8000 Support Services Goals
Support services, which include safety and maintenance programs, transportation, food services, insurance management and office services, are essential to the successful functioning of the school district. Education is the district’s central function, and all support services shall be provided, guided and evaluated by this function.
In order to provide services that are truly supportive of the educational program, the Board of Education establishes these goals:
- Providing a physical environment for teaching and learning that is safe and pleasant for students, staff, and the public
- Providing safe transportation and nutritious meals for students who use these services; and
- Providing timely, accurate and efficient support services that meet district needs and promote district goals.
Adoption date: 10/16/13
8110 SCHOOL BUILDING SAFETY
The Board of Education recognizes that a safe, secure and healthy school environment is necessary to promote effective learning. The Board is committed to ensuring that all school buildings are properly maintained and preserved to provide a suitable educational setting.
Consistent with the requirements of state law and regulations, the Board will:
- Appoint a Health and Safety Committee composed of representation from district administration, school staff, bargaining units and parents that shall perform the functions of the Health and Safety Committee as set out in Commissioner’s regulations.
- Review and approve all annual building inspections and building condition surveys.
- Take immediate action to remedy serious conditions in school buildings affecting health and safety and report such conditions to the Commissioner of Education.
- Annually review the facilities section of the school district report card for each building and report in a public meeting on the status of each item contained in that section of the report card. The report card shall provide information on a building’s age, size enrollment, useful life, safety rating, visual inspection and building condition survey results and other items prescribed by the Commissioner.
The Superintendent of Schools shall be responsible for the development of procedures for investigating and resolving complaints related to the health and safety issues in the district’s buildings consistent with requirements of state law and regulations.
Buildings and Grounds Maintenance and Inspection
Ref.: Education Law §§ 409-d (Comprehensive Public School Building Safety Program); 409-e (Uniform Code of Public School Buildings Inspection, Safety Rating and Monitoring)
8 NYCRR Part 155 (Educational Facilities)
9 NYCRR Parts 600-1250 (Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code)
Adoption date: 10/16/13
8115 PESTICIDES AND PEST MANAGEMENT
It is the goal of the Board of Education to maintain the integrity of school buildings and grounds, protect the health and safety of students and staff and maintain a productive learning environment.
The Board recognizes that pests can pose a significant risk to health and property and there may be significant risks inherent in using chemical pesticides in the school environment. Provisions will be made for a least toxic approach to integrated pest management (IPM) for all school buildings and grounds in accordance with the Commissioner’s regulations. Integrated pest management is a systematic approach to managing pests focusing on long term prevention or suppression with minimal impact on human health, the environment and non-targeted organisms.
Notification of Pesticide Application
All district staff and parents/guardians will be notified of pesticide applications performed at any school facility. A notice will be sent at the beginning of the school year which will include:
- Notification of periodic pesticide applications throughout school year.
- The availability of 48-hour prior written notification of pesticide applications to parents and staff who request such notice.
- Instructions on how to register with the school to receive this prior written notification.
- The name and number of the school representative who can provide further information.
A separate notice will be sent to staff and parents within two days of the end of winter and spring recess and within 10 days of the end of the school year which includes the date, location and product used for each pesticide application which required prior notification and each emergency application.
The Superintendent of Schools shall ensure the dissemination of this policy and conduct any training necessary to ensure that all staff are fully informed about pesticides and pest management.
School Building Safety
Building and Grounds Maintenance and Inspection
Ref: Environmental Conservation Law, Art.33 (Pesticides)
Education Law § 409-h (Requirements for Notification of Pesticide Applications)
6 NYCRR Part 325 (Application of Pesticides)
8 NYCRR 155.4 (Uniform Code of Public School Building Inspections, Safety Rating and Monitoring)
Desmond Americana v. Jorling, 153 AD2d 4 (3rd Dept. 1989)
IPM Workbook for New York State Schools, Cornell Cooperative Extension Community IPM Program with support from New York State Dept. of Environmental Conservation, August 1998
Adoption date: 10/16/13
8123.1 CONTAGIOUS DISEASES
The Board of Education believes that effective precautions and work practice controls are the best methods for the containment of potentially infectious materials and provide employees, students and others in the school community with the best protection against such exposure to contagious diseases.
Consistent with this belief and Federal regulation, the Superintendent of Schools shall establish a written Exposure Control Plan designed to eliminate or minimize employee exposure to blood or other potentially infectious materials.
The Exposure Control Plan shall include:
- A list of job classifications in which occupational exposure to blood or other infectious materials occurs;
- The schedule and method of implementation required by federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations; and
- Documentation of the route(s) of exposure, and the circumstances under which the exposure incident occurred.
The district shall ensure that a copy of the Exposure Control Plan is accessible to all employees.
The Exposure Control Plan shall be reviewed and updated at least annually and whenever necessary to reflect new or modified tasks and procedures which affect occupational exposure and to reflect new or revised employee positions with occupational exposure.
Cross-ref: Student Health Services
Ref: 29 CFR §1910.1030
Adoption date: 03/19/14
8140 UNSAFE SCHOOL TRANSFER CHOICE
The Board of Education recognizes that, in accordance with law, there may be instances in which it must offer students the choice to transfer to a safe public school at the same grade level. Such transfer choice must be offered if:
- The school a student would normally attend is designated a “persistently dangerous school” by the Commissioner of Education or
- A student becomes the victim of a “violent criminal offense” that occurs on the grounds of the school the student currently attends.
In accordance with federal and state law and regulations, the option to transfer to a safe school will be available only if there is a safe public school that eligible students can transfer to at the same grade level within the district. Therefore, the Board directs the Superintendent of Schools to develop a list identifying any school(s) designated by the Commissioner of Education as persistently dangerous that also includes any alternative safe public school(s) within the district for each grade level to which students may transfer. The list shall be revised annually and presented to the Board.
