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Community Relations

1000 COMMUNITY RELATIONS GOALS

The Board of Education strives to conduct district affairs by way of a continuing, open dialogue between the community and the schools. Given district residents’ high level of interest in the education of children, the Board wishes to maintain its high level of sensitivity to the needs and desires of the community and to act expeditiously to meet changing needs and conditions.

To this end, the Board establishes the following goals for community involvement:

  1. provide every possible means whereby all residents of the school district may have the opportunity to contribute their best thinking to the orderly planning of education for children in the district;
  2. keep the community accurately informed about its schools;
  3. understand community attitudes and aspirations for the schools;
  4. encourage contributions from the parent-teacher associations of the district so that school personnel and parents cooperate to advance the educational welfare of the children;
  5. handle all complaints from the public by the administrative officer in charge of the unit of the school district organization closest to the complainant (such complaints may be carried to the Superintendent of Schools and/or the Board if the problem cannot be solved at that level);
  6. promote a spirit of cooperation among the Board, the schools and the community;
  7. develop and maintain the confidence of the community in the Board and the school district staff;
  8. expand the public understanding of every aspect of the school system and stimulate public interest in the school;
  9. facilitate dissemination of information to the community concerning issues and activities in the school;
  10. ascertain the community’s opinions and desires with respect to the operations of the school system and to incorporate that knowledge into its actions;
  11. build relationships with local business, local government, healthcare, social service, civic and community organizations to share resources in order to meet the academic, social and emotional needs of all our students; and
  12. develop and maintain an effective means of communication with the people of the district.

Notwithstanding the above, the final decisions in these areas will rest with the Board.

Adoption date: 10/03/2012, 04/20/2016

1050 ANNUAL DISTRICT ELECTION AND BUDGET VOTE

The District shall hold an annual meeting and election at which the district’s authorized voters will elect members of the Board of Education and vote on the district budget for the coming school year. The annual district meeting and election will be held on the third Tuesday in May, unless this date conflicts with religious observances on that day, in which case the annual meeting and election will be held on the second Tuesday in May.

The District Clerk shall publish a notice of the time and place of the annual meeting and election at least four times within the seven weeks prior to the meeting, in two newspapers having general circulation within the district. The first publication of the notice shall be at least 45 days prior to the meeting.  The notice shall also contain notice of any other matter required by law.

Copies of the budget, together with the attachments required by law must be made available to district residents, upon request, at the district offices, at any public library or free association library within the district and on the school districts website, if one exists, during the 14 days immediately preceding the date of the annual meeting and election.

The Board shall appoint assistant clerks and election inspectors necessary for the annual meeting and election at a Board meeting held before the annual meeting and election.

PROPOSITIONS

The Board has the authority, under the Education Law, to adopt reasonable rules and regulations concerning the submission of petitions to the Board to place propositions on the ballot which may amend the budget. Pursuant to those provisions, the Board establishes the following guidelines:

  1. Unless otherwise provided by the Education Law, petitions for the submission of a proposition must contain a minimum of 100 signatures in small city school districts.
  2. Petitions must be filed with the District Clerk at least 30 days prior to the annual meeting, except for petitions relating to a proposition which must be included in the notice of the annual meeting (i.e., changing the number of board members); such petitions must be submitted 60 days in advance of the annual meeting to facilitate the preparation and printing of the ballots.
  3. Propositions must include the specific appropriations necessary for the purposes listed.
  4. Wording of a petition must comply with legal requirements. If the wording does not comply, it may be changed or altered by the Board, or the Board may reject a petition for failure to comply.

Propositions received in accordance with these specifications will be placed on the ballot as amendments and will be voted upon by the voters in the same manner as the proposed budget, except that the Board shall not be required to place any proposition on the ballot which is within the exclusive province of the Board or otherwise forbidden by law. No proposition involving the budget may be submitted to the voters more than twice.

The Board may also, on its own motion, submit propositions.

Ref:     Education  Law  §§416(3);  1608(2);  1716(2)  1804(4);  1906(1);  2002(1);    2003(1)(2);

2004(1)-(7); 2009; 2021;2022(1), (4)-(5); 2035(2); 2601-a(2)

General Construction Law §60

Matter of Hebel, 34 EDR 319 (1994)

Matter of Martin, 32 EDR 567 (1993)

Matter of Como, 30 EDR 214 (1990)

Adoption date:   10/03/2012, 04/20/2016

1120 SCHOOL DISTRICT RECORDS

It is the policy of the Board of Education to inform members of the public about the administration and operation of the public schools in accordance with the Freedom of Information Law of the State of New York.

