- 0000 Mission Statement and Vision
- 0100 Nondiscrimination and Equal Opportunity
- 0101 Gender Neutral Single-Occupancy Bathrooms
- 0110 Sexual Harassment
- 0115 Student Harassment and Bullying Prevention and Intervention
- 0150 HIV/AIDS
- 0200 Commitments and Beliefs
- 0300 Accountability
- 0310 Board Self-Evaluation
- 0320 Evaluation of Superintendent
- 0330 Evaluation of Professional Staff
- 0340 Evaluation of Support Staff
- 0350 Evaluation of Instructional Programs
0000 MISSION STATEMENT AND VISION
The Board of Education recognizes that to govern effectively it must clearly define why the district exists and what it aspires to be. Therefore, the Board adopts the following mission statement to convey the district’s purpose and vision to set forth what the district should strive to become in the future.
The mission of the Cohoes City School District, a partnership of schools, parents and the community, is to prepare its students for success in tomorrow’s world.
A Purpose and Plan for All!
The Board recognizes that while the vision is intended to be a long-range statement of the ideal future for the district, it still requires continual evaluation. Accordingly, the Board will review the vision statement annually in developing the district’s annual goals.
0200, Commitments and Beliefs
0100 NONDISCRIMINATION AND EQUAL OPPORTUNITY
The Board of Education, its officers and employees, will not discriminate in its programs and activities on the basis of legally protected classes, such as, but not limited to: race (including traits historically associated with race, such as hair texture and protective hairstyles like braids, locks, and twists), color, national origin, creed, religion (including religious practices), marital status, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical condition), gender identity and expression (i.e., actual or perceived gender-related identity, appearance, behavior, expression, or other gender-related characteristic regardless of the sex assigned to that person at birth, including but not limited to the status of being transgender), age, sexual orientation, disability (physical or mental), predisposing genetic characteristic, military work or status, domestic violence victim status, or use of a guide dog, hearing dog, or service dog, as applicable. The district will provide notice of this policy in accordance with federal and state law and regulation.
This policy of nondiscrimination includes access by students to educational programs, counseling services for students, course offerings and student activities as well as recruitment and appointment of employees and employment pay, benefits, advancement and/or terminations.
Specific protections for students under the Dignity for All Students Act are addressed in Policy 0115, Student Bullying and Harassment Prevention and Intervention.
Nothing in this policy will be construed to prohibit a denial of admission into, or exclusion from, a course of instruction or activity based on a person’s gender that would be permissible under the law, or to prohibit, as discrimination based on disability, actions that would be permissible under the law.
At the beginning of each school year, the district will publish a notice of the established grievance procedures for resolving complaints of discrimination to parents/guardians, employees, students and the community. The public notice will:
- inform parents, employees, students and the community that education programs, including but not limited to vocational programs, are offered without regard to actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sex; sexual orientation or gender (including gender identity and expression);
- provide the name, address and telephone number of the person designated to coordinate activities concerning discrimination; and
- be included in announcements, bulletins, catalogues and applications made available by the district.
The Assistant Superintendent has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the district’s non-discrimination policies. Contact information is available on the district’s website. Complaints of sexual harassment or discrimination are covered by Policy 0110, Sexual Harassment.
All complainants and those who participate in the investigation of a complaint in conformity with state law and district policies, who have acted reasonably and in good faith, have the right to be free from retaliation of any kind.
The Board authorizes the Superintendent of Schools to establish such rules, regulations and procedures necessary to implement and maintain this policy.
- 0110, Sexual Harassment
- 0115, Student Bullying and Harassment Prevention and Intervention
- 5030, Student Complaints and Grievances
- 5300, Student Conduct
- 9140, Staff Complaints and Grievances
- Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 29 U.S.C. §§621 et seq.
- Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. §§12101 et seq.
- Title VI, Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. §§2000d et seq. (nondiscrimination based on race, color, and national origin in federally assisted programs)
- Title VII, Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. §§2000e et seq. (nondiscrimination based on race, color, and national origin in employment)
0101 GENDER NEUTRAL SINGLE-OCCUPANCY BATHROOMS
All single-occupancy bathroom facilities in the district are designated as gender neutral. Signs designating gender neutral single-occupancy bathrooms must be posted on or near the entry door of that bathroom facility.