Notification of Transfer Rights
The Superintendent shall notify parents of all students in a school designated as persistently dangerous, and the parents of any student who becomes a victim of the victim of a violent criminal offense on school grounds, of their child’s right to transfer out of the school they currently attend. The notice shall:
- Explain that students may transfer only to a safe public school at the same grade level within the district
- Identify the school(s) a student may transfer to
- Explain the procedures for transfer, including the need for parents wanting their child to transfer to inform the Superintendent of their decision within the time frame stated in the notice
- Inform parents of their right to request that their child be returned to the school of origin if they later reconsider their decision to allow the transfer.
The required notice shall be sent first class mail within 10 days after the district receives notice from the Commissioner of Education of the school’s designation as persistently dangerous. In the case of a student who is deemed to be the victim of a violent criminal offense on school grounds the notice shall be sent first class mail within 24 hours of any such determination by the Superintendent.
To the extent practicable, the notice will be provided in the dominant language or mode of communication used by the parents.
Procedures for Transfer
The transfer of any student attending a school that is deemed to be persistently dangerous generally will occur within 30 school days after the district finds out about the designation. The transfer of a student determined to be a victim of a violent criminal offense on school grounds will occur generally within 10 calendar days of the determination.
A student transferring from a persistently dangerous school has the right to remain at the safe school he or she transfers to for as long as the school of origin continues to be identified as persistently dangerous. But such a student will remain at the safe school until he or she completes the highest grade level there if it is determined to be in the best educational interest of the student to remain there. The district will make such a determination based on the student’s educational needs and other factors affecting his or her ability to succeed if returned to the school of origin.
A student who transfers because he or she became the victim of a violent criminal offense at his or her school of origin remains at the school transferred to until he or she completes the highest grade level there.
Upon parental request, any student who exercised his or her right to transfer to a safe school may return to the school of origin. Any such transfer back will be effective at the start of classes in the next school year following the request.
The district shall provide transportation to students transferring to a safe school within the transportation limits established under New York’s Education Law.
Procedures for Determining Whether a Student Has Become the Victim of a Violent Criminal Offense on School Grounds
In accordance with district procedures for the reporting of violations that constitute crimes, the Building Principal or designee shall promptly notify both local law enforcement and the Superintendent of all reports that involve the infliction of a serious physical injury upon another, a sex offense involving forcible compulsion, or any other offense that involves the use or threatened use of a deadly weapon under applicable provisions of New York’s Penal Law.
Following receipt of any such report, the Superintendent shall proceed to determine whether any of the students involved in the reported incident has become the victim of a violent criminal offense on school grounds. In making this determination, the Superintendent shall:
- Consult with any law enforcement agency investigating the alleged violent criminal offense, and document his or her consultation with law enforcement officials
- Consider any reports or records provided by law enforcement agencies investigating the situation
- Consult with the district’s attorney prior to making any final determination
- Document his or her findings.
A criminal conviction is not required for the Superintendent of Schools to make a determination that a student indeed has become the victim of a violent criminal offense on school grounds. However, a Superintendent’s determination that a violent criminal offense has occurred cannot be used as evidence in any student disciplinary proceeding initiated against either the alleged victim or the perpetrator of the offense.
Upon a finding that a student has become the victim of a criminal violent offense on school grounds, the Superintendent will provide the student’s parents with notice of the student’s right to transfer to a safe school in accordance with the notice procedures established by this policy above. The Superintendent will document compliance with the notification requirements and the procedures followed to carry out the student’s transfer if the parents elect to have the student transfer to another school.
Appel of a Superintendent’s Determination Regarding a Violent Criminal Offense
Parents may appeal to the Board of Education a Superintendent’s determination regarding whether their child has become the victim of a violent criminal offense on school grounds.
Cross-ref: Code of Conduct
Violent or Disruptive Incident Reporting
Ref: 20 USC §7912(a)
Education Law §2802(7)
Penal Law §10.00(1), (12)
8 NYCRR §120.5
Adoption date: 03/19/14
8210 USE OF SURVEILLANCE CAMERAS ON SCHOOL PROPERTY
The Board of Education is responsible for maintaining and fostering student discipline, as well as safeguarding the facilities and property of the district. The Board further recognizes the importance of student, staff and visitor privacy. After careful consideration, the Board supports the use of surveillance cameras on school grounds. Cameras are an important component of the district’s overall approach to safety which also includes, but is not limited to, identification badges, locks, lighting and alarms. Surveillance cameras are intended to monitor student behavior, promote student and staff safety and deter vandalism and other criminal activity. However, this does not preclude other uses deemed appropriate by the Board of Education. Recordings may be used as evidence of misconduct in disciplinary proceedings.
District surveillance cameras will only be used in public areas where there is no “reasonable expectation of privacy.” Audio recordings shall not be utilized by school district employees without the express permission of the Superintendent or his/her designee; however, such prohibition does not preclude the use of audio recordings by law enforcement officials in accordance with their duties and/or as otherwise authorized by law.
Any video recording used for surveillance purposes in school buildings and/or on school property shall be the sole property of the district. The Superintendent or his/her designee shall be the custodian of such recordings. All video recordings will be stored in their original form and secured to avoid tampering and protect confidentiality. The district shall comply with all applicable state and federal laws related to student records in retaining these recordings.
Requests to view a video recording must be made in writing to the Superintendent or his/her designee. If the request is granted, viewing shall occur in the presence of the district’s custodian of the recording. Under no circumstances will the video be duplicated and/or removed from district premises, unless in accordance with a court order and/or subpoena.
The district will post appropriate signage at entrances to the school notifying students, staff and the general public of the district’s use of surveillance cameras. Students and staff will receive additional notification. Such notification may include publication in the district calendar, employee handbook and student handbook.
The Superintendent is authorized to develop such regulations and procedures as may be necessary to implement this policy.
