CODE OF CONDUCT


The Code of Conduct shall include, but is not limited to:

Provisions regarding conduct, dress and language deemed appropriate and acceptable on school property, including school functions; and conduct, dress and language deemed unacceptable and inappropriate on school property.

 

Public Conduct on School Property

Maintenance of Public Order

The Board of Education of the Red Creek Central School District, pursuant to Section 2801 of the Education Law, does hereby adopt the following rules and regulations to provide for the maintenance of public order on the property of said school district and to provide for the enforcement thereof.

Applicability

These rules and regulations shall apply to all persons upon the real or personal property of the Red Creek Central School District including, but not limited to, students, employees of the school district and any other individuals on school district owned or controlled premises. The superintendent, or designee, may request individuals who do not comply with school rules to vacate the school premises. Law enforcement will be called for individuals who refuse the request to vacate the premises.

Violations

The Board of Education of the Red Creek Central School District hereby declares that the commission of any of the following constitutes improper and prohibited conduct by any persons while upon the property of said school district:

Willful obstruction or disruption of teaching, research, administration, disciplinary procedures or other school district activities, including the school district’s public service functions, or of other authorized activities on school district owned or controlled property.

Physical abuse, the infliction of personal injury or unlawful detention of any person on school district property.

Illegal or unauthorized possession, use or sale of firearms or other dangerous weapons.

Illegal or unauthorized possession, use, sale or other disposition of any items or substances which are declared illegal by the laws of the State of New York.

Damage to or conversion of personal property or real property within school district owned or controlled premises.

Willful interference with the free flow of pedestrian or vehicular traffic on school district owned or controlled premises.

Entry upon or use of school district facilities or property without authorization in those cases where said facilities or property are restricted in entry or use.

Violations of regulations governing the use of school district facilities or property.

General distribution or dissemination of printed, written, recorded, or other materials without the prior approval of the building principal or his designee. The granting of approval or the refusal to grant the same, shall be determined in accordance with administrative guidelines or the distribution and dissemination of materials on school owned or controlled premises. Nothing here shall be construed to violate a person’s constitutional rights to free speech or assembly.

Failure to comply with the lawful directions of school district employees or law enforcement officers acting in performance of their duties.

Soliciting, commanding, aiding or otherwise abetting any person with any act or conduct prescribed by these rules and regulations.

Possession, use, sale or other disposition of illegal substances.

Operation of motor vehicles, including, but not limited to, snowmobiles, motor bikes, go-carts, motor scooters, and other similar vehicles propelled by a gasoline, diesel oil, fossil fuel or electric power engine, on all property now or hereafter owned by the District. This prohibition shall not apply to:

Motor vehicles as defined by the New York State Vehicle & Traffic Law (except snowmobiles, motor bikes, go-carts, motor scooters and other similar vehicles) which are (I) licensed by the Dept. of Motor Vehicles of the State of New York; (ii) insured under the mandatory provisions of the Vehicle & Traffic Law; and (iii) lawfully operated on driveways or parking fields accessory to any school, installation, or facility under the jurisdiction of the District, or;

Motor vehicles which are operated on other portions of District property for the purpose of conducting business of performing services for District purposes.

No motor vehicle shall be operated on District property at a speed in excess of fifteen (15) miles per hour.

Commission of omission of any act which is in violation of any State, Federal or Local Law, rule or regulation.

Hazing - (Any action or situation which recklessly and intentionally endangers the mental or physical health of a student).

While on school property or at school functions it is required that everyone be respectful of and to each other.

Smoking or use of tobacco products is prohibited on school property.

Skateboarding on school property (as per policy)

Failure to comply with Board of Education policy.

No animals allowed on school grounds or at school functions unless with prior permission from school administration.

Visitors to the Schools

The board encourages parents and other district citizens to visit the district’s schools and classrooms to observe the work of students, teachers and other staff. Since schools are a place of work and learning, however, certain limits must be set for such visits. The building principal or his or her designee is responsible for all persons in the building and on the grounds. For these reasons, the following rules apply to visitors to the schools:

Anyone who is not a regular staff member or student of the school will be considered a visitor.

All visitors to the school must report to the office of the principal upon arrival at the school. There they will be required to sign the visitor’s register and will be issued a visitor’s identification badge, which must be worn at all times while in the school or on school grounds. The visitor must return the identification badge to the principal’s office before leaving the building.

Visitors attending school functions that are open to the public, such as parent-teacher organization meetings or public gatherings, are not required to register.

Parents or citizens who wish to observe a classroom while school is in session are required to arrange such visits in advance with the classroom teacher(s), so that class disruption is kept to a minimum.

Teachers are not expected to take class time to discuss individual matters with visitors.

Any unauthorized person on school property will be reported to the principal or his or her designee. Unauthorized persons will be asked to leave. The police may be called if the situation warrants.

All visitors are expected to abide by the rules for public conduct on school property contained in this code of conduct.

Bill of Student Rights and Responsibilities

The Red Creek Central School District offers free public education to all school age students in the district regardless of race, sex, national origin or handicapping conditions.

As members of the school community, students are entitled to certain rights that are defined for their awareness and protection. Students also have certain responsibilities to themselves, to fellow students, to their teachers and to other school personnel.

However, the student’s prime responsibility is recognized as being the personal advancement of their education and career goals within a framework that is civically responsible and socially appropriate.

Equally significant is the fact that others, including parents, teachers, counselors, administrators, other district employees and the Board of Education have a responsibility to students in the acquisition of their educational development and in providing for their personal safety.

The shared responsibility is the basis for a strong commitment to provide a reasonable and responsive educational program that will prepare students for a future that is appropriate both for their interest and aptitude, and for the needs of the society in which they live.

It shall further be the policy of the Red Creek Central School District to provide early intervention in dealing with behavioral issues by screening for causative elements and factors; and by then providing corrective measures to bring about positive change.

