CODE OF ETHICS FOR BOARD MEMBERS AND ALL DISTRICT PERSONNEL
In accordance with the provisions of General Municipal Law Section 806, the Board of the Pine Bush Central School District recognizes that there are rules of ethical conduct for members of the Board and employees of the District that must be observed if a high degree of moral conduct is to be obtained in our unit of local government. It is the purpose of this policy to promulgate these rules of ethical conduct for the Board members and employees of the District. These rules will serve as a guide for official conduct of the Board members and employees of the District. The rules of ethical conduct of this policy, as adopted, will not conflict with, but will be in addition to any prohibition of General Municipal Law Sections 800-809 or any other general or special law relating to ethical conduct and interest in contracts of Board members and employees.
Standards of Conduct
Every Board member or employee of the Pine Bush Central School District will be subject to and abide by the following standards of conduct:
In accordance with General Municipal Law Section 805-a, he or she will not, directly or indirectly, solicit any gift or accept or receive any gift having a value of $75 or more, whether in the form of money, services, loan, travel, entertainment, hospitality, thing or promise, or any other form, under circumstances in which it could reasonably be inferred that the gift was intended or expected to influence him or her in the performance of official duties or was intended as a reward for any official action on his or her part.
He or she will not disclose confidential information acquired by him or her in the course of his or her official duties or use such information to further his or her personal interest.
Disclosure of Interest in Contracts
Any District officer or employee, as well as his or her spouse, who has, will have, or later acquires an interest in any actual or proposed contract, purchase agreement, lease agreement or other agreement, including oral agreements, with the District will publicly disclose the nature and extent of such interest in writing to his or her immediate supervisor and to the Board as soon as he or she has knowledge of such actual or prospective interest. Such written disclosure will be made part of and set forth in the Board minutes.
Representation Before One’s Own Agency
He or she will not receive, or enter into any agreement, express or implied, for compensation for services to be rendered in relation to any matter before any municipal agency of which he or she is an officer, member or employee or of any municipal agency over which he or she has jurisdiction or to which he or she has the power to appoint any member, officer or employee.
Representation Before any Agency for a Contingent Fee
He or she will not receive, or enter into any agreement, express or implied, for compensation for services to be rendered in relation to any matter before any agency of his or her municipality, whereby his or her compensation is to be dependent or contingent upon any action by such agency with respect to such matter, provided that this paragraph will not prohibit the fixing at any time of fees based upon the reasonable value of services rendered.
Disclosure of Interest in Resolution
To the extent that he or she knows thereof, a member of the Board or employee of the Pine Bush Central School District, whether paid or unpaid, who participates in the discussion or gives official opinion to the Board on any resolution before the Board will publicly disclose on the official record the nature and extent of any direct or indirect financial or other private interest he or she has in such resolution.
Investments in Conflict with Official Duties
He or she will not invest or hold any investment directly or indirectly in any financial, business, commercial, or other private transaction, that creates a conflict with his or her official duties.
He or she will not engage in, solicit, negotiate for or promise to accept private employment or render services for private interests when such employment or service creates a conflict with or impairs the proper discharge of his or her official duties.
He or she will not, after the termination of service or employment with the District, appear before any board or agency of the Pine Bush Central School District in relation to any case, proceeding, or application in which he or she personally participated during the period of his or her service or employment or which was under his or her active consideration.
In accordance with the Penal Law Section 60.27(5), if a District officer is convicted of a violation against the District under Penal Law Article 155 relating to larceny, the courts may require an amount of restitution up to the full amount of the offense or reparation up to the full amount of the actual out-of-pocket loss suffered by the District.
Board Members and Employees
Nothing herein will be deemed to bar or prevent the timely filing by a present or former Board member or employee of any claim, account, demand or suit against the Pine Bush Central School District, or any agency thereof on behalf of himself/herself or any member of his or her family arising out of any personal injury or property damage or for any lawful benefit authorized or permitted by law.
