This Code of Conduct was revised by the Board of Education on August 13, 2019. Please use the links below to access a particular area of the Code of Conduct. If you need more information, please contact the school principal. Code of Conduct booklets can be obtained from the main office of each school.
- Student Rights and Responsibilities
- The Dignity for All Students Act
- Prohibition of Violence, Harassment, Discrimination, Bullying and Retaliation
- Student Safety: Reporting Violence, Harassment, Bullying and Cyberbullying
- Student Conduct and Discipline
- General Conduct
- Dress Code
- Academic Integrity
- Passing in Hallways
- Classroom Behavior
- Disciplinary Actions
- Other Laws and District Policies
- Dissemination and Review
- Appendix A. Drug and Alcohol Abuse Regulations
- Appendix B. Smoking and Tobacco Use Penalties
- Appendix C. Public Conduct on School Property
- Appendix D. Summary of Attendance Policy
- Appendix E. Bill of Student Rights and Responsibilities Policy
- Appendix F. Building Computer Utilization
The Board of Education is committed to providing a safe and orderly school environment. Responsible behavior by students, teachers, District personnel, parents and other visitors is essential to achieving this goal. This code has been revised to comply with the requirements of, the Safe Schools Against Violence in Education (SAVE) Act. (Chapter 181, Laws of 2000) The SAVE Act gives teachers the right to remove “violent” or “disruptive” students from their classroom, subject to review by the principal. The Save Act also raises the consequences of an assault on a teacher or student on school grounds from a Class A misdemeanor to a Class D felony.
Unless otherwise indicated, this Code of Conduct applies to all students, school personnel, parents, and other visitors when on school property or attending a school function.
II. Student Rights and Responsibilities
Students have a right to a free, appropriate education with equal opportunities regardless of their actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender or gender expression, as well as any other characteristic protected by applicable federal, state and/or local law.
Students have the responsibility to attend school regularly to be considerate of others and to observe the elementary Code of Conduct. School authorities shall inform parents about any formally recorded disciplinary measures. As provided in the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (also known as the Buckley amendment), parents have the right to review and challenge such records.
Students have the right to be informed of charges against them. Unless the well-being of the student or others may be jeopardized, in all disciplinary matters, students shall have an opportunity to present their version of the facts and circumstances before discipline is imposed.
Students may expect privacy from other students regarding their lockers, desk, or other storage areas; however, under law, school authorities may search these areas where sufficient cause exists. Searches shall be conducted by an administrator in the presence of another District employee. Searches may also be conducted of vehicles parked on school property where there is reasonable suspicion of a violation of the Code of Conduct or a violation of the law. In all cases the student and parent shall be informed as to the reason for the search. See Appendix E for details.
Students also have a right and a responsibility to be part of and contribute to a school environment that is safe and promotes the health and welfare of everyone in the school building. All understand that they have a responsibility to support the “See Something – Say Something” philosophy of the district. Students can and should report any concerns to any adult in the school communit.
III. The Dignity for All Students Act
New York State’s Dignity for All Students Act (the Dignity Act) took effect on July 1, 2012. Just as does the district’s Code of Conduct, the new law seeks to provide the State’s public elementary and secondary school students with a safe and supportive environment free from discrimination, intimidation, taunting, harassment, and bullying (including cyberbullying) on school property, school buses, and/or at school functions, as well as to foster civility in public schools. Consistent with the Dignity Act, the District prohibits acts of bullying (including cyberbullying), discrimination, and harassment against students by students and/or school employees on school property, on school buses, or at any school function based on a student’s actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender (defined to include a person’s actual or perceived sex as well as gender identity and expression), or sex. The Amendments of 2013 have afforded protections under DASA to include all forms of harassment of any kind.
Prevention is the cornerstone of the Districts’ efforts to address bullying and harassment. In order to implement this anti-bullying prevention program, the Board will designate, at its annual organizational meeting, individuals at each school to act as the Dignity for All Students Act Coordinator (Dignity Act Coordinator). These individuals shall be thoroughly trained to handle human relations in the areas of race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender, sex or any other legally protected status.
The Dignity Act Coordinators are:
Niskayuna Elementary School Principals & Dignity for All Students Act Coordinators
- Birchwood Elementary School Debra Berndt, (518) 344-2910
- Craig Elementary School Dr. William Anders, (518) 377-0156
- Glencliff Elementary School Dr. Shelley Baldwin-Nye, (518) 399-2323
- Hillside Elementary School Dr. Shireen Fasciglione, (518) 377-1856
- Rosendale Elementary School Joseph DiCaprio, (518) 377-3123
If you have any questions about this Code of Conduct, please contact the principal of your school.
A. Prohibition of Violence, Harassment, Discrimination, Bullying and Retaliation
A primary goal of the School District is to provide an environment in which the worth and dignity of all persons is valued, accepted and respected. To this end, the Board of Education has adopted a policy prohibiting bullying, harassment, and discrimination in the School District. Bullying (including cyberbullying), harassment, discrimination and school violence on school grounds or at school functions is prohibited and will not be tolerated.
In addition, retaliation is prohibited. Retaliation is a separate and distinct violation of this Code of Conduct and occurs when any member of the school community retaliates against any person who reports alleged bullying, harassment or discrimination against any person who testifies, assists or participates in an investigation, proceeding or hearing relating to such conduct. It is possible that an alleged harasser may be found to have violated this anti- retaliation provision even if the underlying complaint of harassment is not found to be a violation of this Code of Conduct. Retaliation includes, but is not limited to any form of intimidation, reprisal or harassment and may be redressed through application of the same reporting, investigation, and enforcement procedures as for harassment.
B. Student Safety: Reporting Violence, Harassment, Bullying and Cyberbullying
The school principal is the school employee charged with receiving all reports of harassment, bullying and discrimination; however, students and parents may make an oral or written complaint of harassment, bullying or discrimination to any teacher, administrator or school employee. The District will act to promptly investigate all complaints, verbal or written, formal or informal, of allegations of discrimination, harassment and bullying; and will promptly take appropriate action to protect individuals from further discrimination, harassment and bullying.
It is essential that any student who believes he/she has been subjected to discrimination, harassment, bullying or retaliatory behavior, as well as any individual who is aware of and/or who has knowledge of, or witnesses any possible occurrence, immediately report same to any staff member or administrator or the Title VII/Title IX Officer (District Director for Student and Staff Support Services) at (518) 377-4666. The staff member/administrator to whom the report is made (or the staff member/administrator who witnesses or suspects bullying/cyberbullying behavior) shall document and take appropriate action to address then immediacy of the situation and shall promptly report in accordance with the following paragraphs.
Upon receipt of a complaint (even an anonymous complaint), or if a District employee otherwise learns of any occurrence of possible conduct prohibited by this policy, the school employee shall promptly and orally notify the school principal no later than one school day after such school employee witnesses or receives the complaint or learns of such conduct. Such school employee shall also file a written report with the school principal no later than two school days after making such oral report.
