Student Code of Conduct

Adopted Aug. 8, 2019

Table of contents

PrefaceIntroductionDefinitionsStudent Rights and ResponsibilitiesEssential PartnersStudent Dress CodeProhibited Student ConductReporting ViolationsDisciplinary Responses, Procedures and ReferralsAlternative InstructionDiscipline of Students with DisabilitiesCorporal PunishmentStudent Searches and InterviewsVisitors to the SchoolsPublic Conduct on School Property | Discipline of Students with Disabilities Procedures | Dissemination & Review |Dignity For All Students ActAddendum

Preface

The Code of Conduct for Monticello Central School District was originally developed through the efforts of a district-wide committee consisting of teachers, administrators, parents, students and law enforcement.  It is expected that all members of the school community will understand their role in insuring that our school district is a safe and effective environment where students receive a quality education.  For this reason, each student and their parents, as well as all staff members, will be provided with a copy of this document.  Questions about this document can be directed to the Principal of each school, the Superintendent of Schools or to the Assistant Superintendent for School Administration.

  • Dr. William Silver, Interim Superintendent of Schools – 794-7700
  • Dr. Paul Dorward, Assistant Superintendent for School Administration – 794-7700
  • Stephen Wilder, Principal, High School – 794-8840
  • Nicholas Millas, Principal, Robert J. Kaiser Middle School – 796-3058
  • William Frandino, Principal, Emma Chase Elementary School – 888-2471
  • Michelle Knowlton, Principal, Kenneth L Rutherford Elementary School – 794-4240
  • Christopher Palmer, Principal, George L. Cooke Elementary School – 794-8830l

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I. Introduction

The Board of Education of the Monticello Central School District (“Board”) is committed to providing a safe and effective school environment where students receive, and district personnel deliver quality, educational services without disruption or interference. Responsible behavior by students, teachers, other district personnel, parents and other visitors is essential to achieving this goal.

Why do we have a code of conduct?

  1. Students need to be supported and engaged in school in order to promote strong character and appropriate conduct. It is also essential that students are able to take age-appropriate responsibility for their own behavior.

    Student engagement is developed when students are provided with multiple opportunities to participate in a wide range of positive social activities while interacting with caring, supportive adults. This helps to ensure that students are better able to:

  • recognize and manage emotions;
  • develop caring and concern for others;
  • establish positive relationships;
  • make responsible decisions; and
  • handle challenging situations constructively and ethically.

2. Effective and engaging instruction and positive behavioral supports are the foundations of a positive school climate. School teachers, administrators, and other staff are encouraged to set high expectations for student success, build positive relationships with students, as well as teach and model appropriate behaviors for success. Modeling respectful, positive behavior is especially critical during disciplinary interventions.

3. All adults—teachers, principals, administrators, school staff, parents, and the larger community—have an obligation to help students become good citizens and lead productive lives by modeling desired behaviors and cultivating those behaviors in students.

4. Appropriate conduct and strong character are reflected in a civil, respectful, healthy, and caring environment.

Students discipline may include consequences that include restorative and solutions oriented experiences along with appropriate consequences. Student are expected to:

  • Learn from their mistakes;
  • Understand why their behavior was unacceptable;
  • Acknowledge the harm they caused or the negative impact of their actions;
  • Understand what they could have done differently;
  • Take responsibility for their actions;
  • Learn pro-social strategies and skills to use in the future; and
  • Understand that further consequences and/or interventions will be implemented if their unacceptable behavior persists.

5. The District will continuously monitor results in an effort to determine strategies for improvement.

For this to happen, everyone in the school community must honor and respect the dignity of others.

Student engagement is also integral to creating a positive school climate and culture that effectively fosters students’ academic achievement and social/emotional growth. Providing student with multiple opportunities to participate in a wide range of pro-social activities and at the same time to develop a bond with caring, supportive adults reduces negative behavior. Examples can include: providing students with meaningful opportunities to share ideas and concerns and participate in school-wide initiatives; student leadership development; periodic recognition of student’s achievements in a range of academic and co-curricular areas; using corrective feedback; and developing school-wide positive behavior systems.

The district has a long-standing set of expectations for conduct on school property and at school functions. These expectations are based on the principles of civility, mutual respect, citizenship, character, tolerance, honesty, personal responsibility, and integrity.

The Board recognizes the need to clearly define these expectations for acceptable conduct on school property, to identify the possible consequences of unacceptable conduct, and to insure that disciplinary response, when necessary, is administered promptly and fairly. To this end, the Board adopts this Code of Conduct (“Code”).

This Code applies to all students, school personnel, parents and other visitors when on school property or attending a school function.

The Board encourages and expects students to be active participants in the educational process.  The Board strives to provide students with a sound educational environment, ensure that all students are treated fairly, and afford students the due process protections they are entitled to under the law.  The Board is aware that there may be times when students or parents do not agree with school practices or feel as though they have been treated unfairly. The Board has approved this Code of Conduct. Administrators will be expected to enforce it. The Code provides a protocol for redress. Understanding the Board policy on an issue is the first step towards resolving any complaints.

Student concerns about school practices can and should be addressed through the student government.  Student handbooks may also provide valuable information.  For other issues, the district has different channels for resolution of complaints, depending on the nature of the complaint.  Students are required to follow the established Board policy and will discuss concerns with a school staff member or the Building Principal.  School staff and administrators are expected to work with students toward an amicable resolution of the issue.

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II. Definitions

For purposes of this Code, the following definitions apply:

Disruptive student: means an elementary or secondary student who is substantially disruptive of the educational process or substantially interferes with the teacher’s authority in the classroom.

Essential Partners: are people who have a responsibility for school safety and compliance with the Code of Conduct. They include students, parents, teachers, guidance counselors, administrators, the Superintendent and the Board of Education.

Parent: means parent, guardian or person in parental relation to a student.

School property: means in or within any building, structure, athletic playing field, playground, parking lot or land contained within the real property boundary line of a public elementary or secondary school, or in or on a school bus, as defined in Vehicle and Traffic Law §142.

School function: means any school-sponsored extracurricular or co-curricular event or activity, on or off of school property.

Violent student: means a student who:

  • Commits an act of violence upon a school employee, or attempts to do so.
  • Commits, while on school property or at a school function, an act of violence upon another student or any other person lawfully on school property or at the school function, or attempts to do so.
  • Possesses, while on school property or at a school function, a weapon.
  • Displays, while on school property or at a school function, what appears to be a weapon.
  • Threatens, while on school property or at a school function, to use a weapon.
  • Knowingly and intentionally damages or destroys the personal property of any school employee or any person lawfully on school property or at a school function.
  • Knowingly and intentionally damages or destroys school district property.

Weapon: means a firearm as defined in 18 USC §921 for purposes of the Gun Free Schools Act. It also means any other gun, BB gun, pistol, revolver, shotgun, rifle, machine gun, disguised gun, dagger, dirk, razor, stiletto, switchblade knife, gravity knife, brass knuckles, sling shot, metal knuckle knife, box cutter, cane sword, electronic dart gun, Kung Fu star, electronic stun gun, pepper spray or other noxious spray, explosive or incendiary bomb, or other device, instrument, material or substance that can cause physical injury or death when used to cause physical injury or death.

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III. Student Rights and Responsibilities

A. Student Rights:

The district is committed to safeguarding the rights given to all students under state and federal law. In addition, to promote a safe, healthy, effective and civil school environment, all district students have the right to:

  1. An equal opportunity for participation in district sponsored activities regardless of race, color, creed, national origin, religion, gender or sexual orientation or disability.
  2. Present their version of the relevant events to school personnel authorized to impose a disciplinary response for the alleged violation.
  3. Access school rules and, when necessary, receive an explanation of those rules from school personnel.

B. Student Responsibilities:

All district students have the responsibility to:

  1. Contribute to maintaining a safe and effective school environment that is conducive to learning and to show respect to other persons and to property.
  2. Be familiar with and abide by all district policies, rules and regulations dealing with student conduct.
  3. Attend school every day unless they are legally excused and be in class, on time, and prepared to learn.
  4. Work to the best of their ability in all academic and extracurricular pursuits and strive toward their highest level of achievement possible.
  5. Comply with directions given by teachers, administrators and other school personnel in a respectful, positive manner.
  6. Develop strategies and skills to demonstrate self-control so it does not result in disruption or violence.
  7. Ask questions when they do not understand.
  8. Seek help in solving problems that might lead to disciplinary action.
  9. Comply with the Dress Code for school and all school functions.
  10. Accept responsibility for their actions.
  11. Conduct themselves as representatives of the district when participating in or attending school-sponsored co-curricular and extracurricular events and to hold themselves to the highest standards of conduct, demeanor, and sportsmanship.

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IV. Essential Partners

A. Parents:

All district parents and guardians are expected to:

  1. Recognize that the education of children is a joint responsibility between the parents and the school community.
  2. Send their children to school ready to participate and learn. Ensure their children attend school regularly and on time.
  3. Ensure absences are excused.
  4. Ensure their children be dressed and groomed in a manner consistent with the student Dress Code.
  5. Help their children understand and comply with school rules.
  6. Speak positively about the importance of education and the role of the district.
  7. Build good relationships with teachers, other parents and their children’s friends.
  8. Help their children deal effectively with peer pressure.
  9. Inform school officials of changes in the home situation that may affect student conduct or performance.
  10. Provide a place for study and ensure homework assignments are completed.
  11. Communicate with their children regarding their academic and extra-curricular choices.
  12. Lead by example and conduct themselves in a courteous, respectful, and professional manner.