Distribution/Posting of Code of Ethics
The Superintendent of the Pine Bush Central School District will cause a copy of this code of ethics to be distributed to every Board member and employee of the District within 30 days after the effective date of this policy. Each Board member and employee elected or appointed thereafter will be furnished a copy before entering upon the duties of his or her office or employment. The Superintendent will also cause a copy of General Municipal Law Sections 800-809 to be kept posted in each building in the District in a place conspicuous to its Board members and employees. Failure to distribute any such copy of this code of ethics or failure of any Board member or employee to receive such copy, as well as failure to post any such copy of General Municipal Law Sections 800-809, will have no effect on the duty of compliance with such code of ethics or General Municipal Law Sections 800-809, nor with the enforcement of provisions thereof.
In addition to any penalty contained in any other provision of law, any person who will knowingly and intentionally violate any of the provisions of this code may be fined, suspended or removed from office or employment, as the case may be, in the manner provided by law.
This policy will take effect immediately.
Education Law Section 410
General Municipal Law Article 18 and Section 803 Labor Law Section 201-d
Penal Law Article 155 and Section 60.27(5)
EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY
The District is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment in its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or age. Further, the District does not discriminate on the basis of religion or creed, sexual orientation, military status, genetic status, marital status, domestic violence victim status, criminal arrest or conviction record, or any other basis prohibited by state or federal non-discrimination laws.
Investigation of Complaints and Grievances
The District will act to promptly, thoroughly, and equitably investigate all complaints, whether verbal or written, of discrimination, and will promptly take appropriate action to protect individuals from further discrimination. All complaints will be handled in a manner consistent with the District’s policies, procedures, and/or regulations regarding the investigation of discrimination and harassment complaints, including Policy #3420 — Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment in the District; Policy #6121 — Sexual Harassment of District Personnel; and Policy #6122 — Employee Grievances.
Additional information regarding the District’s discrimination and harassment complaint and grievance procedures, including, but not limited to, the designation of the Civil Rights Compliance Officer (CRCO), knowingly making false accusations, and possible corrective actions, can be found in Policy #3420 — Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment in the District.
Prohibition of Retaliatory Behavior
The Board prohibits any retaliatory behavior directed against complainants, victims, witnesses, and/or any other individuals who participated in the investigation of a complaint of discrimination. Complaints of retaliation may be directed to the CRCO. In the event the CRCO is the alleged offender, the report will be directed to another CRCO, if the District has designated another individual to serve in that capacity, or to the Superintendent.
When appropriate, follow-up inquiries will be made to ensure that discrimination has not resumed and that all those involved in the investigation of the discrimination have not suffered retaliation.
Age Discrimination in Employment Act, 29 USC § 621
Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 USC § 12101 et seq.
Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act of 2008 (GINA) Public Law 110-233
§ 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 USC § 794 et seq.
Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 USC § 2000d et seq.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 USC § 2000e et seq.
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 USC § 1681 et seq.
Civil Rights Law § 40-c
Civil Service Law § 75-B
Executive Law § 290 et seq.
Military Law §§ 242 and 243
SEXUAL HARASSMENT OF DISTRICT PERSONNEL
The Board affirms its commitment to provide an environment free from sex-based discrimination and sexual harassment, including sexual violence and intimidation. The Board, therefore, prohibits all forms of sexual harassment against District personnel by employees, school volunteers, students, and non-employees, such as contractors and vendors, which occurs on school grounds or at school-sponsored events, programs, or activities, including those that take place at locations off school premises.
Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute harassment on the basis of sex when:
a) Submission of this conduct is made, either explicitly or implicitly, a term or condition of an individual’s employment;
b) Submission to or rejection of this conduct by an individual is used as a basis for employment decisions affecting these individuals; or
c) The conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment.
Sexual harassment includes, but is not limited to, sexual violence. For the purpose of this policy, sexual violence refers to physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person’s will or where a person is incapable of giving consent. Sexual violence includes rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, and sexual coercion.