After receipt of a complaint, the school principal shall lead or supervise a thorough investigation of the alleged harassing, bullying and/or retaliatory conduct. The principal or the principal’s designee shall ensure that such investigation is completed promptly and in accordance with the terms of District policy. All complaints shall be treated as confidential and private to the extent possible within legal constraints.
Based upon the results of this investigation, if the District determines that a District official, employee, volunteer, vendor, visitor and/or student has violated the Code of Conduct or a material incident of harassment, bullying and/ discrimination has occurred, immediate corrective action will be taken as warranted, it will take prompt action reasonably calculated to end the violation, eliminate any hostile environment, create a more positive school culture and climate, prevent recurrence of the behavior, and ensure the safety of the student or students against whom such violation was directed.
As a general rule, responses to acts of harassment, bullying, and/or discrimination against students by students shall incorporate a progressive model of student discipline that includes measured, balanced and age- appropriate remedies and procedures that make appropriate use of prevention, education, intervention and discipline, and considers among other things, the nature and severity of the offending student’s behavior(s), the developmental age of the student, the previous disciplinary record of the student and other extenuating circumstances, and the impact the student’s behaviors had on the individual(s) who was physically injured and/or emotionally harmed. Responses shall be reasonably calculated to end the harassment, bullying, and/or discrimination, prevent recurrence, and eliminate the hostile environment.
In the event that the principal is the alleged offender, the report will be directed to the Superintendent of Schools.
All complaints of alleged harassing, bullying and/or retaliatory conduct shall be:
a. promptly investigated in accordance with the terms of District policy;
b. forwarded to the school building’s Dignity Act Coordinator for monitoring; and
c. treated as confidential and private to the extent possible within legal constraints.
Parents shall be notified of their right to attend any meeting with their child to review a complaint. The School District provides a variety of prevention and intervention programs addressing the safety of students and school personnel, which are described in the District policies and on the District website.
IV. Student Conduct and Discipline
The Board of Education expects all students to conduct themselves in an appropriate and civil manner, with proper regard for the rights and welfare of other students, District personnel and other members of the community, and for the care of school facilities and equipment.
A. General Conduct
Acceptable school conduct is based on respect for self, fellow students, faculty, staff and school property. Specifically:
(1) Directions or requests of any school staff member, including teachers, support personnel, secretaries, custodians and bus drivers are to be complied with promptly and courteously.
(2) Students are asked to conduct themselves in an orderly fashion at all times. Thus running, “horseplay” and loud or boisterous conduct are considered to be unacceptable behaviors in school and on school buses.
(3) Cafeterias are expected to be pleasant environments for eating. No eating or drinking is allowed in the hallways. Glass bottles are not allowed in the buildings or on school property.
Failure to observe these rules of conduct may lead to disciplinary action. Student access to areas of the school and/or school property may be restricted for a period of time due to inappropriate behavior in such areas by the student.
Bringing personal electronic and communicative devices, including but not limited to, cell phones, electronic wearables, electronic games, iPods, tablets, IPads is discouraged. These items are not allowed openly in class and may not be turned on during the day except if a teacher allows his/her students the use of electronic devices during instruction time for academic purposes. There is no use of video recording or photos except under the direct supervision of a teacher. If otherwise used or visible during the regular school day, electronic devices may be confiscated and returned only to a parent.
B. Dress Code
The building principal, or his or her designee, shall be responsible for informing all students and their parents of the student dress code at the beginning of the school year. A family member will be notified of any dress code concerns related to their student.
All students are expected to give proper attention to personal appearance and to dress appropriately for the school day, as well as school- sponsored activities. Students and their parents have the primary responsibility for acceptable student dress and appearance. Teachers and other District personnel should exemplify and reinforce acceptable student dress and help students develop an understanding of appropriate appearance in the school setting.
A student’s dress and appearance shall:
A. Be safe, appropriate and not disrupt or interfere with the educational process.
B. Recognize that extremely brief or revealing garments are not appropriate. Any student who is not appropriately dressed for a school learning climate will be referred to an administrator.
C. Ensure that undergarments are completely covered with outer clothing.
D. Include footwear at all times. Footwear that is a safety hazard, will not be permitted.
E. Not include items that are vulgar, obscene, libelous or denigrate others on account of their actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, gender, disability, sexual orientation, gender (including gender identity or expression), or sex.
F. Not promote and/or endorse the use of alcohol, tobacco or illegal drugs and/or encourage other illegal, violent or gang activities.
G. Not conceal a student’s identity with hoods or masks or any obstructive
head wear at any time during the school day.
If a student’s dress or appearance in school is deemed questionable, a teacher/administrator may have a discussion with the student and family member to advise the student of the potential violation. Students who violate the 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 individual who refuses to do so may be subject to discipline or removal from school grounds. Visitors are expected to abide by the school dress code; those who do not may be asked to leave the premises.
C. Academic Integrity
As part of a school community, students and faculty have the duty and responsibility to promote academic integrity. This means that students are responsible for completing their own work. The purpose of assignments is to develop the skills and measure the progress of each student. Students learn more and attain a feeling of accomplishment through their own hard work and initiatives.
One aspect of academic integrity that is very important throughout a person’s lifetime is acknowledging sources. Learning how to acknowledge sources begins in elementary school, but is taught and refined over time through the middle school years to prepare students for high school and college. Among other things, this includes using quotation marks and footnotes and citing sources where appropriate.
Students should follow these rules of academic integrity:
1. Do your own work.
2. Don’t let others use or copy: classwork, homework, quizzes and tests. Others should not get credit for work that you have done.
4. If you are working in a group, follow the teacher’s directions on sharing work.
5. Be truthful.
6. If you are uncertain about the directions, ask the teacher for clarification. Students who fail to follow these rules will face disciplinary consequences.
Students are expected to attend class daily as required by state law. Such attendance creates an environment that fosters subject competency, continuity of learning, and responsibility, which are all integral to the educational process. Active student participation is an integral part of the elementary curriculum.
Students are required to attend classes every school day unless excused for a valid reason. Acceptable reasons are (As per District attendance policy):
1. Personal illness or injury
2. Death or emergency illness in the immediate family
3. Obligatory religious observance
4. Required court appearance
5. Medical and dental appointments
6. School sponsored events
7. Late arriving bus
8. Impassable roads or weather making travel unsafe
9. Music lessons
10. Others as authorized by the principal
Although days missed for the above reasons are considered excused absences, students must realize that their schoolwork can suffer if they are out of class too often. Students are responsible for keeping informed of makeup work for time missed in class, whether the absence is excused or unexcused. See Appendix D for details.
Illness During the School Day
For health and safety reasons a student who becomes ill or who is injured during the school day, must report to the school nurse. If, in the opinion of the nurse, the student is too ill to continue to school, the nurse will contact the parent or other designated adult to make appropriate arrangements for the student to get home.
In the event that the nurse is not able to make contact with the parent or designated adult, the student shall be offered the opportunity to remain in the nurse’s office. If the student would prefer to return to class, it will be the nurse who makes a nursing assessment that determines whether the student is able to return to classes. The Main Office will be notified so that the student will not be charged with unauthorized absences.