It is important that all partners in the educational community become familiar with the adopted policies and regulations of the district that are designed to promote and provide a proper and meaningful educational experience for the students of the Red Creek Central School District.

Students’ Rights

Students have the right to pursue an education in an atmosphere that is safe and conducive to learning, and to achieve all that they are capable of achieving.

Students have the right to enroll in courses of study for which they are qualified.

Students have the right to be respected as individuals.

Students have the right to procedural due process guaranteed by the United States Constitution and New York Education Law.

Students have the right to freedom of speech and freedom of expression to the degree that the exercise of their freedom does not interfere with the educational process or infringe upon the rights of others.

Students shall have equal opportunity in their pursuit of curriculum offerings, athletics and extra curricular activities.

Students have the right to make recommendations through the student government regarding school rules, school regulations or issues pertaining to student organizations.

Student Responsibilities

It is the responsibility of the students to:

Conduct themselves with respect toward self, fellow students, teachers and others.

Strive to achieve to their fullest potential in all areas.

Follow all reasonable directives of the school staff.

Strive to fulfill all classroom obligations to teachers.

Demonstrate respect for school property and for the property of others.

Demonstrate appropriate conduct and a positive attitude in school activities.

Dress in a clean, safe and presentable manner.

Report threats or incidents to a school employee relative to the safety of the school, including possessions of weapons.

When a student realizes he is in violation of the code of conduct, he is responsible to report the violation to a school employee.


Role of the Parent

It is the responsibility of the parent to:

Recognize that the primary responsibility for a child’s welfare and development rests with the parent.

Teach the child by word and example, respect for law and authority.

Encourage the child to learn and respect the rights of others.

Encourage the child to attend school.

Know and understand the rules and regulations a child is required to observe at school.

Become familiar with handbooks provided at each building.

Provide guidance for the child to develop socially appropriate standards of conduct and behavior.

Strive to maintain the child in good physical, mental and emotional health.

Require the child to dress in a clean, safe and presentable manner.

Provide encouragement and support for the child in completing homework assignments.

Seek involvement in the child’s school, its teachers, programs and activities; as well as to attend parent conferences and school functions.

Role of the Teacher

It is the responsibility of the teacher to:

Demonstrate, by word and action, respect for law and order and self-discipline.

Provide students with direction and guidance that will assist them in thinking, reasoning and in being responsible for their actions.

Keep students and parents informed regarding student development and progress.

Treat students as individuals.

Express enthusiasm and concern for teaching and learning.

Involve him/herself in the development of school rules and regulations regarding student conduct, and to require the appropriate student observance of the rules and regulations.

Be consistent, fair and firm in dealing with students both in and out of the classroom.

Reinforce positive student behavior.

Seek appropriate resources to bring about positive change in student behavior.

Continue to grow professionally.

Inform students and parents regarding curriculum at various grade levels.

Role of Other School Personnel (including volunteers)

It is the responsibility of support personnel to:

Demonstrate, by word and action, respect for law and order and self-discipline.

Know and understand the rules and regulations a child is required to observe at school.

Treat students as individuals and be fair, firm and consistent with all students.

Become familiar with handbooks provided at each building.

Understand and maintain the requirements of your job description.

Recognize, understand and support a student’s right to an education in an atmosphere that is safe and conducive to learning.

Express enthusiasm and a positive attitude toward students.

Abide by and follow all school policies, procedures and regulations.


Role of the Building Principal

It is the responsibility of the Building Principal to:

Provide an environment that is conducive to learning.

Exercise the authority delegated by the Superintendent of Schools.

Be consistent, fair and firm in making decisions that affect students, staff and parents.

Demonstrate, by word and example, respect for law and order, self-discipline, and a sincere concern for all persons under his/her authority.

Develop reasonable and effective class schedules and teaching assignments for students and staff.

Set up and maintain open lines of communication with students, staff and parents.’

Become involved with students by attending and supervising school activities, and by visiting classrooms.

Work with students, teachers, counselors, and parents to establish cooperative techniques for bringing about positive student behavior.

Provide for the clear dissemination of rules and regulations to students, staff and parents.

Provide students and staff the rights of due process and equal protection that are guaranteed under the law.

Implement Board of Education policy.


Role of the Superintendent and the Board of Education

It is the responsibility of the Superintendent and the Board of Education to:

Employ and maintain a skilled and responsive staff at all levels.

Provide a program of instruction to help meet the needs of all students.

Enforce discipline in accordance with district policies and New York State Law.

Provide for an ongoing assessment of programs and facilities to determine their effectiveness.

Be fair and consistent in rendering decisions regarding students whose behavior problems have been referred or appealed to the Superintendent of Schools or the Board of Education.

Provide for the in-service training of staff and regular substitutes.

 

STUDENT CONDUCT SECTION

Dress code:

The overriding factors governing student dress are safety, modesty, cleanliness and offensiveness. Using these criteria, the School SAVE Committee, Administration, and the Board of Education have agreed on these guidelines:

Be safe, appropriate and not disrupt or interfere with the educational process.

Ensure that underwear/undergarments are completely covered with outer clothing.

No wearing of hats, head coverings, bandanas, skullcaps, stockings or sweatshirt hoods, etc.,except upon entering or exiting the building or medical or religious purposes.

No  items that are vulgar, obscene, libelous, or denigrate others on account of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, sex, sexual orientation or disability, and accessories that could be used as weapons (chains, handcuffs, spikes, sharp objects, or items with studs such as belts, collars, etc.)

No promoting, advertising, and/or endorsing the use of alcohol, tobacco, or illegal drugs and/or encouraging other illegal or violent activities.

No bare midriffs.

Student dress should not be provocative in nature and/or dismissive of reasonable community standards and values.