Sexual harassment can originate from a person of either sex against a person of the opposite or same sex, and from students, supervisors, co-workers, or third parties such as visitors and school volunteers.
Sexual harassment can be verbal, non-verbal, or physical. Examples of this conduct may include, but are not limited to, the following:
a) Verbal abuse or ridicule, including innuendoes, stories, and jokes that are sexual in nature and/or gender-related. This might include inappropriate sex-oriented comments on appearance, including dress or physical features.
b) Direct or indirect threats or bribes for unwanted sexual activity.
c) Asking or commenting about a person’s sexual activities.
d) Unwelcome and unwanted physical contact of a sexual nature including, but not limited to, physical acts such as assault, impeding or blocking movement, offensive touching, or any physical interference with normal work or movement.
e) Displaying or distributing pornographic or other sexually explicit materials such as magazines, pictures, internet material, cartoons, etc.
f) The use of profanity or other obscenities that are sexually suggestive or degrading in nature.
g) Unwelcome staring, leering, or gesturing which is sexually suggestive in nature.
h) Unwelcome and/or offensive public displays of sexual or physical affection.
i) Clothing that reflects sexually obscene or sexually explicit messages, slogans, or pictures.
j) Engaging in sexual conduct with an individual who is unable to consent due to his or her age, use of drugs or alcohol, intellectual disability, or other disability.
k) Any other unwelcome and unwanted sexually oriented or gender-based behavior which is sexually demeaning, belittling, intimidating, or perpetrates sexual stereotypes and attitudes.
Investigation of Complaints and Grievances
In order for the Board to enforce this policy, and to take corrective measures as may be necessary, it is essential that any employee who believes he or she has been a victim of sexual harassment in the work environment, as well as any other person who is aware of and/or who has knowledge of or witnesses any possible occurrence of sexual harassment, immediately report the alleged harassment to the District’s designated Civil Rights Compliance Officer (CRCO). In the event that the CRCO is the alleged offender, the report will be directed to another CRCO, if the District has designated an additional individual to serve in that capacity, or to the Superintendent.
The District will act to promptly, thoroughly, and equitably investigate all complaints, whether verbal or written, of sexual harassment, and will promptly take appropriate action to protect individuals from further harassment. All complaints will be handled in a manner consistent with the District’s policies, procedures, and/or regulations regarding the investigation of discrimination and harassment complaints, including Policy #3420 — Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment in the District.
Additional information regarding the District’s discrimination and harassment complaint and grievance procedures, including, but not limited to, the designation of the CRCO, knowingly making false accusations, and possible corrective actions, can be found in Policy #3420 — Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment in the District.
Prohibition of Retaliatory Behavior
The Board prohibits any retaliatory behavior directed against complainants, victims, witnesses, and/or any other individuals who participated in the investigation of a complaint of sexual harassment. Complaints of retaliation may be directed to the CRCO. In the event the CRCO is the alleged offender, the report will be directed to another CRCO, if the District has designated another individual to serve in that capacity, or to the Superintendent.
Where appropriate, follow-up inquiries will be made to ensure that sexual harassment has not resumed and that all those involved in the investigation of sexual harassment have not suffered retaliation.
Civil Rights Act of 1991, 42 USC § 1981(a)
29 CFR § 1604.11(a)
Civil Service Law § 75-B
Executive Law §§ 296 and 297
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 USC § 2000e et seq.
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 USC § 1681 et seq.
34 CFR § 100 et seq.
COMPLAINTS AND GRIEVANCES BY EMPLOYEES
In accordance with the provisions of General Municipal Law and the collective bargaining agreements, all District personnel will have the opportunity to present their complaints or grievances free from interference, coercion, restraint, discrimination or reprisal. The District will provide at least two procedural stages and an appellate stage for the settlement of any grievance.