Return from Absences
Students who are absent from school for a full day or more must deliver an excuse signed by a parent to the classroom teacher on the day that the student returns to school. The note should include the reason and date(s) of the absence. At the discretion of the principal, a physician’s certification of illness for absences in excess of five days may be required. Excuses will be randomly verified by a telephone call home from the nurse. A parent should notify the school nurse when a student will be absent for five or more days because of serious illness, injury, or other authorized absence. When a student is absent for unexcused reasons for more than three days, the principal may send a notification letter to the parents when subsequent unexcused absences occur.
Early Dismissal, Tardiness and Unexcused Absence from Class
(1) Early Dismissal – To be excused early from school, a student must bring an excuse to the Main Office at the beginning of the school day.
NO STUDENT IS TO LEAVE THE BUILDING WITHOUT PERMISSION FROM AN AUTHORIZED SCHOOL PERSON.
(2) Tardiness – A student may be considered tardy when the student arrives after the school day begins. Tardiness may be excused for the following reasons:
(a) death or emergency illness in the immediate family
(b) impassable roads or weather making travel unsafe
(c) late buses
(d) medical and dental appointments
(e) music lessons
(f) obligatory religious observance
(g) personal illness or injury
(h) required court appearance
(i) school sponsored events, and/or
(j) any other reason as authorized by the principal
If a student arrives late to school, the first thing the student must do is sign in at the Main Office. When a student is late for one of the reasons set forth above, a parent is expected to notify the school in writing or by telephone on the morning of the lateness. Absence from class may only be excused for the reasons listed above for excusable tardiness.
E. Passing in Hallways
In order to maintain an environment that is conducive to learning, students shall adhere to the following:
(2) Students are not to wander or congregate in the hallways.
(3) Students who arrive late must sign in at the Main Office.
F. Classroom Behavior
Students are expected to arrive at school on time, with necessary materials and to be cooperative and respectful throughout the day. If a student fails to meet these expectations, the teacher may contact the student’s parent. Should this not remedy the situation, the teacher should refer the matter to the principal for counseling or for appropriate consequences.
Removal from Class by Teacher
In order to promote positive behavior, teachers are expected
to implement a classroom management system to promote student success
and use traditional classroom management techniques to maintain order in
the classroom. These techniques include (1) sending the student to the a space in the classroom for a brief time; (2) sending the student to an administrator’s office for a brief time or for the remainder of the class time only; or (3) sending a student to a counselor or other District staff member for counseling. Traditional classroom management techniques such as these do not constitute disciplinary removal for the purpose of this Code.
Under the SAVE Act, a teacher may remove a violent or disruptive student from class when the student’s conduct poses a danger or is substantially disruptive or substantially interferes with the teacher’s authority over the classroom. Such disruption occurs when a student demonstrates a persistent unwillingness to comply with the teacher’s instructions or repeatedly violates the teacher’s classroom behavior rules. A classroom teacher may remove such a student from class for up to two days. The removal from class applies to the class or the removing teacher only.
If a teacher determines that a student presents a danger or an ongoing threat of disruption to the academic process, a teacher may remove a student from class immediately. By the end of the school day, the teacher must notify the principal and explain why the student was removed and the student will be provided an opportunity to present his/her version of the events.
Within 24 hours of the removal, the principal or designee must notify the student’s parents, in writing, that the student has been removed from class and why. The notice must inform the parent that he or she has the right, upon request, to meet informally with the principal or designee to discuss the reasons for the removal. Where possible, notice should also be provided by telephone if a phone number for notification has been provided by the parent. If the student denies the charges, the principal or designee shall provide an explanation of the basis for the removal and shall allow the student or parent an opportunity to explain the pupil’s version of relevant events. The informal conference shall be held within 48 hours of the student’s removal unless a later time is agreed to by the student or parent. The principal may require the teacher who ordered the removal to attend the informal conference if held during normal working hours.
The principal or designee shall not set aside the discipline imposed by the teacher unless a determination is made that the charges are not supported by substantial evidence, or that the removal is a violation of law, or that the student’s conduct warrants a suspension which will be imposed. This determination must be made by the close of business on the day succeeding the 48 hour period for the informal conference (or such later informal conference date as may have been agreed to by the student or parent). No student removed from class by a teacher will be permitted to return to that class until this determination is made or the period of removal expires, whichever is less.
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 for all cases of removal of students from his/her class. The principal must keep a log of all such removals.
Removal of a student with a disability, under certain circumstances, may constitute a change of placement. Accordingly, no teacher may remove such a student until he/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.
G. Disciplinary Consequences
When choosing consequences for students’ behavior, teachers, administrators, and staff work together to balance the school’s goals of promoting respect among school community members, minimizing school disruptions and maximizing student instructional time. Consequences paired with meaningful instruction and guidance offer students an opportunity to learn from their mistakes and contribute back to the school community. They are designed to be fair, collaborative, and differentiated.
Understanding consequences as a teachable moment is fundamental to a positive approach to discipline. Consequences may be progressive, in that they may be applied incrementally to address inappropriate behavior with the ultimate goal of teaching pro-social behavior. Progressive consequences seek concurrent accountability, learning, and behavioral change. They are designed to help students meet the following NYS social emotional learning goals:
- Develop self-awareness and self-management skills essential to success in school and in life.
- Use social awareness and interpersonal skills to establish and maintain positive relationships.
- Demonstrate ethical decision-making skills and responsible behaviors in personal, school, and community contexts.
The administration, faculty and staff must work together to establish a learning environment that fosters academic success. The following consequences are used to alter inappropriate student behavior and are explained more fully, below:
1. Teacher Consultation
2. Administrative Warning
3. Parental or Legal Guardian Notification/Conferencing
5. Designated Work Project
6. Suspension of Privileges:
7. In-school suspension
8. Out-of-school suspension
9. Referral to Family Court (PINS Petition as a Person in Need of Supervision)
Counseling by a school counselor, social worker, or school psychologist, may be provided in conjunction with a disciplinary response. Regardless of the disciplinary action taken, an essential component is communication to the stakeholders involved. This will include the student and the parent or legal guardian, and may involve the teachers, the guidance personnel, other staff, or the superintendent.
Specific Consequences for Unacceptable Behavior
1. Teacher Consultation – The teacher will devise strategies for enforcing team and classroom rules. These will be supported by the administrator to assist in the development of self-control by the student.
2. Warning – A teacher or administrative warning is used for minor infractions of the rules. Among examples of this are littering, running in the hall or disruptive behavior in hallway.
3. Parental Conferencing – Conferencing may be used in conjunction with other consequences, or may be a consequence in itself. It exceeds the warning level and is used for infractions such as chronic disregard for school rules, involvement in verbal disturbances, using inappropriate language and demonstrating disrespect to peers or adults.
4. Detention – Detention may be assigned either after school and/or during recess period. Examples of infractions that might result in detention include a classroom disruption, skipping class, and defiance of authority. Detentions may be assigned for one or more time periods. Failure to report to detention will result in additional detentions or other disciplinary action.
