Attendance

COMPREHENSIVE STUDENT ATTENDANCE POLICY

Statement of Overall Objectives

School attendance is both a right and a responsibility. The District is an active partner with students and parents in the task of ensuring that all students meet or exceed the New York State Learning Standards. Because the District recognizes that consistent school attendance, academic success, and school completion have a positive correlation, the District will develop, review and, if necessary, revise a Comprehensive Student Attendance Policy to meet the following objectives:

a) To increase school completion for all students;
b) To raise student achievement and close gaps in student performance;
c) To identify attendance patterns in order to design attendance improvement efforts;
d) To know the whereabouts of every student for safety and other reasons;
e) To verify that individual students are complying with education laws relating to compulsory attendance;
f) To determine the District’s average daily attendance for State aid purposes.

Description of Strategies to Meet Objectives

The District will:

a) Create and maintain a positive school building culture by fostering a positive physical and psychological environment where the presence of strong adult role models encourages respectful and nurturing interactions between adults and students. This positive school culture is aimed at encouraging a high level of student bonding to the school, which in turn should lead to increased attendance;
b) Develop a Comprehensive Student Attendance Policy. The District will hold at least one public hearing prior to the adoption of this Comprehensive Student Attendance Policy;
c) Maintain accurate record keeping via a Register of Attendance to record the attendance, absence, tardiness, or early departure of each student;
d) Utilize data analysis systems for tracking individual student attendance and individual and group trends in student attendance problems;
e) Develop early intervention strategies to improve school attendance for all students. 

Determination of Excused and Unexcused Absences, Tardiness, and Early Departures  

Based upon our district’s education and community needs, values, and priorities, the District has determined that absences, tardiness, and early departures will be considered excused or unexcused according to the following standards:

a) Excused: An absence, tardiness, or early departure may be excused if due to personal illness, illness or death in the family, impassable roads due to inclement weather, religious observance, quarantine, required court appearances, attendance at health clinics, approved college visits, approved cooperative work programs, school-sponsored field trips, military obligations or other such reasons as may be approved by the Board.

b) Unexcused: An absence, tardiness, or early departure is considered unexcused if no note is received from the parent or person in parental relation or if the reason for the lack of attendance does not fall into the above categories (e.g., truancy, family vacation, hunting, babysitting, hair cut, obtaining learner’s permit, road test, oversleeping).

Student Attendance Recordkeeping/Data Collection

A record of each student’s presence, absence, tardiness, and early departure will be kept in a register of attendance in a manner consistent with Commissioner’s regulations. An absence, tardiness, or early departure will be entered as “excused” or “unexcused” along with the district code for the reason.

Commencing July 1, 2003, attendance will be taken and recorded in accordance with the following:

a) For students in non-departmentalized kindergarten through grade five (i.e., self-contained classrooms and supervised group movement to other scheduled school activities such as physical education in the gym, assembly, etc.), such student’s presence or absence will be recorded after the taking of attendance once per school day, provided students are not dismissed from school grounds during a lunch period. Where students are dismissed for lunch, their presence or absence will also be recorded after the taking of attendance a second time upon the student’s return from lunch.

b) For students in grades six through twelve each student’s presence or absence will be recorded after the taking of attendance in each period of scheduled instruction. When students do not change classrooms for each period of scheduled instruction, attendance will be taken in accordance with paragraph “a” above.

c) Any absence for a school day or portion thereof will be recorded as excused or unexcused in accordance with the standards articulated in this policy.

d) In the event that a student at any instructional level from kindergarten through grade twelve arrives late for or departs early from scheduled instruction, such tardiness or early departure will be recorded as excused or unexcused in accordance with the standards articulated in this policy.

e) For elementary level students, leaving the building before 3:10 p.m. will be considered making an early departure.

A record will be kept of each scheduled day of instruction during which the school is closed for all or part of the day because of extraordinary circumstances including adverse weather conditions, impairment of heating facilities, insufficiency of water supply, shortage of fuel, destruction of or damage to a school building, or such other cause as may be found satisfactory to the Commissioner of Education.

Attendance records will also indicate the date when a student withdraws from enrollment or is dropped from enrollment in accordance with Education Law Section 3202(1-a).

At the conclusion of each class period at the secondary school level, or school day at the elementary school level, all attendance information will be compiled and provided to the designated school personnel responsible for attendance. The nature of the absence, tardiness, or early departure will be coded on the student’s record in accordance with established District/building procedures.