A “single-occupancy bathroom” is as defined in Public Buildings Law §145(d) as “a bathroom intended for use by no more than one occupant at a time or for family or assisted use and which has a door for entry into and egress from the bathroom that may be locked by the occupant to ensure privacy.”
The Superintendent of Schools or designee is directed to post appropriate signage to implement this policy consistent with applicable laws. Handbooks, directional signs, memos, safety plans and maps will also be updated as necessary.
- Education Law §409-m (single-occupancy bathrooms designated gender neutral)
- Public Buildings Law §145(d)
0110 SEXUAL HARASSMENT
The Board of Education recognizes that sexual harassment of students, staff and certain “non-employees” (which includes contractors, subcontractors, vendors, consultants, persons providing services pursuant to a contract or their employees) on the basis of sex, gender and/or sexual orientation is abusive and illegal behavior that harms, targets and negatively impacts the school culture by creating an environment of fear, distrust, intimidation and intolerance. The Board further recognizes that preventing and remedying sexual harassment in schools is essential to ensure a healthy, non-discriminatory environment in which students can learn and employees and “non-employees” can can work.
Sex-based harassment can be comprised of two types of behavior: sexual harassment and/or gender-based harassment. Sexual harassment is unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature which can include sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal, nonverbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Gender-based harassment includes verbal, nonverbal or physical aggression, intimidation of hostility that is based on actual or perceived gender and sexual stereotypes. Sexual or gender-based harassment of a student can deny or limit the student’s ability to participate in or to receive benefits, services or opportunities from the school’s program.
The Board is committed to providing an educational and working environment that promotes respect, dignity and equality and that is free from all forms of sexual harassment. To this end, the Board condemns and strictly prohibits all forms of sexual harassment on school grounds, school buses and at all school-sponsored activities, programs and events including those that take place at locations outside the district or the school setting if the harassment impacts the individual’s education or employment in a way that violates their legal rights.
Under various state and federal laws, students, employees and “non-employees” have legal protections against sexual harassment in the school environment as described above. The district’s Code of Conduct also addresses appropriate behavior in the school environment. Sexual harassment can occur between persons of all ages and genders.
In order for the Board to effectively enforce this policy and to take prompt corrective measures, it is essential that all victims of sexual harassment and persons with knowledge of sexual harassment immediately report the harassment. The district will promptly investigate all complaints of sexual harassment either formal, informal, verbal or written. To the extent possible, all complaints will be treated in a confidential manner. Limited disclosure may be necessary to complete a thorough investigation. If a complainant reports that they feel unsafe at school due to the nature of the complaint, the district will determine if accommodations need to be made until the issue is resolved.
If after appropriate investigation the district finds that a student, employee, non-employee or a third party has violated this policy, prompt corrective action will be taken in accordance with the applicable collective bargaining agreement, contract, district policy and state law. Individual nondisclosure agreements may only be used as permitted by law. Mandatory arbitration clauses are prohibited in all district contracts and agreements.
All complainants and those who participate in the investigation of a complaint of sexual harassment have the right to be free from retaliation of any kind.
The Superintendent of Schools is directed to develop and implement regulations for reporting, investigating and remedying allegations of sexual harassment. These regulations are to be attached to this policy. In addition, training programs shall be established for students and employees to raise awareness of the issues surrounding sexual harassment and to implement preventative measures to help reduce incidents of sexual harassment. Age appropriate instructional materials will be incorporated into the curriculum to educate students so that they can recognize and reduce the incidence of sexual harassment.
The district’s policy committee and school attorney shall periodically review this policy’s effectiveness and compliance with state and federal laws and make recommendations to the Board.
Ref: Education Amendments of 1972, Title IX, 20 U.S.C.§1681 et seq.
Title VII of Civil Rights Act (1964), 42 U.S.C. §2000-e; 34 CFR §100 et seq.