5. Designated Work Projects – Because of the nature of the behavior, a student may be assigned a designated work project. Behaviors that would warrant a designated work project would include acts of chronic misbehavior, vandalism, theft, and actions that indicate malicious behavior. A designated work project requires cooperation by the parent or legal guardian and student, and agreement of what the project should be between the administration and the family. These work projects are determined by the administration and occur during the student’s free time. Students will be working with the custodial, library, or administrative staffs. For example, a student may be involved with tutoring, assisting a teacher or working in the main office. Schoolwork projects may result from behaviors that are directed against the school, such as defacing or destruction of school property, and failure to return borrowed books.
6. Suspension of Privileges – Transportation: Students who violate bus safety or rules may have their bus privileges suspended for a specified period of time depending on the severity of the offense. A parent or legal guardian will be notified of the transportation suspension.
Cafeteria: Students who violate cafeteria rules after other consequences have occurred may lose their privilege to eat in the cafeteria for a specified period of time. A parent or guardian will be notified of the cafeteria privilege suspension.
7. In-School Suspensions – Certain behaviors that are chronic or constitute major infractions such as theft, vandalism, fighting, cutting class, and conduct detrimental to the educational process may result in in-school suspension. In-school suspension occurs for half to one full day. During this time the student does not attend classes, but work is made available and the student is under the supervision of the administrative staff. A parent or legal guardian will be notified of the in-school suspension.
9. Suspension –
As used in this section, suspension means out-of-school suspension. A student may be suspended for the following reasons:
- Conduct detrimental to the educational process
- Endangering the safety of others
- Fighting or other violent conduct
- Insubordinate conduct
- Possession, use, display or handling of a weapon or other hazardous instrument
- Possession or use of alcoholic beverages, illegal drugs, synthetic narcotics, non-prescribed medication or related paraphernalia (including rolling papers)
- Smoking, use or possession of tobacco products, e-cigarettes, vapor instruments and/or products, dab pens or cartridges of any kind, or related accessories
- Harassment, bullying, or cyber-bullying
- A physical or mental condition that endangers the health, safety or morals of that student or others
- Other insubordination or disorderly conduct that, in the judgment of the principal or superintendent, endangers the health, safety or morals of that student or others, or is disruptive to the orderly operation of the school
- Unauthorized access to academic or administrative records
- Any criminal conduct
Under the federal Gun-Free School Act of 1994, a student found guilty of bringing a firearm onto school property will be subject to at least a one-year suspension from school. The terms “weapon or other hazardous instrument” used above include any firearm, pellet gun, BB gun, starter pistol, whether operable or inoperable, loaded or unloaded, knife, simulated weapon, dangerous chemical, noxious substance, explosive or any other object listed in the District Policy which could be used as a weapon.
Suspended students may not attend classes or activities or enter upon any school property for the duration of the suspension. Suspended students may not attend any off-campus activities involving teams or organizations under the auspices of high school (athletic contests, musical performances and the like) from the time the suspension is accessed until the suspension period has been completed.
When a suspension is assessed at the conclusion of a school week, the weekend immediately following is considered part of the suspension period. Students who violate this restriction shall be charged with trespassing. When the suspension is over, a parent is expected to accompany the student to school for re-admission.
Students suspended from instruction shall be afforded their due process rights pursuant to sections 3214 and 310 of the Education Law and section 100.2 of the Commissioner’s Regulations. Students suspended from instruction for five days or less shall be given notice of the charged misconduct and may request an explanation of the basis for the suspension. The pupil or the pupil’s parent may request an informal conference at which the pupil or parent may present the pupil’s version of the event and ask questions of complaining witnesses. This notice and the opportunity for an informal conference shall take place prior to the suspension unless the pupil’s presence poses a continuing danger or threat of disruption to the academic process.
No student may be suspended for more than five days, however, unless the student and his/her parent have had the opportunity for a fair hearing upon reasonable notice. At that hearing, the student and his/her parent have the right of representation by counsel, with the right to question witnesses against such student and to present witnesses and other evidence on their behalf.
Students and their parents may have decisions involving suspensions and other disciplinary matters successively considered by the Superintendent of Schools, the Board of Education, and the Commissioner of Educations. Appeals from the principal’s decision on suspension and other discipline must follow this progression of review and such appeals cannot be made directly to the Commissioner of Education.
When a student of compulsory education age is suspended, the District must take immediate steps to provide alternate instruction for the student. Students who are suspended from school shall not have their absences during the suspension counted against them in the attendance regulation unless they have been offered alternate instruction and have failed to attend such instruction.
Other Disciplinary Measures
- Exclusionary Actions – Students whose behavior is such that they endanger the safety, health, or welfare of themselves or others shall be referred to the Superintendent of Schools. The superintendent shall hold an exclusionary hearing to determine what consequences the student mist face. The Superintendent is also empowered to consider involuntary transfers in an exclusionary hearing.
- Students with Disabilities – Students with disabilities must be disciplined under the legal requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). A suspension of more than ten days or a series of short-term suspensions, meeting certain criteria, would require the Committee on Special Education to meet and to make a determination whether the student’s conduct is a manifestation of the student’s disability. Further, the committee may also need to meet to determine whether the current placement of the student is appropriate. A parent may review questions concerning this legal requirement by contacting the chairperson of the committee. When a student with a disability poses an immediate threat to the student’s safety or the safety of others, the District may seek a court order to enjoin the student from attending school.
- Referral to Police or Other Agencies – A student may be referred to the police or another appropriate agency for alleged breaches of the law. Such breaches may include, but are not limited to:a. Use or possession of illegal drugs, synthetic narcotics, dab pens or cartridges of any kind, non-prescribed medication, or related paraphernalia
b. Use or possession of alcohol
c. Use or possession of weapons (as per Policy 7360 and the federal Gun-Free Schools Act)
d. Vandalism (students or parents who damage or destroy school property shall reimburse the District for the value of the damaged property.)
e. Theft of property or possession of stolen property
f. Creating a disturbance or safety hazard ( e.g. initiating or aiding in false alarms, bomb threats or other threats of hard to school property, students or staff or possession of discharge or fireworks or a noxious substance)
g. Trespassing (e.g. entering school property while under suspension or after reasonable school hours)
h. Unauthorized access to academic or administrative records
i. Any criminal conduct
- Drug and Alcohol Abuse – The possession of drugs, drug paraphernalia or consumption of drugs or alcohol during school hours or at any interscholastic or co-curricular event of other school-sponsored activity is strictly prohibited. No student may come to school or a co-curricular event or other school sponsored activity, on or off campus, after the student has consumed alcohol or drugs or when in possession of drugs, drug paraphernalia or alcohol. The penalties for such conduct may include not only suspension but following suspension, exclusion from any and all co-curricular interscholastic or other-school-sponsored activity. See Appendix A for details.
Non-Disciplinary Remedial Measures
Students who violate this Code may also be referred for remedial action as the facts may warrant, including any of the measures listed below:
a. peer support groups; corrective instruction or other relevant learning or service experience;
b. supportive intervention;
c. behavioral assessment or evaluation;
d. behavioral management plans, with benchmarks that are closely monitored; and/or
e. student counseling and parent conferences.