The Superintendent of Schools shall develop regulations ensuring compliance with the Freedom of Information Law and setting forth the procedures to be followed to obtain access to district records and submit such regulations to the Board for approval. The Superintendent shall designate, with Board approval, a Records Access and Records Management Officer, pursuant to law.

RETENTION AND DESTRUCTION OF RECORDS

The Board hereby adopts the Records Retention and Disposition Schedule LGS-1 issued pursuant to Article 57-A of the Arts and Cultural Affairs Law which contains the legal minimum retention periods for district records.  In accordance with Article 57-A, the district will dispose of only those records described in the schedule after they have met the minimum retention periods set forth in the schedule.  The district will dispose of only those records that do not have sufficient administrative, fiscal, legal or historical value to merit retention beyond the established legal minimum periods.

Ref: Public Officers Law §84 et seq. (Freedom of Information Law)

Education Law §2116

Arts and Cultural Affairs Law §57.11

Local Government Records Law, Article 57-A

8 NYCRR Part 185 (Appendix I)

Adoption date:   10/03/12, 04/20/16, 11/04/20

1130 NEWS MEDIA RELATIONS

The Board of Education invites and welcomes the active participation of all forms of mass media in promoting the cause of good education within the district and elsewhere.

The Board President is designated as the spokesperson for the Board when the Board is making a statement on an issue. No other member of the Board individually will speak for, or in the name of, the Board unless by explicit direction of the Board. Board members should emphasize to the media when asked to speak as a Board member that they can only speak as private citizens unless they have been empowered by the Board to speak for it.

The Superintendent of Schools is designated as the spokesperson for the district.

All staff desiring to release information to the media should first notify the Superintendent or designee. The Superintendent of Schools shall establish all necessary procedures to govern day-to-day interactions between the schools and the news media.

Ref:    Arts and Cultural Affairs Law §61.09

Adoption date:   10/03/2012, 04/20/2016 

1220 RELATIONS WITH COMMUNITY AND BUSINESS ORGANIZATIONS

The Board of Education recognizes the potential benefits of community and business partnerships with the school district. The Board and district staff shall cooperate with those organizations which may provide support in improving the educational, vocational, counseling and/or extra-curricular opportunities in the district. Board members shall seek to maintain regular interaction with community and business leadership both on a formal and informal basis.

Partnerships with these organizations may include mentor and/or apprenticeship programs, pilot projects, grants, off-campus counseling services and volunteer services, in addition to or as part of the district curriculum.

The Board shall appoint as needed a community-business liaison [committee] whose duties shall include the following:

  1. investigate all opportunities which may be available to the district through an association with such organizations,
  2. coordinate these organizations’ efforts in order to serve the greatest number of district students,
  3. develop guidelines for the implementation of the school-community-business partnership and suggest curricular and extracurricular developments as a result of such partnership,
  4. attend appropriate meetings of such organizations to inform them about educational issues and needs of the schools and to report back to the district about issues of concern  to area business and the community, and
  5. seek grants and gifts to the schools which will help improve education in the district.

The liaison [or committee] will report its findings to the Board. The Superintendent of Schools shall regularly inform the Board of the status of community-business programs in effect in district schools.

Adoption date:   10/03/2012, 04/20/2016

1222 RELATIONS WITH BOOSTER ORGANIZATIONS

The Board of Education recognizes that extracurricular support groups or “booster”  organizations provide important support to district schools and can be a valuable means of stimulating community interest in the aims and activities of district schools. Booster organizations may be defined in two ways:

  1. an organization which is created to foster community support and raise funds for a specific extracurricular activity (i.e., athletics, speech and debate and/or musical groups) and
  2. an organization which is created to foster community support and raise funds for the school’s general extracurricular program.

