4000 STUDENT LEARNING AND DISTRICT INSTRUCTIONAL GOALS
The development and maintenance of optimal educational programs are the primary functions of the Board of Education. All of the following represent the Board’s instructional goals for district students:
- To provide each child with fundamental academic skills and knowledge required for his/her maximum educational advancement
- To nurture a spirit of inquiry which capitalizes on students’ innate curiosity and reveals to them the excitement found in the search for knowledge
- To develop in the students a sense of self-worth that will enable them, with the necessary guidance, to recognize and use their own capabilities
- To provide each student with the greatest possible opportunity to use his/her abilities and interests in order to find satisfaction and a sense of purpose in life
- To promote the ability to think critically and logically, to use knowledge constructively and to attack problems intelligently, giving due respect to honest differences of opinion
- To nurture and develop basic attitudes such as good work habits, self-discipline, respect for authority and sense of responsibility, cooperation, good sportsmanship and self-confidence
- To develop literacy and understanding in economic matters and encourage responsible consumer judgment
- To provide special services to promote the physical, mental and emotional well-being of every child;
- To provide a well-balanced extracurricular program designed to promote the intellectual, physical and social growth of students
- To promote intelligent regard for and use of the nation’s resources
- To develop understanding of social structures and social processes
- To prepare youth for acceptance of civil responsibilities.
In order to ensure all students meet the Board’s articulated learning objectives, the Board establishes the following instructional goals to guide district administration and staff:
- High standards shall be established for all students
- Academic expectations shall be raised for all students
- The district shall work to close the achievement gap among all students
- District-wide student scores on all tests shall be raised
- The district shall develop a plan for reducing core subject failure rates in grades 7-12
- Common academic core subjects shall be provided to all students
- The district will establish a district-wide reading, math and technology program
- The district shall implement state-approved core curriculum content standards and appropriate support services designed to enable all students to succeed.
Adoption date: 03/19/14
4010 EQUIVALENCE IN INSTRUCTIONAL STAFF AND MATERIALS
In accordance with federal regulations, the Board of Education will ensure equivalence among district schools in teachers, administrators and auxiliary personnel and in the provision of curricular materials and instructional supplies. The Superintendent of Schools shall follow the State Education Department guidelines in determining such equivalence on an annual basis and report to the Board on the status of district schools with regard to equivalence.
Cross-ref: Parental Involvement
Ref: 34 CFR §200.43(c)(1)(i) (ESEA Title I Program in Local Educational Agencies)
State Education Department, Office of School Improvement Grants Management and Compliance, Consolidated Application and Applicant’s Guide and Instructions for Consolidated Application
Adoption date: 03/19/14
4200 CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT AND MANAGEMENT
In order to achieve its annual instructional goals, the Board of Education supports a collaborative approach to district curriculum development and management. Such an approach must recognize the interrelation of a “core” curriculum and effective instructional processes, as well as interdisciplinary applications and articulation of programs from one level to the next.
A “core” curriculum will include basic content area knowledge and related skills with the realization that such information needs continuous updating. Curricula will also be designed to encourage transferable concepts/skills including critical thinking skills. The Board is committed to providing district students and staff with appropriate instructional materials to implement curricula. In addition, all students are assured equal access to courses of study, regardless of national origin, race, color, religion, creed, marital status, sex or disability.
The Superintendent of Schools shall work with other district administrators to integrate current educational theory and research on curricula design and successful instructional strategies practiced by comparable districts. Teachers and program directors are directed to use state syllabi, supplemental materials and handbooks for general curricular guidelines. However, the Board encourages instructional staff to create individualized, flexible curriculum guides and original instructional materials. Such materials shall reflect sensitivity to district students, their concerns, learning styles and changing developmental abilities/needs.
The curriculum shall:
- Comply with state mandates regarding course offerings and essential knowledge and skills
- Focus on the content standards of each discipline and ensure that what students learn is rigorous, challenging and represents the most important learning for students
- Provide sufficient flexibility to meet individual student needs at each stage of development
- Reflect current research, best practices and technological advancements within each discipline
- Promote congruence among the written, taught and assessed content.
Parents and members of the community are also encouraged to provide feedback on district curricula and instruction. The Superintendent will consult with building principals, teachers, students and the community in order to develop a responsive curriculum and promote a continuing review and upgrading of such curriculum.
Curriculum changes will take into consideration the results of state and local testing/classroom evaluations, reflect minimum state requirements and address further needs of the community and student population. The Board expects administrators and staff to work together in evaluating the educational program and recommending changes or additions in courses, programs, instructional methodology and/or staff development activities which are necessary to implement such changes and/or additions.
At its meetings, the Board will hear regular reports on curriculum-related matters such as instructional programs, the work of curriculum committees and periodic evaluation of specific curriculum areas. The Superintendent will also be responsible for implementing curriculum studies, including pilot projects, as authorized by the Board.
Ref: Education §§1709(3); 1711(5)
Adoption date: 03/19/14
4311.1 DISPLAY OF THE FLAG
The Board of Education believes that the flag of the United States is a symbol of the values of our nation, the ideals embedded in our Constitution and the spirit that should animate our district.
The district shall purchase a United States flag, flagstaff and the necessary appliances for its display upon or near every school building. There shall be a flag on display in every assembly room of every school.
The flag shall be flown at full or half-staff pursuant to law. In addition, the flag may be flown at half-staff to commemorate the death of a present or former Board member, present employee or student.
Consistent with national and state law and regulations and this policy, the Superintendent of Schools shall develop rules and regulations for the proper custody, care and display of the flag.
Ref: Education Law §§418; 419; 420 (requirement for the school to purchase, display and develop rules and regulations for the care and custody of the flag)
Executive Law §§400-403 (rules for display of the flag),
8 NYCRR Part 108 (flag regulations)
36 U.S.C. §§173-177 (display of the flag)
Adoption date: 03/19/14
4313 TEACHING ABOUT RELIGION
The Board of Education recognizes its responsibility to teach students about religion and its role as a vital force in the development of civilizations as well as to foster a respect for religion and religious beliefs. The Board, in order to provide within its schools an atmosphere which promotes maximum freedom of, for and/or from religious beliefs and practices, recognizes its responsibility to remain neutral as to specific religious philosophies and practices.
To fulfill these acknowledged responsibilities, the Board encourages factual and objective teaching about religion. Instruction and practices which teach about religion and its impact on man’s life as recorded in history, literature, music and art shall be encouraged as long as the primary purpose of such instruction or practice is educational. Those practices which serve to advance or inhibit any specific religion shall not be permitted in the district’s schools. In addition, instructional programs that educate students about the principle of religious liberty as one of the central elements of freedom and democracy will be encouraged.
Ref: U.S. Constitution, First Amendment
New York State Constitution, Article XI, §4
Education Law §§1709(1),(3), 3210
8 NYCRR §109.2
Adoption date: 03/19/14
4314 OCCUPATIONAL EDUCATION
In order to provide a comprehensive program of instruction, the Board of Education supports the availability of vocational education for district students. The provision of these services may be through district-operated programs or through contract with the Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) or other appropriate agencies providing vocational education. The decision to operate a program directly or contract for its provision shall rest with the Board.
Occupational training or retraining may be provided for persons enrolled in secondary schools as well as for persons who have graduated or left high school, for adults who have entered the labor market, and for persons who have academic, socioeconomic and other disabilities that prevent them from succeeding in regular occupational education programs. Classes for out-of-school youth sixteen years of age and over and for adults may be conducted during the day and/or evening.
Ref: Education Law §§1001 et seq.; 2045(2); 3602(17)(34); 3602-c; 4601 et seq.
8 NYCRR §§100.2(h); 141 et seq.
Adoption date: 03/19/14
4315.1 AIDS INSTRUCTION
The district will provide age-appropriate classroom instruction in compliance with Commissioner’s regulations, for all students K-12 concerning Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). Instruction will be provided as part of the sequential and comprehensive health program and shall include the following information:
- The nature of the disease
- Methods of transmission of the disease
- Methods of prevention of the disease stressing abstinence as the most effective and appropriate protection against AIDS.
A student shall be excused from that segment of AIDS instruction regarding methods of prevention of the disease if his/her parent/guardian files a request with the Building Principal. The request must give assurance that such instruction will be given at home.
The Board of Education shall be responsible for determining the content of the district’s AIDS curriculum, approving its implementation and evaluating the AIDS instructional program. In addition, the Board will ensure appropriate training and curriculum materials are provided for the instructional staff providing AIDS instruction and to parents who request such materials.
The Board shall establish an advisory council which shall be responsible for making recommendations on content, implementation and evaluation of the AIDS instructional program. The advisory council must consist of Board members, appropriate school personnel, parents and community representatives including representatives from religious organizations.
Ref: Education Law §3204(5)
8 NYCRR §135.3 (Health Education incl. AIDS instruction)
Ware v. Valley Stream High School District, 75 NY2d 114 (1989)
New York State School Boards Association v. Sobol, 168 AD2d 188 (1991)
Matter of Knowledge, 32 EDR 451 (1993) (function of advisory councils)
Adoption date: 03/19/14
4321 PROGRAMS FOR STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES
UNDER THE IDEA AND NEW YORK’S EDUCATION LAW ARTICLE 89
The Board of Education shall make available a free appropriate public education to all students with disabilities who reside within its district and are eligible for special education and related services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Article 89 of New York’s Education Law and their implementing regulations. Special education and related services will be provided to resident eligible students with disabilities in conformity with their Individualized Education Program (IEP) and in the least restrictive environment appropriate to meet their individual educational needs. Special education services or programs will be designed to enable a student with disabilities to be involved in and progress in the general education curriculum to the extent appropriate to his/her needs.