Beyond these individual-focused remedial responses, school-wide or environmental remediation may also be utilized. These strategies may include:
a. school and community surveys or other strategies for determining the conditions contributing to the relevant behavior;
b. adoption of research-based prevention programs;
c. modification of schedules;
d. adjustment in hallway traffic and other student routes of travel;
f. targeted use of monitors;
g. staff professional development;
i. involvement of parent-teacher organizations; and/or
j. peer support group
H. Other Laws and District Policies
(1) Smoking or Use of Tobacco Products – The use or possession of tobacco products or accessories, e-cigarettes or vapor instruments and/or products by students in school buildings, on school property or in vehicles owned or operated by the District or at school sponsored events is prohibited. Violation of the Code of Conduct regarding tobacco use will result in parent notification and referral to the school counselor, other disciplinary action and may include additional education in the risks and health effects of tobacco use. Specific consequences are detailed in Appendix B.
(2) Sweets Law – New York State Education Law, Section 915, “Prohibiting the sale of certain sweetened foods,” provides as follows:
“From the beginning of the school day until the end of the last scheduled meal period, no sweetened soda water, no chewing gum, no candy including hard candy, jellies, gums, marshmallow candies, fondant, licorice, spun candy and candy-coated popcorn, and no water ices except those which contain fruit or fruit juices, shall be sold in any public school within the state.” See District Policy 5661 Wellness.
(3) State Law Prohibiting Bomb Threats – It is illegal for anyone to issue a false bomb threat directed toward a school in New York State. As of December 1, 1999, the consequences for this crime have been increased from a Class A misdemeanor to a Class E felony (Chapter 561, Laws of 1999). Persons arrested for making bomb threats face felony prosecution, youthful offender or juvenile delinquency adjudication, as well as a one-year suspension of one’s driver’s license. Related laws permit municipalities, fire Districts and other emergency service providers to seek restitution for costs associated with their response to a bomb threat on school grounds. The amount may be up to $10,000 in restitution to be paid by anyone convicted of reporting a false incident or bomb, up to $5,000 to be paid by the parent of a child who makes a false report.
Parents and other District residents are encouraged to visit the schools under the following conditions:
A. All visitors must report to the Main Office upon arrival, sign the visitor’s registration and obtain a visitor’s badge that must be worn throughout the visit and returned upon departure.
B. Visitors attending school functions that are open to the public and
held outside regular school hours, such as PTO meetings, concerts, or public gatherings, are not required to register.
C. Parents or residents who wish to observe a classroom while school is in session are required to seek approval of the building principal and arrange such visits in advance with the principal and classroom teacher(s) so that class disruption is kept to a minimum.
D. Teachers are expected to not take class time to discuss individual matters with visitors.
F. All visitors are expected to abide by the rules for Public Conduct on School Property contained in this Code of Conduct.
A. Public Conduct on School Property
All persons on school property or attending a school function shall conduct themselves in a respectful and orderly manner.
No person singly or in concert with others, shall:
(1) enter any unauthorized areas of the school building or campus without proper authorization;
(2) willfully cause or threaten physical injury to any other person who is behaving lawfully;
(3) physically restrain, detain or remove such a person;
(4) willfully damage or destroy school property nor use or remove such property without permission;
(5) enter any private school office without first obtaining permission;
(6) without authorization, remain in any school building after it is normally closed;
(7) refuse to leave any school building upon the request of a staff member;
(8) obstruct the free movement of persons or vehicles on school property;
(9) refuse to follow traffic and parking procedures;
(10) disrupt classes or deliberately interfere with any person’s freedom of speech;
(11) possess any firearm or weapon on school property unless so authorized by the Superintendent; and/or
(12) willfully incite others to commit any prohibited action
Penalties and Procedures
Anyone who violates these rules shall be subject to the guidelines set forth in Appendix C as well as the following penalties:
1. Non-students/staff shall be subject to ejection;
2. Students shall be subject to ejection pursuant to the Code of Conduct;
3. Faculty members shall be subject to ejection, warning, reprimand, suspension and other disciplinary actions given in the Education Law;
4. Classified service staff member shall be subject to ejection and the disciplinary actions given in §75 of the Civil Service Law;
6. A person who refuses to leave school property when requested to do so may be subject to arrest.
Further details are given in Appendix C.
VI. Dissemination and Review
The Board of Education will work to ensure that the community is aware of this Code of Conduct by:
A. providing copies of a plain-language summary of the Code to all students at a general assembly held or in classrooms at the beginning of each school year;
B. mailing the Code of Conduct summary to all parents of District students before the beginning of the school year and making this summary available later upon request;
C. communicating to all parents and students at the beginning of the
school year that the full Code is available online and in school offices;
D. providing all current teachers and other staff members with a copy of the Code (print or electronic) and a copy of any amendments to the Code as soon as practicable after adoption;
E. providing all new employees with a copy of the current Code of Conduct (print or electronic) when they are first hired; and
F. making copies of the Code available for review by students, parents and other community members.
G. posting the complete Code of Conduct on the District’s website, including any annual updates or amendments thereto.
The Board of Education will sponsor an in-service education program for all District staff members to ensure the effective implementation of the Code of Conduct, to promote a safe and supportive school climate while discouraging, among other things, harassment, bullying and discrimination against students by students and/or school employees and to include safe and supportive school climate concepts in the curriculum and classroom management. In-service education programs shall also include training on the social patterns of harassment, bullying and discrimination, including but not limited to those acts based on a person’s actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender or gender expression, or any other protected status, the identification and mitigation of harassment, bullying and discrimination, and strategies for effectively addressing problems of exclusion, bias and aggression in educational settings.
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 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 of Conduct violations. The committee will be made up of representatives 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 of Education no later than 30 days after adoption.
Appendix A. Drug and Alcohol Abuse Regulations
Appendix B. Smoking and Tobacco Use Penalties
Appendix C. Public Conduct on School Property
Appendix D. Summary of Attendance Policy
Appendix E. Bill of Student Rights and Responsibilities Policy
Appendix F. Building Computer Utilization
Adopted June 18, 2001
Revised July 12, 2010
Revised July 12, 2011
Adopted July 10, 2012
Revised August 13, 2013
Reaffirmed: June 24, 2014
Revised and Adopted August 16, 2016
Revised and Adopted July 14, 2017
Revised and Adopted July 2, 2018
This Code of Conduct remains in effect until it is revised by the Niskayuna Central School District Board of Education.
For the purpose of this code, the following definitions apply: “Bullying” (see Harassment”)
“Cyberbullying” means “harassment” or “bullying”, where such harassment or bullying occurs through any form of electronic communication.
“Disability” means (a) a physical, mental or medical impairment resulting from anatomical, physiological, genetic or neurological conditions which prevents the exercise of a normal bodily function or is demonstrable by medically accepted clinical or laboratory diagnostic techniques or (b) a record of such an impairment or (c) a condition regarded by others as such an impairment, provided, however, that in all provisions of this article dealing with employment, the term must be limited to disabilities which, upon the provision of reasonable accommodations, do not prevent the complainant from performing in a reasonable manner the activities involved in the job or occupation sought or held.