Executive Law §296-d (prohibition of sexual harassment of non-employees)
Labor Law §201-g (required sexual harassment policy and training)
Civil Practice Law and Rules §§5003-b (nondisclosure agreements optional); 7515 (mandatory arbitration prohibited)
General Obligations Law §5-336 (nondisclosure agreements optional)
Davis v. Monroe County Board of Education, 526 U.S. 629, 652 (1999)
Gebser v. Lago Vista Independent School District, 524 U.S, 274 (1998)
Faragher v. City of Boca Raton, 524 U.S. 775 (1998)
Burlington Industries v. Ellerth, 524 U.S. 742 (1998)
Oncale v. Sundowner Offshore Services, Inc., 523 U.S. 75 (1998)
Franklin v. Gwinnett County Public Schools, 503 U.S. 60 (1992)
Meritor Savings Bank, FSB v. Vinson, 477 U.S. 57 (1986)
Office for Civil Rights Revised Sexual Harassment Guidance (January 19, 2001)
Office for Civil Rights, Dear Colleague Letter: Sexual Harassment Issues (2006)
Office for Civil Rights, Dear Colleague Letter: Bullying (October 26, 2010)
0115 STUDENT HARASSMENT AND BULLYING PREVENTION AND INTERVENTION
The Board of Education is committed to providing an educational and working environment that promotes respect, dignity and equality. The Board recognizes that discrimination such as harassment, hazing and bullying are detrimental to student learning and achievement. These behaviors interfere with the mission of the district to education its students and disrupt the operation of the schools. Such behavior affects not only the students who are its targets but also those individuals who participate and witness such acts.
To this end, the Board condemns and strictly prohibits all forms of discrimination, such as harassment, hazing and bulling on school grounds, school buses and at all school-sponsored activities, programs and events. Discrimination, harassment, hazing or bullying that takes place at locations outside of school grounds, such as cyberbullying, which creates or can be reasonably expected to create a material and substantial interference with the requirements of appropriate discipline in the operation of the school or impinge on the rights of other students are prohibited and may be subject to disciplinary consequences.
Bullying, under the amended Dignity for All Students Act, has the same meaning as harassment (see below). The accompanying regulation provides more guidance regarding the definition and characteristics of bullying to help the school community recognize the behavior.
Cyberbullying is defined as harassment (see below) through any form of electronic communication.
Discrimination is the act of denying rights, benefits, justice, equitable treatment or access to facilities available to all others, to an individual or group of people because of the group, class or category to which that person belongs (as enumerated in the Definitions section, under Harassment below).
Hazing is an induction, initiation or membership process involving harassment which produces public humiliation, physical or emotional discomfort, bodily injury or public ridicule or creates a situation where public humiliation, physical or emotional discomfort, bodily injury or public ridicule is likely to occur.
Harassment has been defined in various ways in federal and state law and regulation. The Board recognizes that these definitions are important standards; however, the Board’s goal is to prevent misbehavior from escalating in order to promote a positive school environment and to limit liability. The Dignity for All Students Act (§§10-18 of Education Law) defines harassment as the creation of a hostile environment by conduct or by threats, intimidation or abuse, including cyberbullying, that (a) has or would have the effect of unreasonably and substantially interfering with a student’s education performance, opportunities or benefits, or mental, emotional or physical well-being; (b) reasonably causes or would reasonably be expected to cause a student to fear for his or her physical safety; (c) reasonably causes or would reasonably be expected to cause physical injury or emotional harm to a student; or (d) occurs off school property and creates or would foreseeably create a risk of substantial disruption within the school environment, where it is foreseeable that the conduct, threats, intimidation or abuse might reach school property. The harassing behavior may be based on any characteristic including but not limited to a personals actual or perceived: race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sex, sexual orientation or gender (including gender identity and expression).
For the purpose of this definition the term “threats, intimidation or abuse” shall include verbal and non-verbal actions.
In some instances, bullying or harassment may constitute a violation of an individual’s civil rights. The district is mindful of its responsibilities under the law and in accordance with the district policy regarding civil rights protections.
In order to streamline the wording of this policy and regulation, the term bullying will be used throughout to encompass harassment, intimidation, cyberbullying and hazing behaviors.
The school setting provides an opportunity to teach children, and emphasize among staff, that cooperation with and respect for others is a key district value. A program geared to prevention is designed to not only decrease incidents of bullying but to help students build more supportive relationships with one another by integrating the bulling prevention program into classroom instruction. Staff members and students will be sensitized, through district-wide professional development and instruction, to the warning signs of bullying, as well as to their responsibility to become actively involved in the prevention of bullying before overt acts occur.
Curricular material that raises awareness and sensitivity to discrimination or harassment and civility in the relationships of people of different races, weights, national origins, ethnic groups, religions, religious practices, mental or physical abilities, sexual orientations, sexes or gender expression or identities will be included in the instructional program K-12.
In order to implement this program, the Board will designate at its annual organizational meeting a Dignity Act Coordinator (DAC) for each school in the district. The role of each DAC is to oversee and enforce this policy in the school to which they are assigned.