20 U.S.C. §1232g (Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act)
Arts & Cultural Affairs Law Art. 57-A
Public Officers Law §87
Records Retention & Disposition Schedules for Use by School Districts, Schedule LGS-1
Adoption date: 03/18/15, 11/04/20
The Board of Education believes that students and faculty should respect property and take pride in the schools of the district. Any incidents of vandalism or theft of district property and the names of the person(s) believed to be responsible shall be reported to the Superintendent of Schools.
The Board directs the Superintendent to furnish the District Attorney and/or law enforcement agencies with all reliable information in the possession of district personnel so that it may be used to fully prosecute persons responsible for acts of trespass, vandalism and/or breaking and entering. In furtherance of this, district personnel are provided with the authority to sign charges and make themselves available as witnesses for such prosecutions in the appropriate courts having criminal jurisdiction. Additionally, the school district will undertake the steps to recover the funds necessary to make any repairs and/or replacement of facilities, equipment and/or materials from the individual(s) found to be responsible for acts of vandalism or theft of district property.
After repair or replacement of property, a bill for labor and materials shall be sent to the parent(s)/guardian(s) with a request for payment. The Board may determine that legal action against a vandal and/or his/her parents/guardians should be brought to recover costs for damages* caused by a willful, malicious or unlawful act of the child. The Board will direct the school attorney to institute and prosecute such suit. The Board will also determine whether to offer monetary rewards** for information leading to the arrest and conviction of vandals or thieves of district property. All information pertaining to the investigation will be forwarded to the school attorney and the district attorney.
Ref: Family Court Act §§757; 758-a
General Obligations Law §3-112
Education Law §§1604(35), (38); 1709(36),(38); 2509-g(15)
General Municipal Law §789
*State law now permits parental liability for up to two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500)
**State law now permits monetary rewards for up to one thousand dollars ($1,000)
8220 BUILDINGS AND GROUNDS MAINTENANCE AND INSPECTION
To accommodate the district’s educational program, the Board of Education is committed to providing suitable and adequate facilities. To this end, proper maintenance and inspection procedures are essential. The Board directs the Superintendent of Schools to ensure that proper maintenance and inspection procedures are developed for every school building.
Consistent with federal and state law and regulations, the following items will be included in the district’s buildings and grounds maintenance and inspection procedures:
Comprehensive Maintenance Plan
A comprehensive maintenance plan for all major building systems will be instituted to ensure the building is maintained in a state of good repair. Such plan will include provisions for a least toxic approach to integrated pest management and establish maintenance procedures and guidelines which will contribute to acceptable indoor air quality. The plan shall be available for public inspection.
Procedures will also be established to ensure the safety of building occupants during maintenance activities including standards for exiting and ventilation, asbestos and lead protocols, noise abatement and control of chemical fumes, gases and other contaminants.
Building Condition Surveys
Each occupied district building will be assessed every five years by a building condition survey. This survey will be conducted by a team that includes at least one licensed architect or engineer and will include a list of all program spaces and inspection of building system components for evidence of movement, deterioration, structural failure, probable useful life, need for repair and maintenance and need for replacement. Building condition survey reports will be submitted to the Commissioner by January 15, 2001 and January 15th of every fifth year thereafter.
Annual Visual Inspections
A visual inspection of building system components in each occupied district building will take place annually except for years in which a Building Condition Survey is performed. The inspection will be conducted by a team including a local code enforcement official, the Facilities Director or his/her designee and a member of the Health and Safety Committee. The inspection will be completed by November 15th of each year and will be made available to the public. A corrective action plan will be developed by a licensed architect or engineer if a deficiency exists in the building.
Fire Safety Inspections
An annual inspection for fire and safety hazards will be conducted in accordance with a schedule established by the Commissioner of Education. The inspection will be conducted by a qualified fire inspector and the report will be kept in the district office. Any violation of the State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code shall be corrected immediately or within a time frame approved by the Commissioner.
Safety Rating System
A safety rating keyed to the structural integrity and overall safety of each occupied school building will be provided on an annual basis in consultation with the Health and Safety Committee. Safety ratings will be based on the safety rating system developed by the Commissioner and will comply with all statutory and regulatory requirements.
Building Principals shall, on an on-going basis, undertake their own inspections of school buildings and grounds, searching for any dangerous or hazardous conditions and take immediate steps to remedy the problem.
Cross-Ref.: Annual Budget
School Building Safety
Health and Safety Committee
Pesticides and Pest Management
Ref: 29 CFR § 1910 et seq (OSHA Hazard Communication)
40 CFR Part 763 (Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act)
Education Law §409-d (Comprehensive Public School Safety Program); §409-e (Uniform Code of Public School Buildings Inspections, Safety Rating and Monitoring); §807-a (Fire Inspections)
Labor Law §§ 875-883 (toxic substances)
Public Health Law §4800-4808 (Right to Know, toxic substances)
Environmental Conservation Law §33-0725 (Pesticides)
6 NYCRR Part 325 (Pesticides)
8 NYCRR §155.1(Educational Facilities); 155.4 (Uniform Code of Public School Buildings Inspection, Safety Rating and Monitoring); 155.8 (Fire and Building Safety Inspections)
9 NYCRR Parts 600-1250 (Uniform Fire Prevention & Building Code)
12 NYCRR Part 56 (Industrial Code Rule concerning asbestos)
Appeal of Anibaldi, 33 Educ. Dep’t Rep. 166 (1993) (district required to monitor student’s physical symptoms when air quality caused health problems)
Guidelines for the Evaluation and Control of Lead-Based point Hazards in Housing, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Washington D.C., June 1995)
IPM Workbook for New York State Schools, Cornell Cooperative Extension Community IPM Program with support from New York State Dept. of Environmental Conservation, August 1998
Adoption date: 10/16/13
8330 AUTHORIZED USE OF SCHOOL-OWNED MATERIALS AND EQUIPMENT
The Board of Education permits the use of district-owned materials and equipment (e.g., laptop computers, cell phones, audio-visual equipment) by Board members, officers and employees of the district when such material and equipment is needed for district-related purposes.