Student Attendance/Course Credit

The District believes that classroom participation is related to and affects a student’s performance and grasp of the subject matter and, as such, is properly reflected in a student’s final grade. For purposes of this policy, classroom participation means a student is in class and prepared to work. Tardiness consists of not being in class when the class begins. Elementary students will be considered tardy after 9:05 a.m.

Consequently, for each marking period a certain percentage of a student’s final grade will be based on classroom participation as well as the student’s performance on homework, tests, papers, projects, etc. as determined by the building administrator and/or classroom teacher.

Students are expected to attend all scheduled classes. Consistent with the importance of classroom participation, unexcused or non-exempt student absences, tardiness, and early departures will affect a student’s grade, including credit for classroom participation, for the marking period.

Excused days may not exempt students from the Pine Bush High School attendance policy as it relates to course credit. The following are excused absences: emergency hospitalization and or attendance at a medical facility, quarantine, death of a family member, impassible roads due to inclement weather, religious holidays, court appearances, military obligations, crises situations, OSS, ISS, three college visitations for juniors and seniors, field trips, approved cooperative work programs, or any student who is approved for tutoring or home instruction.

For students in grades nine through twelve, if a student is absent 25 days for a full-year course or 13 days for a half-year course, he or she may be denied credit in that course. In general, physical education classes meet every other day for the entire year, but are considered half-year courses for the attendance policy (13 days absence will be cause for credit denied). Block classes (two consecutive periods, every other day) count as full-year courses, but if a student is absent for a day when his or her block class meets, it will count as two absences for the attendance policy.

For summer school, if a student is absent four days, he or she may be denied credit in that course.

Transfer students and students re-enrolling after having dropped out will be expected to adhere to the stated policy regarding course credit.

A student will be considered in attendance if the student is:

a) Physically present in the classroom or working under the direction of the classroom teacher during the class scheduled meeting time; or
b) Working in accordance with an approved independent study program; or
c) Receiving approved alternative instruction.

A student who is absent from class due to his or her participation in a school-sponsored activity is to arrange with his or her teachers to make-up, in a timely manner, any work missed. Attendance at school-sponsored events where instruction is substantially equivalent to the instruction was missed will be counted as the equivalent of regular attendance in class.

Upon returning to school following a properly excused absence, tardiness, or early departure, it will be the responsibility of the student to consult with his or her teachers to make arrangements to make up missed work, assignments, and/or tests in accordance with the time schedule specified by the teacher’s schedule. 

Notice of Minimum Attendance Standard/Intervention Strategies Prior to the Denial of Course Credit

In order to ensure that parents or persons in parental relation and students are informed of the District’s policy regarding minimum attendance and course credit, and the implementation of specific intervention strategies to be employed prior to the denial of course credit to the student for insufficient attendance, the following steps will be followed:

a) The District’s Comprehensive Student Attendance Policy will be mailed to parents or persons in parental relation and provided to students at the beginning of each school year or at the time of enrollment in the district.
b) School newsletters and publications will include periodic reminders of the components of the District’s Comprehensive Student Attendance Policy. Copies of the Attendance Policy will also be included in parent/student handbooks.
c) At periodic intervals, a designated staff member will notify, by telephone, the parent or person in parental relation of the student’s absence, tardiness, or early departure and explain the relationship between the student’s attendance to his or her ability to receive course credit. If the parent or person in parental relation cannot be reached by telephone, a letter will be sent detailing this information.
d) A designated staff member will review the District’s Attendance Policy with students who have excessive and/or unexcused absences, tardiness, or early departures. Further, appropriate district support services personnel, and/or possibly community support service and agencies, will implement intervention strategies prior to the denial of course credit for insufficient attendance by the student.

Notice of Students who are Absent, Tardy or Depart Early Without Proper Excuse

A designated staff member will notify the student’s parent or person in parental relation if the student is absent, tardy, or departs early without proper excuse.

If deemed necessary by appropriate school officials, or if requested by the parent or person in parental relation, a school conference will be scheduled between the parent or person in parental relation and appropriate staff members in order to address the student’s attendance. The student may also be requested to attend this conference in order to address appropriate intervention strategies that best meet the needs of the student. 