In addition, the Superintendent or designee will coordinate bullying prevention efforts through a district-wide committee. This committee will include staff, administration, students and parents. The committee will assist the administration in developing and implementing specific prevention initiates, including early identification of bullying and other strategies. In addition, the program will include reporting, investigating, remedying and tracking allegations of bullying. The accompanying regulation provides more detail on the specific programs and strategies implemented by the district.
Intervention by adults and bystanders is an important step in preventing escalation and resolving issues at the earliest stages. Intervention will emphasize education and skill building.
Successful intervention may involve remediation. Remedial responses to bullying include measures designed to correct the problem behavior, prevent another occurrence of the behavior and protect the target. Remediation may be targeted to the individual(s) involved in the bullying behavior or environmental approaches which are targeted to the school or district as a whole.
In addition, intervention will focus upon the safety of the target. Staff is expected, when aware of bullying, to report it in accordance with this policy, refer the student to designated resources for assistance or to intervene in accordance with this policy and regulation.
Provisions for Students Who Do Not Feel Safe at School
The Board acknowledges that, notwithstanding actions taken by district staff, intervention may require a specific coordinated approach if the child does not feel safe at school. Students who do not feel safe at school are limited in their capacity to learn and reach their academic potential. Staff, when aware of bullying, should determine if accommodations are needed in order to help ensure the safety of the student and bring this to the attention of DAC. The DAC, building principal, other appropriate staff, the student and the student’s parents will work together to define and implement any needed accommodations.
The district recognizes that there is a need to balance accommodations which enhance student safety against the potential to further stigmatize the targeted student. Therefore, each case will be handled individually. The student, parent/guardian and the school administration will collaborate to establish safety provisions that best meet the needs of the targeted student. Follow-up discussion and/or meetings will be scheduled, as needed, to ensure that safety concerns have been adequately addressed and to determine when and if accommodations need to be changed or discontinued.
Incident Reporting and Investigation
Although it can be difficult to step forward, the district can’t effectively address bullying if incidents are not reported. Students who have been bullied, parents whose children have been bullied or other students who observe bullying behavior are encouraged and expected to make a verbal and/or written complaint to any school personnel in accordance with the training and guidelines provided. Staff members who observe or learn of incident(s) of bullying are required, in accordance with State law, to make an oral report to the building principal or DAC within one school day and to fill out the district reporting form within two school days. If a staff person is unsure of the reporting procedure, he/she is expected to inquire about how to proceed by speaking with his/her supervisor.
At all times, complaints will be documented, tracked and handled in accordance with the regulations and procedures accompanying this policy, or, if applicable (0100-Equal Opportunity or 0110-Sexual Harassment) and the District’s Code of Conduct. The DAC will prepare a report for the Superintendent based on complaints filed.
An equitable and thorough investigation will be carried out by the DAC, building principal or principal’s designee in accordance with the accompanying regulation. In addition, the results of the investigation shall be reported back to both the target and accused as specified in the accompanying regulation. If either of the parties disagrees with the results of the investigation, they can appeal the findings in accordance with the regulations that accompany this policy. Verified bullying incidents that meet the criteria established by the state will be included in the statewide reporting system when applicable, in accordance with the law and regulation.
The Board will receive the summary report for each building and for the district as a whole. Based on the review of the data, the Board may consider further action, including but not limited to modification of this policy and additional training.
While the focus of this policy is on prevention, acts of bullying may still occur. In these cases, offenders will be given the clear message that their actions are wrong and their behavior must improve. Student offenders will receive in-school guidance in making positive choices in their relationships with others. If appropriate, disciplinary action that is measured, balanced and age-appropriate will be taken by the administration in accordance with the district’s Code of Conduct, as applicable. If the behavior rises to the level of criminal activity, law enforcement will be contacted.
Consequences for a student who commits an act of bullying shall be unique to the individual incident and will vary in method and severity according to the nature of the behavior, the developmental age of the student and the student’s history of problem behaviors and must be consistent with the district’s Code of Conduct.
All complaints and those who participate in the investigation of a complaint in conformity with the state law and district policies, who have acted reasonably and in good faith, have the right to be free from retaliation of any kind.