The Board also shall make available special education and related services to eligible students with disabilities parentally placed in a nonpublic school located within the district, regardless of whether they are residents of the district. However, this obligation does not extend to resident students with disabilities who are placed by their parents in a nonpublic school within district boundaries because of a disagreement between the parents and the school district over the provision of a free appropriate public education. Nonpublic school students with disabilities who are not district residents but who reside within New York State will be provided programs and services in accordance with their Individualized Education Services Program (IESP). Nonpublic school students with disabilities who reside out-of-state will be provided services in accordance with their Services Plan (SP). (Refer to policy 4321.10, Programs and Services for Parentally-placed Nonpublic School Students with Disabilities under the IDEA and New York’s Education Law Article 89 for more guidance on this topic).
In addition, to the maximum extent appropriate to their individual needs, eligible students with disabilities residing within the district and attending the district’s public schools will be entitled to participate in school district academic, co-curricular and extracurricular activities available to all other students enrolled in the district’s public schools. Such co-curricular and extra-curricular activities may include athletics, transportation, recreational activities, school-sponsored special interest groups or clubs and referrals to agencies that provide assistance to individuals with disabilities and the employment of students (including both employment by the school district and assistance in making outside employment available).
In providing a free appropriate public education to students with disabilities eligible under the IDEA and Article 89, the Board will afford the students and their parents the procedural safeguard rights they are entitled to under applicable law and regulations. The Board also will provide them with notice of such rights as required by law and regulation, using the form prescribed by the Commissioner of Education.
For purposes of this policy and others related to the provision of services to eligible students with disabilities and consistent with applicable law and regulation, the word “parent” means a birth or adoptive parent, a legally appointed guardian generally authorized to act as the child’s parent or authorized to make educational decisions for the child; a person in parental relationship to the child as defined in section 3212 of the Education Law; an individual designated as a person in parental relation pursuant to title 15-A of the General Obligations Law, including an individual so designated who is acting in the place of a birth or adoptive parent including a grandparent, stepparent or other relative with whom the child resides; or a surrogate parent who has been appointed in accordance with Commissioner’s regulations.
Eligible students with disabilities will be entitled to special education and related services until the end of the school year in which they turn 21 or until they receive a local high school or Regents diploma.
Students with disabilities may not be required to take medication as a condition for receiving a free appropriate public education.
To ensure the provision of a free appropriate public education to all eligible students with disabilities:
- School district staff will take steps to locate, identify, evaluate and maintain information about all children with disabilities within the district, including homeless children and children who are wards of the state and children attending nonpublic school within the district (including religious schools) who are in need of special education.
- The district will establish a plan and practice for implementing school-wide approaches and interventions in order to remediate a student’s performance prior to referral for special education services. The district will provide general education support services, instructional modifications and/or alternative program options to address a student’s performance before referring the student to the Committee on Special Education (CSE). The school’s Instruction Support Team (IST) will develop, implement and evaluate pre-referral intervention strategies (4321.2, School-Wide Pre-referral Approaches and Interventions).
- School district staff will refer for evaluation a student who has not made adequate progress after an appropriate period of time when provided instruction under a response to intervention program.
- The Board will appoint a Committee on Special Education (CSE) and, as appropriate, CSE subcommittees to assure the timely identification, evaluation and placement of eligible students with disabilities.
- The Board will arrange for special education programs and services based upon the recommendation of the CSE or CSE subcommittee.
- The Superintendent shall establish a plan for the recruitment, hiring and retention of staff appropriately and adequately prepared to meet the needs of students with disabilities including, but not limited to, highly qualified special education teachers.
- The Superintendent shall establish a comprehensive professional development plan designed to ensure that personnel necessary to carry out IDEA and Article 89 possess the skills and knowledge required to meet the needs of students with disabilities.
- The Superintendent will establish a process for ensuring that district staff understand the right of students with disabilities to access and participate in the same academic, co-curricular and extracurricular programs and activities as all other students enrolled in the district’s public schools to the maximum extent appropriate to their individual needs.
Locate and Identify Students with Disabilities
The district will conduct an annual census to locate and identify all students with disabilities who reside in the district and establish a register of such students who are entitled to attend the public schools of the district during the next school year, including students with disabilities who are homeless or wards of the state. The census shall be conducted, and the registry maintained, in accordance with the requirements established in Commissioner’s regulations.
The Superintendent will determine what other activities might be appropriate to help locate and identify students with disabilities. These may include, but are not limited to, the mailing of letters to all district residents regarding the availability of special education programs and services and their right to access such services, and/or the publication of a similar notice in school newsletters and other publications.
(Refer to policy 4321.10, Programs and Services for Parentally-placed Nonpublic School Students with Disabilities under the IDEA and New York’s Education Law Article 89, for more information regarding how to locate and identify nonpublic school students with disabilities)
Evaluation of Students with Disabilities
To initially determine a student’s eligibility for a free appropriate public education under the IDEA and Article 89, the district will conduct a full evaluation of the student in accordance within legally prescribed timelines. As set forth in Commissioner’s regulations, the initial evaluation will include, at least, a physical examination, an individual psychological evaluation unless the school psychologist determines it unnecessary, a social history, an observation of the student in the student’s learning environment to document the student’s academic performance and behavior in the areas of difficulty and other appropriate assessments or evaluations (including a functional behavioral assessment for a student whose behavior impedes his or he learning or that of others) to ascertain the physical, mental, behavioral and emotional factors that contribute to the suspected disabilities.
Once a student has been determined eligible to receive a free appropriate public education, the district will reevaluate the student with a disability whenever the student’s parent requests a reevaluation and when the district determines the educational and related service needs (including improved academic achievement and functional performance) of the child warrant a reevaluation. However, a reevaluation must take place at least once every three years, unless the student’s parent and the district agree it is unnecessary.
Parental Consent for Student Evaluations
Before conducting any type of evaluation, district staff will take steps to obtain written informed consent from a student’s parent, as required by applicable law and regulations. They also will keep a detailed record of those attempts and their results, including phone calls and correspondence, visits to the parent’s home and any responses received.
- If a parent refuses to give consent for an initial evaluation or fails to respond to such a request, the parent will be given an opportunity to attend an informal conference and ask questions about the proposed evaluation. Unless the referral for evaluation is withdrawn, if the parent continues to withhold consent, the Board will commence due process proceedings to conduct an initial evaluation without parental consent within the timelines established in Commissioner’s regulations.
- If a parent refuses to give consent for a reevaluation or fails to respond to such a request, district staff will proceed with the reevaluation without parental consent if it has engaged in documented reasonable efforts to obtain such consent and the parent has failed to respond. If the district cannot document its efforts to obtain consent, the Board will commence due process proceedings to conduct a reevaluation without parental consent.
- If district staff is unable to obtain consent for the initial evaluation or reevaluation of a homeschooled or a parentally-placed nonpublic school student, the Board will not commence due process proceedings to conduct the evaluation without parental consent and will consider the student as not eligible for special education.
Conduct of Evaluations
In conducting evaluations of students with disabilities, the district will use a variety of assessment tools and strategies including parent-provided information to gather relevant functional, developmental and academic information for determining a student’s eligibility for special education and related services and the content of the student’s individualized education program or individualized education services program or services plan in the case of nonpublic school students with disabilities (including information related to enabling the student to be involved in and progress in the general education curriculum).
The district also will assess a student in all areas of suspected disability, and the assessment and other evaluation used will not be discriminatory on a racial or cultural basis. In addition, students will be assessed in the language and form most likely to yield accurate information on what the student actually knows and can do academically, developmentally and functionally unless it is not feasible to do so.
In the case of students suspected of having a specific learning disability, the district will follow the procedures established in Commissioner’s regulations.
The district will notify a student’s parent of any determination that no additional data is needed and the reasons for such a determination. It will also inform the parent of his or her right to request an assessment, notwithstanding that determination.
The CSE or CSE subcommittee will determine whether a student is eligible for special education and related services under the IDEA and Article 89 as well as the student’s educational needs.
The CSE or CSE subcommittee may not determine that a student is eligible for special education and related services if the determining factor is lack of appropriate instruction in the essential components of reading, including phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary development, reading fluency (including oral reading skills) and reading comprehension strategies or lack of appropriate instruction in math or limited English proficiency.
Committee on Special Education
The members of the CSE and CSE subcommittees will include those individuals identified in applicable law and regulations, and their attendance at CSE and CSE subcommittee meetings will be required except as otherwise provided in law and regulations.
The parent of a student with disabilities is one of the mandated CSE and CSE subcommittee members and as such has a right to participate in CSE and CSE subcommittee meetings concerning the identification, evaluation, educational placement and the provision of a free appropriate public education to their child. District staff will take steps to ensure the parent’s participation in accordance with the following:
- CSE and CSE subcommittee meetings will be scheduled at a time and place that is mutually agreeable to the parent and the district.
- The parent will be given at least five days’ notice of the time and place of a CSE or CSE subcommittee meeting, except as otherwise provided in law and regulation, along with notice of the purpose of the meeting, those who will attend (including name and title) and the parent’s right to be accompanied to the meeting by person(s) the parent considers to have knowledge and special expertise about their child.
- The parent and the district may agree to use alternative means of participation at CSE meetings such as videoconferences or telephone conference calls.
- District staff will take any action necessary to ensure that the parent understands the proceedings at CSE meetings, including arranging for an interpreter for deaf parents or parents whose native language is other than English.
The CSE or CSE subcommittee may meet without a student’s parent only if district staff has been unable to obtain either parent’s participation, and has a record of its attempts to arrange a mutually agreed upon time and place. Similarly, the CSE or CSE subcommittee may make a decision without the involvement of the student’s parent only if district staff has been unable to obtain parental participation, even through the use of alternative means of participation, and has a record of its attempts to ensure parental involvement.
Provision of Services
The Board will arrange for appropriate special education and related services recommended by the CSE or CSE subcommittee within 60 school days of the district’s receipt of parental consent to evaluate a student not previously identified as a student with a disability or within 60 school days of referral for review of a student with a disability except as otherwise provided in law and regulations.
