Series: Series4000     Sub Series: 4000     Policy Number: 4010          Printer Friendly (opens in new window/tab)



Title 

EQUIVALENCE IN INSTRUCTIONAL STAFF AND MATERIALS

Policy Text 

In accordance with federal regulations, the Board of Education will ensure equivalence among district schools in teachers, administrators, and auxiliary personnel; and in the provision of curricular materials and instructional supplies.  The Superintendent of Schools shall follow the State Education Department guidelines in determining such equivalence on an annual basis, and report to the Board each year on the status of district schools with regard to equivalence.

 

Cross-ref:        1900, Parental Involvement – Title I

 

4325, Compensatory Education

 

6231, Title I/PSEN Programs and Services

 

 

Ref:     34 CFR §200.43(c)(1)(i) (ESEA Title I Program in Local Educational Agencies)

 

State Education Department, Office of School Improvement Grants Management and Compliance, Consolidated Application and Applicant's Guide and Instructions for Consolidated Application

 
District Reference  ,
 
General Reference 

34 CFR §200.43(c)(1)(i) (ESEA Title I Program in Local Educational Agencies)
State Education Department, Office of School Improvement Grants Management and Compliance, Consolidated Application and Applicant's Guide and Instructions for Consolidated Application

 
 
Adoption Date 2002-05-14
 
Last Revised 2014-10-28



Series: Series4000     Sub Series: 4100 ORGANIZATION OF INSTRUCTION     Policy Number: 4110          Printer Friendly (opens in new window/tab)



Title 

SCHOOL CALENDAR

Policy Text 

The Board of Education will adopt a school calendar for each school year. The calendar will be worked out in conjunction with the other schools in the Dutchess County BOCES and follow the Dutchess County calendar as closely as possible.

 
District Reference  ,
 
General Reference 

Education Law §§3015(2); 3101(3); 3204(4); 3604(7-8) 
8 NYCRR Part 175 

 
 
Adoption Date 2002-05-14
 
Last Revised 



Series: Series4000     Sub Series: 4100 ORGANIZATION OF INSTRUCTION     Policy Number: 4112          Printer Friendly (opens in new window/tab)



Title 

SCHOOL DAY

Policy Text 

The Board of Education will determine the length of the school day in accordance with regulations of the Commissioner of Education.

The length of the school day in the elementary schools will be at least five hours exclusive of the time allowed for lunch; and in the secondary school, at least five and one half hours exclusive of the time allowed for lunch.

 
District Reference  ,
 
General Reference 
 
 
Adoption Date 2002-05-14
 
Last Revised 



Series: Series4000     Sub Series: 4200 CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT     Policy Number: 4200          Printer Friendly (opens in new window/tab)



Title 

CURRICULUM AND PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT

Policy Text 

The Board of Education supports a collaborative approach to curriculum and program development. Accordingly, the Superintendent will ensure the appropriate inclusion of building principals, teachers, students and the community in the development of curricula and programs that meet the New York State Learning Standards and the school district community needs. The Superintendent shall promote a continuing review and upgrading of such curricula and programs.

Curriculum Development

The Superintendent shall be responsible for curriculum development through the Administration and staff. Curriculum changes shall be submitted to the Board of Education for final adoption in accordance with law.

Adoption of New Programs and Schedule Changes

In order to foster experimentation with new educational programs and schedules designed to improve the overall quality of the education program, the Board will hear a presentation by the Superintendent or his/her representative and will approve a trial period of not more than three years for any program changes and major schedule changes (e.g. Long Block, Semester Block, Summer Program, After School Programs, etc.), subject to the following conditions:

1) All changes shall be reviewed by an appropriate shared decision making committee chosen by the Superintendent;

2) A written plan shall be submitted to the Board that clearly identifies:

a) An educational deficiency or program improvement desired;

b) The specific actions to be taken and how they will address the present deficiency;

c) The specific means to objectively evaluate the effectiveness of the changes planed;

d) The opinion of the appropriate shared decision making committee;

3) The plan must be communicated to the parents of children that will be affected, including the children of the next school year;

4) Budgetary and collective negotiations issues must be resolved before implementation.

5) The changes recommended must be in compliance with the laws, rules and regulations of the State of New York.

At the conclusion of a trial period, the Board shall decide upon permanent adoption of the changes or direct that they be rescinded. The Board may extend an initial trail period up to an additional three-year trial period.

 
District Reference  ,
 
General Reference 

Education Law §§1709(3); 1711(5)

 
 
Adoption Date 2002-06-11
 
Last Revised 



Series: Series4000     Sub Series: 4300 CURRICULUM     Policy Number: 4311.1          Printer Friendly (opens in new window/tab)



Title 

DISPLAY OF THE FLAG

Policy Text 

The district shall provide for the display of the United States flag upon or near every school building. There shall be a flag on display in every assembly room of every school.

The flag shall be flown at full- or half-staff pursuant to law. In addition, the flag may be flown at half-staff to commemorate the death of a present or former Board member, employee, or student.

Consistent with national and state law and regulations and this policy, the Superintendent of Schools shall develop rules and regulations for the proper custody, care and display of the flag.

 
District Reference  ,
 
General Reference 

Education Law §§418; 419; 420; 802 
Executive Law, Article 19
8 NYCRR Part 108
Lapolla v. Dullaghann, 63 Misc 2d 157 (1970) 

 
 
Adoption Date 2002-05-14
 
Last Revised 



Series: Series4000     Sub Series: 4300 CURRICULUM     Policy Number: 4314          Printer Friendly (opens in new window/tab)



Title 

OCCUPATIONAL EDUCATION

Policy Text 

Occupational education will be available through the Dutchess County BOCES. The curriculum at the Dutchess County BOCES Vocational-Technical Center will be supplemented with required instruction at the student’s home school.

Bus transportation will be provided and required to be used by secondary students. With special permission, a student may be exempted from using school transportation only with written parental consent and approval by a district administrator.

The final responsibility for the behavior and welfare of secondary school students attending the Vocational-Technical Center will rest with the administration of the student’s home school.

 
District Reference  ,
 
General Reference 

Education Law §§1001 et seq.; 2045(2); 3602(17)(34); 3602-c; 4601 et seq. 
8 NYCRR §§100.2(h); 141 et seq.

 
 
Adoption Date 2002-05-14
 
Last Revised 



Series: Series4000     Sub Series: 4300 CURRICULUM     Policy Number: 4315.1          Printer Friendly (opens in new window/tab)



Title 

AIDS INSTRUCTION

Policy Text 

In compliance with the regulations of the Commissioner of Education, the district will provide classroom instruction concerning Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) as part of a sequential and comprehensive health program for all students, K-12. Instruction must be offered during regularly scheduled classes. Such instruction will be age-appropriate, and include the following information:

1. the nature of the disease;

2. methods of transmission of the disease; and

3. methods of prevention of the disease (stressing abstinence as the most effective and appropriate protection against AIDS).

The district shall provide sufficient advance written notice to the parents/guardians of all students scheduled to receive AIDS instruction. A student may be excused from that segment of AIDS instruction regarding methods of prevention of the disease if his/her parent/guardian files a written request with the building principal. The request must give assurance that such instruction will be given at home.

The Board shall establish an advisory council which shall be responsible for making recommendations on content, implementation, and evaluation of the AIDS instructional program. The advisory council must consist of Board members, appropriate school personnel, parents and community representatives, including representatives from religious organizations.

 
District Reference  ,
 
General Reference 

Education Law §3204(5) 
8 NYCRR §§16.2; 135.3
Ware v. Valley Stream High School District, 75 NY2d 114 (1989)
New York State School Boards Association v. Sobol, 168 AD2d 188 (1991)
Matter of Ware, 28 EDR 415 (1989)

 
 
Adoption Date 2002-05-14
 
Last Revised 



Series: Series4000     Sub Series: 4300 CURRICULUM     Policy Number: 4315.2          Printer Friendly (opens in new window/tab)



Title 

SAFETY EDUCATION

Policy Text 

The Board of Education shall ensure that instruction is provided in the district’s schools on traffic regulations, highway and bicycle safety, fire and arson prevention, home safety, recreational safety, industrial and occupational safety, and school safety. Building Principals shall expand safety instruction as necessary.

 
District Reference  ,
 
General Reference 

Education Law §§806; 808; 809-a 
8 NYCRR §§100.2(c)(4); 107.1

 
 
Adoption Date 2002-05-14
 
Last Revised 



Series: Series4000     Sub Series: 4300 CURRICULUM     Policy Number: 4317          Printer Friendly (opens in new window/tab)



Title 

TEACHING ABOUT DRUGS, ALCOHOL, TOBACCO

Policy Text 

The Board of Education and the professional staff shall promote the education of students and school district staff about the dangers of the illegal use of drugs and the abuse of alcohol and tobacco. Instruction will include sessions about the causes and effects of drug, alcohol and tobacco abuse, especially in young people. In addition, all high school students will receive instruction on the dangers of driving while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.

 
District Reference  ,
 
General Reference 

Education Law §804 
8 NYCRR §§100.2(c)(3)

 
 
Adoption Date 2002-05-14
 
Last Revised 



Series: Series4000     Sub Series: 4300 CURRICULUM     Policy Number: 4321          Printer Friendly (opens in new window/tab)



Title 

PROGRAMS FOR STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES UNDER IDEA AND ARTICLE 89

Policy Text 

The district shall make available to all students eligible under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and Article 89 of the Education Law, and their implementing regulations, a free appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment appropriate to meet their individual needs.

The Board acknowledges its responsibility to offer, at public expense, special education and related services which are designed to provide educational benefits to students in conformity with their individualized education program. Special education services or programs will be designed to enable a student with disabilities to be involved in and progress in the general education curriculum, to the extent appropriate to his/her needs.

Consistent with the requirements of federal and state law and regulations, the Board will:

1. Appoint a committee on special education (CSE), and as appropriate, CSE subcommittees to assure the identification and placement of eligible students with disabilities.

2. Based upon the recommendation of the CSE, arrange for special education programs within legally prescribes time frames. Should it disagree with the recommendation of the CSE, the Board, upon notice to the parents involved, and in accordance with the procedures set forth in the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education, may forward its concerns to the CSE, or reconvene a second CSE for review of and revisions to the original recommendation as appropriate.

Testing and evaluation procedures will be used for the identification and placement of students with disabilities, which meet the requirements of federal and state law and regulations. As part of the periodic reevaluation of a student with disabilities, the CSE will determine if the child continues to have a particular category of disability, or continued need for special education and related services. The continued eligibility for services of a student previously classified as a student with disabilities will be determined in accordance with the procedures set forth in federal and state law and regulations.

Parents of students with disabilities and their children will be provided with notice of the procedural safeguards available to them and their children. The district will use the procedural safeguard notice prescribed by the Commissioner of Education and make the notice available in the manner prescribed by the Commissioner’s Regulations. Students with disabilities and their parents will be afforded the procedural safeguard rights set forth in the notice.

To ensure the appropriate delivery of services to students with disabilities in the district, the Superintendent of Schools shall ensure that:

1. All children with disabilities residing in the district, including those attending nonpublic school, are identified, located and evaluated.

2. School wide approaches and pre-referral interventions including, but not limited to, academic intervention services in order to remediate a student’s performance prior to referral for special education are implemented.

3. The CSE is informed of the process prescribed by law and regulations for the appropriate declassification of students with disabilities.

The Superintendent shall ensure that personally identifiable data and information or records pertaining to students with disabilities remain confidential as required by law and regulations.

The Superintendent shall also develop and maintain a comprehensive system of personnel development plan so that professional and paraprofessional staff working with students with disabilities possess the skills and knowledge necessary to meet the needs of students with disabilities.

 
District Reference  ,
 
General Reference 

Education Law §4401 et seq. (Article 89) 
20 U.S.C. §§1400 et seq. (IDEA)
34 CFR Part 300
8 NYCRR Part 200

 
 
Adoption Date 2002-05-14
 
Last Revised 



Series: Series4000     Sub Series: 4300 CURRICULUM     Policy Number: 4321.1          Printer Friendly (opens in new window/tab)



Title 

PROVISION OF SPECIAL EDUCATION SERVICES IN THE LEAST RESTRICTIVE ENVIRONMENT

Policy Text 

PROVISION OF SPECIAL EDUCATION SERVICES

IN THE LEAST RESTRICTIVE ENVIRONMENT

 

            The Board of Education recognizes its responsibility to ensure that students with disabilities eligible for special education programs and services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Article 89 of New York’s Education Law receive those services in the least restrictive environment appropriate to meet their individual educational needs. 

 

Therefore, the district will not place students with disabilities in special classes or separate schools, or otherwise remove them from the regular educational environment unless the nature or severity of their disability is such that their education cannot be achieved satisfactorily in regular classes, even with the use of supplementary aids and services.  In addition, the district will provide special services or programs to enable students with disabilities to be involved in and progress in the general curriculum, to the extent appropriate to their needs.

 

To fulfill its responsibility to educate students with disabilities in the least restrictive environment, the district will implement the provisions of section 200.6  of Commissioner’s Regulations.

 

Furthermore, and pursuant to those provisions, students with disabilities placed together for purposes of receiving special education will be grouped by similarity of individual needs including their range of academic achievement, functional performance and learning characteristics; social and physical development, and management needs.