Attendance Incentives

To encourage student attendance, the District will develop and implement grade-appropriate building-level strategies and programs such as: 

a) Attendance honor rolls to be posted in prominent places in District buildings;
b) Acknowledgment of the importance of good attendance (e.g., individual certificates, recognition chart, bulletin boards);
c) Assemblies collaboratively developed and promoted by student council, administration, PTA and other community groups to promote good attendance.

Disciplinary Consequences

Unexcused absences, tardiness and early departures will result in disciplinary sanctions as described in the District’s Code of Conduct. Consequences may include, but are not limited to, in-school suspension, detention, and denial of participation in interscholastic and extracurricular activities. A child’s parents or persons in parental relation will be notified by designated District personnel at periodic intervals to discuss the child’s absences, tardiness, or early departures and the importance of class attendance and appropriate interventions. Individual buildings/grade levels will address procedures to implement the notification process to the parent or person in parental relation.
In order to effectively intervene when an identified pattern of unexcused absences, tardiness or early departures occur, designated district personnel will pursue the following:

a) Identify specific elements of the pattern (e.g., grade-level, building, time frame, type of unexcused absences, tardiness or early departures);
b) Contact the District staff most closely associated with the element. In specific cases where the pattern involves an individual student, the student and parent or person in parental relation will be contacted;
c) Discuss strategies to directly intervene with a specific element;
d) Recommend intervention to the Superintendent or designee if it relates to change in district policy or procedure;
e) Implement changes, as approved by the appropriate administrator;
f) Utilize appropriate district and/or community resources to address and help remediate student unexcused absences, tardiness or early departures;
g) Monitor and report short-term and long-term effects of intervention.

Appeal Process

A parent or person in parental relation may request a building-level review of his or her child’s attendance record.

Building Review of Attendance Records

Commencing with the 2003-04 school year, the building principal will work in conjunction with the building attendance clerk and other designated staff in reviewing attendance records periodically each school year. This review is conducted to identify individual and group attendance patterns and initiate appropriate action to address the problem of unexcused absences, tardiness and early departures.

Annual Review by the Board of Education

The Board will annually review the building level student attendance records and if such records show a decline in student attendance, the Board will make any revisions to the policy and plan deemed necessary to improve student attendance.

Community Awareness

The Board will promote necessary community awareness of the District’s Comprehensive Student Attendance Policy by:

a) Providing the Comprehensive Student Attendance Policy to parents or persons in parental relation and students at the beginning of each school year and promoting the understanding of such a policy to students and their parents or persons in parental relation;
b) Providing each teacher, at the beginning of the school year or upon employment, with a copy of the policy;
c) Providing copies of the policy to any other member of the community upon request.

Education Law Sections 3024, 3025, 3202, 3205, 3206, 3210, 3211, and 3213
8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Sections 104.1, 109.2 and 175.6 

AGE OF ENTRANCE

Kindergarten

Students who are legal residents of the District and who reside with parents or guardians within the District at the time of the opening day of school must be five years of age or more on December 1 in order to register for kindergarten.

A child who transfers into the District at any time during the school year may be considered for admission to kindergarten by the Superintendent provided:

a) The parents were not legal residents of the District on the opening day of school, and
b) The child has been registered and enrolled in kindergarten in the District in which his or her parents were legal residents.

Other Grades

Admission of children to other grades will involve a consideration of both chronological age and the readiness of the children to do the work of those grades.

Proof of Age

A student’s birth certificate or other satisfactory evidence of age will be presented at the time of initial registration. The child will be entered under his or her legal name.

Education Law Sections 1712, 3202 and 3212

DIAGNOSTIC SCREENING OF STUDENTS

The District has developed a plan for the diagnostic screening of all new entrants and students with low test scores.

A new entrant means a student entering the New York State public school system, pre-kindergarten through grade 12, for the first time, or re-entering a New York State public school with no available record of a prior screening.

Students with low test scores are students who score below level two on either the third grade English language arts or mathematics assessment for New York State elementary schools.

Such diagnostic screening will be utilized to determine which students:

a) Have or are suspected of having a disability;
b) Are possibly gifted; or
c) Are possibly limited English proficient.

Such diagnostic screening will be conducted:

a) By persons appropriately trained or qualified;
b) By persons appropriately trained or qualified in the student’s native language if the language of the home is other than English;
c) In the case of new entrants, prior to the school year, if possible, but no later than December 1 of the school year of entry or within 15 days of transfer of a student into a New York State public school should the entry take place after December 1 of the school year;
d) In the case of students with low test scores, within 30 days of the availability of the test scores.