Parents and other interested members of the community who wish to organize a booster club for the purpose of supporting a specific school program are encouraged to do so, as long as the activities of such organizations do not interfere unduly with the total educational program or disrupt district operations in any way. To this end, booster organizations must follow these guidelines:

  1. be voluntary and support a specific school activity;
  2. submit an activity schedule in advance to the Superintendent of Schools or designee for prior approval;
  3. whenever the booster club uses the name of the school district, or any language suggesting that the district has endorsed, sponsored or otherwise approved of the club’s activities, there must be prior approval by the Superintendent;
  4. seek advance Board approval for use of school facilities and/or equipment, following procedures outlined in the administration of their duties;
  5. avoid interference with the decision-making of any student group;
  6. understand and respect the authority of district employees in the administration of their duties; and
  7. assume all financial responsibility for their organization, including but not limited to the provision of adequate insurance coverage as appropriate.

If a booster organization wishes to make a contribution of money, service time or tangible property (i.e., equipment or supplies), a representative of the organization should first meet with the Superintendent. The Superintendent must identify the district’s terms and conditions for accepting such gifts, and seek the Board’s official approval before accepting or publicly announcing any contribution.

Booster-proposed plans, projects and other activities must be evaluated and promoted in light of their stated contribution to the academic as well as the extracurricular school programs. Careful consideration should be given to the total value of the contribution to all students and not just specific student groups. The Board retains final responsibility and authority on all activities which have an impact on students, the schools, school programs and/or school-owned property.

Adoption date:   10/03/2012, 04/20/2016

1230 PUBLIC PARTICIPATION AT BOARD MEETINGS

The Board of Education encourages public participation on school related matters at Board meetings. To allow for public participation, a period not to exceed 30 minutes shall be set aside, with priority given to items on the agenda, during the first part of each Board meeting following the Good News period. A second 30 minutes of time will be set aside at the end of each Board meeting for public comment on matters pertaining to the district but not on the agenda. These periods may be extended by a majority vote of the Board.

Persons wishing to address the Board shall state the name of the speaker, the address and name of the organization being represented (if any) and a brief description of the topic to be addressed. The Board President may ask any group or organization wishing to address the Board to identify a single spokesperson.

Presentation should be as brief as possible. No speaker will be permitted to speak for longer than three to five minutes. Speakers may comment on matters related to agenda items specifically or district maters generally, depending on the public participation section (as outlined above).

The Board will not permit in public session discussion involving individual district personnel or students. Persons wishing to discuss matters involving individual district personnel or students should present their comments and/or concerns to the Superintendent during regular business hours.

All speakers are to conduct themselves in a civil manner. Obscene language, libelous statements, threats of violence, statements advocating racial, religious or other forms of prejudice will not be tolerated.

Persons making presentations at a Board meeting will address remarks to the President and may direct questions or comments to Board members or other district officials only upon the approval of the President. Board members and the Superintendent shall have the privilege of asking questions of any person who addresses the Board.

Questions and comments from the public concerning matters which are not on the agenda will be taken under consideration and referred to the Superintendent for appropriate action. Persons wishing to have matters included on the agenda shall contact the Superintendent in accordance with Policy 2342, Agenda Preparation.

The President shall be responsible for the orderly conduct of the meeting and shall rule on such matters as the time to be allowed for public discussion and the appropriateness of the subject being presented, as outlined in this policy and applicable provisions of law and regulation and subject to the Board’s parliamentary procedure. The President shall have the right to discontinue any presentation which violates this policy.

Adoption date:   10/03/2012, 04/20/2016, 11/20/2019

1400 PUBLIC COMPLAINTS

The Board of Education recognizes the right of community members to register individual or group concerns regarding instruction, district programs, materials, operations and/or staff members. The main goal of the district is to resolve such concerns specifically with the parties involved, whenever possible.

Public complaints about the school district will be directed to the proper administrative personnel. Complaints about specific classroom practices shall be directed to the teacher concerned. If the matter is not settled satisfactorily, the complainant shall then contact the Building Principal. If there is no resolution on this level, the Superintendent of Schools or his/her designee shall be contacted.  The Superintendent shall refer the issue to the Board for final resolution, if necessary.

All matters referred to the Superintendent and/or the Board shall be in writing. Concerns registered directly to the Board as a whole or to an individual Board member shall be referred as soon as is reasonably possible to the Superintendent for investigation, report and/or resolution.