 

The Superintendent will ensure that the CSE Chairperson is provided with a current version of those provisions, either in hard or soft copy, at the beginning of each school year, and copies of any amendments that become effective during the school year.

 

            The Board also recognizes that the least restrictive environment requirements established by applicable law and regulations also extend to nonacademic settings.  Therefore, the district will provide students with disabilities the opportunity to participate with non-disabled students in school-sponsored co-curricular and extracurricular activities, to the maximum extent appropriate to each individual student’s needs.  The district also will provide students with disabilities with supplementary aids and services the CSE or CSE subcommittee, as applicable, determines to be appropriate and necessary for the students to participate in such activities.

 
District Reference  ,
 
General Reference 

Ref: Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), 20 USC §§1400 et seq.

8 NYCRR §§200.2(b)(4); 200.6 

 
 
Adoption Date 2014-01-28
 
Last Revised 



Series: Series4000     Sub Series: 4300 CURRICULUM     Policy Number: 4321.10          Printer Friendly (opens in new window/tab)



Title 

INDEPENDENT EDUCATIONAL EVALUATIONS

Policy Text 

If the parent or guardian of a student who has or is thought to have a disability disagrees with the evaluation obtained by the Committee on Special Education (CSE) or the Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE), they have a right to obtain an independent evaluation at public expense.

 

The district may initiate an impartial hearing to show that the evaluation of the CSE or CPSE is appropriate and, if the impartial hearing officer determines that the CSE or CPSE’s evaluation is appropriate, the parent shall not have the right to a publicly funded independent evaluation, or the right to reimbursement for an independent educational evaluation they may have already obtained.

 

Independent education evaluations shall be conducted by a qualified examiner who is not employed by the school district responsible for the child’s education. Parents or guardians seeking an independent evaluation must file a written request within 45 days from the date of the CSE or CPSE evaluation. The district may request the parent/guardian to specify the areas of disagreement with the district’s evaluation(s). Requests for independent evaluations received more than 45 days after the parent received the results of the CSE or CPSE evaluation will not be considered for payment by the school district.

 

When an independent educational evaluation is requested and approved by the school district, and a professional is selected to conduct the evaluation, then it will become the responsibility of the professional evaluator to contact the district to arrange for payment, dates of classroom visitations, and discussions with school staff.

 

Public expense shall mean that the district will pay for the reasonable cost of the independent evaluation or ensure that the evaluation is otherwise provided at reasonable cost to the parent. The district shall establish reasonable reimbursement rates for independent evaluations that do not exceed the costs which the school district would be required to pay to its own employees. The district will not pay more than the prevailing fee schedules in Dutchess County for a comprehensive independent educational evaluation that would meet the requirements under Commissioner’s Regulations which require an individual psychological evaluation, a social history, and other suitable examinations and evaluations as may be necessary to ascertain the physical, mental, and emotional factors which contribute to a suspected educational disability.

 

The district shall maintain and make available to parents or guardians a list of appropriate public and private agencies and other resources which can provide an independent educational evaluation. The list shall contain the names, addresses and telephone numbers of such agencies or resources. The district will permit parents to select any independent evaluator who is in the public telephone book within the confines of Dutchess County, New York, at the time the parent makes the request of the school district, as long as the qualified professional selected by the parent is a certified (where appropriate) and/or licensed evaluator.

 

The district will pay for an evaluation performed by an employee of any other public school district or BOCES within the State of New York whom the parent chooses to employ as an independent evaluator at the then current hourly rate paid to that licensed or certified individual by their respective public school district or BOCES.

 

 

 

 

The district will not pay for or accept for reimbursement as an independent evaluation, one that has been prepared by an individual who does not possess a license or certification from the New York State Education Department as a qualified professional. All such evaluations will be subject to the reimbursement rates established by the district. Such independent evaluations may also be presented as evidence at a hearing conducted by the district or requested by the parent.

 

Evaluations requested which do not fall within the district’s established criteria may be subject to public expense if they are justified by the child’s unique circumstances. Requests for exceptions to this policy should be forwarded in writing to the Chairperson of the district’s CSE or CPSE.

 

Parents/guardians can obtain further information on independent educational evaluations by contacting the Chairperson of the district’s CSE or CPSE. Parents/guardians can also contact the State Education Department for additional information on independent educational evaluations by contacting the Office for Special Education Services at (518) 474-5356 and speaking to the Regional Associate assigned to the Dutchess County area.

 
District Reference  ,
 
General Reference 

34 CFR §300.503

8 NYCRR §§200.1(u); 200.5(a)(l)(vi)(a); 200.5(b); 200.5(c)(6)

Application of a Child with a Handicapping Condition, SRO Dec. No. 93-26 (1993)

Application of a Child with a Handicapping Condition, 30 EDR 129 (1990)

Application of a Child with a Handicapping Condition, 30 EDR 108 (1990)

Application of a Child with a Handicapping Condition, 26 EDR 439 (1987)

Appeal of a Handicapped Child, 25 EDR 185 (1985)

Matter of a Child Suspected of Having a Handicapping Condition, 23 EDR 140 (1983)

Matter of Three Handicapped Children, 21 EDR 353 (1981)

Memorandum to District Superintendents Independent Evaluations;  Updating on Regulatory Requirements, State Education Department

 
 
Adoption Date 2014-01-28
 
Last Revised 



Series: Series4000     Sub Series: 4300 CURRICULUM     Policy Number: 4321.11          Printer Friendly (opens in new window/tab)



Title 

PUBLIC REPORT ON REVISIONS TO DISTRICT POLICIES, PRACTICES AND PROCEDURES UPON A FINDING OF SIGNIFICANT DISPROPORTIONALITY

Policy Text 

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

 

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

 

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

 
District Reference  ,
 
General Reference 

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 20 USC §§1412(a)(24); 1418(d);

            34 CFR §§300.173; 300.646

            8 NYCRR §§200.2(b)(15).

 
 
Adoption Date 2014-01-28
 
Last Revised 



Series: Series4000     Sub Series: 4300 CURRICULUM     Policy Number: 4321.13          Printer Friendly (opens in new window/tab)



Title 

PRESCHOOL SPECIAL EDUCATION

Policy Text 

 

The Board of Education authorizes the Superintendent of Schools to establish administrative practices and procedures which shall include:

 

1.         locating and identifying all preschool children with disabilities pursuant to the relevant provisions of the Education Law.  The register of children eligible to attend a preschool program is to be maintained and revised annually by the Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE);

2.         ensuring that the parent(s)/guardian(s) of preschool age children with disabilities have received and understand the request for consent for evaluation of their child;

3.         developing an individualized education program (IEP) for each preschool age child with a disability;

4.         appointing and training appropriately qualified personnel including the members of a CPSE;

5.         maintaining lists of impartial hearing officers and of State Education Department-approved special education programs within the county and adjoining counties in which the district is located; and

6.         reporting to the State Education Department the number of children with disabilities that are being served, as well as those not served.

 

The Board of Education hereby establishes the CPSE as required under the Education Law.  Its responsibilities will include the evaluation and recommendation for placement in appropriate approved programs and the provision of appropriate special education programs and services for each preschool child with a disability. The CPSE shall review, at least annually, the status of each preschool child with a disability.

 

It is ultimately the responsibility of the Board to arrange for the appropriate approved preschool program and services for the district children.  Should the Board disagree with the CPSE's recommendations, it shall send the recommendation back to the CPSE so that they may schedule a timely meeting to review the Board’s concerns and to revise the IEP as deemed appropriate.

 

Placement may be appealed by a parent/guardian to an impartial hearing officer, appointed by the Board.  Mediation shall be offered to such parents/guardians to resolve complaints regarding the education of preschool children with disabilities at the same time notice of the availability of an impartial hearing is provided.

 

The Board directs the Superintendent to ensure that the district considers that adequate and appropriate space is made available within or outside the district for such programs and services.

 

The Board directs the Superintendent to develop and maintain a plan which incorporates information concerning the provision of services for preschool children with disabilities, pursuant to the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education.

 
District Reference  ,
 
General Reference 

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 20 U.S.C. §§1400 et seq.

34 CFR §§300.12; 300.503

Education Law §4410

8 NYCRR Part 200

 
 
Adoption Date 2014-01-28
 
Last Revised 



Series: Series4000     Sub Series: 4300 CURRICULUM     Policy Number: 4321.14          Printer Friendly (opens in new window/tab)



Title 

SPECIAL EDUCATION PERSONNEL QUALIFICATIONS AND TRAINING

Policy Text 

The Board acknowledges its responsibility to recruit, hire, train and retain highly qualified personnel, as defined in the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and its accompanying regulations and in Article 89 of New York State Education law and its accompanying regulations, to provide special education programs and services.  In addition, the Board is committed to appointing appropriately qualified personnel to the Committee (and subcommittee) on Special Education (CSE) and Committee (and subcommittee) on Preschool Special Education (CPSE).

 

            The Board will fulfill its obligation with regard to special education personnel by taking measurable steps including, but not limited to the following:

 

1.                  Actively recruit personnel who possess prior experience working with students with disabilities.

2.                  Solicit resumes from graduates of institutions of higher education that offer programs in special education.

3.                  Seek candidates for teaching positions who are dually certified, to the extent possible.

4.                  Ensure that every member of the professional staff participates in annual professional performance reviews and professional development plans.

5.                  Provide appropriate on-going training and professional development to CSE and CPSE members, and other special education program and service providers to ensure their continuing awareness of their obligations and responsibilities under the law.

 

            The Superintendent is responsible for ensuring that the professional staff is appropriately certified, licensed and trained and that they meet the “highly qualified” standard established in federal and state law.  In the event that highly qualified individuals are not available, despite the best efforts of the administration, the Board recognizes its responsibilities to meet the alternative standards established by the State Education Department.  The Superintendent, in consultation with the Director of Special Education, shall prepare an annual report to the Board which provides information about the certifications and qualifications of the special education professional personnel, as well as a summary of the professional development opportunities offered. 

 
District Reference  ,
 
General Reference 

Individual with Disabilities Education Act, 20 USC §§ 1412(a)(14), 1413(a)(3)

            34 CFR §§ 300.156, 300.207

            Education Law §4410

            8 NYCRR §§ 200.2(b)(3), (12)

 
 
Adoption Date 2014-01-28
 
Last Revised 



Series: Series4000     Sub Series: 4300 CURRICULUM     Policy Number: 4321.2          Printer Friendly (opens in new window/tab)



Title 

SCHOOL-WIDE PRE-REFERRAL APPROACHES AND INTERVENTIONS

Policy Text 

The Board of Education recognizes that the provision of academic and behavioral supports and targeted interventions for students who are not making academic progress at expected levels in the general curriculum may improve a student’s performance, and help avert the need for referral for possible classification as a student with a disability.  Therefore, the district will implement on a school-wide basis practices appropriate to enable the district’s students to succeed in the general education environment.  These school-wide approaches shall serve as pre-referral interventions prior to consideration of a referral to the Committee on Special Education (CSE).  The referral form to the CSE used by District staff will describe, in writing, the intervention services and programs used to remediate the student’s performance, or instructional methodologies, including any supplementary aids or support services provided, or the reasons why no such attempts were made.

 

The Superintendent or designee will identify and take steps to implement a variety of practices appropriate to comply with this policy.  Consistent with applicable law and regulation, those practices may include, for example:

 

1.                  Providing early intervention services with funds available under the IDEA and which may be coordinated with similar activities conducted under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.  Such services would be made available to students not currently identified as needing special education and related services, but who need additional support to succeed in a general education setting.  This may include professional development that enables teachers and other staff to deliver scientifically based academic instruction and behavioral interventions, such as scientifically based literacy instruction and, where appropriate, instruction on the use of adaptive and instructional software.  It also may include educational and behavioral evaluations, services and supports. 

2.                  Implementation of a Response to Intervention (RtI) program that includes at least the minimum requirements established by Commissioner’s Regulations, and allows teachers and other staff to determine whether a student responds to scientific, research-based instruction or requires interventions beyond those provided to students in the general education classroom.

3.                  Providing academic intervention services (AIS) to students at risk of not meeting the state learning standards in accordance with the District’s plan for AIS.  Such services may include additional instruction supplementing instruction in the general curriculum and/or student support services such as guidance, counseling, attendance and study skills needed to support improved academic performance.

 

 

 

4.                  Providing educational related support services (ERSS) such as curriculum and instructional modification services, direct student support teams services, and assessment and non-career counseling services.

5.                  Implementation of positive behavioral interventions and supports that reduce school and classroom behavioral problems, and create and maintain a safe and positive learning environment.

 

These services may be provided before, during or after the school day, or in the summer.

 

            District implementation of any of the above practices will not impede or delay the appropriate evaluation of a student suspected of having a disability, and the student’s right to a free appropriate public education.

 
District Reference  ,
 
General Reference 

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act §§ 1413(f); 1414(b)(6)(B)
34 CFR §§ 300.226; 300.307(a)(2)
8 NYCRR §§ 100.2(ii); 200.2(b)(7)

 
 
Adoption Date 2014-01-28
 
Last Revised 



Series: Series4000     Sub Series: 4300 CURRICULUM     Policy Number: 4321.3          Printer Friendly (opens in new window/tab)



Title 

ALLOCATION OF SPACE FOR SPECIAL EDUCATION PROGRAMS AND SERVICES

Policy Text 

 ALLOCATION OF SPACE FOR SPECIAL EDUCATION

                                       PROGRAMS AND SERVICES

 

To ensure that adequate and appropriate space is made available for special education classes provided by the district, as well as in programs provided by the Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES), the Board of Education will allocate an appropriate amount of space in district facilities to meet the needs of students in such programs.  This allocation will be part of the biennial district plan for the provision of special education programs and services, as mandated by the Commissioner.