The Superintendent of Schools, in consultation with the School Business Official, shall establish regulations governing the loan and use of such equipment. Such regulations must address:
- The individuals who may properly authorize the use of such material and/or equipment
- The lack of authority of the borrower to use such material or equipment for private, non-business purposes
- The responsibilities of the borrower for proper use, care and maintenance
- All loaned equipment must be returned to the district that regardless of condition or other factors no item may be sold to or purchased by the borrower unless such equipment has been returned to the district for evaluation and, if necessary, disposal in accordance with district policy and procedures.
All equipment shall be inventoried and a list shall be maintained of the date such equipment was loaned, to whom it was loaned and the date of expected and actual return.
Individuals borrowing district-owned equipment shall be fully liable for any damage or loss occurring to the equipment during the period of its use, and shall be responsible for its safe return.
The Business Office shall maintain records of all equipment that is loaned for long-term use (e.g., school year, term of office, etc.) and shall review such list yearly.
Adoption date: 10/16/13
8332 USE OF DISTRICT-ISSUED CELL PHONES
The Board of Education recognizes that certain district employees will be required to carry district-owned cell phones in order to meet their job responsibilities. A list of job titles requiring district-owned cell phones shall be maintained in the Business Office and reported to the Board each year at its reorganizational meeting in July.
The district shall establish the level of service contract for each specific employee. All cellular telephone contracts shall be secured through the appropriate purchasing process (bid, RFP) and shall be subject to review and approval by the Board of Education.
Employees desiring to utilize the district-provided cell phone for personal use shall authorize a co-pay in an amount established by the Board via payroll deduction. In the event the district exceeds its service contract program allocation, individuals will be billed and shall reimburse the district for such non-business calls within 30 days of the Business Office’s billing date.
As with any district-owned equipment, employees must take proper care of cell phones and take all reasonable precautions against damage, loss, or theft. Any damage, loss, or theft must be reported immediately to the Business Office.
Adoption date: 10/16/13
8334 USE OF CREDIT CARDS
The Board of Education permits the use of district credit cards by certain school officials and Board members to pay for actual and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of work-related duties for the district. A list those individuals that will be issued a district credit card will be maintained in the Business Office and monthly statements shall be reported to the Board.
The district shall establish a credit line not to exceed $20,000 for each specific employee. Credit cards may only be used for legitimate school district business expenditures. The use of credit cards is not intended to circumvent the district’s policy on purchasing.
Employees must take proper care of these credit cards and take all reasonable precautions against damage, loss, or theft. Any damages, loss, or theft must be reported immediately to the Business Office and to the appropriate financial institution.
Purchases that are unauthorized, illegal, represent a conflict of interest, are personal in nature or violate the intent of this policy may result in credit card revocation and discipline of the employee.
The School Business Official, in consultation with the School District Treasurer, shall establish regulations governing the issuance and use of credit cards.
Ref: Education Law §§1724(1); 2524(1) (itemized, audited, and approved vouchers required)
Opns. St. Compt. No. 79-202 (use of multi-purpose credit cards by municipal employees)
Opns. St. Compt. No. 79-494
Opns. St. Compt. No. 78-897 (gas credit cards)
Adoption date: 10/16/13
8335 EMPLOYEE, VOLUNTEER AND CONTRACTOR – USE OF COMPUTERS, INTERNET AND E-MAIL
District computers and the Internet offer many resources to Cohoes City School employees for the efficient exchange of information and the timely completion of assigned responsibilities. The use of computers, Internet, and e-mail by any employee, volunteer or contractor must be consistent with this Acceptable Use Policy. Abuse of e-mail and computer/Internet access privileges or other non-conformance to this policy may be cause for disciplinary action up to and including discharge.
This policy delineates acceptable use of the Internet and Cohoes City School District computer hardware and software by employees, volunteers, and contractors while using District-owned or leased equipment, facilities, Internet e-mail addresses, or domain names registered to the Cohoes City School District.
The following Internet and/or computer users are covered by this policy:
- Authorized full and part-time employees of the Cohoes City School District.
- Volunteers who are authorized to use the Cohoes City School District resources to access the Internet.
- Contractors who are authorized to use Cohoes City School District-owned or leased equipment or facilities.
Employees, volunteers and contractors who are not authorized to access the Internet as part of their official duties, may not access the Internet using Cohoes City School District equipment or facilities under any circumstances. It is expected that users who are authorized to access the Internet as part of their official duties, will do so to improve their job knowledge; to access scientific, technical, and other information on topics, which have relevance to their assignments; and to communicate with their peers in other appropriate agencies, academia, and industry. Users should be aware that when access is accomplished using Internet addresses and domain names registered to the Cohoes City School District, they might be perceived by others to represent the Cohoes City School District. Users are advised not to use the Internet for any purpose, which would reflect negatively on the Cohoes City School District or its employees.
If an authorized user violates any of these provisions, his or her access privileges may be terminated and future access may be denied and may be cause for disciplinary action up to and including discharge. The signature at the end of this document is binding and indicates the party who signed has read the terms and conditions carefully, understands their significance, and agrees to abide by those terms and conditions.
The Superintendent of Schools shall designate a computer network coordinator to oversee the district’s computer network.
Acceptable Use of Internet Access and e-mail for Cohoes City School District’s Authorized Users
The purpose of the Internet is to support research and enhance worker productivity by providing access to resources and communications. The use of your account must be in support of Cohoes City School District’s educational and business goals and objectives. The use of the Internet may not be used in violation of any local, state, federal, or international laws, regulations, or other government requirements. This includes, but is not limited to: theft or infringement of copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets, or other types of intellectual property; fraud; forgery; theft or misappropriation of funds, credit cards, or personal information; and threats of physical harm; harassment. Non-business communications and access to information for non-business related activities are not authorized.
E-mail messages must be drafted in a professional, business manner and shall use appropriate language. E-mail messages sent to Cohoes City School District employees in a mass mailing must be approved by the sender’s supervisor prior to delivery.