All staff responsible for the implementation of a student’s individualized education program or an individualized education services program or services plan in the case of parentally placed nonpublic school students with disabilities will be provided information regarding those responsibilities. (Refer to Policy 4321.5 for more information on this topic)
Parental Consent for the Provision of Services
The Board acknowledges that parental consent for initial evaluation does not constitute consent for placement for the provision of special education and related services. Therefore, district staff will take steps to obtain written informed consent for the initial provision of special education and related services to an eligible student. The Board will be precluded by applicable law and regulations from commencing due process proceedings to override the parent’s refusal to provide such consent or override the parent’s failure to respond to such a request.
Transition Service and Diploma/Credential Options
In accordance with law and regulation, the Board will ensure the provision of transition services, which are a coordinated set of activities for students with disabilities that facilitates movement from school to post-school activities, which may include but are not limited to post-secondary education, vocational education, integrated employment, continuing and adult education, adult services, independent living or community participation. At age 15, or younger if appropriate, the student’s IEP will include a statement of transition service needs and will include undertaking activities in the following areas:
- Related services
- Community experiences
- The development of employment and other post-school adult living objectives; and
- When appropriate, acquisition of daily living skills and provision of a functional vocational evaluation.
In developing the plan for transition services, students and parents will be made aware of the range of diploma and credential options available and the requirements associated with each option.
Cross ref: Parental Involvement (Title I)
Student Learning Objectives and District Instructional Goals
Ref: The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), 20 USC §§1400 et seq.;
34 CFR Part 300
N.Y. Education Law Article 89, §§4401 et seq.
8 NYCRR Part 200
Adoption date: 03/19/14
4321.1 PROVISION OF SPECIAL EDUCATION SERVICES IN THE LEAST RESTRICTIVE ENVIRONMENT
The Board of Education recognizes its responsibility to ensure that students with disabilities eligible for special education programs and services under the IDEA and Article 89 of New York’s Education Law receive those services in the least restrictive environment appropriate to meet their individual educational needs.
Therefore, the district will not place students with disabilities in special classes or separate schools or otherwise remove them from the regular educational environment unless the nature or severity of their disability is such that their education cannot be achieved satisfactorily in regular classes, even with the use of supplementary aids and services. In addition, the district will provide special services or programs to enable students with disabilities to be involved in and progress in the general curriculum, to the extent appropriate to their needs.
To fulfill its responsibility to educate students with disabilities in the least restrictive environment, the district will implement the provisions of section 200.6 of Commissioner’s regulations.
Furthermore, and pursuant to those provisions, students with disabilities placed together for purposes of receiving special education will be grouped by similarity of individual needs including their range of academic achievement, functional performance and learning characteristics, social and physical development and management needs.
The Superintendent will establish a process for ensuring that the CSE or CSE subcommittee Chairperson, as appropriate, obtains an up-to-date copy of those provisions at the beginning of each school year, and copies of any amendments that become effective during the school year.
The Board also recognizes that the least restrictive environment requirements established by applicable law and regulations also extend to nonacademic settings. Therefore, the district will provide students with disabilities the opportunity to participate with non-disabled students in school-sponsored co-curricular and extracurricular activities, to the maximum extent appropriate to each individual student’s needs. The district also will provide students with disabilities with supplementary aids and services the CSE or CSE subcommittee, as applicable, determines to be appropriate and necessary for the students to participate in such activities.
Ref: Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), 20 USC §§1400 et seq. 8 NYCRR §§200.2(b)(4); 200.6
Adoption date: 03/19/14
4321.2 SCHOOL-WIDE PRE-REFERRAL APPROACHES AND INTERVENTIONS
The Board of Education recognizes that the provision of academic and behavioral supports and targeted interventions for students who are not making academic progress at expected levels in the general curriculum may improve a student’s performance and help avert the need for referral for possible classification as a student with a disability. Therefore, the district will implement on a school-wide basis practices appropriate to enable all of the district’s students to succeed in the general education environment.
The Superintendent will identify and take steps to implement a variety of practices appropriate to comply with this policy. Consistent with applicable law and regulation, those practices may include, for example:
- Providing early intervention services with funds available under the IDEA that may be coordinated with similar activities conducted under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Such services would be made available to students not currently identified as needing special education and related services, but who need additional support to succeed in a general education setting. This may include professional development that enables teachers and other staff to deliver scientifically based academic instruction and behavioral interventions, such as scientifically based literacy instruction and, where appropriate, instruction on the use of the adaptive and instructional software. It also may include educational and behavioral evaluations, services and supports.
- Implementation of a response to intervention (RTI) program that includes the minimum requirements established by Commissioner’s regulations, and allows teachers and other staff to determine whether a student responds to scientific, research-based instruction or requires interventions beyond those provided to all students in the general education classroom.
- Implementation of a positive behavioral intervention and support (PBIS) system that reduces school and classroom behavioral problems and creates and maintains a safe and positive learning environment by promoting positive behavior in all students.
District implementation of any of the above practices will not impede or delay the appropriate evaluation of a student suspected of having a disability and the student’s right to a free appropriate public education.
Cross-ref: Student Learning Objectives and Instructional Goals
Academic Intervention Services
Ref: Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 20 USC §§1413(f); 1414(b)(6)(B)
34 CFR §§300.226; 300.307(a)(2)
8 NYCRR §§100.2(ii); 200.2(b)(7)
Adoption date: 03/19/14
4321.3 ALLOCATION OF SPACE FOR SPECIAL EDUCATION PROGRAMS
The Board of Education recognizes its responsibility to ensure that appropriate space is available for:
- Special programs and services provided to meet the needs of students and preschool students with disabilities both within its own facilities and in programs provided by the board of cooperative educational services (BOCES) and attended by district residents and
- Serving students with disabilities in settings with non-disabled peers, as well.
The district will address such space allocation needs as part of its annual budget cycle, during the annual or any more frequent reevaluation of its long-range educational facilities plan and as part of the biannual plan it must submit to the Commissioner of Education regarding the provision of services to students and preschool students with disabilities.
Through the Superintendent, the district will also share with the BOCES District Superintendent information relevant for the BOCES to determine its own facility space needs for serving the district’s resident students and preschool students with disabilities.
As part of the process for ensuring the allocation of appropriate space for special education programs and services and serving students with disabilities in settings with nondisabled peers, the Superintendent, in consultation with appropriate school personnel will, at a minimum:
- Periodically gather information regarding the number of students and preschool students with disabilities presently participating and anticipated to continue to participate in the district’s special education programs and services and the type of programming they presently receive and may receive in the future, as well as the setting in which those services are and/or will be provided.
- Review the results of the district’s latest census and other district child find efforts, including child find activities conducted with respect to parentally-placed nonpublic school students with disabilities.
- Anticipate any projected increase in the number of students and preschool students with disabilities the district will be responsible for providing special education programs and services to, the anticipated type of services they will be receiving and the settings in which those services will be provided.
- Based on the above information, review current space capacity and identify any additional space requirements to meet both current and future needs.
- Submit a report to the board regarding the results of the above review process, along with necessary recommendations for additional space allocations.
Cross-ref: Programs and Services for Students with Disabilities under the IDEA and New York’s Education Law Article 89
Programs and Services for Parentally-Placed Nonpublic School Students with Disabilities under the IDEA and New York’s Education Law Article 89
Ref: Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 20 USC §§1400 et seq.
Education Law §§3602(10)
8 NYCRR §§155.1(a); 200.2(c)(iv),(v); 200.2(g)
Adoption date: 03/19/14
4321.4 INDEPENDENT EDUCATIONAL EVALUATIONS
The Board of Education recognizes the right of parents or guardians of a student who has, or is thought to have, a disability to receive an independent evaluation at public expense if they disagree with the evaluation obtained by the Committee on Special Education (CSE) or the Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE).
The independent examination shall be conducted by a qualified examiner who is not employed by the school district responsible for the child’s education. Upon request for an Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE), parents will be provided with a list of public and private agencies and professional resources, including current reimbursement rates where independent evaluations may be obtained. These publicly-funded independent evaluations shall be limited to the same geographic and fiscal limitations as used by the district when it initiates an evaluation.
The district has the right to initiate an impartial hearing to demonstrate that its evaluation is appropriate. If the hearing officer determines that the district’s evaluation was appropriate, a parent or guardian is not entitled to reimbursement at public expense.
The Board directs the Superintendent of Schools to develop regulations establishing maximum allowable fees for specific tests, the geographic area in which such evaluations may take place and minimum qualifications of the professionals who administer and interpret various tests (see 4321.4R)
Cross-ref: Programs for Students with Disabilities
Ref: 20 USC §1415 (d)(2)(A)
34 CFR §300.502
8 NYCRR §§200.1(z); 200.5(b); 200.5(c); 200.5(g)
Adoption date: 09-19-12
4321.5 CONFIDENTIALITY AND ACCESS TO INDIVIDUALIZED EDUCATION PROGRAMS, INDIVIDUALIZED EDUCATION SERVICES PROGRAMS AND SERVICE PLANS
The Board of Education recognizes the importance of ensuring the confidentiality of personally identifiable data pertaining to a student with a disability. Personally identifiable data will not be disclosed by any school district employee or member of a CSE/CPSE to any person (other than the parent of such student), organization or agency unless the parent or guardian of the child provides written consent, there is a valid court order for such information or disclosure is permitted by law.
Personally identifiable data is defined in Student Records.
The Board of Education, while acknowledging the confidentiality requirement, believes that in order for each student with disabilities to receive the full benefit of his/her Individualized Education Program (IEP), Individualized Education Services Program (IESP) or Service Plan (SP), individuals responsible for implementing the program or plan must, prior to the implementation, fully understand the scope of their responsibility and the specific accommodations, modifications and supports to be provided.
To this end, this policy establishes procedures to ensure that any person having both direct contact with a student with an IEP, IESP or SP and a responsibility to provide a service, accommodation or program modification for the student in accordance with that student’s IEP, IESP or SP shall be informed of his/her responsibilities under the IEP and shall receive or have access to a copy of the student’s IEP, IESP or SP as specified below.