 

 
District Reference  ,
 
General Reference 

8 NYCRR §200.2(c)(iv) and (v) 

 
 
Adoption Date 2002-05-14
 
Last Revised 



Series: Series4000     Sub Series: 4300 CURRICULUM     Policy Number: 4321.4          Printer Friendly (opens in new window/tab)



Title 

DUAL ENROLLMENT

Policy Text 

The Board of Education will provide occupational and vocational education for students with disabilities attending non-public schools within the district if the Committee on Special Education deems appropriate.

 
District Reference  ,
 
General Reference 
 
 
Adoption Date 2002-05-14
 
Last Revised 



Series: Series4000     Sub Series: 4300 CURRICULUM     Policy Number: 4321.5          Printer Friendly (opens in new window/tab)



Title 

DISSEMINATION OF INDIVIDUALIZED EDUCATION PROGRAM (IEP) INFORMATION

Policy Text 

The Board of Education shall provide access via the internet or a copy of each students’ Individualized Education Program (“IEP”) to each regular education teacher, special education teacher, related service provider and other service providers responsible for implementing a student’s IEP prior to its implementation.

The District’s Committee on Special Education Chairperson shall designate a professional with knowledge of a student’s disabilities and program to inform in writing, each teacher, teaching assistant and support staff person of his or her responsibilities related to implementation of the student’s IEP, as well as the modifications and supports provided under such program.

Although dissemination shall be made to each teacher and service provider, redisclosure of each student’s IEP shall only be made if in accordance with existing confidentiality laws, including the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act and the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act. The Superintendent shall develop regulations to implement the provisions of this policy.

 
District Reference  ,
 
General Reference 
 
 
Adoption Date 2002-11-26
 
Last Revised 



Series: Series4000     Sub Series: 4300 CURRICULUM     Policy Number: 4321.6          Printer Friendly (opens in new window/tab)



Title 

AVAILABILITY OF ALTERNATIVE FORMAT INSTRUCTIONAL

Policy Text 

AVAILABILITY OF ALTERNATIVE FORMAT INSTRUCTIONAL

MATERIALS FOR STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES

 

            The Board of Education recognizes its responsibility to ensure that all the instructional materials used in the district’s schools are made available in a usable alternative format for students with disabilities in accordance with their individual educational needs and course selection at the same time as those materials are available to non-disabled students.  In accordance with applicable law and regulations, any such alternative format procured by the district will meet the National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard. 

 

            For purposes of this policy, alternative format will mean any medium or format for the presentation of instructional materials, other than a traditional print textbook, that is needed as an accommodation for a student with a disability enrolled in the school district, including but not limited to Braille, large print, open and closed captioned, audio, or an electronic file.  An electronic file must be compatible with at least one alternative format conversion software program.

 

            The Superintendent will ensure arrangements are made to provide the necessary alternative format materials as soon as practicable, in accordance with the timeliness requirements of this policy.  Such a plan will provide for:

 

1.                  Preference to vendors who agree to provide the highest quality instructional materials in alternative formats in the timeliest manner, and to reflect this requirement in the bidding specifications used for the procurement of instructional materials.  The same preference will be given to vendors of instructional materials ordered for the school library.

2.                  Consultation with appropriate school personnel regarding how students will access electronic files.  The district’s technology staff will be notified of any need to convert electronic files into an accessible format such as Braille, large print, audio, or alternative display.

3.                  The availability of hardware and/or software a student with disabilities in need of alternative format materials might require to access the instructional material. 

4.                  The yearly review of the district’s ordering timelines for the purchase of instructional materials to ensure sufficient lead time for obtaining needed alternative format materials.

5.                  Notification to appropriate school personnel by the CSE, CSE subcommittee, CPSE and Section 504 Committee Chairperson whenever it is determined that a student needs instructional materials in alternative format.  Such notice also will identify the particular

 

 

alternative format needed, and any assistive technology devices or services the student might need to access the alternative format materials.

6.                  Notification by classroom teachers of the books they will be using in class and any list of required readings with sufficient lead time in anticipation of the district’s timelines for the purchase of instructional materials.

7.                  Consultation with the school librarian to make sure that specific library resources required by a student in need of alternative format materials to participate and progress in his or her selected courses are made available to the student in an accessible format.

8.                  Timely request of state assessments in alternative format.

 
District Reference  ,
 
General Reference 

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), 20 USC §§1474(e)(3)(B)

Education Law §§1604(29-a); 1709(4-a) 1950(4-a); 2503(7-a); 2554(7-a); 3602(10)(b); 8 NYCRR §§200.2(b)(10); State Education Department, Office of Special Education, Policy 02-05 Amendment to Section 200.2 of the Regulations of the Commissioner Implementing Chapter 377 of the Laws of 2001: Plans to Provide Instructional Materials in Alternative Formats for Students with Disabilities, May 2002, available electronically from the SED website www.p12.nysed.gov/specialed/publications/policy/alterformat502.htm

 
 
Adoption Date 2014-01-28
 
Last Revised 



Series: Series4000     Sub Series: 4300 CURRICULUM     Policy Number: 4321.7          Printer Friendly (opens in new window/tab)



Title 

DISTRICTWIDE AND STATEWIDE ASSESSMENTS OF STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES

Policy Text 

DISTRICTWIDE AND STATEWIDE ASSESSMENTS

OF STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES

 

            The Board of Education recognizes the importance of offering access and appropriate testing accommodations to eligible students so that they can participate in assessment programs on an equal basis with their nondisabled peers.  Two elements that contribute to an effective assessment program are proper use of use of accommodations and use of universal design principles in developing and administering tests.

 

Testing Accommodations

 

            Testing accommodations provide an opportunity for students with disabilities to:

 

·                     Participate in the instructional and assessment program;

·                     Demonstrate their strengths, knowledge and skills without being restricted by their disability; and

·                     Provide an accurate measure of the standards being assessed so that appropriate instruction and services can be provided.

 

            Testing accommodations are changes made in the administration of the test in order to remove obstacles to the test-taking process that are presented by the disability without changing the constructs being tested.   Examples of testing accommodations are:  flexibility in scheduling/ timing; flexibility in the setting for the administration of the test; changes in the method of presentation and changes in the method of response.  Testing accommodations are neither intended nor permitted to:  alter the construct being measured or invalidate the results, provide an unfair advantage for students with disabilities over students taking the test under standard conditions or substitute for knowledge or abilities that the student has not attained.

 

            The Committee on Special Education, the Subcommittee on Special Education or the Committee on Preschool Special Education is responsible for recommending the appropriate test accommodations and including those recommendations on the student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP), Individualized Education Services Program (IESP) or Service Plan (SP). If it is determined that a student should participate in alternative assessments instead of the standard statewide or districtwide tests, the CSE must indicate the reasons for doing so on the IEP, IESP or SP.The 504 multidisciplinary committee will include the appropriate test accommodations as part the 504 plan.

 

            The recommendations will be reviewed annually by the CSE, CSE subcommittee, CPSE or 504 team.  The Board acknowledges the importance of integrating the assessment program with the instructional program and, to that end, encourages effective communication among district staff so that implementation is consistent and fair.  The goal is to provide effective assessments that allow students to benefit from their educational program.

 

In some situations, a building principal may authorize the use of testing accommodations in accordance with this policy.  Those instances are limited to cases where a regular education student incurs a disability, such as, but not limited to, a broken arm, without sufficient time for the CSE, CPSE and/or Section 504 Committee to make a recommendation prior to a test.  They do not include cases where the student is already being evaluated to determine his or her eligibility for status as a student with a disability.  In exercising this authority, the building principal will rely on his or her professional judgment.  He or she also may confer with CSE, CPSE and/or Section 504 Committee members.

 

Universal Design Principles in Districtwide Assessments

 

The Board of Education recognizes the benefits of using the principles of universal design to further the goal of ensuring equal access to districtwide assessments and to ensure the most accurate measure of the performance of all students.  The Board directs the Superintendent, in consultation with appropriate school staff, to examine how universal design principles can be incorporated into the district’s assessment program, and to facilitate its use to the extent feasible.  Any steps taken in this regard will be consistent with this policy and applicable State Education Department policy and/or guidance on the use of universal design principles.

 

At a minimum, the Director of Special Education, the building principal, and the child’s teachers will collaborate on the provision of district assessments that will be:

1.                  Made more usable by students with diverse abilities.

2.                  Designed to better accommodate a wide range of individual preferences and abilities.

3.                  Made more understandable.

4.                  Made to communicate necessary information to students more effectively.

5.                  Designed to minimize adverse consequences of accidental or unintended actions.

6.                  Used more efficiently and comfortably and with a minimum of       student fatigue.

 

 
District Reference  ,
 
General Reference 

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), 20 USC §§1401(35); 1412(a)(16)(E); 34 CFR §§ 300.44; Assistive Technology Act, 29 USC 3002(19); 8 NYCRR §§ 200.1(jjj); 200.2(b)(13,14); 200.4(d)(2)(vi)

 
 
Adoption Date 2014-01-28
 
Last Revised 



Series: Series4000     Sub Series: 4300 CURRICULUM     Policy Number: 4321.8          Printer Friendly (opens in new window/tab)



Title 

IMPARTIAL HEARING OFFICER SELECTION, APPOINTMENT AND COMPENSATION

Policy Text 

It shall be the policy of the Rhinebeck Central School District to select, appoint and compensate impartial hearing officers in the following manner:

Selection and Appointment

The District shall utilize the most recent rotational list of impartial hearing officers established by the State Education Department. Additional qualified impartial hearing officers requesting to serve in the District shall have their names inserted into such rotational list in alphabetical order.

Within two (2) business days after the District receives a written request for an impartial hearing, the District Clerk shall initiate attempts to contact that hearing officer whose name next follows the last hearing officer appointed by the Board of Education from the rotational list.

The District Clerk shall first attempt contact by telephone call. If unsuccessful at reaching the hearing officer, the District Clerk shall leave a message (if voice mail is available) and send a letter by overnight mail, informing the hearing officer that:

a. A hearing has been requested concerning a student (identify the student only by number) and the same of the school district;

b. The hearing officer’s name is the next one on the rotational list; and

c. The hearing officer must contact the District Clerk (leave telephone number) no later than 24 hours from the date the telephone message is left and/or the date of the correspondence.

If the hearing officer declines appointment, or fails to respond within 24 hours after being telephoned or sent a letter by overnight mail, the District Clerk will, according to the procedures outlined above, offer the appointment to each successive hearing officer whose name appears on the rotational list, until it is accepted.

No appointment may be accepted unless the hearing officer is available to initiate the hearing within 14 days after being contacted by the District Clerk.

Once an appointment is accepted, the hearing officer shall be formally appointed by resolution adopted by the Board of Education; or letter signed by the President or Vice President of the Board of Education.

The President and/or Vice President of the Board of Education are hereby delegated with the authority to immediately appoint impartial hearing officers who are selected in accordance with these procedures.

The District Clerk shall maintain a log detailing any actions taken pursuant to this policy relating to the appointment of impartial hearing officers.

Compensation


Compensation will be made at the hourly rates currently approved by the State Education Department pursuant to §4404(1) of the Education Law.

The District will not reimburse impartial hearing officers for administrative assistance, secretarial or other overhead expenses.

The District will, upon review and approval of properly submitted receipts, reimburse impartial hearing officers for automobile travel at the I.R.S. approval rate and for tolls reasonably and necessarily incurred as a result of the hearing.

In addition to hearing time itself, the Board will reimburse, at the hourly rate, for time actually expended by the impartial hearing officer for:

1. Scheduling the hearing;

2. Pre-hearing conference calls (if necessary);

3. Scheduling letters;

4. Preparing the Decision, including any Interim Decisions.

Absent extraordinary circumstances, as determined in advance by the District, Impartial hearing officers will not be reimbursed for any other expenses associated with their appointment and service as impartial hearing officers.

A hearing cancellation fee of $500.00 shall be paid by the District where five business days notice is not provided to the impartial hearing officer. The District will not be responsible for any compensation in connection with hearing cancellations where five or more business days notice is provided to the impartial hearing officer.

Notice

A copy of this policy will be forwarded to the impartial hearing officer at the time of appointment.

 
District Reference  ,
 
General Reference 
 
 
Adoption Date 2002-03-12
 
Last Revised 



Series: Series4000     Sub Series: 4300 CURRICULUM     Policy Number: 4321.9          Printer Friendly (opens in new window/tab)



Title 

DECLASSIFICATION OF STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES

Policy Text 

DECLASSIFICATION OF STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES

 

            The Board of Education recognizes that it may be appropriate to declassify some students with disabilities.  A student may mature and develop skills such that they no longer require the special program, support services or accommodations offered by an Individualized Education Program (IEP), Individualized Education Services Program (IESP) or Services Plan (SP).  The Committee on Special Education (CSE), the CSE Subcommittee or, the Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE), as applicable, is responsible for making this judgment, while adhering to the requirements of federal and state law and regulation.