Complaints or grievances not covered under employee contracts will be handled and resolved, whenever possible, as close to their origin as possible. The Superintendent is responsible for implementing regulations for the redress of complaints or grievances through proper administrative channels.
Prohibition of Retaliatory Behavior
The Board prohibits any retaliatory behavior directed against complainants, victims, witnesses, and/or any other individuals who participated in the investigation of a complaint of discrimination. Follow-up inquiries will be made to ensure that discrimination has not resumed and that all those involved in the investigation of the discrimination complaint have not suffered retaliation.
Complaints and Grievances Coordinator
Additionally, the Board will ensure compliance with Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). The Superintendent will designate a District employee as the Title IX/Section 504/ADA Coordinator; and regulations and procedures will be implemented to resolve complaints of discrimination based on sex or disability.
Prior to the beginning of each school year, the District will issue an appropriate public announcement which advises students, parents/guardian, employees and the general public of the District’s established grievance procedures for resolving complaints of discrimination based on sex or disability. Included in such announcement will be the name, address and telephone number of the Title IX/Section 504/ADA Coordinator.
The Title IX/Section 504/ADA Coordinator will also be responsible for handling complaints and grievances regarding discrimination based on race, color, creed, religion, national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, age, military status, veteran status, marital status, predisposing genetic characteristics, use of a recognized guide dog, hearing dog or service dog, or domestic violence victim status.
Age Discrimination in Employment Act, 29 United States Code (USC) Section 621
Americans With Disabilities Act, 42 United States Code (USC) Section 12101 et seq.
EVALUATION OF PERSONNEL: PURPOSES
The administration will undertake a continuous program of supervision and evaluation of all personnel in the District in order to promote improved performance and to make decisions about the occupancy of positions. Evaluation of teachers providing instructional services or pupil personnel services as defined in accordance with Commissioner’s regulations will be conducted in accordance with the District’s Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR).
The primary purposes of this evaluation are:
a) To encourage and promote self-evaluation by personnel;
b) To provide a basis for evaluative judgments by school administrators.
8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Sections 80-1.1 and 100.2(o)(2)
EMPLOYEE MEDICAL EXAMINATIONS
Pre-Employment Medical Examinations
In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, as amended, the District will not require applicants for positions to undergo a medical examination prior to an offer of employment. Further, the District will not make inquiries of a job applicant as to whether the applicant is an individual with a disability or as to the nature or severity of a disability.
However, the District may make pre-employment inquiries into the ability of an applicant to perform job-related functions.
Employment Entrance Examinations
The Board reserves the right to request a medical examination at any time during employment, at District expense, in order to determine whether any employee can perform the essential functions of the position with or without reasonable accommodation.
Annual or more frequent examinations of any employee may be required, when, in the judgment of the school physician/nurse practitioner and the Superintendent, such procedure is deemed necessary.
Each vendor/contract bus company will ensure that its bus drivers and substitute bus drivers will have yearly physical examinations. Each bus driver initially employed by the vendor/contract bus company will have a physical examination within the four weeks prior to the beginning of service. In no case will the interval between physical examinations exceed a thirteen-month period.
The final acceptance or rejection of a medical report with reference to the health of an employee lies within the discretion of the Board. The decision of the physician designated by the Board as the determining physician will take precedence over all other medical advice.
All medical and health related information will be kept in accordance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA).
Examinations and Inquiries
The District may conduct voluntary medical examinations, including voluntary medical histories, which are part of an employee health program available to employees at that work site. The District may make inquiries into the ability of an employee to perform job-related functions.
The District will not require a medical examination and will not make inquiries as to whether such employee is an individual with a disability or as to the nature or severity of the disability, unless the examination or inquiry is shown to be job related and consistent with business necessity.
Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA) of 2008, Public Law 110-325)
Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), Public Law 104-191
45 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Parts 160 and 164
Education Law Sections 913 and 3624
8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Section 156.3(2)
10 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Part 14
15 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Part 6
ALCOHOL, DRUGS AND OTHER SUBSTANCES (SCHOOL PERSONNEL)
The Board, recognizing that students are often influenced by teachers and other members of a school’s staff, impresses upon staff members the importance of maintaining a high level of professionalism appropriate to their position, which, in turn, will set a positive example for students.
The Board, therefore, prohibits the consumption, sharing and/or selling, use and/or possession of illegal drugs, counterfeit and designer drugs or alcoholic beverages in the workplace, or when the effects of such drugs and/or alcohol use may impair an employee’s job performance.
Information about any drug and alcohol counseling and/or rehabilitation programs will be made available to employees. Data will also include the range of penalties (consistent with local, state and federal law) up to and including termination of employment and referral for prosecution that will be imposed on employees who have transgressed the terms of this policy.
Additionally, confidentiality will be ensured as required by state and federal law.
The Superintendent/designee will periodically review the drug and alcohol abuse prevention program to determine its effectiveness and support appropriate modifications, as needed.
Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act, as reauthorized by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 20 United States Code (USC) Section 7101 et seq.
Civil Service Law Section 75
Education Law Sections 913, 1711(2)(e), 2508(5) and 3020-a
It will be the general policy of the Board to affirm that all programs in the District that receive Federal funds will guarantee that their workplaces are free of controlled substances. “Controlled substance” means a controlled substance in schedules I through V of Section 202 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 USC 812) and as further defined in regulation at 21 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Sections 1308.11-1308.15. An acknowledgment form will be signed by the Superintendent indicating that the District is in full compliance with the Drug-Free Workplace Act. This policy will guarantee that not only Federally funded programs, but the entire District is free of controlled substances.
“Workplace” is defined as a school building or other school premises; any school-owned vehicle or any other school-approved vehicle used to transport students to and from school or school activities; off school property during any school-sponsored or school-approved activity, event or function, such as a field trip or athletic event, where students are under the jurisdiction of the District.
The Board directs the administration to develop regulations to comply with this policy, and further supports such actions and activities of the administration as will be required to maintain a drug-free workplace.
Drug-Free Workplace Act, 20 United States Code (USC) Section 7101 et seq.
21 United States Code (USC) Section 812
21 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Sections 1308.11-1308.15
34 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 85
PROFESSIONAL GROWTH/STAFF DEVELOPMENT
It is the policy of the District that attention be given to in-service, pre-service, and other staff development programs which are believed to be of benefit to the District and its students. The Superintendent, in consultation with the appropriate administrative staff and/or teacher committees, is directed to arrange in-service programs and other staff development opportunities which will provide for the selection of subjects pertinent to the curriculum in the schools, to build from these subjects those topics or courses for in-service or staff development which will help employees acquire new methods of performing their job responsibilities or help staff improve on those techniques which are already being used in the schools, with the objective of improving professional competencies.
It is recommended that administration develop meaningful in-service and/or staff development programs which will achieve the following:
a) Contribute to the instructional program of the schools;
b) Contribute to improved education for students;
c) Achieve state mandates; and
d) Enhance the professional competencies and/or instructional abilities of staff members.
The Board, therefore, encourages all employees to improve their competencies beyond that which they may obtain through the regular performance of their assigned duties. Opportunities should be provided for:
a) Planned in-service programs, courses, seminars, and workshops offered both within the School System and outside the District.
b) Visits to other classrooms and schools, as well as attendance at professional meetings, for the purpose of improving instruction and/or educational services.
c) Orientation/re-orientation of staff members to program and/or organizational changes as well as District expectations.
Attendance at such professional development programs must be directly linked to the duties and responsibilities comprising the job description of the employee. Consequently, employees are encouraged to participate in the planning of staff development programs designed to meet their specific needs.
Members of the staff are also encouraged to continue their formal education as well as to attend their respective work-related workshops, conferences and meetings.