Adoption date:   10/03/2012, 04/20/2016 

1420 COMPLAINTS ABOUT CURRICULA OR INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS

The Board of Education recognizes its responsibility for the selection of instructional materials. The Board expects district teachers and administrators to recommend books and other materials in accord with sound educational principles and practices and to use them effectively in the classrooms. However, the Board also recognizes the right of community members to voice concerns and/or complaints regarding the implementation of a particular curriculum and/or instructional material.

Any criticism of instructional materials that are in the schools that cannot be resolved informally shall be submitted in writing to the Superintendent of Schools. An ad hoc Instructional Material Review Committee will be designated by the Superintendent to investigate and judge the challenged material.

The committee shall make recommendations to the Superintendent concerning the disposition of the complaint, and the Superintendent will issue a decision. This decision may be appealed to the Board, and the decision of the Board shall be final.

Ref: Education Law §§1709(15); 1711(5)(f)

Board of Educ., Island Trees UFSD v. Pico, 457 US 853 (1982)

Adoption date:   10/03/2012, 04/20/2016 

Reviewed: 02/15/2023

1500 PUBLIC USE OF SCHOOL FACILITIES

School Facilities

While the district’s school buildings and grounds are maintained primarily for the purpose of educating students within the district, and district uses take priority, the Board of Education recognizes that the buildings and grounds are a valuable community resource and believes that this resource should be available to the community. District facilities may be used for the purposes permitted by §414 of the Education Law.

Public use of school facilities may take place during and after school hours only if, in the opinion of the building principal, the use will not be disruptive of normal school operations.

The Superintendent of Schools shall establish procedures governing the use of district facilities, including the establishment of a fee schedule. A facilities use “handbook” will be made available on-line and in each school location which will outline these procedures.

Use of district facilities will be permitted only when the requesting organization provides the district timely evidence of adequate insurance coverage ($1,000,000 minimum) to save the district harmless from all liability, property damage, personal injuries and/or medical expenses.  The district will exercise complete and unreviewable discretion regarding what constitutes adequate insurance coverage for each proposed use.

Materials & Equipment

Except when used in connection with or rented under provisions of Education Law §414, school-owned materials or equipment may be used for school related purposes only. Private and/or personal use of school-owned materials and equipment is strictly prohibited. The loan of equipment and materials for public purposes that serve the welfare of the community is allowed as long as the equipment is not needed at the time for school purposes, and the proposed use will not disrupt normal school operations.

The Board of Education will permit school materials and equipment to be loaned to staff members when such use is directly or peripherally related to their employment and to students when the material and equipment is to be used in connection with their studies or extracurricular activities. Community members will be allowed to use school-owned materials and equipment only for educational purposes that relate to school operations.

The Board of Education will also allow the loan of equipment to local governments and other entities that benefit the welfare of the surrounding community. The Board of Education supports such inter-municipal cooperation as it saves taxpayer monies and is a more efficient use of scarce or costly equipment and resources.

The district will develop administrative regulations to assure that use of school-owned materials and/or equipment complies with this policy including a description of the restrictive rights and responsibilities of the district and the “borrower” in relation to such materials and equipment.

Ref: Education Law §414, NY Constitution Article 8

Adoption date: 10/03/12; 06/20/18

1510 PUBLIC SALES ON SCHOOL PROPERTY

The Board of Education believes that fund drives and/or materials drives should be conducted only when there is some educational benefit for the student. The administration should approve and schedule these activities so as to eliminate the possibility of many drives being conducted simultaneously.

Any fund drive must be sponsored by the school district or a school-related organization (i.e., the Parent-Teacher Association).

Funds raised through school-sponsored activities must be deposited and accounted for in the extra-curricular fund. Accounting for funds raised by school-related groups is the responsibility of such groups.

Fund drives sponsored by the school district requiring door-to-door solicitations should be kept to a minimum and approved in advance by the Superintendent of Schools. Such drives should include training for the solicitors.

SOLICITING FUNDS FROM STAFF

No solicitor, salesman or agent shall come into any school building or upon any school property and solicit business other than school business, from any school employee. In the case of school business, he/she shall receive permission from the Superintendent before soliciting any school employee in any building.