Clothing or footwear that is unsafe for the school setting and/or excessively tattered clothing is not allowed.

Book bags, tote bags, purses, etc. must be kept in lockers in the high school.

Each building principal shall be responsible for informing all students and their parents of the student dress code at the beginning of the school year and any revision to the dress code made during the school year.

Students who violate the student dress code shall be required to modify their appearance by covering or removing the offending item, and if necessary or practical, replacing it with an acceptable item. Any student who refuses to do so shall be subject to discipline, up to and including in-school suspension for the day. Any student who repeatedly fails to comply with the dress code shall be subject to further discipline, up to and including out of school suspension.


Illustrations of Prohibited Student Conduct

The following actions are deemed to be inappropriate student conduct:

ARSON: The intentional destruction or other damage by fire, explosion or smoke to real property or personal property of the school district, to personal property of other students or staff, or to the personal property of third parties while situated on school district premises.

ASSAULT: The intent to cause physical injury to another person, causing such injury, or recklessly causing physical injury to another person.

BOMB THREAT: Intentional threat to safety by verbal or written means, including e-mail, etc.

CHEATING: To dishonestly acquire and/ or disseminate information, answers, unearned marks or credits (see handbook for further clarification).

DEFIANCE OF AUTHORITY / INSUBORDINATION:

1. Failure to comply with any school rule, regulations, or policy (including those relating to attendance); or

2. Failure to comply with a reasonable request from school district personnel or representatives authorized to make such a request.

DESTRUCTION OF PROPERTY: The destruction, defacing or other impairment of school property or property belonging to other persons while on school premises or at school related activities.

DISORDERLY CONDUCT: A breach of order that is disruptive to the educational climate of the institution.

DRUG-ALCOHOL: The possession, use, purchase, or sale of drugs/alcohol and/ or drug paraphernalia.

ELECTRONIC DEVICES: The use of cell phones, pagers, MP3 players, electronic music devices, CD players, laser pointers, etc. is prohibited during the regular school day. Cell phones must be off and stored in lockers during school hours.  The school is not liable for lost or damaged cell phones/electronic devices. Red Creek has a zero tolerance policy and violators will face suspension and/or superintendent's hearing.

EXTORTION: Any intentional action which reasonably instills fear of injury to person or property.

FALSE ALARM AND/OR THREAT: The intentional or grossly negligent activation of a fire alarm when no threat of fire exists, or the initiation, instigation or communication to the District or any of its employees of any other claim of fire or threat when none exists.

FIGHTING: Combative physical contact or other violent encounter between two or more persons.

FORGERY: The art of fashioning and/or reproducing a document for fraudulent purposes.

GAMBLING: The risking of something of value upon the outcome of a contest, or change of a future contingent event, upon an agreement or understanding that one will receive something of value in the event of a certain outcome.

GANG ACTIVITY: Affiliation with a gang that promotes, acts, threatens illegal activities including harassment. Gang is defined as 3 or more individuals.

HAZING: Any action or situation which recklessly and intentionally endangers the mental or physical health of a student.

INSOLENCE: Insulting in manner or speech.

LYING: Intentionally misinforming a school employee or withholding information pertinent to the educational environment.

PROFANITY/OBSCENE BEHAVIOR: Speech or harassment gesture which, by virtue of content and/or existing circumstances, disrupts the conduct of classes, school activities, or undermines the maintenance of discipline within the school setting.

SEXUAL HARASSMENT: The unwelcome sexual advances both verbally and/or physically by another person.

SMOKING/USE OF TOBACCO PRODUCTS: Use of tobacco products is prohibited for all individuals in and on school district property, buses, and during all school district related activities regardless of location. Possession of tobacco related products and materials is also prohibited.

THEFT: The unlawful taking, possession of, or control over, property belonging to the school district or another.

THREAT OF VIOLENCE/HARASSMENT/BULLYING: Threatening remarks or writings toward another person, to annoy another person persistently, to treat another person abusively, or to affect them by means of force.

TRUANCY: Illegal absences from school and/or classes at times when school is in session.

WEAPONS AND EXPLOSIVES: The use, possession, or sale of dangerous weapons or explosive devices. A weapon is defined by NYS Penal Law and/or any firearm, knife blade, billy club, sandclub, slingshot, martial arts instrument, explosive, deadly or dangerous chemical, imitation pistol, ammunition, hatchet, axe, or any object that could be used in a threat or an assault.

Actions Not Defined

The illustrations of prohibited student conduct are not meant to be all-inclusive. Any student conduct not defined in this policy, but which constitutes a violation of the statutes of the State of New York or any established rule or regulation of the Red Creek Central School District or any other rule, shall also be punishable by penalty in accordance with the guidelines established in this policy.

Reporting Violations

All students are expected to promptly report violations of the code of conduct to a teacher, guidance counselor, the building principal or his or her designee. Any student observing a student possessing a weapon, alcohol or illegal substance on school property or at a school function shall report this information immediately to a teacher, the building principal, the principal’s designee or the superintendent.

All district staff who are authorized to impose disciplinary sanctions are expected to do so in a prompt, fair and lawful manner. District staff who are not authorized to impose disciplinary sanctions are expected to promptly report violations of the code of conduct to their supervisor, who shall in turn impose an appropriate disciplinary sanction, if so authorized, or refer the matter to a staff member who is authorized to impose an appropriate sanction.

Any weapons, alcohol or illegal substance found shall be confiscated immediately, if possible, followed by notification to the parent of the student involved and the appropriate disciplinary sanction if warranted, which may include permanent suspension and referral for prosecution.

The building principal or his or her designee must notify the appropriate local law enforcement agency of those code violations that constitute a crime and substantially affect the order or security of a school as soon as practical, but in no event later than the close of business the day the principal or his or her designee learns of the violation. The notification may be made by telephone. The notification must identify the student and explain the conduct that violated the code of conduct and constituted a crime.