New Entrants

For new entrants, diagnostic screening will include, but not be limited to the following:

a) A health examination by a physician/physician’s assistant or nurse practitioner or submission of a health certificate in accordance with Education Law Sections 901, 903, and 904;
b) Certificates of immunization or referral for immunization in accordance with Section 2164 of the Public Health Law;
c) Vision, hearing and scoliosis screenings as required by Section 136.3 of Commissioner’s regulations;
d) A determination of development in oral expression, listening comprehension, written expression, basic reading skills and reading fluency and comprehension, mathematical calculation and problem solving, motor development, articulation skills, and cognitive development using recognized and validated screening tools; and
e) A determination whether the student is of foreign birth or ancestry and comes from a home where a language other than English is spoken as determined by the results of a home language questionnaire and an informal interview in English and the native language.

Students with Low Test Scores

For students with low test scores, diagnostic screening will include, but not be limited to:

a) Vision and hearing screenings to determine whether a vision or hearing impairment is impacting the student’s ability to learn; and
b) A review of the instructional programs in reading and mathematics to ensure that explicit and research validated instruction is being provided in reading and mathematics.

No screening examination for vision, hearing or scoliosis condition is required where a student, parent, or person in parental relation objects on the grounds that such examination conflicts with their genuine and sincere religious beliefs.

Results and Reports

The results of the diagnostic screening will be reviewed and a written report of each student screened will be prepared by appropriately qualified District staff. The report will include a description of diagnostic screening devices used, the student’s performance on those devices and, if required, the appropriate referral.

If such screening indicates a possible disability, a referral, with a report of the screening, will be made to the Committee on Special Education (CSE) or the Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE) no later than 15 calendar days after completion of such diagnostic screening.

If such screening indicates a possibly gifted child, the name and finding will be reported to the Superintendent and to the parents/legal guardians no later than 15 calendar days after completion of such screening. The term gifted child is defined as a child who shows evidence of high performance capability and exceptional potential in areas such as general intellectual ability, special academic aptitude and outstanding ability in visual and performing arts. Such definition will include those children who require educational programs or services beyond those normally provided by the regular school program in order to realize their full potential.

If such screening indicates a child identified as possibly being of limited English proficiency, such child will be referred for further evaluation in accordance with Part 154 of the regulations of the Commissioner of Education to determine eligibility for appropriate transitional bilingual or free-standing English as a Second Language (ESL) programs. 

Reporting to Parents

Parents/guardians of children to be screened will receive information in advance regarding the purpose of screening, the areas to be screened and the referral process. The information will be communicated either orally or in writing in the parents’ primary language(s). This information will be provided during the registration interview.

Parents/guardians have the right to request information regarding their child’s performance on screenings. They will have access to the screening results and obtain copies upon request. The results of all mandated screening examinations will be in writing and will be provided to the child’s parent or guardian and to any teacher of the child within the school while the child is enrolled in the school. A letter will be sent to the parent or guardian of any child failing a screening.

Confidentiality of Information

The Board’s policy and administrative regulations in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) will apply to all information collected about a child through the screening program. In accordance with the policy and regulations, parents will be informed of their right to privacy, their right to access to the records and their right to challenge those records should they be inaccurate, misleading or otherwise inappropriate.

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, 20 United States Code (USC) Section 1232(g)
Education Law Sections 901, 903, 904, 905, 914 and 3208(5)
Public Health Law Section 2164
8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Parts 117, 136, 142.2 and 154

ENTITLEMENT TO ATTEND — AGE AND RESIDENCY

All persons residing within the District who are between the ages of five years and 21 years and who have not received a high school diploma are entitled to enroll in the District.

A student who becomes six years of age on or before the first of December in any school year will be required to attend full-time instruction from the first day that the District schools are in session in September of that school year. A student who becomes six years of age after the first of December in any school year will be required to attend full-time instruction from the first day of session in the following September. Each student will be required to remain in attendance until the last day of session in the school year in which the student becomes 16 years of age.

Evidence of a prospective student’s age and residency must be presented in such form as is permitted by state and federal law and regulation.

Determination of Student Residency

Residence is established by a child’s physical presence as an inhabitant within the District and his or her intent to reside in the District.