IEP, IESP or SP Copies
At a CSE, CSE Subcommittee or CPSE meeting for each student, a determination will be made as to which general education teachers, special education teachers, related service providers and other service providers have responsibility to implement the recommendations on the student’s IEP, IESP or SP. “Other service provider” means a representative of another public school district, charter school, BOCES program, child care institution school, Special Act school district, State-supported school, approved private in-state or out-of-state school and an approved preschool provider where the student receives or will receive IEP, IESP or SP services.
The CSE, CSE Subcommittee and CPSE Chairpersons shall ensure that a paper or electronic copy of each student’s IEP, IESP or SP is provided to each regular education teacher, special education teacher, related service provider and/or other service provider who is responsible for implementation of the program or plan. These individuals responsible for implementing an IEP, IESP or SP shall, in turn, ensure that all paraprofessionals (teacher aides and teacher assistants) and other providers responsible for assisting in implementation are given the opportunity to review their copy of the IEP, IESP or SP prior to program implementation as well as have ongoing access to such copy.
Notification of Responsibilities
In addition to disseminating copies of a student’s IEP, IESP or SP, CSE, CSE Subcommittee and CPSE Chairpersons must designate one or more professional employees of the district with knowledge of the student’s disability and program to inform each regular education teacher, special education teacher, related service provider, other service provider, paraprofessional, and other provider and support staff person of his or her responsibility to provide specific accommodations, program modifications, supports and/or services for the student in accordance with the IEP, IESP or SP. In selecting the professional staff person(s), the chairperson could select him/herself for this responsibility, another administrator, or a teacher, related service provider or other professional, as appropriate.
All copies of a student’s IEP, IESP or SP provided or made accessible under this policy must remain confidential and shall not be re-disclosed to any other person, except in accordance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). To ensure such confidentiality, the CSE and CPSE Chairpersons shall include with each IEP, IESP or SP copy provided or made accessible under this policy, a copy of the Board’s policy on student records (Policy 5500). All IEP, IESP or SP copies must remain in a secure location on school grounds at all times. If IEP copies are transmitted and/or provided electronically, security systems (e.g., password protect a file or folder) must be implemented to prevent unauthorized internal and external access to the student’s IEP, IESP or SP.
The designated professional employee(s) defined in Section II above shall obtain the signature of each person covered by this policy, indicating that he or she:
- Has received either a copy of the student’s IEP, IESP or SP or the opportunity to review the IEP, IESP or SP prior to its implementation, as required under state law and regulation
- Has been informed of their responsibilities for implementation
- Has knowledge of where the IEP, IESP or SP is to be maintained
- Has an understanding of the confidentiality requirements.
At the end of the school year or whenever the IEP has been revised, the CSE and CPSE Chairperson shall collect all IEP copies provided under this policy and destroy them.
Programs for Students with Disabilities Under IDEA and Article 89
Ref: Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), 20 USC §§1400 et seq.
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), 20 USC §1232g; 34 CFR Part 99
Education Law §4402(7)
8 NYCRR §§200.2(b)(11); 200.4(e)(3); 200.16(e)(6)
New York State Education Department, Vocational and Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities (VESID), SED Guidance Document, Providing copies of the IEPs for Students with Disabilities, 5/13/03, vesid.nysed.gov/specialed/publications/policy/chap408final.htm
Adoption date: 03/19/14
4321.6 AVAILABILITY OF ALTERNATIVE FORMAT INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS FOR STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES
The Board of Education recognizes its responsibility to ensure that all the instructional materials used in the district’s schools are made available in a usable alternative format for students with disabilities in accordance with their individual educational needs and course selection at the same time as those materials are available to non-disabled students. In accordance with applicable law and regulations, any such alternative format procured by the district will meet the National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard.
For purposes of this policy, alternative format will mean any medium or format for the presentation of instructional materials, other than a traditional print textbook, that is needed as an accommodation for a student with a disability enrolled in the school district, including but not limited to Braille, large print, open and closed captioned, audio or an electronic file. An electronic file must be compatible with at least one alternative format conversion software program.
The Superintendent will develop a plan to ensure the availability of alternative format materials in accordance with the timeliness requirements of this policy. Such a plan will provide for:
- Preference to vendors who agree to provide instructional materials in alternative formats and to reflect this requirement in the bidding specifications used for the procurement of instructional materials. The same preference will be given to vendors of instructional materials ordered for the school library.
- Consultation with appropriate school personnel regarding how students will access electronic files. The district’s technology staff will be notified of any need to convert electronic files into an accessible format such as Braille, large print, audio or alternative display.
- The availability of hardware and/or software a student with disabilities in need of alternative format materials might require accessing the instructional material.
- The yearly review of the district’s ordering timelines for the purchase of instructional materials to ensure sufficient lead time for obtaining needed alternative format materials.
- Notification to appropriate school personnel by the CSE, CSE subcommittee, CPSE and Section 504 Committee Chairperson whenever it is determined that a student needs instructional materials in alternative format. Such notice also will identify the particular alternative format needed, and any assistive technology devices or services the student might need to access the alternative format materials.
- Notification by classroom teachers of the books they will be using in class and any list of required readings with sufficient lead time in anticipation of the district’s timelines for the purchase of instructional materials.
- Consultation with the school librarian to make sure that specific library resources required by a student in need of alternative format materials to participate and progress in his or her selected courses are made available to the student in an accessible format.
- Timely request of state assessments in alternative format.
Ref: Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), 20 USC §§1474(e)(3)(B)
Education Law §§1604(29-a); 1709(4-a) 1950(4-a); 2503(7-a); 2554(7-a); 3602(10)(b)
8 NYCRR §§200.2(b)(10)
State Education Department, Office of Vocational and Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities (VESID), Policy 02-05 Amendment to Section 200.2 of the Regulations of the Commissioner Implementing Chapter 377 of the Laws of 2001: Plans to Provide Instructional Materials in Alternative Formats for Students with Disabilities, May 2002, available electronically from the VESID website at www.vesid.nysed.gov/specialed/publications/policy/alterformat502.htm
Adoption date: 03/19/14
4321.7 DISTRICTWIDE AND STATEWIDE ASSESSMENTS OF STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES
The Board of Education recognizes the importance of offering access and appropriate testing accommodations to eligible students so that they can participate in assessment programs on an equal basis with their nondisabled peers. Two elements that contribute to an effective assessment program are proper use of accommodations and universal design principles in developing and administering tests.
Testing accommodations provide an opportunity for students with disabilities to:
- Participate in the instructional and assessment program;
- Demonstrate their strengths, knowledge and skills without being restricted by their disability and
- Provide an accurate measure of the standards being assessed so that appropriate instruction and services can be provided.
Testing accommodations are changes made in the administration of the test in order to remove obstacles to the test-taking process that are presented by the disability without changing the constructs being tested. Examples of testing accommodations are: flexibility in scheduling/timing; flexibility in the setting for the administration of the test; changes in the method of presentation and changes in the method of response. Testing accommodations are neither intended nor permitted to: alter the construct being measured or invalidate the results, provide an unfair advantage for students with disabilities over students taking the test under standard conditions or substitute for knowledge or abilities that the student has not attained.
The Committee on Special Education, the Subcommittee on Special Education or the Committee on Preschool Special Education is responsible for recommending the appropriate test accommodations and including those recommendations on the student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP), Individualized Education Services Program (IESP) or Service Plan (SP). If it is determined that a student should participate in alternative assessments instead of the standard statewide or district-wide tests, the CSE must indicate the reasons for doing so on the IEP, IESP or SP. The school’s 504 Multidisciplinary Committee will include the appropriate test accommodations as part the 504 plan.
The recommendations will be reviewed annually by the CSE, CSE subcommittee, CPSE or 504 Team. The Board acknowledges the importance of integrating the assessment program with the instructional program and, to that end, encourages effective communication among district staff so that implementation is consistent and fair. The goal is to provide effective assessments that allow students to benefit from their educational program.
In some situations, a building principal may authorize the use of testing accommodations in accordance with this policy. Those instances are limited to cases where a regular education student incurs a disability, such as, but not limited to, a broken arm without sufficient time for the CSE, CPSE and/or Section 504 Committee to make a recommendation prior to a test. They do not include cases where the student is already being evaluated to determine his or her eligibility for status as a student with a disability. In exercising this authority, the building principal will rely on his or her professional judgment. He or she also may confer with CSE, CPSE and/or Section 504 Committee members.
Universal Design Principles in District-Wide Assessments
The Board of Education recognizes the benefits of using the principles of universal design to further the goal of ensuring equal access to district-wide assessments and to ensure the most accurate measure of the performance of all students. The Board directs the Superintendent, in consultation with appropriate school staff, to examine how universal design principles can be incorporated into the district’s assessment program and to facilitate its use to the extent feasible. Any steps taken in this regard will be consistent with this policy and applicable State Education Department policy and/or guidance on the use of universal design principles.
At a minimum, the Superintendent will explore how district assessments can be:
- Made more usable by students with diverse abilities.
- Designed to better accommodate a wide range of individual preferences and abilities.
- Made more understandable.
- Made to communicate necessary information to students more effectively.
- Designed to minimize adverse consequences of accidental or unintended actions.
- Used more efficiently and comfortably and with a minimum of student fatigue.
Programs for Students with Disabilities
Confidentiality and Distribution of IEP, IESP and SP
Students with Disabilities and Section 504
Ref: Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), 20 USC §§1401(35); 1412(a)(16)(E);
34 CFR §§ 300.44
Assistive Technology Act, 29 USC 3002(19)
8 NYCRR §§ 200.1(jjj); 200.2(b)(13,14); 200.4(d)(2)(vi)
Adoption date: 03/19/14
4321.8 IMPARTIAL HEARING OFFICER APPOINTMENT AND COMPENSATION
The Board of Education will appoint impartial hearing officers (IHO), as needed, to hear complaints regarding the identification, evaluation, or placement of students with disabilities or the provision of a free appropriate public education to such a student in accordance with the rotational selection process and other applicable procedures described in Commissioner’s regulations.
The updated list of certified IHOs for this county promulgated by the New York State Education Department will be used in connection with requests for impartial hearings. The list shall also include the names of those other certified IHOs whose names appear on the state list and who have indicated to the district their interest in serving as an IHO in the district.