The Board recognizes that in order to implement an effective bullying prevention and intervention program, professional development is needed. The Superintendent or designee and the building DACs will incorporate training to support this program in new teacher orientation and the annual professional development plan, as needed. Training opportunities will be provided for all staff, including but not limited to cafeteria staff and aides as well as all staff who have contact with students. The DACs will be trained in accordance with state requirements and will continue their professional development so as to successfully support this policy and program.
Dissemination, Monitoring, and Review
This policy, or plain language summary, shall be published in a student registration materials, student, parent, employee handbooks and posted on the district’s website. A bullying complaint form will be available on the district’s website.
The district will ensure that the process of reporting bullying is clearly explained to students, staff, and parents on an annual basis.
Each year, as part of the annual review of the Code of Conduct, this policy will be reviewed to assess its effectiveness and compliance with state and federal law. If changes are needed, revisions will be recommended o the Board for is consideration.
The district will ensure that reporting of information to the public in conjunction with this policy will be in a manner that complies with student privacy rights under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
Cross-ref: 0100, Equal Opportunity
0110, Sexual Harassment
5300.30, Prohibited Student Conduct
Ref: Dignity for All Students Act, Education Law, §10 – 18 Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. §12101 et seq. Title VI, Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. §2000d et seq.
Title VII, Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. §2000e et seq.; 34 CFR §100 Title IX, Education Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. §1681 et seq.
504, Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. §794
Individuals with Disabilities Education Law, 20 U.S.C §§1400 et seq. Executive Law §290 et seq. (New York State Human Rights Law) Education Law §§313(3), 3201, 3201-a
Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School Dist., 393 US 503, (1969) Davis v. Monroe County Board of Education, 526 U.S. 629 (1999)
Gebser v. Lago Vista Independent School District, 524 U.S, 274 (1998)
Faragher v. City of Boca Raton, 524 U.S. 775 (1998)
Burlington Industries v. Ellerth, 524 U.S. 742 (1998)
Oncale v. Sundowner Offshore Services, Inc., 523 U.S. 75 (1998) Franklin v. Gwinnett County Public Schools, 503 U.S. 60 (1992) Meritor Savings Bank, FSB v. Vinson, 477 U.S. 57 (1986)
The Board of Education recognizes the public concern over the health issues surrounding Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). The Board recognizes, based upon the current state of medical knowledge, that the virus associated with AIDS is not easily transmitted and there is no evidence that AIDS or the HIV virus can be transmitted by casual social contact in the open school setting.
The Board further recognizes the privacy rights of students diagnosed with HIV infection or AIDS and their right to a free appropriate public education; the rights of HIV infected employees to privacy and reasonable accommodations; the rights of all non-infected individuals to a safe environment free of any significant risks to their health and the rights of all students to instruction regarding the nature, transmission, prevention and treatment of HIV infection pursuant to the Commissioner’s Regulation, Part 135.3.
No individual shall be denied access to any program or activity sponsored by or conducted on the grounds of the district, solely on the basis of his/her status as an HIV-infected individual.
It is the policy of the Board that
- A student’s education shall not be interrupted or curtailed solely on the basis of his/her HIV status. HIV-infected students shall be afforded the same rights, privileges and services available to every other student.
- No student shall be referred to the Committee on Special Education solely on the basis of his/her HIV status. A student who is infected with HIV shall be referred to the Committee on Special Education (CSE) only when the student’s disability interferes with his/her ability to benefit from instruction. Such referral shall be made in accordance with Part 200 of Commissioner’s Regulations.
- If a student who is HIV-infected requires special accommodations to enable him/her to continue to attend school, the student shall be referred to the appropriate multidisciplinary team as required by §504 of the Rehabilitation Act.
- No disclosure of HIV-related information involving a student shall be made without first obtaining the informed consent of the parent, guardian or student on the Department of Health (DOH) approved form.
It is the policy of the Board that
- No employee shall be prevented from continuing in his/her employment solely on the basis of his/her HIV status; such employees are entitled to all rights, privileges and services accorded to other employees and shall be entitled to reasonable accommodations to the extent that such accommodations enable such individuals to perform their duties.
- No disciplinary action or other adverse action shall be taken against any employee solely on the basis of his/her status as an HIV infected or a person with AIDS. Such action will only be taken where, even with the provision of reasonable accommodation; the individual is unable to perform his/her duties.
- All employees shall have access to the district’s exposure control plan as required by the federal Office of Safety and Health Association (OSHA).
- In accordance with OSHA regulations, training in universal precautions and infection control shall be offered to all employees and shall be provided to every employee with potential occupational exposure.