Cross-ref:        1511, Advertising in the Schools

Adoption date:   10/03/2012, 04/20/2016

1511 ADVERTISING IN THE SCHOOLS

School facilities, staff, and school children shall not be employed in the schools in any manner for advertising or otherwise promoting on school property any commercial, political or non- school agency, individual or organization, except as approved by the Superintendent of Schools.

Canvassing, soliciting of funds or selling on any items by an outside agency shall not be permitted on the school premises. School personnel may not participate, during school hours or on school grounds, in the solicitation of orders, the distribution of advertising materials or the collection of charges. The Superintendent of Schools is authorized to issue a list of suggested vendors to meet district-prescribed standards, e.g., for photographs or musical instruments, while allowing parents to make their own arrangements on any terms they wish, where the arrangement does not involve the use of school personnel.

A commercial photographer who is taking school photographs on school premises for a school purpose may advise students, by means of a card, brochure or other appropriate devices, that copies may be purchased directly from the photographer. The solicitation of orders for and the sale of class rings on school premises is permissible if authorized by the Board and if all prospective vendors are given full and equal opportunity to compete; and students are fully involved in the promotion and sale of such rings.

The Superintendent is hereby granted the authority to approve activities in cooperation with any individual or organization in promoting activities of general public interest that promote the education or other best interests of the students. Exhibitions in schools of any books, articles, apparatus, films or other educational material shall be adjudged on the basis of their actual educational values.

In the case of colleges, universities, armed service agencies, corporations, business and public service agencies, it is the policy of the Board of Education that access to schools shall be encouraged to bring career and occupational information to students. The Superintendent shall ensure that such activities are carefully monitored to restrict any commercial advertisement.

Contracts which purport to authorize private individuals or corporations to promote the sale of products and services through commercial advertisements aimed at public school students are expressly prohibited.

Nothing in this policy shall be constructed to limit the authority of the Board of Education under the law to authorize the broadcast of high school games and other events by radio and TV stations through the broadcast is commercially sponsored.

Cross-ref: 1500, Public Use of School Facilities 1510, Public Sales on School Property

Adoption date:   10/03/2012, 04/20/2016

1530 SMOKING AND OTHER TOBACCO USE ON SCHOOL PREMISES

Due to the health hazards associated with smoking and in accordance with federal and state law, the Board of Education prohibits smoking and all other tobacco use and use of an electronic cigarette or e-cigarette in all school district buildings, on school grounds and in any vehicle used to transport children or personnel. Smoking or tobacco use is also prohibited within 100 feet of all school entrances, exits and outdoor areas except where that is a residence or residential property. Electronic cigarette or e-cigarette means an electronic device that delivers vapor which is inhaled by an individual user (including vaporizers, vapor pipes and vape pens) and shall include any refill, cartridge and any other component of such a device.

The district’s smoking policy shall be prominently posted in each building, at designated outdoor locations on school premises (i.e., athletic fields) and in all district vehicles. The Board designates the Superintendent of Schools or designee as agent responsible for informing individuals smoking cigarettes or e-cigarettes or using tobacco unlawfully that they are in violation of Article 13-E of the Public Health Law and/or Section 409 of the Education Law and/or the federal Pro-Children Acts of 1994 and 2001. Persons in violation of this policy will be asked to stop or leave school property. Students and staff may be subject to consequences outlined in the Code of Conduct.

Ref: Education Law §§409(2)
Public Health Law Article 13-E
Public Health Law §§206; 340; 347; 1399-aa

Adoption date: 10/03/2012, 02/04/2015, 04/20/2016, 11/15/17

1740 RELATIONS WITH NONPUBLIC SCHOOLS

In recognition of the educational, cultural and economic values that parochial and private schools provide to parents, citizens and community taxpayers, the Board of Educations shall make available public school services to resident students who attend nonpublic schools.

The Board recognizes that Section 701 of the Education Law requires all school boards to purchase and to loan, upon individual request, textbooks to all children residing in the district who are attending grades kindergarten through twelve in any public or nonpublic school which complies with the compulsory education law.

It is also understood that the textbooks must be “loaned free” to the children, but school boards make reasonable rules and regulations regarding such loan(s).

Therefore, the following rules and regulations shall govern the loan of textbooks to residents of the district attending nonpublic schools:

  1. The textbooks shall remain the property of the district.
  2. The textbooks shall be returned at the end of the non-public school year.
  3. If lost or destroyed, the textbooks shall be paid for in the same fashion as the students attending district schools.