B. Teachers:

All district teachers are expected to:

  1. Recognize that the education of children is a joint responsibility between the parents and the school community.
  2. Maintain a climate of mutual respect, safety and dignity, which will strengthen students’ self-concept and promote confidence to learn.
  3. Be prepared to teach.
  4. Demonstrate interest in teaching and concern for student achievement.
  5. Know school policies and rules, and enforce them in a fair and consistent manner.
  6. Communicate to students and parents:
    1. Course objectives and requirements
    2. Marking/grading procedures
    3. Assignment deadlines
    4. Academic and behavioral expectations for students
  7. Communicate regularly with students, parents, pupil personnel staff and other teachers concerning student growth and achievement.
  8. Lead by example and conduct themselves in a courteous, respectful, and professional manner.

C. Teaching Assistants:

  1. Recognize that the education of children is a joint responsibility between the parents and the school community.
  2. Maintain a climate of mutual respect, safety and dignity, which will strengthen students’ self-concept and promote confidence to learn.
  3. Be prepared to teach.
  4. Demonstrate interest in teaching and concern for student achievement.
  5. Know school policies and rules, and enforce them in a fair and consistent manner.

D. Teaching Aides:

  1. Recognize that the education of children is a joint responsibility between the parents and the school community.
  2. Maintain a climate of mutual respect, safety and dignity, which will strengthen students’ self-concept and promote confidence to learn.
  3. Be prepared to facilitate learning under the direction of the supervising teacher.
  4. Demonstrate interest in teaching and concern for student achievement.
  5. Know school policies and rules, and enforce them in a fair and consistent manner.

E. Pupil Personnel Staff:

All district Pupil Personnel Staff {e.g., Guidance Counselors, Psychologists, Social Workers, Nurses, Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, and Speech/Language Pathologists} are expected to:

  1. Recognize that the education of children is a joint responsibility between the parents and the school community.
  2. Assist students in demonstrating self-control regarding peer pressure and emerging personal, social and emotional problems.
  3. Initiate teacher, student, counselor conferences and parent, teacher, student, counselor conferences, as necessary, as a way to resolve problems.
  4. Regularly review with students their educational progress and career plans.
  5. Provide information to assist students with career planning.
  6. Encourage students to benefit from the curriculum and extracurricular programs.
  7. Communicate regularly with students, parents and teachers concerning student growth and achievement.
  8. Lead by example and conduct themselves in a courteous, respectful, and professional manner.

F.    All Transportation Employees:
 

  1. Recognize that the education of children is a joint responsibility between           the parents and the school community.
  2. Know school policies and rules, enforce them  in a fair and consistent manner.
  3. Lead by example and conduct themselves in courteous, respectful, and professional manner.
  4. Under and implement “Care and Custody”.
  5. To transport students to and from school and other sites within designate route(s) and to ensure the safety of the student passengers while in a school vehicle.

G.  School Resource Officers (SRO)

The primary functions of the SRO are to help provide a safe and secure learning environment, foster a positive school climate, reduce/ prevent crime, serve as an educational resource, and serve as a liaison between the school and the police department/sheriff’s office. Specific daily assignments to accomplish this function will vary by school. The SRO and school principal or designee will meet on a regular basis to discuss plans and strategies to address specific issues or needs that may arise. As required by law, SROs should never be assigned to duties within schools in place of or in lieu of a certified teacher.

  1. Under no circumstances shall the SRO be a school disciplinarian. The SRO will not be involved in the enforcement of disciplinary infractions.
  2. To enforce criminal law and protect the students, staff, and public at large against criminal activity.
  3. Foster mutually respectful relationships with students and staff to support a positive school climate.
  4. Provide information concerning questions about law enforcement topics to students and staff.
  5. Provide classroom instruction on a variety of topics including, but not limited to, safety, public relations, occupational training, leadership, and life skills.
  6. Perform investigative procedures between police and school administrators when appropriate.
  7. Be a part of the Threat Assessment Response Team on initial reports of threats to or on campus/buildings.
  8. Take enforcement action on criminal matters when appropriate and after consultation with school
  9. Attend school special events as needed.
  10. Prepare lesson plans as necessary for the instruction provided.
  11. Collect data on SRO activities (arrests, citations, etc.)

H. Principals/Administrators:

All district Principals and Administrators are expected to:

  1. Recognize that the education of children is a joint responsibility between the parents and the school community.
  2. Promote a safe, orderly and stimulating school environment, supporting active teaching and learning.
  3. Ensure that students and staff have the opportunity to communicate regularly with the Principal and approach the Principal for redress of grievances.
  4. Evaluate all instructional programs on a regular basis.
  5. Support the development of and student participation in appropriate extracurricular activities.
  6. Be responsible for enforcing the Code of Conduct and ensuring that all cases are resolved promptly and fairly.
  7. Communicate regularly with students, parents, teachers, and pupil personnel staff concerning student growth and achievement.
  8. Lead by example and conduct themselves in a courteous, respectful, and professional manner.

I. Superintendent:

The Superintendent is expected to:

  1. Recognize that the education of children is a joint responsibility between the parents and the school community.
  2. Promote a safe, orderly and stimulating school environment, supporting active teaching and learning.
  3. Review with district administrators the policies of the Board of Education and state and federal laws relating to school operations and management.
  4. Inform the Board about educational trends relating to student discipline.
  5. Work to create instructional programs that minimize problems of misconduct and are sensitive to student and teacher needs.
  6. Work with district administrators in enforcing the Code of Conduct and ensuring that all cases are resolved promptly and fairly.
  7. Communicate regularly with students, parents, teachers, administrators, and pupil personnel staff concerning student growth and achievement.
  8. Lead by example and conduct themselves in a courteous, respectful, and professional manner.

J. Board of Education:

All members of the Board of Education are expected to:

  1. Recognize that the education of children is a joint responsibility between the parents and the school community.
  2. Collaborate with student, teacher, administrator, and parent organizations, school safety personnel and other school personnel to develop a Code of Conduct that clearly defines expectations for the conduct of students, district personnel and visitors on school property and at school functions.
  3. Adopt and review at least annually the district’s Code of Conduct to evaluate the Code’s effectiveness and the fairness and consistency of its implementation.
  4. Lead by example by conducting Board meetings in a professional, respectful, courteous manner.

K. Other School-Related Professionals:

All school related professionals staff are expected to:

  1. Recognize that the education of children is a joint responsibility between the parents and the school community.
  2. Know school policies and rules, and enforce them in a fair and consistent manner.
  3. Lead by example and conduct themselves in a courteous, respectful, and professional manner.

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V. Student Dress Code

The primary goal of the Monticello Schools is to provide a safe learning environment where all students are able to achieve at their highest potential. The personal appearance of every student is an important component in preparing to meet socially acceptable standards for dress found in most professional settings. Students are expected to adhere to standards of dress and appearance that are compatible with an effective learning environment. In support of these goals and expectations the Board establishes the following Dress Code for students:

  1. Students are prohibited from wearing clothing, jewelry, book bags, or other articles of personal appearance which:
    1. depict profanity, vulgarity, obscenity, or violence;
    2. promote use or abuse of tobacco, drugs, or alcohol;
    3. may create a threat to the health or safety of the student or others;
    4. are associated with intimidation, violence or violent groups and about which students have been notified, or
    5. may create a significant risk of disruption to the educational process or to the operation of the school.
    6. Headwear will not be allowed in the Elementary Buildings.
  2. The following specific items are also not permitted:
    1. clothing worn in such a manner so as to reveal underwear, or bare skin between the upper chest (armpit and mid-thigh)
    2. bare feet, bedroom slippers, flannel pants or pajamas; bandannas;
    3. sunglasses worn inside the school;
    4. Any article of clothing that covers or disguises the face (ie., hoods, mask)  unless it is a religious head covering, or worn for medical reasons with documentation;
    5. “heelies” (i.e., roller wheels on shoes). Rollers must be removed in school.
  3. If a student’s dress or appearance violates this Dress Code, the Principal or Principal’s designee may require the student to change his or her dress or appearance. A second or repeated violation of this code will result in disciplinary action. The Principal may make reasonable accommodations to the code based upon a student’s religious beliefs or medical conditions.
  4. This code shall apply to all students in all schools during the regular school day, on field trips, and when students formally represent the school. This code shall also apply to all students at all times on all Board of Education property; including in schools and on school grounds; on all school buses and other school vehicles. This code does not apply to school-sanctioned uniforms and costumes approved by the Principal for athletic, choral or dramatic performances or Special Event Days.

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VI. Prohibited Student Conduct

The Board of Education expects all students to conduct themselves in an appropriate and civil manner, with proper regard for the rights and welfare of other students, district personnel and other members of the school community, and for the care of school facilities and equipment.