Any information obtained regarding the HIV status of an individual connected to the school shall not be released to third parties, except to those persons who are
- named on an Authorization for Release of Confidential HIV Related Information form
- named in a special HIV court order
- necessary to provide health care to the individual (i.e., to the school physician and the school nurse) as indicated in Public Health Law 2782.
Any employee who breaches the confidentiality of a person who is HIV infected shall be subject to disciplinary action in accordance with applicable law and/or collective bargaining agreement.
To protect the confidentiality of an HIV infected individual, any documents identifying the HIV status of such individuals shall be maintained by the school nurse (or another authorized individual) in a secure file, separate from the individual’s regular file. Access to such file shall be granted only to those persons named on the Department of Health approved Authorization for Release of Confidential HIV Related Information form, or through a special HIV court order. When information is disclosed, a statement prohibiting further disclosure, except when in compliance with the law, must accompany the disclosure.
No school official shall require a student or employee to undergo an HIV antibody test or other HIV-related test. In accordance with OSHA regulations, in the event of an incident involving the exposure of an individual to potentially infectious body fluids of another individual, particularly blood or any other fluid which contains visible blood, an HIV test may be requested but NOT required. The request and refusal must be documented.
However, school officials shall not be precluded from requiring a student or employee to undergo a physical examination pursuant to Education Law §§903 and 913 when other illness is suspected (e.g., tuberculosis) as long as no HIV antibody test or other HIV-related test is administered without the individual’s informed consent as required by Public Health Law §27-F.
To implement this policy, the Superintendent of Schools is directed to arrange for staff training, distribute copies of this policy to all employees of the district and make recommendations on the development, implementation and evaluation of HIV/AIDS instruction as a part of comprehensive health education.
Cross-ref: 5420, Student Health Services
8123, Hygiene Precautions and Procedures
Ref: 29 USC §§794 et seq. (Rehabilitation Act of 1973)
20 USC §§1400 et seq. (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) 42 U.S.C. §12132, et seq. (Americans with Disabilities Act)
34 CFR Part 104
29 CFR Part 1910.1030
Executive Law §296 (Human Rights Law) Education Law §§903; 913
Public Health Law, Article 27-F
8 NYCRR §§29.1(g); l35.3; 136.3
An Implementation Package for HIV/AIDS Policy in New York State School Districts, NYS HIV/AIDS Prevention Education Program, June 17, 1998
0200 Commitments and Beliefs
We Believe In
High expectations for all.
All students will be prepared for success and supported through personal growth, academic achievement and comprehensive career education with clearly defined individual plans.
We Believe In
A positive school climate and culture.
All students, staff and families will be engaged in an environment that promotes caring relationships, open communication, wellness and safety.
We Believe in
Future-ready knowledge and skills.
All students will be immersed in learning to become creative thinkers, life-long learners, effective problem solvers, communicators and collaborators.
We believe in
The efficiency of resources.
The district will be innovative in maximizing the efficiency and equity of resources.
The Board of Education acknowledges that it is directly accountable to the community it has been elected to serve and is committed to engaging in a continuous assessment of all district conditions affecting education.
The Board recognizes that a comprehensive accountability system is necessary to improve the effectiveness of the district’s schools by keeping the primary focus on student achievement and on what can and should be done to improve that achievement.
Consistent with its obligations and commitments, the Board will
- request regular reports on student progress and needs, based on a variety of assessments, to evaluate the quality and equity of education in the district including instruction, services and facilities;
- evaluate the Superintendent’s performance in accordance with Policy 0320 – Evaluation of the Superintendent;
- evaluate the Board’s performance in accordance with Policy 0310 – Board Self- Evaluation;
- evaluate progress toward the achievement of district long- and short-term goals and ensure that Board policies and resources effectively support the district vision;
- provide appropriate staff and board training opportunities; and
- fulfill governance responsibilities as required by state and federal law.
The Board acknowledges that publicizing the district’s progress and performance is important to maintaining the community’s trust and support. The Board is committed to keeping the public aware of such progress and performance on a regular basis.
Cross-ref: 0000, Mission Statement and Vision 0200, District Goals
0310, Board Self-Evaluation
0320, Evaluation of the Superintendent 1000, Community Relations Goals
0310 BOARD SELF-EVALUATION
The Board of Education shall review the effectiveness of its internal operations during the month of August. The Superintendent of Schools and others who work regularly with the Board shall be asked to participate in this review and to suggest ways by which the Board can improve its functioning as a deliberative and legislative body.