A child’s residence is presumed to be that of his or her parents or legal guardians. Where a child’s parents live apart, the child can have only one legal residence. In cases where parents have joint custody, the child’s time is essentially divided between two households, and both parents assume responsibility for the child, the decision regarding the child’s residency lies ultimately with the family. Where parents claim joint custody, but do not produce proof of the child’s time being divided between both households, residency will be determined on the basis of the child’s physical presence and intent to remain within the District.

The presumption that a child resides with his or her parents or legal guardians may be rebutted upon demonstration that custody of such child has been totally and permanently transferred to another individual. The District will not acknowledge living arrangements with persons other than a child’s parents or legal guardians which are made for the sole purpose of taking advantage of the District’s schools.

The presumption that a child resides with his or her parents or legal guardians may also be rebutted upon demonstration that such child is an emancipated minor. To establish emancipation, a minor may submit documentation of his or her means of support, proof of residency, and an explanation of the circumstances surrounding the student’s emancipation, including a description of the student’s relationship with his or her parents or persons in parental relationship.

Undocumented Children

Undocumented children are entitled to attend the District’s schools, provided they meet the age and residency requirements established by state law. Consequently, the District will not request on any enrollment or registration form, in any meeting, or in any other form of communication, any documentation or information regarding or tending to reveal the immigration status of a child, a child’s parent(s), or the person(s) in parental relation. In the event the District is required to collect certain data, it will do so after the child has been enrolled or registered; in no instance will the information be required as a condition of enrollment or continued attendance.

Children of Activated Reserve Military Personnel

Students temporarily residing outside the boundaries of the District, due to relocation necessitated by the call to active military duty of the student’s parent or person in parental relation, will be allowed to attend the public school that they attended prior to the relocation. The District is not required to provide transportation between a temporary residence located outside the District and the school the child attends.

Homeless Children

Determinations regarding whether a child is entitled to attend the District’s schools as a homeless child or youth will be made in accordance with Commissioner’s regulation Section 100.2(x), as well as applicable District policy.

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, 20 USC § 1232g
Education Law §§ 310, 906, 3202, 3205, 3214, and 3218
Family Court Act § 657
8 NYCRR § 100.2(x) and (y)

EDUCATION OF HOMELESS CHILDREN AND YOUTH

The parent or person in parental relation to a homeless child; or the homeless child, together with the homeless liaison designated by the District in the case of an unaccompanied youth; or the director of a residential program for runaway and homeless youth established in accordance with Executive Law Article 19-H, in consultation with the homeless child, where such homeless child is living in such program, may designate either the school district of current location, the school district of origin, or a school district participating in a regional placement plan as the district the homeless child will attend.

In accordance with Commissioner’s regulations, a “homeless child” means a child or youth who lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence, including a child who is:

a) Sharing the housing of other persons due to a loss of housing, economic hardship or a similar reason;
b) Living in motels, hotels, trailer parks or camping grounds due to the lack of alternative adequate accommodations;
c) Abandoned in hospitals;
d) Awaiting foster care placement; or
e) A migratory child who qualifies as homeless in accordance with Commissioner’s regulations. As defined in the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, the term “migratory child” includes a child who is, or whose parent or spouse is, a migratory agricultural worker, including a migratory dairy worker, or a migratory fisher, and who has moved from one school district to another in the preceding 36 months, in order to obtain, or accompanies such parent or spouse in order to obtain, temporary or seasonal employment in agricultural or fishing work.
f) A child or youth who has a primary nighttime location that is:
1. A supervised, publicly or privately operated shelter designed to provide temporary living accommodations including, but not limited to, shelters operated or approved by the state or local department of social services, and residential programs for runaway and homeless youth established in accordance with Executive Law Article 19-H; or
2. A public or private place not designed for, or ordinarily used as, a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings; including a child or youth who is living in a car, park, public space, abandoned building, substandard housing, bus or train station or similar setting.
g) Considered an “unaccompanied youth”:
1. An unaccompanied youth is a homeless child (for whom no parent or person in parental relation is available) or youth not in the physical custody of a parent or legal guardian.
2. An unaccompanied youth will not include a child or youth who is residing with someone other than a parent or legal guardian for the sole reason of taking advantage of the schools of the district.