 

Reevaluation

 

            Prior to determining that a student is no longer eligible for special education services and should be placed in a full-time regular education program, the CSE, CSE subcommittee, or CPSE, as applicable, will conduct a declassification evaluation of the student in accordance with the process and procedures prescribed for the evaluation and reevaluation of students with disabilities, by applicable law and regulations.  However, the CSE, CSE subcommittee, or CPSE members may determine after reviewing existing evaluation data that no additional information is needed to determine the student’s continued eligibility for services. 

 

When a determination is made that no additional data is needed for reviewing a student’s continued eligibility for special education services, the CSE, CSE subcommittee, or CPSE Chairperson, as applicable, will notify the student’s parents of that determination and the reasons for it, and of their right to nonetheless request an assessment.  Unless the student’s parents make such a request, the district will not conduct any further assessments.

 

            The district will provide the student’s parents with a copy of the reevaluation report and documentation regarding the eligibility determination.

 

            Consistent with applicable law and regulation, the district will not conduct a declassification evaluation if the reason why a student is determined to be ineligible for special education services is that he or she has either:

 

1.         Graduated with a regular high school or Regents diploma; or

2.         Exceeded the age of eligibility for services.

 

However, in such an instance the district will provide the student with a summary of his or her academic achievement and functional performance that also includes recommendations on how to assist the student in meeting his or her post-secondary goals.

 

 

Declassification Support Services

 

            It is the goal of the Board of Education to provide an opportunity for the student to succeed in the transition to the regular education program.  In order to facilitate that success, the CSE/CPSE may offer educational and support services for a period of time, not to exceed one year. Declassification support services may include:

 

1.                  For the student, psychological services, social work services, speech and language improvement services, non-career counseling, and other appropriate support services.

2.         For the student’s teachers, the assistance of a teacher aide or a teaching assistant, and consultation with appropriate personnel.

 

The CSE/CPSE will ensure that the appropriate teachers and service providers are informed of the need for the transition services, and will specify the nature and duration of those services. 

 
District Reference  ,
 
General Reference 

8 NYCRR §§100.1 (q); 200.2 (b)(8), 200.4 (b)(4-6), (c)(3)

 
 
Adoption Date 2014-01-28
 
Last Revised 



Series: Series4000     Sub Series: 4300 CURRICULUM     Policy Number: 4322          Printer Friendly (opens in new window/tab)



Title 

PROGRAMS FOR THE GIFTED AND TALENTED

Policy Text 

The Board of Education supports efforts to provide students identified as gifted and talented with differentiated educational programs and/or services beyond those normally provided by the regular school program in order to help them realize their contribution to self and society.

 

 

Gifted and talented students shall be defined as those students who consistently excel or show the potential to consistently excel above the average in one or more of the following areas of human endeavor to the extent they need and can profit from specially planned educational services:

  • General Intellectual Ability

  • Specific Academic Aptitude

  • Creative Thinking

  • Leadership Ability

  • Visual and Performing Arts Ability

  • Psycho-Motor Ability (as displayed through mechanical skills and athletic ability
 
District Reference  ,
 
General Reference 
Education Law §§3602(23); 4451-4453 
8 NYCRR Part 142; §§117.3(c)(3),(f) 
 
 
Adoption Date 2002-05-14
 
Last Revised 2014-10-28



Series: Series4000     Sub Series: 4300 CURRICULUM     Policy Number: 4325          Printer Friendly (opens in new window/tab)



Title 

ACADEMIC INTERVENTION SERVICES

Policy Text 

The Board of Education directs the Superintendent of Schools to oversee the development, maintenance and evaluation of a program of academic support services coordinated and articulated with the developmental program. The program will specifically address the needs of students who must be provided academic support services as a result of test scores on state-required tests (in compliance with the Regulations of the Commissioner), and may address the needs of other educationally disadvantaged students.

To determine student eligibility for federal and state programs, the Superintendent or his/her designee will design appropriate student assessment procedures. Assessment shall be a collaborative effort involving parents/guardians, regular classroom teachers, guidance and special education personnel. Referrals may be initiated by Building Principals and/or classroom teachers, based in part on low student scores on state competency tests, but also taking into consideration a broad range of student needs. Students who are participating in Title I will be eligible for such services until they are performing at grade level.

Individual assessments shall attempt to gauge a student's need for emotional and/or physical health services, and seek to determine whether his/her academic performance has a basis in a physical or emotional disability. Student learning style and level of proficiency in speaking/reading/writing English must also be assessed. If the latter is a factor, instruction in English as a second language (ELL) and/or bilingual instruction will be provided prior to any determination regarding the need for further specialized instruction. All transferring students and new entrants shall be screened to determine their need for academic support services. A student may be eligible for remediation based on test scores received from the district in which such student was previously enrolled.

If a student is eligible for academic support services, he/she will be assigned to an appropriately certified teacher qualified to provide instruction in the area for which remediation is required. Inservice training in academic support services/remediation methods/ programs shall be provided to all teachers periodically.

Teachers shall coordinate academic support services with the student's regular classwork and homework load. Program goals shall include regular coordination of the curriculum across grades and between grade levels, based upon a core curriculum. Teachers are encouraged to involve parents, community volunteers, teacher aides/assistants and student peers whenever possible.

All such programs shall be evaluated yearly. Evaluation shall be based on norm-referenced test scores and other objective student outcomes, such as classroom performance and student behavior. When seeking to improve programs, the Superintendent or his/her designee shall research effective program models used by other districts in New York State and nationally. Such models shall be adapted to district resources and needs. In addition, the district shall seek all applicable state and federal funding to improve its academic support services.

 
District Reference  ,
 
General Reference 

8 NYCRR §§100.1(g); 100.2(r); 100.3(b); 100.4(d)(e)

 
 
Adoption Date 2002-05-14
 
Last Revised 



Series: Series4000     Sub Series: 4300 CURRICULUM     Policy Number: 4326          Printer Friendly (opens in new window/tab)



Title 

INSTRUCTION FOR ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNERS

Policy Text 

The district will make every effort to ensure that students designated as English Language Learners (ELL) are provided with an appropriate program of transitional bilingual education or free-standing English as a Second Language (ESL) program.

Pursuant to this policy and the regulations of the Commissioner of Education, the Superintendent of Schools is directed to develop appropriate administrative regulations to ensure that ELL students are:

1. diagnostically screened for limited English proficiency, in accordance with Part 117 of the Commissioner's Regulations. Those students who according to their scores are identified as ELL will be annually evaluated. Included in the evaluation shall be each student's performance in content areas to measure academic progress;

2. assured of access to appropriate instructional and support services, including guidance programs; and

3. assured of having equal opportunities to participate in all school programs and extracurricular activities as non-ELL students.

The Superintendent shall be responsible for ensuring that the Commissioner is provided with all information required under the Commissioner's Regulations and that the district provides appropriate school-related information to the parents of ELL students in English, or when necessary, in the language they understand. In addition, the Superintendent shall ensure that all teachers employed for any bilingual and/or ESL program are appropriately certified in accordance with the Commissioner's Regulations.

 
District Reference  ,
 
General Reference 

Education Law §3204 
Bilingual Education Act of 1974, §§701 et seq., 20 U.S.C. §§880b et seq.
Equal Educational Opportunities Act of 1974, §§201 et seq., 20 U.S.C. §§1701 et seq.
8 NYCRR §§80.9; 80.10; 117; 154 et seq.
Lau v. Nichols, 414 U.S. 563 (1974)
Rios v. Read, 480 F. Supp. 14 (1978)
Cintron v. Brentwood UFSD, 455 F.Supp 57 (1978)
Aspira of New York v. Board of Educ. (City of New York),394 F. Supp. 1161 (1974)

 
 
Adoption Date 2002-05-14
 
Last Revised 



Series: Series4000     Sub Series: 4300 CURRICULUM     Policy Number: 4327          Printer Friendly (opens in new window/tab)



Title 

HOMEBOUND INSTRUCTION

Policy Text 

Homebound instruction is a service provided to students who are unable to attend school due to: physical disability, as certified by a licensed physician; emotional problems, as certified by a licensed mental health professional; or suspension from attendance at school if the student has not yet reached the age of sixteen.

Proper attendance reports will be required monthly. In order to be claimed for state aid, secondary students will receive instruction for two hours per day and elementary students will receive one hour per day. Students receive credit for their work while on homebound instruction and may be required to take public school examinations. A student who is receiving homebound instruction may not participate in any school or school-related activities, either during or outside of the regular school day.

The appropriate building principal will designate the individual(s) to provide homebound instruction. The homebound teacher will be paid on an hourly basis according to current rates.

 
District Reference  ,
 
General Reference 

Education Law §§1709(24); 4401 et seq. 
8 NYCRR §175.21

 
 
Adoption Date 2002-05-28
 
Last Revised 



Series: Series4000     Sub Series: 4300 CURRICULUM     Policy Number: 4328          Printer Friendly (opens in new window/tab)



Title 

SERVICES TO STUDENTS WHO ARE HOME SCHOOLED

Policy Text 

The Board of Education recognizes its responsibilities under §3204 of the Education Law (the “compulsory attendance law”) to ensure that every child residing within the District has an equal opportunity to receive an education.  The Board of Education also acknowledges that resident parents or guardians have the right, and may elect, to provide educational requirements mandated by law for their child in nonpublic schools, in their homes or otherwise outside of the public or nonpublic schools.

            A parent/guardian of a child providing his/her education through home schooling shall comply with all state laws and regulations of the Commissioner of Education.  Primary responsibility for monitoring compliance with such laws and regulations rests with the Superintendent of Schools.  The Superintendent will establish regulations regarding the education of children at home.

Provision of Services to Home Schooled Students

-   Home schooled students are not awarded a high school diploma by the District.

-    Home schooled students are provided with loaned textbooks only from the District’s current textbook inventory, upon parental request.

-   Home schooled students may not attend the public schools on a part-time basis,  participate in the instructional program of the District, or receive dual enrollment services, except as required by law.

-   The District shall offer to home schooled students with disabilities the special education services and/or programs contained in the child’s individualized education program.  There is no requirement that such services be provided in the student’s home.

-   Home schooled students may participate in the following school activities, upon written request and approval by the District:

·        intramural athletics to the extent that it does not cause a District student  to be unable to participate

·        other school sponsored extra-curricular and co-curricular activities to the extent that it does not cause a District student to be unable to participate

·        library use during the school day, when space is available

·        State testing

-   Home schooled students may not participate in the following school activities:

·        interscholastic athletics

·        field trips and school trips

·        any course or activity that is considered part of the instructional program and/or for which a student receives credit

·        remedial programs provided during the school day.

 
District Reference  ,
 
General Reference 
 
 
Adoption Date 2007-03-13
 
Last Revised 



Series: Series4000     Sub Series: 4300 CURRICULUM     Policy Number: 4340          Printer Friendly (opens in new window/tab)



Title 

ADULT ACCESS TO INSTRUCTION

Policy Text 

In order to provide educational opportunities for the community, courses taught at Rhinebeck High School shall be open to adult citizens of the district under the following conditions:

1. The citizen must be a full-time resident of the district, and at least twenty-two years of age.

2. The citizen must register with the school no later than two weeks before the start of the course.

3. The citizen will be subject to all rules of punctuality, attendance, and deportment which apply to students enrolled.

4. Enrollment may be denied, or terminated, for the following reasons:

• lack of space;

• disruption of the class; or

• failure to be punctual or to maintain regular attendance.

5. Any special materials used shall be charged to the enrolling citizen. The district shall incur no additional expense in allowing an adult citizen to enroll in a high school course.

6. Enrollment is without credit, except in special cases with prior arrangement through the Superintendent of Schools.

 
District Reference  ,
 
General Reference 

8 NYCRR §§157.1; 157.2 
Education Law §§4602; 4604
20 USCA §§1203 et seq. 

 
 
Adoption Date 2002-05-28
 
Last Revised 



Series: Series4000     Sub Series: 4300 CURRICULUM     Policy Number: 4350          Printer Friendly (opens in new window/tab)



Title 

MULTICULTURAL/GLOBAL EDUCATION

Policy Text 

The Board of Education will ensure that students receive a multicultural/global education which emphasizes the value of different cultural traditions and promotes cultural pluralism and social equality.

 
District Reference  ,
 
General Reference 
 
 
Adoption Date 2002-05-28
 
Last Revised 



Series: Series4000     Sub Series: 4300 CURRICULUM     Policy Number: 4351          Printer Friendly (opens in new window/tab)



Title 

TRAVEL STUDY AND EXCHANGE PROGRAMS

Policy Text 

School-sponsored extended travel, such as travel to a foreign country, must have tentative Board of Education approval before any preliminary planning, and must have final Board approval prior to public announcements, student contacts, or any type of commitment.

School district employees who organize travel programs or tours which are not sponsored by the Board must do so as private citizens. Under these circumstances, the employee may not do anything in the planning or promotion of the activity which could in any way suggest the involvement, endorsement, or support of the district.

The Board also endorses the concept of student exchange programs and will authorize district participation in programs where the welfare of our students will be adequately safeguarded through association with recognized and well-established exchange programs.