The Board recognizes the need to make its expectations for student conduct while on school property or engaged in a school function specific and clear. The rules of conduct listed below are intended to focus on safety and respect for the rights and property of others.

The Board of Education believes that the best discipline is self-imposed, and students must learn to assume and accept responsibility for their own behavior, as well as the consequences of their misbehavior. Students who will not accept responsibility for their own behavior and who violate these school rules will be required to accept the consequence for their conduct. District personnel who interact with students are expected to pursue disciplinary action only when necessary and to place emphasis on the students’ ability to grow in self-discipline.

Any student may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including suspension from school, when they:

A. Engage in conduct that is disorderly. Examples of disorderly conduct include but are not limited to:

  1. Running in hallways.
  2. Making unreasonable noise.
  3. Using language or gestures that are profane, lewd, vulgar or abusive.
  4. Obstructing vehicular or pedestrian traffic.
  5. Engaging in any willful act which disrupts the normal operation of the school community.
  6. Trespass. No student may be on the campus of another school in the Monticello Public Schools during the school day without the knowledge and consent of the officials of the school she/he is visiting.
  7. Computer/electronic communications misuse, including any unauthorized use of computers, software, or internet/intranet account; accessing inappropriate websites; or any other violation of the district’s Acceptable Use Policy. (AUP)

B. Engage in conduct that is insubordinate. Examples of insubordinate conduct include but are not limited to:

  1. Failing to comply with the reasonable directions of school professionals or  otherwise demonstrating disrespect.
  2. Lateness for, missing or leaving class or school without permission.
  3. Skipping detention.
  4. Refusing to leave any building, bus, or facility after being requested to do so by an authorized administrator.

C. Engage in conduct that is disruptive. Examples of disruptive conduct include but are not limited to:

  1. Failing to comply with the reasonable direction of school professionals.
  2. Inappropriate public sexual contact.
  3. Display or use of personal electronic devices, such as, but not limited to, cell phones, I-pods, digital cameras and accessories to the electronics including but not limited to (Bluetooth, earphones etc.) except for instructional purposes or by permission from the administration, in a manner that is in violation of district policy.

D. Engage in conduct that is violent. Examples of violent conduct include but are not limited to:

  1. Committing an act of violence (such as hitting, shoving, kicking, punching, spitting and scratching) upon a school professional, student, or any other person lawfully on school property or attempting to do so.
  2. Possessing a weapon, displaying what appears to be a weapon and or threatening to use any object as a weapon. Authorized law enforcement officials are the only persons permitted to have a weapon in their possession while on school property or at a school function.
  3. Intentionally damaging or destroying the personal property of a student, school professional or any person lawfully on school property, including graffiti or arson.
  4. Possessing and/or using any explosive or noxious material(s) including but not limited to firecrackers, fireworks, hydrogen sulfide capsules, stink bombs and caps.
  5. Anything causing disruption/dangerous situation.

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E. Engage in any conduct that endangers the safety, morals, health or welfare of others. Examples of such conduct include but are not limited to:

  1. Lying to school personnel.
  2. Stealing or possession of school property, the property of other students, school personnel or any other person lawfully on school property or attending a school function.
  3. Defamation, which includes making false or unprivileged statements or representations about an individual or identifiable group of individuals that harm the reputation of the person or the identifiable group by demeaning them.
  4. Discrimination, which includes the use of race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender or sex as a basis for treating another in a negative manner.
  5. Harassment and Bullying, 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 educational performance, opportunities or benefits, or mental, emotional or physical well-being; or (b) reasonably causes or would reasonably be expected to cause a student to fear for his or her physical safety; or (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. Acts of harassment and bullying shall include, but not be limited to, those acts based on a person’s actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender or sex. For the purposes of this definition the term “threats, intimidation or abuse” shall include verbal and non-verbal actions.
  6. Cyber-bullying, harassment or bullying as defined above which occurs through any form of electronic communication.
  7. Inappropriate relationships with students. No student shall engage in sexually harassing behavior, or any other behavior which is of any overly romantic, affectionate, or sexual nature toward each other.
  8. Hazing, which is defined as any activity expected of someone joining a group (or to maintain full status in a group, organization, club, or team) that humiliates, degrades, or risks emotional and/or physical harm, regardless of the person’s willingness to participate.
  9. Selling, using or possessing obscene material.
  10. Using vulgar or abusive language, cursing or swearing.
  11. Smoking or possessing a cigarette, e-cigarettes (vaping), cigar, pipe or possessing or using chewing or smokeless tobacco or synthetic cannabinoid products.
  12. Possessing, consuming, selling, distributing or exchanging alcoholic beverages or illegal substances, or being under the influence of either. “Illegal substances” include, but are not limited to, inhalants, marijuana, cocaine, LSD, PCP, amphetamines, heroin, steroids, ecstasy, look-alike drugs, and any substances commonly referred to as “designer drugs.” Inappropriately possessing, selling, or sharing prescription, over-the-counter drugs and synthetic cannabinoid products.
  13. Possessing drug paraphernalia.
  14. Indecent exposure, that is, exposure to sight of the private parts of the body in a lewd or indecent manner.
  15. Possessing or distributing pornographic material.
  16. Initiating a report warning without valid cause for: fire, bomb, or other catastrophe, or the misuse of 911, or discharging a fire extinguisher.
  17. Gambling.

F. Engage in misconduct while on a school bus. Examples include but are not limited to:

It is crucial for students to behave appropriately while riding on district buses to ensure their safety and that of other passengers and to avoid distracting the bus driver. Students are required to conduct themselves on the bus in a manner consistent with established standards for classroom behavior. Excessive noise, pushing, shoving and fighting will not be tolerated.

G. Engage in any form of academic misconduct. Examples of academic misconduct include but are not limited to:

  1. Plagiarism: Using someone else’s work without their permission and
    passing it off as your own
  2. Cheating: Sharing information during a test, obtaining the questions or
    answers to a test ahead of time, using any electronic device to transmit information during a quiz, test, or state exam
  3. Copying: Reproducing someone else’s information and using it for a test, quiz or other school assignment
  4. Altering records: Purposely changing the information on school notes or
    any other school document
  5. Accomplice: Assisting another student in any of the above actions.

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VII. Reporting Violations

All students are expected to promptly report violations of the Code of Conduct to a school professional. Any student observing a student possessing a weapon, alcohol or illegal substance on school property or at a school function shall report this information immediately to a teacher, the Principal, the Principal’s designee or the Superintendent.

All district staff who are authorized to impose disciplinary sanctions are expected to do so in a prompt, fair and lawful manner. District staff who are not authorized to impose disciplinary sanctions are expected to promptly report violations of the Code of Conduct to their supervisor, who shall in turn impose an appropriate disciplinary sanction, if so authorized, or refer the matter to a staff member who is authorized to impose an appropriate sanction.

Any weapon, alcohol or illegal substance found shall be confiscated immediately, if possible, followed by notification to the parent of the student involved and the appropriate disciplinary sanction if warranted, which may include suspension and referral for prosecution.

The Principal or her/his designee must notify the appropriate local law enforcement agency of those Code violations that constitute a crime and substantially affect the order or security of a school as soon as practical, but in no event later than the close of business the day the Principal or his/her designee learns of the violation. The notification may be made by telephone, followed by a letter mailed on same day as the telephone call is made or upon the administrator’s awareness of the violation.

The notification must identify the student and explain the conduct that violated the Code of Conduct and constituted a crime.

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VIII. Disciplinary Responses, Procedures and Referrals

Discipline is most effective when it deals directly with the problem at the time and place it occurs, and in a way that students view as fair and impartial. School personnel who interact with students are expected to use disciplinary action only when necessary and to place emphasis on the student’s ability to grow in self-discipline.

Disciplinary action, when necessary, will be firm, fair and consistent so as to be the most effective in changing student behavior. In determining the appropriate disciplinary action, school personnel authorized to impose disciplinary responses will consider the following:

  1. The student’s age.
  2. The nature of the offense and the circumstances which led to the offense.
  3. The student’s prior disciplinary record.
  4. The effectiveness of other forms of discipline.
  5. Information from parents, teachers and/or others, as appropriate.
  6. Other extenuating circumstances.

As a general rule, discipline will be progressive. This means that a student’s first violation will usually merit a lighter response than subsequent violations.

Students under the Committee on Special Education shall be disciplined for behavior in accordance with and consistent with the Code of Conduct and in accordance with IDEA and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

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A. Responses

Students who are found to have violated the district’s Code of Conduct may be subject to the following responses, either alone or in combination. The school personnel identified after each response are authorized to impose that response, consistent with the student’s right to due process.