The term “homeless child” will not include a child in foster care or receiving educational services in accordance with Education Law Sections 3202(4), (5), (6), (6a) or (7) or in accordance with Articles 81, 85, 87 or 88. For example, a child in a family home at board, a school for the intellectually disabled, a hospital or other institution for the care, custody and treatment of children; youths under the direction of the Division for Youth incarcerated in county correctional facilities or youth shelters; or children residing in child care institutions or schools for the deaf or blind would not be considered “homeless.”

Enrollment, Retention and Participation in the Educational Program

Enrollment of homeless children will not be delayed and their ability to continue or participate in the educational program will not be restricted due to issues such as:

a) Transportation;
b) Immunization requirements;
c) Residency requirements;
d) Birth certificates, medical records, individualized education programs (IEPs), school records and other documentation;
e) Guardianship issues;
f) Comprehensive assessment and advocacy referral processes;
g) Resolution of disputes regarding school selection;
h) Proof of social security numbers;
i) Attendance requirements;
j) Sports participation rules;
k) Inability to pay fees associated with extracurricular activities such as club dues and sports uniforms; or
l) Other enrollment issues.

Educational Programs and Services

The District will provide homeless children and youth with access to all of its programs, activities and services to the same extent that they are provided to resident students.

Homeless children and youth will be educated as part of the school’s regular academic program. Services must be provided to homeless children and youth through programs and mechanisms that integrate homeless children and youth with their non-homeless counterparts, including programs for special education, vocational and technical education, gifted and talented students, before and after school, English language learners/limited English proficiency, Head Start, Even Start, and school nutrition. Services provided with McKinney-Vento funds must expand upon or improve services provided as part of the regular school program. Consequently, the District will ensure that homeless children and youth are not segregated in a separate school, or in a separate program within the school, based on their status as homeless; and to the extent feasible consistent with the requirements of Commissioner’s regulations, keep a homeless child or youth in the school of origin except when doing so is contrary to the wishes of the child’s or youth’s parent or guardian. Further, the District will review and revise policies and practices, including transportation guidelines, that may act as barriers to the enrollment, attendance, school success, and retention of homeless children and youth in the District.

All homeless children and youth are automatically eligible for Title I Part A services whether or not they meet the academic standards or live in a Title I school attendance area. Homeless students may receive Title I educational or support services from school-wide and targeted-assistance school programs.

Transportation

If the local social service district or the Office of Children and Family Services is not required to provide transportation, the designated district is responsible for the provision and the cost of the student’s transportation. Where a homeless student designates the school district of current location as the district the student will attend, then that district will provide transportation to the student on the same basis as a resident student. Where the homeless student designates the school district of origin or a school district participating in a regional placement plan, then that district must provide transportation to and from the homeless child’s temporary housing and school.  

Transportation responsibilities apply to all school districts regardless of whether or not they receive McKinney-Vento funds. Transportation must be provided during the pendency of enrollment disputes. If the designated district provides transportation for non-homeless preschool children, it must also provide comparable transportation services for homeless preschool children.

School District Liaison for Homeless Children and Youth

The District will designate an appropriate staff person, who may also be a coordinator for other federal programs, as the local educational agency liaison for homeless children and youth to carry out the duties as enumerated in law, Commissioner’s regulations and applicable guidance issued by the U.S. and New York State Education Departments. The District will inform school personnel, local service providers and advocates of the office and duties of the local homeless liaison.

Training

The District will train all school enrollment staff, secretaries, school counselors, school social workers, and principals on the legal requirements for enrollment. School nutrition staff, school registered professional nurses, teachers, and bus drivers will receive training on homelessness that is specific to their field.

Outreach

The District will make every effort to inform the parents or guardians of homeless children and youth of the education, transportation and related opportunities available to their children including transportation to the school of origin. The parent(s)/guardian(s) will be assisted in accessing transportation to the school they select, and will be provided with meaningful opportunities to participate in the education of their children. Public notice of educational rights of homeless children and youth will be disseminated by the District in places where families and youth are likely to be present (e.g., schools, shelters, soup kitchens), and in comprehensible formats (e.g., geared for low literacy or other community needs).

Dispute Resolution

The District will establish procedures for the prompt resolution of disputes regarding school selection or enrollment of a homeless child or youth and provide a written explanation, including a statement regarding the right to appeal to the parent or guardian if the District sends the student to a school other than the school of origin or the school requested by the parent or guardian. These disputes will include, but not limited to, disputes regarding transportation and/or a child’s or youth’s status as a homeless child or unaccompanied youth.