 

 
District Reference  ,
 
General Reference 
 
 
Adoption Date 2002-05-28
 
Last Revised 



Series: Series4000     Sub Series: 4400 INSTRUCTIONAL ARRANGEMENTS     Policy Number: 4420          Printer Friendly (opens in new window/tab)



Title 

MINIMUM CLASS SIZE

Policy Text 

The minimum number of students required to be enrolled as of June 15th for the following school year in any middle school or high school credit-bearing course will be twelve (12). If fewer than twelve (12) students enroll in such a class, that class will not be offered during that semester (for a half-year course) or school year (for a full-year course).

If two or more courses are offered simultaneously by the same teacher within the same class period, the total number of students for that class period will not be fewer than twelve (12) students.

A district administrator may request that an exception be made to this policy on a case by case basis by the Board of Education. The Board of Education will consider such administrative requests for an exception to this policy based upon information presented by the respective administrator and the superintendent of schools, as well as the Board’s evaluation of the fiscal impact of such a decision during the school year in question.

The following information will be provided to the Board of Education for any and all administrative requests for exceptions to this policy:

• Name of class/course

• Description of course content, including New York State Learning Standards to be addressed

• Number of students interested in enrolling in the class/course

• Justification for making the exception to this policy

• Impact upon other classes

Classes/courses that are exempt from this policy include, but are not limited to, distance learning classes, classes that are required for graduation and that will not be offered again prior to the students’graduation, and independent study courses. In addition the policy does not apply to such non-credit-bearing programs such as academic intervention services, special education services, or any other program required by the state or federal government.

 
District Reference  ,
 
General Reference 
 
 
Adoption Date 2002-03-12
 
Last Revised 



Series: Series4000     Sub Series: 4500 INSTRUCTIONAL RESOURCES     Policy Number: 4511          Printer Friendly (opens in new window/tab)



Title 

TEXTBOOK SELECTION AND ADOPTION

Policy Text 

The Board of Education is responsible for the adoption and purchase of all textbooks to be used in the district schools. A three-fourth’s vote of the Board is necessary to adopt a new textbook where the old textbook has not been in use for five years.

A textbook shall mean any book, or a book substitute, which shall include hard covered or paperback books, work books, or manuals which a student is required to use as a text, or a text-substitute, in a particular class or educational program.

The adoption of textbooks shall adhere to the following procedures:

1. Textbooks when adopted as basic texts shall be used by all appropriate classes and grade levels in the district.

2. Requests to consider new textbook adoptions may originate from the Board, teachers, or administrators.

3. Appropriate faculty committees shall be formed to survey available texts.

4. Recommendations of textbook study committees shall be made known to interested grade level or subject matter teachers.

5. Recommendations of the textbook study committee shall be submitted through the Building Principal to the Superintendent of Schools.

6. Upon the approval of the Superintendent, a recommendation for adoption will be made to the Board.

7. The procedures for the adoption of multiple texts to be used for a grade level, subject area, or course shall be the same as for textbooks.

In some instances, reading lists will take the place of basic or multiple text materials. In these instances, reading lists shall be adopted by the Board upon recommendation of the Superintendent.

Supplementary texts, defined as those which are expected to be used in quantities not to exceed room sets, will not be issued to each student for a period of one semester or longer, and shall be used as a resource and supplement to the regular text materials. The procedures for the selection of supplementary texts shall be the same as those for the adoption of textbooks with the exception that Board approval is not required.

Selection of Literary Works for the Classroom

The selection of literary works for the classroom presents an arduous task for teachers. Extreme prudence must be exercised before implementing any literary work as prescribed reading in the classroom because it is always possible that a student and his/her parents might find an assigned literary work objectionable to his/her personal standards. In such instances, the student should be excused from reading the assigned book, providing that, in agreement with his/her teacher, the student reads something of a comparable stature and completes other assignments comparable to those expected of the class.

The following procedure shall afford each teacher the prerogative of support from fellow teachers and administrators whenever a question regarding the suitability of a literary text for classroom use might arise:

1. If a teacher discovers that some areas of a book which he/she wishes to implement in the classroom might be objectionable, a request should be made to the Chairperson of the Book Committee to call a meeting of teachers in that academic area for the benefit of their collective opinions.

2. The Superintendent will then be advised by the Chairperson as to the decisions thus reached by the teachers.

3. The comments of the teachers and their request for a review by the Book Committee shall then be implemented by the Superintendent.

4. The Committee shall have among its membership the Superintendent, the Principal, a librarian, and the teacher who desires to introduce the book in question.

5. Final dispensation of the controversy ultimately rests with the Board.

 
District Reference  ,
 
General Reference 

Education Law §§701 et seq.; 1711; 2508; 2566

 
 
Adoption Date 2002-05-28
 
Last Revised 



Series: Series4000     Sub Series: 4500 INSTRUCTIONAL RESOURCES     Policy Number: 4511-R          Printer Friendly (opens in new window/tab)



Title 

TEXTBOOK SELECTION AND ADOPTION

Policy Text 

The need for a new textbook will be identified by a teacher or group of teachers, by the building administrator or a district administrator, by the Board of Education, or through some other process involving teachers and administrators, such as a textbook purchase rotation plan.  The context for the needed textbook will be identified as supporting either a stand-alone class/course or a class/course that is part of a multi-year curricular sequence.

 

If an updated edition of the currently used textbook is needed and is being requested, the teacher will provide the Building Principal with an explanation of the need along with an outline of the significant revisions and differences between the current and the proposed textbook editions.

 

If the textbook selection is being proposed for a stand-alone class/course, the teacher of the class, in consultation with the department chair, if appropriate, will review the various textbook options before making a recommendation.  The teacher and the department chair then will review the rationale for their recommendation with the Building Principal and the Director of Curriculum and Instruction. 

 

Upon the approval of the Building Principal and the Director of Curriculum and Instruction, the Building Principal will submit a written request to the Superintendent of Schools for submission of the textbook to the Board of Education for approval.  The written request will include an explanation of the textbook review/selection process used, an overview of the textbook options reviewed and considered, and the rationale for the final selection and recommendation.  A copy of the final textbook selection will be made available for administrative and Board review prior to Board action.

 

If the class/course for which a new textbook is being sought is part of a multi-year curricular sequence, i.e. Grade 4 Science, Grade 7 Mathematics, Grade 10 English Language Arts, an ad hoc textbook selection committee will be established to consider the school-wide adoption of a textbook and/or textbook series.  The ad hoc committee will be comprised of teachers at the grade level for which a new textbook is being considered, as well as teachers who teach at the grade levels before and after the grade level at which the needed text is intended to be used.  The Building Principal and Director of Curriculum and Instruction will serve as ex-officio members of this ad hoc committee.  

 

The ad hoc committee will review the various textbook options before making a recommendation, focusing on the appropriateness of the various textbook choices as determined by teachers who will be using the textbook at the grade level of immediate need, as well as by the teachers who are, or will be, using a textbook in the same content-area prior to and following the grade level for which the new textbook is being proposed for use. 

 

If the textbook being considered is an updated edition of the currently used textbook, the ad hoc committee will provide an outline of the significant revisions and differences between current and proposed textbook editions.  If the textbook being considered is from a series other than that currently being used, the ad hoc committee will consider and provide a written outline and rationale as to either:

o       how a new textbook series in this subject area will be the most instructionally appropriate choice and will be most effectively phased in over a period of years; or

o       why a textbook from a different series is the most educationally appropriate short-term and long-term instructional solution to the need for a new textbook at that particular grade level and in that particular subject area.   

   

The Superintendent of Schools will review the written recommendation for the purchase of a new textbook with the Building Principal and the Director of Curriculum and Instruction.  At a minimum, the written recommendation will include the age and condition of the current textbook, the reason for consideration of a new textbook, an explanation of the textbook review and selection process used, an overview of the textbook options reviewed and considered, the rationale for the final selection and recommendation, the anticipated ancillary support materials (e.g. DVDs, workbooks, software), ongoing costs (e.g. consumable workbooks and other materials required to be purchased on an ongoing basis), start-up professional development costs, and alignment of the proposed textbook/ textbook series to the District curriculum and the State learning standards.  A copy of the final textbook selection will be made available for administrative and Board review prior to Board action.

 

Following the Superintendent’s recommendation and subsequent Board action on the request at a public meeting, the Business Office will process the request using the resources available within the General Fund budget.

 

 
District Reference  ,
 
General Reference 
 
 
Adoption Date 2008-01-07
 
Last Revised 



Series: Series4000     Sub Series: 4500 INSTRUCTIONAL RESOURCES     Policy Number: 4513          Printer Friendly (opens in new window/tab)



Title 

LIBRARY MATERIALS SELECTION

Policy Text 

The Board of Education, as the governing body of the school district, is legally responsible for the selection of library materials, including the selection and approval of printed and non-printed materials for its use. Accordingly, the Board sets forth the following guidelines for the selection of library materials:

1. Library materials should be selected on a needs basis taking into consideration the varied interests, abilities, and maturity levels of the students served. Materials that support the curriculum should receive first priority and are selected from faculty requests, suggestions, and observed weaknesses in the library collection.

2. Pleasure reading should be selected when funds permit to encourage reading and an active use of the library.

3. Critical review sources should be used in selecting library materials.

4. Materials may also be selected on the basis of faculty or student recommendations but should be checked beforehand by the librarian.

5. Materials dealing with local history should be routinely purchased to develop a sense of cultural heritage and for use in local history courses. Such materials are also popular with the school community as a whole and are frequently used.

6. Ordering from advertisements is the least reliable method of selection and should be done only when it appears that the materials ordered will significantly improve the library collection.

7. Permabound paperbacks should be ordered whenever possible instead of regular paperbacks because they hold up longer and cost less than hardcover materials.

8. The collection will be in continuous evaluation to provide for up-to-date material in all areas, changing emphasis in school curriculum, new instructional methods and any other current needs of teachers and students.

9. The selection process will be continuous.

10. Final responsibility for the purchase of materials will rest with the library staff who are professionally trained and are knowledgeable about the educational objectives and program of the school.

11. Sufficient duplicate copies of materials must be available to meet the needs of students and teachers.

The Superintendent will develop regulations in order to respond to any complaints about, or challenges to, the selection of library materials. Such regulations will establish a complaint procedure and provide for a committee to review such complaints or challenges.

 
District Reference  ,
 
General Reference 

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

 
 
Adoption Date 2002-05-28
 
Last Revised 



Series: Series4000     Sub Series: 4500 INSTRUCTIONAL RESOURCES     Policy Number: 4524          Printer Friendly (opens in new window/tab)



Title 

SCHOOL LIBRARIES

Policy Text 

The Board of Education endorses the guidelines approved by the American Library Association and the assertion by the American Association of School Librarians that it is the responsibility of the school library/media center to provide:

• a comprehensive collection of instructional materials selected in compliance with basic, written selection principles, and to provide maximum accessibility to these materials;

• materials that will support the curriculum, taking into consideration the varied interests, abilities, socio-economic backgrounds, and maturity levels of the students served;

• materials for teachers and students that will encourage growth in knowledge, and that will develop literary, cultural and aesthetic appreciation, and ethical standards;

• materials which reflect the ideas and beliefs of religious, social, political, historical, and ethnic groups and their contribution to the American and world heritage and culture, thereby enabling students to develop an intellectual integrity in forming judgments.

Complaints from parents or students regarding library materials shall be handled via a procedure established by the Superintendent. The Board shall retain final authority regarding the permanent removal of materials from the school library. The Board will not remove any library materials for the purpose of suppressing ideas but may remove materials if the Board has determined that they are educationally unsuitable.

 
District Reference  ,
 
General Reference 

Education Law §274; 275; 277; 278; 279; 283; 310; 1709 (8); 2503 (4) (b); 2576 
8 NYCRR §90.7; 91.1; 91.2
Library Bill of Rights, American Library Association
Island Trees UFSD v. Pico, 457 U.S. 853 (1982)
Bicknell v. Vergennes Union School Board of Directors, 638 F.2d 438 (1980)

 
 
Adoption Date 2002-05-28
 
Last Revised 



Series: Series4000     Sub Series: 4500 INSTRUCTIONAL RESOURCES     Policy Number: 4526          Printer Friendly (opens in new window/tab)



Title 

USE OF COMPUTERS BY STAFF AND STUDENTS

Policy Text 

USE OF COMPUTERS BY STAFF AND STUDENTS

 

General Principles

The Board of Education of the Rhinebeck Central School District is committed to the optimization of student learning and teaching and therefore encourages the use of computers and networked resources, including the Internet (a global network made up of smaller contributing networks) by its students and staff. The District encourages computer use as an integral part of the curriculum. Through software applications, on-line data bases, bulletin boards and electronic mail, the network will enhance educational experience and provide statewide, national, and global communication opportunities for staff and students.

When a student or staff member accesses computers, computer networks, and educational technology owned or operated by the Rhinebeck Central School District (RCSD), or by the Dutchess County Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES), he/she assumes certain responsibilities and obligations. All access to information of this type is subject to appropriate RCSD or BOCES policies, and to local, state, federal, and international laws. RCSD expects that staff and student use of this technology will be ethical and will reflect academic honesty. Staff and students must demonstrate respect for intellectual property, ownership of data, system security mechanisms, and rights to privacy.