“Disruptive student” means an elementary or secondary student under the age of 21 who is substantially disruptive of the educational process or substantially interferes with the teacher’s authority over the classroom.
“Employee” shall mean any person receiving compensation from a school District or employee of a contracted service provider or worker placed within the school under a public assistance employment program, pursuant to title nine-B of article five of the Social Services Law, and consistent with the provisions of such title for the provision of services to such District, its students or employees, directly or through contract, whereby such services performed by such person involve direct student contact.
“Gender expression” shall mean the manner in which a person represents or expresses gender to others, often through behavior, clothing, hairstyles, activities, voice or mannerisms.
“Gender Identity” shall mean a person’s gender-related identity, appearance or behavior, whether or not that gender-related identity, appearance or behavior is different from that traditionally associated with the person’s physiology or assigned gender at birth.
“Harassment” and “Bullying” shall mean the creation of a hostile environment by conduct or by threats, intimidation or abuse, including cyberbullying, that either (1) has or would have the effect of unreasonably and substantially interfering with a student’s educational performance, opportunities or benefits, or mental, emotional and/or physical well-being, including conduct, threats, intimidation or abuse that reasonably causes or would reasonably be expected to cause emotional harm; or (2) reasonably causes or would reasonably be expected to cause physical injury to a student or to cause a student to fear for his or her physical safety. Such definition includes acts of harassment or bullying that occur:
a. on school property; and/or
b. at a school function; and/or
c. off-school property where such acts create or would foreseeably create a risk of substantial disruption within the school environment, where it is foreseeable that the conduct, threats, intimidation or abuse might reach school property.
Such conduct shall include, but not be limited to, those acts based on a person’s actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender, sex or any other legally protected status.
For the purposes of this definition the term “threats, intimidation or abuse” shall include verbal and non-verbal actions.
“Emotional harm” that takes place in the context of “harassment or bullying” means harm to a student’s emotional well-being through creation of a hostile school environment that is so severe or pervasive as to unreasonably and substantially interfere with a student’s education.
“Insubordination” means the refusal by a student to follow a reasonable directive from any authorized school staff member. School staff members include, but are not limited to: administrators, teachers, teaching assistants, support staff, BOCES staff, secretaries, custodial staff, maintenance staff, bus drivers, and district officials.
“Material incident of Harassment, Bullying and/or Discrimination” means a single verified incident or a series of related verified incidents where a student is subjected to harassment, bullying and/or discrimination by a student and/or employee on school property or at a school function. In addition, such term shall include a verified incident or series of related incidents of harassment or bullying that occur off school property, and is the subject of a written or oral complaint to the superintendent, principal, or their designee, or other school employee. Such conduct shall include, but is not limited to, threats, intimidation or abuse based on a person’s actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender, sex or any other legally protected status.
“Parent(s)” is defined as the adult (e.g. parent, guardian) who is legally responsible for the student(s) in question.
“School Bus” means every motor vehicle owned by a public or governmental agency or private school and operated for the transportation of pupils, children of pupils, teachers and other persons acting in a supervisory capacity, to or from school or school activities, or, privately owned and operated for compensation for the transportation of pupils, children of pupils, teachers and other persons acting in a supervisory capacity to or from school or school activities.
“School property” means in or within any building, structure, athletic playing field, playground, parking lot, or land contained within the real property boundary line of a public elementary or secondary school; or in or on a school bus as defined in Vehicle and Traffic Law §142.
“School function” means any school-sponsored co-curricular event or activity on or off campus.
“Sexual orientation” shall mean actual or perceived heterosexuality, homosexuality or bisexuality.
“Violent student” means an elementary or secondary student under the age of 21 who: commits an act of violence against any school employee; commits an act of violence on school property against any student or other person lawfully on school property; possesses, on school property, a gun, knife, incendiary bomb, or other dangerous instrument capable of causing physical injury or death; threatens, on school property, to use any instrument that appears capable of causing physical injury or death; knowingly and intentionally damages or destroys the personal property of any person lawfully on school property; or knowingly or intentionally damages or destroys District property.
“Weapon” means a firearm as defined in 18 USC §921 for purposes of the federal Gun-Free Schools Act. “Weapon” is also defined in New York State law as any other device, instrument, material or substance that can cause physical injury or death.
Appendix A. Drug and Alcohol Abuse Regulations
The possession of drugs, synthetic narcotics, non-prescribed
medication or related paraphernalia or alcohol or the consumption of drugs, synthetic narcotics, non-prescribed medication or alcohol during school hours or at any interscholastic and extra-curricular events or other school-sponsored activity is strictly prohibited. This policy also prohibits a student from coming to school or an extra-curricular and interscholastic event or other school sponsored activities, on or off campus, after the student has consumed alcohol, drugs, synthetic narcotics, non-prescribed medication or is in possession of drugs, synthetic narcotics, non-prescribed medication, related drug paraphernalia, dab pens or cartridges of any kind, or alcohol.
A student who violates this policy for the first time may be suspended from school for a period of five (5) days. When the suspension period is over, the student may not be readmitted to school unless accompanied by a parent. When indicated, the student shall be referred to the Niskayuna Police, the Superintendent, or both. The student shall not be permitted to attend any interscholastic, extra-curricular, or school sponsored activity for the duration of the five (5) week period. The student will not be allowed on school property during the period of his/her suspension or he/she will be considered trespassing. If he/she does trespass, he/she may be arrested. Also, in an effort to be constructive, the student must be a willing and active participant in at least three (3) counseling sessions with the school psychologist, student assistance counselor, or guidance counselor. Or, the student may seek counseling from a private counseling source. This process must have begun in order for the student to be eligible to practice or rehearse with a team or activity. Although the student will not be allowed to attend or participate in games, plays, events, etc., the student will be permitted to practice, try out, or rehearse providing the students meets with the school psychologist, student assistance counselor, or guidance counselor at the designated times. Should the student fail to participate in such a counseling program, the student shall be removed from the team or activity for the remainder of the school year. The student’s eligibility to return the following school year to active participation will be contingent upon completion of a counseling program.
In case of a second drug or alcohol offense during the student’s career, the student may be suspended from school for a period of five (5) days. When the suspension period is over, the parent is expected to accompany the student to school for admission. In addition, the student shall re-enter a counseling program (in-school or private). The student shall not be permitted to participate in or attend any co-curricular interscholastic, or other school-sponsored activity for one (1) calendar year from the date of the second violation. The student shall also be prohibited from practicing or rehearsing during the calendar year period.