If there is a factual dispute over whether a student is homeless, the District will immediately enroll the student and then provide the parent or guardian the opportunity to submit verification of homelessness. The student will remain enrolled until a final determination is made by the District and for a minimum of 30 days after the final determination to allow the parent or guardian opportunity to appeal to the Commissioner of Education. If the student files an appeal that contains a request for a stay within 30 days of such final determination, the District must continue to enroll the student until the Commissioner rules on the stay request.

Record and Reporting Requirements

If the District, as the school district of origin, receives a request to forward student records to a receiving district, the records must be forwarded within five days.

The District will maintain documentation regarding all aspects of the District’s contact with and services provided to homeless students and youth for possible on-site monitoring by the State Education Department.

The District will collect and transmit to the Commissioner of Education, at such time and in the manner as the Commissioner may require, a report containing such information as the Commissioner determines is necessary to assess the educational needs of homeless children and youths within the state.

McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act, as reauthorized by the No Child Left Behind Act
of 2001, 42 United States Code (USC) Section 11431 et seq.
Education Law Sections 902(b) and 3209
8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Section 100.2(x)

NON-RESIDENT STUDENTS

Non-resident families who wish to enroll children in the Pine Bush Central School District will submit a request in writing to the Superintendent who will determine whether or not admission will be granted.

The following general conditions for acceptance will be met when considering admittance:

a) There is sufficient space to accommodate the non-resident student;
b) No increase in the size of faculty or staff will be necessary;
c) Admittance will not result in the establishment of a new section;
d) Parents/guardians must work out transfer conditions with the home school district or provide their own transportation;
e) All rules and regulations in effect for District students will be applicable to non-District students;
f) Tuition may be charged to families of non-resident students in accordance with formulas approved by the State Education Department.

Final decisions regarding the acceptance of non-resident students rest with the Board.

Tuition-Paying Students

Future Students

The children of families who have signed a contract to buy or build a residence in the District may be enrolled for the semester in which they expect to become residents. Non-resident tuition will be charged, payable in advance, with an adjustment to be made when the family becomes a resident in the District.

Other Non-Resident Students

Non-resident students other than those affected by the above provisions may be accepted ad tuition-paying students at the discretion of the Board on an annual basis provided the general conditions listed above are met. Requests should be submitted to the Superintendent.

Non-Tuition Students

Former Residents

a) Students of any grade who move from the Pine Bush Central School District during the school year may be given permission to finish the semester in which the move occurs.

b) A student who moves from the District after completion of the first semester of the year preceding his or her anticipated graduation year may be given permission to remain in the Pine Bush Central School District until graduation.

Foreign Exchange Students

The District does not accept foreign exchange students under J-1 Visas or any other similar visas. The District also does not accept foreign students living with District residents, including, but not limited to, students of F-1 Visas. Foreign students will only be admitted if they meet the residency requirements under the Commissioner’s regulations.

Proof of Residency

Such documentary or sworn proof as will be required by the administration or Board must be furnished within three business days of initial enrollment of any child residing in the District with a person not his parent or who is the child of a non-resident. The admission of homeless children and youth will be in accordance with law.

Reservation of Claims

Should a material misstatement of fact be made and relied upon by any administrator or the Board in admitting a non-resident student without tuition, the Board will be entitled to recover the cost of instruction for the time the student was not authorized to attend a school in the District from the person having made the misstatement or from a person in parental relation to the student.

Tuition Fees

Where applicable, tuition fees are computed according to a formula established by the Commissioner of Education.
Tuition of individual non-resident students will be computed in advance at the time of enrollment. Methods of payment (e.g., monthly) may be arranged in the District Office and approved by the Superintendent. Non-resident status is contingent upon timely payment of tuition fees as established by the Board.

Legal Residence

Parents who maintain more than one residence, but whose legal residence for the purposes of voting or filing income tax is within the District, are eligible to send their children to District schools if they otherwise meet all the residency requirements under the Commissioner’s regulations. However, school tax payments of non-residents who own assessable property in the District will be deducted from any tuition charges levied against such non-resident.

8 USC Chapter 12
Education Law Sections 1709(13), 2045 and 3202
8 NYCRR Section 174.2

SCHOOL CENSUS

Although not required by law, the Pine Bush Central School District will take a census of all children from birth to 18 years of age. Census data will be reported as required by law.