Each staff member or student who wishes to use the various networks available to him/her through District technology must establish a user (ID) account in order to insure the integrity of the network and Internet. Each account holder must agree to act responsibly and to comply with this Policy and the Administrative Regulations promulgated by the Board of Education and the Superintendent of Schools regarding access to and use of computers and networked information resources.   Therefore, before receiving a user account (ID), each student and staff member must sign a user agreement. In the case of students, the student’s parent or guardian must also sign the user agreement.

Under no condition should an account holder give his/her password to another user. All violations of this Policy and Regulations that can be traced to an individual account name will be treated as the sole responsibility of the owner of that account. A user account is a privilege that may be suspended or revoked in the event of a breach of this Policy and Regulations by an account user. Further, a breach of this policy and regulations may be considered an act of insubordination which may result in discipline of the account holder.

Users acknowledge that in the course of using the Internet, there may occur interruptions in service beyond the control of BOCES or the RCSD, which may result in the loss of data or files. BOCES and RCSD disclaim any and all responsibility for loss of data, information or files, caused by such service interruptions.

 Obligations

Staff and students are expected to make appropriate use of computer resources provided by the RCSD and the BOCES. Users must:

•                     Use computer resources only for authorized purposes following established procedures.

•                     Be responsible for all activities on an assigned account.

•                     Access only files and data that are your own, which are publicly available, or to which you have been given authorized access.

•                     Use only legal versions of copyrighted software.

•                     Be considerate in the use of shared resources.

•                     Maintain the privacy of your own password.

•                     Make no use of the computer for political advocacy, except where such is part of an approved, staff supervised, educational activity related to the curriculum. Such advocacy must contain a disclaimer that any opinions expressed do not represent those of the RCSD or the BOCES.

•                     Exercise care in the use of e-mail for appropriate purposes.

•                     Insure that any copyrighted material is not reproduced without the written approval of the owner of the copyright.

•                     Exercise care not to take ideas or writings from other individuals and offer them as their own (plagiarism).

 

Staff and students must not make inappropriate use of computer resources provided by the RCSD or the BOCES. The following is a partial list of examples of inappropriate use:

•                     Using another person’s password or revealing one’s password to another.

•                     Using another person’s files, system, or data without permission.

•                     Using computer programs to decode passwords or to access control information.

•                     Entering a code-protected or hidden file.

•                     Attempting to circumvent or subvert system security measures.

•                     Engaging in any activity that might be harmful to systems or to any information stored thereon, such as creating viruses, damaging files, or disrupting service.

•                     Vandalizing hardware or software components.

•                     Making or using illegal copies of copyrighted software, storing such

            copies on RCSD or the BOCES systems, or sending them to other networks.

•                     Using mail service to harass others.

•                     Using profane, obscene, defamatory or other kinds of inappropriate language.

•                     Violating any policies of the Boards of Education of the RCSD or the BOCESBoard, or any local state, federal, or international laws.

Internet Use and Safety

Internet access is provided with the understanding that the RCSD and the

BOCES cannot control the content available on the Internet. The vast majority of sites available provide a wealth of useful information to staff and students. However, some sites may contain information that is inaccurate, offensive, defamatory or otherwise inappropriate for students. The RCSD and BOCES do not condone or permit the use of such materials in the school environment and make good faith efforts to limit access by students to such inappropriate materials.

Users who bring such material into the school environment may have their accounts suspended or terminated, may be subject to disciplinary action, and may be referred to appropriate law enforcement officials where such activities are or are suspected of being illegal.


The District shall also provide age-appropriate instruction to students regarding appropriate online behavior including, but not limited to, interacting on social networks, web sites and chat rooms, and cyberbullying awareness and response. Such instruction will be provided even if the District prohibits students from accessing social networking sites and chat rooms on District technology.

The RCSD, in accordance with the Children’s Internet Protection Act, requires all District computers with Internet access to be equipped with filtering or blocking technology that blocks access to visual depictions that are obscene, child pornography or are harmful to minors. All newly acquired computers with Internet access will have this filtering or blocking technology installed within ten (10) days of installation of such computers. This shall be documented by the District in accordance with law. The District, however, does not guarantee that students will be prevented from accessing all inappropriate locations. 

 Parents, staff members, and students must be aware that it is the responsibility of the user to monitor his/her own access and to use sound judgement. However, the RCSD and BOCES, through their staff members, technology and systems reviews, shall monitor or line activities of students while in school, including but not limited to use of e-mail, chat rooms and other forms of direct electronic communication, “hacking” and other unlawful activities by minors and access to materials harmful to minors.

Any user who receives harassing, threatening, or unwelcome communications shall should immediately bring them to the attention of the teacher, the building principal, or the superintendent, as appropriate.

Privacy

Users acknowledge that the network administrator may periodically need to review on-line activities in the course of performing routine maintenance of the system. Users further acknowledge that if there is reasonable suspicion of a user having violated this policy or any other RCSD or BOCES Policy or Regulation, or any applicable law, the network administrator and/or appropriate school official may require access to his/her files, including private correspondence and private files, to review on-line activities. Any administrator reviewing such files in accordance with this Policy shall not be subject to any claims arising out of such review.

The RCSD and BOCES prohibit the unauthorized disclosure, use and dissemination of personal information regarding minors by their officers, employees or agents.

Due Process and Sanctions

The Rhinebeck Central School District considers any violation of this policy to be a serious offense. Any account user who after due process has been afforded, is determined to have used district computers, networked information resources and/or the Internet in violation of this Policy, may have his/her use account suspended and/or revoked. A breach of the terms of this Policy and any implementing Regulations may also result in disciplinary action consistent with applicable laws and regulations, the Student Code of Conduct, and applicable collective bargaining agreements. A breach of the terms of this Policy shall result in a referral to appropriate law enforcement officials where the breach involves suspected illegal or criminal activities.

 
District Reference  ,
 
General Reference 
 
 
Adoption Date 2001-10-09
 
Last Revised 2012-08-14



Series: Series4000     Sub Series: 4500 INSTRUCTIONAL RESOURCES     Policy Number: 4531          Printer Friendly (opens in new window/tab)



Title 

FIELD TRIPS AND EXCURSIONS

Policy Text 

Class field trips, planned for specific educational purposes, can be an integral part of the school program, and are encouraged. They should pertain to a specific element of the curriculum. All requests for field trips must receive prior approval from the building principal.

Transportation for field trips shall be provided by the district. Other arrangements such as private and public transportation may be used, but approval by designated school officials is necessary.

Overnight Trips

School sponsored overnight trips require the approval of the Superintendent and the Board. A preliminary written proposal for a field trip must be approved by the Principal and the Superintendent of Schools. Final approval by the Board of Education will be required after details of student participation, confirmed itinerary and costs, chaperones and general parent support are available. The costs for overnight trips of extracurricular organizations will be borne by the participants or the sponsoring organization.

Planning for All Trips

Planning of all trips should begin far enough in advance of the proposed trip dates, in order that fund raising activities may be carried on if there are students who wish to participate who cannot pay the proposed cost. No students shall be denied the opportunity to participate because of inability to pay the proposed fees.

Insurance Coverage

Where a school trip is to be out of the state, it is necessary that the insurance company (agent) be put on notice of the destination of the trip, dates, student participants, chaperones, and the nature of the trip 30 days prior to the trip, and with the approval of the Board of Education.

 
District Reference  ,
 
General Reference 
 
 
Adoption Date 2002-05-28
 
Last Revised 



Series: Series4000     Sub Series: 4600 GUIDANCE PROGRAMS     Policy Number: 4600          Printer Friendly (opens in new window/tab)



Title 

GUIDANCE PROGRAMS

Policy Text 

Guidance programs will be available for all students in grades K-12 to ensure effective participation in their current and future educational programs.

In grades K-5, the guidance program shall be designed in coordination with the teaching staff to prepare students’ educational programs, to help students who exhibit any attendance, academic, behavioral or adjustment problems, to educate students concerning avoidance of child sexual abuse, and to encourage parental involvement.

In grades 6-12, the guidance program shall include the following activities or services:

1. an annual review of each student’s educational progress and career plans, with such reviews to be conducted with each student individually or with small groups by personnel certified as school counselors;

2. instruction to help students learn about various careers and about career planning skills conducted by personnel certified as school counselors, or by classroom teachers in cooperation with school counselors;

3. other advisory and individual or group counseling assistance to enable student to benefit from the curriculum, to help students develop and implement post-secondary education and career plans, to help students who exhibit any attendance, academic, behavioral, or adjustment problems and to encourage parental involvement, provided that advisory assistance shall be provided by teachers or counselors, or by certified teaching assistants under the supervision of counselors or teachers, and that such individual or group counseling assistance shall be provided by certified school psychologists in cooperation with school counselors; and

4. the services of personnel certified as school counselors.

The Superintendent of Schools shall provide for the development of a district plan which shall present guidance program objectives, describe expectations of what students will learn from the program, activities to accomplish the objectives, specification of staff members and other resources assigned to accomplish the objectives, and provision for the annual assessment of program results. The plan shall be reviewed annually by the school district, and revisions shall be made as necessary.

 
District Reference  ,
 
General Reference 

8 NYCRR §100.2(j) 

 
 
Adoption Date 2002-05-28
 
Last Revised 



Series: Series4000     Sub Series: 4700 ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT     Policy Number: 4710          Printer Friendly (opens in new window/tab)



Title 

GRADING SYSTEMS

Policy Text 

Grading is considered a positive tool to indicate achievement and development in each class or subject in which a student is enrolled. The Board of Education recognizes that the classroom teacher has the primary responsibility to evaluate students and determine student grades.

The district will use a uniform grading system. Classroom teachers will evaluate students and assign grades according to the established system.

It is to be recognized that a student is an individual with his/her own abilities and capabilities. It is also recognized that an individual is part of a society which is achievement oriented and competitive in nature. Hence, when a student’s achievement is evaluated, attention should be given to his/her unique characteristics and to accepted standards of performance in the educational setting.

Grading will be based, in part, upon student improvement, achievement, and participation in classroom discussions and activities as guided by the New York State and local learning standards (see 5100, Student Attendance). Parent(s)/Guardian(s) will be informed regularly, at least four (4) times a year, of their child’s progress. The use of marks and symbols will be appropriately explained.

Grading will not be used for disciplinary purposes, i.e., reducing grade for an unexcused absence, although a lower grade can be given for failure to complete assigned work or for lack of class participation.

All students are expected to complete the assigned class work and homework as directed. Students are also expected to participate meaningfully in class discussions and activities in order to receive course credit. If work is missed due to absence, the student is expected to make up the work. The student and/or the student’s parent(s) or guardian(s) should discuss with the student’s teacher an appropriate means of making up the missed work. With the possible exception of absences intended by the student as a means of gaining an unfair academic advantage (e.g., to secure more time to study for a test), every effort will be made to provide students with the opportunity and assistance to make up all work missed as a result of absence from class (see 4760, Makeup Opportunities).

The professional judgment of the teacher should be respected. Once a grade is assigned to a student by a teacher, the grade may only be changed by a district administrator after notification to the teacher of the reason for such change. Should an administrator enforce a grade change, he/she shall be prepared to report to the Superintendent of Schools and/or the Board.

 
District Reference  ,
 
General Reference 

Education Law §§3202; 3205 et seq. 
Matter of Nathaniel D., 32 EDR 67 (1992)
Matter of Hegarty, 31 EDR 232 (1992)
Matter of Shepard, 31 EDR 315 (1992)
Matter of Handicapped Child, 32 EDR 83 (1992)
Matter of Ackert, 30 EDR 31 (1990)
Matter of Augustine, 30 EDR 13 (1990)
Matter of Boylan, 24 EDR 421 (1985)
Matter of Burns, 29 EDR 103 (1989)
Matter of Chipman, 10 EDR 224 (1971)
Matter of Dickershaid, 26 EDR 112 (1986)
Matter of Fitchett Delk, 25 EDR 178 (1985)
Matter of Gibbons, 22 EDR 134 (1982)
Matter of LaViolette, 24 EDR 37 (1984)
Matter of MacWhinnie, 20 EDR 145 (1980)
Matter of McClurkin, 28 EDR 136 (1988)
Matter of Reid, 65 Misc 2d 718 (1971)
Matter of Rivers, 27 EDR 73 (1987)
Matter of Shamon, 22 EDR 428 (1983)

 
 
Adoption Date 2002-05-28
 
Last Revised 



Series: Series4000     Sub Series: 4700 ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT     Policy Number: 4711          Printer Friendly (opens in new window/tab)



Title 

EXAMINATIONS

Policy Text 

The Board of Education requires the Superintendent of Schools and his/her professional staff to maintain a continuing evaluation of the progress of students. A final examination or culminating project shall be administered at the conclusion of each credit-bearing course. Other testing relating to a course shall be administered in the judgment of the teacher.

The building principal may permit a student to take a Regents examination without having taken the course, as outlined in the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education.

 
District Reference  ,
 
General Reference 
 
 
Adoption Date 2002-05-28
 
Last Revised 



Series: Series4000     Sub Series: 4700 ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT     Policy Number: 4712          Printer Friendly (opens in new window/tab)



Title 

REPORTING TO PARENTS

Policy Text 

A continuous effort will be made to inform parents of each student’s progress, through the use of quarterly report cards, parent conferences and telephone calls.