  1. Oral warning – any member of the district staff
  2. Written warning – Bus Drivers, Teacher Aides, Teacher Assistants, Coaches, Guidance Counselors, Teachers, Principal, Superintendent
  3. Written notification to parent – Bus Drivers, Teacher Aides and Assistants, Coaches, Guidance Counselors, Teachers, Principal, Superintendent
  4. Detention – Teachers, Principal, Superintendent
  5. Suspension from transportation – Director of Transportation, Principal, Superintendent
  6. Suspension from athletic participation – Coaches, Athletic Director, Principal, Superintendent
  7. Suspension from social or extracurricular activities – Activity Advisor, Principal, Superintendent
  8. Suspension of other privileges – Principal, Superintendent
  9. Removal from classroom by teacher – Teachers, Principal
  10. Short-term (five days or less) suspension from school – Principal, Superintendent, Board of Education
  11. Long-term (more than five days) suspension from school – Superintendent, Board of Education

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B. Procedures 

The amount of due process a student is entitled to receive before a response is imposed depends on the response being imposed. In all cases, regardless of the response imposed, the school personnel authorized to impose the response must inform the student of the alleged misconduct and must investigate, to the extent necessary, the facts surrounding the alleged misconduct. All students will have an opportunity to present their version of the facts to the school personnel imposing the disciplinary response in connection with the imposition of the response.

Students who are to be given responses other than an oral warning, written warning or written notification to their parents are entitled to additional rights before the response is imposed. These additional rights are explained below.

1. Detention:

Students who fail to attend detention may be assigned in school suspension and may be kept from participating in school activities. Detention will be imposed as a response only after the student’s parent has been notified and the student has appropriate transportation home following detention.

2. Suspension from transportation:

If a student does not conduct himself/herself properly on a bus, the bus driver is expected to bring such misconduct to the Principal’s attention. Students who become a serious disciplinary problem may have their riding privileges suspended by the building Principal or the Superintendent or their designees. In such cases, the student’s parent will become responsible for seeing that his/her child gets to and from school safely. Should the suspension from transportation amount to a suspension from attendance, the district will make appropriate arrangements to provide for the student’s education. A student subjected to a suspension from transportation is not entitled to a full hearing pursuant to Education Law §3214. However, the student and the student’s parent will be provided with a reasonable opportunity for an informal conference with the Principal/designee to discuss the conduct and the response involved.

3. Suspension from athletics, extra-curricular activities and other privileges

A student subjected to a suspension from athletic participation, extracurricular activities or other privileges is not entitled to a full hearing pursuant to Education Law §3214. However, the student and the student’s parent will be provided with a reasonable opportunity for an informal conference with the district official imposing the suspension to discuss the conduct and the response involved.

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4. Teacher disciplinary removal of disruptive students

A student’s behavior can affect a teacher’s ability to teach and can make it difficult for other students in the classroom to learn. In most instances the classroom teacher can control a student’s behavior and maintain or restore control over the classroom by using good classroom management techniques.

These techniques may include practices that involve the teacher directing a student to briefly leave the classroom to give the student an opportunity to regain his or her composure and self-control in an alternative setting. Such practices may include, but are not limited to: (1) short-term “time out” in another classroom or in an administrator’s office; (2) sending a student to the administrator’s office for the remainder of the class time only; or (3) sending a student to a guidance counselor or other district staff member for counseling. Time-honored classroom management techniques such as these do not constitute disciplinary removals for purposes of this Code.

On occasion, a student’s behavior may become disruptive. For purposes of this Code of Conduct, a disruptive student is a student who is substantially disruptive of the educational process or substantially interferes with the teacher’s authority over the classroom. A substantial disruption of the educational process or substantial interference with a teacher’s authority occurs when a student demonstrates a persistent unwillingness to comply with the teacher’s instructions or repeatedly violates the teacher’s classroom behavior rules. A classroom teacher may remove a disruptive student from class for up to two days. The removal from class applies to the class of the removing teacher only.

If the disruptive student does not pose a danger or ongoing threat of disruption to the academic process, the teacher must provide the student with an explanation for why he or she is being removed and an opportunity to explain his or her version of the relevant events before the student is removed. Only after the informal discussion may a teacher remove a student from class.

If the student poses a danger or ongoing threat of disruption, the teacher may order the student to be removed immediately. The teacher must, however, explain to the student why he or she was removed from the classroom and give the student a chance to present his or her version of the relevant events within 24-hours.

The teacher must complete a district-established disciplinary referral and meet with the Principal or his or her designee as soon as possible, but no later than the end of the school day, to explain the circumstances of the removal and to present the referral.

If the Principal or designee is not available by the end of the same school day, the teacher must leave the form with the secretary and meet with the Principal or designee prior to the beginning of classes on the next school day.

Within 24-hours after the student’s removal, the Principal or another district administrator designated by the Principal must notify the student’s parents, in writing, that the student has been removed from class and why. The notice must also inform the parent that he or she has the right, upon request, to meet informally with the Principal or the Principal’s designee to discuss the reasons for the removal.

The written notice must be provided by personal delivery, express mail delivery, or some other means that is reasonably calculated to assure receipt of the notice within 24 hours of the student’s removal at the last known address for the parents. Where possible, notice should also be provided by telephone if the school has been provided with a telephone number(s) for the purpose of contacting parents.

The Principal will require the teacher who ordered the removal to attend the informal conference. If at the informal meeting the student denies the charges, the Principal or the Principal’s designee must explain why the student was removed and give the student and the student’s parents a chance to present the student’s version of the relevant events. The informal meeting must be held within 48 hours of the student’s removal. The timing of the informal meeting may be extended by mutual agreement of the parent and Principal.

The Principal or the Principal’s designee may overturn the removal of the student from class if the Principal finds any one of the following:

  1. The charges against the student are not supported by substantial evidence.
  2. The student’s removal is otherwise in violation of law, including the district’s Code of Conduct.
  3. The conduct warrants suspension from school pursuant to Education Law §3214 and a suspension will be imposed.
  4. The Principal or his or her designee may overturn a removal at any point between receiving the referral form issued by the teacher and the close of business on the day following the 48-hour period for the informal conference, if a conference is requested. No student removed from the classroom by the classroom teacher will be permitted to return to the classroom until the Principal makes a final determination, or the period of removal expires, whichever is less. Any disruptive student removed from the classroom by the classroom teacher shall be offered continued educational programming and activities until he or she is permitted to return to the classroom.
  5. Each teacher must keep a complete log (on a district provided form) for all cases of removal of students from his or her class. The Principal must keep a log of all removals of students from class. Removal of a student with a disability, under certain circumstances, may constitute a change in the student’s placement.

Accordingly, no teacher may remove a student with a disability from his or her class until he or she has verified with the Principal or the chairperson of the Committee on Special Education that the removal will not violate the student’s rights under state or federal law or regulation.

5. Suspension from Technology Use

If a student does not follow the guidelines as outlined on the technology “Acceptable Use Policy,” s/he will face disciplinary action. The incident will be brought to the attention of the school level administrators and action will be taken based on the offense. Depending on the seriousness of the offense, disciplinary action may include the following: the loss of privileges to accessing the district’s computer network and other technology resources for a specified period of time, a Superintendent’s Hearing, and/or the involvement of the local or state police.

6. Suspension from School

Suspension from school is a severe response, which may be imposed only upon students who are insubordinate, disorderly, violent or disruptive, or whose conduct otherwise endangers the safety, morals, health or welfare of others.

The Board retains its authority to suspend students, but places primary responsibility for the suspension of students with the Superintendent and the building Principals.

Any staff member may recommend to the Superintendent or the Principal that a student be suspended. All staff members must immediately report and refer a violent student to the Principal or the Superintendent for a violation of the Code of Conduct. All recommendations and referrals shall be made in writing unless the conditions underlying the recommendation or referral warrant immediate attention. In such cases a written report is to be prepared as soon as possible by the staff member recommending the suspension.

The Superintendent or Principal, upon receiving a recommendation or referral for suspension or when processing a case for suspension, shall gather the facts relevant to the matter and record them for subsequent presentation, if necessary.

  1. Short-term (5 days or less) suspension from school

    When the Superintendent or Principal (referred to as the “suspending authority”) proposes to suspend a student charged with misconduct for five days or less pursuant to Education Law §3214(3), the suspending authority must immediately notify the student orally. If the student denies the misconduct, the suspending authority must provide an explanation of the basis for the proposed suspension. The suspending authority must also notify the student’s parents in writing that the student may be suspended from school. The written notice must be provided by personal delivery, express mail delivery, or some other means that is reasonably calculated to assure receipt of the notice within 24 hours of the decision to propose suspension at the last known address for the parents. Where possible, notice should also be provided by telephone if the school has been provided with a telephone number(s) for the purpose of contacting the parents.

    The notice shall provide a description of the charges against the student and the incident for which the suspension is proposed and shall inform the parents of the right to request an immediate informal conference with the Principal. Both the notice and informal conference shall be in the dominant language or mode of communication used by the parents. At the conference, the parents shall be permitted to ask questions of complaining witnesses under such procedures as the Principal may establish.

    The notice and opportunity for an informal conference shall take place before the student is suspended unless the student’s presence in school poses a continuing danger to persons or property or an ongoing threat of disruption to the academic process. If the student’s presence does pose such a danger or threat of disruption, the notice and opportunity for an informal conference shall take place as soon after the suspension as is reasonably practicable.

    After the conference, the Principal shall promptly advise the parents in writing of his or her decision. The Principal shall advise the parents that if they are not satisfied with the decision and wish to pursue the matter, they must file a written appeal to the Superintendent within five business days, unless they can show extraordinary circumstances precluding them from doing so. The Superintendent shall issue a written decision regarding the appeal within 10 business days of receiving the appeal. If the parents are not satisfied with the Superintendent’s decision, they may file a written appeal to the Commissioner of Education.  For information on Appeals to the Commissioner of Education, please contact the Office of Counsel at the New York State Education Department, 89 Washington Avenue, Albany, New York 12234 or by telephoning (518) 474-8927. 