The use of the Cohoes City School District’s computer resources including e-mail and Internet access is a privilege, not a right, and inappropriate use may result in a cancellation of those privileges and may be cause for disciplinary action up to and including discharge. The Cohoes City School Board or the Superintendent may request the Computer Network Coordinator to deny, revoke, or suspend specific user access privileges, when use that violates these policies has been determined.
Inappropriate Use of Cohoes City School District Computer Resources
- Participating or engaging in activities that violate the law.
- Creating, storing, viewing or transmitting information which is fraudulent, harassing, embarrassing, sexually explicit, obscene, or defamatory.
- Participating in any activity, which constitutes harassment under the district’s policy or under state or federal law or regulations.
- Using the system for personal e-mail or for web-surfing.
- Reading, deleting, copying or modifying e-mail messages sent to others without their permission.
- Promoting political or religious positions.
- Operating a personal business, or any use for personal gain.
- Using or installing any software or peripheral equipment not approved in advance by the network coordinator.
- Engaging in any activity, which would compromise the security of the Cohoes City School District network and computer resources such as any attempt to harm or destroy data through the upload or creation of computer viruses, hacking, monitoring or using systems without authorization.
Security is a high priority and the following must be adhered to:
- Do not use another individual’s account
- Do not give your password to any other individual
- Attempts to log into the network as any other user will result in cancellation of user privileges
- Any user identified as a security risk may be denied access to the district’s computer resources.
- The Cohoes City School District retains the right to monitor employees’ use of computer resources (including computers, the Internet and e-mail) to assure compliance with applicable laws, rules and regulations, as well as the district’s Acceptable Use Policy. This includes, but is not limited to, accessing stored information, reviewing logs of incoming and outgoing information and messages, as well as the content of that information. There can thus be no expectation of privacy with respect to an employee’s use of the Internet.
- The Cohoes City School District, through the Network Coordinator, reserves the right to record the location of all Internet sites accessed by users.
- The Cohoes City School District, through the Network Coordinator, reserves the right to block access to or from any Internet resources.
- The Cohoes City School District will not be responsible for any damages. This includes but is not limited to the loss of data resulting from delays, non-deliveries, viruses or service interruptions. Use of any information obtained is at the user’s risk. Any computer connected to the Cohoes City School District network should have anti-virus software installed.
Computer Network for Education
Computer Network for Education Regulation
Adoption date: 03/19/14
8410 STUDENT TRANSPORTATION
The Board of Education affirms its goal of providing a safe and economical transportation system for eligible district students. Eligible students are defined as:
- secondary students in grades 6-12 within the guidelines set forth below
- resident students with disabilities in accordance with the guidelines set forth below
- resident students attending authorized BOCES classes to and from the BOCES facility and school
- students with physical conditions that prevent them from walking to school (i.e., broken leg, wheel chair bound) in accordance with District procedures and verified by a physician
- homeless students as required by law set forth below.
District transportation is not provided for any other students at this time.
Secondary students in good standing in grades 6-12 will be provided a CDTA bus pass. If no CDTA bus route is available for students in grades 6-12, no other transportation will be provided.
Transportation of Students with Disabilities
The Board of Education and the Committee on Special Education (CSE) recognize the district’s responsibility to provide transportation for certain students whose disabilities require that they be transported to and from school.
All requests for transporting children with disabilities must be processed through the CSE. The Board of Education shall determine the appropriate transportation needs of students with disabilities after consideration of the recommendations of the CSE.
The recommendation as to which child should be provided transportation will be made by the CSE for each student based upon his or her disability. Only those children whose disabilities warrant transportation will have it provided.
Any student with a disability for whom transportation has been deemed necessary shall have this fact stated on his or her Individualized Education Program which will be reviewed annually. Parents who are dissatisfied with the decision to provide or not to provide transportation for their child have the right to appeal such decision.
Homeless Students (mckinney-vento)
Homeless students or students residing in temporary housing such as shelters, motels, hotels, doubled-up, transitional housing or awaiting foster care placement are eligible for district provided transportation equal to transportation provided to resident district students. Transportation is provided to homeless students to and from the school or origin within 50 miles one way, if requested. Documentation required by resident students to complete the transportation request (i.e., proof of residency, photo ID for parent/guardian) is waived to ensure transportation will be provided in a timely manner.
Charter, private and/or parochial students will be provided transportation in the same manner as public school students only if the charter/private or parochial school they attend is within the district’s boundaries and a CDTA bus route is available. Parents must request such transportation to the Superintendent in writing no later than April 1st of the preceding school year.
Adoption date: 08/02/17
8414 SCHOOL BUS SAFETY
The Superintendent of Schools and Building Principals shall cooperate with governmental agencies on matters of safety. They shall establish and check loading and unloading procedures at each school and student conduct on buses. The Superintendent of Schools shall arrange for a minimum of three bus emergency drills during the school year, including instruction in the use of windows as a means of escape in case of fire or accident, with the first occurring during the first week of school, the second between November 1 and December 31, and the third between March 1 and April 30.
The district shall not be required to pay the contractor’s monthly statement for any route on which the drill was not held on time or a makeup drill has been completed and affidavit of same has been submitted to the Transportation Supervisor. Affidavits not submitted will result in a fifty dollar ($50.00) penalty.
Adoption date: 03/19/14
8414.1 BUS DRIVER QUALIFICATIONS AND TRAINING
Since the actions and conduct of bus drivers reflect upon the district as a whole, the Board of Education reserves the right to have bus contractors immediately replace drivers whose performance the Board (or its authorized representatives) deems unsatisfactory. All drivers and assistant drivers shall be responsible to the Board as well as the bus company.
Only employees who have acquired the appropriate license for the vehicle operated and who have complied with the regulations of the Commissioners of Motor Vehicles, Transportation and Education may drive pupils to and from home on regularly scheduled routes. No other person may operate a school bus on a scheduled route for the purpose of transporting pupils to and from home.