Upon receipt of a request for an impartial hearing, the rotational selection process for the IHO shall be initiated immediately and always within two (2) business days after receipt by the district of such written request. Should an IHO decline appointment or if within 24 hours the IHO fails to respond or is unreachable after reasonable efforts by the District Clerk or designee, such efforts will be documented through independently verifiable efforts. The district representative shall then proceed through the list to determine availability of the next successive IHO.
The District Clerk or other person so designated, under the direction of the Board President, shall initiate the selection process by contacting the impartial hearing officer whose name first appears after the impartial hearing officer who last served. The District Clerk or designee shall canvass the list in alphabetical order as prescribed by the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education until an appointment is accepted.
An IHO on the district’s rotational list may not accept appointment unless he or she is available to:
- Make a determination on the sufficiency of the due process complaint that will be heard at the hearing within five days of receiving such a request.
- Initiate the hearing within the first 14 days after either:
- The date on which he/she receives written notice that the parents and the district waived their right to hold a resolution meeting to resolve their differences prior to commencement of the hearing, or met but were unable to reach agreement; or
- The expiration of the 30-day period beginning with the receipt of the due process complaint, whichever first occurs.
The Board President, or in his or her absence or inability, the Vice President will appoint an IHO immediately after the IHO selected from the rotational list indicates he or is available.
The Board will rescind the appointment of an IHO and appoint a new one if, the parties to the hearing mutually agree that the IHO is either incapacitated or otherwise unavailable or unwilling to continue the hearing or issue a decision. The appointment of a new IHO in such an instance will be made in accordance with the selection and appointment procedures established by this policy.
The district shall compensate an impartial hearing officer for his or her services at the maximum rate established for such purpose by the Director of the Division of the Budget. Currently, this rate is $100.00 per hour for pre-hearing, hearing and post-hearing activities. In addition, impartial hearing officers may be reimbursed for reasonable, actual and necessary expenses for automobile travel, meals and overnight lodging in accordance with the current district reimbursement rate set for district employees. Mailing costs associated with the hearing will also be reimbursed. The District will not reimburse impartial hearing officers for administrative assistance, secretarial or other overhead expenses.
The district shall attempt to provide an Impartial Hearing Officer with two (2) business days’ advance notice of the cancellation or rescheduling of an impartial hearing. Should the district request the cancellation or re-scheduling of a hearing date and fail to provide an Impartial Hearing Officer with two (2) days’ notice, the district agrees to pay the Impartial Hearing Officer a fee of $100.00. The district shall not be responsible for costs associated with a parent or guardian’s cancellation or adjournment of a hearing.
A copy of this policy will be forwarded to the impartial hearing officer at the time of appointment.
Records relating to the IHO process including, but not limited to, the request for initiation and completion of each impartial hearing will be maintained by the district and such information will be reported to the Office of Vocational and Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities of SED as required by Commissioner’s regulations.
Ref: 8 NYCRR §§200.2; 200.5; 200.21
Adoption date: 03/19/14
4321.9 DECLASSIFICATION OF STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES
The Board of Education recognizes that it may be appropriate to declassify some students with disabilities. A student may mature and develop skills such that they no longer require the special program, support services or accommodations offered by an Individualized Education Program (IEP), Individualized Education Services Program (IESP) or Services Plan (SP). The Committee on Special Education (CSE), the CSE Subcommittee or, the Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE), as applicable, is responsible for making this judgment, while adhering to the requirements of federal and state law and regulation.
Prior to determining that a student is no longer eligible for special education services and should be placed in a full-time regular education program, the CSE, CSE subcommittee, or CPSE, as applicable, will conduct a declassification evaluation of the student in accordance with the process and procedures prescribed for the evaluation and reevaluation of students with disabilities, by applicable law and regulations. However, the CSE, CSE subcommittee or CPSE members may determine after reviewing existing evaluation data that no additional information is needed to determine the student’s continued eligibility for services.
When a determination is made that no additional data is needed for reviewing a student’s continued eligibility for special education services, the CSE, CSE subcommittee or CPSE Chairperson, as applicable, will notify the student’s parents of that determination and the reasons for it, and of their right to nonetheless request an assessment. Unless the student’s parents make such a request, the district will not conduct any further assessments.
The district will provide the student’s parents with a copy of the reevaluation report and documentation regarding the eligibility determination.
Consistent with applicable law and regulation, the district will not conduct a declassification evaluation if the reason why a student is determined to be ineligible for special education services is that he or she has either:
- Graduated with a regular high school or Regents diploma
- Exceeded the age of eligibility for services.
However, in such an instance the district will provide the student with a summary of his or her academic achievement and functional performance that also includes recommendations on how to assist the student in meeting his or her post-secondary goals.
Declassification Support Services
It is the goal of the Board of Education to provide an opportunity for the student to succeed in the transition to the regular education program. In order to facilitate that success, the CSE/CPSE may offer educational and support services for a period of time, not to exceed one year. Declassification support services may include:
- For the student, psychological services, social work services, speech and language improvement services, non-career counseling and other appropriate support services.
- For the student’s teachers, the assistance of a teacher aide or a teaching assistant and consultation with appropriate personnel.
The CSE/CPSE will ensure that the appropriate teachers and service providers are informed of the need for the transition services and will specify the nature and duration of those services.
Cross-ref: 4321, Programs for Students with Disabilities
Ref: 8 NYCRR §§100.1 (q); 200.2 (b)(8), 200.4 (b)(4-6), (c)(3)
Adoption date: 03/19/14
4321.10 PROGRAMS AND SERVICES FOR PARENTALLY-PLACED NONPUBLIC SCHOOL STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES
The Board of Education recognizes its responsibility to provide special education services to eligible students with disabilities enrolled by their parents in nonpublic schools located within its district, regardless of whether such students are residents of the district. The scope of that responsibility affects:
- The district’s child find activities for locating, identifying, and evaluating parentally-placed nonpublic school students with disabilities
- CSE and CSE subcommittee responsibilities for the development of an individualized education services program (IESP), or a services plan (SP), in the case of an out of state resident, for any such student determined to be eligible for special education services under the IDEA and Article 89
- The provision of services to such students
- The relationship between the district and nonpublic school officials and nonpublic school parents of students with disabilities, with whom the district is required to consult
- The district’s data collection and reporting responsibilities
- The district’s use of federal funds available under the IDEA.
(Refer to Policy 4321, Programs for Students with Disabilities under the IDEA and Article 89 for more information regarding the provision of special education services to students with disabilities enrolled in the district’s public schools).
Consistent with applicable law and regulations, this policy does not apply to resident students with disabilities enrolled by their parents in a nonpublic school located within the district’s boundaries because of a dispute over the provision of a free appropriate public education. Neither does it apply to charter school students, or to students placed in or referred to private schools by public agencies such as school district placements in approved private schools, Special Act school districts, and state-supported or state-operated schools.
District staff will obtain prior consent from the parent of a parentally-placed nonpublic school student with disabilities, or the student if the student is 18 years or older, for the release of personally identifiable information about the student from records collected or maintained pursuant to the IDEA between the district and the student’s district of residence.
Location, Identification and Evaluation of Parentally-placed Nonpublic School Students with Disabilities
The district’s activities for locating and identifying parentally-placed nonpublic school students with disabilities will be comparable to those undertaken for students attending the district’s public schools, and will be completed in a comparable time period, as well. However, district staff will consult with nonpublic school representatives and representatives of parents of parentally-placed students with disabilities regarding these activities, in order to ensure the equitable participation and an accurate count of such students.
The district will use the same procedures that apply to the evaluation of the district’s public school students to evaluate and reevaluate parentally-placed nonpublic school students with disabilities. (Refer to policy 4321, Programs for Students with Disabilities under the IDEA and Article 89, for more information on those procedures).
Once a parentally-placed nonpublic school student with disabilities is determined to be eligible for special education services under the IDEA and Article 89, the CSE or CSE subcommittee will develop an IESP or SP for the student in accordance with the following:
- If the student is a New York State resident, the CSE or CSE subcommittee will develop an IESP based on the student’s individual needs in the same manner and with the same contents as an individualized education program prepared for a public school student.
- If the student is an out-of-state resident, the CSE or CSE subcommittee will develop an SP for the student in accordance with the IDEA and its implementing regulations.
Provision of Services
Parents of nonpublic school students with disabilities eligible for special education services under this policy must submit to the Board a written request for such services on or before June 1 preceding the school year for which they want the district to provide services. However, if the student has not been first identified as a student with a disability until after June 1, the parent may submit the written request for services within 30 days after the identification, and the student will be entitled to services during the current year if the request is submitted before April 1.
The district will provide special education programs and services to parentally-placed nonpublic school students with disabilities with an IESP on an equitable basis, as compared to special education programs and services provided to other students with disabilities attending public and nonpublic schools within the district.
The district will provide special education programs and services to parentally-placed nonpublic school students with disabilities with an SP to the extent required by the IDEA and its implementing regulations, and in consultation with nonpublic school officials and representatives of parents of parentally-placed nonpublic school students with disabilities. In this regard, the district will expend a proportionate amount of the federal funds it receives under the IDEA to provide such services.
The district will provide parentally-placed nonpublic school students with disabilities only services, including materials and equipment that are secular, neutral and non-ideological
The district will consult in a timely and meaningful manner with nonpublic school officials and representatives of parents of parentally-placed nonpublic school students with disabilities regarding the following issues:
- The process that will be used to locate and identify parentally-placed nonpublic school students with disabilities, including parents, teachers, and nonpublic school officials will be informed of the process, and how the process will work throughout the school year to ensure that the students can participate in special education and related services.
- How, where and by whom special education and related services will be provided to such students, and with respect to students with an SP, the types of services that will be provided.
- With respect to students with an SP, how a proportionate share of the federal funds the district receives under the IDEA will be spent on special education services to such students.
- The determination of the proportionate amount of the district’s IDEA funds available to serve parentally-placed private school students with disabilities, including how that amount was calculated.