The census must indicate the names of all children between birth and 18 years of age, and of children with disabilities between birth and 21 years of age; their respective residences by street and number; the day of the month and the year of their birth; the names of the parents or persons in parental relation to them; such information relating to physical or mental disabilities, to illiteracy, to employment and to the enforcement of the law relating to child labor and compulsory education as the State Education Department and the Board will require; and also such further information as the Board will require.

On written request and in such form as prescribed by the Commissioner of Education, the Board will provide to the Commissioner a report containing the names, ages and addresses of those children who are blind or deaf, and those children having serious physical or mental disabilities. Additionally, such report will further indicate whether such children are being educated within the public schools of the District or, if they are not, where such education is being furnished to them.

Parents or persons in parental relation to those children within the prescribed census age ranges are to make such reports as the Board will require, including, but not limited to, providing two weeks before the child reaches compulsory school age, the name of the child; the child’s residence; the name of the person or persons in parental relation to the child; the name and location of the school to which the child will have been or will be sent as a student; and such other information as required by law or as the Board may require.

A parent, guardian or other person having under his or her control or charge a child between birth and 18 years of age who withholds or refuses to give information in his or her possession relating to such census data as required by law pertaining to the child; or, in the alternative, gives false information in relation to such census data, will be liable to and punished by a fine or imprisonment as established by law.

Count of Immigrant Children and Youth

As a provision of the federal Title III Part A – English Language Acquisition, Language Enhancement, and Academic Achievement Act under the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, the U.S. Secretary of Education requires that all local educational agencies (LEAs) count the number of “immigrant children and youth” enrolled in the public and nonpublic schools in the geographic area under the jurisdiction of, or served by, the LEA. The results of this count have important implications for the receipt of supplemental federal funds to eligible LEAs in New York State for services to recently arrived immigrant children and youth.

For purposes of this count, the term “immigrant children and youth” will include those individuals who: 

a) Are ages three through 21;
b) Were NOT born in any state or from the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia, Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Northern Mariana Islands, or the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands; and
c) Have NOT been attending schools in any one or more States for more than three full academic years.

Each nonpublic school will report its data to the public school district in which it is located. It is the responsibility of each public school district to report its immigrant count as well as the counts for all nonpublic schools within its jurisdiction.
In accordance with law, the District will conduct its survey and submit the information electronically to the New York State Education Department by the specified deadline date. LEAs must also maintain on file a list of the immigrant students counted, their countries of origin, dates of arrival, and the public or nonpublic school in which they are registered as well as copies of the letter to each of the nonpublic schools in its jurisdiction regarding the count.

Education Law Sections 3240-3243 and 4402(1)(a)
8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Section 200.2(a)
20 United States Code (USC) Section 6811

CLASS SIZE

The Board recognizes the importance of class size as one of the determining factors in the academic and personal growth of the students in the Pine Bush Central School District. Therefore, it will be the policy of the Board that, insofar as possible, the following guidelines for class size will be observed:

ELEMENTARY

  • Kindergarten, Grades 1-2: 24
  • Grades 3, 4, 5: 27
  • Grade 6: 28

SECONDARY

  • Grades 7, 8: 28
  • Grades 9 through 12: 28

MINIMUM CLASS SIZE IN GRADES 9 THROUGH 12

The Board establishes 20 as the minimum enrollment standard for all classes in grades 9 through 12 based on enrollment data in June of the preceding school year.

The minimum enrollment will not be applicable to courses whose class size is mandated by state or federal regulations, i.e., special education, AIS, etc., or to an instructional group within a classroom. In addition, the minimum enrollment standard will not be applicable to programs in which the enrollment exceeds ten (10), but the actual class size(s) may be less than ten (10), provided that all reasonable efforts to schedule these classes in conformance with the policy have been employed.

The principal will recommend to the Superintendent when an exception should be made. The Superintendent will inform the Board when an exception is made.

An exception to the minimum enrollment standard will be permitted when:

a) Such course is required to complete a major sequence for graduation requirement.
b) Other unusual circumstances which may require that an exception be recommended.

Pine Bush Central School District
State Route 302, Pine Bush, NY 12566
Phone: (845) 744-2031
Fax: (845) 744-6189
Tim O. Mains
Superintendent of Schools
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