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Cohoes City School District

About Us

 

Policies

New York State requires school districts to notify the public of several policies. These policies each appear in the district calendar, as well as on the website.

 

Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act

School officials may release to the media, for public relations purposes, a variety of student information, including: a student's name, address, telephone number, academic interest, participation in sports or other activities, awards received, future educational plans, names of parent(s) and student photo. By law, officials must also release secondary school students' names, addresses and telephone numbers to military recruiters or institutions of higher education.

Parents must notify their child's school principal annually in writing if they do not want such information released to the entities noted above. Unless notification is put in writing by a parent, the same information may also be used in district publications, including the district newsletter and on the district website.

 

Attendance Policy

The Cohoes City School District believes that regular school attendance and student success have a direct correlation. It is the intent of the district to strongly encourage students to be in attendance every day. Therefore, our goal is to have students participate in their education for the mandated 180 days a year. All children of compulsory age must attend school on a regular basis.

In the case of a student's absence from school, parents are required to call the main attendance office at their school by the start of the school day to inform them of the reason for the student's absence. Otherwise, the school will make every reasonable attempt to contact the parents regarding the student's absence.

Please note that a written excuse must be provided and brought to the attendance office by the student upon his/her return to school. Without a note, the student's absence from school is deemed unexcused. The following are some reasons considered to be excused absences from school: illness – self/family; a death in the family; religious observance; court or legal appointment or a doctor/dentist appointment.

 

Lunch at school

Information about the school breakfast and lunch program, including the district Wellness Policy and monthly menus, is available by visiting the Food Service section of the website.

 

Free and Reduced-Price Lunch

Free/reduced meal applications are available at any time during the school year. Applications are available at the school lunch office or on the district website. Students who meet the eligibility guidelines are entitled to one complete breakfast and one lunch daily.

 

Body Mass Index Data to be Collected

Because New York State is interested in data about children's health, schools are now required to keep height and weight data and to calculate students' Body Mass Index (BMI). BMI is a way of checking for underweight or overweight children based on their height and weight. Some schools will be surveyed by the state Department of Health each year and asked to share the number of pupils they have in each of six possible BMI categories
based on students' age and sex. If our district is surveyed by the state, we will only share group data (for instance, the number of second-grade boys whose BMI is below the fifth percentile), not individual data.
However, if parents wish their child's data to be excluded from such group calculations, they may do so by contacting their child's school.

 

Access to school district records

Requests for information that the district makes available according to the Freedom of Information Law should be addressed to the District Clerk, 7 Bevan St., Cohoes, NY 12047.

 

Educational Records

Parents have the right to ask for and read records about their child unless the district has been legally notified in writing that their rights as a parent have been terminated or otherwise limited by court order. Upon the parents' request, the district must make a child's records available within a reasonable time; in no case more than 45 calendar days after requested; before any meeting about their child's individualized education program (IEP); and before any due process hearing about their child's special education needs.

The rights of parents concerning educational records are given to the student at age 18.

Personal data about a child may not be released without a parents' consent unless it is given to school officials or teachers with a legitimate educational interest, state/local educational authorities or certain individuals designated under federal law; or used to meet a federal law requirement.

 

Student Privacy

Under the Protection of the Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA), parents have the right to inspect and opt their child out of any student survey that reveals information about personal attitudes, behaviors or beliefs. Parents also have the right to receive notice of and opt their child out of any activities that involve the collection, disclosure or use of a student's personal information for marketing purposes and out of any non-emergency, physical exam or screening, except for hearing, vision and scoliosis screenings or as permitted or required by state law.

 

Code of Conduct

The Board of Education, in accordance with Project SAVE Legislation, has adopted a Code of Conduct for each of the schools in the Cohoes City School District. The codes govern the conduct of students, teachers, staff and visitors, and are meant to help maintain safe, orderly schools. The codes are sent to parents each fall. The school codes and the general district code of conduct policy are available at each school.

 

Asbestos Emergency Response Act

The Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA) requires all schools, kindergarten through grade 12, to be inspected to identify any asbestos-containing building materials. The law further requires the development of a Management Plan based upon the results of the inspection, which outlines our intent in controlling the
potential for exposure to asbestos fibers in our facilities.

In the past, asbestos was used extensively in building materials because of its insulating and fire retarding capabilities. Virtually any building built before the late 1970s contains some form of asbestos insulation or structural materials. We, too, have buildings within the Cohoes City School District that contain some asbestos-containing materials.

An initial Asbestos Management Plan was submitted to the governor's office in 1989. The plan outlines in detail the methods that our trained maintenance and custodial staff will use to maintain the asbestos-containing materials in a safe and proper manner.

In addition, the required reinspection has been completed and the Management Plan updated accordingly. A copy of the Management Plan for individual buildings is on file in each building administrator's office.