- How services will be apportioned if the proportionate amount of the district’s available IDEA funds is not sufficient to serve all parentally-placed nonpublic school students with an SP, and how and when these decisions will be made. Notwithstanding, the district will provide services to students with an IESP, regardless of the apportionment of such federal funds.
The Superintendent will establish a process for obtaining from nonpublic school officials a written affirmation of their participation in the consultation process. If that affirmation is not secured within a reasonable time, the Superintendent will submit to the State Education Department documentation of the consultation process.
Data Collection and Reporting
The Superintendent will establish a process for maintaining records and report to the Commissioner of Education on the number of parentally-placed nonpublic school students who are evaluated and determined to have a disability and receive special education services from the district.
Cross-ref: Programs for Students with Disabilities under the IDEA and New York’s Education Law Article 89
Ref: Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), 20 USC §612(a)(10)(A); 34 CFR ***
Education Law §§3602-c
8 NYCRR §2002.2 (a)(7)
Adoption date: 03/19/14
4321.11 PUBLIC REPORT ON REVISIONS TO DISTRICT POLICIES, PRACTICES AND PROCEDURES UPON A FINDING OF SIGNIFICANT DISPROPORTIONALITY
The Board of Education recognizes that, despite the district’s best efforts, there may be times when there might be a disproportionate representation of racial and ethnic groups in its special education programs and services, and/or with respect to the suspension of students with disabilities. To minimize the risk of such an occurrence, the Board has endeavored to adopt policies, practices and procedures for the district that are consistent with the IDEA and Article 89 of New York’s Education Law and their implementing regulations.
Nonetheless, upon learning of a significant disproportionality either in the suspension, identification, classification and/or placement of the district’s students with disabilities, the Board will immediately review the district’s policies, practices and procedures to determine whether they are fully compliant with the requirements of the IDEA and Article 89, or require revisions. If changes are needed, the Board will take immediate steps to adopt and implement any and all necessary revisions.
The Board will inform the public of any revisions to the district’s policies, practices and procedures undertaken as a result of a finding of significant disproportionality. The Superintendent will notify school personnel responsible for implementing the revisions.
Cross-ref: 4321 et seq. as appropriate.
Ref: Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 20 USC §§1412(a)(24); 1418(d);
34 CFR §§300.173; 300.646
8 NYCRR §§200.2(b)(15).
Adoption date: 03/19/14
4321.12 USE OF TIME OUT ROOMS, PHYSICAL RESTRAINTS AND AVERSIVES
The Board of Education recognizes that students with disabilities sometimes exhibit inappropriate behaviors that impede learning. As a result, students with disabilities may require unique approaches to discipline so that they can continue to benefit from their educational program. The Board further acknowledges that the use of aversive behavioral intervention, as defined in §19.5 of the Commissioner’s regulations, is prohibited unless the district has followed the procedures outlined below to allow for their use in a child-specific case.
The use of a time out room, physical restraint or aversive intervention will be in conformance with a child’s individual education program (IEP). Staff will adhere to federal and state statue and regulation in the administration of these measures.
Time Out Room
A time out room is an area for a student to safely deescalate, regain control and prepare to meet expectations to return to his/her educational program. The room will only be used in conjunction with a behavioral intervention plan, as part the student’s IEP. The room will provide a supervised area in order to facilitate self-control or, when it is necessary, to remove a student from a potentially dangerous situation or unanticipated situations that pose an immediate concern for the physical safety of the student or others. The location, size and access to the time out room will be in conformance with applicable laws and regulations. The Special Programs Director will be responsible for the development and implementation of regulations covering the use of a time out room, as well as monitoring compliance with those regulations.
The Building Administrator/Special Education Teacher will inform parents prior to the initiation of a behavioral intervention plan that will incorporate the use of a time out room. Upon request, the parent will be shown the space that will be utilized. In addition, the parent will be provided a copy of this policy.
Staff will not use physical restraint as a substitute for systematic intervention to modify inappropriate behavior. Staff who may be called upon to physically restrain a student will be trained on safe and effective ways to do so. Physical restraint may be used in an emergency where no other approach would be effective in controlling the student’s behavior.
Aversive Behavioral Intervention
Aversive behavioral intervention, as defined in §19.5 of the Commissioner’s regulations, shall not be the sole or primary approach to modifying inappropriate behavior. This approach will be limited to self-injurious or aggressive behaviors identified on the child’s IEP. If the Committee on Special Education (CSE) or the Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE) is considering the use of aversive behavioral intervention for a specific child, they must submit an application to the Commissioner. If the application is approved, and if the CSE/CPSE decides to incorporate it into the IEP, they must then notify the Commissioner.
The IEP shall identify the specific targeted behavior, the aversive intervention to be used and, if applicable, the device to be utilized. The parent must provide informed written consent for the use of the aversive intervention.
The district will establish a Human Rights Committee to monitor the use of aversive behavior interventions. The committee will be comprised of individuals not employed by the school district and its membership will be in conformance with Commissioner’s regulations.
Training for staff on the policies and procedures related to the use of time out rooms, physical restraint, aversive, and related behavior management practices, will be provided annually or as needed.
The Director or Assistant Director of Special Programs will be responsible for implementation and oversight of this policy.
Ref: 8 NYCRR §200.22
Adoption date: 03/19/14
PRESCHOOL SPECIAL EDUCATION
The Board of Education recognizes the value of early intervention to address the needs of preschool children with disabilities. The Board further recognizes its responsibility to ensure that all resident preschool children with disabilities have the opportunity to participate in preschool programs, approved by the Commissioner of Education, from which they may benefit educationally. The Board authorizes the Superintendent of Schools to establish administrative practices and procedures which shall include:
- Locating, identifying, evaluating, referring and placing all preschool children (generally ages three and four) with disabilities. The register of children eligible to attend a preschool program is to be maintained and revised annually by the Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE)
- Ensuring that the parent(s)/guardian(s) of preschool age children with disabilities have received and understand the request for consent for evaluation of their child
- Developing an individualized education program (IEP) for each preschool age child with a disability
- Appointing appropriately qualified personnel to the CPSE, and ensuring that preschool education providers with whom the district contracts have appropriately trained and qualified personnel.
- Maintaining lists of impartial hearing officers and of State Education Department-approved special education programs within the county and adjacent counties in which the district is located;
- Preparing and keeping on file summary reports of student data including the number of preschool students with disabilities served, as well students referred but not served and the reasons why they are not served and
- Reporting to the State Education Department the data on preschool children with disabilities as required, on a form prescribed by the Commissioner.
The duties described above will be carried out within the timeframes established by statute and regulation. The Board of Education hereby establishes the CPSE as required under the Education Law. Its responsibilities will include the evaluation and recommendation for placement in appropriate approved programs and the provision of appropriate special education programs and services for each preschool child with a disability. The CPSE shall review, at least annually, the status of each preschool child with a disability. It is ultimately the responsibility of the Board to arrange for the appropriate approved preschool program and services for the district’s children. Should the Board disagree with the CPSE’s recommendations, it shall send the recommendation back to the CPSE so that they may schedule a timely meeting to review the Board’s concerns and to revise the IEP as deemed appropriate.
In the event that a parent/guardian files a due process complaint, a meeting must be convened between the parent/guardian and representatives of the district to try and resolve the complaint within 15 days of receiving the notice, and before the initiation of an impartial hearing. Parents/guardians and the district will jointly determine who should be present at this meeting.
If an agreement cannot be reached, parents/guardians shall be offered mediation to resolve complaints regarding the education of pre-school children with disabilities at the same time notice of the availability of an impartial hearing are provided.
The CPSE shall make an annual report on the status of each preschool child with a disability and report on the adequacy of preschool special education programs and services to the Board.
The Board directs the Superintendent to develop and maintain a plan which incorporates information concerning the provision of services for preschool children with disabilities pursuant to the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education.
Programs for Students with Disabilities
Allocation of Space for Special Education Programs
Independent Educational Evaluations
Confidentiality and IEP Distribution
Hearing Officer Appointment and Compensation
Special Education Personnel
Ref: Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 20 U.S.C. §§1400 et seq.
34 CFR §§300.12; 300.503
Education Law §4410
8 NYCRR Part 200, 200.2, 200.5, 200.16
Adoption date: 03/19/14
4321.14 SPECIAL EDUCATION PERSONNEL
The Board acknowledges its responsibility to recruit, hire, train and retain highly qualified personnel, as defined in the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and its accompanying regulations and in Article 89 of New York State Education Law and its accompanying regulations, to provide special education programs and services. In addition, the Board is committed to appointing appropriately qualified personnel to the Committee (and subcommittee) on Special Education (CSE) and Committee (and subcommittee) on Preschool Special Education (CPSE).
The Board will fulfill its obligation with regard to special education personnel by taking measurable steps including, but not limited to the following:
- Actively recruit personnel who possess prior experience working with students with disabilities.
- Solicit resumes from graduates of institutions of higher education that offer programs in special education.
- Seek candidates for teaching positions who are dually certified, to the extent possible.
- Ensure that every member of the professional staff participates in annual professional performance reviews and professional development plans.
- Provide appropriate on-going training and professional development to CSE and CPSE members, and other special education program and service providers to ensure their continuing awareness of their obligations and responsibilities under the law.
The Superintendent is responsible for ensuring that the professional staff is appropriately certified, licensed and trained and that they meet the “highly qualified” standard established in federal and state law. In the event that highly qualified individuals are not available, despite the best efforts of the administration, the Board recognizes its responsibilities to meet the alternative standards established by the State Education Department. The Superintendent, in consultation with the Director of Special Programs shall prepare an annual report to the Board which provides information about the certifications and qualifications of the special education professional personnel, as well as a summary of the professional development opportunities offered.