     

    b. Long-term (more than 5 days) suspension from school
     
    When the Superintendent determines that a suspension for more than five days may be warranted, he or she shall give reasonable notice to the student and the student’s parents of their right to a fair hearing. At the hearing the student shall have the right to be represented by counsel, the right to question witnesses against him or her and the right to present witnesses and other evidence on his or her behalf.

    The Superintendent shall personally hear and determine the proceeding or may, at his or her discretion, designate a Hearing Officer to conduct the hearing. The Hearing Officer shall be authorized to administer oaths and to issue subpoenas in conjunction with the proceeding before him or her. A record of the hearing shall be maintained, but no stenographic transcript shall be required. A tape recording shall be deemed a satisfactory record. The Hearing Officer shall make findings of fact and recommendations as to the appropriate measure of discipline to the Superintendent. The report of the Hearing Officer shall be advisory only, and the Superintendent may accept all or any part thereof.

    An appeal of the decision of the Superintendent may be made to the Board that will make its decision based solely upon the record before it. All appeals to the Board must be in writing and submitted to the District Clerk within 10 business days of the date of the Superintendent’s decision, unless the parents can show that extraordinary circumstances precluded them from doing so. The Board may adopt in whole or in part the decision of the Superintendent. Final decisions of the Board may be appealed to the Commissioner within 30 days of the decision.

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    C. Minimum Periods of Suspension

    1. Students who bring a weapon to school

    Any student, other than a student with a disability, found guilty of bringing a weapon onto school property will be subject to suspension from school for at least one calendar year. Before being suspended, the student will have an opportunity for a hearing pursuant to Education Law §3214. The Superintendent has the authority to modify the one-year suspension on a case-by-case basis. In deciding whether to modify the response, the Superintendent may consider the following:

    1. The student’s age.
    2. The student’s grade in school.
    3. The student’s prior disciplinary record.
    4. The Superintendent’s belief that other forms of discipline may be more effective.
    5. Input from parents, teachers and/or other
    6. Other extenuating circumstances.

    2. Students who commit violent acts other than bringing a weapon to school

    Any student, other than a student with a disability, who is found to have committed a violent act, other than bringing a weapon onto school property, shall be subject to suspension from school for at least five days. If the proposed response is the minimum five-day suspension, the student and the student’s parents will be given the same notice and opportunity for an informal conference given to all students subject to a short-term suspension. If the proposed response exceeds the minimum five-day suspension, the student and the student’s parents will be given the same notice and opportunity for a hearing given to all students subject to a long-term suspension. The Superintendent has the authority to modify the minimum five-day suspension on a case-by-case basis. In deciding whether to modify the response, the Superintendent may consider the same factors considered in modifying a one-year suspension for possessing a weapon.

    3. Students who are repeatedly substantially disruptive of the educational process or repeatedly substantially interfere with the teacher’s authority over the classroom.

    Any student, other than a student with a disability, who repeatedly is substantially disruptive of the educational process or repeatedly substantially interferes with the teacher’s authority over the classroom will be suspended from school for at least five days. For purposes of this Code of Conduct, “repeatedly is substantially disruptive” means engaging in conduct that results in the student being removed from the classroom by teacher(s) pursuant to Education Law §3214(3-a) and this Code on four or more occasions during a semester, or three or more occasions during a trimester. If the proposed response is the minimum five-day suspension, the student and the student’s parent will be given the same notice and opportunity for an informal conference given to all students subject to a short-term suspension. If the proposed response exceeds the minimum five-day suspension, the student and the student’s parent will be given the same notice and opportunity for a hearing given to all students subject to a long-term suspension. The Superintendent has the authority to modify the minimum five-day suspension on a case-by-case basis. In deciding whether to modify the response, the Superintendent may consider the same factors considered in modifying a one-year suspension for possessing a weapon.

    A student with a disability may be suspended only in accordance with the requirements of State and Federal law.

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    D. Referrals

    1. Counseling

    The Pupil Personnel Services Office shall handle all referrals of students to counseling.

    2. PINS Petitions

    The district may file a PINS (person in need of supervision) petition in Family Court on any student under the age of 18 who demonstrates that he or she requires supervision and treatment by:

    1. Being habitually truant and not attending school as required by part one of Article 65 of the Education Law.
    2. Engaging in an ongoing or continual course of conduct which makes the student ungovernable, or habitually disobedient and beyond the lawful control of the school.
    3. Knowingly and unlawfully possessing marijuana in violation of Penal Law § 221.05. A single violation of § 221.05 will be a sufficient basis for filing a PINS petition.

    3. Juvenile Delinquents and Juvenile Offenders

    The Superintendent is required to refer the following students to the appropriate law enforcement authorities for a juvenile delinquency proceeding before the Family Court:

    1. Any student under the age of 16 who is found to have brought a weapon to school, or
    2. Any student 14 or 15 years old who qualifies for juvenile offender status under the Criminal Procedure Law §1.20 (42).

    The Superintendent is required to refer students age 16 and older or any student 14 or 15 years old who qualifies for juvenile offender status to the appropriate law enforcement authorities.

     

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    IX.    Alternative Instruction
     

    When a student of any age is removed from class by a teacher or a student of compulsory attendance age is suspended from school pursuant to Education Law §3214, the district will take immediate steps to provide alternative means of instruction for the student.

    X. Discipline of Students with Disabilities

    The Board recognizes that it may be necessary to suspend, remove or otherwise discipline students with disabilities to address disruptive or problem behavior. The Board also recognizes that students with disabilities are entitled to certain procedural protections whenever school authorities intend to impose discipline upon them. The Board is committed to ensuring that the procedures followed for suspending, removing or otherwise disciplining students with disabilities are consistent with the procedural safeguards required by IDEA, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

    This Code of Conduct affords students with disabilities subject to disciplinary action no greater or lesser rights than those expressly afforded by applicable federal and state law and regulations.

    All students under the Committee on Special Education and their parents will be given a copy of their due process rights annually. Any other parent may request a copy of these due process rights.

    XI. Corporal Punishment

    Corporal punishment is any act of physical force upon a student for the purpose of punishing that student. Corporal punishment of any student by any district employee is strictly forbidden.

    However, in situations where alternative procedures and methods that do not involve the use of physical force cannot reasonably be used, reasonable physical force may be used to:

    1. Protect oneself, another student, teacher or any person from physical injury.
    2. Protect the property of the school or others.
    3. Restrain or remove a student whose behavior interferes with the orderly exercise and performance of school district functions, powers and duties, if that student has refused to refrain from further disruptive acts.

    The district will file all complaints about the use of corporal punishment with the Commissioner of Education in accordance with Commissioner’s regulations.

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    XII. Student Searches and Interviews

    The Board of Education is committed to ensuring an atmosphere on school property and at school functions that is safe and orderly. To achieve this kind of environment, any school official authorized to impose a disciplinary response on a student may question a student about an alleged violation of law or the district Code of Conduct. Students are not entitled to any sort of “Miranda”-type warning before being questioned by school officials, nor are school officials required to contact a student’s parent before questioning the student. However, school officials will tell all students why they are being questioned.

    In addition, the Board authorizes the Superintendent, Principals and Assistant Principals to conduct searches of students and their belongings if the authorized school official has reasonable suspicion to believe that the search will result in evidence that the student violated the law or the district Code of Conduct.

    An authorized school official may conduct a search of a student’s belongings that is minimally intrusive, such as touching the outside of a book bag, without reasonable suspicion, so long as the school official has a legitimate reason for the very limited search.

    An authorized school official may search a student or the student’s belongings based upon information received from a reliable informant. Individuals, other than the district employees, will be considered reliable informants if they have previously supplied information that was accurate and verified, or they make an admission against their own interest, or they provide the same information that is received independently from other sources, or they appear to be credible and the information they are communicating relates to an immediate threat to safety. District employees will be considered reliable informants unless they are known to have previously supplied information that they knew was not accurate.

    Before searching a student or the student’s belongings, the authorized school official should attempt to get the student to admit that he or she possesses physical evidence that they violated the law or the district Code, or get the student to voluntarily consent to the search. Searches will be limited to the extent necessary to locate the evidence sought.

    Whenever practicable, searches will be conducted in the privacy of administrative offices and students will be present when their possessions are being searched.

    A. Student Lockers, Desks and other School Storage Places

    The rules in this Code of Conduct regarding searches of students and their belongings do not apply to student lockers, desks and other school storage places. Students have no reasonable expectation of privacy with respect to these places and school officials retain complete control over them. This means that student lockers, desks and other school storage places may be subject to search at any time by school officials, without prior notice to students and without their consent.

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    B. Strip Searches

    A strip search is a search that requires a student to remove any or all of his or her clothing, other than an outer coat or jacket. If an authorized school official believes it is necessary to conduct a strip search of a student, the school official may do so only if the search is authorized in advance by the Superintendent or the school attorney. The only exception to this rule requiring advanced authorization is when the school official believes there is an emergency situation that could threaten the safety of the student or others.