Elementary Level (K-5)

Report cards will be provided to parents/guardians at the end of each quarterly marking period. Progress reports may be sent in the middle of each quarter. In addition, parent conferences will be conducted at the end of the first, and if necessary, third marking period.

 

Parents/guardians will sign and return the report card envelope at the end of the first, second, and third reporting periods. Report cards will be kept by the parents at the end of the school year. A school copy of each report card will be maintained by the classroom teacher and placed in the student’s cumulative folder at the end of the school year.

Middle School and High School [Secondary] Levels (6-12)

Report cards will be mailed to the parents/guardians of each student at the end of each of the first three quarters. In the middle of each quarter, interim reports will be sent home for students who are progressing poorly or failing individual subjects. For any unique situation that a teacher feels warrants informing the parent, an interim report will be completed. This may include exceptional progress, conduct problems, or a lack of effort.

Additional progress reports may be made as needed. This may include written weekly reports, parent conferences, or telephone conversations pertinent to a student’s progress.

Title I and Academic Intervention Services Students

Parents/guardians of students receiving Title I and/or Academic Intervention Services (AIS) shall be provided with quarterly written reports on their child's progress, opportunities for parent conferences or consultations each semster, and suggestions for working with the student at home. Copies of letters sent to parents/guardians relating to a particular situation or problem will be kept in the student's folder.

Each student who receives Title I or AIS services will be monitored and evaluated frequently for academic progress.

 
District Reference  ,
 
General Reference 

34 CFR §200.34(c)(l)(i) (ESEA Title I Program in Local Educational Agencies) 
8 NYCRR Part 149, subparts 149-1; 149-3

 
 
Adoption Date 2002-06-11
 
Last Revised 



Series: Series4000     Sub Series: 4700 ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT     Policy Number: 4720          Printer Friendly (opens in new window/tab)



Title 

TESTING PROGRAMS

Policy Text 

The Board of Education recognizes that an established testing program facilitates the gathering and utilization of objective information about the student for use by counselors, teachers, administrators, and parents in improving instruction and learning situations to better meet the needs of all students.

A regular testing program will be established for administering standardized tests to all students at designated points in their programs from grades K-12. The purpose of the testing program is to help:

1. the individual student understand and develop his/her academic abilities;

2. educators and parents make better judgments about individual students;

3. educators make better judgments about groups of students and about curriculum implementation.

The established testing program shall include a sequence achievement and other tests administered at prescribed grade levels, and shall be under continuous study by qualified specialists and administrative personnel as reflected in the K-12 Guidance Plan.

Tests shall be administered to all students in the areas prescribed by the State Education Department. Students falling below the statewide reference point on such tests will receive appropriate Academic Intervention Services designed to help them improve and meet State learning standards.

The information drawn from standardized tests should be used only in conjunction with all the other information known about the student in advising him/her, or assisting the student to improve his/her work.

Test records shall be kept in such a way that teachers and parents can see each child’s growth and progress in his/her school subjects. Details concerning each test can be obtained from the building principal or the secondary guidance counselors.

 
District Reference  ,
 
General Reference 

8 NYCRR §§100.3(b)2; 100.4(d)1; 100.5(a)4; 100.5(b)5; 100.5(c)5 

 
 
Adoption Date 2002-05-28
 
Last Revised 



Series: Series4000     Sub Series: 4000     Policy Number: 4730          Printer Friendly (opens in new window/tab)



Title 

HOMEWORK

Policy Text 

Homework is part of the learning process and should be assigned through the exercise of the teacher’s professional judgment, consistent with best practice as identified in educational research and learning theory. Homework must be relevant to the course content being studied, developmentally appropriate, and properly calibrated to a student’s knowledge and skills. Homework assignments are to be reviewed and, when submission is required, corrected and returned in a timely fashion such that appropriate feedback is provided to students.

 
District Reference  ,
 
General Reference 
 
 
Adoption Date 2002-05-28
 
Last Revised 2016-05-10



Series: Series4000     Sub Series: 4700 ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT     Policy Number: 4750          Printer Friendly (opens in new window/tab)



Title 

PROMOTION AND RETENTION OF STUDENTS

Policy Text 

The following guidelines shall govern student progression from grade to grade:

Early Identification/Intervention

Classroom teachers are expected to make every effort to identify early those students at risk of failing. The Building Principal and the parents/guardian must be notified promptly if retention is anticipated, and a special support program shall be designed for each child identified as in danger of failing. Such support services may include, but are not limited to, individualized assistance before, during or after the school day; remedial classes; a change in instructional treatment, and, where appropriate, referral to the Committee on Special Education for evaluation.

Promotion/Retention

Elementary level (K-5) At the elementary level, students who successfully complete the grade-level program typically will be promoted. Students who do not make satisfactory progress in one or more basic subjects -- Reading, English, Mathematics, Spelling, Social Studies and Science -- shall have their cases considered on an individual basis and may be retained.

Middle School level (6-8) Students successfully completing the grade level program of courses will be promoted to the next grade level.

High School level (9-12) At the high school level, promotion from one class to the next shall be contingent upon passing all required subjects and the accumulation of 4 or 5 units of credit at each level.

Academic standards. Building Principals shall be responsible for ensuring that written standards for student progress at each grade level are available to parents and others upon request. Such academic standards are to be forwarded to the Superintendent of Schools each year.

Retention. A decision to retain shall be arrived at by consensus from a case conference approach involving the teacher, Building Principal, school psychologist, and parent/guardian. Factors to be considered include teacher recommendation; classroom achievement and attitude; standardized test scores; social, emotional and physical development; results of the family conference; and, for identified students, recommendations by the Committee on Special Education. If a consensus cannot be reached, the decision of the Building Principal shall be final.

At the middle level, eight grade students who fail a core academic subject will need to repeat that course the following school year, successfully complete a summer school course in that subject, or successfully complete a pre-approved alternative program. Seventh and eighth grade students who fail two or more major subjects will be referred to the Building Principal, who in conjunction with the faculty and guidance department will consider the options of summer school, placement in an alternative program, or retention. Sixth grade students who receive a final report card of U in two or more major subjects will be referred to the Building Principal who will take appropriate action.

No student will be retained without an appropriate educational plan defining what will occur that is instructionally different for the student. Once the educational plan has been implemented, the student will be monitored regularly. The educational plan will be revised until the student demonstrates acceptable performance.

 
District Reference  ,
 
General Reference 

Education Law §§1709; 2503(4); 3202 
8 NYCRR §100.4
Isqwith v. Levitt, 285 App. Div. 833; 137 N.Y.S.2d 497 (1955)
Matter of Eckert, 13 EDR 270 (1979)
Op. Counsel, 1 EDR 775 (1952) 

 
 
Adoption Date 2002-05-28
 
Last Revised 



Series: Series4000     Sub Series: 4700 ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT     Policy Number: 4751          Printer Friendly (opens in new window/tab)



Title 

ACCELERATION

Policy Text 

The concept of individualized learning requires that students be allowed flexibility in their educational planning. Based on a determination as to the academic and social needs of the students, acceleration may be affected after consultation among school authorities, the student, and parents.

7th and 8th Grade Acceleration

The district allows acceleration in 8th grade mathematics and in at least one of the following areas, as required by the regulations of the Commissioner of Education:

1. Science

2. Languages Other Than English

3. English

4. Social Studies

5. Art

6. Music

7. Career and Technical Education

Criteria for acceleration will be jointly determined by the high school and middle school staff and will include academic ability, maturity, and task orientation.

Testing Out

Students may earn a maximum of six and one half units of credit without completing units of study if the student meets all of the following criteria:

1. Based upon the student’s past academic performance, the Superintendent of Schools or his/her designee determines that the student will benefit academically by exercising this alternative.

2. The student is in attendance at school in accordance with the Education Law.

3. The student achieves a score of at least 85 percent, or its equivalent as determined by the Commissioner of Education, on a state developed or state approved examination.

4. The student passes an oral examination or successfully completes a special project to demonstrate proficiency as determined by the Building Principal or his/her designee.

 
District Reference  ,
 
General Reference 
 
 
Adoption Date 2002-05-28
 
Last Revised 



Series: Series4000     Sub Series: 4700 ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT     Policy Number: 4760          Printer Friendly (opens in new window/tab)



Title 

MAKEUP OPPORTUNITIES

Policy Text 

Students who are absent shall be given reasonable time to make up assignments missed during their absence. When necessary and applicable, assignments may be sent home and teachers shall be available to render necessary assistance. Students whose misconduct is directly related to the student's academic performance (e.g., plagiarism) may be denied the opportunity to make up work.

It is the student's responsibility to request all makeup assignments from subject teachers following absence from class. The student must request assignments early enough to allow adequate time for completion prior to the end of the marking quarter.

 
District Reference  ,
 
General Reference 

Matter of Augustine, 30 EDR 13 (1990) 
Matter of Shannon, 26 EDR 218 (1986)
Matter of Falcigno, 22 EDR 599 (1983)

 
 
Adoption Date 2002-05-28
 
Last Revised 



Series: Series4000     Sub Series: 4700 ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT     Policy Number: 4771          Printer Friendly (opens in new window/tab)



Title 

EARLY GRADUATION AND EARLY ADMISSION TO COLLEGE

Policy Text 

The Board of Education will allow a student to graduate from high school early, upon the recommendation of their guidance counselor and approval of the high school Principal, if he/she completes the necessary application form by April 15 of the sophomore year and is able to fulfill all graduation requirements.

A student who presents a strong academic background and prefers to spend his/her senior year at college may do so if he/she completes the necessary forms by February 1 of the junior year indicating approval from parent, counselor and Principal. A student attending college during their senior year must also complete the requirements for high school graduation. A two semester, six credit hour college course will be accepted for one unit of high school credit. A one semester three credit hour college course will be accepted for one half unit of high school credit.

A student shall not be denied an exact class rank if he/she wishes to pursue early graduation or early admission to college.

 
District Reference  ,
 
General Reference 

(Matter of Chesbrough, 32 EDR 647 (1993)) 

 
 
Adoption Date 2002-05-28
 
Last Revised 



Series: Series4000     Sub Series: 4700 ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT     Policy Number: 4773          Printer Friendly (opens in new window/tab)



Title 

INDIVIDUALIZED EDUCATION PROGRAM DIPLOMAS

Policy Text 

The Board of Education and district staff shall comply with all federal and state requirements concerning the education of children with disabilities. All students, including those with disabilities, shall be given the greatest opportunity possible to earn a Regents or local diploma.

The Committee on Special Education (CSE) shall review the progress of all students with disabilities who will attain the age of 21 years prior to the end of the current school year and those students with disabilities who have received 12 years of education for whom an application for a high school individualized education program (IEP) diploma has been made. The CSE shall notify the Superintendent of Schools of those students eligible to receive an IEP diploma.

Pursuant to Section 100.9(b) of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education, a student with a disability who has attained the age of 21 and has achieved the educational goals contained in his/her current IEP shall be awarded an IEP diploma. Upon application of a student with a disability, or the student's parent(s), an IEP diploma shall be issued if the student has attended school, or received a substantially equivalent education elsewhere, for twelve years exclusive of kindergarten, if the student has achieved the educational goals specified in the student's current IEP.

The Superintendent shall file with the Commissioner of Education, within 15 days after graduation, a report concerning students awarded IEP diplomas in that school year and any other information required by the Commissioner.

Each IEP diploma shall indicate on its face that it is awarded on the basis of the student's successful achievement of the educational goals specified in the student's current IEP as recommended by the CSE.

A local certificate (or certificate of attendance) may be issued to a student with a disability who has attended at least 13 years of school beyond kindergarten and who has completed the goals of his/her IEP program “in effect during the school year in which the certificate is awarded,” but who has not completed all of the requirements for an IEP diploma.

If a student receiving a high school IEP diploma or local certificate is less than 21 years of age, such diploma or local certificate shall be accompanied by a written statement of assurance that the student named as its recipient shall continue to be eligible to attend the public schools of the district without the payment of tuition until the student has earned a high school diploma or until the end of the school year of such student’s 21st birthday, whichever is earlier.

 
District Reference  ,
 
General Reference 

8 NYCRR §§100.6; 100.9

 
 
Adoption Date 2002-05-28
 
Last Revised 



Series: Series4000     Sub Series: 4700 ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT     Policy Number: 4775          Printer Friendly (opens in new window/tab)



Title 

VALEDICTORIAN/SALUTATORIAN

Policy Text 

In order to acknowledge the academic achievement of students over the course of their high school careers at the annual graduation ceremony, the high school principal will designate a valedictorian and salutatorian. The valedictorian will be designated as the student who has earned the highest weighted cumulative grade point average at the conclusion of the third academic quarter of the senior year. The salutatorian will be designated as the student who has earned the next highest weighted cumulative grade point average at the conclusion of the third academic quarter of the senior year. For the purpose of making this designation, the weighted cumulative grade point averages will be calculated to the hundredths place.

Those students so designated as valedictorian and salutatorian, as well as any other student commencement speakers designated by the high school principal, will be provided with the opportunity to speak at their commencement ceremony, provided that they submit a written copy of their remarks for review by the high school principal and class advisor(s) at least two weeks in advance of the ceremony.