The Board authorizes the Superintendent of Schools to establish any and all rules, regulations and procedures necessary to implement and maintain this policy.

Adoption date:  10/03/2012, 04/20/2016

1741 HOMESCHOOL STUDENTS

The Board of Education shall ensure that children instructed at home are taught by a competent instructor and receive an education substantially equivalent to that offered in the district’s schools by following the requirements of the Commissioner of Education in terms of documentation, content and reporting.

Parents/Guardians who wish to educate their children at home must submit to the district an Individual Home Instruction Plan (IHIP) outlining the educational goals to be met and the course materials and syllabi to be used each year for the child’s learning process. The IHIP must meet the requirements set forth in the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education to be deemed compliant. The district may accept or deny an IHIP based on whether the IHIP submitted satisfies the requirements set forth in the Commissioner’s regulations. If such plan fails to meet the requirements, Parent/Guardians will be notified in writing consistent with Part 100.10 regulations. Parents/Guardians must submit quarterly reports and shall submit the required annual assessment at the conclusion of the year to document the student’s growth and progress, which will provide the district with the necessary information to make determinations of substantial equivalency and competency of instruction on an ongoing basis.

Parents/Guardians may appeal to the Board of Education a determination by the Superintendent of Schools or designee that an IHIP is not in compliance with the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education. Parents/guardians shall have the right to appeal the final determination of the Board of Education if the IHIP is still deemed non-compliant upon review to the Commissioner of Education within 30 days of receipt of such determination.

Special Education

A student with an IHIP, who is a resident of the school district and has a disability or is suspected of having a disability, is eligible to receive special education and/or related services from the district, through an Individualized Education Services Plan (IESP) through the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), in accordance with law, regulation and District policy (432I et. seq.). A parent/guardian must request special education services in writing to the Board by June 1st, unless the child is first identified or moves into the District after June 1st. In that case, the parent/guardian must request the services within 30 days of being identified or of moving into the district. Special education services will be provided on an equitable basis compared to programs and services provided to other students with disabilities attending public or nonpublic schools within the District. The Board will determine the location where services will be available to home schooled students.

Instructional Materials

The Board authorizes the Superintendent to loan instructional materials, if available, to students receiving home instruction. The Superintendent or his/her designee shall determine the availability of resources and develop appropriate procedures.

Cross-ref:

432I, Programs for Students with Disabilities, et seq
5420, Student Health Services

Ref:

Education Law $$ 320aQ);3210(2)(d);3602-c (2-c)
Public Health Law Q 2164 (as amended by Chapter 35 of the Laws of 2019)
8 NYCRR $$ 100.10; 135.1; 135.4
Appeal of Ponte,4l EDR 174 (2001)

Matter of Abookire, 33 EDR 473 (1994)

State Education Department Memorandum, “New Requirements for the Provision of Special Education Services to Home-Instructed (Home-Schooled) Students,” July 2008 State Education Department Memorandum, “Home Instruction Questions and Answers” http://www.p12.nysed.gov/sssftromeinstruction/homeschoolingqanda.html, Sept. 2016

Adoption date: l0/03/12
Revised: 04/20/2016, 02/26/2020, 03/02/2022

1800 GIFTS FROM THE PUBLIC

It shall be the policy of the district to accept a gift, provided it is made within the statutory authority granted to school districts and has received the approval of the Board of Education.

In granting or withholding of its consent, the Board will review the following factors.

  1. The terms of the gift must identify:
    1. the subject of the gift,
    2. the purpose of the gift,
    3. the beneficiary or beneficiaries (if any) and
    4. all conditions or restrictions that may apply.
  2. The gift must not benefit a particular or named individual or individuals.
  3. If the purpose of the gift is an award to a single student, the determination of the recipient of such award shall be made on the basis that all students shall have an equal opportunity to qualify for it and shall not be denied its receipt on the basis of race, religion, sex or disability.
  4. If the gift is in trust, the obligation of the investment and reinvestment of the principle shall be clearly specified and the application of the income or investment proceeds shall be clearly set forth.
  5. No gift or trust will be accepted by the Board unless:
    1. it is in support of and a benefit to all or to a particular public school in the district,
    2. it is for a purpose for that the school district could legally expend its own funds, and
    3. it is for the purpose of awarding scholarships to students graduating from the district.