 

Guidelines for Consequences of Prohibited Student Conduct

It is the belief of the Red Creek Central School District that inappropriate student behavior must be dealt with in a fair, firm and consistent manner. Consequences for misconduct must be appropriate for the infraction. To accommodate this philosophy of progressive discipline, the levels of acceptable consequences are defined through the following listing:

Oral warning

Written warning

Written notification to parent

Parent conference

Counseling

Probation

Reprimand

Detention

Extended Detention

Suspension from transportation

Suspension from athletic participation

Suspension from social or extracurricular activities

Suspension of other privileges

Exclusion from a particular class

In-School suspension

Involuntary transfer

Out of School suspension

Referral for superintendent conference and/or hearing

Referral to outside agency (police, court, social services, probation, etc. as determined by staff or law)

Depending upon the nature of the violation, it is the Board’s desire that student discipline be progressive, i.e., repeat violations may merit a more severe penalty than previous violations. It is also the Board’s desire that an employee or agent take into account all relevant factors in determining an appropriate penalty. The above penalties may be imposed either alone or in combination.

Immediate Law Enforcement Notification Provisions

Serious Violent Incident: An incident of violent criminal conduct that is, or appears to be, life threatening and warrants the evacuation of students and/or staff because of an imminent threat to their safety or health, including, but not limited to, riot, hostage-taking, kidnapping and/or the use or threatened use of a firearm, explosive, bomb, incendiary device, chemical or biological weapon, knife, or other dangerous instrument capable of causing death of serious injury.

Law Enforcement Notification provisions, other than a Serious Violent Incident, may include instances involving illegal weapons (firearms, knives, clubs, etc.), illegal substances, serious violent threats or actions as determined by the principal.

 

TEACHER REMOVAL OF DISRUPTIVE STUDENTS

A disruptive student is a student who is substantially disruptive of the educational process or substantially interferes with the teacher’s authority over the classroom. A disruptive student can affect a teacher’s ability to teach and can make it difficult for other students in the classroom to learn. In many instances the classroom teacher can control disruptive student behavior by using good management techniques. Occasionally, however, it may be necessary for a teacher to remove a disruptive student from the classroom to ensure that the other students continue to learn.

A classroom teacher may remove a student from each class for up to one day with a block schedule or two days on a regular schedule if the teacher determines that the student is disruptive. The removal from class applies to the class of the removing teacher only.

If the student does not pose a danger or ongoing threat of disruption to the academic process, the teacher must provide the student, before the student is removed, with an explanation for why he or she is being removed. The student must also be given the opportunity to present his or her version of the relevant events. Only after this informal discussion may a teacher remove a student from class.

If the student does pose a danger or ongoing threat of disruption, the teacher may order the student to be removed immediately. The teacher must, however, explain to the student why he or she was removed from the classroom and give the student a chance to present his or her version of the relevant events within one full school day.

The teacher must complete a district-established referral form and meet with the Principal as soon as possible, but no later than the end of the school day, to explain the circumstances of the removal and to present the referral forms. If the principal is not available by the end of the same school day, the teacher must leave the form with the secretary and meet with the principal, or his/her designee, prior to the beginning of classes on the next school day.

Within the school day after the student’s removal, the Principal or Principal’s designee must notify the student’s parent, in writing, that the student has been removed from the class and why. The notice must also inform the parent that he or she has the right, upon request, to meet informally with the Principal or the principal’s designee to discuss the reasons for the removal and behavior modification(s) to remedy the cause for the removal. The written notice must be provided by personal delivery, express mail delivery, or some other means that is reasonably calculated to assure receipt of the notice by the day after the student’s removal at the last known address for the parent. Where possible, notice should also be provided by telephone if the school has been provided with a telephone number(s) for the purpose of contacting parents.

If, at the informal meeting, the student denies the charges, the Principal or the principal’s designee must explain why the student was removed and give the student and the student’s parents a chance to present the student’s version of the relevant events. The informal meeting must be held within two school days of the student’s removal. The timing of the informal meeting may be extended by mutual agreement of the parent, teacher, and principal.

The Principal or the principal’s designee may overturn the removal of the student from class if the Principal finds any one of the following:

The charges against the student are not supported by substantial evidence.

The student’s removal is otherwise in violation of law.

The conduct warrants suspension from school pursuant to Education Law 3214 and a suspension will be imposed.

The Principal or his/her designee must make a determination as to whether to overturn the removal before the close of business on the day after the day of the informal hearing. No student removed from the classroom by the classroom teacher will be permitted to return to the classroom until the Principal makes a final determination, or the period of removal expires, whichever is less. At the teacher’s discretion, he or she may rescind the removal prior to the expiration of the full period of removal. The Principal will discuss with the teacher involved the action taken prior to student reentering the classroom.

Any disruptive student removed from the classroom by the classroom teacher shall be offered continued educational programming and activities until he or she is permitted to return to the classroom.

Each teacher must keep a complete log (on a district provided form) for all cases of removal of students from his/her class. The Principal must keep a log of all removals of students from class. Removal of a student with a disability may, under certain circumstances, constitute a change in the student’s placement. Accordingly, no teacher may remove a student with a disability from his or her class until he or she has verified with the Principal or the Chairperson of the Committee on Special Education that the removal will not violate the student’s rights under state or federal law or regulation.

Nothing in this section of the code of conduct abridges the customary right or responsibility of a principal to suspend a student. Further, nothing in this code abridges the customary right and responsibility of a teacher to manage student behavior in the classroom. Short-term, time-honored classroom management techniques such as "time out" in an elementary classroom or in an administrator’s office are not considered removals from class. The removal process should not become a substitute for good classroom management.