The high school principal and class advisor(s) will use the following guidelines in reviewing the graduation speech of each student commencement speaker: it must be grammatically correct; must not endanger the health, safety, or welfare of students; must not be libelous, vulgar, profane, or obscene; and must not threaten any person or group in the school or advocate action that would bring about discrimination on the basis of race, religion, age, disability, gender, marital status, national origin, or other discriminatory basis.

While the salutatorian and valedictorian, as well as other designated student commencement speakers, have a great deal of latitude in what they may say in their commencement addresses, the Board of Education urges them to consider in advance the appropriateness of their intended remarks and the potential effect of those remarks on their classmates, their parents, and their family. The Board does not wish to engender ill will in the community that might result, whether intentionally or unintentionally, from the remarks delivered by the graduation speakers.

 
District Reference  ,
 
General Reference 
 
 
Adoption Date 2005-01-25
 
Last Revised 



Series: Series4000     Sub Series: 4800 MISCELLANEOUS INSTRUCTIONAL POLICIES     Policy Number: 4810          Printer Friendly (opens in new window/tab)



Title 

APPROACH TO INSTRUCTION

Policy Text 

The study of developmentally appropriate issues should help students learn how to gather and organize pertinent facts, evaluate those facts, be prepared to defend their conclusions, and respect the opinions of others.

 

The Board expects teachers to determine whether a particular issue is aligned with the course curriculum and thus suitable for study or discussion in any particular class.  Teachers should not spend class time on any topic which they feel is developmentally unsuitable for the class or is unrelated to the established course of study.

 

The Board also expects teachers to follow the established curriculum and to introduce a variety of viewpoints where they may add to the discussion, with adequate and appropriate factual information.  In class discussions, the teacher should help students separate fact from opinion in drawing conclusions so they are able to understand and acknowledge the difference. The teacher shall not suppress any student’s view on the issue as long as its expression is not malicious or abusive toward others.

 

The Board of Education encourages teachers to invite guest speakers into their classrooms to enhance the delivery of the curriculum. Teachers hosting guest speakers shall ask them prior to speaking to provide students with factual information and not to use their position to influence students through the use of propaganda or to vilify those holding contrary points of view.

 

Candidates for political office are prohibited from campaigning in the District’s schools or on school property during the school day, or at any other time unless administrative authorization, such as for an approved evening community event, has been secured in advance.

 
District Reference  ,
 
General Reference 

Education Law §414
Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier, 484 US 260 (1988)
Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District, 393 US 503 (1969)
Board of Ed., Malverne UFSD v. Morgan, 3020-a panel decision; Howard C. Edelman, Esq., chairman (Feb. 2, 1990)
Matter of Morgan, 29 EDR 363 (1990)
Malverne v. Sobol (RJI # 01-90-ST2690) Sup. Ct., Albany County, G. Cobb, J.S.C., 4/1/91 

 
 
Adoption Date 2002-05-28
 
Last Revised 2010-06-08



Series: Series4000     Sub Series: 4800 MISCELLANEOUS INSTRUCTIONAL POLICIES     Policy Number: 4820          Printer Friendly (opens in new window/tab)



Title 

RELIGION AND THE SCHOOLS

Policy Text 

Philosophy

The District supports an understanding of and appreciation for the diversity of religions and their customs in our community and provides a respectful, understanding, welcoming, balanced, and safe environment for all.

The District recognizes the rights of students and staff to exercise their religious freedoms, of all faiths or none, in ways that are consistent with applicable judicial decisions interpreting the religion clauses of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.  The First Amendment directs that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” In accordance with the Establishment Clause, the District will not endorse specific religious practices or doctrines, neither encourage nor coerce participation in religious activity.  It is the Board’s philosophy that by adhering to the principles of the Free Exercise and Establishment Clause of the First Amendment of the Constitution, the Board promotes mutual understanding and respect for the interests and rights of all individuals in the District regardless of their religious beliefs, non-beliefs, or practices.  The District will maintain official neutrality regarding sectarian religious issues and will neither advance nor inhibit religion. Students and staff may express personal religious views or beliefs within the parameters of the law. 

The study of literature, history, music, the arts, science, ethics, and social institutions may involve discussions including religion and the impact of religious beliefs and practices. Teachers will make their best effort to represent a balanced approach, recognizing the religions represented in our school community.  The Board recognizes, however, that there will be times when a concept being taught or discussed can only be demonstrated using one or a limited number of relevant cultural or religious references.  Teachers will discuss only the educational value of such concepts. Students are instructed in a climate in which ideas can be discussed in an objective way for their educational value, with an emphasis on their impact on the literature, history, music, arts, science, ethics, and / or social institutions being studied.  This Board policy requires that the school environment be honest, respectful, caring and safe, and that diversity be recognized, accepted, and promoted through inclusive practices.

 

Instructional Practices

The Board believes that religious instruction is the responsibility of parents and religious institutions.  As a means of recognizing and valuing the diversity of our students, any instruction in the classroom must be respectful of religions that may be represented by the school community and of those students with few or no religious ties, and will give equal instructional time to all groups represented in the classroom in order to maintain an inclusive learning environment.  Teachers may teach about religion.  Teaching about religion is viewed as instructing about the impact of religion in literature, history, the arts, and other curriculum disciplines.   To ensure that the educational approach to religion is one of academic instruction, teachers must provide connections between discussions involving religion and curricular materials.

 

Opportunities may arise during curriculum discussions of religious holidays and/ or holy days while studying different cultures. Recognition of, and information about, holidays or holy days may focus on how and when they are celebrated, their origins, histories, and generally agreed upon meanings.  Comments by a student regarding his / her beliefs should be treated with respect and may be included in the lesson based upon the educational relevancy.  Presentations and activities as part of the study of religions or religious holidays/holy days should be instructional rather than celebratory.

Teachers may not promote any particular religion, or religion in general.

 

Activities in School

Holidays such as Easter, Passover, Kwanzaa, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Hanukkah, Christmas, Ramadan, and others offer opportunities to teach students about a variety of cultural and religious traditions and beliefs of conscience held around the world during the school year. Classroom or other school parties or activities may not be in celebration of religious holidays.  While teachers and school personnel may teach about religious holidays, they may not promote a single religion.  Volunteers functioning within the District are expected to abide by this policy.  It is the responsibility of the school Principal, or his/her designee, to ensure compliance on the part of school personnel as well as volunteers. 

Teachers selecting student activities, seasonal music for study or performance, and developing lesson plans, should ask themselves the following four questions in order to ensure its appropriateness:

1.      What is the goal?

2.      Does it have a true secular, civic, or educational purpose?  What is that purpose?

3.      Does the primary effect neither advance, nor inhibit religion?

4.      Does it avoid excessive entanglement between school and religious organizations?

To ensure that the educational approach to religion is one of academic instruction, teachers should provide connections between discussions involving religion and curricular materials.  Presentations and activities as part of the age-appropriate study of religions or religious holy days should be instructional rather than celebratory.  Discussion of holy days is to include the significance and generally accepted meaning of holy days observed by a balanced number of religions, whenever possible representing those observed by students within a class in addition to others deemed appropriate by the teacher in his/her effort to ensure a broad spectrum of inclusion.  Artists invited to our schools to share their work, experiences, dance, etc. will be from diverse backgrounds and genres. 

If the content of a classroom or school activity, program, or discussion conflicts with any child’s religious beliefs, that child may be excused from the activity, upon receipt of a written request from the child’s parent that outlines the manner in which the parent will take responsibility for providing the portion of the curriculum from which the student is to be excused.  A practice of excusing students from specific activities cannot be used to justify school sponsorship of religious celebrations, worship for the remaining students, or for presenting an unbalanced educational experience in our schools.

 

Music Instruction

Music with a religious text or of a religious origin comprises a substantial portion of music.  The presentation of religious music, primarily for its musical content, literary importance, or historical value is appropriate.  Teachers will make their best effort to maintain a balanced approach, with respect for religions represented in our school community.  The Board recognizes, however, that there will be times when a concept being taught or discussed can only be demonstrated using one or a limited number of relevant cultural or religious references.  Teachers will discuss only the educational value of such concepts. The presentation of the music under circumstances that might reasonably suggest that it is being offered for devotional purposes, or as a religious celebration, is inappropriate.  Concerts, school assemblies, and other school programs may include religious and/or seasonal music and shall be balanced with respect to religions represented in our school community.  However, such activities dominated by religious music, especially coinciding with a particular religious holiday, are not appropriate. 

Art Instruction

Art with a religious theme forms a large part of the art of many cultures.  Learning about such art contributes to a student’s overall education.  The art is to be studied as part of the educational program, and not for its religious content.  Students may create religious art, but teachers may not organize the creation of religious art, in particular, if the intent is to decorate for a religious holiday.

 

Symbols and Displays

Displays of religious symbols or secular symbols commonly associated with religious holidays such as, but not limited to, the crèche, cross, and Star of David are permitted as a teaching aid or resource for a specific period of time when:

1. Teaching about religion in the classroom, and / or

2. They are intended to be a component of a building plan to teach about

    religious customs or beliefs, and/or

 

3. Their purpose is to educate about multiple cultures. 

These symbols must be treated with appropriate sensitivity.  When creating the plan for display of religious symbols the following questions must be asked in order to ensure appropriateness:

1.   What is the goal?

2.   Does it have a secular, civic, or educational purpose?  What is that purpose?

3.   Does the primary effect neither advance, nor inhibit religion?

4.   Does it avoid excessive entanglement between school and religious organizations?

 

Symbols from multiple cultures must be displayed at the same time as appropriate, or over the school year, in recognition of a variety of civic, seasonal, and/or cultural events.  The primary intent of such displays is to be educational and multi-cultural.

Celebrations

While teachers and school officials may teach about religious holidays, they may not celebrate such holidays in school.  Classroom parties may not be in celebration of religious holidays.

 

Staff and Volunteer Religious Expression

Teachers, staff, and volunteers may engage in private religious activity at work.  They may not engage in religious activities with students, or encourage or solicit student religious, or anti-religious activities.  They may not pray with students in school or when acting in their capacities as teachers or representatives of the District.  Teachers, staff, and volunteers may wear religious attire, decorations such as necklaces bearing religious symbols, but should not wear clothing or other accessories containing proselytizing messages. 

In responding to student questions regarding their personal religious beliefs and/ or practices, teachers, staff, and volunteers may choose not to respond.  If they do choose to respond, they must maintain neutrality by not advocating or encouraging acceptance of his/her religious beliefs or practices.

Volunteers are expected to abide by this and all District policies.

 

School Calendar

The school calendar shall be prepared in a way that minimizes conflict with religious holidays of all faiths.  A sincere attempt will be made not to schedule graduation, assemblies, and other special school and student events on religious holidays, or days of religious observance.  In the case of prolonged or weekly observance by a particular group represented in our community, sincere attempts will be made to rotate scheduling of such school events in order to ensure opportunities for student participation over time.  If conflicts occur, sensitivity and flexibility need to be exercised. 

The Rhinebeck Central School District ’s published calendar will note major religious holidays of importance in our community, which will be reviewed annually.

Request for Clarification

With full understanding that the issues surrounding religious diversity and the freedom of expression are deep and complex, the District is committed to reflecting upon and answering questions that are brought by students, parents, or staff.  Individual concerns, questions, or issues should be brought to the attention of the building Principal.  The Superintendent of Schools will keep the Board of Education apprised of said concerns, questions, or issues raised regarding this policy throughout the school year.

The Superintendent or designee is charged with developing Regulations in accordance with this policy.

 

 
District Reference  ,
 
General Reference 
 
 
Adoption Date 2006-10-10
 
Last Revised 



Series: Series4000     Sub Series: 4800 MISCELLANEOUS INSTRUCTIONAL POLICIES     Policy Number: 4821          Printer Friendly (opens in new window/tab)



Title 

NATIONAL HISTORIC EVENTS IN THE SCHOOLS

Policy Text 

To promote patriotism and the education of our students about events affecting our nation’s history, age appropriate activities and lesson plans conducted in school commemorating non-religious national holidays and historic events are encouraged.

 
District Reference  ,
 
General Reference 
 
 
Adoption Date 2006-11-14
 
Last Revised 



Series: Series4000     Sub Series: 4800 MISCELLANEOUS INSTRUCTIONAL POLICIES     Policy Number: 4830          Printer Friendly (opens in new window/tab)



Title 

ANIMAL DISSECTION

Policy Text 

The Board of Education recognizes that animal dissection is an integral part of the study of living things and instruction in the life sciences.  The Board also recognizes that some students may have a moral or religious objection to dissection or otherwise harming or destroying animals. 

 

In accordance with Section 809 of the Education Law, any student who objects to dissecting animals may opt-out of dissection activities, provided that the student performs an alternative project through which he or she can learn and be assessed on material required by the course.  An alternative project may include, but is not limited to, computer programs, internet simulations, plastic models, videotapes, and digital videodiscs, and is subject to prior approval by the student’s teacher. The student’s objection must be substantiated in writing by the student’s parent/guardian.

 

At the start of each year, teachers of courses that include animal dissection shall give written notice to the students in those classes and to their parents/guardians of the right to opt-out of animal dissection and to perform an alternative activity. 

           

No student shall be discriminated against based upon his or her decision to exercise the right to opt-out of animal dissection.

 
District Reference  ,
 
General Reference 
 
 
Adoption Date 2011-06-14
 
Last Revised