    Strip searches may only be conducted by an authorized school official of the same sex as the student being searched and in the presence of another district professional employee who is also of the same sex as the student.

    In every case, the school official conducting a strip search must have probable cause – not simply reasonable cause – to believe the student is concealing evidence of a violation of law or the district Code. In addition, before conducting a strip search, the school official must consider the nature of the alleged violation, the student’s age, the student’s record and the need for such a search.

    School officials will attempt to notify the student’s parent by telephone before conducting a strip search, or in writing after the fact if the parent could not be reached by telephone.

    C. Documentation of Searches

    The authorized school official conducting the search shall be responsible for promptly recording the following information about each search:

    1. Name, age and grade of student searched.
    2. Reasons for the search.
    3. Name of any informant(s).
    4. Purpose of search (that is, what item(s) were being sought).
    5. Type and scope of search.
    6. Person conducting search and his or her title and position.
    7. Witnesses to the search.
    8. Time and location of search.
    9. Results of search (that is, what items(s) were found).
    10. Disposition of items found.
    11. Time, manner and results of parental notification.

    The Principal or the Principal’s designee shall be responsible for the custody, control and disposition of any illegal or dangerous item taken from a student. The Principal or his or her designee shall clearly label each item taken from the student and retain control of the item(s), until the item(s) is turned over to the police. The Principal or his/her designee shall be responsible for personally delivering dangerous or illegal items to police authorities.

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    D. Police Involvement in Searches and Interviews of Students

    District officials are committed to cooperating with police officials and other law enforcement authorities to maintain a safe school environment. Police officials, however, have limited authority to interview or search students in schools or at school functions, or to use school facilities in connection with police work. Police officials may enter school property or a school function to question or search a student or to conduct a formal investigation involving students only if they have:

    1. A search or an arrest warrant; or
    2. Probable cause to believe a crime has been committed on school property or at a school function; or
    3. Been invited by school officials.

    Before police officials are permitted to question or search any student, the building Principal or his or her designee shall first try to notify the student’s parent to give the parent the opportunity to be present during the police questioning or search. If the student’s parent cannot be contacted prior to the police questioning or search, the questioning or search shall not be conducted. The Principal or designee will also be present during any police questioning or search of a student on school property or at a school function.

    Students who are questioned by police officials on school property or at a school function will be afforded the same rights they have outside the school. This means:

    1. They must be informed of their legal rights.
    2. They may remain silent if they so desire.
    3. They may request the presence of an attorney

    E. Child Protective Services Investigations

    Consistent with the district’s commitment to keep students safe from harm and the obligation of school officials to report to child protective services when they have reasonable cause to suspect that a student has been abused or maltreated, the district will cooperate with local child protective services workers who wish to conduct interviews of students on school property relating to allegations of suspected child abuse, and/or neglect, or custody investigations.

    All requests by child protective services to interview a student on school property shall be made directly to Director of Pupil Personnel Services or his Assistant. The Director of Pupil Personnel Services will notify the Principal of the pending visit of the CPS worker and or police. If the Director or his/her Assistant believes it is necessary and appropriate for a school official to be present during the interview, depending on the age of the student being interviewed and the nature of the allegations, he will make that request to CPS. If the nature of the allegations is such that it may be necessary for the student to remove any of his or her clothing in order for the child protective services worker to verify the allegations, it will be requested of CPS that the school nurse or other district personnel will be present during that portion of the interview.

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    XIII. Visitors to the Schools

    The Board encourages parents and other district citizens to visit the district’s schools and classrooms to observe the work of students, teachers and other staff. Since schools are a place of work and learning, however, certain limits must be set for such visits. The Principal or his or her designee is responsible for all persons in the building and on the grounds. For these reasons, the following rules apply to visitors to the schools:

    Anyone who is not a regular staff member or student of the school will be considered a visitor and must receive permission from the Principal to visit the school.

    1. All visitors to the school must report to the office of the Principal upon arrival at the school. There they will be required to sign the visitor’s register and will be issued a visitor’s identification badge, which must be worn at all times while in the school or on school grounds. The visitor must return the identification badge to the main office before leaving the building.
    2. Visitors are required to show a government issued picture ID before entering the building.
    3. Parents or citizens who wish to observe a classroom while school is in session are required to arrange such visits in advance with the classroom teacher(s), so that class disruption is kept to a minimum.
    4. Teachers are expected not to take class time to discuss individual matters with visitors.
    5. Any unauthorized person on school property will be reported to the Principal or his or her designee. Unauthorized persons will be asked to leave. The police may be called if the situation warrants.
    6. All visitors are expected to abide by the rules for public conduct on school property contained in this Code of Conduct.

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    XIV. Public Conduct on School Property

    The district is committed to providing an orderly, respectful environment that is conducive to learning. To create and maintain this kind of an environment, it is necessary to regulate public conduct on school property and at school functions. For purposes of this section of the Code, “public” shall mean all persons when on school property or attending a school function including students, teachers, district personnel, parents, and community members.

    The restrictions on public conduct on school property and at school functions contained in this Code are not intended to limit freedom of speech or peaceful assembly. The district recognizes that free inquiry and free expression are indispensable to the objectives of the district. The purpose of this Code is to maintain public order and prevent abuse of the rights of others.

    All persons on school property or attending a school function shall conduct themselves in a respectful and orderly manner. In addition, all persons on school property or attending a school function are expected to be properly attired for the purpose they are on school property.

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    A. Prohibited Conduct

    No person, either alone or with others, shall:

    1. Intentionally injure any person or threaten to do so.
    2. Intentionally damage or destroy school district property or the personal property of a teacher, administrator, other district employee or any person lawfully on school property, including graffiti or arson.
    3. Disrupt the orderly conduct of classes, school programs or other school activities.
    4. Distribute or wear materials on school grounds or at school functions that are obscene, advocate illegal action, appear libelous, obstruct the rights of others, or are disruptive to the school program.
    5. Intimidate, harass or discriminate against any person on the basis of race, color, creed, national origin, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation or disability.
    6. Use language or gestures that are profane, lewd, vulgar or abusive.
    7. Enter any portion of the school premises without authorization or remain in any building or facility after it is normally closed.
    8. Obstruct the free movement of any person in any place to which this Code applies.
    9. Violate the traffic laws, parking regulations or other restrictions on vehicles;
    10. Possess, consume, sell, distribute or exchange alcoholic beverages, or controlled substances, or be under the influence of either on school property or at a school function.
    11. Possess or use weapons in or on school property or at a school function, except in the case of law enforcement officers or except as specifically authorized by the school district.
    12. Smoke on school grounds or school functions
    13. Loiter on or about school property.
    14. Gamble on school property or at school functions.
    15. Refuse to comply with any reasonable order of identifiable school district officials performing their duties.
    16. Willfully incite others to commit any of the acts prohibited by this Code.
    17. Violate any federal or state statute, local ordinance or Board policy while on school property or while at a school function.

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    B. Responses

    Persons who violate this Code shall be subject to the following responses:

    1. Visitors. Their authorization, if any, to remain on school grounds or at the school function shall be withdrawn and they shall be directed to leave the premises. If they refuse to leave, they shall be subject to ejection.
    2. Students. They shall be subject to disciplinary action as the facts may warrant, in accordance with the due process requirements.
    3. Tenured faculty members. They shall be subject to disciplinary action as the facts may warrant in accordance with Education Law §3020-a or any other legal rights that they may have.
    4. Staff members in the classified service of the civil service entitled to the protection of Civil Service Law §75. They shall be subject to immediate ejection and to disciplinary action as the facts may warrant in accordance with Civil Service Law §75 or any other legal rights that they may have.
    5. Staff members other than those described in subdivisions 3 and 4. They shall be subject to warning, reprimand, suspension or dismissal as the facts may warrant in accordance with any legal rights they may have.

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    C. Enforcement

    The Principal or his/her designee shall be responsible for enforcing the conduct required by this Code.

    When the Principal or his/her designee sees an individual engaged in prohibited conduct, which in his or her judgment does not pose any immediate threat of injury to persons or property, the Principal or his or her designee shall tell the individual that the conduct is prohibited and attempt to persuade the individual to stop. The Principal or his or her designee shall also warn the individual of the consequences for failing to stop.

    If the person refuses to stop engaging in the prohibited conduct, or if the person’s conduct poses an immediate threat of injury to persons or property, the Principal or his or her designee shall have the individual removed immediately from school property or the school function. If necessary, local law enforcement authorities will be contacted to assist in removing the person.

    The district shall initiate disciplinary action against any student or staff member, as appropriate, with the “Responses” section above. In addition, the district reserves its right to pursue a civil or criminal legal action against any person violating the Code.

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    XV. Discipline of Students with Disabilities Procedures

    The Board recognizes that it may be necessary to suspend, remove or otherwise discipline students with disabilities to address disruptive or problem behavior. The Board also recognizes that students with disabilities enjoy certain procedural protections whenever school authorities intend to impose discipline upon them. The Board is committed to ensuring that the procedures followed for suspending, removing or otherwise disciplining students with disabilities are consistent with the procedural safeguards required by IDEA, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

    This Code of Conduct affords students with disabilities subject to disciplinary action no greater or lesser rights than those expressly afforded by applicable federal and state law and regulations.