Funds for participating at such conferences, conventions, and other similar professional development programs will be budgeted for by the Board on an annual basis. Reimbursement to District staff for all actual and necessary registration fees, expenses of travel, meals and lodging, and all necessary tuition fees incurred in connection with attendance at conferences and the like will be in accordance with established regulations for conference attendance and expense reimbursement.
The Superintendent or designee has authority to approve release time and expenses for staff members’ attendance at professional training conferences, study councils, in-service courses, workshops, summer study grants, school visitations, professional organizations and the like within budgetary constraints.
A conference request form/course approval form must be submitted by the employee and approved by the designated administrator prior to the employee’s attendance at such conference or other professional development program.
Mentoring Programs for First Year Teachers
All new teachers in the Pine Bush Central School District holding an initial certificate must complete a mentored teaching experience within their first year of employment as a teacher.
The Pine Bush Central School District will incorporate the design and planning of such mentored experiences for all first-year teachers in its employ into the Pine Bush Central School District Professional Development Plan.
The purpose of the mentoring program is to provide support for new teachers in order to ease the transition from teacher preparation to practice, thereby increasing the retention of teachers, and to increase the skills of new teachers in order to improve student achievement in accordance with the New York State learning standards. The Professional Development Plan will describe how the Pine Bush Central School District will provide a mentoring program for teachers who must participate in a mentoring program to meet the teaching experience requirement for the professional certificate as prescribed by Commissioner’s regulations.
The mentoring program will be developed and implemented consistent with any collective bargaining obligation required by Article 14 of the Civil Service Law (i.e., the Taylor Law); however, Commissioner’s regulation does not impose a collective bargaining obligation that is not required by the Taylor Law.
In accordance with Commissioner’s regulations, the Professional Development Plan will describe the following elements of the mentoring program:
a) The procedure for selecting mentors, which will be published and made available to staff of the Pine Bush Central School District and, upon request, to members of the public;
b) The role of mentors, which will include but not be limited to providing guidance and support to the new teacher;
c) The preparation of mentors, which may include but will not be limited to the study of the theory of adult learning, the theory of teacher development, the elements of the mentoring relationship, peer coaching techniques, and time management methodology;
d) Types of mentoring activities, which may include but will not be limited to modeling instruction for the new teacher, observing instruction, instructional planning with the new teacher, peer coaching, team teaching, and orienting the new teacher to the school culture; and
e) Time allotted for mentoring, which may include but will not be limited to scheduling common planning sessions; releasing the new teacher from a portion of their instructional and/or non-instructional duties; and providing time for mentoring during Superintendent Conference Days, before and after the school day, and during summer orientation sessions.
Confidentiality or Mentor-New Teacher Interaction
The information obtained by a mentor through interaction with the new teacher while engaged in the mentoring activities of the program will not be used for evaluating or disciplining the new teacher unless:
a) Withholding such information poses a danger to the life, health, or safety of an individual including, but not limited to, students and staff of the school; or
b) Such information indicates that the new teacher has been convicted of a crime, or has committed an act which raises a reasonable question as to the new teacher’s moral character; or
c) The Pine Bush Central School District has entered into an agreement, negotiated in accordance with Article 14 of the Civil Service Law whose terms are in effect, that provides that the information obtained by· the mentor through interaction with the new teacher while engaged in the mentoring activities of the program may be used for evaluating or disciplining the new teacher.
Exemptions to above Mentoring Requirements
In accordance with Commissioner’s regulations, teachers holding initial certificates who have two or more prior years of teaching experience do not need to be provided a mentored experience as enumerated in this policy.
The Pine Bush Central School District will maintain documentation of the implementation of the mentoring program described in the Professional Development Plan for at least seven years from the date of completion of the mentoring activity; and it will be available for review by the State Education Department. Such documentation will include the information enumerated in Commissioner’s regulations.