 

Pesticide notification

Pesticide products may be applied periodically throughout the school year at schools in the Cohoes City School District. Under State Education Department law, the district must maintain a list of parents/guardians and school staff who wish to receive 48-hour advance written notice of a pesticide application in the facilities or on school grounds. For more information or to register for 48-hour notification, contact Buildings & Grounds Supervisor Ken Kellogg at 7 Bevan St., Cohoes, NY 12047; call 237-0100, Ext. 4; or fax 237-2912. Pesticide Notification Application

 

Storm Water Management Plan

The Cohoes City School District has begun the implementation of a Storm Water Management Plan in order to protect New York State’s lakes, rivers, and tributaries from pollutants carried by rain, snow melt run-off, or storm water run-off.

Storm water is water from rain or melting snow that doesn't soak into the ground but runs off into waterways. It flows from rooftops, over paved areas and bare soil, and through sloped lawns while picking up a variety of materials on its way.

As it flows, storm water runoff collects and transports soil, animal waste, salt, pesticides, fertilizers, oil and grease, debris and other potential pollutants. The quality of runoff is affected by a variety of factors and depends on the season, local meteorology, geography and upon activities which lie in the path of the flow.

As part of the school’s program, the school will implement construction standards to prevent run-off, engage in public education and outreach, identify and eliminate unnecessary sources of storm water run-off, and review pollution prevention and good housekeeping practices in the district.

How can you help in 5 easy steps?  You can help too!

By implementing these five simple steps we can all protect the state's waterways*:

  • Use a pooper scooper! Bacteria, parasite and viruses from pet waste can easily wash into storm drains and end up in the river without being treated.

  • Limit your pesticide and fertilizer use. Pesticides are one of the biggest pollutants of all. Limit fertilizer use, and make it a habit to sweep your grass clippings onto the lawn rather than into a catch basin.

  • Check your vehicles for fuel and oil leaks. When it rains, grease and oil drippings wash into storm drains and go straight into our rivers and streams.

  • Wash your car on the lawn or go to a car wash (where water goes to a wastewater treatment plant). Dirt and oils you wash off can harm fish and animals if it goes straight into the storm drain. Grass filters pollutants – and you’ll water your lawn at the same time.

  • Only rain down the drain! In other words, use trash cans. Even if it means a slight inconvenience for you, it's better off for everyone who shares New York State’s waterways.

*Information taken from The Storm Water Tip Card Series.

More information can be obtained from the New York State Department of Conservation website on Storm Water. The district's Storm Water Coordinator is Ken Kellogg, Supervisor of Buildings and Grounds. Mr. Kellogg can be contacted at (518) 237-0100.

 

Equal Opportunity

The Cohoes City School District hereby advises students, parents, employees and the general public that it offers equal employment and educational opportunities, without regard to sex, race, color, national origin, religion, disability or other minority group. Equality of opportunity in employment includes hiring, firing, wages and salaries, promotion or any terms, conditions or privileges of employment.

Questions about this nondiscrimination policy may be directed to Title IX Compliance Officers Peggy O'Shea or Adam Hotaling at the Cohoes City School District Administrative Offi ces, 7 Bevan St., Cohoes, NY 12047, 237-0100. The appropriate compliance officer has information related to grievance procedures.

 

Title I Parent's Right to Know

Per the No Children Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB), schools receiving Title I funds must notify parents/guardians at the beginning of each school year of their right to request and receive the following information about the professional qualifications of their children’s classroom teachers:

  • whether the teacher has State certification for the classes being taught;

  • the teacher's bachelor's degree major and any other certifications or degrees by field or discipline; and

  • whether the child is provided services by instructional aides or similar paraprofessionals and, if so, their qualifications. Notices must tell parents how they can obtain the information to which they are entitled.

Click here for a letter(PDF) regarding a Cohoes Parent's Right to Know.

 

Title I Parental Involvement Policy Guidance

The Board of Education endorses the parent involvement goals of Title I of the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB). Therefore, it encourages the participation of parents of students eligible for Title I services in all aspects of their child’s education, including the development and implementation of district programs, activities, and procedures designed to carry out NCLB parent involvement goals.

In accordance with NCLB requirements, the district will:

1. involve parents in the joint development of its Title 1 plan. If the plan is not satisfactory to the parents of children participating in Title I programs, the district will submit any parent comments to the State Education Department along with its plan;

2. involve parents in the process of school review and improvement. This includes:

   a. explaining to parents how they can become involved in addressing the academic issues that caused their child's school to be identified as a school in need of improvement; consulting with parents in the development of a school improvement plan, and including in such plan strategies to promote effective parental involvement.

   b. providing parents with adequate opportunity to participate in the development of a restructuring plan whenever their child's school is identified for restructuring, and to comment before the district implements an alternative governance arrangement;

3. provide coordination, technical assistance, and other support necessary to assist participating schools in their own planning and implementation of effective parent involvement activities to improve student academic achievement and school performance;

4. build the capacity of its schools and parents for parental involvement;

 5. coordinate and integrate parental involvement strategies under Title I with parental involvement strategies under other programs such as Head Start, Reading First, Early Reading First, Even Start, Parents as Teachers, Home Instruction Program for Preschool Youngsters, and state-run preschool programs;

6. conduct, with the involvement of parents, an annual evaluation of the content and effectiveness of the parental involvement policy in improving the academic quality of Title I schools, including the identification of barriers to greater participation by parents in activities under the policy, and revision of parent involvement policies necessary for more effective parental involvement; and

7. involve parents in the activities of schools served under Title I.