Programs for Students with Disabilities
Recruiting and Hiring
Ref: Individual with Disabilities Education Act, 20 USC §§ 1412(a)(14), 1413(a)(3)
34 CFR §§ 300.156, 300.207
Education Law §4410
8 NYCRR § 200.2(b)(3,12)
Adoption date: 03/19/14
4325 ACADEMIC INTERVENTION SERVICES
The Board of Education is committed to providing academic intervention services to students at risk of not meeting the state learning standards. Such services may include additional instruction supplementing the instruction provided in the general curriculum and/or student support services such as guidance, counseling, attendance and study skills needed to support improved academic performance.
Eligibility for academic intervention services will be determined based on a student’s performance on state assessment exams and/or in accordance with the uniformly applied district-developed district-adopted procedures. Eligible students will receive services consistent with law and regulations which shall commence no later than the beginning of the semester following a determination that a student is eligible for such services.
Parental Notification and Involvement
Notification on Commencement of Services
The Building Principal will notify the parents of a student determined to be in need of academic intervention services, in writing, upon the commencement of such services. Such notification will include:
- a summary of the academic intervention services to be provided,
- the reason the student needs such services, and
- consequences of not achieving expected performance levels.
Notification on Ending of Services
The Principal will notify the parent in writing when academic intervention services are no longer needed. Such notification will include:
- the criteria for ending service and
- the performance levels obtained on district selected assessments, if appropriate.
In addition, the district/schools will provide for ongoing communication with parents who must include opportunities to consult with teachers and other professional staff, regular reports on the student’s progress and information on ways to monitor and work with educators to improve the student’s performance.
All parental notifications and communications will be done in English and translated, when appropriate, into the native language or mode of communication of the parents.
Description and Review of Academic Intervention Services
The Superintendent of Schools, in consultation with each building principal, shall maintain a description of academic intervention and/or student support services for each school. This description will include any variations in services in schools within the district and will specifically delineate:
- the district-wide procedures used to determine the need for academic intervention services;
- the academic intervention instructional and/or support services to be provided;
- whether instructional services and/or support services are offered during the regular school day or during an extended school day or year and
- the criteria for ending services, including, if appropriate, performance levels that students must obtain on district-selected assessments.
Beginning July 1, 2002 and every two years thereafter, the Superintendent of Schools shall review and revise the description of academic intervention services based on student performance results and present such revised description to the Board for approval.
Ref: 8 NYCRR §§100.1(g); 100.2(r), (ee); 100.4(b)(4), (d) (Academic Intervention Services)
Adoption date: 03/19/14, 02/26/20
4326 LIMITED ENGLISH PROFICIENCY INSTRUCTION
The Board of Education believes that students who, by reason of foreign birth or ancestry, have limited English proficiency will be more effective learners of both the language and the curriculum if they receive instruction in both their native language and English. The district will therefore make every effort to ensure that limited English proficient (LEP) students are provided with an appropriate program of transitional bilingual education or free-standing English as a second language program.
Pursuant to this policy and the regulations of the Commissioner of Education, the Superintendent of Schools is directed to develop appropriate administrative regulations to ensure that LEP students are:
- Diagnostically screened for limited English proficiency, in accordance with Part 117 of the Commissioner’s Regulations. Those students who according to their scores are identified as LEP will be annually evaluated. Included in the evaluation shall be each student’s performance in content areas to measure academic progress.
- Assured of access to appropriate instructional and support services, including guidance programs.
- Assured of having equal opportunities to participate in all school programs and extracurricular activities as non-LEP students.
The Superintendent shall be responsible for ensuring that the Commissioner is provided with all information required under the Commissioner’s Regulations and that the district provides appropriate school-related information to the parents of LEP students in English, or when necessary, in the language they understand. In addition, the Superintendent shall ensure that all teachers employed for any bilingual and/or ESL program are properly certified in accordance with the Commissioner’s Regulations.
Ref: Education Law §3204
Bilingual Education Act of 1974, §§701 et seq., 20 U.S.C. §§880b et seq.
Equal Educational Opportunities Act of 1974, §§201 et seq.,
20 U.S.C. §§1701 et seq.
8 NYCRR §§80.9; 80.10; 117; 154 et seq.
Lau v. Nichols, 414 U.S. 563 (1974)
Rios v. Read, 480 F. Supp. 14 (1978)
Cintron v. Brentwood UFSD, 455 F.Supp 57 (1978)
Aspira of New York v. Board of Educ. (City of New York), 394 F. Supp. 1161 (1974)
Adoption date: 03/19/14
4327 HOME OR HOSPITAL TUTORING
The Board of Education adopts this policy to afford home or hospital tutoring to resident students enrolled by the District in its public schools or in a non-public school who qualify for alternate instruction due to a long-term or significant illness or health condition, due to their inability to attend school due to such condition, constituting a prolonged absence. Home or Hospital Tutoring shall only be provided upon a determination by the District that it is necessary to enable the student to keep up with class work during a period of illness or other medical or health related circumstances that prevent the student’s regular attendance. An absence of two weeks is generally considered a prolonged absence.
The Board of Education designates the Superintendent or his/her designee to develop procedures for handling requests for homebound instruction and coordination of those services once approved. Hospital instruction will be provided when the District receives documented evidence of the student’s hospitalization or admission to a similar medical based institution for care and treatment. A request for home instruction, when based on a medical or psychiatric condition, must be accompanied by a statement from the child’s treating physician/prescriber/medical provider identifying the nature of the student’s condition(s); the basis for the request for home instruction; provide a diagnosis of the underlying condition(s); the estimated length of time the student may require homebound instruction; identify an anticipated treatment plan to facilitate the student’s return and expected duration of such plan; and provide any relevant medical alerts which may impact the student’s education, participation and attendance. In addition, the parent(s) shall be required to provide the District with consent to enable the school administrator/case manager to contact the doctor/prescriber/medical provider to follow up with questions, if any.
Upon a determination that home tutoring is required, the Assistant Superintendent shall make immediate arrangements for home tutoring. (For elementary level students, it must include a minimum of five (5) hours of instruction per week and for secondary level students, a minimum of ten (10) hours per week, on all days when the District’s schools are in regular session). Unless the student’s condition prevents the student from receiving such instruction in a public building or another location outside the home, every effort shall be made to arrange for such instruction outside the student’s home.
The failure to attend such alternative instruction more than three (3) days without a medical excuse shall constitute a basis for the suspension of such services until such time as an enforceable plan to maintain regular attendance is established. If home tutoring is suspended or terminated, the student will be expected to resume regular school attendance; or the parents must provide evidence of the student’s enrollment and/or receipt of instruction elsewhere, if the student has not completed the school year in which they turn age 16.
Under no circumstances shall home tutoring be approved for more than 30 calendar days without administrative review. The administrative review shall require, at a minimum, a review of the student’s attendance and participation in the home tutoring, review of information from the child’s teachers and tutor regarding educational performance in addition to review and consideration of a medical update from the doctor/prescriber/medical provider who requested the homebound instruction. The medical update should be in the form of a report, submitted in writing, or provided and documented in a telephone conversation between the medical source and appropriate school district representatives, or both, as determined appropriate by the designated school official.
If not previously referred to the Committee on Special Education or §504 Team for suspected disabilities, any student who remains on homebound instruction for more than six months due to a medical/ psychiatric condition shall be referred to the appropriate team to determine the need for special education, related services and/ or accommodations.
Unless a request for homebound instruction is directly related to a student’s special education needs in which case such request must be addressed to the Committee on Special Education, homebound instruction may be provided without a modification in the student’s IEP and shall not constitute a change of placement under Part 200 of Commissioner’s Regulations.
Ref: 29 U.S.C. §794 (§504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973)
NY Educ. Law §§ 1709 (24); 3202(1), (6); 3204; 3205;3210; 3210(2)
4526 COMPUTER USE IN INSTRUCTION (or ACCEPTABLE USE)
The Board of Education is committed to optimizing student learning and teaching. The Board considers student access to a computer network, including the Internet, to be a powerful and valuable educational and research tool and encourages the use of computers and computer related technology in district classrooms for the purpose of advancing and promoting learning and teaching.
The computer network provides a medium for learning through various software applications, web-based services, online databases as well as email that can significantly enhance educational experiences and provide statewide, national and global communication opportunities for staff and students.
Use of the district’s computer network, technology and the Internet is a privilege, not a right, and that use entails responsibility. The district reserves the right to control access to the Internet for all users of its computers and network. The district may either allow or prohibit certain kinds of online activity such as access to specific websites, programs or applications and the posting or downloading of content. As such, all district provided resources must be used in accordance with this policy.
The Superintendent shall establish regulations governing the use and security of the district’s computer network. All users of the district’s computer network and equipment shall comply with this policy and regulation. Failure to comply may result in disciplinary action as well as suspension and/or revocation of computer access privileges.
The Superintendent shall be responsible for designating a Director of Technology Operations to oversee the use of the district computer & technology resources. The Director of Technology Operations, in collaboration with the Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum & Instruction and Instructional Technology Integration Specialist will prepare in-service programs for the training and development of district staff in technology skills for the incorporation of computer and technology use in appropriate instructional areas.
With increased concern about identity theft, unwarranted invasion of privacy and the need to protect personally identifiable information, prior to students being directed by staff to use any cloud-based educational software/application, staff must get approval from the district’s Director of Technology Operations & Data Privacy Officer & Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum & Instruction. All services & software require a contract between the school district and servicing vendor to ensure protections in place are sufficient to address privacy and security requirements as well as parental permission requirements. The servicing vendor must agree to the terms of the district’s Data Privacy & Security policy as well as sign off on the district’s Parents’ Bill of Rights for Data Privacy & Security (8635-E) and Third Party Contractor Supplement.
The Superintendent, working in conjunction with the designated purchasing agent for the district, the Director of Technology Operations and the Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum & Instruction will be responsible for the purchase and distribution of computer software, hardware & technology throughout the district. They shall prepare and submit for the Board’s approval a comprehensive multiyear technology plan that shall be revised as necessary to reflect changing technology and/or district needs.