Education Law Sections 1604(27), 3004 and 3006
General Municipal Law Sections 77-b and 77-c
8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Sections 52.21(b)(3)(xvi), 52.21(b)(3)(xvii), 80-3.4(b)(2), 80-5.13, 80-5.14 and 100.2(dd)
CONFERENCE/TRAVEL EXPENSE REIMBURSEMENT
Conference travel will be for official business and will be made utilizing a cost-effective and reasonable method of travel.
All conference travel must have a completed Travel Conference Request Form on file which has been approved by the appropriate supervisor. The Superintendent/designee approves those Travel Conference Requests which have reimbursable employee expenses greater than $100. Travel Conference Request Forms are only to be used by District employees.
All conference reimbursement requests must be submitted using a Travel Conference Reimbursement Form.
Expenses for overnight-approved travel will be reimbursed when accompanied by original receipts for lodging and other reimbursable expenses. Meal expenses for overnight travel will only be reimbursed based on the Board approved per diem rates which are modeled after the United States General Services Administration per diem rates found at http://www.gsa.gov/portal/content/104877
New York State sales taxes for lodging and meals cannot be reimbursed. A Sales Tax-Exempt Form can be obtained prior to travel for hotel accommodations.
Original receipts are required when submitting for parking and tolls, however “EZ Pass” statements may be substituted with the appropriate charges highlighted.
General Municipal Law Section 77-b(2)
SAFETY OF STUDENTS (FINGERPRINTING CLEARANCE OF NEW HIRES)
“Sunset” Provision for Conditional Appointments/Emergency Conditional Appointments
Effective July 1, 2010, the provisions in law which permitted the conditional appointment and/or emergency conditional appointment of employees pending full clearance from SED terminated; and will be rescinded as Board policy and procedure as of that date unless subsequent revisions to applicable law provide otherwise.
The District will not employ or utilize a prospective school employee, as defined below, unless such prospective school employee has been granted a “full” clearance for employment by the State Education Department (SED). The District will require a prospective school employee who is not in the SED criminal history file to be fingerprinted for purposes of a criminal history record check by authorized personnel of the designated fingerprinting entity. For purposes of this provision of law, the term “criminal history record” will mean a record of all convictions of crimes and any pending criminal charges maintained on an individual by the Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).The District will, however, obtain the applicant’s consent to the criminal history records search.
The District will utilize SED’s Web-based application known as *TEACH for instantaneous access to important information about certification and fingerprinting. Through TEACH, SED provides an individual with the ability to apply for fingerprint clearance for certification and/or employment and view the status of his or her fingerprint clearance request. Through TEACH, the District is able, among other applications, to submit an online request for fingerprint clearance for a prospective employee, view the status of a fingerprint clearance request, and determine whether a subsequent arrest letter has been issued.
Access to TEACH
Information regarding fingerprinting of new hires, including relevant laws and regulations, frequently asked questions (FAQs), an up-to-date chart for “Who Must be Fingerprinted”, and instructions on the fingerprinting process are found on www.highered.nysed.gov/tcert/ospra. To request access to TEACH, email TEACHHELP@mail.nysed.gov.
Correction Law Article 23-A
Education Law Sections 305(30), 305(33), 1604, 1709, 1804, 1950, 2503, 2554, 2590-h, 2854, 3004-b, 3004-c and 3035
Executive Law Section 296(16)
Social Services Law Article 5, Title 9-B
8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Sections 80-1.11 and Part 87
STAFF-STUDENT RELATIONS (FRATERNIZATION)
The Board requires that all District employees maintain a professional, ethical relationship with District students that is conducive to an effective, safe learning environment; and that staff members act as role models for students at all times, whether on or off school property and both during and outside of school hours. Staff must establish appropriate personal boundaries with students and not engage in any behavior that could reasonably lead to even the appearance of impropriety.