The Board shall set forth the standards by which it will evaluate itself, taking into account the following:
- the district’s needs and the Board’s ability to meet such needs
- the district’s goals for its instructional program
- the Board’s relationship with is supervisory district (BOCES)
- the community’s perception of Board members as educational leaders
All judgments are to be supported by as much objective evidence as possible. Implied in this approach is an assumption that any Board is capable of improvement. The chances that improvement will result are enhanced if evaluation is carried out systematically in accordance with good planning, conscientious follow-through and careful assessment of results.
0320 EVALUATION OF SUPERINTENDENT
The Board of Education recognizes that student achievement, district progress and community satisfaction with the schools are all in large part affected by the Superintendent’s performance. The Board also recognizes the Superintendent cannot function effectively without periodic feedback on performance and is committed to ensuring that the Superintendent is evaluated annually as required by Commissioner’s regulations.
The purposes of the evaluation shall be to
- gauge the district’s progress toward the goals the Board has charged the Superintendent to accomplish;
- provide a basis for assessing the strengths and weaknesses of the Board and the Superintendent and to aid in the professional development of both parties;
- strengthen the working relationship between the Board and the Superintendent; and
- provide a basis for commending, rewarding and reinforcing good work.
The evaluation shall focus on the goals the Board sets for the Superintendent each year as well as the duties and competencies specified in the Superintendent’s job description and contract.
The form the Board uses for evaluating the Superintendent shall be filed in the district office and available for review by any individual no later than September 10th of each year.
Ref: 8 NYCRR 100.2 (o)(2)(v) (Performance Review of Superintendent)
0330 EVALUATION OF PROFESSIONAL STAFF
Principles and criteria for evaluation of the professional staff should be drawn from and reflect a philosophy that ensures the continuing existence of a learning environment for the academic, vocational, physical, cultural and social growth of all students. The evaluation process should produce an outcome which is positive and emphasizes excellence in the teaching process. After each evaluation is made, a full written report will be submitted to the Superintendent of Schools.
The purpose of the performance appraisals are to
- improve the instructional program
- assist the professional staff members to improve and upgrade teaching performance
- assist the Superintendent in properly evaluation employees
- provide a formal procedure for communication between the professional staff member and the administrator regarding the instructional program and student progress
Professional staff performance will be measured by clearly stated and commonly understood criteria providing the Superintendent with a criteria-defined basis for making staff recommendations to the Board of Education.
The procedures and guidelines for formal and informal observations and evaluations of professional staff shall be those agreed to with the employee organization representing the professional staff member and set forth in the collective bargaining agreement.
Cross-ref.: 2000, Board Operational Goals
Ref: Education Law §3031
Public Officers Law §§87 et. Seq. 8 NYCRR §100.2(o)(1)
0340 EVALUATION OF SUPPORT STAFF
The Board of Education believes that the evaluation of support staff is an essential component of supervision and decision-making regarding staff promotions and retention. Therefore, the Board directs the Superintendent of Schools to develop standards and procedures for the evaluation of all support staff.
All service personnel will undergo such evaluation at least annually, in cooperation with his/her immediate supervisor.
The purposes of support staff evaluations are to
- provide an objective basis for employee improvement
- maintain salaries commensurate with job requirements and responsibilities
- ensure that employees meet performance standards
If requested by the Civil Service Department, the district will keep and report performance ratings of civil service employees prior to making a permanent appointment. For those support staff members who are members of a collective bargaining unit, permanent appointments will be made as per negotiated agreement(s).
0350 EVALUATION OF INSTRUCTIONAL PROGRAMS
The Board of Education recognizes that education is a continuous process that cannot be satisfactorily achieved without the coordination and cooperation of all components of the system. To achieve the highest quality of education on all levels, a critical appraisal of the program as it operates in each school and at each level is essential. The Superintendent of Schools shall develop standards and procedures for the evaluation of instructional programs.
The purposes of evaluation of instruction are to
- indicate instructional strengths and weaknesses
- provide information needed for advance planning
- provide data for public information
- show the relationship between achievement and the school system’s stated goals
- check on the suitability of the instructional program in terms of community requirements
The Board shall receive regular reports of the results of instructional program evaluations. Ref: 8 NYCRR §100.2(m)
Adoption date: 10/03/2012, 01/20/2016