    All students/parents under the Committee will be given a copy of their due process rights annually. Any other parent may request a copy of these due process rights.

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    A. Authorized Suspensions or Removals of Students with Disabilities

    1. For purposes of this section of the Code of Conduct, the following definitions apply:

    A “suspension” means a suspension pursuant to Education Law § 3214.

    A “removal” means a removal for disciplinary reasons from the student’s current educational placement other than a suspension and change in placement to an Interim Alternative Educational Setting (IAES) ordered by an impartial hearing officer because the student poses a risk of harm to himself or herself or others.

    An “IAES” means a temporary educational placement for a period of up to 45 days, other than the student’s current placement at the time the behavior precipitating the IAES placement occurred, that enables the student to continue to progress in the general curriculum, although in another setting, to continue to receive those services and modifications, including those described on the student’s current individualized education program (IEP), that will enable the student to meet the goals set out in such IEP, and include services and modifications to address the behavior which precipitated the IAES placement that are designed to prevent the behavior from recurring.

    1. The Board, the district (BOCES) Superintendent of Schools or a building Principal may order the placement of a student with a disability into an IAES, another setting or suspension for a period not to exceed five consecutive school days and not to exceed the amount of time a non-disabled student would be subject to suspension for the same behavior.
    2. The Superintendent may order the placement of a student with a disability into an IAES, another setting or suspension for up to 10 consecutive school days, inclusive of any period in which the student has been suspended or removed under subparagraph (a) above for the same behavior, if the Superintendent determines that the student has engaged in behavior that warrants a suspension and the suspension or removal does not exceed the amount of time non-disabled students would be subject to suspension for the same behavior.
    3. The Superintendent may order additional suspensions of not more than 10 consecutive school days in the same school year for separate incidents of misconduct, as long as those removals do not constitute a change of placement.
    4. The Superintendent may order the placement of a student with a disability in an IAES to be determined by the Committee on Special Education (CSE), for the same amount of time that a student without a disability would be subject to discipline, but not more than 45 days, if the student carries or possesses a weapon to school or to a school function, or the student knowingly possesses or uses illegal drugs or sells or solicits the sale of a controlled substance while at school or a school function.
      1. “Weapon” means the same as “dangerous weapon” under 18 U.S.C. § 930(g)(w) which includes “a weapon, device, instrument, material or substance, animate or inanimate, that is used for, or is readily capable of causing death or serious bodily injury, except…[for] a pocket knife with a blade of less than 2 1/2 inches in length.”
      2. “Controlled substance” means a drug or other substance identified in certain provisions of the federal Controlled Substances Act specified in both federal and state law and regulations applicable to this policy.
      3. “Illegal drugs” means a controlled substance except for those legally possessed or used under the supervision of a licensed health-care professional or that is legally possessed or used under any other authority under the Controlled Substances Act or any other federal law.

    2. Subject to specified conditions required by both federal and state law and regulations, an impartial hearing officer may order the placement of a student with a disability in an IAES setting for up to 45 days at a time, if maintaining the student in his or her current educational placement poses a risk of harm to the student or others.

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    B. Change of Placement Rule

    1. A disciplinary change in placement means a suspension or removal from a student’s current educational placement that is either:
      1. for more than 10 consecutive school days; or
      2. for a period of 10 consecutive school days or less if the student is subjected to a series of suspensions or removals that constitute a pattern because they cumulate to more than 10 school days in a school year and because of such factors as the length of each suspension or removal, the total amount of time the student is removed and the proximity of the suspensions or removals to one another.
    2. School personnel may not suspend or remove a student with disabilities if imposition of the suspension or removal would result in a disciplinary change in placement based on a pattern of suspension or removal.

    However, the district may impose a suspension or removal, which would otherwise result in a disciplinary change in placement, based on a pattern of suspensions or removals if the CSE has determined that the behavior was not a manifestation of the student’s disability, or the student is placed in an IAES for behavior involving weapons, illegal drugs or controlled substances.

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    C. Special Rules Regarding the Suspension or Removal of Students with Disabilities

    1. The district’s Committee on Special Education (CSE) shall:
      1. Conduct functional behavioral assessments to determine why a student engages in a particular behavior, and develop or review behavioral intervention plans whenever the district is first suspending or removing a student with a disability for more than 10 school days in a school year or imposing a suspension or removal that constitutes a disciplinary change in placement, including a change in placement to an IAES for misconduct involving weapons, illegal drugs or controlled substances.

        If subsequently, a student with a disability who has a behavioral intervention plan and who has been suspended or removed from his or her current educational placement for more than 10 school days in a school year is subjected to a suspension or removal that does not constitute a disciplinary change in placement, the members of the CSE shall review the behavioral intervention plan and its implementation to determine if modifications are necessary.

        If one or more members of the CSE believe that modifications are needed, the school district shall convene a meeting of the CSE to modify such plan and its implementation, to the extent the committee determines necessary.

      2. Conduct a manifestation determination review of the relationship between the student’s disability and the behavior subject to disciplinary action whenever a decision is made to place a student in an IAES either for misconduct involving weapons, illegal drugs or controlled substances or because maintaining the student in his current educational setting poses a risk of harm to the student or others; or a decision is made to impose a suspension that constitutes a disciplinary change in placement.
    2. The parents of a student who is facing disciplinary action, but who has not been determined to be eligible for services under IDEA and Article 89 at the time of misconduct, shall have the right to invoke applicable procedural safeguards set forth in federal and state law and regulations if, in accordance with federal and state statutory and regulatory criteria, the school district is deemed to have had knowledge that their child was a student with a disability before the behavior precipitating disciplinary action occurred. If the district is deemed to have had such knowledge, the student will be considered a student presumed to have a disability for discipline purposes.
        1. The Superintendent, building Principal or other school official imposing a suspension or removal shall be responsible for determining whether the student is a student presumed to have a disability.
        2. A student will not be considered a student presumed to have a disability for discipline purposes if, upon receipt of information supporting a claim that the district had knowledge the student was a student with a disability, the district either:
          1. conducted an individual evaluation and determined that the student is not a student with a disability, or
          2. determined that an evaluation was not necessary and provided notice to the parents of such determination, in the manner required by applicable law and regulations.

            If there is no basis for knowledge that the student is a student with a disability prior to taking disciplinary measures against the student, the student may be subjected to the same disciplinary measures as any other non-disabled student who engaged in comparable behaviors.

            However, if a request for an individual evaluation is made while such non-disabled student is subjected to a disciplinary removal, an expedited evaluation shall be conducted and completed in the manner prescribed by applicable federal and state law and regulations. Until the expedited evaluation is completed, the non-disabled student who is not a student presumed to have a disability for discipline purposes shall remain in the educational placement determined by the district, which can include suspension.

    3. The district shall provide parents with notice of disciplinary removal no later than the date on which a decision is made to change the placement of a student with a disability to an IAES for either misconduct involving weapons, illegal drugs or controlled substances or because maintaining the student in his/her current educational setting poses a risk of harm to the student or others; or a decision is made to impose a suspension or removal that constitutes a disciplinary change of placement. The procedural safeguards notice prescribed by the Commissioner shall accompany the notice of disciplinary removal.
    4. The parents of a student with disabilities subject to a suspension of five consecutive school days or less shall be provided with the same opportunity for an informal conference available to parents of non-disabled students under the Education Law.
    5. Superintendent hearings on disciplinary charges against students with disabilities subject to a suspension of more than five school days shall be bifurcated into a guilt phase and a response phase in accordance with the procedures set forth in the Commissioner’s regulations incorporated into this Code.
    6. The removal of a student with disabilities other than a suspension or placement in an IAES shall be conducted in accordance with the due process procedures applicable to such removals of non-disabled students, except that school personnel may not impose such removal for more than 10 consecutive days or for a period that would result in a disciplinary change in placement, unless the CSE has determined that the behavior is not a manifestation of the student’s disability.
    7. During any period of suspension or removal, including placement in an IAES, students with disabilities shall be provided services as required by the Commissioner’s regulations incorporated into this Code.

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    D. Expedited Due Process Hearings

    1. An expedited due process hearing shall be conducted in the manner specified by the Commissioner’s regulations incorporated into this Code, if:
      1. The district requests such a hearing to obtain an order of an impartial hearing officer placing a student with a disability in an IAES where school personnel maintain that it is dangerous for the student to be in his or her current educational placement, or during the pendency of due process hearings where school personnel maintain that it is dangerous for the student to be in his or her current educational placement during such proceedings.
      2. The parent requests such a hearing from a determination that the student’s behavior was not a manifestation of the student’s disability, or relating to any decision regarding placement, including but not limited to any decision to place the student in an IAES.
        1. During the pendency of an expedited due process hearing or appeal regarding the placement of a student in an IAES for behavior involving weapons, illegal drugs or controlled substances, or on grounds of dangerousness, or regarding a determination that the behavior is not a manifestation of the student’s disability for a student who has been placed in an IAES, the student shall remain in the IAES pending the decision of the impartial hearing officer or until expiration of the IAES placement, whichever occurs first, unless the parents and the district agree otherwise.
        2. If school personnel propose to change the student’s placement after expiration of an IAES placement, during the pendency of any proceeding to challenge the proposed change in placement, the student shall remain in the placement prior to removal to the IAES, except where the student is again placed in an IAES.
    2. An expedited due process hearing shall be completed within 15 business days of receipt of the request for a hearing. Although the impartial hearing officer may grant specific extensions of such time period, he or she must mail a written decision to the district and the parents within five business days after the last hearing date, and in no event later than 45 calendar days after receipt of the request for a hearing, without exceptions or extensions.