5300- Code of Conduct
8631- Information and Data Privacy, Security, Breach and Notification
Adoption date: 10/07/2015; 08/12/20
4526.1 INTERNET SAFETY
The Board of Education is committed to undertaking efforts that serve to make safe for children the use of district computers & technology for access to the Internet. To this end although unable to guarantee that any elected filtering and blocking technology will work perfectly, the Board direct the Superintendent of School to procure and implement the use of technology protection measures that block or filter Internet access by:
- adults to visual depictions that are obscene or child pornography and
- minors to visual depictions that are obscene, child pornography or harmful to minors as defined in the Children’s Internet Protection Act.
The Superintendent or designee shall develop and implement procedures that provide for the safety and security of students using email, web-based services and other forms of direct electronic communications monitoring the online activities of students using district computers and restricting student access to materials that are harmful to minors.
In addition, the Board prohibits the unauthorized disclosure, use and dissemination of personal information regarding students; unauthorized online access by students, including hacking and other unlawful activities and access by students to inappropriate matter and resources on the Internet. The Superintendent or designee shall establish and implement procedures that enforce these restrictions.
The Director of Technology Operations, designated under the district’s policy on the acceptable use of district computers (Policy 4526), shall monitor and examine all district computer network activities to ensure compliance with this policy and accompanying regulation. He/she shall also be responsible for ensuring that staff and students receive training on their requirements.
All users of the district’s computer network, including access to the Internet, must understand that use is a privilege, not a right, and any such use entails responsibility and is intended only for instructional or business and not personal use. They must comply with the requirements of this policy and accompanying regulation, in addition to generally accepted rules of network etiquette and the district’s policy on acceptable use of computers. Failure to comply may result in disciplinary action including, but not limited to, the revocation of computer access privileges.
As part of this policy and Policy 4526, the district shall also provide age-appropriate instruction regarding appropriate online behavior, including
- interacting with other individuals on social networking sites and other web-based platforms or services and
- cyberbullying awareness and response
Instruction will be provided even if the district prohibits students from accessing social networking sites or chat rooms on district computers.
4526 – Computer Use in Instruction (Acceptable Use)
Children’s Internet Protection Act, Public Law No. 106-554
Broadband Data Services Improvement Act/Protecting Children in the 21st Century Act, Public Law No. 110-385
47 USC §254
20 USC §6777
Adoption date: 10/07/15; 08/12/20
4770 Student Grading, Honor Roll Achievement, Recognition of Graduating Seniors, Graduation
- In an effort to ensure that students are on track to meet the 22 credit requirement for graduation, all students in grades 9-12 must be enrolled in at least 5.5 credits for the school year (or the equivalent). Exceptions may be granted though the Student Success Team.
- Advanced Placement, dual-credit and Honors courses will represent a significant academic challenge, therefore,
- Grades for advanced placement shall be weighted by adding 6 percentage points to the GPA,
- Grades for dual-credit courses shall be weighted by adding 4 percentage points to the GPA and
- Grades for Honors courses shall be weighted by adding 2 percentage points to the GPA.
This weighted grade point average will be used to calculate Honor Roll achievement.
- Honor Roll recognition will be based on the following designations:
- 85+ = with Honors,
- 90+ = with High Honors and
- 95+ = with Highest Honors.
- Graduating seniors will be recognized according to the following designations:
- Any student achieving an 85+ weighted cumulative Grade Point Average will be recognized with Honors as a separate and distinct designation.
- Any student achieving a 90+ weighted cumulative Grade Point Average will be recognized with High Honors as a separate and distinct designation.
- Any student achieving a 95+ weighted cumulative Grade Point Average will be recognized with Highest Honors as a separate and distinct designation. These students will be honored by being seated on stage at the graduation ceremony.
- The students with the three highest Grade Point Averages will be recognized as the class Valedictorian, Salutatorian and Honorable Mention. This distinction will be based on 7 semesters plus one marking period. These students will be honored by being seated on stage at the graduation ceremony.
- The class Valedictorian will deliver the first student speech at graduation. The second student speaker will be determined by a selection process. Any senior wishing to address the class must submit a copy of his/her graduation speech to the principal. The principal will assemble a committee consisting of an administrator, teacher and student representatives from the junior class. This committee will select the designated speaker.
- Class rank will not be published or made part of a student’s official transcript.
Adoption date: 08/02/17
4772 PARTICIPATION IN GRADUATION CEREMONIES BY STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES
The Board of Education of the Cohoes City School District recognizes that students with disabilities, receiving special education and related or other services pursuant to an Individualized Education Program (IEP) as defined by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and the Commissioner’s Regulations at 200.1(zz), must be afforded an opportunity for participation in graduation ceremonies and activities with their high school graduating class, provided they qualify to receive a skills and achievement commencement credential or a career development commencement credential within four years of commencing high school.
High School Graduating Class
For purposes of this policy, a student’s high school graduating class is the twelfth grade class with which the student with a disability entered into ninth grade.
A student with a disability who has (1) completed four years of high school attendance, (2) is receiving special education and related services through an IEP pursuant to state and federal law and (3) will continue to receive such services between the ages of 18 and 21 may participate in a district-wide formal graduation ceremony and all related activities with their high school graduating class, provided the student is eligible to be awarded either a Skills and Achievement Commencement Credential (SACC) or a Career Development and Occupational Studies (CDOS) commencement credential at the time of the graduation ceremony.
Participation in graduation events and activities by a student with a disability with their designated high school graduating class is optional, not mandatory.
A student with a disability’s participation in graduation ceremonies and events pursuant to this policy shall not preclude or limit the student’s continuing eligibility to attend school in the District and to receive special education supports, related services and transition services while pursuing their local or regents diploma or other exiting credentials, provided the student remains a resident of the District, continues to be a student with a disability receiving services through an IEP and has not completed the school year in which he or she turned 21.
Annual written notification will be provided to all eligible students with disabilities and their parents or guardians regarding the District’s policy and procedures regarding graduation participation. Such notification will include a reference to this policy. The student and their parent(s)/guardian(s) shall be notified in the fall of the school year in which the student with a disability’s designated high school class will graduate. Such notice shall include applicable deadlines advising parents and students of the date by which they must indicate their preference to participate in the ceremony with their designated high school class, as well as the manner in which such notice must be made.
If the student is receiving special education and related or other services pursuant to their IEP within the District, it shall be the responsibility of the student’s guidance counselor and case manager to ensure that the student is informed of their rights. If they request to participate with their designated class, notice of all graduation activities including gown fittings, rehearsals, awards ceremonies and the graduation event itself.
If the student is placed in an out-of- district program to receive special education and related services pursuant to their IEP, it shall be the responsibility of the Committee on Special Education Chairperson or their designee to ensure that the student is informed of his/her rights. If they elect to participate in graduation with their designated class, notice of all graduation activities including gown fittings, rehearsals, awards ceremonies and the graduation event itself.
4321, Programs for Students with Disabilities under the IDEA and New York’s Education Law Article 89
4321.9, Declassification of Students with Disabilities
4773, Diploma and Credential Options for Students with Disabilities
Ref: Laws of 2017, Chapter 410, Education Law §4402
Education Law §3204(4-b)
8 NYCRR §§100.5; 100.6
Laws of 2017, Chapter 410, Education Law §4402
Adoption date: 03/14/18
4773 DIPLOMA AND CREDENTIAL OPTIONS FOR STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES
The Board of Education is committed to supporting all students so they are college- and career-ready upon graduation. The Committee on Special Education (CSE), which includes parents/guardians, will work with students with disabilities to attain the appropriate diploma or credential based on their Individualized Education Plan (IEP).
Regents Diploma or Regents Diploma with Advanced Designation
Students with disabilities are encouraged to work toward the completion of requirements for a Regents diploma or Regents diploma with an advanced designation, as established by New York State and the Board.
Students with disabilities may work toward completion of the requirements of a local diploma. The local diploma may be earned by meeting the standards set forth in state regulations.
Career Development and Occupational Studies Commencement Credential
Students with disabilities, who are not students with severe disabilities under Commissioner’s Regulations, may be issued a New York State Career Development and Occupational Studies Commencement Credential (CDOS), pursuant to the requirements of those regulations. The student may pursue a CDOS either in addition to or instead of a high school diploma. The district shall ensure that such students have been provided with appropriate opportunities to earn a high school diploma.
Skills and Achievement Commencement Credential
A student who meets the state definition of a student with severe disabilities, who has taken the State assessment for students with severe disabilities, may be issued a skills and achievement commencement credential pursuant to the requirements of Commissioner’s Regulations 8 NYCRR §100.6.
Continued Right to Educational Services
If a student receiving a Career Development and Occupational Studies Commencement Credential or a Skills and Achievement Commencement Credential is less than twenty-one years of age, the credential shall be accompanied by a written assurance of the student’s continued right to attend public school until the end of the school year in which the student reaches the age of twenty-one or until the student has earned a high school diploma, whichever is earlier.
Programs for Students with Disabilities
Ref: 8 NYCRR §§100.1; 100.5; 100.6; 100.9
Adoption date: 03/19/14
4850 ANIMALS IN SCHOOL
The Board of Education recognizes that the study of living things is essential to effective instruction in the life sciences. The primary goals for demonstrations and investigations involving animals are to achieve an interest in and an understanding of the life processes, to demonstrate biological principles and to teach proper care and handling of animals. Therefore, the Board requires that any such instructional activities, investigations and projects be well-planned, adequately supervised and conducted with a respect for life and an appreciation of the health and safety of both animals and students.
The Board also recognizes that some students have a moral or religious objection to dissection or otherwise harming or destroying animals. In accordance with state law, students shall have the right to opt out of dissection activities, provided that the student performs an alternative project approved by the student’s teacher. The objection must be substantiated in writing by the student’s parent or guardian.
At the start of the school year, teachers of courses that include animal dissection shall give notice to the students in those classes of their opt-out rights and responsibilities under the law and this policy. Such notice shall be shared and also be available upon request.
Ref: Education Law §809(4)
Responsible Use of Live Animals and Dissection in the Science Classroom, National Science Teachers Association Position Statement, revised March 2008 (www.nsta.org/about/positions/animals.aspx)
Adoption date: 04/03/19