Staff members are prohibited, under any circumstances, to date or engage in any improper fraternization or undue familiarity with students, regardless of the student’s age and/or regardless of whether the student may have “consented” to such conduct. Further, employees will not entertain students or socialize with students in such a manner as to create the perception that a dating relationship exists. Similarly, any action or comment by a staff member which invites romantic or sexual involvement with a student is considered highly unethical, in violation of District policy, and may result in the notification of law enforcement officials and the filing of criminal charges and/or disciplinary action by the District up to and including termination of employment.
Inappropriate employee behavior includes, but is not limited to, flirting; making suggestive comments; dating; requests for sexual activity; physical displays of affection; giving inappropriate personal gifts; frequent personal communication with a student (via phone, email, letters, notes, etc.) unrelated to course work or official school matters; providing alcohol or drugs to students; inappropriate touching; and engaging in sexual contact and/or sexual relations. (“Frequent personal communication with a student unrelated to course work or official school matters” means any form in which that personal communication may occur including, but not limited to, voice or text-based communication via phone, email, instant messaging, text messaging or through social networking websites.)
Even if the student participated “willingly” in the activity (regardless of the student’s age), inappropriate fraternization of staff with students is against District policy and may be in violation of professional standards of conduct and New York State Law. However, inappropriate employee conduct does not need to rise to the level of criminal activity for such conduct to be in violation of District rules and subject to appropriate disciplinary sanctions.
Any student who believes that he or she has been subjected to inappropriate staff behavior as enumerated in this policy, as well as students, school employees or third parties who have knowledge of or witness any possible occurrence of inappropriate staff-student relations, will report the incident to any staff member or either the employee’s supervisor, the student’s principal or the District’s designated Compliance Officer. In all events such reports will be forwarded to the designated Compliance Officer for further investigation. Anonymous complaints of inappropriate fraternization of staff members with students will also be investigated by the District. Investigations of allegations of inappropriate staff-student relations will follow the procedures utilized for complaints of harassment within the District. Allegations of inappropriate staff-student behavior will be promptly investigated and will be treated as confidential and private to the extent possible within legal constraints.
Any employee having knowledge of or reasonable suspicion that another employee may have engaged in inappropriate conduct with a student that may constitute child abuse (specifically, child abuse in an educational setting) must also follow the District’s reporting procedures for such allegations; and such information will be reported by the designated administrator as required by state law to law enforcement officials, the State Education Department and/or Child Protective Services as may be applicable.
If a student initiates inappropriate behavior toward a staff member, that employee will document the incident and report it to his or her building principal or supervisor.
The District will promptly investigate all complaints of inappropriate staff-student relations, and take prompt corrective action to stop such conduct if it occurs.
Prohibition of Retaliatory Behavior (Commonly Known as “Whistle-Blower” Protection)
The Board prohibits any retaliatory behavior directed against complainants, victims, witnesses, and/or any other individuals who participate in the investigation of allegations of inappropriate staff-student relations. Follow-up inquiries and/or appropriate monitoring will be made to ensure that the alleged conduct has not resumed and that all those involved in the investigation have not suffered retaliation. Any act of retaliation is subject to appropriate disciplinary action by the District.
The principal of each school and/or program supervisor will be responsible for informing students, staff and volunteers of the requirements of this policy, including the duty to report and the procedures established for investigation and resolution of complaints. Further, staff training will be provided to facilitate staff identification of possible behavior that may constitute inappropriate staff-student relationships. Students will be provided such training in an age appropriate manner.
The District’s policy (or a summary thereof) will be disseminated as appropriate to staff, students and parents. Further, this topic will be addressed in the District Code of Conduct.
Any staff member who engages in inappropriate conduct with a student, prohibited by the terms of this policy, will be subject to appropriate disciplinary measures up to and including termination of employment in accordance with legal guidelines, District policy and regulation, and the applicable collective bargaining agreement. A violation of this policy may also subject the employee to criminal and/or civil sanctions as well as disciplinary action by the State Education Department.
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 United States Code (USC) Section 1681 et seq. Education Law Article 23-B
Social Services Law Sections 411-428
8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Part 83