Any gift rejected by the Board shall be returned to the donor or his/her estate within 60 days together with a statement indicating the reasons for the rejection of such gift.

Cross-ref:  5800, Student Awards and Scholarships

Ref:  Education Law §1709(12)

Adoption date:  10/03/2012, 04/20/2016

1900 PARENT/FAMILY ENGAGEMENT

The Cohoes Board of Education believes that positive parent and family engagement is essential to student achievement, and encourages such involvement in school educational planning and operations.  Parent and family engagement may take place in the classroom, on committees, or during extra-curricular activities.  The Board also encourages parent and family engagement at home (e.g. planned home reading time, informal learning activities, and/or homework “contracts” between parents, family members and children).  The Board directs the Superintendent of Schools to develop a home-school communication program in an effort to encourage all forms of parent and family engagement.

Title I Parent and Family Engagement – District Level Policy

Consistent with the parent and family engagement goals of Title I, Part A of the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB) and its reauthorization in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the Board of Education will develop and implement programs, activities and procedures that encourage and support the participation of parents and family members of students eligible for Title I services in all aspects of their child’s education.  The Board also will ensure that all of its schools receiving Title I, Part A funds develop and implement school level parent and family engagement procedures, as further required by federal law.

For purposes of this policy, parent involvement refers to participation of parents in regular, two-way, and meaningful communication, involving student academic learning and other school activities.

At a minimum, parent and family engagement programs, activities and procedures at both the district and individual school level must ensure that parents and family members:

  • Play an integral role in assisting their child’s learning;
  • Are encouraged to be actively involved in their child’s education; and
  • Are full partners in their child’s education and are included, as appropriate, in decision-making and on advisory committees to assist in the education of their child.

The federal definition of the term “parents” refers to a natural parent, legal guardian or other person standing in loco parentis (such as a grandparent, or stepparent with whom the child lives, or a person who is legally responsible for the child’s welfare).

District and school level Title I parent and family engagement programs, activities and procedures will provide opportunities for the informed participation of parents and family members including those who have limited English proficiency, parents and family members with disabilities, and parents and family members with migratory children.

As further required by federal law, parents and family members of students eligible for Title I services will be provided an opportunity to participate in the development of the district’s Title I plan, and to submit comments regarding any aspect of the plan that is not satisfactory to them.  Their comments will be forwarded with the plan to the State Education Department.

Parents and family members will also participate in the process for developing either a comprehensive or targeted “support and improvement plan” when the school their child attends is identified by the State as needing this plan.

Parent and family member participation in the development of a districtwide Title I plan 

The Board, along with the superintendent of schools and other appropriate district staff will undertake the following actions to ensure parent and family member involvement in the development of the district wide Title I plan:  meetings will be held at flexible times and in accessible places. Parents will be surveyed through the District parental notification system or through email. Parent members will also be invited to serve on district level committees and as members of the Building Leadership Team.

Development of school level parent and family engagement approaches

The superintendent of schools will ensure that all district schools, including those receiving Title I, Part A funds are provided coordination, technical assistance and all other support necessary to assist them in planning and implementing effective parent and family engagement programs and activities that improve student achievement and school performance.  As appropriate to meet individual local needs, the superintendent will:

  • along with the Assistant Superintendent for Educational Services assist with the development of school level education plans.
  • build the capacity of Building Leadership teams to address parent and family engagement. Parent representatives on each team will assist in this area and will communicate with other parents to receive input.
  • prepare stakeholders (Parent Teacher Organizations and other parent groups) to develop and sustain parent involvement.