Suspension from School

Suspension from school is a severe penalty, which may be imposed only upon students who are insubordinate, disorderly, violent or disruptive, or whose conduct otherwise endangers the safety, morals, health, or welfare of others and/or as defined by the student handbook or determined by the principal.

The board retains its authority to suspend students, but places primary responsibility for the suspension of students with the superintendent and the building principals.

Any staff member may recommend to the superintendent or the principal that a student be suspended. All staff members must immediately report and refer a violent student to the principal or the superintendent for a violation of the code of conduct. All recommendations and referrals shall be made in writing unless the conditions underlying the recommendation or referral warrant immediate attention. In such cases a written report is to be prepared as soon as possible by the staff member recommending the suspension.

The superintendent or principal, upon receiving a recommendation or referral for suspension or when processing a case for suspension, shall gather the facts relevant to the matter and record them for subsequent presentation, if necessary.

Suspension from school means a student is temporarily excluded from school buildings, school grounds, and any school-sponsored activities (on or off school grounds).

a. Short-term Suspension from School (5 days or less)

When the superintendent or principal (referred to as the "suspending authority") proposes to suspend a student charged with misconduct for five days or less pursuant to Education Law 3214(3), the suspending authority must immediately notify the student orally. If the student denies the misconduct, the suspending authority must provide an explanation of the basis for the proposed suspension. The suspending authority must also notify the student’s parents in writing that the student may be suspended from school. The written notice must be provided by personal delivery, express mail delivery, or some other means that is reasonably calculated to assure receipt of the notice within 24 hours of the decision to proposed suspension at the last known address for the parents. Where possible, notice should also be provided by telephone if the school has been provided with a telephone number(s) for the purpose of contacting the parents.

The notice shall provide a description of the charges against the student and the incident for which suspension is proposed and shall inform the parents of the right to request an immediate informal conference with the principal. Both the notice and informal conference shall be in the dominant language or mode of communication used by the parents. At the conference, the parents shall be permitted to ask questions of complaining witnesses under such procedures as the principal may establish.

The notice and opportunity for an informal conference shall take place before the student is suspended unless the student’s presence in school poses a continuing danger to persons or property or an ongoing threat of disruption to the academic process. If the student’s presence does pose such a danger or threat of disruption, the notice and opportunity for an informal conference shall take place as soon after the suspension as is reasonably practicable.

After the conference, the principal shall promptly advise the parents in writing of his or her decision. The principal shall advise the parents that if they are not satisfied with the decision and wish to pursue the matter, they must file a written appeal to the superintendent within five business days, unless they can show extraordinary circumstances precluding them from doing so. The superintendent shall issue a written decision regarding the appeal within 10 business days of receiving the appeal. If the parents are not satisfied with the superintendent’s decision, they must file a written appeal to the board of education with the district clerk within 10 business days of the date of the superintendent’s decision, unless they can show extraordinary circumstances precluding them from doing so. Only final decisions of the Board may be appealed to the Commissioner within 30 days of the decision.

b. Long-Term Suspension from School (more than 5 days)

When the superintendent determines that a suspension for more than five days may be warranted, he or she shall give reasonable notice to the student and the student’s parents of their right to a fair hearing. At the hearing the student shall have the right to be represented by counsel, the right to question witnesses against him or her and the right to present witnesses and other evidence on his or her behalf.

The superintendent shall personally hear and determine the proceeding or may, in his or her discretion, designate a hearing officer to conduct the hearing. The hearing officer shall be authorized to administer oaths and to issue subpoenas in conjunction with the proceeding before him or her. A record of the hearing shall be maintained, but no stenographic transcript shall be required. A tape recording shall be deemed a satisfactory record. The hearing officer shall make findings of fact and recommendations as to the appropriate measure of discipline to the superintendent. The report of the hearing officer shall be advisory only, and the superintendent may accept all or any part thereof.

An appeal of the decision of the superintendent may be made to the board that will make its decision based solely upon the record before it. All appeals to the board must be in writing and submitted to the district clerk within 10 business days of the date of the superintendent’s decision, unless the parents can show that extraordinary circumstances precluded them from doing so. The board may adopt in whole or in part the decision of the superintendent. Final decisions of the board may be appealed to the Commissioner within 30 days of the decision.

c. Permanent Suspension

Permanent suspension is reserved for extraordinary circumstances such as where a student’s conduct poses a life-threatening danger to the safety and well-being of other students, school personnel or any other person lawfully on school property or attending a school function.

1. Students who bring weapons to school

Any student, other than a student with a disability, found guilty of bringing a weapon onto school property will be subject to suspension from school for at least one calendar year. Before being suspended, the student will have an opportunity for a hearing pursuant to Education Law 3214. The superintendent has the authority to modify the one-year suspension on a case-by-case basis. In deciding whether to modify the penalty, the superintendent may consider the following:

The student’s age.

The student’s grade in school.

The student’s prior disciplinary record.

The superintendent’s belief that other forms of discipline may be more effective.

Input from parents, teachers, and/or others.

Other extenuating circumstances.

A student with a disability may be suspended only in accordance with the requirements of state and federal law.

 

2. Students who commit violent acts other than bringing a weapon to school

Any student, other than a student with a disability, who is found to have committed a violent act, other than bringing a weapon onto school property, shall be subject to suspension from school for at least five days. If the proposed penalty is the minimum five-day suspension, the student and the student’s parents will be given the same notice and opportunity for an informal conference given to all students subject to a short-term suspension. If the proposed penalty exceeds the minimum five-day suspension, the student and the student’s parents will be given the same notice and opportunity for a hearing given to all students subject to a long-term suspension. The superintendent has the authority to modify the minimum five-day suspension on a case-by-case basis. In deciding whether to modify the penalty, the superintendent may consider the same factors considered in modifying a one-year suspension for possessing a weapon.