Third Offense and Subsequent Offenses
If a student is suspended for a third drug or alcohol offense, the student will be referred to the Superintendent of Schools for an exclusionary hearing to determine if the student’s behavior poses a threat to the safety and well- being of that student or others. If, in the judgment of the Superintendent, the student is not to be excluded, the following sanctions shall be imposed:
The student may be suspended from school for a period of five (5) days. When the suspension period is over, the student may not be readmitted to school unless accompanied by a parent. The student shall also be strongly urged to seek more intense rehabilitative care; alternate placement may also be considered. In addition, the student shall not be permitted to participate in, practice, rehearse or attend any extra-curricular, interscholastic, or other school-sponsored activity for the duration of the student’s high school career.
Appendix B. Penalties for the Use or Possession of Tobacco and/or Nicotine Products
In accordance with New York State law, the Board of Education recognizes the health hazards associated with smoking and the use of other tobacco products, e-cigarettes and vapor products, and, therefore, prohibits the use or possession thereof by students in school buildings, on school property and vehicles owned or operated by the District or at school sponsored activities.
A student on school property who is caught smoking a first time may be suspended out-of-school for a period of two (2) days. A student who is determined to be in the possession of tobacco products, e-cigarettes or vapor instruments and/or products, dab pens or cartridges of any kind, or related accessories may be assigned two (2) extended detentions.
A student on school property who is caught smoking a second time may be suspended out-of-school for a period of four (4) days. A student who is determined to be in the possession of tobacco products, e-cigarettes, vapor instruments and/or products, dab pens or cartridges of any kind, or related accessories, for a second time, may be assigned six (6) extended detentions.
A student on school property who is caught smoking a third time may be suspended out-of-school for a period of four (4) days. A student who is determined to be in the possession of tobacco products, e-cigarettes, vapor instruments and/or products, dab pens or cartridges of any kind, or related accessories, for a third time may be placed in in-school suspension for a period of time determined by the principal.
Fourth and Each Subsequent Offense
A student on school property who is caught smoking a fourth time and each subsequent time may be suspended out-of-school for a period of four (4) days. A student who is determined to be in the possession of tobacco products, e-cigarettes, vapor instruments and/or products, dab pens or cartridges of any kind, or related accessories, for the fourth time, may be placed in in-school suspension for a period of time determined by the principal.
Appendix C. Public Conduct on School Property
The District is committed to providing an orderly, respectful environment that is conducive to learning. To create and maintain this kind of an environment, it is necessary to regulate public conduct on school property and at school functions. For purposes of this section of the Code, “public” shall mean all persons when on school property or attending a school function including students, teachers, and District personnel.
The restrictions on public conduct on school property and at school functions contained in this Code are not intended to limit freedom of speech or peaceful assembly. The District recognizes that free inquiry and free expression are indispensable to the objectives of the District. The purpose of this Code is to maintain public order and prevent abuse of the rights of others. All persons on school property or attending a school function shall conduct themselves in a respectful and orderly manner. In addition, all persons on school property or attending a school function are expected to be properly attired for the purpose they are on school property.
A. Prohibited Conduct on School Property
These rules govern the conduct of students, faculty and other staff, licenses, invitees, and all other persons, whether or not their presence is authorized, upon District property, and also upon or with respect to any other premises or property, under the control of the District and used in its teaching programs and activities, and in its administrative, cultural, recreational, athletic, other co-curricular program and activities.
No person, either singly or in concert with others, shall:
1. willfully cause or threaten to cause physical injury to any other person, for any purpose including to encourage another to commit an unlawful act, or to prevent another from doing what they have a lawful right to do;
2. physically restrain or detain any other person, nor remove such person from any place where he/she is authorized to remain;
3. willfully damage or destroy property of the school or under its jurisdiction, nor remove or use such property without authorization;
4. without permission, express or implied, enter any private administrative, faculty or staff member’s office;
5. enter upon and remain in any building or facility for any purpose other than its authorized uses or in such manner as to obstruct its authorized use by others;
6. without authorization, remain in any building or facility after it is normally closed;
7. refuse to leave any building or facility after being required to do so by an authorized administrative officer, member of the faculty or staff member;
8. obstruct the free movement of persons and vehicles in any place to which these rules apply;
9. deliberately disrupt or prevent the peaceful and orderly conduct of classes, lectures and meetings or deliberately interfere with the freedom of any person to express his/her views, including invited speakers;
10. create a disturbance or safety hazard (e.g. initiating or aiding in false alarms, bomb threats or other threats of harm to school property, students or staff; or possession of discharge or fireworks or a noxious substance
11. posses upon any premises to which these rules apply, any rifle, shotgun, pistol, revolver, or other firearm or weapon without the written authorization of the chief administrative officer whether or not licensed to possess or carry the same;
12. willfully incite others to commit any of the acts herein prohibited with specific intent to procure them to do so; and/or
13. fail to follow direction of the building principal or designee
B. Penalties and Procedures
A person who shall violate any of the provisions of these rules shall be subject to the following penalties and procedures:
1. If a licensee or invitee, his/her authorization to remain upon the grounds or other property shall be withdrawn and he/she shall be directed to leave the premises. In the event of failure to do so, he/she shall be subject to ejection.
2. If a trespasser or visitor without specific license or invitation, he/she shall be subject to ejection.
3. If he/she is a student, he/she shall be subject to disciplinary action as the facts of the case may warrant, including suspension, probation, loss of privileges, reprimand or warning as prescribed by the Education Law, §3214 or school Code of Conduct, and he/she shall be subject to ejection.
4. If a faculty member, he/she shall be subject to ejection, warning, reprimand, suspension or other disciplinary action as prescribed by and in accordance with procedures of the Education Law.
5. If a staff member in the classified service of the civil service, described in §75 of the Civil Service Law, he/she shall be guilty of misconduct, and be subject to the penalties and procedures prescribed in said section and be subject to ejection.
6. If a staff member other than one described in subdivision 4 and 5, he/she shall be subject to dismissal, suspension without pay or censure and be subject to ejection.
C. Enforcement Program
1. The Superintendent of Schools shall be responsible for the enforcement of these rules, and he/she shall designate the other personnel who are authorized to take action in accordance with such rules when required or appropriate to carry them into effect.
2. In the case of any apparent violation of these rules by such persons, which, in the judgment of the superintendent or his/her designee, does not pose any immediate threat of injury to person or property, such officer may make reasonable effort to learn the cause of the conduct in question and to persuade those engaged therein to desist and to resort to permissible methods for the resolution of any issues which may be presented. In doing so such officer shall warn such persons of the consequences of persistence in the prohibited conduct, including their ejection from any District properties where their continued presence and conduct is in violation of these rules.
3. In any case where violation of these rules does not cease after such warning and in other cases of willful violation of such rules, the superintendent or his/her designee shall cause the ejection of the violator from any premises which he/she occupies in such violation and shall initiate disciplinary action as herein before provided.
4. The Superintendent or his/her designee may apply to the public authorities for any aid which he/she may request the Board’s Counsel to apply to any court of appropriate jurisdiction for any injunction to restrain the violation or threatened violation of such rules.
Appendix D. Summary of Attendance Policy
All students are entitled to a sound basic education that will enable them to enjoy life and become effective citizens. This goal can best be achieved within the public schools by regular class participation. The objective of this policy is to encourage student commitment to, staff awareness of and parental support for regular class attendance.