To ensure the adequate and effective training of bus drivers, no person shall be allowed to operate a school bus without first receiving all of his/her training under the direct supervision of a State Education Department‑approved school bus driving instructor. While a trainee engages in pre‑service training, which takes place prior to a driver transporting children, no direct supervision is mandated; however, all training must be approved by a Department-approved instructor.
None other than the above‑mentioned persons may drive a school-owned vehicle having a pupil capacity greater than 15 passengers. School vehicles having capacities of fewer than 15 passengers may be driven by employees hired as bus drivers as well as State Education Department-certified members of the instructional staff. The latter, however, may not drive on regularly scheduled routes. State Education Department certified staff members transporting students in school‑owned vehicles must also comply with requirements of the Commissioners of Motor Vehicles, Transportation and Education.
All school bus drivers must acquire the appropriate Commercial Drivers License pursuant to New York State law. Volunteer bus drivers (who operate a bus designed to carry 14 or fewer passengers and drive less than 30 days per year) are exempt from this (CDL) requirement. Such drivers may not drive regularly scheduled routes.
Upon completion of the established training procedures, the school district shall verify compliance with the direct supervision requirement through the use of their recordkeeping systems.
The Board also recognizes the importance of the contact time and relationships between bus drivers and students. In regard to this, opportunities for in‑service programs for staff concerning the danger signs of child abuse and neglect will be extended to include the bus driving staff.
In order to command a high public respect for the driving staff as a whole, all drivers and assistant drivers shall present a neat personal appearance at all times.
The successful bidder will provide to the Transportation Supervisor a photocopy of each driver’s New York State School Bus Driver’s Certificate, Motor Vehicle Department Abstract and notification of any arrests, summons or convictions. The district will not be required to pay for any trip where an unqualified driver is employed.
All bus drivers shall be subject to annual physical examinations as required by the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education. All bus drivers shall also be subject to all regulations imposed by school authorities which are reasonable and which are intended to safeguard the health and safety of the passengers.
It shall be the contractor’s responsibility to keep the interior and exterior of buses in a clean and sanitary condition.
Ref: Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act (CMVSA), 1986
Education Law §3624
Vehicle and Traffic Law, Article 19‑A
8 NYCRR §156.3, as amended
15 NYCRR Part 3
Adoption date: 03/19/14
8505 CHARGING SCHOOL MEALS
The Board of Education recognizes that on occasion students may not have enough funds for a meal. To ensure that students do not go hungry, but also to promote responsible student behavior and minimize the fiscal burden the district, the Board will allow students who do not have enough funds to “charge” the cost of meals to be paid back at a later date subject to the terms in this policy. Please note that all elementary and middle school students in the district are included in the community eligibility program offering free lunch.
To comply with State guidelines and maintain a system for accounting for charged meals, regarding both full and reduced price meals, the Board shall:
- allow only regular reimbursable meals to be charged, excluding extras, a la carte items and snacks; and
- use a computer-generated point of sale system which identifies and records all meals as well as collects repayments.
Charged meals must be counted and claimed for reimbursement on the day that the student charged (received) the meal, not the day the charge is paid back.
Parents shall be discretely notified of student account balances regularly. When a student’s account balance is exhausted and has accrued meal charges, the district will discretely notify the parent/guardian of the balance. This notification will continue weekly until the account is replenished. Parents must repay all unpaid charges remaining at the end of the school year or before their child leaves the district, whichever occurs first.
The school district shall notify all parents/guardians in writing on an annual basis at the start of the school year and to families transferring during the year, outlining the requirements of this policy. The policy shall also be published in appropriate school and district publications. All staff involved in implementing and enforcing this policy shall also be notified of these requirements and their responsibilities.
Unpaid meal charges are a financial burden to the district and taxpayers and can negatively affect the school program. Unpaid meal charges shall be considered “delinquent” as per the district’s accounting practices. The district shall attempt to recover unpaid meal charges before the end of the school year, but may continue efforts into the next school year. The district shall notify parents/guardians of unpaid meal charges on a weekly basis. The district shall offer a repayment schedule but will not charge any interest or fees. School staff shall deal directly with parents/guardians regarding unpaid school meal fees.
Remaining funds will be carried over to the next school year. Parents/guardians of graduating students may request refunds or transfer of funds to sibling accounts in writing or via e-mail. Unclaimed funds remaining at the end of the year become the property of the district’s food service program.
Staff members are allowed to purchase food from the district’s food services. However, all purchases must be paid for at the point of sale. Staff members are not allowed to charge meals to be repaid later.
Cross-ref: 8520, Free and Reduced Meal Services
Adoption date: 08/02/17, 11/28/18
8520 FREE AND REDUCED PRICE FOOD SERVICES
The Board of Education recognizes that the nutrition of district students is an important factor in their educational progress. The Board therefore shall participate in federally funded school lunch programs, and shall provide free or reduced price food services to qualified district students.
Each Building Principal shall make final determinations as to which children in attendance at his/her school are eligible to receive such services.
Standards of Eligibility
Any child who is a member of a family unit whose income is below the New York State Minimum Scale for family units of the same number shall be eligible to receive such services.
- Application forms will be available in the main office of each school building.
- Completed forms must be submitted to the Building Principal of the school which the student attends prior to any determination of eligibility.
- The adult responsible for the child will be informed of the Principal’s determination within one week of receiving a properly completed application.
Provision for Anonymity
All reasonable effort will be extended in protecting the anonymity of the student in accordance with federal regulations governing such programs.
Provision for Appeal
Upon written request, the Business Manager will hear appeals of determinations regarding such services in compliance with federal regulations governing the National School Lunch Program.