    E. Referral to law enforcement and judicial authorities

    In accordance with the provisions of IDEA and its implementing regulations:

    1. The district may report a crime committed by a child with a disability to appropriate authorities, and such action will not constitute a change of the student’s placement.
    2. The Superintendent shall ensure that copies of the special education and disciplinary records of a student with disabilities are transmitted for consideration to the appropriate authorities to whom a crime is reported.

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    Dignity For All Students Act

    The Monticello Central School District is committed to responding to acts of discrimination or harassment on school property or at a school function. The Dignity for All Students Act was enacted into law to prohibit discrimination based on actual or perceived characteristics. Under the Dignity Act, there are currently 11 protected classes. These classes are as follows:

    • Race
    • Color
    • Weight
    • National Origin
    • Ethnic Group
    • Religion
    • Religious Practices
    • Sex
    • Gender
    • Sexual Orientation
    • Disability

    Protection is not limited to the groups or characteristics listed above. The intent of the act is to protect ALL individuals in the school district. A key principle of the Dignity Act is the protection of students against incidents of harassment, bullying and discrimination.

    All school buildings will have a Dignity Act Coordinator who will be appointed by the Board of Education. This coordinator will be one person to who perceived acts of discrimination or harassment can be reported. These reports will be filed with the coordinator in order for him/her to follow through with addressing the incident in conversation with all parties involved and documenting all suspected cases. If there is a need for disciplinary consequences, the coordinator will forward the documentation to the appropriate building administrator. The coordinator will also help to provide training to all staff within his/her building on the Dignity Act and its requirements.

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    The Dignity Act Coordinators are as follows:

    • District
      Paul Dorward
      845-794-7700
    • District
      Nelson Quinones
      845-796-3058
    • High School
      Stephen Wilder
      845-794-8840
    • High School
      Robyn Boardman
      845-794-8840
    • RJK Middle School
      Nicholas Millas
      845-796-3058
    • RJK Middle School
      Sara Kozachuck
      845-796-3058
    • KLR Elementary
      Michelle Knowlton
      845-794-4240
    • KLR Elementary
      Douglas Murphy
      845-794-4240
    • Cooke Elementary
      Christopher Palmer
      845-794-8830
    • Cooke Elementary
      Melanie Hector
      845-794-8830
    • Chase Elementary
      William Frandino
      845-888-2471
    • Chase Elementary
      Virginia Gallet
      845-888-2471

    All members of the school community including, teachers, students, parents and all other staff members have a responsibility to report any suspected material incidents of discrimination or harassment to the Dignity Act Coordinator, Assistant Principals, or the Principal and intervene appropriately when they see a material incident of discrimination or harassment as outlined above.

    A strictly punitive approach is not the intent of the Dignity Act nor has this approach been proven to be effective in reducing these types of incidents. The Monticello Central School District is committed to developing an approach that is more focused on prevention, intervention, and progressive discipline steps when addressing and correcting inappropriate behavior while reinforcing positive social values among students.

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    Dignity Act statutory definitions:

    • School Property means in or within any building, structure, athletic playing field, playground, parking lot, or land contained within the real property boundary line of a public elementary or secondary school; or in or on a school bus (Education Law §11[1]).
    • School Bus means every motor vehicle owned by a public or governmental agency or private school and operated for the transportation of pupils, children of pupils, teachers and other persons acting in a supervisory capacity, to or from school or school activities, or privately owned and operated for compensation for the transportation of pupils, children of pupils, teachers and other persons acting in a supervisory capacity to or from school or school activities (Education Law §11[1] and Vehicle and Traffic Law §142).
    • School Function means a school sponsored extracurricular event or activity (Education §11[2]).
    • Disability means (a) a physical, mental or medical impairment resulting from anatomical, physiological, genetic or neurological conditions which prevents the exercise of a normal bodily function or is demonstrable by medically accepted clinical or laboratory diagnostic techniques or (b) a record of such an impairment or (c) a condition regarded by others as such an impairment, provided, however, that in all provisions of this article dealing with employment, the term must be limited to disabilities which, upon the provision of reasonable accommodations, do not prevent the complainant from performing in a reasonable manner the activities involved in the job or occupation sought or held (Education Law §11[4] and Executive Law §292[21]).
    • Employee means any person receiving compensation from a school district or employee of a contracted service provider or worker placed within the school under a public assistance employment program, pursuant to title nine-B of article five of the Social Services Law, and consistent with the provisions of such title for the provision of services to such district, its students or employees, directly or through contract, whereby such services performed by such person involve direct student contact (Education Law §§11[4] and 1125[3]).
    • Sexual Orientation means actual or perceived heterosexuality, homosexuality, or bisexuality (Education Law §11[5]).
    • Gender means actual or perceived sex and includes a person’s gender identity or expression (Education Law §11[6]).
    • Harassment or Bullying means 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 educational performance, opportunities or benefits, or mental, emotional or physical well-being; or (b) reasonably causes or would reasonably be expected to cause a student to fear for his or her physical safety; or (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. Acts of harassment and bullying shall include, but not be limited to, those acts based on a person’s actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender or sex. For the purposes of this definition the term “threats, intimidation or abuse” shall include verbal and non-verbal actions (Education Law §11[7]).
    • Cyberbullying means harassment or bullying as defined above that occurs through any form of electronic communication (Education Law §11[8]).

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    XVI. Dissemination & Review

    A. Dissemination of the Code of Conduct

    The Board will work to ensure that the community is aware of this Code of Conduct by:

    1. Providing copies of a summary of the Code to all students at a general assembly held at the beginning of each school year.
    2. Making copies of the Code of Conduct be available to all parents at the beginning of the school year.
    3. Mailing a summary of the Code of Conduct written in plain language to all parents of district students before the beginning of the school year and making this summary available later upon request.
    4. Providing all current teachers and other staff members with a copy of the Code of Conduct and a copy of any amendments to the Code of Conduct at the beginning of the school year.
    5. Providing all new employees with a copy of the current Code of Conduct
    6. Making copies of the Code of Conduct available for review by students, parents and other community members.
    7. Making the Code of Conduct document available to read on the district’s website: https://www.monticelloschools.net.

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    The Board will sponsor an in-service education program for all district staff members to ensure the effective implementation of the Code of Conduct. The Superintendent may solicit the recommendations of the district staff, particularly teachers and administrators, regarding in service programs pertaining to the management and discipline of students.

    The Board of Education will review this Code of Conduct every year and update it as necessary. In conducting the review, the Board will consider how effective the Code’s provisions have been and whether the Code has been applied fairly and consistently.

    The Board may appoint an Advisory Committee to assist in reviewing the Code and the district’s response to Code of Conduct violations. The committee will be made up of representatives of students, teachers, administrators, parent organizations, school safety personnel and other school personnel.

    Before adopting any revisions to the Code of Conduct, the Board will hold at least one public hearing at which school personnel, parents, students and any other interested party may participate.

    The Code of Conduct and any amendments to it will be filed with the Commissioner of Education no later than 30 days after adoption.

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    B. Board of Education Adoptions of the Code of Conduct:

    • First Adoption:                                                                           June 14, 2001
    • Readopted for the 2002-03 School Year:                   June 27, 2002
    • Readopted for the 2003-04 School Year:                   July 24, 2003
    • Readopted for the 2004-05 School Year:                   June 10, 2004
    • Readopted for 2005-06 School Year:                         June 9, 2005
    • Readopted for 2006-2007 School Year:                     July 11, 2006
    • Readopted for 2007-2008 School Year:                     June 19, 2007 
    • Readopted for 2008-2009 School Year:                     May 1, 2008
    • Readopted for 2009-2010 School Year:                     May 7, 2009
    • Readopted for 2010-2011 School Year:                     May 6, 2010
    • Readopted for 2011-2012 School Year:                     May 5, 2011    
    • Readopted for 2011-2012 School Year:                     September 1, 2011         
    •  Readopted for 2012-2013 School Year:                     July 2, 2012
    •  Readopted for 2013-2014 School Year:                     August 2013
    •  Readopted for 2014-2015 School Year:                     June 5, 2014
    • Readopted for 2015-2016 School Year:                     July 23, 2015
    • Readopted for 2015-2016 School Year:                     August 20, 2015
      (Update DASA Coordinators)
    • Readopted for 2015-2016 School Year:                     September 17, 2015
    • Readopted for 2016-2017 School Year:                     July 28, 2016
    • Readopted for 2017-2018 School Year:                     August 10, 2017
    • Readopted for 2018-2019 School Year                      June 7, 2018

     

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    Addendum 1

    Discipline Matrix – Elementary

    Addendum 2

    Discipline Matrix – Secondary

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