independent and have access to the support and equipment necessary to perform the duties of an IHO. When the selected IHO indicates availability, the Board of Education must immediately appoint him/her. To expedite this process, the Board may designate one (1) or more of its members to appoint the IHO on behalf of the Board.
  5. The IHO may not accept appointment unless he/she is available to initiate the hearing within the first fourteen (14) days of being appointed.
  6. The hearing, or a prehearing conference, shall be scheduled to begin within the first fourteen (14) days of the IHO’s appointment, unless an extension is granted pursuant to Commissioner’s Regulations.
  7. The hearing will be conducted at a time and location that is reasonable and convenient to the parent and the student involved.  The hearing shall be closed to the public unless the parent requests an open hearing.
  8. The role and responsibilities of the IHO will be as enumerated in Commissioner’s Regulations.
  9. The student shall remain in his/her current placement during the pendency of the impartial hearing unless both parties agree or except as otherwise provided for expedited impartial hearings for certain disciplinary suspensions or removals of a student.
  10. The IHO renders and forwards the finding of fact and decision to the parties and to the State Education Department in accordance with regulatory timelines.
  11. The decision of the IHO is final and binding on both parties unless appealed to the State Review Officer (SRO).

Recordkeeping and Reporting

The District will utilize the New York State Education Department’s Impartial Reporting System (IHRS) to access the alphabetical list of the names of each IHO who is certified in New York State and available to serve in the District.  The District will record and report to the State Education Department required information relating to the selection of IHO’s and the conduct of impartial hearings according to the manner and schedule specified by the Department.  The Superintendent shall designate a staff member(s) who will be responsible for reporting such information as required relating to the impartial hearing process into the State Education Department’s web-based reporting system.

Compensation of Impartial Hearing Officers

The Cooperstown Central School District shall pay certified Impartial Hearing Officers an hourly rate of $100 for pre-hearing, hearing and post hearing activities.  At the conclusion of the hearing, the Impartial Hearing Officer shall submit to the District an itemized record describing the services performed and the time required.

The District shall not be responsible for “cancellation fees” imposed by an Impartial Hearing Officer.  The District shall attempt to provide an Impartial Hearing Officer with two (2) business days advance notice of the cancellation or re-scheduling of an impartial hearing.  Should the District request the cancellation or re-scheduling of a hearing date and the District fails to provide an Impartial Hearing Officer with two (2) business days notice, the District agrees to pay the Impartial Hearing Officer a fee of $100.  The District shall not be responsible for costs associated with a parent or guardian’s cancellation or adjournment of a hearing.

An Impartial Hearing Officer shall be reimbursed by the District for the necessary expenses associated with the hearing including:

  1. Mileage at the IRS rate;
  2. Tolls;
  3. Reasonable overnight accommodations and reasonable meal expenses when hearing dates are scheduled for two or more continuous dates and the Impartial Hearing Officer would be required to travel 120 or more miles between his/her residence and the hearing location.

An Impartial Hearing Officer shall be required to submit receipts for out-of-pocket expenses to the District for reimbursement.

As a practice, the District shall not pay for expedited transcripts of an impartial hearing.  Should, however, a hearing officer determine that an expedited transcript is required for the hearing officer to fulfill his/her duties, the District shall pay for the same.

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Mediation

Mediation is voluntary and does not deny or delay a parent’s right to an impartial hearing.  If mediation is initiated after a request for an impartial hearing has been received, the impartial hearing must continue unless the request for the impartial hearing is withdrawn.  However, a party may request an extension to an impartial hearing in order to pursue mediation.

Guardians ad Litem at Impartial Hearings

Unless a surrogate parent has been previously appointed, the IHO must appoint a guardian ad litem when he/she determines that the interests of the parent(s) are opposed to or are inconsistent with those of the student or whenever the interests of the student would be best protected by such appointment.

Confidentiality

All issues relating to a request for and conduct of an impartial hearing must be kept confidential by all District staff.

Administrative Procedures

Administrative procedures will be developed for the selection and appointment of an IHO consistent with regulatory requirements.

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

20 United States Code (USC) Sections 1400-1485

34 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 300

Education Law Sections 4404(1) and 4410(7)

8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Sections 200.1, 200.2, 200.5, 200.16, 200.21, and 201.11

Adopted:  11/16/05

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Policy 7680 Independent Educational Evaluations

Parents of children with disabilities have the right under Federal and State regulations to obtain an independent evaluation at public expense under certain conditions. Regulatory standards are outlined in New York State Regulations of the Commissioner of Education Part 200.5(g). Additionally, the Federal Regulations (34 Code of Federal Regulations [CFR] 300.503) specify requirements for an independent evaluation.

Administrative regulations on independent evaluations will be developed in order to explain the rights of parents and the responsibilities of school districts with regard to independent evaluations, and also to avoid any misunderstandings.

8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Sections 200.1(z) and 200.5(g)

34 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR)

Sections 300.12 and 300.503

Adopted:  11/16/05

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Policy 7690 Special Education Mediation

The District will offer mediation as an alternative to the impartial hearing process in disputes regarding the provision of a free, appropriate public education for students identified by the Committee on Special Education (CSE) or Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE) as having a disability, or students suspected of having a disability.  Such mediation shall be conducted by mediators furnished by a Community Dispute Resolution Center who are not employees of a school district or program serving students with disabilities.  Mediators may not have a personal or professional interest which would conflict with their objectivity in the mediation process.

Parents or persons in parental relation to students suspected of or having disabilities will receive written notice of the availability of the mediation program each time they receive notice of their entitlement to the impartial hearing procedures in accordance with Federal and State law and regulations.

Mediation will not operate to diminish or limit any rights provided for in law, including the right of the parent or person in parental relation to request an impartial hearing subsequent to mediation. Parents or persons in parental relation to students suspected of or having disabilities continue to have full access to all rights, including due process procedures, provided for in federal and state laws and regulations.  Similarly, mediation shall not be construed to limit a parent or person in parental relation from requesting an impartial hearing without having first utilized mediation procedures set forth in Education Law.

34 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Sections 300.500-300.515

Education Law Section 4404-a

Judiciary Law Section 849a

8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Sections 200.1 and 200.5

Adopted:  11/16/05

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