The basic strategy of this policy is to recognize the relationship between participation in class activities and the mastery of course material. Students are expected to come to class prepared to discuss assigned material.
Failure to attend class thwarts this objective and requires compensating or corrective actions. Such actions should be based on valid data. Consequently, class attendance shall be recorded in accordance with state requirements and shall be reported to parents* at the end of each marking period or more frequently if so required by the school code of conduct.
B. Excused Absences
Tardiness or absence for the following reasons is excused: personal illness or injury, death or emergency illness in the immediate family, obligatory religious observance, required court appearance, medical and dental appointments, school sponsored events, late arriving bus, impassable roads or weather making travel unsafe, music lessons, or others as authorized by the principal. Tardiness or absence for any other reasons is unexcused. Students with an excused absence shall be given an opportunity to make up missed work.
C. Relationship between Attendance and Course Grade
In order to obtain the minimum passing grade for a course, students must demonstrate sufficient comprehension of the course material to justify promotion to a subsequent course of study. To obtain a higher grade, students must demonstrate by examination, class participation and the completion of assigned work that they have sufficient mastery of course material to satisfy established departmental standards. Unexcused absences may also affect a student’s grade.
D. Incentives, Sanctions and Notice
Each school is encouraged to recognize the impact of good attendance on student learning and to develop incentives that provide individual motivation to students and families. Students with unexcused absences shall be subject to the sanctions provided by school codes of conduct. Parents shall be notified by phone or by letter whenever their child is absent, tardy or departs early without a proper excuse.
E. Intervention Strategies
Additional actions shall be taken for students with severe attendance problems. These include referral to a student support or child study team, the provision of counseling service, and referral to a judge for court supervision (PINS petition.)
*The term “parent” includes guardians and others in an established parental relation with the student.
Appendix E. Bill of Student Rights and Responsibilities Policy
Students who are learning to become members of a democratic society must understand both the rights to which they are entitled in such a society and the attendant responsibilities which they must assume in order to perpetuate such a society for themselves and others.
Education: All persons between the ages of 6 and 21 residing in the state of New York are entitled to a free education without discrimination, endangerment, harassment, intimidation, or fear.
Safety: Students have the right to be part of and contribute to a school environment that is safe and promotes the health and welfare of everyone in the school building.
Association: Students have the right to participate in recognized student organizations. Such organizations may not restrict membership on the basis of religion, sex, national origin, race, marital status or disability, or any other protected status.
Discipline: Students have the right to have rules governing their behavior clearly stated and explained to them upon enrollment at the beginning of each subsequent school year. They have the right to know what the consequences of misconduct will be. Unless the well-being of the student or others may be jeopardized, in all disciplinary matters, students shall have the opportunity to present their version of the facts and circumstances before discipline is imposed.
Privacy and Confidentiality: Student records other than “directory information” (name, address, telephone number) are privileged and confidential. A parent or legal guardian is entitled to inspect and challenge a student’s cumulative record. These rights are transferred to the student upon attainment of age 18.
Freedom of Expression: Students have the right to express themselves on the basis of the nature of their beliefs. Such expression is prohibited only if it substantially interferes with school activities or the rights of others.
Search and Seizure: Students are guaranteed freedom from unreasonable search and seizure. Personal searches are allowed only when school authorities have reasonable suspicion that hidden items are illegal or in violation of school rules.
Due Process: Students suspended from instruction shall be afforded their due process rights pursuant to Sections 3214 and 310 of the Education Law and 100.2 of the Commissioner’s Regulations. Students suspended from instruction five days or less shall have the right to request an informal conference with the principal and student and/or persons in a parental relationship shall be authorized to ask questions of the complaining witness. Disciplinary actions need not be delayed pending this informal conference or subsequent appeals. No students may be suspended for more than five days however, unless the students and their parents have had the opportunity for a fair hearing, upon reasonable notice, at which the students shall have the right of representation by counsel, with the right to question witnesses against such students and to present witnesses and other evidence on their behalf.
Students and their parents may have decisions involving suspensions and other disciplinary matters successively considered by the Superintendent of Schools, the Board of Education and the Commissioner of Education. Appeals from a principal’s decision on suspensions and other discipline must follow this progression of review, and such appeals cannot be directly made to the Commissioner of Education.
School authorities shall inform parents about any recorded disciplinary measures. As provided by the Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (20 USC Section 1232g), parents and adult students have the right to review and to challenge such records.
The term “parents” includes guardians and others serving in an established parental relation to the student.
The rights of students carry with them the responsibilities on which the rights are based.
Education: Students have the responsibility to develop their talents by pursuing the educational opportunities provided for them.
Safety: Students have the responsibility to be part of and contribute to a school environment that is safe and promotes the health and welfare of everyone in the school building.
Association: Students have the responsibility to honor their agreements with others.
Discipline: Students have the responsibility to know and follow the rules and regulations of the school, to seek explanation if they do not understand them, and to try to bring about change if they feel the rules are unreasonable.
Privacy and Confidentiality: Students have the responsibility to respect the rights of privacy and confidentiality of others.
Freedom of Expression: Students have the responsibility to express themselves in a way that respects the rights and feelings of others and does not interfere with school activities.
Due Process: Students have the responsibility to respect the due process rights of others.
Appendix F. Building Computer Utilization
The Board of Education considers computers and computer-related technology to be valuable tools for education and encourages their use throughout the District.
The Board encourages computer use as an integral part of the curriculum where age and developmentally appropriate. This includes the use of computer programs, access to the Internet, and communications with teachers and other students.
Student and staff use of school computers and related technology should support the District’s educational program. The Internet and other electronic research materials are available to students and staff solely for the support of our students’ educational program and professional development. Computer use – including Internet access – is a privilege, not a right.
Computer utilization throughout the District shall be in accordance with Board of Education Policy #7315 and in accordance with the regulations defined by Board policy, as well as local, state, and federal laws.
Student and staff use of school computers is for school-related use only. Foreign or home software shall not be used on school computers until it has been scanned for viruses and approved for use by a supervising adult. Use of language on the school network must be consistent with current community standards for public discourse in a school environment. All materials over the Internet should be assumed to be copyrighted for citation purposes.
Any and all e-mail that is sent or received through the District’s network shall be deemed to be not confidential and is subject to random review. Any messages that are related to or in support of inappropriate or illegal activities shall be reported to supervisors, the District office, or legal authorities. The use of District e-mail is limited to that which supports the District’s educational mission and official school business.
For more information about the Elementary Code of Conduct, contact:
- Birchwood Elementary School Principal Debra Berndt, (518) 344-2910
- Craig Elementary School Principal William Anders, (518) 377-0156
- Glencliff Elementary School Principal Shelley Baldwin-Nye, (518) 399-2323
- Hillside Elementary School Principal Shireen Fasciglione, (518) 377-1856
- Rosendale Elementary School Principal Joseph DiCaprio, (518) 377-3123
District Title VII/Title IX Officer Deborah Marriott, Director of Student and Staff Support Services at (518) 377-4666, x 50740