Additionally, the Board directs that each district school with a program served with Title I funds to jointly develop with, and distribute to, parents of participating children a written parental involvement policy. The policy must be agreed on by such parents and describe the means for carrying out NCLB parental involvement requirements set forth below. Each Title I school must notify parents of its parent involvement policy in an understandable and uniform format and, to the extent practicable, in a language the parents can understand.

In addition, Title I schools must make their parent involvement policy available to the local community and update it periodically to meet the changing needs of parents and the school.

To the extent practicable, both the district and its Title I schools will provide full opportunities for the participation of parents with limited English proficiency, parents with disabilities, and parents of migratory children. Activities in this area include providing information and school reports in a format and, to the extent practicable, in a language such parents understand.

To ensure effective involvement by parents and to support a partnership among the school involved, parents, and the community to improve student academic achievement, both the district and each of its Title I schools will:

1. assist parents in understanding such topics as the state's academic content and student achievement standards, state and local academic assessments, Title I requirements, and how to monitor a child's progress and work with educators to improve the achievement of their children;

2. provide materials and training to help parents work with their children to improve their children's achievement, such as literacy training and using technology, as appropriate, to foster parental involvement;

3. educate teachers, pupil services personnel, principals, and other staff, with the assistance of parents, in the value and utility of parent contributions, and in now to reach out, communicate with, and work with parents as equal partners, implement and coordinate parent programs, and build ties between parents and the school;

4. to the extent feasible and appropriate, coordinate and integrate parent involvement programs and activities with Head Start, Reading First, Early Reading First, Even Start, the Home Instruction Programs for Preschool Youngsters, the Parents as Teachers Program, and public preschool and other programs. They will also conduct other activities, such as parent resource centers, that encourage and support parents in more fully participating in the education of their children.

The district and its schools may also consider other activities that further build the capacity of parents to become involved, to the extent those activities are feasible and appropriate. In accordance with the NCLB, these additional optional activities may include, for example, the establishment of a district-wide parent advisory council to provide advice on all matters related to parental involvement in Title I programs, and training parents to enhance the involvement of other parents. 

 

Homeless Liaison

The District's Homeless Liaison is:

Peggy O'Shea
Assistant Superintendent for Educational Services
7 Bevan Street
Cohoes, New York 12047
(518) 237-0100, Ext. 5
poshea@cohoes.org  

 

Cohoes City School District Parents’ Bill of Rights for Data Privacy and Security

The Cohoes City School District is committed to ensuring student privacy in accordance with local, state and federal regulations and district policies. To this end and pursuant to U.S. Department of Education regulations, the district is providing the following Parents’ Bill of Rights for Data Privacy and Security:

The Cohoes City School District is committed to ensuring student privacy in accordance with local, state and federal regulations and district policies. To this end and pursuant to U.S. Department of Education (DOE) regulations (Education Law §2-d), the district is providing the following Parents’ Bill of Rights for Data Privacy and Security:

• A student’s personally identifiable information cannot be sold or released for any commercial or marketing purposes.

• Parents have the right to inspect and review the complete contents of their child’s education record, including any student data maintained by the Cohoes City School District. This right of inspection of records is consistent with the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Under the more recently adopted regulations (Education Law §2-d), the rights of inspection are extended to include data, meaning parents have the right to inspect or receive copies of any data in their child’s educational record. The New York State Education Department (SED) will develop further policies and procedures related to these rights in the future.

• State and federal laws protect the confidentiality of personally identifiable information and safeguards associated with industry standards and best practices, including but not limited to, encryption, firewalls and password protection, must be in place when data is stored or transferred.

• A complete list of all student data elements collected by the state is available for public review in an Excel file at http://www.p12.nysed.gov/irs/sirs/documentation/NYSEDstudentData.xlsx. Parents may also obtain a copy of this list by writing to the Office of Information & Reporting Services, New York State Education Department, Room 863 EBA, 89 Washington Avenue, Albany, N.Y. 12234.

• Parents have the right to have complaints about possible breaches of student data addressed. Complaints should be directed to: Peggy O'Shea, Assistant Superintendent, poshea@cohoes.org, 518-237-0100. Complaints to SED should be directed to: Chief Privacy Officer, New York State Education Department, 89 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY 12234; the e-mail address is cpo@mail.nysed.gov. SED’s complaint process is under development and will be established through regulations from the department’s chief privacy officer, who has yet to be appointed.

This bill of rights is subject to change based on regulations of the commissioner of education and the SED chief privacy officer, as well as emerging guidance documents from SED. For example, these changes/additions will include requirements for districts to share information about third-party contractors that have access to student data.