3. Students who are repeatedly substantially disruptive of the educational process or repeatedly substantially interferes with the teacher’s authority over the classroom

Any student, other than a student with a disability, who repeatedly is substantially disruptive of the educational process or substantially interferes with the teacher’s authority over the classroom will be suspended from school for at least five days. For purposes of this code of conduct, "repeatedly is substantially disruptive" means engaging in conduct that results in the student being removed from the classroom by teacher(s) pursuant to Education Law 3214(3-a) and this code on four or more occasions during a semester, or three or more occasions during a trimester. If the proposed penalty is the minimum five-day suspension, the student and the student’s parent will be given the same notice and opportunity for an informal conference given to all students subject to a short-term suspension. If the proposed penalty exceeds the minimum five-day suspension, the student and the student’s parent will be given the same notice and opportunity for a hearing given to all students subject to a long-term suspension. The superintendent has the authority to modify the minimum five-day suspension on a case-by-case basis. In deciding whether to modify the penalty, the superintendent may consider the same factors considered in modifying a one-year suspension for possessing a weapon.

d. Home Tutoring

For both short and long-term suspensions, a student of compulsory school age will be eligible for appropriate alternative instruction from the district, which may include home tutoring.

Referrals

1. Counseling

The Guidance Office shall handle all referrals of students to counseling.

2. PINS Petitions

The district may file a PINS (person in need of supervision) petition in Family Court on any student under the age of 18 who demonstrates that he or she requires supervision and treatment by:

a. Being habitually truant and not attending school as required by part one of Article 65 of the Education Law.

b. Engaging in an ongoing or continual course of conduct which makes the student ungovernable, or habitually disobedient and beyond the lawful control of the school.

c. Knowingly and unlawfully possesses marijuana in violation of Penal Law 221.05. A single violation of 221.05 will be a sufficient basis for filing a PINS petition.

3. Juvenile Delinquents and Juvenile Offenders

The superintendent is required to refer the following students to the County Attorney for a juvenile delinquency proceeding before the Family Court:

a. Any student under the age of 16 who is found to have brought a weapon to school, or

b. Any student 14 or 15 years old who qualified for juvenile offender status under the Criminal Procedure Law 1.20 (42).

 

DISCIPLINE OF STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES

 

The board recognizes that it may be necessary to suspend, remove or otherwise discipline students with disabilities to address disruptive or problem behavior. The board also recognizes that students with disabilities enjoy certain procedural protections whenever school authorities intend to impose discipline upon them. The board is committed to ensuring that the procedures followed for suspending, removing or otherwise disciplining students with disabilities are consistent with the procedural safeguards required by applicable laws and regulations.

This code of conduct affords students with disabilities subject to disciplinary action no greater or lesser rights than those expressly afforded by applicable federal and state law and regulations.

A. Authorized Suspensions or Removals of Students with Disabilities

1. For purposes of this section of the code of conduct, the following definitions apply.

A "suspension" means a suspension pursuant to Education Law 3214.

A "removal" means a removal for disciplinary reasons from the student’s current educational placement other than a suspension and change in placement to an interim alternative educational setting (IAES) ordered by an impartial hearing officer because the student poses a risk of harm to himself or herself or others.

An "IAES" means a temporary educational placement for a period of up to 45 days, other than the student’s current placement at the time the behavior precipitating the IAES placement occurred, that enables the student to continue to progress in the general curriculum, although in another setting, to continue to receive those services and modifications, including those described on the student’s current individualized education program (IEP), that will enable the student to meet the goals set out in such IEP, and include services and modifications to address the behavior which precipitated the IAES placement that are designed to prevent the behavior from recurring.

2. School personnel may order the suspension or removal of a student with a disability from his or her current educational placement as follows:

a. The board, the district (BOCES) superintendent of schools or a building principal may order the placement of a student with a disability into an IAES, another setting or suspension for a period not to exceed five consecutive school days and not to exceed the amount of time a non-disabled student would be subject to suspension for the same behavior.

b. The superintendent may order the placement of a student with a disability into an IAES, another setting or suspension for up to 10 consecutive school days, inclusive of any period in which the student has been suspended or removed under subparagraph (a) above for the same behavior, if the superintendent determines that the student has engaged in behavior that warrants a suspension and the suspension or removal does not exceed the amount of time non-disabled students would be subject to suspension for the same behavior.

c. The superintendent may order additional suspensions of not more than 10 consecutive school days in the same school year for separate incidents of misconduct, as long as those removals do not constitute a change or placement.

d. The superintendent may order the placement of a student with a disability in an IAES to be determined by the committee on special education (CSE), for the same amount of time that a student without a disability would be subject to discipline, but not more than 45 days, if the student carries or possesses a weapon to school or to a school function, or the student knowingly possesses or uses illegal drugs or sells or solicits the sale of a controlled substance while at school or a school function.

1) "Weapon" means the same as "dangerous weapon" under a weapon, device, instrument, material or substance, animate or inanimate, that is used for, or is readily capable of causing death or serious bodily injury, except…[for] a pocket knife with a blade of less than 2 inches in length."

2) "Controlled substance" means a drug or other substance identified in certain provisions of the federal Controlled Substances Act specified in both federal and state law and regulations applicable to this policy.

3) "Illegal drugs" means a controlled substance except for those legally possessed or used under the supervision of a licensed health-care professional or that is legally possessed or used under any other authority under the Controlled Substances Act or any other federal law.

3. Subject to specified conditions required by both federal and state law and regulations, an impartial hearing officer may order the placement of a student with a disability in an IAES setting for up to 45 days at a time, if maintaining the student in his or her current educational placement poses a risk of harm to the student or others.

B. Change of Placement Rule

1. A disciplinary change in placement means a suspension or removal from a student’s current educational placement that is either:

a. for more than 10 consecutive school days; or

b. for a period of 10 consecutive school days or less if the student is subjected to a series of suspensions or removals that constitute a pattern because they cumulate to more than 10 school days in a school year and because of such factors as the length of each suspension or removal, the total amount of time the student is removed and the proximity of the suspensions or removals to one another.