Cross-ref: Food Service Management
Ref: National School Lunch Act of 1946, as amended (42 USC 1751-1760)
Child Nutrition Act of 1966, Public Law 89-642, 80 Stat. 885, as amended
Adoption date: 10/16/13
8530 MEAL CHARGE POLICY
Although students are expected to pay for meals with cash, check or prepayment accounts, the Board of Education recognizes that on occasion, students may forget to bring monies to pay for meals. Therefore, the following goals shall be followed:
- To establish age appropriate procedures for meal charging.
- To encourage parents to assume appropriate parental responsibilities in regard to payment for meals.
- To encourage students to assume an appropriate level of responsibility.
An alternative meal may be provided if a student comes to school without money for meals or if the student’s parent or guardian has not credited the student’s account in accordance with Regulation 8530-R.
Adoption date: 03/20/13
8635 INFORMATION SECURITY BREACH AND NOTIFICATION
The policy applies to the district’s employees and to independent contractors, interns, volunteers (“users”) and third-party contractors who receive or have access to data and/or data systems.
This policy encompasses all systems, automated and manual, including systems managed or hosted by third parties on behalf of the educational agency and it addresses all information, regardless of the form or format, which is created or used in support of the activities of an educational agency. This policy shall be published on the district’s website and notice of its existence shall be provided to all employees and users.
The Board of Education acknowledges the heightened concern regarding the rise in identity theft and the need for secure networks and prompt notification when security breaches occur. The Board adopts the National Institute for Standards and Technology Cybersecurity Framework Version 1.1 (NIST CSF) for data security and protection. The Data Privacy Officer is responsible for ensuring the district’s systems follow NIST CSF and adopt technologies, safeguards and practices which align with it. This will include an assessment of the district’s current cybersecurity state, their target future cybersecurity state, opportunities for improvement, progress toward the target state, and communication about cyber security risk.
The Board will designate a Data Protection Officer to be responsible for the implementation of the policies and procedures required in Education Law §2-d and its accompanying regulations, and to serve as the point of contact for data security and privacy. This appointment will be made at the annual organizational meeting.
The Board directs the Superintendent of Schools in accordance with appropriate business and technology personnel and the Data Protection Officer where applicable to establish regulations which address:
- the protections of personally identifiable information of student and teachers/principal under Education Law §2-d and Part 121 of the Commissioner of Education;
- the protections of private information under State Technology Law §208 and the NY SHIELD Act; and
- procedures to notify persons affected by breaches or unauthorized access of protected information.
I. Student and Teacher/Principal Personally Identifiable Information (PII) Under Education Law §2-d
PII as applied to student data is as defined in Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (Policy 5500), which includes certain types of information that could identify a student. PII as applied to teacher and principal data, means results of Annual Professional Performance Reviews that identify the individual teachers and principals, which are confidential under Education Law §§3012-c and 3012-d, except where required to be disclosed under state law and regulations.
The Data Protection Officer will see that every use and disclosure of personally identifiable information (PII) by the district benefits students and the district (e.g., improve academic achievement, empower parents and students with information, and/or advance efficient and .effective school operations). However, PII will not be included in public reports or other documents.
The district will protect the confidentiality of student and teacher/principal PII while stored or transferred using industry standard safeguards and best practices, such as encryption, firewalls, and passwords. The district will monitor its data systems, develop incident response plans, limit access to PII to district employees and third-party contractors who need such access to fulfill their professional responsibilities or contractual obligations, and destroy PII when it is no longer needed.
Certain federal laws and regulations provide additional rights regarding confidentiality of and access to student records, as well as permitted disclosures without consent, which are addressed in policy and regulation 5500, Student Records.
Under no circumstances will the district sell PII. It will not disclose PII for any marketing or commercial purpose, facilitate its use or disclosure by any other party for any marketing or commercial purpose, or permit another party to do so. Further, the district will take steps to minimize the collection, processing, and transmission of PII.
Except as required by law or in the case of enrollment data, the district will not report the following student data to the State Education Department:
- juvenile delinquency records,
- criminal records,
- medical and health records and
- student biometric information.
The district has created and adopted a Parent’s Bill of Rights for Data Privacy and Security. It has been published on the district’s website.
Each third-party contractor that will receive student data or teacher or principal data must:
- adopt technologies, safeguards and practices that align with the NIST CSF;
- limit internal access to PII to only those employees or sub-contractors that need access to provide the contracted services;
- not use the PII for any purpose not explicitly authorized in its contract;
- not disclose any PII to any other party without the prior written consent of the parent or eligible student (i.e., students who are eighteen years old or older):
- except for authorized representatives of the third-party contractor to the extent they are carrying out the contract; or
- unless required by statute or court order and the third party contractor provides notice of disclosure to the district, unless expressly prohibited.
- maintain reasonable administrative, technical and physical safeguards to protect the security, confidentiality and integrity of PII in its custody;
- use encryption to protect PII in its custody; and
- not sell, use, or disclose PII for any marketing or commercial purpose, facilitate its use or disclosure by others for marketing or commercial purpose, or permit another party to do so. Third party contractors may release PII to subcontractors engaged to perform the contractor’s obligations, but such subcontractors must abide by data protection obligations of state and federal law, and the contract with the district.
If the third-party contractor has a breach or unauthorized release of PII, it will promptly notify the district in the most expedient way possible without unreasonable delay but no more than seven calendar days after the breach’s discovery.
Third-Party Contractors’ Data Security and Privacy Plan
The district will ensure that contracts with all third-party contractors include the third-party contractor’s data security and privacy plan. This plan must be accepted by the district. At a minimum, each plan will:
- outline how all state, federal, and local data security and privacy contract requirements over the life of the contract will be met, consistent with this policy;
- specify the safeguards and practices it has in place to protect PII;
- demonstrate that it complies with the requirements of Section 121.3(c) of this Part;
- specify how those who have access to student and/or teacher or principal data receive or will receive training on the federal and state laws governing confidentiality of such data prior to receiving access;
- specify if the third-party contractor will utilize sub-contractors and how it will manage those relationships and contracts to ensure personally identifiable information is protected;
- specify how the third-party contractor will manage data security and privacy incidents that implicate personally identifiable information including specifying any plans to identify breaches and unauthorized disclosures and to promptly notify the district and
- describe if, how and when data will be returned to the district, transitioned to a successor contractor, at the district’s direction, deleted or destroyed by the third-party contractor when the contract is terminated or expires.