Building capacity for parental involvement

To build parent capacity for strong parental improvement, the district and its Title I, Part A schools’ will

  1.   Assist parents in understanding such topics as the state’s academic content, challenging academic standards, state and local academic assessments, Title I requirements, how to monitor a child’s progress and how to work with educators to improve the achievement of their child. To achieve this objective, the district and its Title I schools will:
  • Promote and provide ongoing opportunities for parents to request parent/teacher/principal conferences throughout the school year. Parent conferences at the elementary level will be held at least once per year.
  • Utilize existing school events as an opportunity to share academic content, standards, assessment, and Social Emotional Learning information with families.
  • Provide district or building level workshops to support a range of academic support topics which may include math and reading strategies and the use of instructional technology.
  1.  Provide materials and training to help parents work their child’s academic and using technology, (including education about the harms of copyright piracy).  To achieve this objective, the district and its Title I schools will:
  • Provide frequent electronic reports to parents on their child’s progress.
  • Provide district or building level workshops to support a range of academic support topics which may include math and reading strategies and the use of instructional technology.
  • Provide information to parents regarding their child’s overall academic program.
  1.   Educate its teachers, specialized instructional support personnel, principals and other school leaders, and other staff with the assistance of parents, in understanding the value and utility of a parent’s contributions and on how to:
  • reach out to communicate with and work with parents as equal partners;
  • implement and coordinate parent programs; and
  • build ties between parents and the schools

To achieve this objective, the district and its Title I schools will:

  •  Provide professional development to all district staff on family and community engagement and increasing home-school connections, including working in partnership with families from diverse backgrounds.
  1.    Ensure that information related to school and parent-related programs, meetings and other activities is sent to parents of children participating in Title I programs in an understandable and uniform format, including alternative formats, upon request, and to the extent practicable, in a language the parents can understand.

Coordination of parental involvement strategies

The district will coordinate and integrate strategies adopted to comply with Title I, Part A parental involvement requirements with parental involvement strategies adopted in connection with other Federal, State, and local programs, including Head Start and Universal Preschool programs.  The Title I Coordinator will work with the District UPK Coordinator and ENL Director to coordinate programs and strategies.

Review of district wide parent and family engagement policy

The Board, along with the superintendent of schools and other appropriate staff will conduct, with the meaningful involvement of parents and family members, an annual evaluation of the content and effectiveness of this parent and family engagement policy in improving the academic quality of Title I schools, including the identification of barriers to greater participation by parents in activities under this policy, and the revision of parent and family engagement policies necessary for more effective involvement.  To facilitate this review, the district will conduct the following activities:

  • The superintendent’s designee will conduct a meeting to identify possible barriers to greater participation by parents and brainstorm corresponding revisions to this policy for more effective involvement. The designee will seek diverse representation for this meeting and will obtain translation services to assist ELL parents with their participation in the review of this policy.

Cross-ref: 4010, Equivalence in Instruction Ref:  20 USC §§6318(a)(2), Every Student Succeeds Act (§ 1116 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act)

U.S. Department of Education, Parental Involvement, Title I, Part A, Non-Regulatory Guidance, April 23, 2004

Adoption date:   10/03/2012, 11/02/2022

INTERPRETERS FOR HEARING-IMPAIRED PARENTS

The Board of Education recognizes that those district parents with hearing impairments which prevent a meaningful participation in their child’s educational program must be afforded an opportunity equal to that afforded other parents to participate in meetings or activities pertaining to the academic and/or disciplinary aspects of their child’s education. Accordingly, and pursuant to law, the school district will provide an interpreter for hearing-impaired parents for school- initiated academic and/or disciplinary meetings or activities including; but not limited to

  • parent/teacher conferences,
  • child/study or building level team meetings,
  • planning meetings with school counselors regarding educational progress
  • career planning and
  • suspension hearings or other conference with school officials relating to disciplinary actions.

The school district will provide an interpreter for the hearing-impaired parent if a written request for the service has been submitted to and received by the district within three (3) working days prior to the scheduled meeting or activity. If an interpreter is unavailable, the district will then make other reasonable accommodations which are satisfactory to the parents (e.g., note taker, transcript, decoder or telecommunication device for the deaf). These services will be made available by the district at no cost to the parents.

The Board directs the Superintendent of Schools to maintain a list of available interpreters and to develop procedures to notify parents of the availability of interpreter services, the time limitation for requesting these services, and of the requirement to make other reasonable accommodations satisfactory to the parents should an interpreter not be available.

Hearing-impaired parents are requested to submit a request accommodation of their disability. Ref:            Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, 42 U.S.C. §§12131-12134

Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. §794 Education Law §3230

8 NYCRR §100.2(aa)

Rothschild v. Grottenthaler, 907 F.2d 286 (2d Cir. 1990)

Adoption date:   10/03/2012

Preparing our students for success in tomorrow’s world.

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