2. School personnel may not suspend or remove a student with disabilities if imposition of the suspension or removal would result in a disciplinary change in placement based on a pattern of suspension or removal.

However, the district may impose a suspension or removal, which would otherwise result in a disciplinary change in placement, based on a pattern of suspension or removals if the CSE has determined that the behavior was not a manifestations of the student’s disability, or the student is placed in an IAES for behavior involving weapons, illegal drugs or controlled substances.

Special Rules Regarding the Suspension or Removal of Students with Disabilities

1. The district’s Committee on Special Education shall:

a. Conduct functional behavioral assessments to determine why a student engages in a particular behavior, and develop or review behavioral intervention plans whenever the district is first suspending or removing a student with a disability for more than 10 school days in a school year or imposing a suspension or removal that constitutes a disciplinary change in placement, including a change in placement to an IAES for misconduct involving weapons, illegal drugs or controlled substances.

If subsequently, a student with a disability who has a behavioral intervention plan and who has been suspended or removed from his or her current educational placement for more than 10 school days in a school year is subjected to a suspension or removal that does not constitute a disciplinary change in placement, the members of the CSE shall review the behavioral intervention plan and its implementation to determine if modifications are necessary.

If one or more members of the CSE believe that modifications are needed, the school district shall convene a meeting of the CSE to modify such plan and its implementation, to the extent the committee determines necessary.

b. Conduct a manifestation determination review of the relationship between the student’s disability and the behavior subject to disciplinary action whenever a decision is made to place a student in an IAES either for misconduct involving weapons, illegal drugs or controlled substances or because maintaining the student in his current educational setting poses a risk of harm to the student or others; or a decision is made to impose a suspension that constitute a disciplinary change in placement.

2. The parents of a student who is facing disciplinary action, but who has not been determined to be eligible for services under IDEA and Article 89 at the time of misconduct, shall have the right to invoke applicable procedural safeguards set forth in federal and state law and regulations if, in accordance with federal and state statutory and regulatory criteria, the school district is deemed to have had knowledge that their child was a student with a disability before the behavior precipitating disciplinary action occurred. If the district is deemed to have had such knowledge, the student will be considered a student presumed to have a disability for discipline purposes.

a. The superintendent, building principal, or other school official imposing a suspension or removal shall be responsible for determining whether the student is a student presumed to have a disability.

b. A student will not be considered a student presumed to have a disability for discipline purposes if, upon receipt of information supporting a claim that the district had knowledge the student was a student with a disability, the district either:

1) conducted an individual evaluation and determined that the student is not a student with a disability, or

2) determined that an evaluation was not necessary and provided notice to the parents of such determination, in the manner required by applicable law and regulations.

If there is not basis for knowledge that the student is a student with a disability prior to taking disciplinary measures against the student, the student may be subjected to the same disciplinary measures as any other non-disabled student who engaged in comparable behaviors.

However, if a request for an individual evaluation is made while such non-disabled student is subjected to a disciplinary removal, an expedited evaluation shall be conducted and completed in the manner prescribed by applicable federal and state law and regulations. Until the expedited evaluation is completed, the non-disabled student who is not a student presumed to have a disability for discipline purposes shall remain in the educational placement determined by the district, which can include suspension.

3. The district shall provide parents with notice of disciplinary removal no later than the date on which a decision is made to change the placement of a student with a disability to an IAES for either misconduct involving weapons, illegal drugs or controlled substances or because maintaining the student in his/her current educational setting poses a risk of harm to the student or others; or a decision is made to impose a suspension or removal that constitutes a disciplinary change in placement.

The procedural safeguards notice prescribed by the Commissioner shall accompany the notice of disciplinary removal.

4. The parents of a student with disabilities subject to a suspension of five consecutive school days or less shall be provided with the same opportunity for an informal conference available to parents of non-disabled students under the Education Law.

5. Superintendent hearings on disciplinary charges against students with disabilities subject to a suspension of more than five school days shall be bifurcated into a guilt phase and a penalty phase in accordance with the procedures set forth in the Commissioner’s regulations incorporated into this code.

6. The removal of a student with disabilities other than a suspension or placement in an IAES shall be conducted in accordance with the due process procedures applicable to such removals of non-disabled students, except that school personnel may not impose such removal for more than 10 consecutive days or for a period that would result in a disciplinary change in placement, unless the CSE has determined that the behavior is not a manifestation of the student’s disability.

7. During any period of suspension or removal, including placement in an IAES, students with disabilities shall be provided services as required by the Commissioner’s regulations incorporated into this code.

D. Expedited Due Process Hearings

1. An expedited due process hearing shall be conducted in the manner specified by the Commissioner’s regulations incorporated into this code, if:

a. The district requests such a hearing to obtain an order of an impartial hearing officer placing a student with a disability in an IAES where school personnel maintain that it is dangerous for the student to be in his or her current educational placement, or during the pendency of due process hearings where school personnel maintain that it is dangerous for the student to be in his or her current educational placement during such proceedings.

b. The parent requests such a hearing from a determination that the student’s behavior was not a manifestation of the student’s disability, or relating to any decision regarding placement, including but not limited to any decision to place the student in an IAES.

1) During the pendency of an expedited due process hearing or appeal regarding the placement of a student in an IES for behavior involving weapons, illegal drugs or controlled substances, or on grounds of dangerousness, or regarding a determination that the behavior is not a manifestation of the student’s disability for a student who has been placed in an IAES, the student shall remain in the IAES pending the decision of the impartial hearing officer or until expiration of the IAES placement, whichever occurs first, unless the parents and the district agree otherwise.