The district will provide annual training on data privacy and security awareness to all employees who have access to student and teacher/principal PII.
Any breach of the district’s information storage or computerized data which compromises the security, confidentiality, or integrity of student or teacher/principal PII maintained by the district will be promptly reported to the Data Protection Officer, the Superintendent and the Board of Education.
The Superintendent will report every discovery or report of a breach or unauthorized release of student, teacher or principal PII to the State’s Chief Privacy Officer without unreasonable delay, but no more than 10 calendar days after such discovery.
The district will notify affected parents, eligible students, teachers and/or principals in the most expedient way possible and without unreasonable delay, but no more than 60 calendar days after the discovery of a breach or unauthorized release or third-party contractor notification.
However, if notification would interfere with an ongoing law enforcement investigation, or cause further disclosure of PII by disclosing an unfixed security vulnerability, the district will notify parents, eligible students, teachers and/or principals within seven calendar days after the security vulnerability has been remedied, or the risk of interference with the law enforcement investigation ends.
The Superintendent, in consultation with the Data Protection Officer, will establish procedures to provide notification of a breach or unauthorized release of student, teacher or principal PII, and establish and communicate to parents, eligible students, and district staff a process for filing complaints about breaches or unauthorized releases of student and teacher/principal PII.
II. Private Information under State Technology Law §208
Private information is defined in State Technology Law §208, and includes certain types of information, which would put an individual at risk for identity theft or permit access to private accounts.
Private information does not include information that can lawfully be made available to the general public pursuant to federal or state law or regulation. Any breach of the district’s information storage or computerized data which compromises the security, confidentiality, or integrity of “private information” maintained by the district must be promptly reported to the Superintendent and the Board of Education.
The Board directs the Superintendent of Schools, in accordance with appropriate business and technology personnel, to establish regulations which:
- identify and/or define the types of private information that is to be kept secure;
- include procedures to identify any breaches of security that result in the release of private information; and
- include procedures to notify persons affected by the security breach as required by law.
III. Employee “Personal Identifying Information” under Labor Law § 203-d
Pursuant to Labor Law §203-d, the district will not communicate employee “personal identifying information” to the general public. This includes:
- social security number;
- home address or telephone number;
- personal email address;
- Internet identification name or password;
- parent’s surname prior to marriage; and
- drivers’ license number.
In addition, the district will protect employee social security numbers in that such numbers will not be:
- publicly posted or displayed;
- visibly printed on any ID badge, card or time card;
- placed in files with unrestricted access; or
- used for occupational licensing purposes.
Employees with access to such information will be notified of these prohibitions and their obligations.
1120, District Records
5500, Student Records
8630, Computer Resources and Data Management
State Technology Law §§201-208
Labor Law §203-d
Education Law §2-d
8 NYCRR Part 121
Adoption date: 07/01/20
The district shall purchase insurance coverage necessary to protect the district to an optimum extent from loss of property and judgments and awards arising out of liability claims. Records of all insurance policies shall be kept in the Business Office. All actions involving the purchase of insurance shall be subject to Board approval.
The Superintendent of Schools shall have general knowledge of the provisions of all insurance policies carried by the district. At time of accident or loss, he/she shall see that action is taken necessary to protect the interests of the school district.
The Board shall purchase with district funds the type and amount of insurance appropriate to protect itself as a corporate body, its individual members, its appointed officers and its employees from financial loss arising out of any claim, demand, suit or judgment by reason of alleged negligence or other act resulting in accidental bodily injury to any person or accidental damage to the property of any person within or without the school buildings while the above-named insured are acting in the discharge of their duties within the scope of their employment and/or under the direction of the Board. Such purchase will take into account the price of insurance, appropriate deductibles and other relevant factors.
Premiums for such accident insurance as is deemed appropriate for students in grades prekindergarten, intramural and physical education sports activities or while engaged in practice preparation for such games, sports or contests will be paid from the General Fund.
The Superintendent shall annually review the insurance program for the purpose of recommending to the Board adjustments in coverage resulting from, but not limited to, expansion of the district’s risks, relevant new laws and superseding conditions which make changes in coverage appropriate.
Ref: Education Law §§1709(8)(8-a)(8-b); 3023; 3028; 3811
General Municipal Law §§6-n; 50-c and 50-e
Lynd v. Heffernan, 286 AD 597 (3d Dept. 1955)
Surdell v. City of Oswego, 91 Misc.2d 1041 (1977)
Adoption date: 10/16/13
8800 ENERGY MANAGEMENT CONSERVATION POLICY
As the Board of Education of the Cohoes City School District, we believe it to be our responsibility to ensure that every effort is made to conserve energy and natural resources while exercising sound financial management.
The implementation of this policy is the joint responsibility of the board members, administrators, teachers, students and support personnel and its success is based on cooperation at all levels.
The district will maintain accurate records of energy consumption and cost of energy and will provide information on the goals and progress of the energy conservation program.
Judicious use of the various energy systems of each campus will be the joint responsibility of the principals and the supervisor of buildings and grounds to ensure that an efficient energy posture is maintained on a daily basis.
To ensure the overall success of the energy management program, the following specific areas of emphasis will be adopted: All district personnel will be expected to contribute to energy efficiency in our district and every person will be expected to be an “energy saver” as well as an “energy consumer.”
Further, to maintain a safer and healthier learning environment and to complement the energy management program, the district shall develop and implement a preventive maintenance and monitoring plan for its facilities and systems, including HVAC, building envelope and moisture management.
The Board of Education of the Cohoes City School District directs the superintendent and/or his/her agents to develop short and long-range strategies in the areas of facilities management and preventive maintenance.
Adoption date: 10/16/13