2) If school personnel propose to change the student’s placement after expiration of an IAES placement, during the pendency of any proceeding to challenge the proposed change in placement, the student shall remain in the placement prior to removal to the IAES, except where the student is again placed in an IAES.

2. An expedited due process hearing shall be completed within 15 business days of receipt of the request for a hearing. Although the impartial hearing officer may grant specific extensions of such time period, he or she must mail a written decision to the district and the parents within five business days after the last hearing date, and in no event later than 45 calendar days after receipt of the request for a hearing, without exceptions or extensions.

E. Referral to law enforcement and judicial authorities

In accordance with the provisions of IDEA and its implementing regulations:

1. The district may report a crime committed by a child with a disability to appropriate authorities, and such action will not constitute a change of the student’s placement.

2. The superintendent shall ensure that copies of the special education and disciplinary records of a student with disabilities are transmitted for consideration to the appropriate authorities to whom a crime is reported.

School Bus Conduct Rules and Regulations

The most important element of school bus transportation is the safety of students. In order to achieve a safe and efficient system, drivers must have the cooperation of all student riders. The Board of Education has established certain rules and regulations which must be obeyed in order to ensure safety.

The school bus driver is completely in charge when transporting students. All instructions given shall be followed and students should cooperate with the driver in any way they can.

Conduct on the school bus shall be of the same high standard as expected in the classroom. All school rules in effect while in the classroom shall also apply while students are on the bus. Students shall be courteous to fellow riders and their bus driver. Such acts as fighting, punching, obscene talk or gestures will not be tolerated and will be cause for disciplinary action.

Students must be ready and on time for boarding the bus each morning. Drivers cannot wait for each student in order to maintain a strict time schedule. Drivers have been instructed not to wait for students. PLEASE BE READY!

Students shall wait until the bus comes to a full stop before entering the roadway to board the bus or before leaving their seat to get off the bus.

Students should use extreme caution when getting on or off the bus. When crossing the highway, wait for the driver to signal to do so and cross 10 feet from the front of the bus.

Students shall always take a seat upon boarding a bus and remain seated at all times while the bus is in motion. If a seat is not available, students should hold on to the back of a seat with both hands and face forward.

Students are to keep arms and heads inside of the bus at all times. Bus windows shall be kept shut unless permission to open them is given by the bus driver. Throwing objects out of bus windows is not tolerated.

Possession of illegal drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes, or smoking or the use of tobacco by students on the school bus is strictly prohibited at all times. Eating of food, drinking of beverages, and taking medication is not permitted on the bus as well.

Radios, tape recorders, glass items, knives, and other dangerous objects are prohibited on the bus. Also, bulky items, pets and/or animals should not be brought on the bus unless with permission granted ahead of time.

Buses must be kept clean at all times. Each student has the duty and responsibility to see that he or she does not litter.

Students shall remain on the bus until it arrives at school or at home. Drivers will not let students off upon request unless a pass is obtained from the building principal for a change in riding status and given to the driver. A parent’s written request is required for any change from one bus to another or for a change in pick-up or drop-off point. The request from the parent must be presented in the school office before noon on the day it is to be used.

The foregoing rules are made for the safety and benefit of all students. Unfortunately, there may be students who will not or do not abide by the rules. In the event of violations, the Board of Education has established the following discipline system:

Oral warning by the Bus Driver and Head Bus Driver notification.

Written referral to the Head Bus Driver. If disciplinary action or suspension is warranted, parent and Building Administrator notification.

Multiple incidents will result in a parent conference with school administrator in order to determine eligibility for continued transportation.

School authorities may remove a student’s bus privileges at any time if the offense is serious enough to warrant such action, regardless of the number of violations. Examples include, but are not limited to, fighting, repeated offenses and insubordination.

Exclusive of the oral warnings, parents will be notified of bus incidents and violations.

Bus drivers are allowed to deny a student the privilege of riding for one day pending investigation of conduct by the building principal and/or the Head Bus Driver. Head Bus Driver must be notified immediately by the bus driver in cases of one day student removal, and bus driver must notify parent on the same day prior to denying the student of riding privileges.

Bus Drills

To assure bus safety, the New York State Education Department requires three (3) school bus drills during each school year. The drills involve instruction by the bus driver as to methods of exit from the bus in case of accident, location and use of fire extinguishers, and location of first aid kits. Other safety factors, such as crossing, roadways, seating, behavior, as well as boarding and exiting exercises, are reviewed and conducted.

Dissemination of Code of Conduct

The board will work to ensure that the community is aware of this code of conduct by:

Providing copies of a summary of the code to all students at a general assembly held at the beginning of each school year.

Making copies of the code available to all parents at the beginning of the school year.

Mailing a summary of the code of conduct written in plain language to all parents of district students before the beginning of the school year and making this summary available later upon request.

Providing all current teachers and other staff members with a copy of the code and a copy of any amendments to the code as soon as practicable after adoption.

Providing all new employees with a copy of the current code of conduct when they are first hired.

Making copies of the code available for review by students, parents and other community members.

The board will sponsor an in-service education program for all district staff members to ensure the effective implementation of the code of conduct. The superintendent may solicit the recommendations of the district staff, particularly teachers and administrators, regarding in service programs pertaining to the management and discipline of students.

The board of education will review this code of conduct every year and update it as necessary. In conducting the review, the board will consider how effective the code’s provisions have been and whether the code has been applied fairly and consistently.

The board may appoint an advisory committee to assist in reviewing the code and the district’s response to code on conduct violations. The committee will be made up of representative of student, teacher, administrator, and parent organizations, school safety personnel and other school personnel.

Before adopting any revisions to the code, the board will hold at least one public hearing at which school personnel, parents, students and any other interested party may participate.

The code of conduct and any amendments to it will be filed with the Commissioner not later than 30 days after adoption.